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52nd Amstel Gold Race - April 16 - 261km

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Nov 29, 2010
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I'm actually quite looking forward to Amstel, especially over Fleche and Liege. It seems very open and you could probably name 5x the number of potential winners compared to the other two races. I think the route change is positive and we should get decent action further than 2km out.

Hyped for a Gilbert attack on the Gilberg aswell.
 
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Brullnux said:
yaco said:
Brullnux said:
Netserk said:
Brullnux said:
Matthews has apparently taken note of the criticism and says he wants to be as aggressive as GvA. Blames Orica for holding him back. Unfair attack on his previous employer or accurate?
Well, he could have let his legs do the talking three days ago. So far, it's just talk, no walk.
That was my first thought too, but he seems to claim that it's a mindset he has gotten into because of Orica's previous instructions. He says that he has 'learnt' to stay in the wheels, but I didn't realise that was something that could be learnt, I thought it was just something you did.

He tried to go with Vakoc and Wellens on the last climb but didn't have the legs - Posted before the race Matthews he would struggle because he found the same finish too difficult in 2016 - AG parcours suits him much better so we'll see how he rides his race.

Vakoc and Wellens attacked and Wellens attacked before the last climb. I don't really think this finish is too hard for Matthews. He's finished 2nd twice.

All I can do is tell you what happened in that race for the last two years - Matthews got close to the wheel of Wellens and Vakoc on the final climb, but didn't have the legs - Couldn't go with Vakoc in 2016 and finished 20 seconds behind - From memory the finish was different in 2014 and 2015.
 
Matthews comments were interesting. I'd like to see him getting wind in his face, but I highly doubt it. One thing is responding to the attacks from GVA and Gilbert, but is he going to cooperate? Is he going to take a pull if they get clear?

Not even sure that some of the GC riders will attack from far out. The only exception being Wellens.
 
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Flamin said:
Brullnux said:
Flamin said:
Brullnux said:
Matthews has apparently taken note of the criticism and says he wants to be as aggressive as GvA. Blames Orica for holding him back. Unfair attack on his previous employer or accurate?

Accurate. It has been very obvious for years that Orica's main approach is riding for a sprint, no?

That he "blames" Orica is just a personal interpretation of his words, unless you have a video where we can see his non-verbal communication. But based on the cyclingnews interview, I don't see anything wrong or unfair at all. He's not even criticizing the passive tactics, only saying it's what they were told to do and that he prefers it different.
I agree that it was to a some extent Orica's tactics, but he has to take some responsibility. On Wednesday he was abysmal. And I really don't think it's a case of 'learning' to be aggressive - that's really the first time I've ever heard that. He makes it sound as if he has few racing instincts.

"I would like to be as offensive as him. The problem is that I learned at my previous team, Orica, to sit and wait for the sprint". To me this sounds like he is addressing the criticism and saying that it was Orica, not his own choice. That's blaming them, in other words.

Did he directly point to Orica for his poor performance Wednesday? If yes, then I agree it's kinda sad and he should take more responsability for it.

But to me it looks like he's just talking in general about his time with Orica. So no, he's not blaming or criticizing them in my book since he doesn't say it was a bad tactic or anything.
I am not saying that he is directly blaming Orica for Wednesday, but he is indirectly implying that it was them that taught him not to put his face in the wind. Which is true I guess, but initiative goes a long way sometimes.

He is sort of passing responsibility for his past conservativeness, though.
 
Re:

WheelofGear said:
Matthews comments were interesting. I'd like to see him getting wind in his face, but I highly doubt it. One thing is responding to the attacks from GVA and Gilbert, but is he going to cooperate? Is he going to take a pull if they get clear?
Not sure why he wouldn't as we've seen him do it in the past. In fact, he was the only one to respond to Gilbert's attack in 2015 and despite basically turning himself inside out to stay with Phil, he didn't hesitate to pull though. Ironically, that effort is probably what cost him the win.
 
