75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: February 29, 2020

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Fun-fact: Stuyven is the 3rd rider ever to win the Omloop on the 29th of February.

29.02.1964 Frans Melckenbeeck
29.02.1992 Johan Capiot
29.02.2020 Jasper Stuyven

Next chance presumably : 29.02.2048

(Additional fun-fact: Kuurne was never ridden on a February 29th)
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Well bye Trentin. GVA still CCC's best card for the big classics. But no surprise there, of course.

Wondering if Kragh can do something against the Belgian duo. Stuyven fastest in a sprint, on paper.
It's years that I say that Trentin isn't suited for the cobbles, yeah he could do well in some cases because he's a very good rider but he never impressed (in Roubaix he has never been in the top 30...) and his strengths are more towards hilly races/medium mountain breakaways.
 
It's years that I say that Trentin isn't suited for the cobbles, yeah he could do well in some cases because he's a very good rider but he never impressed (in Roubaix he has never been in the top 30...) and his strengths are more towards hilly races/medium mountain breakaways.
Well, I'd say he'll be more than a decent helper to GVA, then.
I can't think of a contender who'd refuse Van Hooydonck's and Trentin's company in the Flanders' laps.
 
Infact. He should have probably skipped turns and saved energy. If he wanted to win.

I hate that it always has to be strongest rider that has to win on here. Or the one doing all the work. Or the one attacking. Sometimes that is not wise at all to do as a rider.

Sometimes you gotta be smart. It is a tactical sport. Using your opponents/team. Waiting for the right moment to attack. Or play to your strengths. If you have a good sprint for example or if you don’t, having to do something else.

Just a tangent on the things discussed above.
I agree. Sometimes cycling fans seems to have a very narrowminded view about who "deserves" to win or not. The moment someone is not taking their turns he/she is automatically no longer deserving of the win, whatever their rational reasons for skipping turns are. In general, why is tactical racecraft so undervalued compared to rider strength? Who has decided on a hierarchy so skewed towards rider strength that racing with your head is now almost a bad thing?

The talk about Søren Kragh not deserving to win because he skipped a few turns illustrates this macho-old school viewpoint perfectly. Kragh actually did a good share of the work up until a point where it was no longer rational for him to do as much work (maybe he even did too much work still). In my book, this should not warrant disrespect. If Kragh had won the race yesterday, we would be able to say that the smartest rider won. Why is this so much worse than "the strongest rider won"? The good answer to this question probably does not exist.
 
I agree. Sometimes cycling fans seems to have a very narrowminded view about who "deserves" to win or not. The moment someone is not taking their turns he/she is automatically no longer deserving of the win, whatever their rational reasons for skipping turns are. In general, why is tactical racecraft so undervalued compared to rider strength? Who has decided on a hierarchy so skewed towards rider strength that racing with your head is now almost a bad thing?

The talk about Søren Kragh not deserving to win because he skipped a few turns illustrates this macho-old school viewpoint perfectly. Kragh actually did a good share of the work up until a point where it was no longer rational for him to do as much work (maybe he even did too much work still). In my book, this should not warrant disrespect. If Kragh had won the race yesterday, we would be able to say that the smartest rider won. Why is this so much worse than "the strongest rider won"? The good answer to this question probably does not exist.
You nailed it with this post.
 
It's a bit like people complaining about DQ winning because they have the strength of numbers. Though, in this case it wasn't quite enough, and meanwhile - over in Ardèche - they just had the strength of Cavagna, which appears to be a category all on its own.
 
I agree. Sometimes cycling fans seems to have a very narrowminded view about who "deserves" to win or not. The moment someone is not taking their turns he/she is automatically no longer deserving of the win, whatever their rational reasons for skipping turns are. In general, why is tactical racecraft so undervalued compared to rider strength? Who has decided on a hierarchy so skewed towards rider strength that racing with your head is now almost a bad thing?

