• 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!

2018 La Fleche Wallonne

Page 2 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
Valverde is the favourite quite obviously, but sooner or later someone like Alaphilippe, Martin or Teuns will get him. He’s old. Maybe this year, maybe next, but it will happen.


Unlikely this year the way he's rider. Plus he just out sprinted Alaphilippe on the flat after doing a whole lot more work. This year like the last couple unless something crazy happens it's his. Will someone eventually beat him, yes. It very well could take a couple more years.
 
I love the Mur de Huy finish and hope they never change that but I wouldn't mind any other changes to the route. Even as a Bala fan, I have to admit that his recent domination has made the finale less exciting to watch. It used to be fun to watch riders attack at various points on the climb but no one seems to get much of a gap these days. Betancur still has the best early Mur attack in a long time. I still can't believe he hung on for the podium here in 2013. https://vimeo.com/77169661
 
Re: Re:

Koronin said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
Valverde is the favourite quite obviously, but sooner or later someone like Alaphilippe, Martin or Teuns will get him. He’s old. Maybe this year, maybe next, but it will happen.


Unlikely this year the way he's rider. Plus he just out sprinted Alaphilippe on the flat after doing a whole lot more work. This year like the last couple unless something crazy happens it's his. Will someone eventually beat him, yes. It very well could take a couple more years.

The thing about getting old is that the slip from seemingly invincible to no longer a top contender can happen very suddenly. Just ask any boxing fan. As of this moment Valverde is still top dog. He will probably still be so after Sunday. Whether he will still be so this time next year is a lottery. But sooner or later he will take what turns out to be his last major win and in all probability nobody including him will realise that it was his last until some considerable time later. There’s no immortality in sports. And the margin between being the best and no longer being a real contender is fine.
 
loge1884 said:
it's somewhat shamefull, that a soon to be 38yrs old is the most explosive and dynamic guy on a short but steep climb ... but honestly I can't see anyone challenging Valverde on this one .... maybe Alaphilippe if he would concentrate on racing rather than waving his hands around, trying to direct others to pull (after having hardly been 3sec in the wind) and hitting his bars ,,,
True. Alaphilippe is up there with Majka and Matthews in terms of being afraid of getting wind in the face.

At least Teuns seems more like a real climber to me.
 
Re: Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
Koronin said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
Valverde is the favourite quite obviously, but sooner or later someone like Alaphilippe, Martin or Teuns will get him. He’s old. Maybe this year, maybe next, but it will happen.


Unlikely this year the way he's rider. Plus he just out sprinted Alaphilippe on the flat after doing a whole lot more work. This year like the last couple unless something crazy happens it's his. Will someone eventually beat him, yes. It very well could take a couple more years.

The thing about getting old is that the slip from seemingly invincible to no longer a top contender can happen very suddenly. Just ask any boxing fan. As of this moment Valverde is still top dog. He will probably still be so after Sunday. Whether he will still be so this time next year is a lottery. But sooner or later he will take what turns out to be his last major win and in all probability nobody including him will realise that it was his last until some considerable time later. There’s no immortality in sports. And the margin between being the best and no longer being a real contender is fine.

It can also be a slow decline as his boss has talked about before.
 
Re:

hrotha said:
It says a lot that instead of getting a race profile we only get the profile of the last climb and nobody notices/cares.

No race date. No profile. No start and estimate finish time. No start list. No weather. No news. There have been so many high quality posters here over the years... I wish they were the ones making the race threads like in the past.

But I suppose with this race there's nothing to say besides: "Huy. Valverde. See you all at the last 500 meters!" Haha
 
I can understand that a climber wants to save energy and wait for the final climb. However last year they made it too easy for Valverde. The others should work together to form a small group in the final, instead of launching some pointless solo attacks. I like the explosive uphill finish, but last year I was disappointed that even on the Mur de Huy they didn't go hard. Even on the steepest part the favorites were still watching each other and Valverde had an easy sprint in the last 200m. They should at least go full in the final 500m.
 
Jul 16, 2010
17,455
5
0
Visit site
Re:

Pantani_lives said:
I can understand that a climber wants to save energy and wait for the final climb. However last year they made it too easy for Valverde. The others should work together to form a small group in the final, instead of launching some pointless solo attacks. I like the explosive uphill finish, but last year I was disappointed that even on the Mur de Huy they didn't go hard. Even on the steepest part the favorites were still watching each other and Valverde had an easy sprint in the last 200m. They should at least go full in the final 500m.

