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52nd Amstel Gold Race - April 16 - 261km

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Mar 15, 2016
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PhilG came around Kwiat like he was soft-pedalling and started celebrating with 30m to go.

What a boss.
 
By the way I find it interesting that Kreuziger and Gasparotto were part of the same crash and Kwiat and Gilbert were the two riders who sprinted for the win. So the winners of the last 8 Amstel Gold Races were either part of that crash or sprinted for the win.
 
Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
Gilbert really set up Kwiatkowski perfectly there, practically begging him to take the bait and go too early.
I agree.

When Gilbert took the front just before the kite, I smiled to myself and thought "damn, he's clever!". As expected, Kwiatkowski went too early into the headwind. And then in the post-race interview Gilbert made no mention of it, and said Kwiat took him by surprise in the sprint. :eek:
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
movingtarget said:
Maaaaaaaarten said:
Best AGR I've seen in a long time!

Gilbert and Kwiaktkowski are two amazing riders a class above the rest today, Gilbert now with an amazing sprint and Kwiat going to early. Not very typical for Kwiat but oh well, Gilbert is a nice winner too.

Today shows why races need to have an easy final 20km or so and have the most difficult obstacles before that; so that the big guns have to make the selection there. In a 260km races with 35 hills (even if a lot of them are "hills" :p), it's really not that difficult got Gilbert, Valverde, Kwiat etc. to get rid of the sprinters; but why would they risk that if they can just wait for the final hill to drop everyone? Now they are forced to attack from further out if they want to win.
The second group never really looked like closing with GVA and Valverde doing the bulk of the work.
That group was a bit of a disgrace, GVA and Jungels aside. Valverde started working hard only when it was too late, the gap went out massively everytime Felline and Wellens were onthe front suggesting they were soft pedalling a bit. And Costa and Barguil were inexplicably sitting on the back doing absolutely nothing.
Yes Alabasini was fooling around as well. They attacked each other instead of cooperating. They only had themselves to blame.
 
Re: Re:

Red Rick said:
Maaaaaaaarten said:
Best AGR I've seen in a long time!

Gilbert and Kwiaktkowski are two amazing riders a class above the rest today, Gilbert now with an amazing sprint and Kwiat going to early. Not very typical for Kwiat but oh well, Gilbert is a nice winner too.

Today shows why races need to have an easy final 20km or so and have the most difficult obstacles before that; so that the big guns have to make the selection there. In a 260km races with 35 hills (even if a lot of them are "hills" :p), it's really not that difficult got Gilbert, Valverde, Kwiat etc. to get rid of the sprinters; but why would they risk that if they can just wait for the final hill to drop everyone? Now they are forced to attack from further out if they want to win.
This is the first edition on the new course, and they road so hard because a few other riders were caught out. I hope that it keeps providing this action.
Quite often when a route changes you get more interesting races for a short while until riders get used to the new course and it quietens down again. We can only fairly judge the new course once we've seen a couple more editions, I feel.

Of course, if the route change is just to beef up the run-in and incentivize waiting, like LBL last year, then it has the opposite effect, because riders wait for the new bit so as not to be taken by surprise. The first year of the new finale and circuit was the Kreuziger breakaway edition too, which was the most interesting edition on that course, before a couple of boring editions necessitated the change again that gave us the new course. Signs are good, but we'll see in a couple of years' time.
 
Re: Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
Red Rick said:
Maaaaaaaarten said:
Best AGR I've seen in a long time!

Gilbert and Kwiaktkowski are two amazing riders a class above the rest today, Gilbert now with an amazing sprint and Kwiat going to early. Not very typical for Kwiat but oh well, Gilbert is a nice winner too.

Today shows why races need to have an easy final 20km or so and have the most difficult obstacles before that; so that the big guns have to make the selection there. In a 260km races with 35 hills (even if a lot of them are "hills" :p), it's really not that difficult got Gilbert, Valverde, Kwiat etc. to get rid of the sprinters; but why would they risk that if they can just wait for the final hill to drop everyone? Now they are forced to attack from further out if they want to win.
This is the first edition on the new course, and they road so hard because a few other riders were caught out. I hope that it keeps providing this action.
Quite often when a route changes you get more interesting races for a short while until riders get used to the new course and it quietens down again. We can only fairly judge the new course once we've seen a couple more editions, I feel.

