97th Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2011

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Mar 17, 2009
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Just saw Cyclesport Magazine's online analysis of the race

http://www.cyclesportmag.com/news-and-comment/gilbertissimo-liege-bastogne-liege-analysis/


Gilbert has been irrepressible of late. As the overwhelming favourite, he could have been tempted to opt for caution, fearing that he would be marked out of every move. But there was no such restraint. The Omega Pharma-Lotto rider took responsibility by reacting smartly on the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons when Frank and Andy Schleck sparked what proved to be the winning move.
However, confronted with the problem of how to defeat Gilbert in the sprint, and blessed with a numerical advantage, the Schleck brothers could not have played their cards much more poorly.
Of course Gilbert was going to win if they took him to within sight of the line. While it is easy to be critical without the benefit of knowing precisely how shattered they were feeling, it was astonishing that the Leopard brothers did not put in a single attack between the top of the Côte de Saint-Nicolas and the finish.
If that situation – two team-mates and brothers without a sprint between them, up against the man of the moment with a superior kick – did not call for the use of the old-fashioned one-two, then what does?
That is not to call into question their immense talent, or their contribution to the race, but when push came to shove, the Schlecks failed to contrive a single tactical move between them. You have to wonder what the instructions from the Leopard team car were but in the final analysis you are left with the conclusion that even if the Schlecks shared one tactical brain between them they’d be dangerous.
While it is difficult to imagine them conjuring anything that could have led to a different outcome, it was disappointing to watch the Schlecks sleepwalk towards their fate. If one of the brothers had attacked in the final two or three kilometres, Gilbert would have been forced to react. And once Gilbert had closed the gap, the other could have gone. There should have been no hesitation, no time to allow the fire in the Belgian’s legs to cool, just bam-bam, like a boxer landing a sweet left-right combination.
Okay, so it may not have worked but it would have been nice to see the Schlecks try something. Anything. Gilbert’s strength was such that he probably could have responded to two, three, maybe four concerted accelerations from his opponents and still had enough to win the sprint. The Schlecks were tired, no doubt, but to fail to plant even the tiniest seed of doubt in Gilbert’s mind when it was two against one was meek. This was Liège-Bastogne-Liège up for grabs, after all.
Love the comment about tactical brains!
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Interesting post-race comments by Kim Ansersen (DS):

"We missed the chance to get a rider into the counter-attack. That was of course not what we had wanted"

Q: Was it not possible to attack more in the final 10 km, and to challenge Gilbert more?
A: There were attacks, those of Andy and Fränk on St. Nicolas, and then after the counter-attack Andy was dropped. It is clear that if you get dropped on a counter-attack, the result at the finish is already established in your head.

(This is difficult to translate, if anyone has a better suggestion, here is the original: C'est clair que si tu te fais sortir sur un contre, les places, dans la tête, sont établies dans l'arrivée qui suit. Also note that this was almost certainly already translated from German, the language Andersen gives most of his interviews in)

Q: Did you give any advice for the finale?
A: There isn't much advice you can give in those cases. They had to hang on and try their chances to a maximum. Over the radio I said: try again. But that's all. It is they who pedal and they who have the legs.

http://www.lequotidien.lu/les-sports/22640.html
 
Jan 3, 2011
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Christian said:
A: There were attacks, those of Andy and Fränk on St. Nicolas, and then after the counter-attack Andy was dropped. It is clear that if you get dropped on a counter-attack, the result at the finish is already established in your head.

Over the radio I said: try again. But that's all. It is they who pedal and they who have the legs.

http://www.lequotidien.lu/les-sports/22640.html
Personally I am surprised that they didnt try to attack on the flat sections when they were 2 vs 1. Andy hardly would be dropped then, and the one who covered Gilbert could benifit more from stayin in his wheel that when they attacked on the climbs. Would have made alot more sense to me

El Pistolero said:
The idea isn't the reality. The reality is, Andy was dead and wasn't going to help Frank much in any way. He got dropped by Gilbert on Saint Nicholas. And you're expecting him to attack the one who dropped him so easily? How does that even make sense tactically.

They didn't have a numerical advantage. It was Gilbert vs Schleck bros. Guess which one counts for more.
I agree thats the case when they deceided to drop him on the climbs. But if they tried to attack in turns on the flat sections they could have benifitted from the 1-2 situation
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Cimber said:
Personally I am surprised that they didnt try to attack on the flat sections when they were 2 vs 1. Andy hardly would be dropped then, and the one who covered Gilbert could benifit more from stayin in his wheel that when they attacked on the climbs. Would have made alot more sense to me



I agree thats the case when they deceided to drop him on the climbs. But if they tried to attack in turns on the flat sections they could have benifitted from the 1-2 situation
Most dangerous part came right after the Saint Nicholas. That's why Gilbert decided to attack to at least get rid of one Schleck at that section.

Take a look at the Saint Nicholas again. Franki was about to attack, but Gilbert saw it coming and trapped him. Just like he did twice with Joaquim Rodriguez on the Mur de Huy.
 
Jan 3, 2011
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Yeahright said:
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
I totally agree, but its just another evidence that the borthers would rather finish 2+3 than 1+20
 
Jan 3, 2011
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El Pistolero said:
Most dangerous part came right after the Saint Nicholas. That's why Gilbert decided to attack to at least get rid of one Schleck at that section.

Take a look at the Saint Nicholas again. Franki was about to attack, but Gilbert saw it coming and trapped him. Just like he did twice with Joaquim Rodriguez on the Mur de Huy.
Indeed. But after Andy bridged the gap, they should have attacked in turns before the final climb, or they should have attacked on the flat sections before Nicholas.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Cimber said:
Indeed. But after Andy bridged the gap, they should have attacked in turns before the final climb, or they should have attacked on the flat sections before Nicholas.
I do agree that they should have attacked on the place where Vino dropped Kolobnev last year though.
 
Christian said:
Q: Did you give any advice for the finale?
A: There isn't much advice you can give in those cases. They had to hang on and try their chances to a maximum. Over the radio I said: try again. But that's all. It is they who pedal and they who have the legs.
I hope this will stop the "they should have attacked more" posters.
Flat sections...steeper sections...Aren't they annoying?
 
Nov 30, 2010
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Christian said:
Interesting post-race comments by Kim Ansersen (DS):

"We missed the chance to get a rider into the counter-attack. That was of course not what we had wanted"

...
Philippe Gilbert said:
&#8220]


Gilbert is panicked because he hasn't got anyone off the front. Don't worry Philippe, neither have the Schlecks.

Gilbert is worried how much fire-power to commit to keeping the break in check. Don't worry Philippe, The Schlecks have done it for you.

Gilbert is worried about when to strike for home. Don't worry Philippe, just follow the Schlecks.

Oh no, Gilbert has to bridge up to Andy Schleck. Don't worry Philippe, Franck will bridge up for you.

Gilbert is worried about how he's going to be able to keep clear of the chasing pack for the last 20K while retaining enough energy for the sprint. Don't worry Philippe, just sit behind the Schlecks while they use their energy.

Gilbert is worried that he won't be able to beat the Schlecks in a sprint.

Actually, I made that last one up.
 
Mar 8, 2010
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I think those antisocial elements, called Lux-ultras, set the woods on fire on their way home.

Great that it started raining today. :D
 
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