Most of them probably see FW as just a training ride for LBL.
 
Re:

Jagartrott said:
Anyone of the favourites with pollen allergies? (I know Purito suffered from this in some Ardennes classics in the past)
Weather will be sunny and warm, with lots of pollen from flowering trees.


Warm and sunny plays even more into Valverde's hands. No idea bout pollen allergies though.


Pantani_lives said:
I can understand that a climber wants to save energy and wait for the final climb. However last year they made it too easy for Valverde. The others should work together to form a small group in the final, instead of launching some pointless solo attacks. I like the explosive uphill finish, but last year I was disappointed that even on the Mur de Huy they didn't go hard. Even on the steepest part the favorites were still watching each other and Valverde had an easy sprint in the last 200m. They should at least go full in the final 500m.

They don't believe they can win so they're racing for the podium? Also Pisti does have a point that some might be training for LBL where they feel they have a better shot.
 
WheelofGear said:
loge1884 said:
it's somewhat shamefull, that a soon to be 38yrs old is the most explosive and dynamic guy on a short but steep climb ... but honestly I can't see anyone challenging Valverde on this one .... maybe Alaphilippe if he would concentrate on racing rather than waving his hands around, trying to direct others to pull (after having hardly been 3sec in the wind) and hitting his bars ,,,
True. Alaphilippe is up there with Majka and Matthews in terms of being afraid of getting wind in the face.

At least Teuns seems more like a real climber to me.
Wai, what? This is the first time I've heard that.
 
Only the ones who aren’t proper puncheurs and so probably can’t win treat it as training for LBL. The proper puncheurs really, really want it. It’s a bigger deal to the likes of Alaphilippe, Martin, Teuns etc than Gent Wevelgem is to the cobble specialists. To the cobble guys every race other than the two monuments is a prep race. To the puncheurs, FW isn’t significantly behind the lesser of their two monuments, Lombardia.
 
Jul 16, 2010
17,455
5
0
Visit site
Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
Only the ones who aren’t proper puncheurs and so probably can’t win treat it as training for LBL. The proper puncheurs really, really want it. It’s a bigger deal to the likes of Alaphilippe, Martin, Teuns etc than Gent Wevelgem is to the cobble specialists. To the cobble guys every race other than the two monuments is a prep race. To the puncheurs, FW isn’t significantly behind the lesser of their two monuments, Lombardia.
Are you joking? The gap between FW and LBL is huge. This race gets only a fraction of the attention of races like GW and E3 Harelbeke in Belgium. Lombardia as well is far more prestigious. FW always has the lowest viewing rates of the Belgian classics (no surprise really, as it takes place on a work day). It doesn't even have proper classic length, which makes it a semi-classic in my eyes. FW has a lot of history, but that is all it has going for it anymore. It used to take place during the weekend and had proper classic length.
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Pantani_lives said:
I can understand that a climber wants to save energy and wait for the final climb. However last year they made it too easy for Valverde. The others should work together to form a small group in the final, instead of launching some pointless solo attacks. I like the explosive uphill finish, but last year I was disappointed that even on the Mur de Huy they didn't go hard. Even on the steepest part the favorites were still watching each other and Valverde had an easy sprint in the last 200m. They should at least go full in the final 500m.

Most of them probably see FW as just a training ride for LBL.
I’m pretty sure everyone sees it as a classic in its own right, and a top 10 at Flèche is a career result for a lot of them. It’s just so hard to beat Valverde.

How much of a lead would anyone guess that a break (be it a group or a solo) would need at the foot of the Mur to succeed? Entirely hypothetical obviously, but I feel like we’ve seen minute+ advantages wiped out in the <5 minutes it takes to get to the top.
 
Re: Re:

Leinster said:
El Pistolero said:
Pantani_lives said:
I can understand that a climber wants to save energy and wait for the final climb. However last year they made it too easy for Valverde. The others should work together to form a small group in the final, instead of launching some pointless solo attacks. I like the explosive uphill finish, but last year I was disappointed that even on the Mur de Huy they didn't go hard. Even on the steepest part the favorites were still watching each other and Valverde had an easy sprint in the last 200m. They should at least go full in the final 500m.

