Ardennes 2016

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The strange thing is, the uphill sprint of half a peloton is more something of the recent era.

In AGR and LBL it used to be a small group of favorites going up the last climb, not half a peloton. But then they started the selection from 40k out. Nowadays, there is almost no selection until the final climb. It's odd.

I used to go to the Cauberg and there was a small group of big names only sprinting for the win. Like Boogerd vs Rebellin. Or a 5/6 men elite group. And the same in LBL.
Now, nobody dares to make an attack from 35km out.
 
Looking forward to:

- Gerrans and Matthews squabbling about who is leader.
- How Dani Moreno goes at Amstel Gold as leader
- Nibali launching a long range, but ultimately futile attack at LBL
- Henao v Valverde on the Mur de Huy
- Whether Sky's new found one day tactical acumen will continue to create exciting races
 
The organisers should be looking to make the middle of these races harder and the end a bit easier, to burn off domestiques earlier and give longer range moves more of a chance
 
I have lost interest for the Ardennes over the years, since the team tactics and the way the whole peloton is approaching the races, are really killing proper exciting hardcore and competitive racing all together. Last year's L-B-L was a disgrace with that mass sprint :mad: - it was like everyone was cruising through and leaving everything for the last 100 meters. As for A-G - again- its all about the Cauberg :mad: the way it's been raced lately makes it a flattish F-W to me. Either the parcours need more challenging elements, perhaps more length or rather less riders
 
hfer07 said:
I have lost interest for the Ardennes over the years, since the team tactics and the way the whole peloton is approaching the races, are really killing proper exciting hardcore and competitive racing all together. Last year's L-B-L was a disgrace with that mass sprint :mad: - it was like everyone was cruising through and leaving everything for the last 100 meters. As for A-G - again- its all about the Cauberg :mad: the way it's been raced lately makes it a flattish F-W to me. Either the parcours need more challenging elements, perhaps more length or rather less riders
Last year LBL was somewhat interesting. The 2014 edition was the one which was a borefest.
 
Re:

DFA123 said:
Looking forward to:

- Gerrans and Matthews squabbling about who is leader.
- How Dani Moreno goes at Amstel Gold as leader
- Nibali launching a long range, but ultimately futile attack at LBL
- Henao v Valverde on the Mur de Huy
- Whether Sky's new found one day tactical acumen will continue to create exciting races
- Will Daniel Martin crash in all three races?
 
The course doesn't need changing. AGR was fine, even with finish on the Cauberg, when it had more riders with balls. Nowadays leaders are just boring as *** and always energy saving in the ardennes peloton.

There used to be Boogerd or Bettini breaking things up at 35km to go. On Eyserbosweg in AGR or on La Redoute in LBL. Now they are gone, Rebellin is old, and there's no other rider willing to do ***. Valverde, Gilbert, Rodriguez, all wait..
 
Ricco' said:
hfer07 said:
I have lost interest for the Ardennes over the years, since the team tactics and the way the whole peloton is approaching the races, are really killing proper exciting hardcore and competitive racing all together. Last year's L-B-L was a disgrace with that mass sprint :mad: - it was like everyone was cruising through and leaving everything for the last 100 meters. As for A-G - again- its all about the Cauberg :mad: the way it's been raced lately makes it a flattish F-W to me. Either the parcours need more challenging elements, perhaps more length or rather less riders
Last year LBL was somewhat interesting. The 2014 edition was the one which was a borefest.
True. Last year was infinitely better than 2013 and 14. Still, even the years with Di Luca, Piti, Frank/Andy, Rebellin as the top animators were way better than what's been going on since 2010.
 
Re:

Dekker_Tifosi said:
The course doesn't need changing. AGR was fine, even with finish on the Cauberg, when it had more riders with balls. Nowadays leaders are just boring as **** and always energy saving in the ardennes peloton.

There used to be Boogerd or Bettini breaking things up at 35km to go. On Eyserbosweg in AGR or on La Redoute in LBL. Now they are gone, Rebellin is old, and there's no other rider willing to do ****. Valverde, Gilbert, Rodriguez, all wait..
Indeed, it's more in the riders and in the mentality than the parcours itself.

Team size and uber strong domestiques are still the main problem, though.
 
May 28, 2012
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Amstel would be so great if some of the final climbs were cobbled, and/or if they used the dirt roads on the plateaus of Keutenberg, Eyserbosweg and Kruisberg. The uphill finish is not a problem if half of the peloton is dropped on windy farm roads, see Strade Bianche.
 
Roche aux faucons could be removed from the LBL route. This would force moves from further out, making redoute matter again.

And yes, I agree the mid-race terrain should be selective enough to eliminate domestiques in AGR and LBL alike. FW is what it is.
 
