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2017 Flèche Wallone - April 19th - 200.5km

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I get the impression that many of these team directors (or whatever the correct title is) don't know what they're doing tbh. They see that Valverde's team perhaps isn't strong enough to control the race entirely and instead of attacking you're going to close the gap for him? How do you justify that? :confused:

Like what were Orica or Lotto thinking? Could have sent Kreuziger or Wellens but they figure they're better off going for a top 10 result?
 
Aug 16, 2013
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DFA123 said:
Arredondo said:
Gigs_98 said:
The most frustrating thing is that it seems like riders don't attack early on the mur anymore. It's okay that this is a race where only one kilometer is interesting but that makes it even more frustrating when not even this one climb is exciting. Why are there no guys like Contador or Betancur anymore who say, f*ck this, I won't wait for Bala to crush me

Or Purito. He was the one who attacked early last year (450 meters), despite the fact he was in **** shape.

But also in 2012 and 2015 (Tour) he won by attacking from afar, on the steepest slope.

Now all those wannabe-puncheurs are waiting till the last 150 meters, where it flattens out. That's Bala terrain. The only possibilty to beat him, is by going from afar and putting him into difficulty on gradients above 15%. He's beatable when you do that.

Onfortunately, 99% of the current puncheurs do not have the class to do that. The only guy who should give it a try, is Henao. But he's just a bit of a coward. He just doesn't have the mindset to be a great champion.

Gosh, i miss the Purito, Rebellin, Contador, Evans days :(
I'd love to know if that tactic would still work the way Valverde races nowdays. For sure a rider like Purito could get a gap on the steepest bit, but I think Valverde used to mess up because he tried to follow immediately and blew up. The last few editions, he just rides it a lot more steady and doesn't seem so bothered about immediately jumping on attacks. Would be great to see a battle between 2012 Purito and this years Valverde, if Purito got the jump and Valverde gradually tried to reel him back in with a more steady effort. Difficult to call I think.

The competition now is just not close enough to compete, whatever they do. Valverde's a better climber than everyone on the start list, apart from possibly Bardet. He's a better hilly puncheur than everyone on the start list on pretty much any gradient above 2%, and he's a better uphill sprinter than any of them. Just crazy for them all to leave it until the Mur.

Couldn't agree more. Man, a mano-a-mano between 2012 Purito and 2017 Valverde would be epic :eek: Then the race at least is exciting till the end. Now we all know the winner before the race.

Especially this years edition Movistar was quite vulnerable. Valverde only had 2/3 guys with him in the final. If Orica just got their head straight, i think Jungels could have won really. I just don't get that race attitude really. In what world Michael 'of all sake' Albasini is going to beat Bala on such a climb? :confused: :confused:
 
Aug 31, 2012
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Great race and deserving winner.

Thank god my favourite 3 minutes of racing every year weren't ruined by Jungels rolling the dice with an attack from far out.
 
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Re: Re:

woodburn said:
Akuryo said:
Dan could have won if he was better positioned. He was way too far back

May have heard this once or twice before. It's amazing he is never at the front when it starts. You'd think he might just try and see if the outcome is different.

Martin is way too limited as a cyclist. He can climb: that's it.

2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017: in all editions he was way too far back at the bottom of the climb. Most of the times he was in like 15th position when Purito/Valverde/Moreno made their attack. That's just ridiculous really.

The guy just can't position himself well in a peloton. And he just doesn't have any bike handling skills. For a team leader, that's such a disadvantage.
 
Re: Re:

frisenfruitig said:
therhodeo said:
I've got to say I can't hate on what Valverde does. The guy doesn't waste his time trying to peak for July every year. He goes to races and he races. Hard. No dinking about for that guy.

Meanwhile Froome just sat out the entire classics season. Better hope he doesn't crash in July lol :D (I personally hope he does, but ok).

Valverde is just the best rider of the last 20 years if you ask me. He's always at a high level, doesn't matter which part of the season you're talking about. He just said in the interview he still has a contract until he's 39 years old and also said that he may even go on for longer than that if he's still good. God help us all :D
Breaking forum rules I see
 
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And a significant amount of people still think this is the 6th most prestigious classic. :eek:

This is easily the most disappointing race on the calendar. It's about as prestigious as a win in the Scheldeprijs to me, but that race at least isn't part of the WT.

A lot of good riders weren't even here: Alaphilippe, Gilbert, Froome, Chaves, Quintana, Nibali, Contador, etc.

When will the organizers learn that they need to move the finish 20-30km away from the Mur de Huy. Then we'd see a real race.
 
Re:

El Pistolero said:
And a significant amount of people still think this is the 6th most prestigious classic. :eek:

This is easily the most disappointing race on the calendar. It's about as prestigious as a win in the Scheldeprijs to me, but that race at least isn't part of the WT.

A lot of good riders weren't even here: Alaphilippe, Gilbert, Froome, Chaves, Quintana, Nibali, Contador, etc.

