52nd Amstel Gold Race - April 16 - 261km

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Velolover2 said:
I wonder if this race would have been more anarchic with a 6-man team.

The riders are too afraid to attack. Based on his long rage attacks this year, I'm pretty sure Gilbert will at least try something a bit earlier out. Maybe on Cauberg? They can always have Phillipe for the sprint.
Nobody will let a multiple winner of the race go away on a long range attack even if he won on a different course.
 
Mar 13, 2015
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I must say I feel pretty optimistic about the race and the new finale. I think we have two types of contenders, we have a fast finishers (aka sprinters), guys like Matthews, Colbrelli, Coquard, Gerrans, etc. And on the other hand we have puncheurs: Gilbert, Van Avermaet, Kwiatkowski, Alaphilippe, Wellens, Valverde... The way I see it, it will be a battle between the sprinters and puncheurs teams. Latter are much stronger. QS, BMC, Movistar and Sky should all try to send their guys into breakaways. Already at 50-60 km to the finish they will need to send their lieutenants in the attack, to force sprinters team to chase, and than at the Kruisberg and Eyserbosweg some of the main guys would need to strike. Keutenberg is the latest point to attack if puncheurs want their showdown. If nothing happens till' the last Cauberg, I'm afraid we're going to have reduced bunch sprint of at least 30-40 guys
 
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Eyeballs Out said:
tobydawq said:
Eyeballs Out said:
I'm in the minority in that I like the current Cauberg finish a lot and hope they revert to it in future. If there was a problem it was with the rest of the finale (which is still mostly there). Anyway this new finish should prove what is possible. If multiple favourites move 20-30 km out and it sticks then it just shows that they should have been doing that all along since Cauberg only makes it more likely they would stay away, not less likely.
But the problem is that the biggest favorites who will benefit from going from distance this year have normally just been waiting for the Cauberg because they might as well; it was their territory and where they could decide the race (I'm talking about riders such as Valverde, Gilbert, Alaphilippe and Kwiatkowski). Why should they go from afar in the past? No reason. Now they have plenty of reasons.

Maybe it wouldn't have been less likely to stay away because of the Cauberg but all things considered, it would have been less likely to win by going from the distance in the past than succeeding by waiting for the Cauberg.
No, it has been increasingly the case that the sprinter climbers have been getting closer and closer. Matthews should have won two years ago (?) but made the mistake of trying to follow Gilbert and it was still a group sprint won by Kwiatkowski. We've seen the likes of Coquard and Colbrelli come close. If it becomes obvious that they can leave those guys behind (or at least isolate them in a favourites group) then there is every reason not to wait for Cauberg
How was that a mistake? Do you imagine Gilbert waiting for the peloton if he had been alone?

But I get your point - it has been a little more finely balanced since they moved the finish line away from the top of the Cauberg.

But it is quite intriguing to see how it will play out this year. And I agree with the sprinter/puncheur duality another poster brought up.

Although I must say that Bahrain-Merida has an extremely strong team. Izagirre, Visconti, Gasparotto and Colbrelli. It's as if they designed their whole non-Nibali-related transfer strategy on this race.
 
Can't watch, but Im optimistic. Unfortunately Alaf Polak will be out, but there are lots of other great riders here who should be interested in animating the race. Lets see if its even possible.

This race suits the heavier Flanders types rider better than Valverde, so I consider GvA and Gilbert better riders for Amstel. Kwito too. But I really hope they will be able to form a break and succeed, I don't want Colbrelli or Matthews to win a random 50 man sprint.
 
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Asero831 said:
If Geschke gets dropped early, there is no more domestiques for Matthews who are good on the flat. Barguil, Kelderman and Oomen are not really motors on the flat.

Orica will do everything to put Gerrans up for Sprint. They have a team to do this. Any two of Impey, Albasini and Hayman will be there to chase the Cauberg breakaway. I do not see any team working to bring back the late escapees
Think you'll find that with Orica's team they'll make it a hard race and try to win from a breakaway - They won't hang around looking for a sprint.
 