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Brullnux said:
I am not saying that he is directly blaming Orica for Wednesday, but he is indirectly implying that it was them that taught him not to put his face in the wind. Which is true I guess, but initiative goes a long way sometimes.

He is sort of passing responsibility for his past conservativeness, though.

It is easy just to interpret Matthews' words as just that - words, because so far he hasn't demonstrated by actions that he actually wants to ride differently. But I would think that there is some truth to it. Because otherwise, why would he be saying this? A quick glance on the spring so far shows that waiting will get you absolutely nowhere with regards to fighting for victories, and last year I even heard him wonder why he didn't just attack on the Cauberg after having been disappointed by the ease of the race and while feeling great. Instead, he sat tight and waited for the bunch sprint while Gasparotto and Valgren went up the road never to be caught again.

This could very well be because he indeed has learned to ride defensively and because the team tactics probably dictated him to wait. I would also think that it is quite scary for a good sprinter to gamble everything on an attack that can spoil every chance he may have in a sprint - especially when that rider hasn't had any successful offensive exploits previously in big races.

Of course, it could just be that he is saying the words he thinks the public wants to hear, but if he then just continues to ride defensively he would look pretty stupid.

It's quite interesting to see how he will approach the race tomorrow - and indeed, how everybody will approach it.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Re: Re:

Mr.White said:
El Pistolero said:
RedheadDane said:
El Pistolero said:
Complete and utter nonsense. People can like or dislike them (or any other races) for a variety of reasons

Keep telling yourself that. What makes Scheldeprijs a boring race is exactly the same as what makes FW a boring race. :)

Because they're both on a Wednesday?

Because they both have no action until the final km. They're also both sprints, one just happens to be uphill.

Well Milan-San Remo also has no action until the final km's, and usually is a sprint. So? Paris-Tours too... Not every race is the same, nor should be. I for example don't like that so many races in Flanders tackles the same terrain, over and over again. One Ronde is enough. Gent-Wevelgem ok too. Omloop, opener of the season, kind of ok. But E3 and Dwars door Vlaanderen, and on top of that being a WT! Fleche is a race for puncheurs and uphill sprinters, yes. What's the problem with that? How many races are like Fleche? How many races tackles the same terrain? None! It's perfectly fitting that this kind of race has it's own place on the cycling calendar, and perfecty fitting to have a valuable place. Don't like it, fine. Don't watch it then!

Paris-Tours is rarely a sprint and Milan-San Remo at least has different scenarios possible...

In 2011 a small group sprinted for victory, in 2012 a group of 3 broke away on the Poggio (including Nibali for crying out loud), 2013 was that weird edition with the terrible weather and this year we again saw a group of 3 riders breaking away on the Poggio.

There are a *** ton of races like Fleche, just about every stage in the Vuelta seems to follow that formula. It has also been included in the Tour a few times (where Valverde got crushed every single time by the way).

And really terrible argument. A boring race is boring even if it's "unique". For most of its history FW wasn't an uphill sprint. So why are you people against change? Because your favorite rider wouldn't win anymore? I guess that's the reason.

You don't hear me complaining about the fact that they changed the finale of the AGR. It needed a change as it was a boring uphill sprint as well, not unlike FW.
 
Mar 13, 2015
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This is a race where we have the pleasure to watch four best riders of the year so far: Gilbert, Valverde, Van Avermaet and Kwiatkowski. I would really like to see them in a major move, or even sprinting against each other for the win. I'm really curious who would win that sprint
 
I think guys like Matthews and Colbrelli should ride in offensive style, they don't have such a strong teams to control the race, so it should be really interesting.

Do not underestimate Coquard, in De Brabantse Pijl he had shown that he could be a threat tomorrow.
 
