2018 La Fleche Wallonne

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DFA123 said:
Gigs_98 said:
Dekker_Tifosi said:
Mollema said this years edition was much harder than normal, but also on the final climb. He said the first 500m were ridden much faster than the last time he participated. Might be why Valverde didn't have anything left either
I was just looking at previous results and this year was actually the first time since 2014 that the top ten did not finish within 10 seconds. And looking further back you can see that before 2014 the top 10 all within 10 seconds used to be the exception rather than the rule.
I still think that Valverde isn't as strong on this climb is it sometimes seems and that he only became so dominant in this race because riders stopped attacking right at the bottom. Seriously, look at todays race and compare it to previous year. Valverde did precisely what he did every year. Just riding his own pace and something like 200 meters from the finish accelerating and riding everyone off his wheel. His pace on the first kilometer of the mur was probably as high as in previous year is acceleration was as good as in previous years, but in previous year there wasn't anyone as far in front as Alaphilippe this year.
No doubt, this finish suits Valverde very well, probably better than anyone else, but in the last few years the competition made it too easy for him.
Nice aftertiming. If you don't think Valverde isn's as strong on this climb as it sometimes seems, why were you calling teams pathetic for chasing down the break?

I'm not 100% sure he's as strong this year as he was in the past simply because his injured leg doesn't have it's full muscle mass back yet. However, that is not take anything away from Alaphilippe who raced it perfectly this year.
 
Watching the race again, then i really think that Jelle Vanendert could have won if Lotto had rode it smarter. Spends a bit time put in the wind and looked exceptionaly strong up the mur. But I really liked this edition.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Frankschleck said:
Watching the race again, then i really think that Jelle Vanendert could have won if Lotto had rode it smarter. Spends a bit time put in the wind and looked exceptionaly strong up the mur. But I really liked this edition.
i don't know if he would have beaten Ala, but 2nd place was within reach.
Oh well, a podium is a podium and the 3rd is usually happier than the 2nd.
 
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Rollthedice said:
The shock is Valverde's time on Huy was the same as in four of his wins, including last year. Alaphilippe was just faster ( thanks climbing records, jens attacks)
Climb was ridden differently this year though. No speculating at the bottom - brisk pace right from the beginning (from the guy who ended third...).
 
DFA123 said:
Gigs_98 said:
Dekker_Tifosi said:
Mollema said this years edition was much harder than normal, but also on the final climb. He said the first 500m were ridden much faster than the last time he participated. Might be why Valverde didn't have anything left either
I was just looking at previous results and this year was actually the first time since 2014 that the top ten did not finish within 10 seconds. And looking further back you can see that before 2014 the top 10 all within 10 seconds used to be the exception rather than the rule.
I still think that Valverde isn't as strong on this climb is it sometimes seems and that he only became so dominant in this race because riders stopped attacking right at the bottom. Seriously, look at todays race and compare it to previous year. Valverde did precisely what he did every year. Just riding his own pace and something like 200 meters from the finish accelerating and riding everyone off his wheel. His pace on the first kilometer of the mur was probably as high as in previous year is acceleration was as good as in previous years, but in previous year there wasn't anyone as far in front as Alaphilippe this year.
No doubt, this finish suits Valverde very well, probably better than anyone else, but in the last few years the competition made it too easy for him.
Nice aftertiming. If you don't think Valverde isn's as strong on this climb as it sometimes seems, why were you calling teams pathetic for chasing down the break?
I'm pretty sure that if you go back to the Flèche Wallone race thread from one year ago you'll find a post from me where I claim the exact same thing. The reason I was complaining about other teams is that those teams rode for the same riders who have played into Valverde's hands for years. Why should I assume they'd do anything differently this year.
 
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Jagartrott said:
Rollthedice said:
The shock is Valverde's time on Huy was the same as in four of his wins, including last year. Alaphilippe was just faster ( thanks climbing records, jens attacks)
Climb was ridden differently this year though. No speculating at the bottom - brisk pace right from the beginning (from the guy who ended third...).
Do you think then that valverde was a little weaker than last year? If he rode it more efficiently (because the group did, keeping a more time trial like pace at the first half of the climb) , but still got the same Ascent time as last year, that suggests weaker very slightly.

While alaphillipe was incredible. Showing that he does have incredible potential as a puncheur.

Or maybe they rode the first half too hard, and last year was just right. Because at this level, the front group tends to go harder than ideal pace at the first half of a climb, in cases where they aren't holding back for tactical reasons of looking at each other. Or at least it seems this way, evidenced by how Froome at the Vuelta would often get dropped early before catching up later on a climb... Suggesting that the peloton rides too hard for it's own good sometimes. So maybe that's what happened today. We can speculate that that made it less favorable to valverde.

Though personally I think valverde was second strongest today and about the same as last year. Bala just hit a new level.

Great exciting last half hour of racing.
 
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Red Rick said:
Anyway, Valverde not winning means that everyone will want it back together at the bottom of the Mur next year.
Yeah, the perfect outcome of this race would have been the late break succeeding and Valverde being first out of the peloton. Now I fear Quickstep will stop being aggressive.
 
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Brullnux said:
tobydawq said:
Brullnux said:
Without the puncture, matthews would have won Amstel. Or at least come 4th.
No.
Come fourth is likely. Matthews sprints for those positions far more vehemently than sagan and he's clearly in great shape.

unless you're being sarcastic
Okay, if he had been there, the whole dynamic of the finale would have changed a bit and one more rider would want a sprint, so that had been a more likely outcome and then he might have gotten second.

