• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

2017 Liège-Bastogne-Liège - April 23rd - 258k

Page 23 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Re:

Ramon Koran said:
Don't think the course is responsable, we've seen great races in liege, notably up untill 2012, it's more a case of Valverde being so dominant and no one being strong enough to attack and stay away, henao tried and failed so did wellens, Kreuziger... give it a couple of years and Valverde will not be as strong and hopefully some riders will step up and then will get exciting racing again. Let's not forget only a couple of years ago the cobbled races were being won by sprinters and the action wasn't great ( remember Paris Roubaix 2014?). It happens in grand tours as well the tour was awful during us postal years then got pretty good until sky came along, no doubt in a few years it will become interesting again. Changing the route is not the solution msr is regularly awful the route hasn't changed,
Good post
 
Re: Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
I mostly agree with your posts on this thread, but I can't really agree with the implication that Quickstep were riding for a good position here or in Flèche. In Flèche they made the only strong attack of the race while knowing that they had the second strongest puncheur in the field waiting for Huy. That was exactly the right strategy. In LBL, they had Martin do his thing at the bottom of the climb to Ans, a move which has led to a win once, a probable win derailed by a fall once and a second place once. If Valverde has a slightly off day or leaves Martin too big a gap or tries to sucker someone else into chasing, all of which are reasonable possibilities, Martin wins. Given that they were missing two riders who are probably the fourth and fifth biggest favourites behind Valverde, Martin and Kwiatkowski, so it was all in for Martin, they are one of only two teams in this race who should be trying to make the race boring.

Every team other than Quickstep and Movistar really should take a long look at themselves. The race was over for them before the climb to Ans started. Martin is the only rider entitled to think he has a shot from there not named Valverde. Everyone else is dead meat and they have no excuse for not knowing it.

Yeah, good points. It's probably a bit harsh to include Quickstep in there - especially with their absentees. I guess they could have played a bit more poker - I think Vakoc was on the front chasing with a long way to go - why not tell him to attack on the Redoute instead? Controlling breaks probably wasn't the best option, I think a slightly more chaotic race could upset Valverde more. But, you're right about Martin, there's not much more he could have done. And if Valverde was slightly off form or had a mechanical or something, he would have won, so it wasn't the worst strategy.
 
Re: Re:

Alexandre B. said:
jaylew said:
Alexandre B. said:
It's not about the rider, it's about the way you win. Whining for the sake of whining just because someone criticizes the way your favorite rider won leads nowhere.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with the way Valverde won.
If the winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège put his nose in the wind for only 200m, there's probably something wrong, or at least problematic. Whoever won.
I don't actually think we're in disagreement. I'm not saying the parcours or the way other riders race shouldn't be changed. I'm saying there's no faulting him for the way he won.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Gigs_98 said:
DFA123 said:
Well, some of them can ride on it. Valverde and Kwiatkowski, for example, are decent rouleurs. But they're not going to be able to hold off a 50 strong peloton full of sprinters and their domestiques for a significant distance. Especially when other riders in a bunch have sprinters behind so aren't pulling.

They already need multiple skillsets to win on this course - huge aerobic endurance, good anaerobic endurance, a decent sprint, good positioning etc... They shouldn't have to be world class rouleurs as well - PR and RVV are the races for those skills.
You are talking about a completely unrealistic scenario. Make the race hard enough and no way there is a 50 men peloton after the last climb. The only reason why there is a big group so late in the race now is because there are no serious attacks on La Redoute and RaF. You are writing this as if this would just be another Milan San Remo which will likely go to sprinters with only a small chance for attackers, but thats simply not what it is. No sprinter would have a chance if the earlier hills are ridden properly. Just watch the Amstel Gold Race. The finale was way easier than before but the race was way harder to win for a sprinter. And I'm not even saying one has to make the last 20 kilometers easy like in the AGR. I get that nobody wants the risk of a bunch sprint in LBL so if you want to let's just make the last 5 kilometers flat and the race before that very hilly. No way sprinters would have a chance if guys like Valverde start to attack on a ramp like RaF.
Pretty sure the best riders would still generally wait for the final climb. If its 5km from the finish then you would just have another San Sebastian type finish - which isn't much better than we had today. If its 20km from the finish then you would end up with a bunch sprint. I think its more important to motivate the riders to do something ( the usual stuff: smaller teams, no radios, rapidly decreasing WT points for positions), more than tweaking the course.

