53rd Amstel Gold Race - 260km

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Apr 2, 2018
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SKSemtex said:
Valv.Piti said:
SKSemtex said:
Valverde had to attack as he could win only if he get rid of Sagan. He was the strongest climber from that group. He tried but Sagan was to good for him. These up and down short climbs are Sagan territory.
Was Sagan to good for him?... It was Alaphilippe who closed, not Sagan. Sagan was impressive, but not super on the climbs
He was too good to be dropped by Valverde attack.
I had to rewatch but he was not too much time out of the saddle.
He was good in climbs he just killed himself chasing all the attacks on the flat.
Sagan had 0.000 problem to stick with Bala & Ala, he just controlled every hill…..almost without drop of sweat - he was 85% of time in saddle, he looked calm and easy…not wasting energy

....i noticed his technic of pedalling looks very light and smooth this year (almost Landa-smoothish), not so muscle-pushing as in the past - i noticed his improved style in PR - he was just flying over the cobbles.
Today too, he looked like fish in the stream in this race (especially if he is considered to be not suited to Amstel and not to mention that his whole skeleton must still be rattling after the PR).

I guess he did 70% of work in the finale. Valverde (to be fair) did also lot of work, he took his turns in rotation - but I believe, Valverde was not closing the gaps....on the other hand Sagan was on the wind a lot and was also closing gaps - i believe that he was not on his limits and he could go with Kreuziger and Valgren but IMO he had feeling that "enough is enough, I am not closing everything" - he seems to be consistent in this attitude this season - probably better word is "stubborn" :) I think that today he demonstrate his approach: I have not problem to do 70% - 60% of dirty work, but f*** you must do your 30% part....if you refuse even that bit f*** you you lose.....my exteammates wins :) ....i think it is some sort of intuitive/irrational sense of justice that simply does not let him anymore
 
Blanco said:
Dekker_Tifosi said:
Just watched the race and will never understand Valverde or Alaphilippe. By watching Sagan, they do realise they lose themselves as well?

Everyone is really always looking at Sagan to fix things in the finale.. wow

And Wellens, well, clearly field in Amstel / field in Br Pijl. He wasn't strong enough on the hills today.
But you do understand Sagan? :confused: He was the one to let the wheel of Kreuziger, obviously wanting to force others (mainly Valverde) to spend some energy. It was a bluff from Sagan, Bala and Ala didn't fall for it, and they all collectively lost :(
This one is on Sagan. He was the one that should have reacted and didn't. He wanted to force Valverde and Alaphilippe to do all the work. Valverde (esp) has been around a long time and played that game way too long. He's also known for refusing to do that and loosing races because of it.
 
Kwibus said:
Dekker_Tifosi said:
Just watched the race and will never understand Valverde or Alaphilippe. By watching Sagan, they do realise they lose themselves as well?

Everyone is really always looking at Sagan to fix things in the finale.. wow

And Wellens, well, clearly field in Amstel / field in Br Pijl. He wasn't strong enough on the hills today.
Well they were right since Sagan won the sprint.
Yeah, and if Sagan sits on, you'll lose the sprint vs him 100%, so better lose the sprint for first than the sprint for 4th.

The fact that Sagan is screwing himself over is no excuse to do the same thing to yourself.
 
Apr 2, 2018
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Koronin said:
Blanco said:
Dekker_Tifosi said:
Just watched the race and will never understand Valverde or Alaphilippe. By watching Sagan, they do realise they lose themselves as well?

Everyone is really always looking at Sagan to fix things in the finale.. wow

And Wellens, well, clearly field in Amstel / field in Br Pijl. He wasn't strong enough on the hills today.
But you do understand Sagan? :confused: He was the one to let the wheel of Kreuziger, obviously wanting to force others (mainly Valverde) to spend some energy. It was a bluff from Sagan, Bala and Ala didn't fall for it, and they all collectively lost :(
This one is on Sagan. He was the one that should have reacted and didn't. He wanted to force Valverde and Alaphilippe to do all the work. Valverde (esp) has been around a long time and played that game way too long. He's also known for refusing to do that and loosing races because of it.

What?!?! Are you serious? TO "do all work???" If we can say of somebody who of somewhat rotating group is doing "ALL" WORK it was Sagan....so of course he wanted force rest of group (there was not only Valverde and Ala) do SOME work!
 
Apr 2, 2018
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Red Rick said:
Kwibus said:
Dekker_Tifosi said:
Just watched the race and will never understand Valverde or Alaphilippe. By watching Sagan, they do realise they lose themselves as well?

Everyone is really always looking at Sagan to fix things in the finale.. wow

And Wellens, well, clearly field in Amstel / field in Br Pijl. He wasn't strong enough on the hills today.
Well they were right since Sagan won the sprint.
Yeah, and if Sagan sits on, you'll lose the sprint vs him 100%, so better lose the sprint for first than the sprint for 4th.