Of course, if the route change is just to beef up the run-in and incentivize waiting, like LBL last year, then it has the opposite effect, because riders wait for the new bit so as not to be taken by surprise. The first year of the new finale and circuit was the Kreuziger breakaway edition too, which was the most interesting edition on that course, before a couple of boring editions necessitated the change again that gave us the new course. Signs are good, but we'll see in a couple of years' time.
There's a big difference from the Kreuziger win though. That was more of a "lucky" breakaway. This route change led to the strongest riders going away at 40 km from the finish, and holding on pretty easily. If they continue to do that in the years to come, what can anybody do about it?
 
Oct 23, 2011
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Echoes said:
Shame Greg couldn't compete for top10. He still sprinted the big group didn't he? Hopefully he can keep it up to Liège next Sunday and target Liège next year. What a rider again. How many of these guys have raced Paris-Roubaix?
Yeah respect for Greg riding all the classics. :)

Greg riding great in Paris-Roubaix last week and still at a very high level here is pretty sweet. Does anybody know if he is riding Liège this year?
 
Re: Re:

GuyIncognito said:
10 years ago Rojas said in an interview that he liked history. He was asked which historical character he's most interested in and h answered "Franco fascinates me", without saying what he thought of Franco's views.

This being the internet, it's been turned into him standing on a podium shouting that the spanish nationalist party should be in power.

He's never talked about it since so no idea if he's a fascist or just interested in Franco's life.
That's not how it happened. What most people remember is that, on his website, he had a thingy with all his favourite things, and in the category "Historical character" he put "Francisco Franco".
 
Apr 1, 2013
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GVA and Gilbert seem to be pushing eachother to unknown limits .... if they stay in this form for another couple of years it could be a legendary rivalry ....
 
Re: Re:

Squire said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Red Rick said:
Maaaaaaaarten said:
Best AGR I've seen in a long time!

Gilbert and Kwiaktkowski are two amazing riders a class above the rest today, Gilbert now with an amazing sprint and Kwiat going to early. Not very typical for Kwiat but oh well, Gilbert is a nice winner too.

Today shows why races need to have an easy final 20km or so and have the most difficult obstacles before that; so that the big guns have to make the selection there. In a 260km races with 35 hills (even if a lot of them are "hills" :p), it's really not that difficult got Gilbert, Valverde, Kwiat etc. to get rid of the sprinters; but why would they risk that if they can just wait for the final hill to drop everyone? Now they are forced to attack from further out if they want to win.
This is the first edition on the new course, and they road so hard because a few other riders were caught out. I hope that it keeps providing this action.
Quite often when a route changes you get more interesting races for a short while until riders get used to the new course and it quietens down again. We can only fairly judge the new course once we've seen a couple more editions, I feel.

Of course, if the route change is just to beef up the run-in and incentivize waiting, like LBL last year, then it has the opposite effect, because riders wait for the new bit so as not to be taken by surprise. The first year of the new finale and circuit was the Kreuziger breakaway edition too, which was the most interesting edition on that course, before a couple of boring editions necessitated the change again that gave us the new course. Signs are good, but we'll see in a couple of years' time.
There's a big difference from the Kreuziger win though. That was more of a "lucky" breakaway. This route change led to the strongest riders going away at 40 km from the finish, and holding on pretty easily. If they continue to do that in the years to come, what can anybody do about it?
I guess the main danger to this route in the future could be that all the favourites recognise now that the Kruisberg is the key point and too many of them get into the break. Then the group will be too big and they won't co-operate and the race could fizzle out a bit. I don't think it was that hard to make the front group (Haas, Rojas and Albasini made it after all) - most big riders just made a tactical decision not to it seemed, which encouraged Gilbert, Benoot, Henao and later Kwiatkowski to go all in.

Still, much better potential than previous years, where the route was well and truly worked out.
 
The way Kwiat destroyed GvA on the Keutenberg tells me that either GvA prepared specifically for the cobbled classics and sacrificed some hilly potential for now, or he's just not at his best anymore. Either way, I don't see him near the front on climbs like the RaF or SN when he gets dropped on climbs at half the lenght. Also, LBL is a very end-heavy race, so he doesn't benefit from being good in a race that's open for very long.

I hope he rides, but I don't think he's got a big chance at getting a decent result
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Re: Re:

hrotha said:
GuyIncognito said:
10 years ago Rojas said in an interview that he liked history. He was asked which historical character he's most interested in and h answered "Franco fascinates me", without saying what he thought of Franco's views.

This being the internet, it's been turned into him standing on a podium shouting that the spanish nationalist party should be in power.

He's never talked about it since so no idea if he's a fascist or just interested in Franco's life.
That's not how it happened. What most people remember is that, on his website, he had a thingy with all his favourite things, and in the category "Historical character" he put "Francisco Franco".
Tbf, one of my favorite historic subjects is warfare, but that doesn't mean I want to see war in today's world.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Squire said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Red Rick said:
Maaaaaaaarten said:
Best AGR I've seen in a long time!

Gilbert and Kwiaktkowski are two amazing riders a class above the rest today, Gilbert now with an amazing sprint and Kwiat going to early. Not very typical for Kwiat but oh well, Gilbert is a nice winner too.

Today shows why races need to have an easy final 20km or so and have the most difficult obstacles before that; so that the big guns have to make the selection there. In a 260km races with 35 hills (even if a lot of them are "hills" :p), it's really not that difficult got Gilbert, Valverde, Kwiat etc. to get rid of the sprinters; but why would they risk that if they can just wait for the final hill to drop everyone? Now they are forced to attack from further out if they want to win.
This is the first edition on the new course, and they road so hard because a few other riders were caught out. I hope that it keeps providing this action.
Quite often when a route changes you get more interesting races for a short while until riders get used to the new course and it quietens down again. We can only fairly judge the new course once we've seen a couple more editions, I feel.

Of course, if the route change is just to beef up the run-in and incentivize waiting, like LBL last year, then it has the opposite effect, because riders wait for the new bit so as not to be taken by surprise. The first year of the new finale and circuit was the Kreuziger breakaway edition too, which was the most interesting edition on that course, before a couple of boring editions necessitated the change again that gave us the new course. Signs are good, but we'll see in a couple of years' time.
There's a big difference from the Kreuziger win though. That was more of a "lucky" breakaway. This route change led to the strongest riders going away at 40 km from the finish, and holding on pretty easily. If they continue to do that in the years to come, what can anybody do about it?
I guess the main danger to this route in the future could be that all the favourites recognise now that the Kruisberg is the key point and too many of them get into the break. Then the group will be too big and they won't co-operate and the race could fizzle out a bit. I don't think it was that hard to make the front group (Haas, Rojas and Albasini made it after all) - most big riders just made a tactical decision not to it seemed, which encouraged Gilbert, Benoot, Henao and later Kwiatkowski to go all in.

Still, much better potential than previous years, where the route was well and truly worked out.
I agree. And I think that a race like the AGR shoulnd't be above changing parcours rather frequently if the parcours starts becoming boring and predictable.
 
Nice race. Such a pity Benoot got that mechanical.
And Giant must be instructing their riders to hold wheels. If Barguil and Costa (in wheelsucking mode) would've cooperated when they were trailing by 15 seconds, they would've bridged I think. Now there's Matthews with a 10th place. Wow, great.
 
Maaaaaaaarten said:
Greg riding great in Paris-Roubaix last week and still at a very high level here is pretty sweet. Does anybody know if he is riding Liège this year?


After Paris-Roubaix Piva said it would be decided after the Amstel. Peiper corrected and said it could be decided during the week but it seemsthey would still decide it now after the Amstel. The objective is to gain points for the World Tour but Peiper argued that they need him for the whole year and it was not necessary to "press the lemon out" (said in Het Laatste News, last Monday ;))
 
Re:

Maaaaaaaarten said:
Best AGR I've seen in a long time!

Gilbert and Kwiaktkowski are two amazing riders a class above the rest today, Gilbert now with an amazing sprint and Kwiat going to early. Not very typical for Kwiat but oh well, Gilbert is a nice winner too.

Today shows why races need to have an easy final 20km or so and have the most difficult obstacles before that; so that the big guns have to make the selection there. In a 260km races with 35 hills (even if a lot of them are "hills" :p), it's really not that difficult got Gilbert, Valverde, Kwiat etc. to get rid of the sprinters; but why would they risk that if they can just wait for the final hill to drop everyone? Now they are forced to attack from further out if they want to win.
All it really shows is that waiting for that extended Cauberg finish the last few years was not only negative but tactically wrong. If you're one of the best punchers in the race why make it a race over just one ramp and still risk getting caught in the final km ? Instead, race exactly as they did today, take Matthews, Colbrelli, Coquard out of the race and play to your strengths. As long as it doesn't the finish at the top of a ramp the finish is irrelevant - it's all in the heads of riders and their bosses
 
Re:

Jagartrott said:
Nice race. Such a pity Benoot got that mechanical.
And Giant must be instructing their riders to hold wheels. If Barguil and Costa (in wheelsucking mode) would've cooperated when they were trailing by 15 seconds, they would've bridged I think. Now there's Matthews with a 10th place. Wow, great.
I can kind of understand why they wanted to wait for the peloton at that stage, which was only 10-15 seconds behind; especially Barguil. If Barguil would have helped dragged GVA, Valverde and Wellens to the front group - the peloton was finished for sure and he would have had only a very small chance of winning. But once it was obvious the peloton wasn't going to bridge and come to the rescue of the 2nd group anyway, it was bizarre that Costa and Barguil didn't commit. They still would have had little chance of winning, but at least some chance, compared with none at all by not taking any pulls.
 
