2021 Strade Bianche, March 6th

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the racing wasnt much different from other years. A first big breakup around 50km. Then more splits during the late sections. Then the final split up on Le Tolfe, and then the final sprint of the guys who are left.

But it's the quality of names that make it so great. I mean you had the world champion, the RVV winner, the MSR winner (and last year strade winner), both also 4x and 3x CX world champion (so 7 CX titles in total), the ex-u23 world champion CX, also one of the biggest talents there is and, to top it all of, the TDF winner AND the previous TDF Winner..
Oh. And Gogl. :')

It's amazing to see such a mix of classic riders and Tour winners. You never ever see that in other races. That's what made it so damn special.

edit: not even to mention the utter devestating accelerations by Van der Poel. Rarely have you ever seen Alaphilippe seen dropped straight out of the wheel on double digit percentages. TWICE. (La Tolfe and finish).
 
It sounds like people are exaggerating how good this year’s edition was. It was good, maybe on the lowest step of the podium, but definitely not the top step (2018, imo). 2015 is in 2nd place. (But ofc I’ll revise my ranking of editions later today after a more thorough review).
It was pretty boring. Very clinical with a couple moves that decided the race and one guy twice as strong as the rest. I thought that guy would be van Aert after the crazy turns on the sterrato parts where he looked like Vandenbroucke in 1999 with the others tucked in behind. Guess in a couple weeks he too will be in peak condition for EPIC BATTLES like Vlaanderen last year. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Really wish cycloxcross federation would start a summer series.
 
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But in terms of absolute effort, his ascend on Santa Catalina was nothing special, and those who think "whoa, he way he rode away from Alaphilippe was extraordinary": no it wasn't. Alaphilippe had cramps. Again, I don't want to take anything away from MvdP (I feel MvdP could have taken the KOM if he went all out, but he didn't have to. ).
Yes, it was special, in 20 sec he gave Alaphilippe 5 secs and Bernal 10.
Alaphilippe with cramps rode faster then 2019, when he won.
And yes, Van der Poel went all out on that steep part, because race was on the line, and yes, his time on that part was the fastest of all editions.
 
Yes, it was special, in 20 sec he gave Alaphilippe 5 secs and Bernal 10.
Alaphilippe with cramps rode faster then 2019, when he won.
And yes, Van der Poel went all out on that steep part, because race was on the line, and yes, his time on that part was the fastest of all editions.
That is an interesting stat. Do you have times on that last climb for other years? It would also be interesting to compare to overall times and on some of the decisive gravel sectors. Not every year has ended with a sprint in the last hill in Siena but earlier on the tougher gravel sectors. I would have guessed Cancellara had some of the fastest ascents.
 
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Yes, it was special, in 20 sec he gave Alaphilippe 5 secs and Bernal 10.
Alaphilippe with cramps rode faster then 2019, when he won.
And yes, Van der Poel went all out on that steep part, because race was on the line, and yes, his time on that part was the fastest of all editions.
I'll give you one thing: Alaphilippe rode as fast as in 2019 from the chicane to the top (44 seconds), but with cramps in this edition, he was fading the moment he got over the top.

So here are the numbers:

2011: 38s steep part, last K sign to top of climb 1:23, last K 2:17 (Gilbert vs. a group of approx. 25 with Ballan)
2015: 35s steep part, last K sign to top of climb 1:35, last K 2:20 (Stybar vs. GvA vs. Valverde)
2016: 45s steep part, last K sign to top of climb 1:38, last K 2:19 (Cancellara vs. Sagan vs. Stybar chasing Brambilla)
2019: 45s steep part, last K sign to top of climb 1:44, last K 2:26 (Alaphilippe vs. Fuglsang)
2021: 41s steep part, last K sign to top of climb 1:32, last K 2:17 (MvdP vs. Alaphilippe vs. Bernal)

2011 (Gilbert) and 2015 (Stybar, GvA) were faster on the steep part.
2011 was way faster from the last K to the top of the climb.
2011 (Gilbert) was equally fast for the last full K, 2016 (Cancellara) only lagging 2 seconds behind.

Conclusion: 2021 is NOT an outlier in terms of speed on any part of the last K, or you must cherrypick the last 100 meters of the steep part of the climb. That last part was indeed absolutely insane. I reckon Mathieu could have beaten all records by going sooner, and his acceleration on the steep part was probably never matched by any other previous winner, but if you compare the time, MvdP would end even with Gilbert 2011 in that last K, loose 6 seconds on the steep part on Stybar and GvA, and 9 seconds on Gilbert from the last K banner to the top of the climb.
 
That is an interesting stat. Do you have times on that last climb for other years? It would also be interesting to compare to overall times and on some of the decisive gravel sectors. Not every year has ended with a sprint in the last hill in Siena but earlier on the tougher gravel sectors. I would have guessed Cancellara had some of the fastest ascents.
Guy I was replying to, Volderke, posted times on the previous page. According to them, Van Der Poel was the fastest on that steep part, although I thought that Van Avermaet 2015 was equally fast.
Cancellara was not among the fastest...