May 13, 2015
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Would have been better with the steeper, shorter climbs such as Kruisberg and Eyserbosweg just before the finish followed by 5k of flat. It's easier for the Alaphilippe-types to jump away on those.

The longer, false-flat climbs in this final are perfect for the trains, so don't expect any action.
 
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WheelofGear said:
Brullnux said:
Felline ftw.
Wonder if he is going to "punch" in a late attack or wait for the sprint. He can do both.
Yeah he could and Trek should really focus completely on him. His best chance though is to try and force an attack or follow one and ride away with a smallish group and win the sprint. Don't think he can beat Matthews, Coquard or Colbrelli. He can come close, sure, but beating them won't be easy.
 
Apr 14, 2010
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Anderis said:
Hopefully it's going to be a reduced sprint with Gerrans or Matthews winning.
And pretty much everyone else on the planet who's not Australian hopes its not. Would really love to see them both be completely irrelevant the rest of the spring.
 
May 13, 2015
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Anderis said:
Hopefully it's going to be a reduced sprint with Gerrans or Matthews winning.
If that is what it takes to reduce the number of riders on a team..

But I'm not sure UCI will ever listen.
 
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WheelofGear said:
Anderis said:
Hopefully it's going to be a reduced sprint with Gerrans or Matthews winning.
If that is what it takes to reduce the number of riders on a team..

But I'm not sure UCI will ever listen.
Gerro winning a 60 man sprint could be a good thing like Contador and Quintana attacking on their way to Formigal was a bad thing.
 
Jul 14, 2015
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Valv.Piti said:
WheelofGear said:
If that is what it takes to reduce the number of riders on a team..

But I'm not sure UCI will ever listen.
Gerro winning a 60 man sprint could be a good thing like Contador and Quintana attacking on their way to Formigal was a bad thing.
I read this as saying that Gerrans is such a liability to the safety of others in a sprint and just ... general racing that the UCI would rather proactively limit any casualties.

But so far this past year both he and Matthews have done a great job at flying under the radar, all the time.
 
Aug 16, 2013
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Velolover2 said:
Netserk said:
The best change FW could do is to remove Cherave. I think it spoils Huy and makes it more of a grind.
Yeah. Mur de Huy is actually made for attacks. Andy Schleck and Contador have animated the climb before. Cherave ruins that.
Or Purito who just went mental at 450 meters to go in 2012 and 2015

Now everyone just waits for the flatter part..... where Bala is unbeatable. Which is quite sad really.
 
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Arredondo said:
Velolover2 said:
Netserk said:
The best change FW could do is to remove Cherave. I think it spoils Huy and makes it more of a grind.
Yeah. Mur de Huy is actually made for attacks. Andy Schleck and Contador have animated the climb before. Cherave ruins that.
Or Purito who just went mental at 450 meters to go in 2012 and 2015

Now everyone just waits for the flatter part..... where Bala is unbeatable. Which is quite sad really.
Henao can do the same thing if he is in shape. I hope he will try it.

Is Chaves there? He should also be able to attack on these gradients.
 
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The only riders who stand a real chance of beating Valverde on the Mur without going early and getting lucky are Martin and Alaphilippe. And that chance is still quite small even with the two of them working as a team.

In the absence of Alaphilippe, all other contenders are best served by hoping that they can get away while Valverde is waiting for Martin to go. I can't think of anyone except for Alaphilippe who might be best advised to wait until Martin makes his move.
 
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Alexandre B. said:
Velolover2 said:
Based on his results in Pais Vasco and lack of Sagan, Jay McCarthy has to be one of the favorites.

Jay McCarthy is made for Amstel Gold Race and can beat almost everyone (even Matthews) in a sprint.
The problem is that there will always be someone that will be faster than him.
McCarthy is an outsider, but if there's a good classic he can win then it's Amstel. It suits his style and is one of his career goals.
 
May 13, 2015
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Amstel Gold Race is almost tailor-made for McCarthy.. but there is something about that boy. Not sure he is a "winner".
 

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