The fact that Sagan is screwing himself over is no excuse to do the same thing to yourself.
Can you, as Administrato,r explain me please, why you (somebody) delay my posts - there si written that my posts must be approved - and as a result my posts wait sometime HOURS!!!! - so that is no chance to be part of ongoing disscussion for me - when my post get green to go the topics of discussion is over - at least put my post at the last page so there is chance that somebody sees it and can react
 
Valverde knew his goose was pretty much cooked several kms out when Alaphilippe had bust a gut to get back on terms. Once he knew he wasn't going to win, he wasn't about to drag Sagan, in particular, to the line. He has bigger fish to fry later in the week. I thought he raced pretty smart .... Valgren was better today. I suspect he'll always find at least one better in AGR. Great to see Craddock hang in there from the break. A fine result for him.
 
Excellent setup by Astana. They had two strong riders in the final - Fuglsang trying his best by attacking while Valgren saved energy for his two attacks.
In the end Fuglsang shouted at Valgren in the radio - attack, attack.......finish this.....:)
 
Red Rick said:
Kwibus said:
Dekker_Tifosi said:
Just watched the race and will never understand Valverde or Alaphilippe. By watching Sagan, they do realise they lose themselves as well?

Everyone is really always looking at Sagan to fix things in the finale.. wow

And Wellens, well, clearly field in Amstel / field in Br Pijl. He wasn't strong enough on the hills today.
Well they were right since Sagan won the sprint.
Yeah, and if Sagan sits on, you'll lose the sprint vs him 100%, so better lose the sprint for first than the sprint for 4th.

The fact that Sagan is screwing himself over is no excuse to do the same thing to yourself.
But there is a third option. To sit and wait and hope someone else drags you across to contest the sprint for 1st. Which is what they did. Just because it didn't work on this occasion, doesn't mean it wasn't the best tactic for each individual rider (if not the collective).

It's easy to say they were screwing themselves over in hindsight, but that was still their best chance of winning. Anyone putting in a big effort to close the gap would have had no chance in the sprint. Which is precisely the reason why Valgren and then Kreuziger tried to get away at that point.
 
I thought it was pretty impressive for Sagan to even be there in the finale when the likes of Gilbert, Kwiatkowski weren't. I think it was more a case of being exhausted rather than intentionally watching Kreuziger and then Gasparotto ride away
 
It's easy to talk about that one move by itself, but the last 30k were full of those moves. And to that point, Sagan had played the field well. There were moves that he let go, looking at the others to do their share, and they eventually gave in. There were also moves (I think just one actually), that he powered up to cover by himself.

It just is reality that it is Sagan vs. the field for now. Always bet on the field in a 1-day event (but bet on Valverde in FW).
 
Re:

More Strides than Rides said:
It's easy to talk about that one move by itself, but the last 30k were full of those moves. And to that point, Sagan had played the field well. There were moves that he let go, looking at the others to do their share, and they eventually gave in. There were also moves (I think just one actually), that he powered up to cover by himself.

It just is reality that it is Sagan vs. the field for now. Always bet on the field in a 1-day event (but bet on Valverde in FW).

Sagan vs the field, yeah take the field you have a better shot at winning.

Valverde vs the field....which race are we talking about? Fleche Wallone and LBL bet on Valverde. Spanish stage races bet on Valverde. Amstel Valverde isn't the main favorite although has 3 podiums and several more top 5's. Whereas Fleche Wallone and LBL he is the overwhelming favorite.
 
If Sagan is indeed playing a long game, by repeatedly refusing to chase everything in the expectation that long term it will pay off by more people working for him, then he should be intentionally losing the sprint for fourth. If guys like Valverde and Alaphilippe beat him in a meaningless sprint it might encourage them to work with him in future in the hope of winning a meaningful sprint against him.
 
The Barb said:
If Sagan is indeed playing a long game, by repeatedly refusing to chase everything in the expectation that long term it will pay off by more people working for him, then he should be intentionally losing the sprint for fourth. If guys like Valverde and Alaphilippe beat him in a meaningless sprint it might encourage them to work with him in future in the hope of winning a meaningful sprint against him.
On the other hand if he did not play this game and will be the one who always chase and always lose he will not win a race anymore.
But you are right loosing the sprint here would have been very smart.
Him or BORA cares for WT points afteral
 
Re:

Eyeballs Out said:
I thought it was pretty impressive for Sagan to even be there in the finale when the likes of Gilbert, Kwiatkowski weren't. I think it was more a case of being exhausted rather than intentionally watching Kreuziger and then Gasparotto ride away
He was exhausted alright, but he could've follow Kreuziger, he was on his wheel, not a big effort was needed. It was just a bluff from him, he was at the limit, and wanted Valverde, Alaphilippe and others to do that one more effort before the sprint while he would be resting at the back of the group. But things went wrong because Valverde didn't won't to close it either, and others just looked at those two.
That's my 5 cents.
 