Amstel worked because Gilbert, Henao and Kwiatkowski went early. There was nothing to stop the latter two trying something similar on Redoute today.
The problem is that they didn't think they have to. Kwiat went early in AGR because he thought he had no chance if he would come to the last Bemeleberg with a big group. However today he thought that he might have a chance to win if he comes to Ans with Valverde.
And I agree that a race for 5 km isn't much better than a race for 1 km, but nevertheless still better.
 
Actually I agree with whoever it was who pointed out that Cofidis and Cannondale should also be exempt from criticism. They rode as teams with no serious contenders should, trying to make a mess of things so an outsider can profit. They were right to do that. Movistar were right to ride for Valverde. Quickstep were right to ride for Martin. Everyone else has a team car full of clowns.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
KGB said:
DFA123 said:
Fernandez said:
There would be way less complaining if their favourites had won it.
Vmt. Could you imagine if Sagan had raced; if he'd have wheelsucked and won a sprint up Ans. Or if Contador would have done what Valverde did on the final climb? This would suddenly be the best course ever for a lot of the forum.
But Sagan is not wheelsucker and Contador can not stay on his bike so those scenarios are really just your fantasy.Maybe replace Sagan with one guy from BMC and Contador with very skinny guy from SKY and then your scenario is more realistic.
Simply that perceptions of a race and evaluation of the course are shaped by their like or dislike for the winner. If Contador or Sagan win a race - even if they were at the front for only the last 500m, many would regard that as a great victory and a good race (see, for example, Sagan's two WC wins) - even it was objectively dull.

This race was clearly dull and not a good edition. But it's crazy to blame Valverde for that, and also I don't think it's the fault of the course. There are more than enough places to put in a peloton splitting attack in the last 40km for anyone who doesn't just want to ride for a top 10.
I guess I just don't agree. I wanted Bala to win but I also wanted more action from the favorites from further out. And I think you'd still get as many complaints about the course even if AC or Sagan had won in the exact same manner. Sure, you'd get some of their most rabid fans going overboard but most reasonable fans would be happy their guy won and could still say the edition was rather dull and the course or rider/ds strategies might need some tweaking. Also, it would be a bigger deal for one of those two to win LBL than yet another Bala win, let's be honest.

I don't see anyone here really blaming Valverde for anything other than being insanely strong on this parcours.
 
Re: Re:

Gigs_98 said:
DFA123 said:
Gigs_98 said:
DFA123 said:
Well, some of them can ride on it. Valverde and Kwiatkowski, for example, are decent rouleurs. But they're not going to be able to hold off a 50 strong peloton full of sprinters and their domestiques for a significant distance. Especially when other riders in a bunch have sprinters behind so aren't pulling.

They already need multiple skillsets to win on this course - huge aerobic endurance, good anaerobic endurance, a decent sprint, good positioning etc... They shouldn't have to be world class rouleurs as well - PR and RVV are the races for those skills.
You are talking about a completely unrealistic scenario. Make the race hard enough and no way there is a 50 men peloton after the last climb. The only reason why there is a big group so late in the race now is because there are no serious attacks on La Redoute and RaF. You are writing this as if this would just be another Milan San Remo which will likely go to sprinters with only a small chance for attackers, but thats simply not what it is. No sprinter would have a chance if the earlier hills are ridden properly. Just watch the Amstel Gold Race. The finale was way easier than before but the race was way harder to win for a sprinter. And I'm not even saying one has to make the last 20 kilometers easy like in the AGR. I get that nobody wants the risk of a bunch sprint in LBL so if you want to let's just make the last 5 kilometers flat and the race before that very hilly. No way sprinters would have a chance if guys like Valverde start to attack on a ramp like RaF.
Pretty sure the best riders would still generally wait for the final climb. If its 5km from the finish then you would just have another San Sebastian type finish - which isn't much better than we had today. If its 20km from the finish then you would end up with a bunch sprint. I think its more important to motivate the riders to do something ( the usual stuff: smaller teams, no radios, rapidly decreasing WT points for positions), more than tweaking the course.

