97th Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2011

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Nov 30, 2010
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ferryman said:
One favourite yes and he won me a lot of money. Favourite(s) was a reference to individual posters on this thread and the disappointment that you are feeling they weren't in the mix.

Your tactics are flawed but not today. Normally a Schleck 1 -2 attack like that will be successfull. It certainly isolated everyone else apart from the yes impossibly strong Gilbert. It was the correct tactic but they did have not the legs to follow it through.

So you don't like Leopard let it go.
Congratulations on your winnings.

I've no ill-feeling towards Leopard at all. Neither am I a fan. The reason I enjoy the classics season is that tactics do play such a significant part. No-one can stop Contador being first up the Tourmalet through tactics, but it is possible to counter an opponents strength in the classics, (some races more than others).

The Schlecks turned what could have been a thrilling race into a procession. It would have been great to see Gilbert really tested to the limit, no? Maybe not if you're holding a betting slip with his name on.
 
Christian said:
Meh. I don't buy it. Honestly all this "Gilbert would have been a tiny bit more tired" stuff is ridiculous IMO. You say it yourself - it wouldn't have mattered either way. Then why keep insisting on it? I think people try to pick out these little things in order to prove that the Schlecks lost the race due to bad tactics, when this was not at all the case.

You say that they "rolled over without a fight" - I would argue that they were the only ones who challenged Gilbert, if only a little bit. As someone pointed out, they had the third highest average speed ever, so it wasn't like they were setting a comfy pace for Gilbert. I would have prefered to see Di Luca, Rodriguez, Anton and so on up there but they weren't there. I didn't see their teams much, either. They are the ones who didn't put up a fight. People say they are excused because they didn't have the strength today, but for some reason that excuse is not valid for the Schlecks. I've been trying to tell you that they would have done more if they had had the strength, but apparently that counts for everyone except the Schlecks.
I don't think the Schlecks lost the race due to bad tactics. I think that even with good tactics, they would have needed a bit of luck to beat Gilbert today. But they would have needed a LOT of luck to beat Gilbert the way they chose to ride.

Ultimately, they were happy to ride for 2nd and 3rd. There are far too many teams and riders out there who are happy to ride for placements. There's no romance in that, no excitement.

It was a boring edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and a lot of people who were bored watching it are disappointed because the Schlecks were the only people they could rely on to make it interesting in the last 20km, and the Schlecks either weren't able to or weren't willing to. People moan at me for going on about how predictable sprint stages are, but frankly that was almost as bad. As I said before, if it weren't for Gilbert wearing a different jersey I'd have thought it was the Mapei Roubaix again as the Schlecks - people who've already won and podiumed this race lest we forget - decided to play wingman in case they lost a spot. This isn't as shameful as Garmin getting on the front to prevent Rubén Plaza and Chris Horner threatening 10th place in the GC or Radioshack chasing Caisse d'Epargne riders out of the break to protect the teams classification, but it's just as disappointing as a spectacle.

If it had been di Luca and Antón casually ushering Gilbert to the final sprint it would have been just as infuriating. We were dependent on the Schlecks for bringing the tiniest semblance of excitement, of unpredictability (look, there's that thing I keep begging for from sprint stages), and they didn't provide it. That's why they've borne the brunt of the criticism. If they'd not attacked and Gilbert had soloed in we'd have been chastising the whole péloton. But they attacked. And then dragged Gilbert across to them (!). And then they were up the road and decided that they couldn't win so they'd ride for 2nd and 3rd. You can argue that it's smart. But it's sure as hell dull, and an enormous letdown in one of the biggest one-day races of the year.
 
Jan 1, 2011
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I don't buy the whole "they didn't have the legs" argument. Maybe Andy didn't, but Frank looked quick to respond on Saint-Nicolas.
 
Sep 9, 2009
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Christian said:
Andy's data:

"I attacked at the bottom of the Saint-Nicolas. I went at 600 watts and after 240km that's not easy, I can tell you. Maybe Frank could have attacked but Gilbert gave us a pretty good answer by dropping me in the last 300 metres."

(from the CN article)

It's not like he didn't try ... he gave all he had, it just wasn't enough
I knew he was no sprinter, but 600Watts as a peak attack - yikes. I hope distance is reducing his anaerobic power by 33% or that is just plain weedy.
 
Captain_Cavman said:
Congratulations on your winnings.

I've no ill-feeling towards Leopard at all. Neither am I a fan. The reason I enjoy the classics season is that tactics do play such a significant part. No-one can stop Contador being first up the Tourmalet through tactics, but it is possible to counter an opponents strength in the classics, (some races more than others).

The Schlecks turned what could have been a thrilling race into a procession. It would have been great to see Gilbert really tested to the limit, no? Maybe not if you're holding a betting slip with his name on.
I think we are coming closer to an agreement here but not quite. Yes I agree it did turn in to a Gilbert procession but the Schlecks didn;t know that when they attacked with their masterplan (fail).