Oh, my mistake, now I see it was some kind of a fun game. I thought Van Der Poel's time was 35 sec, but it was actually Van Avermaet's...
 
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Guy I was replying to, Volderke, posted times on the previous page. According to them, Van Der Poel was the fastest on that steep part, although I thought that Van Avermaet 2015 was equally fast.
Cancellara was not among the fastest...

Oh, my mistake, now I see it was some kind of a fun game. I thought Van Der Poel's time was 35 sec, but it was actually Van Avermaet's...
Ok thanks. I'll have a look myself and do some stats. Strava probably has some of the data if not all.
 
That Dowsett tweet about alaphilippe being shown what it's like to ride against him made me chuckle. It reminded me of when Roy Jones Junior was faced with Joe Calzaghe ... who put his face up to Roy Jones, with his hands down, daring him to throw a punch ... boxing his ears off while showboating for 10 rounds.
 
I'll give you one thing: Alaphilippe rode as fast as in 2019 from the chicane to the top (44 seconds), but with cramps in this edition, he was fading the moment he got over the top.

So here are the numbers:

2011: 38s steep part, last K sign to top of climb 1:23, last K 2:17 (Gilbert vs. a group of approx. 25 with Ballan)
2015: 35s steep part, last K sign to top of climb 1:35, last K 2:20 (Stybar vs. GvA vs. Valverde)
2016: 45s steep part, last K sign to top of climb 1:38, last K 2:19 (Cancellara vs. Sagan vs. Stybar chasing Brambilla)
2019: 45s steep part, last K sign to top of climb 1:44, last K 2:26 (Alaphilippe vs. Fuglsang)
2021: 41s steep part, last K sign to top of climb 1:32, last K 2:17 (MvdP vs. Alaphilippe vs. Bernal)

2011 (Gilbert) and 2015 (Stybar, GvA) were faster on the steep part.
2011 was way faster from the last K to the top of the climb.
2011 (Gilbert) was equally fast for the last full K, 2016 (Cancellara) only lagging 2 seconds behind.

Conclusion: 2021 is NOT an outlier in terms of speed on any part of the last K, or you must cherrypick the last 100 meters of the steep part of the climb. That last part was indeed absolutely insane. I reckon Mathieu could have beaten all records by going sooner, and his acceleration on the steep part was probably never matched by any other previous winner, but if you compare the time, MvdP would end even with Gilbert 2011 in that last K, loose 6 seconds on the steep part on Stybar and GvA, and 9 seconds on Gilbert from the last K banner to the top of the climb.
Anytime a result is “roughly equal to GILBERT 2011”—that’s saying a whole lot!!
 
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Why are we comparing ascent times though? The effort is highly dependent on the situation. Too many variables.

Had Mathieu been with Gilbert, Stybar or whoever else was mentioned than he might have kicked earlier, or followed Gilbert/Stybar and then kick, or kicked sat the same point and still won if Gilbert/Stybar would have been in his wheel either because they would have been dropped or that he could always rely on his sprint.

Point is, I think it's very probable that yesterday's Mathieu would have beaten them all one way or the other.
 
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Anytime a result is “roughly equal to GILBERT 2011”—that’s saying a whole lot!!
Still remember that David Miller interview where he said that in Eneco 2010 at the start of one stage Gilbert said out loud when he will attack but nobody did a damn thing about it cause he was just that strong.

About Van der Poel I have just one question. Did anyone feared for his bike? I thought the guy will destroy it with that final accelaration. Crazy stuff
 
Red Rick to come in and make his obligatory observation that Gilbert's 2011 was nothing special, really.
Well, Ballan followed Gilbert to the top and I don't believe he is going to be retroactively given the the 2nd best puncheur of 2011 award.

But I agree, it's a bit pointless to compare the times. at least for the final km as the race was decided at different points so not all of them were full efforts.
 
Well, Ballan followed Gilbert to the top and I don't believe he is going to be retroactively given the the 2nd best puncheur of 2011 award.

But I agree, it's a bit pointless to compare the times. at least for the final km as the race was decided at different points so not all of them were full efforts.
I meant his 2011 season in general, not specifically his Strade performance.

Wins in Strade, Brabantse Pijl, Amstel, FW, LBL, Belgian ITT and RR, Clásica San Sebastián, Québec and the opening Tour stage is apparently not enough to impress some people.
 
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I meant his 2011 season in general, not specifically his Strade performance.

Wins in Strade, Brabantse Pijl, Amstel, FW, LBL, Belgian ITT and RR, Clásica San Sebastián, Québec and the opening Tour stage is apparently not enough to impress some people.
And That major rise in form seemed to have begun the previous fall (2010) with wins in Vuelta stage 19, Gran Piedmonte, and Lombardia, It’s an amazing run of success.
 

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