Most of them probably see FW as just a training ride for LBL.
I’m pretty sure everyone sees it as a classic in its own right, and a top 10 at Flèche is a career result for a lot of them. It’s just so hard to beat Valverde.

How much of a lead would anyone guess that a break (be it a group or a solo) would need at the foot of the Mur to succeed? Entirely hypothetical obviously, but I feel like we’ve seen minute+ advantages wiped out in the <5 minutes it takes to get to the top.


Actually just watched last year Fleche Wallone again (NBC broadcast) and Bob Roll said you need at least a minute to a minute 15 seconds to have a prayer at holding it. Personally I think it needs to be closer to a minute and a half. Reason being is that the guy who hits it with a lead is more tired than those hitting from the peloton. Jungles had around a 30 second lead last year and was caught early on the climb and was riding a much slower pace as well.
 
Jul 16, 2010
17,455
5
0
Visit site
Re: Re:

Leinster said:
El Pistolero said:
Pantani_lives said:
I can understand that a climber wants to save energy and wait for the final climb. However last year they made it too easy for Valverde. The others should work together to form a small group in the final, instead of launching some pointless solo attacks. I like the explosive uphill finish, but last year I was disappointed that even on the Mur de Huy they didn't go hard. Even on the steepest part the favorites were still watching each other and Valverde had an easy sprint in the last 200m. They should at least go full in the final 500m.

Most of them probably see FW as just a training ride for LBL.
I’m pretty sure everyone sees it as a classic in its own right, and a top 10 at Flèche is a career result for a lot of them. It’s just so hard to beat Valverde.

How much of a lead would anyone guess that a break (be it a group or a solo) would need at the foot of the Mur to succeed? Entirely hypothetical obviously, but I feel like we’ve seen minute+ advantages wiped out in the <5 minutes it takes to get to the top.

It depends on the rider. I'm always infuriated that only one rider gets away (like Jungels last year, or Wellens the year before). If a group of 3 or 4 strong riders could get away then a minute or even less would probably be enough. Teams have been reduced to seven riders as well, hopefully it will have some impact. For me the perfect team size for a classic would be 6 however.
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
Only the ones who aren’t proper puncheurs and so probably can’t win treat it as training for LBL. The proper puncheurs really, really want it. It’s a bigger deal to the likes of Alaphilippe, Martin, Teuns etc than Gent Wevelgem is to the cobble specialists. To the cobble guys every race other than the two monuments is a prep race. To the puncheurs, FW isn’t significantly behind the lesser of their two monuments, Lombardia.
Are you joking? The gap between FW and LBL is huge. This race gets only a fraction of the attention of races like GW and E3 Harelbeke in Belgium. Lombardia as well is far more prestigious. FW always has the lowest viewing rates of the Belgian classics (no surprise really, as it takes place on a work day). It doesn't even have proper classic length, which makes it a semi-classic in my eyes. FW has a lot of history, but that is all it has going for it anymore. It used to take place during the weekend and had proper classic length.
Zinoviev is right. I don't think you read his post correctly. He said "to the puncheurs." He didn't say anything about fan opinion or what races Belgian fans prefer. Everyone knows the Belgian fans (especially the Flemish ones) love the cobbled races the most. After all, a large percentage of the riders and favorites in those races are Belgian. And yes, they are more exciting to watch start-to-finish but that doesn't have anything to do with his point.
 
Jul 16, 2010
17,455
5
0
Visit site
Re: Re:

jaylew said:
El Pistolero said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
Only the ones who aren’t proper puncheurs and so probably can’t win treat it as training for LBL. The proper puncheurs really, really want it. It’s a bigger deal to the likes of Alaphilippe, Martin, Teuns etc than Gent Wevelgem is to the cobble specialists. To the cobble guys every race other than the two monuments is a prep race. To the puncheurs, FW isn’t significantly behind the lesser of their two monuments, Lombardia.
Are you joking? The gap between FW and LBL is huge. This race gets only a fraction of the attention of races like GW and E3 Harelbeke in Belgium. Lombardia as well is far more prestigious. FW always has the lowest viewing rates of the Belgian classics (no surprise really, as it takes place on a work day). It doesn't even have proper classic length, which makes it a semi-classic in my eyes. FW has a lot of history, but that is all it has going for it anymore. It used to take place during the weekend and had proper classic length.
Zinoviev is right. I don't think you read his post correctly. He said "to the puncheurs." He didn't say anything about fan opinion or what races Belgian fans prefer. Everyone knows the Belgian fans (especially the Flemish ones) love the cobbled races the most. After all, a large percentage of the riders and favorites in those races are Belgian. And yes, they are more exciting to watch start-to-finish but that doesn't have anything to do with his point.