Too late for me now. Look forward to debating with you in the future;)
 
Feb 25, 2010
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
Nope, next year Lars Boom will make the magical 26/27 year explosion, find out he is good at hills and immediately tripple up in the Ardennes.
In the same time Maaskant makes the same 'explosion' and gobbles up the cobbled classics.
Gesink continues his Tour dominance started with the TDF 2011.

*dreams on*
And that's why your avatar now is a BELGIAN flag :D
 

Yeahright

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Jan 29, 2011
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Christian said:
As you rightly say Gilbert would have made it anyway, he was sitting down on the Roche aux Faucons, didn't even have to go en danseuse. There was no one whose wheel Fränk could have followed to get back at the two because no one else had the strength to be up there. That was the winning move and everyone knew it, so better be in it.

On an unrelated note, J. Pineau on the breakaway:

"Once again the behaviour of certain riders in the breakaway was astonishing, because when you are in front at LBL, you must give everything. There were a lot of calculations going on while behind there was a rider who was above everyone else. I don't know what the others were thinking, I don't understand. I don't feel tricked because I gave it everything, but I really regret the behaviour of certain outsiders ..."

http://www.cyclismactu.net/news-liege_bastogne_liege_j_pineau_accuse_le_coup-14688.html
Sorry dude but Libertine is on the money and you aren't. What other riders did or did not do is largely irrelevant, they were just spectators to the main show. Frank dragging Phil across to Andy was one of the dumbest tactical moves I have ever witnessed, followed closely by Frank not making one move in the final two kms to test Gilbert out. Even if he just went for it and blown after 200m it would have forced Gilbert to respond and tow Andy along. Gilbert must have been laughing to himself all the way up the final climb at their ineptitude.

On the positive side the race has provided some great material for coaches who want to show their riders how NOT to execute a double team!:D
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Descender said:
The Schleck brothers are a disgrace for cycling.
Even I think that is a too strong of a statement.

Ease up everyone, they lost in a race they would have lost no matter what. I wish they had ridden with a little more testicular fortitude, but "disgrace?"...:rolleyes:
 
El Pistolero said:
I don't know why everyone is whining about the Schlecks. They couldn't do any better. If they had stronger legs I'm sure they'd have attacked him more. Let's not forget they already started at La Redoute.
+1
Most of the people here can only see with one eye.
They do not know what's 3D.
 
Hard luck for the perenial 2nds Leopard and Schlecks. Congrats to Gilbert he should be on top of the rankings. He was on a different level. Schlecks raced to win and attacked where they said they would, more should have been attentive, they just did not have the legs to match Gilbert. Pity about Vino. Good ride from GVA, Kreuziger and Nibali. Rodriguez disappoinnted.
 
Jul 28, 2010
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CONGRATS TO GILBERT!

I'm fine with the Schlecks' performances.
Andy and Frank are just waiting for their grand escapade up Alpe D'Huez.
They just hope Gilbert isn't there.
 
Jul 6, 2010
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The kicker for me is that both Schlecks came in together. Without trying anything in the last 5km...

They know that keeping Gilbert with them guarantees a loss, and yet nothing...

And that lame 'lead out' at the end? Cummon!

Last week I posted how stoked I was to see Andy actually try to race in AGR, and now it seems to be back to normal - waiting for attrition rather than dictating anything.

Cowardly and lame.
 

Yeahright

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Jan 29, 2011
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JMBeaushrimp said:
The kicker for me is that both Schlecks came in together. Without trying anything in the last 5km...

They know that keeping Gilbert with them guarantees a loss, and yet nothing...

And that lame 'lead out' at the end? Cummon!

Last week I posted how stoked I was to see Andy actually try to race in AGR, and now it seems to be back to normal - waiting for attrition rather than dictating anything.

Cowardly and lame.
Yeah, Gilbert was lucky that you weren't in the race, thats for sure!:rolleyes:
 
Nov 14, 2009
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Does anyone have a decent 15-30 minute recap video of the race?
I found several french links, but does anyone have Dutch/English links?
Versus decided to screw cycling over again, so f*ck them
 
Jul 6, 2010
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Yeahright said:
Yeah, Gilbert was lucky that you weren't in the race, thats for sure!:rolleyes:
Hey Smartypants, I was rooting for Gilbert. I was only expressing my well-founded disgust at the lack of any commited effort from the Brothers Schleck to get rid of Gilbert.

Two teammates (and even brothers) dragging the most dangerous rider to the finale without any last-ditch attempts to at least hurt him a little? That sounds like a couple of scared riders. At least try to win...
 

Yeahright

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Jan 29, 2011
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JMBeaushrimp said:
Hey Smartypants, I was rooting for Gilbert. I was only expressing my well-founded disgust at the lack of any commited effort from the Brothers Schleck to get rid of Gilbert.

Two teammates (and even brothers) dragging the most dangerous rider to the finale without any last-ditch attempts to at least hurt him a little? That sounds like a couple of scared riders. At least try to win...
Well i actually agree with you that it was disappointing that Frank did not at least try to attack on the last hill up to the finish. However Gilbert had already showed on the earlier climb that they were no match for him when he gapped Andy. I guess that after that they figured it was game over.
 