When will the organizers learn that they need to move the finish 20-30km away from the Mur de Huy. Then we'd see a real race.
I think they have a pretty good excuse
 
Re: Re:

Cance > TheRest said:
DenisMenchov said:
I can't believe I've watched this stupid race again. And I even got mad when they caught Bob, off to watch Tour of Croatia.
Jungels' attack was doomed. Remniscent of a typical Wellens attack on a day when Wellens did nothing. But good job nonetheless.

The question is. Is the attack doomed when riders like Wellens, Henao (add 2 more decent riders) join such an attack? I think not.
The problem is though, it will be hard for such a group to form.
 
Re: Re:

Arredondo said:
woodburn said:
Akuryo said:
Dan could have won if he was better positioned. He was way too far back

May have heard this once or twice before. It's amazing he is never at the front when it starts. You'd think he might just try and see if the outcome is different.

Martin is way too limited as a cyclist. He can climb: that's it.

2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017: in all editions he was way too far back at the bottom of the climb. Most of the times he was in like 15th position when Purito/Valverde/Moreno made their attack. That's just ridiculous really.

The guy just can't position himself well in a peloton. And he just doesn't have any bike handling skills. For a team leader, that's such a disadvantage.

That's much too harsh.

He is first and foremost a shortish climb puncheur and is currently the second best of those in the world. He can also climb actual mountains to a very high standard, but not at quite the same level. He has a good but not great sprint. He also has a good tactical brain from a small group.

As against that he is bad at positioning himself in a large bunch, mediocre as a bike handler and very bad as a time triallist.

He is flawed but he's by no means one dimensional. His biggest problem is that his career overlaps the ever green Alejandro Valverde. Even still he has an excellent palmares.
 
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Re: Re:

Netserk said:
SeriousSam said:
Great race and deserving winner.

Thank god my favourite 3 minutes of racing every year weren't ruined by Jungels rolling the dice with an attack from far out.
Nice to see you again, Sam. Have you followed the odds for the Giro ;) :p

Of course. Haven't decided yet whether I'll post graphs, though.
 
Re: Re:

Gigs_98 said:
El Pistolero said:
And a significant amount of people still think this is the 6th most prestigious classic. :eek:

This is easily the most disappointing race on the calendar. It's about as prestigious as a win in the Scheldeprijs to me, but that race at least isn't part of the WT.

A lot of good riders weren't even here: Alaphilippe, Gilbert, Froome, Chaves, Quintana, Nibali, Contador, etc.

When will the organizers learn that they need to move the finish 20-30km away from the Mur de Huy. Then we'd see a real race.
I think they have a pretty good excuse

Exactly. And the rest of that list, other than Chaves who might or might not be a legitimate contender, are fringe contenders at best. GC climbers with little punch are not rivals to Valverde, Martin, Alaphillipe and co in the Ardennes. If they thought they would be top favourites they would be there.
 
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Re: Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
Gigs_98 said:
El Pistolero said:
And a significant amount of people still think this is the 6th most prestigious classic. :eek:

This is easily the most disappointing race on the calendar. It's about as prestigious as a win in the Scheldeprijs to me, but that race at least isn't part of the WT.

A lot of good riders weren't even here: Alaphilippe, Gilbert, Froome, Chaves, Quintana, Nibali, Contador, etc.

When will the organizers learn that they need to move the finish 20-30km away from the Mur de Huy. Then we'd see a real race.
I think they have a pretty good excuse

Exactly. And the rest of that list, other than Chaves who might or might not be a legitimate contender, are fringe contenders at best. GC climbers with little punch are not rivals to Valverde, Martin, Alaphillipe and co in the Ardennes. If they thought they would be top favourites they would be there.

Froome smoked his ass on the Mur de Huy in the Tour. Nibali always smokes Valverde when he is in top shape (which sadly rarely happens these days).
 
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Re: Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
El Pistolero said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
Gigs_98 said:
El Pistolero said:
And a significant amount of people still think this is the 6th most prestigious classic. :eek:

This is easily the most disappointing race on the calendar. It's about as prestigious as a win in the Scheldeprijs to me, but that race at least isn't part of the WT.

A lot of good riders weren't even here: Alaphilippe, Gilbert, Froome, Chaves, Quintana, Nibali, Contador, etc.

When will the organizers learn that they need to move the finish 20-30km away from the Mur de Huy. Then we'd see a real race.
I think they have a pretty good excuse

Exactly. And the rest of that list, other than Chaves who might or might not be a legitimate contender, are fringe contenders at best. GC climbers with little punch are not rivals to Valverde, Martin, Alaphillipe and co in the Ardennes. If they thought they would be top favourites they would be there.

Froome smoked his *** on the Mur de Huy in the Tour. Nibali always smokes Valverde when he is in top shape (which sadly rarely happens these days).

<edited by mods>

Just stating facts. Nobody peaks for this race, everybody peaks for the Tour. Result = Valverde can't win.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZnrkrByass