52nd Amstel Gold Race - April 16 - 261km

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WheelofGear said:
Amstel Gold Race is almost tailor-made for McCarthy.. but there is something about that boy. Not sure he is a "winner".
He's 24, not everyone has the immediate ability of a Sagan. I was racing against him when he was 17/18 before Europe and can tell you that if McCarthy wants a win, he'll take it. Nice kid but not scared to race hard.
 
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WheelofGear said:
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.
Do you think a 4-man train would be enough to cover attacks in the last 20k?
Last year, Orica has 6 guys in the last 30k (Bling, Gerrans, Impey, Hayman, Juul-Jensen and Albasini). BMC also has around 6 but we are sure that they will have guys in the late attacks.
 
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Zinoviev Letter said:
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.
I think Valverde is almost a sure thing at the moment in his current form. He's a bit too good for riders like Albasini and Martin, too much of a kick at the finish. It's a race Albasini could have won in the past but he sometimes hit the front too early.
 
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movingtarget said:
tobydawq said:
I look forward to the day Gerrans attacks again (actually he has won GT stages from breakaways). The shock, disbelief and confusion might cause large pieces of the internet to implode.
He likes to attack when it counts..........in the last 200 metres.
The Gerrans who once launched ridiculous, long range attacks in the Ardennes and dropped Froome like an anvil at the 2009 Giro is long dead. That Simon Gerrans is never coming back.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Honestly, besides Movistar, not a single team should want an uphill sprint on Mur de Huy. But as this is only a prep race no one's going to bother doing something about it. Does anyone care about FW? I don't think so, besides Valverde. Otherwise they'd try to win it.
 
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El Pistolero said:
Honestly, besides Movistar, not a single team should want an uphill sprint on Mur de Huy. But as this is only a prep race no one's going to bother doing something about it. Does anyone care about FW? I don't think so, besides Valverde. Otherwise they'd try to win it.
It's probably one of the most predictable races of the season and has been for a long time. They should just have a hill climb and be done with the rest !
 
Oct 23, 2011
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FW would already be so much better if they just moved put a 20km circuit after the Mur de Huy with maybe one or two easier climbs. We'd still get all the puncheurs going bananas on the Mur, but after that we'd actually have a proper race.

This is by the way exactly the change they made in Amstel by the way, thankfully :p.
 
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Maaaaaaaarten said:
FW would already be so much better if they just moved put a 20km circuit after the Mur de Huy with maybe one or two easier climbs. We'd still get all the puncheurs going bananas on the Mur, but after that we'd actually have a proper race.

This is by the way exactly the change they made in Amstel by the way, thankfully :p.
Mur de Huy is way harder than the Cauberg though.
 
Oct 10, 2015
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tobydawq said:
I look forward to the day Gerrans attacks again (actually he has won GT stages from breakaways). The shock, disbelief and confusion might cause large pieces of the internet to implode.
This needs to happen!!! The entertainment value of watching members of this forum brains explode would be better than any of the classics that we've seen this season :D
 
Oct 10, 2015
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El Pistolero said:
Honestly, besides Movistar, not a single team should want an uphill sprint on Mur de Huy. But as this is only a prep race no one's going to bother doing something about it. Does anyone care about FW? I don't think so, besides Valverde. Otherwise they'd try to win it.
Rubbish! Other teams and riders care about the race but the way the course is set up makes it difficult for it to be raced in any other way
 
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Maaaaaaaarten said:
FW would already be so much better if they just moved put a 20km circuit after the Mur de Huy with maybe one or two easier climbs. We'd still get all the puncheurs going bananas on the Mur, but after that we'd actually have a proper race.

This is by the way exactly the change they made in Amstel by the way, thankfully :p.
That would make it another Liège. I'd prefer that different races bore me in different ways.
 
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Maaaaaaaarten said:
FW would already be so much better if they just moved put a 20km circuit after the Mur de Huy with maybe one or two easier climbs. We'd still get all the puncheurs going bananas on the Mur, but after that we'd actually have a proper race.

This is by the way exactly the change they made in Amstel by the way, thankfully :p.
This would be a disaster. A large part of Fleche's significance is down to its simplicity. It's the pros version of a world hill climbing championship. It's the one race that always should finish this way.
 
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Zinoviev Letter said:
Maaaaaaaarten said:
FW would already be so much better if they just moved put a 20km circuit after the Mur de Huy with maybe one or two easier climbs. We'd still get all the puncheurs going bananas on the Mur, but after that we'd actually have a proper race.