As I see it, there is not much chance he would have beaten Sagan in that sprint (so he would have been fifth). And I don't agree that Sagan doesn't sprint vehemently for secondary placings. I just think it's his laid-back attitude off the bike that gives the impression that he is a type of guy who doesn't care much for secondary placings but I have not seen him take such a sprint lightly in a big race.
 
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Gigs_98 said:
Red Rick said:
Anyway, Valverde not winning means that everyone will want it back together at the bottom of the Mur next year.
Yeah, the perfect outcome of this race would have been the late break succeeding and Valverde being first out of the peloton. Now I fear Quickstep will stop being aggressive.
Valverde basically said that his not winning this year is not the worst thing to happen and that just maybe people will figure out that it's not easy to win. However, I think you're right that with Alaphilippe and not Valverde winning next year we'll see that big group at the foot of the climb again next year. He also said he flat out screwed up how he raced the Mur de Huy this year.
Also Valverde said in the press conference that he wants to keep racing against Alaphilippe for at least several more years even if he does start to loose his current form because it's fun. Said he definitely wants one more contract. (Also as far as I know several is more than 2. 2 is what gets us to the Olympics.)
 
Aug 20, 2017
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Gigs_98 said:
The question is, how deep have the guys in front been going. Nibali is probably still relatively relaxed and will still have quite a lot left. Kwiatkowski chasing now though, that could be crucial
Michał, what the f..k you were doing??!
After break attempt you had no chances to win it, neither had Henao.
But finally, after great results, I've forgived you.
 
Re: Re:

Bot. Sky_Bot said:
Koronin said:
Congrats to Alaphilippe
:D
Alaphilippe also had one of the fastest time up the Mur de Huy. Valverde had his normal consistent time which wasn't good enough this year. Alaphilippe's time was 2:48. Valverde's all time record is 2:41. Valverde's time today was 2:52 which is inline with his other wins of between 2:50 and 2:53. He basically has a very consistent time. He also said he screwed up on the climb.
 
Matthews surprised but was helped by two factors - The more aggressive racing blew contenders out before the Mur De Huy and he was suited by a faster tempo at the bottom of the climb, because it meant the more punchy riders couldn't accelerate away.
 
Dekker_Tifosi said:
Mollema said this years edition was much harder than normal, but also on the final climb. He said the first 500m were ridden much faster than the last time he participated. Might be why Valverde didn't have anything left either
Valverde clearly had something left, but not too much. Valverde basically closed in a few seconds when he launched his sprint but died just on the final 100m as well.
 
Aug 20, 2017
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So finally I must admit it was quite interesting race with.. marvellous results! The greatest since Vuelta 2017.
Chapeau bas for Ala!
Movistar so weak, only Landa trying to bridge the break. What was really frustrating I must unfortunately admit was Kwiatkowski's cooperation with his previous teammate!
But.. being a bit angry I started to read the first ca. 1-8 pages of this thread.. it was really entertaining..
 
So Alaphilippe said after that he didn’t know that Nibali wasn’t still up the road. And while it’s easy to understand how there’s a lot of confusion in a final km like that, shouldn’t there be some way of letting the guy at the front of the race know that, well, he’s at the front of the race?

A race Marshall waves a flag out the top of a car to start the race, shouldn’t there also be a car in front at the end of the race, (maybe with a checkered flag, but not really important) where the riders know if you can see the car, you you’re in the front and if you can’t see it you’re not.

Granted, this would cut down on the fun of “Guy celebrating for finishing 5th” hilarious videos, but I would think it’s a relatively simple admin fix to correct what seems to be a recurring issue.
 
Leinster said:
So Alaphilippe said after that he didn’t know that Nibali wasn’t still up the road. And while it’s easy to understand how there’s a lot of confusion in a final km like that, shouldn’t there be some way of letting the guy at the front of the race know that, well, he’s at the front of the race?

A race Marshall waves a flag out the top of a car to start the race, shouldn’t there also be a car in front at the end of the race, (maybe with a checkered flag, but not really important) where the riders know if you can see the car, you you’re in the front and if you can’t see it you’re not.

Granted, this would cut down on the fun of “Guy celebrating for finishing 5th” hilarious videos, but I would think it’s a relatively simple admin fix to correct what seems to be a recurring issue.
Well this would be similar to the Giro 2016 stage where Nibali sprinted to get 3rd and Valverde didn't put in a full sprint because he thought there were still at least 3 to 5 riders who finished in front of them. It's not always for the win that guys have no idea how many people are still up the road vs how many they've caught.
 
Koronin said:
Leinster said:
So Alaphilippe said after that he didn’t know that Nibali wasn’t still up the road. And while it’s easy to understand how there’s a lot of confusion in a final km like that, shouldn’t there be some way of letting the guy at the front of the race know that, well, he’s at the front of the race?

A race Marshall waves a flag out the top of a car to start the race, shouldn’t there also be a car in front at the end of the race, (maybe with a checkered flag, but not really important) where the riders know if you can see the car, you you’re in the front and if you can’t see it you’re not.

Granted, this would cut down on the fun of “Guy celebrating for finishing 5th” hilarious videos, but I would think it’s a relatively simple admin fix to correct what seems to be a recurring issue.
Well this would be similar to the Giro 2016 stage where Nibali sprinted to get 3rd and Valverde didn't put in a full sprint because he thought there were still at least 3 to 5 riders who finished in front of them. It's not always for the win that guys have no idea how many people are still up the road vs how many they've caught.
Well, yes but as valid as that is, (and sprinting for bonus seconds, medals, podium positions etc is valid) surely the binary question of “am I the winner or not?” can be easily answered, and in such a way that the first across the line isn’t relying on team radio, or asking people in the mixed zone, or the obligatory post-finish line hug from an ecstatic mechanic/soigneur/musette carrier, to know whether he should’ve stuck his hands in the air or not.
 
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