The talk about Søren Kragh not deserving to win because he skipped a few turns illustrates this macho-old school viewpoint perfectly. Kragh actually did a good share of the work up until a point where it was no longer rational for him to do as much work (maybe he even did too much work still). In my book, this should not warrant disrespect. If Kragh had won the race yesterday, we would be able to say that the smartest rider won. Why is this so much worse than "the strongest rider won"? The good answer to this question probably does not exist.
I was thinking about writing something very similar.

A rather extreme example of this came in Paris-Nice two years ago where Jerome Cousin and Nils Politt went to the line in a two-man break. Cousin refused to cooperate at all and went on to win the sprint. That didn't look good but it was his only chance to win, and usually people are always crying when GC riders are riding to defend secondary placings and not going for the win.

I don't follow why this principle should not apply to one-day races and stages but it doesn't.
 
Very touching. But i never said i didn't care about being smart, or riding tactically. No idea where you get that from. Smart riding could be conserving energy throughout the race, in order to be most fresh rider in the final. This could be achieved in a number of ways, like smart positioning before cobbled sections or hills, so you don't have to come back each time a split occurs. Or if you are caught behind a split, not closing the gap immediately yourself, but luring others to help with the work. Chosing your breakaway companions, not going with riders that are likely not going to be allowed to break away. The smartest rider is often the one you didn't notice but never caught with his pants down.

If not doing your turns or your share of the work in the final is your idea of smart riding, then you are setting the bar alarmingly low. It's not exactly rocket science. It's also in many cases the reason why your rivals will start to ride against you. You being the one guy they will not allow to break away. In many cases, if not most, it's the opposite of "smart". Especially in a group of 3 guys, where none is without a shot in the final. Stuyven may be the fastest in a peloton sprint, but he's disappointed time and again when finishing in a small group. There's a reason why he never wins anything. And SKA isn't slow in normal circumstances and would definitely have a chance in a 3 way sprint.

If he squandered most of his energy before the final in a 200km race, i'd even argue that he was the dumbest rider, not the smartest.
 
Its 2020, its a professional sport - you do what you need to do to win; and do what your opponents would least like you to do. The results record who won; it doesn't say who was the cleverest, the strongest, who deserved it, etc
 
Then Declercq is the moral winner of Omloop because he worked the most. :cool:

Why not letting a jury of experts chose the true champion? It's not about who crossed the line first. :rolleyes:
Yes, it is about who crosses the line first. No idea what or who gave you the idea that it wasn't. But i think we're all allowed to cheer for whomever we chose for whatever reason we chose so.

... and do what your opponents would least like you to do...
If by that, you mean "winning" (which is the thing your opponents would least like you to do), then yes. But see how far you get if you are working on the nerves of your companions in a long break.
 
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Kragh skipped a few turns after the Muur, which is 100% valid since he was dropped on the Muur and the Bosberg was still coming up. After he survived that one, I saw him doing his share of the work. If he started sandbagging right away, I'm sure Trentin would have bridged again.

Him getting dropped near the end, showed he just didn't have more in the tank.
 
Reactions: Phoi
Well, I'd say he'll be more than a decent helper to GVA, then.
I can't think of a contender who'd refuse Van Hooydonck's and Trentin's company in the Flanders' laps.
A good helper yes but not a leader, yesterday was a terrible mistake from CCC totally backing him considering also his crap sprint at the end of an hard race, his mansion should be the one that used to have Oss before moving to Bora.
 
A good helper yes but not a leader, yesterday was a terrible mistake from CCC totally backing him considering also his crap sprint at the end of an hard race, his mansion should be the one that used to have Oss before moving to Bora.
Well, if it's been Trentin who tried his hand just before the group went, then GVA would've probably been CCC's man in the group so...
As they've mentioned, their mistake in the race was related to the echelons the first time after Haaghoek - Leberg, later on, it's been pretty well.
 

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