2021 Strade Bianche, March 6th

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That does sound good. According to this, we should get about 100 kilometres which is close to twice as much as usual. Hopefully, there will not only be 25 riders left when we get the signal this time.

yes, it looks like it's going to be ending an hour later than usual. hopefully the coverage will start around the same time as it used to, if it does we will get 100k of coverage, finally.
 
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Something to monitor: Siena has experienced a fast increase in COVID cases lately and has entered the red area (which requires the strictest measures of safety) from last Saturday.

RCS has confirmed the race will go ahead for now. No spectators allowed.
 
yes, it looks like it's going to be ending an hour later than usual. hopefully the coverage will start around the same time as it used to, if it does we will get 100k of coverage, finally.
Eurosports coverage starts at 1250 here in the UK (1350 CET?), which I'm sure is at least an hour earlier than previous years?
 
My take:
Van Aert, van der Poel and Alaphilippe are kind of equally strong. Who wins a race between them depends on form and the characteristics of the race (and tactics of course, but not that much). Van Aert has the biggest engine and produces the best steady watts, van der Poel is probably the best sprinter on a rather flat terrain, and Alaphilippe is the best on a very steep section. Strade suits all of them very well, since they all have a big engine, are technically strong and can deal with the repeated efforts. They are all good in a long, hard race and have a good sprint at the end. Each of their specific strengths can be used in this race. So it will be about form, the most, I think.
One aspect I find interesting here is the form building of van der Poel and van Aert. They seem to have taken a very different approach to the season since they have different goals. Van der Poel carried his cx form into the road season and will, in my opinion, still be great in Strade and MSR. After that his form will probably go down a bit and he will take a rest and build it up again towards the Olympics. Van Aert on the other hand seems to have taken a real rest and already started to build his form for the road properly again, so that he is not yet at his best. I suppose he will be better later in the spring.
So I think van der Poel may have the best form of the three at the moment. But van Aert just has this immense engine, and maybe he's already better than his coach said.

I'd go with van der Poel between the three of them. But then it's not just them at this race. Most interesting for me is actually the "duel" van der Poel-Pogacar. Right now I can't remember a race where they went head to head. Has there been one?
Pogacar could also play a nice tactical card with Formolo - or the other way around. But Strade is really not so much about tactics.

Woods should be in the mix, too. Simmons? Maybe Pidcock, although I'm not on that hype train, yet. And then there's Fuglsang who hasn't shown much so far this season, but it's clearly a race for him, so maybe he will be up there, as well.
Might come down to the one who's capable of saving his energy the most...Van Aert will follow the natural attacking instincts of the other two each time they try and make a selection. The strength of JA's team (Stybar, Honoré,..) might play a role as well. DQS will try to make the race hard and control as much as possible. If they are able to outnumber the rest and JA's keeps his patience (I dont think he will), it might force Van Aert and MvDP to take the initiative.
 
He'll come up short IMO. He showed a few flashes of what he's capable of last weekend but on Saturday he rode in the wheels for the most part and Sunday he got the most out of his sprint. This is race where you can barely hide. Give him another year.
The question is; how short?

Give him another body.
Preferably one with a set height! Apparently his... varies...
 
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Might come down to the one who's capable of saving his energy the most...Van Aert will follow the natural attacking instincts of the other two each time they try and make a selection. The strength of JA's team (Stybar, Honoré,..) might play a role as well. DQS will try to make the race hard and control as much as possible. If they are able to outnumber the rest and JA's keeps his patience (I dont think he will), it might force Van Aert and MvDP to take the initiative.
I guess sending a top-tier rider out in an early attack might be a useful team tactic, but other than that, I don’t remember team tactics playing a big role here because it usually just ends up being the few strongest riders on the day battling it out. Unless you count Sagan letting his teammate win that one year.
On the hand, maybe team tactics have been crucial but we’ve never gotten to see ‘cause it happened before they stated broadcasting!
 
I guess sending a top-tier rider out in an early attack might be a useful team tactic, but other than that, I don’t remember team tactics playing a big role here because it usually just ends up being the few strongest riders on the day battling it out. Unless you count Sagan letting his teammate win that one year.
On the hand, maybe team tactics have been crucial but we’ve never gotten to see ‘cause it happened before they stated broadcasting!
Sagan probably thought he could win this race the next ten years. So freaking annoying that he let Moser get it.
 