Amstel worked because Gilbert, Henao and Kwiatkowski went early. There was nothing to stop the latter two trying something similar on Redoute today.
The problem is that they didn't think they have to. Kwiat went early in AGR because he thought he had no chance if he would come to the last Bemeleberg with a big group. However today he thought that he might have a chance to win if he comes to Ans with Valverde.
And I agree that a race for 5 km isn't much better than a race for 1 km, but nevertheless still better.

Why would Kwiatkowski think he can hold the wheel of either Valverde or Martin in these circumstances? He can win this race. He can't win this race at Ans unless Martin falls off again and this time takes Valverde with him. Martin is always going to go berserk there. Always. And that means the only thing in question if a large group gets there is whether or not Valverde catches him. Kwiatkowski is a superb one day racer but he can't do the one km to go uphill charge at those guy's level. He has to change the game, not play them at theirs.
 
Re: Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
Gigs_98 said:
DFA123 said:
Gigs_98 said:
DFA123 said:
Well, some of them can ride on it. Valverde and Kwiatkowski, for example, are decent rouleurs. But they're not going to be able to hold off a 50 strong peloton full of sprinters and their domestiques for a significant distance. Especially when other riders in a bunch have sprinters behind so aren't pulling.

They already need multiple skillsets to win on this course - huge aerobic endurance, good anaerobic endurance, a decent sprint, good positioning etc... They shouldn't have to be world class rouleurs as well - PR and RVV are the races for those skills.
You are talking about a completely unrealistic scenario. Make the race hard enough and no way there is a 50 men peloton after the last climb. The only reason why there is a big group so late in the race now is because there are no serious attacks on La Redoute and RaF. You are writing this as if this would just be another Milan San Remo which will likely go to sprinters with only a small chance for attackers, but thats simply not what it is. No sprinter would have a chance if the earlier hills are ridden properly. Just watch the Amstel Gold Race. The finale was way easier than before but the race was way harder to win for a sprinter. And I'm not even saying one has to make the last 20 kilometers easy like in the AGR. I get that nobody wants the risk of a bunch sprint in LBL so if you want to let's just make the last 5 kilometers flat and the race before that very hilly. No way sprinters would have a chance if guys like Valverde start to attack on a ramp like RaF.
Pretty sure the best riders would still generally wait for the final climb. If its 5km from the finish then you would just have another San Sebastian type finish - which isn't much better than we had today. If its 20km from the finish then you would end up with a bunch sprint. I think its more important to motivate the riders to do something ( the usual stuff: smaller teams, no radios, rapidly decreasing WT points for positions), more than tweaking the course.

Amstel worked because Gilbert, Henao and Kwiatkowski went early. There was nothing to stop the latter two trying something similar on Redoute today.
The problem is that they didn't think they have to. Kwiat went early in AGR because he thought he had no chance if he would come to the last Bemeleberg with a big group. However today he thought that he might have a chance to win if he comes to Ans with Valverde.
And I agree that a race for 5 km isn't much better than a race for 1 km, but nevertheless still better.