Re: Re:

Blanco said:
Eyeballs Out said:
I thought it was pretty impressive for Sagan to even be there in the finale when the likes of Gilbert, Kwiatkowski weren't. I think it was more a case of being exhausted rather than intentionally watching Kreuziger and then Gasparotto ride away
He was exhausted alright, but he could've follow Kreuziger, he was on his wheel, not a big effort was needed. It was just a bluff from him, he was at the limit, and wanted Valverde, Alaphilippe and others to do that one more effort before the sprint while he would be resting at the back of the group. But things went wrong because Valverde didn't won't to close it either, and others just looked at those two.
That's my 5 cents.

I agree with this. I think Sagan hasn't learned (at least in the case of Valverde) that Valverde has been there, done that, played those games and 99% refuses to do what you're trying to force him to do. He's always been willing to give up wins and even podiums if other riders in the group he's in start playing these games. He's even stated as such in the past.
 
May 26, 2012
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Re: Re:

Koronin said:
More Strides than Rides said:
It's easy to talk about that one move by itself, but the last 30k were full of those moves. And to that point, Sagan had played the field well. There were moves that he let go, looking at the others to do their share, and they eventually gave in. There were also moves (I think just one actually), that he powered up to cover by himself.

It just is reality that it is Sagan vs. the field for now. Always bet on the field in a 1-day event (but bet on Valverde in FW).

Sagan vs the field, yeah take the field you have a better shot at winning.

Valverde vs the field....which race are we talking about? Fleche Wallone and LBL bet on Valverde. Spanish stage races bet on Valverde. Amstel Valverde isn't the main favorite although has 3 podiums and several more top 5's. Whereas Fleche Wallone and LBL he is the overwhelming favorite.
Well, to be honest Valverde was arguably the strongest today...but the strongest doesn't always win, especialy when there is someone who don't take any turns and then attacks 1 km to go :)
 
Sagan rode a good race imo. As the world champion and the fastest sprinter, you're naturally going to have to work more than the majority of that group. He looked in control, quickly responding to attacks a few times so he didn't have to close a significant gap in the wind.

Though once they got over Bemelerberg with still a rather large group, including two Astana's, his chances just decreased dramatically.
 
Re: Re:

Sartorius said:
Koronin said:
More Strides than Rides said:
It's easy to talk about that one move by itself, but the last 30k were full of those moves. And to that point, Sagan had played the field well. There were moves that he let go, looking at the others to do their share, and they eventually gave in. There were also moves (I think just one actually), that he powered up to cover by himself.

It just is reality that it is Sagan vs. the field for now. Always bet on the field in a 1-day event (but bet on Valverde in FW).

Sagan vs the field, yeah take the field you have a better shot at winning.

Valverde vs the field....which race are we talking about? Fleche Wallone and LBL bet on Valverde. Spanish stage races bet on Valverde. Amstel Valverde isn't the main favorite although has 3 podiums and several more top 5's. Whereas Fleche Wallone and LBL he is the overwhelming favorite.
Well, to be honest Valverde was arguably the strongest today...but the strongest doesn't always win, especialy when there is someone who don't take any turns and then attacks 1 km to go :)

He very well may have been the strongest, however he'll tell you that the strongest rider doesn't always win.
 
Re: Re:

Koronin said:
Blanco said:
Eyeballs Out said:
I thought it was pretty impressive for Sagan to even be there in the finale when the likes of Gilbert, Kwiatkowski weren't. I think it was more a case of being exhausted rather than intentionally watching Kreuziger and then Gasparotto ride away
He was exhausted alright, but he could've follow Kreuziger, he was on his wheel, not a big effort was needed. It was just a bluff from him, he was at the limit, and wanted Valverde, Alaphilippe and others to do that one more effort before the sprint while he would be resting at the back of the group. But things went wrong because Valverde didn't won't to close it either, and others just looked at those two.
That's my 5 cents.

I agree with this. I think Sagan hasn't learned (at least in the case of Valverde) that Valverde has been there, done that, played those games and 99% refuses to do what you're trying to force him to do. He's always been willing to give up wins and even podiums if other riders in the group he's in start playing these games. He's even stated as such in the past.
Which is exactly the one, single thing I don't like about him. I hate it when he does that. Especially when it's against lesser riders. Against Sagan it's understandable (even if it makes me even more frustrated, but there you go. Bala probably doesn't think about what other riders my sympathies lie with) but the other times such as Lombardia 2014 and World 2013 it's just the worst. It has been a while since the last time before today, though.
 