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I guess sending a top-tier rider out in an early attack might be a useful team tactic, but other than that, I don’t remember team tactics playing a big role here because it usually just ends up being the few strongest riders on the day battling it out. Unless you count Sagan letting his teammate win that one year.
I mean, Moser's career hasn't exactly lived up to the hype following his first years among the pros and I know I'm his biggest fanboy ever but there's some kind of misconception about that race.
Moser was without a doubt one of the strongest riders that day. There weren't more than 12 riders in the peloton when he attacked and it wasn't some kind of surprise attack either. Everybody was in pain after a hard section of sterrato.
At that point there 17 km to go, he closed a minute gap to the break of the day on his own and held off the group behind containing Cancellara, GVA, Valverde, Cunego...
He started the wall to Piazza del Campo with a 10 seconds advantage on the group and finished 7 seconds ahead (after all the work he had done). That's how strong he was that day.

Could Sagan win that race hadn't Moser attacked? Sure. But Sagan himself had the privilege to ride those final km on the wheels of others while for instance Cancellara had to try attacks to drop the others and close the gap to Moser. So I wouldn't say it was a given.

I've watched that race a hundred times, it's probably my best day as a cycling fan. I don't really follow the narrative of Sagan gifting that race. Sagan never had the chance to win that race after Moser attacked. There was really nothing to gift.
 
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I mean, Moser's career hasn't exactly lived up to the hype following his first years among the pros and I know I'm his biggest fanboy ever but there's some kind of misconception about that race.
Moser was without a doubt one of the strongest riders that day. There weren't more than 12 riders in the peloton when he attacked and it wasn't some kind of surprise attack either. Everybody was in pain after a hard section of sterrato.
At that point there 17 km to go, he closed a minute gap to the break of the day on his own and held off the group behind containing Cancellara, GVA, Valverde, Cunego...
He started the wall to Piazza del Campo with a 10 seconds advantage on the group and finished 7 seconds ahead (after all the work he had done). That's how strong he was that day.

Could Sagan win that race hadn't Moser attacked? Sure. But Sagan himself had the privilege to ride those final km on the wheels of others while for instance Cancellara had to try attacks to drop the others and close the gap to Moser. So I wouldn't say it was a given.

I've watched that race a hundred times, it's probably my best day as a cycling fan. I don't really follow the narrative of Sagan gifting that race. Sagan never had the chance to win that race after Moser attacked. There was really nothing to gift.
Well, you could say it was a gift in the sense that he was the star and Moser should have ridden defensively and kept it together until the final hill where a 2013 Sagan would have been invincible. But they chose a more hierarchically flat tactic and he earned the win, no doubt.
 
I specifically did not used the term “gifted” because I knew there was more complexity to it than that. Was just going by how close and how smooth Sagan looked by the top of the climb, it looked like he could have caught Moser if he wanted. But I’m glad to be corrected. My point was that version was one of times team tactics played an important part in the race result. Of course, teams are always impt early in a race like that.
 
He'll come up short IMO. He showed a few flashes of what he's capable of last weekend but on Saturday he rode in the wheels for the most part and Sunday he got the most out of his sprint. This is race where you can barely hide. Give him another year.
Yep. But I wouldn't be surprised to see him there until the final selection is made. A top ten is a possibility, which would be a good result given the startlist this year
 
I specifically did not used the term “gifted” because I knew there was more complexity to it than that. Was just going by how close and how smooth Sagan looked by the top of the climb, it looked like he could have caught Moser if he wanted. But I’m glad to be corrected. My point was that version was one of times team tactics played an important part in the race result. Of course, teams are always impt early in a race like that.
I can't 100% rule out Sagan could have caught him, there's no live image of the group behind to prove or disprove it.
But Moser's time on Via Santa Caterina, the steep part (45") is a very good time compared to other winners. He was only 4" slower than Kwiatkowski in 2014 (dropping Sagan) for example. The only much faster time I have for that section are Stybar in 2015 and Benoot (37"). Pogacar did it in 38" last year so watch out if he is in the front group when they approach Siena.
 
I can't 100% rule out Sagan could have caught him, there's no live image of the group behind to prove or disprove it.
But Moser's time on Via Santa Caterina, the steep part (45") is a very good time compared to other winners. He was only 4" slower than Kwiatkowski in 2014 (dropping Sagan) for example. The only much faster time I have for that section are Stybar in 2015 and Benoot (37"). Pogacar did it in 38" last year so watch out if he is in the front group when they approach Siena.
2013 Sagan and 2014 are quite far from the same thing, though. Even if Strade was Sagan's best race in 2014.
 
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