This is by the way exactly the change they made in Amstel by the way, thankfully :p.
This would be a disaster. A large part of Fleche's significance is down to its simplicity. It's the pros version of a world hill climbing championship. It's the one race that always should finish this way.
It's not like Huy has always been there. The race survived fine for 50 years without it.
 
May 13, 2015
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Matthews is still the favorite if the favorites decides not to race it.

Felline/Valverde/GVA/Kwai/Wellens/Gilvert all have to attack.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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StryderHells said:
El Pistolero said:
Honestly, besides Movistar, not a single team should want an uphill sprint on Mur de Huy. But as this is only a prep race no one's going to bother doing something about it. Does anyone care about FW? I don't think so, besides Valverde. Otherwise they'd try to win it.
Rubbish! Other teams and riders care about the race but the way the course is set up makes it difficult for it to be raced in any other way
It's only since 2002 or something that every race ended in an uphill sprint.

The amount of people that rate this race high and think it should stay the same way just because they're Valverde fans is astonishing.

FW survived most of its history without being the "unofficial uphill sprint WC", so that argument is terrible. Why would you want a race to remain boring?

Omloop het Nieuwsblad - last section of pavé at 20 km from the finish.
E3 Harelbeke - last hill at 20 km from the finish
Gent-Wevelgem - last hill at 34 km from the finish
Ronde van Vlaanderen - last hill at 13 km from the finish
Paris-Roubaix - last section of pavé at 15 km from the finish

^ This is the main reason why the cobbled classics are much more exciting than the hilly classics...
 
May 13, 2015
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The action in Brabantse Pijl is often better than in a bigger race like Amstel.

Still not seeing how a break can survive when you a 8-man teams chasing. Cauberg is overrated as a ramp for attacks. It's just not hard enough.
 
No, the main reason the cobbled classics are more exciting is because the skill gap between competitors is way higher. Thus it's easier to create gaps, thus its easier to create interesting situations far from the line.

Unfortunately the skill gap in hilly classics is marginal. So it's almost impossible to create big gaps and interesting situations from afar. Amstel Gold will prove that, even with the new finale, it won't do ***, not even if they attack from 90km out. It will still all come back and end in a sprint.

Cobble riding is just a much more specific and skill based thing then riding up an asphalted hill.

And Br Pijl is more interesting because it's a CT race not WT, so the skill gap is again there between WT/Ct, thus easier to create gaps, thus easier to create interesting situations again
 
Matthew White DS from Orica expects AG to finish in a bunch sprint of 50 to 70 riders - He may be bluffing because Orica has no chance from a large bunch sprint - This is the race that suits Matthews best - let's see if he can get it done.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
No, the main reason the cobbled classics are more exciting is because the skill gap between competitors is way higher. Thus it's easier to create gaps, thus its easier to create interesting situations far from the line.

Unfortunately the skill gap in hilly classics is marginal. So it's almost impossible to create big gaps and interesting situations from afar. Amstel Gold will prove that, even with the new finale, it won't do ****, not even if they attack from 90km out. It will still all come back and end in a sprint.

Cobble riding is just a much more specific and skill based thing then riding up an asphalted hill.

And Br Pijl is more interesting because it's a CT race not WT, so the skill gap is again there between WT/Ct, thus easier to create gaps, thus easier to create interesting situations again
Lol, is that why the differences were often huge in FW before 2004.

It's very much possible to create big gaps and interesting situations from afar if you have the guts to attack. Just look at the Giro di Lombardia 2015 or the Olympic Road Race.

Gilbert's shape was crappy in 2012 and he still finished third in FW because the race is raced so negatively that even a shitty Gilbert can podium it.
 
The differences were huge in FW because nobody cared and the skill gap due to dope was bigger.

Fact is an asphalted hill of 1 to 5km is much easier then a cobbled hill or cobbled flat stroke where you need a specific skill set rather than pure power. So competitors stay together easier. It's much easier to ride wheel to wheel on an asphalted hill as well, so the factor of drag is reduced as well.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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Zinoviev Letter said:
This would be a disaster. A large part of Fleche's significance is down to its simplicity. It's the pros version of a world hill climbing championship. It's the one race that always should finish this way.
Well throughout most of its existence it didn't finish on the Mur de Huy and even when they moved the finish to Huy, they didn't start waiting for the last climb until much later.

Besides, who cares about a bloody hill climb anyway. Cycling is an endurance sport. I can't take a 2km race seriously in an endurance sport. It might be a fun gimmick, but not a serious prestigious classic. If you want to have a hill climb, fine, but don't mutilate a prestigious classic for it.

But maybe we ought to stop discussing FW in the AGR thread. :p
 

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