Re: Re:

Blanco said:
Eyeballs Out said:
I thought it was pretty impressive for Sagan to even be there in the finale when the likes of Gilbert, Kwiatkowski weren't. I think it was more a case of being exhausted rather than intentionally watching Kreuziger and then Gasparotto ride away
He was exhausted alright, but he could've follow Kreuziger, he was on his wheel, not a big effort was needed. It was just a bluff from him, he was at the limit, and wanted Valverde, Alaphilippe and others to do that one more effort before the sprint while he would be resting at the back of the group. But things went wrong because Valverde didn't won't to close it either, and others just looked at those two.
That's my 5 cents.
That might make some sort of sense if it was Kreuziger who launched first. But with the dangerous Valgren having already attacked and Kreuziger being the only one to take the bait there is nothing to gained by not following him (if you can). Still if there was any doubt whether they were all cooked then there was still an outside chance for anyone with the legs to win if they can go with, and work with, Gasparotto. But legs said no
 
Hooray for Valgren. :)
And well done Jakob. Beware of him next Sunday!

Can't help but smile at all the Monday morning quarterbacking in here. Should've, could've, would've ... as if it's a matter of choice after 240k's of hard racing. Imo, it looked like Valgren was simply the strongest, while also enjoying the benefit of a teammate in the group. Wasn't like Sagan or Piti didn't try to close down his last move, but they simply couldn't. Only thing worth criticizing in that finale, from my perspective (and as others have pointed out as well), was Kreuziger willing to take another turn at the very end. Surprised me somewhat. Not sure if it'd made a difference though.
 
Re:

Carstenbf said:
Only thing worth criticizing in that finale, from my perspective (and as others have pointed out as well), was Kreuziger willing to take another turn at the very end. Surprised me somewhat. Not sure if it'd made a difference though.
It may have not made a difference as far as winner goes, but it sure saved Kreuz' 2nd spot. If he didn't go through, Gasparotto would have joined 'em and surely beaten Roma for the line.

Valgren probably would've had the edge in the sprint anyway - Gasparotto had had to take a LONG 100% effort to reach upto them.

Btw, IMO Gasparotto was the main instigator of the race. He would've deserved his 3rd AGR, but most deserving team won over most deserving riders...
 
Re: Re:

seldon71 said:
Carstenbf said:
Only thing worth criticizing in that finale, from my perspective (and as others have pointed out as well), was Kreuziger willing to take another turn at the very end. Surprised me somewhat. Not sure if it'd made a difference though.
It may have not made a difference as far as winner goes, but it sure saved Kreuz' 2nd spot. If he didn't go through, Gasparotto would have joined 'em and surely beaten Roma for the line.
I guess. But don't you think Valgren would've just led them home, giving him at least marginally better odds for the win. After all, for a rider of Roman's stature 2nd or 3rd should be irrelevant in that context. But sure, I see your point if he was 100% he was beat either way.
 
Completely agree with my compatriot, but I've already said as much. Valgren moved to the front when he saw Gasparotto get closer, so he would have kept him away. Stone cold and smart to still then put some pressure on Kreuziger to take over.
 
Re: Re:

tobydawq said:
Koronin said:
Blanco said:
Eyeballs Out said:
I thought it was pretty impressive for Sagan to even be there in the finale when the likes of Gilbert, Kwiatkowski weren't. I think it was more a case of being exhausted rather than intentionally watching Kreuziger and then Gasparotto ride away
He was exhausted alright, but he could've follow Kreuziger, he was on his wheel, not a big effort was needed. It was just a bluff from him, he was at the limit, and wanted Valverde, Alaphilippe and others to do that one more effort before the sprint while he would be resting at the back of the group. But things went wrong because Valverde didn't won't to close it either, and others just looked at those two.
That's my 5 cents.

I agree with this. I think Sagan hasn't learned (at least in the case of Valverde) that Valverde has been there, done that, played those games and 99% refuses to do what you're trying to force him to do. He's always been willing to give up wins and even podiums if other riders in the group he's in start playing these games. He's even stated as such in the past.
Which is exactly the one, single thing I don't like about him. I hate it when he does that. Especially when it's against lesser riders. Against Sagan it's understandable (even if it makes me even more frustrated, but there you go. Bala probably doesn't think about what other riders my sympathies lie with) but the other times such as Lombardia 2014 and World 2013 it's just the worst. It has been a while since the last time before today, though.

I agree with you. It's the one thing that is very annoying at best, but as his fans we've had to come to terms with it. His team has had to come to terms with it as well. True it has been awhile since he's pulled this. Classica San Sebastian 2015 is another good example of that. (Of course that also included an argument between him and Purito if I remember right). One of the Yates twins won that one and he managed to sprint to 3rd behind Gilbert in from the group. The thing is Sagan should know this by now.
 
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