Re:

Dekker_Tifosi said:
The course doesn't need changing. AGR was fine, even with finish on the Cauberg, when it had more riders with balls. Nowadays leaders are just boring as **** and always energy saving in the ardennes peloton.

There used to be Boogerd or Bettini breaking things up at 35km to go. On Eyserbosweg in AGR or on La Redoute in LBL. Now they are gone, Rebellin is old, and there's no other rider willing to do ****. Valverde, Gilbert, Rodriguez, all wait..
Its all Gerrans' fault really. Every other favorite knows that as soon as they attack early they will have Leipheimer 2.0 glued to their wheel only to pass them in the last 50 meters.
 
If the penultimate circuit was the last one then it would be better, with the Kriusberg, Eyserborweg, Fromberg and then Keutenberg before the Cauberg, instead of Bemelerberg before the Cauberg. Action could actually start on the Eyserborweg or even the Kruisberg and the pace be drastic for 20k chasing down attacks until the Keutenberg where hopefully more favourites attack, into a small group before the final selection on the Cauberg. The current format has the final circuit as: Guelhemmerberg 15k out, 5km of flat, easy Bemelerberg where few attacks can actually happen, 5km of flat, Cauberg, descent to the line. Doesn't allow for many attacks. I do prefer the descent to the line, though.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the highlights of Flèche, Purito vs Henao vs Bala (vs Moreno) vs Martin vs Gilbert (hopefully) vs Albasini (always seems to do well here) vs Bananito (We can dream) on the Mur. Maybe someone like Kwiat or Wellens will attack on the Cote de Cherave too, which was a very nice addition to the course. That actually changes it for the better IMO.

Liege is Liege. Nibali will attack, hopefully he can get a group of 6 or 7 with him on La Redoute. You never know, though. This year the classics have been far better than last year, bar MSR which was similar and Gent Wevelgem which was impossible to top from last year, but still pretty good.
 
Re:

Laplaz said:
Let's see what Rosa is able to do...
Astana has to be one of the teams which have to try a bigger attack, but there are hardly any of those. Right now we have the situation that the best climbers are not interested in this race or they are part time sprinters and can wait for the final climb. Like the Schlecks or not, but right now we are really missing riders like them (although I wouldnt mind if their replacement doesn't pull the best sprinter of the race to the finish)

When I started watching cycling I was always mostly looking forward to the Ardennes classics and not to the cobbles classics since it was simply impossible to imagine for me that a completely flat route with a few cobblestones can produce a better race than a one day race which goes up and down all the time. And now I don't even know if its worth spending the time to watch these races.
 
Re: Re:

classicomano said:
Dekker_Tifosi said:
The course doesn't need changing. AGR was fine, even with finish on the Cauberg, when it had more riders with balls. Nowadays leaders are just boring as **** and always energy saving in the ardennes peloton.

There used to be Boogerd or Bettini breaking things up at 35km to go. On Eyserbosweg in AGR or on La Redoute in LBL. Now they are gone, Rebellin is old, and there's no other rider willing to do ****. Valverde, Gilbert, Rodriguez, all wait..
Its all Gerrans' fault really. Every other favorite knows that as soon as they attack early they will have Leipheimer 2.0 glued to their wheel only to pass them in the last 50 meters.
Even the mightiest of wheelsuckers cannot suck every wheel. He'd crack at some point, thing is nobody wants to fire the first shots and risk emptying the mags. There's been little to no cooperation between the big fish.
 
Re:

Brullnux said:
If the penultimate circuit was the last one then it would be better, with the Kriusberg, Eyserborweg, Fromberg and then Keutenberg before the Cauberg, instead of Bemelerberg before the Cauberg. Action could actually start on the Eyserborweg or even the Kruisberg and the pace be drastic for 20k chasing down attacks until the Keutenberg where hopefully more favourites attack, into a small group before the final selection on the Cauberg. The current format has the final circuit as: Guelhemmerberg 15k out, 5km of flat, easy Bemelerberg where few attacks can actually happen, 5km of flat, Cauberg, descent to the line. Doesn't allow for many attacks. I do prefer the descent to the line, though.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the highlights of Flèche, Purito vs Henao vs Bala (vs Moreno) vs Martin vs Gilbert (hopefully) vs Albasini (always seems to do well here) vs Bananito (We can dream) on the Mur. Maybe someone like Kwiat or Wellens will attack on the Cote de Cherave too, which was a very nice addition to the course. That actually changes it for the better IMO.

Liege is Liege. Nibali will attack, hopefully he can get a group of 6 or 7 with him on La Redoute. You never know, though. This year the classics have been far better than last year, bar MSR which was similar and Gent Wevelgem which was impossible to top from last year, but still pretty good.

Which is exactly what the old AGR was before the more recent course change. I wish they had not done that
 

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