There seems to have been a reasonably consistent pattern among most of this year's classics that at an early stage there is an attack by a subset of favourites, they ride away and one of them wins. It's not quite a select group of the very strongest, because the strongest are split between those who go and those who wait, but this year it seems that going with the first big move rather than waiting has been the correct decision just about every time.
 
Re:

Red Rick said:
The way Kwiat destroyed GvA on the Keutenberg tells me that either GvA prepared specifically for the cobbled classics and sacrificed some hilly potential for now, or he's just not at his best anymore. Either way, I don't see him near the front on climbs like the RaF or SN when he gets dropped on climbs at half the lenght. Also, LBL is a very end-heavy race, so he doesn't benefit from being good in a race that's open for very long.

I hope he rides, but I don't think he's got a big chance at getting a decent result
I agree, It will be very hard for GVA in Liege, but I think he was decent today. Valverde on other hand didn't look strong, especially wheelsucking GVA when Kwiatkowski made his monster move.
 
Re: Re:

PunchingRouleur said:
Red Rick said:
The way Kwiat destroyed GvA on the Keutenberg tells me that either GvA prepared specifically for the cobbled classics and sacrificed some hilly potential for now, or he's just not at his best anymore. Either way, I don't see him near the front on climbs like the RaF or SN when he gets dropped on climbs at half the lenght. Also, LBL is a very end-heavy race, so he doesn't benefit from being good in a race that's open for very long.

I hope he rides, but I don't think he's got a big chance at getting a decent result
I agree, It will be very hard for GVA in Liege, but I think he was decent today. Valverde on other hand didn't looked strong, especially wheelsucking GVA when Kwiatkowsky made his monster move.
The problem with assessing Valverde's form is that he is entirely capable of behaving like that even when he is the strongest in a race.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
There seems to have been a reasonably consistent pattern among most of this year's classics that at an early stage there is an attack by a subset of favourites, they ride away and one of them wins. It's not quite a select group of the very strongest, because the strongest are split between those who go and those who wait, but this year it seems that going with the first big move rather than waiting has been the correct decision just about every time.
That consistent pattern is called Gilbert. :lol:
 
Jul 16, 2010
16,254
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Re: Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
PunchingRouleur said:
Red Rick said:
The way Kwiat destroyed GvA on the Keutenberg tells me that either GvA prepared specifically for the cobbled classics and sacrificed some hilly potential for now, or he's just not at his best anymore. Either way, I don't see him near the front on climbs like the RaF or SN when he gets dropped on climbs at half the lenght. Also, LBL is a very end-heavy race, so he doesn't benefit from being good in a race that's open for very long.

I hope he rides, but I don't think he's got a big chance at getting a decent result
I agree, It will be very hard for GVA in Liege, but I think he was decent today. Valverde on other hand didn't looked strong, especially wheelsucking GVA when Kwiatkowsky made his monster move.
The problem with assessing Valverde's form is that he is entirely capable of behaving like that even when he is the strongest in a race.
Agreed, I don't think you can read too much into Valverde's performance in the AGR. The next two races suit him a lot better.

But Kwiatko was incredibly strong, hopefully he can take this shape into LBL for once.
 
Re: Re:

The Barb said:
klintE said:
The Barb said:
Kwiatkowski going so early was the worst error I've seen in a sprint for ages.
Did you see Paris-Roubaix week ago?
Same mistake, same reason that Stybar went too early
Totally different. GVA faster than Stybar so Stybar had to try to get a winning gap. In this case the shorter the sprint had been the greater Kwiatkowski's chance of winning.
I saw Stybar outsprinting GVA, saw him outsprinting even Greipel :))
He's lighter and faster than GVA but in a very short range.
So he absolutely coul'd beat GVA but had to wait much more.
But he made a mistake just like Kwiato did.
And I don't see it TOTALLY different.
 

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