2021 World Championships in Flanders: Road Races

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Well the Flandrien circuit climbs aren't that hard either and in Vlaanderen they would probably be among the easier climbs in the race + they come before the 200km mark mostly. So it's really hard to get huge seperation.

I do think a late attack might happen but it would be because of the mens elite are just that much more explosive than the U23s and the women. It could be a bit like Richmond or Valkenburg.
It's quite the opposite. These short climbs in Leuven can be a problem for Juniors or women (meaning the best can make a difference there compared to lesser punchers), but for men WT pro's they do not pose a problem at all. The biggest problem will be the fight for position, not the actual climbs. Even a guy who is not punchy, will only lose a few seconds to the likes of Alaphilippe, Van der Poel or Van Aert. On a local lap i don't see anybody creating a big enough gap to go solo to the line. At most something like the U23 men, where Baroncini got a 10s gap in the final lap, and won by 2s at the line.

It's a 270km race, if you make the race hard before the last Flandrien+Leuven loops, it's definitely possible to attack on the final Flandrien loop for Mohoric or Evenepoel type attackers.
 
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How many different spellings do Americans have for Michaela? We have Mikaela Shiffrin, MiKayla Skinner, McKayla Maroney and now Makayla McPherson?
I think it is keeping with the plethora of girls born in the 1990s and beyond with hard “c” first names (except here with Mi/Ma/Mc prefix). My daughters high school cohort included the following: Carli, Karli, Kristen, Kirsten, Kenda, Kat, Kyra, Kira, Kylie, Caroline, and several more I don’t remember. Those names accounted for at least a 1/3 of the group she was in!
 
It's quite the opposite. These short climbs in Leuven can be a problem for Juniors or women (meaning the best can make a difference there compared to lesser punchers), but for men WT pro's they do not pose a problem at all. The biggest problem will be the fight for position, not the actual climbs. Even a guy who is not explosive, will only lose a few seconds to the likes of Alaphilippe, Van der Poel or Van Aert. On a local lap i don't see anybody creating a big enough gap to go solo to the line. At most something like the U23 men, where Baroncini got a 10s gap in the final lap, and won by 2s at the line.

It's a 270km race, if you make the race hard before the last Flandrien+Leuven loops, it's definitely possible to attack on the final Flandrien loop for Mohoric or Evenepoel type attackers.
If a strong group that includes 4 or 5 of the right nations gets away on the Flandrian circuit they could make it. Kinda surprised that the Dutch didn't bring Taco for a long range attack.
 
It's quite the opposite. These short climbs in Leuven can be a problem for Juniors or women (meaning the best can make a difference there compared to lesser punchers), but for men WT pro's they do not pose a problem at all. The biggest problem will be the fight for position, not the actual climbs. Even a guy who is not explosive, will only lose a few seconds to the likes of Alaphilippe, Van der Poel or Van Aert. On a local lap i don't see anybody creating a big enough gap to go solo to the line. At most something like the U23 men, where Baroncini got a 10s gap in the final lap, and won by 2s at the line.

It's a 270km race, if you make the race hard before the last Flandrien+Leuven loops, it's definitely possible to attack on the final Flandrien loop for Mohoric or Evenepoel type attackers.
In the womens and junior races such hills will drop more people out the back, but flying away on the front can sometimes be easier for the best male riders. In 2012 the mens u23 and junior road races had 50+ guys in the same time as the winner 2km after the Cauberg. But for this to happen the final Wijnpers is too far from the finish most likely.

The other problem with the route is that even the Flandrien hills are too short for the long range attackers. Mohoric isn't gonna get a gap on Van der Poel or something there.
 
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OK, ragazze e ragazzi. You did well. You've won plenty the past week(s). Now it's time to be a little bit gracious to the hosts. Like Evenepoel pulling Colbrelli and then doing a fake sprint (he can obviously do much better), and like Wout pretending he couldn't go harder last week during the TT, tomorrow we here in Belgium would like to see the favour returned. Looking forward to it.

PS: We also gave away the EC football quarter final - Italy, remember please. Grazie.
 
What's the score coming out of the Dutchies? I mean, I guess Blaaki is retiring too so has little reason to sugarcoat things now, but van der Breggen was pretty laissez-faire about the whole thing, and she was one of those that came out swinging after the Olympic fiasco.
Blaak was mainly mad about the lack of coordination and how they should've ridden as one block more and when one attacks the other counters etc. Van Vleuten seemed pretty chill at first then got all defensive after the interviewer mentioned Blaak being critical.