Why would Kwiatkowski think he can hold the wheel of either Valverde or Martin in these circumstances? He can win this race. He can't win this race at Ans unless Martin falls off again and this time takes Valverde with him. Martin is always going to go berserk there. Always. And that means the only thing in question if a large group gets there is whether or not Valverde catches him. Kwiatkowski is a superb one day racer but he can't do the one km to go uphill charge at those guy's level. He has to change the game, not play them at theirs.
Well, a guy like Gerrans won the race in 2014, and it's not sure that Martin would have won if he hadn't crashed. I think it's not that far fetched that he could hold Valverdes wheel in Ans and in a sprint Kwiat definitely has his chances. I'm not saying Kwiat was the favorite before the last km, but his chances probably weren't worse than they would be with an attack.
 
DFA, do you really think any 'sprinters' would survive if Movistar, Quickstep and Sky rode full gas between 100km and 50km to go on a route like this (only drawn from Bastogne):

WIPGBCv.png


That's 6 proper climbs:
Ferme Libert (1.2km @ 12.4%)
Stockeu (2.3km @ 9.7%)
Wanneranval (1.7km @ 8.4%)
Thier de Coo (1.8km @ 10.6%)
Haute Levée (3.8km @ 5.4%)
Le Rosier (3.9km @ 6.1%)

Matthews (and a 50 rider big peloton) won't survive that if the hammer is dropped. They certainly wouldn't have anything left in their legs after Redoute, so there won't be a peloton to chase any attackers.
 
Re:

Netserk said:
DFA, do you really think any 'sprinters' would survive if Movistar, Quickstep and Sky rode full gas between 100km and 50km to go on a route like this (only drawn from Bastogne):

WIPGBCv.png


That's 6 proper climbs:
Ferme Libert (1.2km @ 12.4%)
Stockeu (2.3km @ 9.7%)
Wanneranval (1.7km @ 8.4%)
Thier de Coo (1.8km @ 10.6%)
Haute Levée (3.8km @ 5.4%)
Le Rosier (3.9km @ 6.1%)

Matthews (and a 50 rider big peloton) won't survive that if the hammer is dropped.
No, absolutely not. But the sprinters wouldn't have come close to surviving if Movistar, Quickstep and SKy had ridden full gas for the last 100km on the course we had today either.

If the teams rode the same way they rode today on the course above, then absolutely there would be a similar outcome. There were more than enough opportunities on the route today for teams to make it a much harder race if they wanted to do so.
 
Aug 6, 2015
4,139
2
0
Visit site
Re: Re:

Brullnux said:
Alexandre B. said:
frisenfruitig said:
Alexandre B. said:
The guy has been 10 meters in the wind for the whole race.

The same can be said about guys like Kwiat/Martin or Matthews though. Should he attack for no reason so you are happy?
Everyone was bitching about Gerrans in 2014. Everyone is praising Valverde today. There's almost no difference between both wins.

I don't blame Matthews for following in this particular race, but we're talking about freakin' Valverde here.

The main reason I struggle to like valverde is because he is pretty conservative. But can you really blame him? He has the best sprint out of the main competitors, and the finish into Ans and Huy really suit him. That's why I wish Valverde didn't have such a good sprint. Then he'd be forced onto the attack all the time, and he'd still have a good chance of winning.

Mind you, Gerrans didn't do anything wrong in 2014. It's just there were better options (Caruso and Pozzo, the only guys who attacked) and it was an extraordinarily boring race. Can't say anything about today as I missed it.
This...
 
Re: Re:

Gigs_98 said:
Well, a guy like Gerrans won the race in 2014, and it's not sure that Martin would have won if he hadn't crashed. I think it's not that far fetched that he could hold Valverdes wheel in Ans and in a sprint Kwiat definitely has his chances. I'm not saying Kwiat was the favorite before the last km, but his chances probably weren't worse than they would be with an attack.

It's not far fetched without Martin perhaps as Valverde is entirely capable of waiting for a sprint, but Martin is absolutely always going to go berserk there and that means that Valverde has to as well if he's going to win. Kwiatkowski has a better chance of winning this race in almost any circumstance that isn't a three way punch off with two guys who can go up a hill faster than he can. Sky's whole game plan should have been about not putting Kwiatkowski in that position.
 