Mar 13, 2015
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El Pistolero said:
My favorite rider wouldn't win anymore?! Did you watch cycling past two months? If not, I could recommend you couple of races.. :p
I said races, not stages.
I mentioned MSR cause it is a boring race, until the very final, just like Fleche Wallonne. Yet that couple of minutes at the end compensate for all "boredom" before. Fleche Wallonne is simply a big classic, like it or not, that's a fact! Race has a deep history, has it's value (WT race), and has it's prestige. Field is very strong, every decent puncheur wants to win it. I don't see many races that has this qualities.
 
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tobydawq said:
Brullnux said:
I am not saying that he is directly blaming Orica for Wednesday, but he is indirectly implying that it was them that taught him not to put his face in the wind. Which is true I guess, but initiative goes a long way sometimes.

He is sort of passing responsibility for his past conservativeness, though.

It is easy just to interpret Matthews' words as just that - words, because so far he hasn't demonstrated by actions that he actually wants to ride differently. But I would think that there is some truth to it. Because otherwise, why would he be saying this? A quick glance on the spring so far shows that waiting will get you absolutely nowhere with regards to fighting for victories, and last year I even heard him wonder why he didn't just attack on the Cauberg after having been disappointed by the ease of the race and while feeling great. Instead, he sat tight and waited for the bunch sprint while Gasparotto and Valgren went up the road never to be caught again.

This could very well be because he indeed has learned to ride defensively and because the team tactics probably dictated him to wait. I would also think that it is quite scary for a good sprinter to gamble everything on an attack that can spoil every chance he may have in a sprint - especially when that rider hasn't had any successful offensive exploits previously in big races.

Of course, it could just be that he is saying the words he thinks the public wants to hear, but if he then just continues to ride defensively he would look pretty stupid.

It's quite interesting to see how he will approach the race tomorrow - and indeed, how everybody will approach it.
I agree completely
 
Matthews is definitely capable of riding in a more attacking fashion although at present his best chance lies in riding conservatively. He's only 26 and many classics riders (Gilbert, GVA etc) dont find themselves until their late 20s. I could easily see him winning Leige one day. But for now I think he wins Amstel from a reduced group. His recent time trial made me think his form is extremely strong and improving.
 
I only hope the riders make this race worth watching, because is becoming a mini MSR.. :p

anyways - I wouldn't count out GVA one bit. then we have Gilbert, Don Alejandro, Kwiat, Gaspa as the main favorites. Outsiders to me are Fellini, Colbrelli & M Mattheus.

But you never know with this race..... I looking forward to get surprised :)
 
stradebianchemen2015.jpg


More of this, please. No more large peloton vs. anonymous rabbit break.
 
Jul 20, 2015
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12 man breakaway: Lars Boom (LottoNL-Jumbo), Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R-La Mondiale), Mads Wurtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin), Tim Ariesen (Roompot), Nikita Stalnov (Astana), Michal Paluta (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Brendan Canty (Cannondale-Drapac), Johann Van Zyl (Dimension Data), Kenneth Van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Pieter Van Speybrouck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Vincenzo Albanese (Bardiani-CSF), Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie).
 
Re:

Mr.White said:
This is a race where we have the pleasure to watch four best riders of the year so far: Gilbert, Valverde, Van Avermaet and Kwiatkowski. I would really like to see them in a major move, or even sprinting against each other for the win. I'm really curious who would win that sprint

Good point, though it will be interesting to see how everyone's form holds/doesn't hold. If those four arrived together in the finale, I'd have my money on GVA - from a small group he's just about unbeatable. Then Kwiatkowski.
 
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DNP-Old said:
Flamin said:
Was just thinking about what Valverde will do. You'd almost forget him here. Will he finally animate a big (1-day) race? ;) no excuses not to.
He's never been THAT good in AGR, has he? Spaniards really aren't big fans of all them twists and turns.

I just saw the finale from 2015 yesterday. The way he so easily got up to Gilbert and Matthews at the top of the Cauberg has always made me wonder what would happen, if he had positioned himself decently at the bottom. The same goes for the 2012 WCRR.