Not many puncheurs left these days, at least not on walls as steep as the Mur de Huy.

Still, I think Alaphilippe would much rather win Lombardia than FW, although he'll be happy with either one of course.
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
Only the ones who aren’t proper puncheurs and so probably can’t win treat it as training for LBL. The proper puncheurs really, really want it. It’s a bigger deal to the likes of Alaphilippe, Martin, Teuns etc than Gent Wevelgem is to the cobble specialists. To the cobble guys every race other than the two monuments is a prep race. To the puncheurs, FW isn’t significantly behind the lesser of their two monuments, Lombardia.
Are you joking? The gap between FW and LBL is huge. This race gets only a fraction of the attention of races like GW and E3 Harelbeke in Belgium. Lombardia as well is far more prestigious. FW always has the lowest viewing rates of the Belgian classics (no surprise really, as it takes place on a work day). It doesn't even have proper classic length, which makes it a semi-classic in my eyes. FW has a lot of history, but that is all it has going for it anymore. It used to take place during the weekend and had proper classic length.

I’m reluctant to engage with you on this, because your amusing dedication to trolling Valverde fans makes it a waste of time. However, as Jaylew said, you are misreading my post. I said nothing about the local popularity of the race. I said that to the puncheurs, FW is an enormous deal. And it is. My point also rested on the observation that there is a clear hierarchy between the two hilly monuments in a way that there isn’t between the two cobbled monuments. And again there is, largely because Lombardia is an isolated late season big race and form levels vary wildly particularly when the WCRR isn’t for the flyweights. If you ask Martin if he’d prefer to win FW or a second Lombardia, he’d have to think about it for a few seconds before saying Lombardia. If you ask Terpstra if he’d rather win GW or a second Roubaix, the only delay would be caused by him wondering if you’d lost your mind.
 
In the '70s and '80s, GW and FW were every bit as important as LBL. The monument thing has redistributed the cards in many minds, and for the younger fans, that's all they know. Nothing wrong with that, it's today's reality and there's no arguing about it. But this exchange needs some prospective IMO. Having FW called a semi-classic is not right. It makes my stomach sick, I'm going to pull a Dumoulin. Come on Pistolero...
 
Sep 6, 2016
584
0
0
Visit site
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Leinster said:
El Pistolero said:
Pantani_lives said:
I can understand that a climber wants to save energy and wait for the final climb. However last year they made it too easy for Valverde. The others should work together to form a small group in the final, instead of launching some pointless solo attacks. I like the explosive uphill finish, but last year I was disappointed that even on the Mur de Huy they didn't go hard. Even on the steepest part the favorites were still watching each other and Valverde had an easy sprint in the last 200m. They should at least go full in the final 500m.

Most of them probably see FW as just a training ride for LBL.
I’m pretty sure everyone sees it as a classic in its own right, and a top 10 at Flèche is a career result for a lot of them. It’s just so hard to beat Valverde.

How much of a lead would anyone guess that a break (be it a group or a solo) would need at the foot of the Mur to succeed? Entirely hypothetical obviously, but I feel like we’ve seen minute+ advantages wiped out in the <5 minutes it takes to get to the top.

It depends on the rider. I'm always infuriated that only one rider gets away (like Jungels last year, or Wellens the year before). If a group of 3 or 4 strong riders could get away then a minute or even less would probably be enough. Teams have been reduced to seven riders as well, hopefully it will have some impact. For me the perfect team size for a classic would be 6 however.

Depends on the class of the rider. Every team except movistar sure try to get a man up the rode before the Mur. I think if you have riders at the foot with 30 seconds it’s possible, so probably around 1:30 after descending the St Nicholas. Wellens and Jungels both blew up early, but they also put a lot of work in on the early flat + climb. If you have a small group they can save themselves some energy and 30 seconds might do it.