2021 Strade Bianche, March 6th

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Great race in beautiful scenery. For me this race is on par with Ronde and Roubaix. I want to say big thank you to person who invented this race back in early 00s. It was bilion dollar idea.
It came into being because of the la Eroica granfondo, in which amateurs ride the strade bianche on vintage bikes, eat prosciutto sandwitches and drink Chianti along the route. In Italy there is a great nostalgia for the "heroic" cycling, for the days of steel bikes and strade bianche (dirt tracks) alla Ottavio Bottecchia, Coppi e Bartali. That and the Tuscan scenery and every once in a while the Italians can still come up with brilliance, having lost Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, they still have Strade Bianche!

Having said that, what Van der Poel, who looks more like a swimmer than a cyclist, did to Alaphillipe, riding him off his wheel as he did in the final from the pole position, was, to put it mildly, frightful.
 
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I think it’s clearly a factor, and at least an advantage for the top 5 today over some others, but at the same time the multiple winners of the race, Kwiat and Spartacus, don’t have any elite off-road background, and won against guys like Sagan and Stybar who do.

vdP is one of the 2 best crossers in the world right now, but he’s also one of the best puncheurs. The latter, imo, is much more important to his win today.
I also wonder... what is clear to me is that the sterrato is a huge factor of the race anyway. The route would still be very demanding without it, no doubt, but nowhere near as selective as it is.
The kind of selection that happens every year on Monte Sante Marie is simply inexplicable by only looking at the profile.
 
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I think it’s clearly a factor, and at least an advantage for the top 5 today over some others, but at the same time the multiple winners of the race, Kwiat and Spartacus, don’t have any elite off-road background, and won against guys like Sagan and Stybar who do.

vdP is one of the 2 best crossers in the world right now, but he’s also one of the best puncheurs. The latter, imo, is much more important to his win today.
Yeah I think this is the crucial point. Having experience on non-tarmac roads is definitely useful, but if you look at the strengths of all those riders with off road background, you would expect them to be among the favorites for this race anyway. For Strade Bianche you need the ability to get over hills well combined with huge power outputs on short and punchy climbs. Van der Poel, Van Aert, Sagan, Stybar and Alaphilippe all have those strengths and they would still have them if they hadn't raced a cross or mountainbike race in their entire life.
 
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here's one for you especially. 2019 vs 2021

View: https://twitter.com/laflammerouge16/status/1368245334342828037


mathieu was light years faster than Alaph 2019.
Watch at 31:00:

Yes I know, I'm biased, but I still think this is the most impressive ascent of the Strade final. Because he went a lot earlier, right after the S-curve, at a comparable speed / explosion. Unfortunately for him, there was another CX-rider in the mix that day.

I miss this GVA.
 
here's one for you especially. 2019 vs 2021

View: https://twitter.com/laflammerouge16/status/1368245334342828037


mathieu was light years faster than Alaph 2019.
Yes and no. 2019 Alaf was still clearly within himself holding onto Fuglsang’s wheel with not much trouble. He was going as fast as he needed to to win the race, knowing that he had the faster finish.

But going faster than that in ‘21 wasn’t enough to beat vdP. What we don’t know is what was Alfa’s limit in ‘19.
 
Watch at 31:00:

Yes I know, I'm biased, but I still think this is the most impressive ascent of the Strade final. Because he went a lot earlier, right after the S-curve, at a comparable speed / explosion. Unfortunately for him, there was another CX-rider in the mix that day.

I miss this GVA.
Curious that you bring this up because that's the fastest time I have for via Santa Caterina at 37s. And by my estimate VDP also took 37s to get to the top.
 
Yes and no. 2019 Alaf was still clearly within himself holding onto Fuglsang’s wheel with not much trouble. He was going as fast as he needed to to win the race, knowing that he had the faster finish.

But going faster than that in ‘21 wasn’t enough to beat vdP. What we don’t know is what was Alfa’s limit in ‘19.
So you're saying he deliberately let Fuglsang to crest the top first? :oops:
I doubt that was the plan...
 
How much faster could MVP have gone if pushed? I'm a huge Ala fan and he was slightly off his peak today. But come on, I can't remember seeing a display of power like the two bombs MVP dropped today.
 
Huh guys, remember when I said few days ago that MVDP has no chances to win this. Haha, omg, I am so sorry to be that mistaken. What a performance from this guy, I was speechless, this one and his Amstel Gold Race win must be his top performance ever, the way he punched Ala at that final wall in Siena is just amazing. Now I see that he is capable of pretty much everything. And did you see the muscles he's got? Looks like boxeur on a first glance, but is extremely fit in the same way. Other riders actually looked liked second tier riders to him today.
 
Huh guys, remember when I said few days ago that MVDP has no chances to win this. Haha, omg, I am so sorry to be that mistaken. What a performance from this guy, I was speechless, this one and his Amstel Gold Race win must be his top performance ever, the way he punched Ala at that final wall in Siena is just amazing. Now I see that he is capable of pretty much everything. And did you see the muscles he's got? Looks like boxeur on a first glance, but is extremely fit in the same way. Other riders actually looked liked second tier riders to him today.
Without gushing too much, MvdP basically owned every top rider from last year today, save Roglic. He rode away from the WC, 2 TDF winners and WvA with apparent ease. I was stunned by his first attack and speechless at the second. I thought for sure that he'd struggle with Bernal and JA on the wall into Siena. Oy.
 
What a race! How often do you see the best classic riders and the best GT riders battle each other like that? MvdP beat the world champion and the previous Tour winner in a grand fashion. His acceleration on Le Tolfe already looked massive, and he had another one like that in the final K. I'm beginning to feel sorry for his opponents. Exceptional class!
 
It's amazing how much different is riding on a short steep climb after a hard race. A casual fan would think Bernal, as one of the best climbers in the world, will have the edge or at least not lose contact. But no, he had no chance against MvdP. Similar in the group behind with Pogačar and WvA.
 
It's amazing how much different is riding on a short steep climb after a hard race. A casual fan would think Bernal, as one of the best climbers in the world, will have the edge or at least not lose contact. But no, he had no chance against MvdP. Similar in the group behind with Pogačar and WvA.
Not sure the difficulty of the race has anything to do with it. If anything, the longer it goes the better chances someone like Bernal can win. It's just a completely different form of exercise to a longer, 50 minute effort.
 

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