2019 Critérium du Dauphiné stage 3: Le Puy - Riom 177km

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Re: Re:

Broccolidwarf said:
Salvarani said:
Broccolidwarf said:
Cort can't fight for position at ALL :D

He was right on Bennetts wheel, like he was supposed to, and Hodeg just pushed him out of the way and took the wheel, leaving Cort in the wind and forced to back off.

Time for DS Lars Michaelsen to do some special bunch sprint training with that kid, because if he does not learn to fight for his position, he will never win a bunch sprint again.
He should be focusing on breaks and the classics anyway
With his speed, he should learn to bunch sprint...... especially because breaks rarely make it in stage races.

In a race like this one, he could win stages in bunch sprints, and the same goes for any other "climber heavy" stage race, where teams are not bringing their top sprinters.
In any previous period, you would be right. Someone as quick as Cort could become a pretty successful bunch sprinter. But I don’t think that’s likely in current circumstances. There is a very big group of top tier sprinters at the moment. Between them, the sprints are highly unpredictable. But between them and the rest, the result is much more predictable. There are not very many races with sprint stages where there are none of Bennett, Gaviria, Groenewegen, Viviani, Philipsen, Ackermann, Ewan present, unless Astana decide to start riding the Coupe de France. It is a very hard world for not quite top tier bunch sprinters.

Most of the other guys holding their own are “specialist” sprinters, who can compete when things get a bit harder or messier, the likes of Sagan, Demare, Kristoff, Matthews. Maybe that would bring Cort a better return. But those guys are very fast indeed and also have considerable gifts on hills or as “hardman sprinters”. Those are also tough niches to win in, but they do at least combine well with classics ambition.

Cort is a tricky rider to figure out. He’s so good all-round, but not obviously top tier at one niche. All I can say with certainty is that he’s unlikely to ever face a field as weak as the ones he beat as a kid in Vuelta sprints in any meaningful sprint again. Those days are gone. But he will get chances to win like he did in the Tour 2018 again.
Some other disjointed points...

I don’t think Hodeg is as hopeless as is being made out here. The guy is 22. He has two wins this season so far and had five last year. He will get better. How much better is an open question, but better. The bigger worry than his positioning, something he will learn, is his capacity to handle hills. If that doesn’t improve a Mareczko / Guardini fate threatens.

Archbold’s leadout today was outrageous. The guy swung out into the wind to get to Bennett at just under 700 meters to go and wasn’t in shelter again till he pulled off the front just after 250 meters to go.

Van Aert was fast. I had initially thought that he got pulled well clear of third because he was the guy most benefitting from Bennett’s slipstream. Actually it was Theuns who got most of the benefit (I won’t say “who was on Bennett’s wheel” because he lost the wheel very quickly). Van Aert was mostly just good.

The very top tier of sprinters just have an entire extra top gear when compared to the rest. Bennett was gone as soon as he kicked and he pulled further ahead with every pedal stroke until he started celebrating well out.

Finally: Cesare Benedetti, Giro stage winner, doing his usual job today, on the front for most of the day on his own.