Aug 6, 2015
4,139
2
0
Visit site
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Velolover2 said:
DFA123 said:
Fernandez said:
There would be way less complaining if their favourites had won it.
Vmt. Could you imagine if Sagan had raced; if he'd have wheelsucked and won a sprint up Ans. Or if Contador would have done what Valverde did on the final climb? This would suddenly be the best course ever for a lot of the forum.
Wouldn't have been any different if Matthews, Felline or GVA would have won. People would have been outraged at the lack of attacks from the GC riders.
Come on, if Contador had won how Valverde did, this would go down as one of the all time legendary wins for many on the forum. Same as if Sagan would have won somehow. Of course, not everyone is a fanboy, but I think a lot of people have their perception of a race shaped by who wins, as much of how it is won.

Just look at people claiming that the WC last year was a good race, just because their favourite won. :eek:
Do you even know why riders like contador or sagam are so loved?
 
Valverde really made it look too easy. That's the reason why people get upset. Well, it usually happens when there is absolute dominance by one rider. So people has the tendency to not like the race or get upset. But the truth is that nobody could do anything about it because Valverde is that good. I think that he is learning how to win the races as he gets older. Only if he knew that 10 years ago his tally would be bigger.

And great to see dedicate his win to Scarponi and his family. :)
 
Valverde is mentally as strong as he is physically, knows he can wait, control and go when it is absolutely decisive and not a stroke before. That's the class and tactical nous that comes with being a really seasoned rider. It isn't that the race was boring, or that Valverde is conservative, but that nobody can beat him, or knows how to.

Perhaps, too, this generation of riders is so controled from the team car that they lack the fantasy, or force to beat him. There isn't a Betini in this crop, in other words. Whereas Sagan won't sacrifice the cobbles to try and become and Ardennes man.
 
Re: Re:

portugal11 said:
DFA123 said:
Velolover2 said:
DFA123 said:
Fernandez said:
There would be way less complaining if their favourites had won it.
Vmt. Could you imagine if Sagan had raced; if he'd have wheelsucked and won a sprint up Ans. Or if Contador would have done what Valverde did on the final climb? This would suddenly be the best course ever for a lot of the forum.
Wouldn't have been any different if Matthews, Felline or GVA would have won. People would have been outraged at the lack of attacks from the GC riders.
Come on, if Contador had won how Valverde did, this would go down as one of the all time legendary wins for many on the forum. Same as if Sagan would have won somehow. Of course, not everyone is a fanboy, but I think a lot of people have their perception of a race shaped by who wins, as much of how it is won.

Just look at people claiming that the WC last year was a good race, just because their favourite won. :eek:
Do you even know why riders like contador or sagam are so loved?
Yeah, because they win a lot. Or at least they used to.
 
Jun 30, 2014
7,060
2
0
Visit site
I didn't watch the race (I wasn't in the right mood) but reading th comments it was probably nearly as bad as the last LBL that Valverde won (nothing against him, he played it perfectly, but that was just a horrible race).
 
Re:

Netserk said:
But those three teams got the top-3 today. They weren't forced/incentivized to drop the hammer. On the alternative route, they would have a reason to drop the hammer.
I think they'd probably just wait to the last climb whatever and have confidence they could drop sprinters there. Sky, Orica and Quickstep had little alternative today but to drop the hammer and make it chaotic if they really wanted to win; they knew they would probably get beaten by Valverde if they waited for Ans, but they still did it. So not sure why they would race differently if the threat was a bunch sprint rather than Valverde on Ans.
 
Re:

Mayomaniac said:
I didn't watch the race (I wasn't in the right mood) but reading th comments it was probably nearly as bad as the last LBL that Valverde won (nothing against him, he played it perfectly, but that was just a horrible race).

I remember 2015 being the best edition of the last 4 years at least, but maybe Im totally off there.

Definitely wasn't a great race. Something needs to be done to the parcours I think.. why not go the Amstel-route and incentivise long range action? After that example, I think there are good chances they will change it up.
 

TRENDING THREADS