2021 World Championships in Flanders: Road Races

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I also thought Belgium's tactics were weird, but not even the Evenepoel part... they so often seem to use up riders in the wrong parts of the races.

But anyway, I really think the French selection and tactics were absolutely spot on again. Without Alaphilippe being amazing it wouldn't have come to that much, but they had a clear plan, they took the race in their hands and didn't wait, control, gamble diffusely etc. Cosnefroy was very strong today and it might have backfired had Ala not been able to finish it off, but it looks like they knew very well the strengths of each rider, they used them to their best, didn't hesitate... and they still had Sénéchal fresh in the mix all the time.
The Danes and Italians had more bad luck and lost riders early... but it looked like the Italians especially weren't as clear with their tactics as yesterday. They were pretty passive even when they had almost all riders left... they said they wanted to get Colbrelli in a small group without van Aert, but I never saw them doing anything for that. Even when Colbrelli could go with Ala he didn't work.
So, basically, like I already said: you need to have the legs, but the French and especially Alaphilippe took their fate into their own hands and that's why I'm even more happy they/he won.
 
At the very least he wasted his chances.
Likely true, but I think 2nd was the best Belgium could hope for today. Of course they couldn't have known that before the start. It will be interesting to see if they race for him in any future WCs. He's certainly not the ideal rider to race for in a one day race of this caliber with his lack of relative explosiveness and sprint to others. Obviously, some of that is just genetic but hopefully someone has him working on that.

Just curious, how would you have had the Belgian team race today knowing what we know now?
 
Likely true, but I think 2nd was the best Belgium could hope for today. Of course they couldn't have known that before the start. It will be interesting to see if they race for him in any future WCs. He's certainly not the ideal rider to race for in a one day race of this caliber with his lack of relative explosiveness and sprint to others. Obviously, some of that is just genetic but hopefully someone has him working on that.

Just curious, how would you have had the Belgian team race today knowing what we know now?
Agree. I think with this form, Alaphilippe would've won in most scenarios.
The only thing that could've stopped him, would've been making him work a lot in the pre-final. By letting him get away with only one or two guys around 60-70 km to go, and then let him dangle there at 30 seconds for 30-40 kms. But who would've expected that Alaphilippe would be the man to beat? After his stage 1 TdF victory, he never seemed to really have the explosiveness. I think almost no-one expected him to be this strong. Only a 100% WVA or MvdP could've matched him, but they weren't 100%.
 
Likely true, but I think 2nd was the best Belgium could hope for today. Of course they couldn't have known that before the start. It will be interesting to see if they race for him in any future WCs. He's certainly not the ideal rider to race for in a one day race of this caliber with his lack of relative explosiveness and sprint to others. Obviously, some of that is just genetic but hopefully someone has him working on that.

Just curious, how would you have had the Belgian team race today knowing what we know now?
Indeed. Their tactics were based on the assumption that Van Aert would be competitive in the last 30k. How soon WVA realised he wasn't and communicated that to Stuyven is down to him, not really the team?
 
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Agree. I think with this form, Alaphilippe would've won in most scenarios.
The only thing that could've stopped him, would've been making him work a lot in the pre-final. By letting him get away with only one or two guys around 60-70 km to go, and then let him dangle there at 30 seconds for 30-40 kms. But who would've expected that Alaphilippe would be the man to beat? After his stage 1 TdF victory, he never seemed to really have the explosiveness. I think almost no-one expected him to be this strong. Only a 100% WVA or MvdP could've matched him, but they weren't 100%.
An easier race with a peloton (70+) entering Leuven would have made it difficult for him.
 

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