Dec 13, 2010
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I find it amazing that you are all slating the Schlecks so much.

I'm just getting into cycling, but have played top level sports, and sometimes you just don't have it to win and make the most of what you have got. Clearly the Schlecks didn't have the legs to beat Gilbert, but they made sure that they did the best they could, got rid of the rest of the contenders and got on the podium. Not sure how that isn't a success for them. Not the result they would have wanted but a success none the less.

If they really had nothing in their legs, if they went on the attack and failed they could easily have totally blown up and got caught by the chasers and ended up 7&8th... I know you wanted a more exciting race, but at the end of the day this isn't a hobby it's their job and doing the best they could is what they need to deliver for their team and their sponsors, not entertain the crowds blow up completely and not get on the podium.

Andy at least was clearly really struggling, I think they needed to work with Gilbert to make sure that they didn't get caught by the chasing group because they probably knew they didn't have the legs to beat them in a sprint if they got caught.

Everyone wants to win, but only one person gets to.

Can't understand why the other contenders (except Vino) get a free pass on the forum, IMHO some of them deserve a lot more criticism than the Schlecks who did deliver and did also make the decisive move but just weren't good enough on the day to win.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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OK, I went for a long ride shortly after the race and errands after took to long to post, but!

First off, I have to agree with most of the posters, the Schlecks managed the last 10 K in the worst possible way. The team owner needs to sit both of them in a corner wearing dunces hats and have them read Bicycle Racing 101. Then, only let them out once they prove they understand what they just read. I mean who, or whom ever has raced not been taught the classic 2 vs 1 situation! Arrggg...

Then there's the camp of, Gilbert was the strongest in the world there's nothing they could of done. Fine, so why race then? And if you do, you sure as hell don't lead him out! They should of just sat on his wheel till the end and rode to the extreme right or left, to be out of the camera's range, because how they road was downright shameful, a travesty, the mark of the beginning of the worst era in cycling! Yes, even to doping!

On my ride those last 10K just kept flashing back, ugh the horror! Was I watching Pro's or Jr's race?

I read the Schleck's interviews and write ups and they can't even justify what they did, they basically gave up and quit. I'm sure the sponsor's yelling in their ears right about ... well a few hours ago when the race ended and they got their VIP passes to Gilbert's after party.

I'd of preferred if Andy would of faked a Schleck-anical and Frank would of crashed himself (again) before the finish line to avoid what happened.

I wish I could of been within in ear shot of Hinault or Kelly (after they broke away on EuroSport) or any other ex-Pro actual racer on what they thought at the moment of this travesty.
 
Aug 26, 2009
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Bad manners

Thoughtforfood said:
Even I think that is a too strong of a statement.

Ease up everyone, they lost in a race they would have lost no matter what. I wish they had ridden with a little more testicular fortitude, but "disgrace?"...:rolleyes:
To me, the real disgrace was Andy's behaviour on the podium. Frank literally took his hat off to Gilbert - a nice gesture, with wit. Then up comes Andy, walks past Gilbert, hugs big brother, ignores Gilbert, turns his back to shake hands with a lot of surprised guys in suits, then faces front with a face like the spoiled little brat that he is. A display of bad manners from a sour loser.
 
Dont people think that Leopard Trek are in a similar position as Team Sky were last season?

I.e they are a new team and therefore even with the likes of Spartacus, the Schlecks and Voigt etc they cannot expect instant success?
 
MartinGT said:
Dont people think that Leopard Trek are in a similar position as Team Sky were last season?

I.e they are a new team and therefore even with the likes of Spartacus, the Schlecks and Voigt etc they cannot expect instant success?
The problem was, Sky had, ultimately a quite mediocre roster, so weren't above being cut down to size. After the péloton taught them a lesson in Oman, they knuckled down, the self-serving press releases slowed to a trickle and they became just another team.

Leopard's stars are too big for that, so they can continue to swan about doing as they like and the egos can go unchecked. Throw in some ridiculous pettiness like the whole LAYOPARD TREK® fiasco...

Leopard perhaps shouldn't expect instant success, but given the quality of their roster, they do and the fans do. Much as people were annoyed by Cancellara throwing the toys out of the pram, he did drag people up kicking and screaming, and eventually fought his way to 2nd. The Schlecks initiated hostilities, then helped Gilbert to join them, then called a ceasefire.

What makes it so ridiculous is that Fränk has played wingman perfectly before - on the Alpe in 2008 and in this very race in 2009. Why he lost his mind and thought it was a good idea to drag the strongest man in the race over to his brother, thus sealing both of their fates, I have no idea.

Even if it would have been ultimately futile, trying something - anything - would have been preferable. Instead it was like watching the 2009 Vuelta all over again, with everybody just letting Valverde's team ride them all the way to the line so he could beat them in the sprint for the bonus seconds.
 
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