Neither of them were critical on Vos, and Van Vleuten argued her and Van Dijk did a lot of work/attacking in the final 2 laps so the poor leadout for Vos shouldn't fall on them.

Tbh I don't think it's that much about ego and not wanting to work together and trying to win themselves but more poor communication and now being salty about not winning as a team. I think a large part of it is also down to the journalist poking and prodding a bit.

I think Van Vleuten felt accused of not being a team player and that's why she got defensive, and she was mainly mad about the poor leadout, which is true. They burnt up everyone so despite people being there they were all done and Vos was left to close a gap herself in the final few hundred meters.

And tbh the ridiculous dominance of Dutch women in cycling was bound to end sooner or later, and this route wasn't all that great for our team. And having Anna van der Breggen in retirement form certainly doesn't help either.
 
If a strong group that includes 4 or 5 of the right nations gets away on the Flandrian circuit they could make it. Kinda surprised that the Dutch didn't bring Taco for a long range attack.
I'm not. We don't really have a history of selecting rouleurs for speculative roles on rouleur parcourses. We selected Steven Kruijswijk for Copenhagen IIRC. Back in the day Lars Boom would've been leader here, and he would've been a good speculative move, but not a guy of Tacos calibre tbh. We're lucky we have Van der Poel, we're unlucky Dumoulin can't ride, cause I do rate him as a lottery pick, and I do think having a reduced sprinter in decent form as a backup also makes sense.

I for one can't wait for the bitchfight between selecting Jakobsen or Groenewegen on a sprinters parcours.
 
In the womens and junior races such hills will drop more people out the back, but flying away on the front can sometimes be easier for the best male riders. In 2012 the mens u23 and junior road races had 50+ guys in the same time as the winner 2km after the Cauberg. But for this to happen the final Wijnpers is too far from the finish most likely.

The other problem with the route is that even the Flandrien hills are too short for the long range attackers. Mohoric isn't gonna get a gap on Van der Poel or something there.
A break is usually not formed because the guys in the break "dropped" the best riders in the world. It is usually formed because there is either a lack of domestiques to control the race and/or the leaders don't want to burn their matches too soon and rather wait. I'm not saying Mohoric is going to drop Van der Poel on a climb in Overijse, but maybe Mathieu would think attacking or countering an attack with 70k to go is a bit too risky, and he will not try to follow Mohoric or Evenepoel or other long rangers and keep his powder dry. Same goes for Alaphilippe, Van Aert, Colbrelli...
 
I don't think Dutch tactics were that bad until the final 5 km. But at that point, when it was very clear Vos was the strongest of the team, they had to take control of the race, form a train and try to deliver Vos in the best possible position to win the sprint. To me it looked like they didn't quite do enough to help her in the final.

About 3km out Van Dijk went clear with three other riders, one of whom was Vos, and perhaps Nieuwadoma?, on her wheel. Then sat up. I couldn't understand why she didn't just bury herself at that point. The other Dutch could have marked the chase, perhaps for Vollering as plan B. But force the Italians to chase at that point.
 
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Blaak was mainly mad about the lack of coordination and how they should've ridden as one block more and when one attacks the other counters etc. Van Vleuten seemed pretty chill at first then got all defensive after the interviewer mentioned Blaak being critical.

Neither of them were critical on Vos, and Van Vleuten argued her and Van Dijk did a lot of work/attacking in the final 2 laps so the poor leadout for Vos shouldn't fall on them.

Tbh I don't think it's that much about ego and not wanting to work together and trying to win themselves but more poor communication and now being salty about not winning as a team. I think a large part of it is also down to the journalist poking and prodding a bit.

I think Van Vleuten felt accused of not being a team player and that's why she got defensive, and she was mainly mad about the poor leadout, which is true. They burnt up everyone so despite people being there they were all done and Vos was left to close a gap herself in the final few hundred meters.

And tbh the ridiculous dominance of Dutch women in cycling was bound to end sooner or later, and this route wasn't all that great for our team. And having Anna van der Breggen in retirement form certainly doesn't help either.
Well you do have the problem of entering the race as red hot favourites every time, such that victory is not just hoped for but expected to the point where an inquest is required every time they don't come away with gold. Plus there is always the team dynamics to think about, how many leaders and how many support riders, and which support riders to bring. I mean, with Balsamo winning, Lorena Wiebes might feel she deserved a selection, and there's Floortje Mackaij, Riejanne Markus, Lonneke Uneken, Anouska Koster, Karlijn Swinkels, Charlotte Kool, Janneke Ensing plus others less suited to the parcours like Sabrina Stultiens and Pauliena Rooijakkers, who could make a pretty solid squad just of Dutch offcuts.

