2021 World Championships in Flanders: Road Races

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And Stage 7 of the tour was largely because they were more consumed by the battle for the right to wear the yellow jersey than the stage win. It was a legitimate reason imo.
Maybe it seems like those circumstances happen more often than they actually do in reality, because those few instances when it does happen—when the entire final group looks at each other waiting for someone else to be the first to chase—stick out because they can be highly disappointing. The one that always comes back to mind for me was that 2014 edition of Roubaix, where the most elite group of 10-11 Classic riders you could possibly put together (including Boonen and Cancellara who rarely had opportunities for a direct showdown) entered the final 10k, the drama continued building, and then Terpstra simply rides off, no one chases, and it’s suddenly over. Nothing against Terpstra—his timing was impeccable—but it was still really disappointing because I was relishing seeing all the big guns attack each other or to see a massive chaotic sprint in the velodrome.
 
I like the Flandrien lap, but it's far from the finish. I hope they get rid of the wheelsuckers there: Ewan, Matthews, Démare and Colbrelli. The local lap has some very short climbs, but that's not selective at pro level. Stijn Devolder has won a Belgian title solo there, but Sunday will have a much stronger field.

If it's a group sprint Van Aert will miss Van Hooydonck. If Asgreen or Alaphilippe attacks I'm not sure how hard the Belgians from QSt will work. The burden of being top favorite can be heavy.
 
I like the Flandrien lap, but it's far from the finish. I hope they get rid of the wheelsuckers there: Ewan, Matthews, Démare and Colbrelli. The local lap has some very short climbs, but that's not selective at pro level. Stijn Devolder has won a Belgian title solo there, but Sunday will have a much stronger field.

If it's a group sprint Van Aert will miss Van Hooydonck. If Asgreen or Alaphilippe attacks I'm not sure how hard the Belgians from QSt will work. The burden of being top favorite can be heavy.
Maybe rewatch stage 6 of the Benelux Tour before calling Colbrelli a wheelsucker...
 
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Interesting analysis by Jan Bakelants on Belgian TV yesterday: he expects that also sprinters such as Ewan and Nizzolo would likely survive. He thinks the strategy of the Belgian team should be to go for a sprint, as a bigger peloton is easier to control. He's a friend of Van Aert, by the way, and talks with him about race tactics often.
 
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Interesting analysis by Jan Bakelants on Belgian TV yesterday: he expects that also sprinters such as Ewan and Nizzolo would likely survive. He thinks the strategy of the Belgian team should be to go for a sprint, as a bigger peloton is easier to control. He's a friend of Van Aert, by the way, and talks with him about race tactics often.
Dragging riders like Sagan, Caleb Ewan & Magnus Cort to the finish line doesn't seem like a super idea.

I think the Belgians should want to create a bigger selection than that.
 
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I think that Nielsen (well, Cort :D) has a much, much higher chance of winning by riding agressively than by waiting for a sprint. He doesn't do well in the fight for positioning which this race is all about, and I suspect that also the reason why he never has been a very succesful one day-racer. If he just tries to hold on, he'll eventually be caught out and he'll spend too much energy getting back to the front. He needs to go on the offense.
 
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It's not in their hands. Someone else will ride aggressively if not the Belgians.
Pretty much. Going for a sprint can easily be decided in the final 60km if the selection isn't that much but the most dangerous sprinters are dropped and the still have the manpower to control the race.

I don't know if Vantourenhout was the national coach in 2016 when they decided that Boonen sprinting vs Cavendish and Sagan was the best use out of having 6 guys in a 20 man group
 
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Dragging riders like Sagan, Caleb Ewan & Magnus Cort to the finish line doesn't seem like a super idea.

I think the Belgians should want to create a bigger selection than that.
I'm quite sure Van Aert would rather be in a bigger group, than in a small one with Asgreen, MVDP, Colbrelli, etc. but no or only one teammate. In a small group, everyone will ride on Van Aert's wheel, and it's impossible for him to react to everyone and still win.
 
Interesting analysis by Jan Bakelants on Belgian TV yesterday: he expects that also sprinters such as Ewan and Nizzolo would likely survive. He thinks the strategy of the Belgian team should be to go for a sprint, as a bigger peloton is easier to control. He's a friend of Van Aert, by the way, and talks with him about race tactics often.
Interesting rationale. It would make it more likely that Wout is in the contest for the win but less likely to win. Not so sure it would be wise to aim to go to a bigger sprint against Caleb Ewan over a small attacking finale where as long as he still has a couple of team mates in the last 25km he will be well placed to cover moves.
 
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Interesting rationale. It would make it more likely that Wout is in the contest for the win but less likely to win. Not so sure it would be wise to aim to go to a bigger sprint against Caleb Ewan over a small attacking finale where as long as he still has a couple of team mates in the last 25km he will be well placed to cover moves.
Ewan is weird in that he seems to vary between the worst climbing sprinter to surprisingly punchy.
 
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