It does feel like Gunnewijk has a bit too much loyalty to those she rode with, the team is made up almost entirely of veterans of the generation that she will have rode with or against - Pieters, at 30 years and 117 days, is the second youngest starter for the Netherlands today, and the only younger rider - Vollering - is pretty much impossible to leave out at this point given the season she's had. And intriguingly, is the one rider to have kept herself to herself about the Olympics and also thus far today.
 
A break is usually not formed because the guys in the break "dropped" the best riders in the world. It is usually formed because there is either a lack of domestiques to control the race and/or the leaders don't want to burn their matches too soon and rather wait. I'm not saying Mohoric is going to drop Van der Poel on a climb in Overijse, but maybe Mathieu would think attacking or countering an attack with 70k to go is a bit too risky, and he will not try to follow Mohoric or Evenepoel or other long rangers and keep his powder dry. Same goes for Alaphilippe, Van Aert, Colbrelli...
Yeah, but teams like Italy and France also have other cards to play, Moscon or Trentin and Turgis or Cosnefroy.
With Nizzolo's form I'm starting to thing that Italy should probably back Ballerini, if it comes down to a bunch sprint.
 
I agree that Wout will win, but I don't think that the course doesn't allow to make a difference and that there is no other outcome than at least 30 people sprinting for the win.

I'm a heavy defender of "the riders make the race". If there can be a more of a selection at the BP, then it's possible here as well. There would have been opportunities today. The first half was a group ride, at least judging by the riders faces and the fact that many riders who are not WT didn't have problems hanging on - which they often have pretty fast in the women's national races. Then later I saw quite a lot of the stuff that was also done in the junior's races: upping the tempo on the climbs, than releasing it on the flat. Letting groups from behind come back, not despite forcing the tempo, but because there was no tempo at the front, mostly for tactical reasons I think, because there weren't enough Dutchies in the group, or Balsamo was behind... I also didn't see many coordinated team efforts where a race plan was visible. Kasia tried her best, Moolman did a bit, Mavi Garcia was the only one with a real longer attack, and then I remember Michaela Drummond. Can't remember much else. Why did nobody go with Mavi Garcia when she went? Why did Brennauer never try when she saw it would be a sprint against real sprinters? Why did everyone work for the Dutch and chase the tries of a break down? Why did the Dutch trust Vos more than van Dijk who's in stellar form and chase her down?
Of course there were many riders pretty much on their own. The Dutch didn't have a real team tactic. The Italians defended. But still I am convinced more is possible. Whether that will happen during the men's race is a different question...

Please let it be a good race. Please let Evenepoel's ego free for glory, let Alaphilippe do crazy nonsensical attacks, let the Slovenians go rogue, let Asgreen dig so deep that everyone thinks it's doomed anyway. Let van der Poel be the tactics naive crosser who just goes for the win. :)
Let everybody race against Wout, not because I don't want to see him winning, but because I want to see attacks, attacks, attacks.

On a more serious note, obviously the main skill you need in this race is positioning. Sprint+positioning and you'll win this race.
Also the men's race is a lot longer and that alone will hopefully lead to a bit more of a selection.
 
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A break is usually not formed because the guys in the break "dropped" the best riders in the world. It is usually formed because there is either a lack of domestiques to control the race and/or the leaders don't want to burn their matches too soon and rather wait. I'm not saying Mohoric is going to drop Van der Poel on a climb in Overijse, but maybe Mathieu would think attacking or countering an attack with 70k to go is a bit too risky, and he will not try to follow Mohoric or Evenepoel or other long rangers and keep his powder dry. Same goes for Alaphilippe, Van Aert, Colbrelli...
Not following a move by Evenepoel or Mohoric seems pretty stupid to me, though. If there are five riders I will look at they are surely among them. :D
 
On a more serious note, obviously the main skill you need in this race is positioning. Sprint+positioning and you'll win this race.
Also the men's race is a lot longer and that alone will hopefully lead to a bit more of a selection.
Yes, that distance can be the real game changer.

I read on another forum that the longest race Remco Evenepoel has ever finished was the San Sébastian he won in 2019 (227km). So... as Primoz Roglic recently said, i.e. after 250km, everything is difficult.

Reason says WvA, but "caution" says anything can actually happen (& if this race really is locked down by one team & arrives as a group sprint without any action prior, I'll try to eliminate it from memory as soon as possible).
 
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