Ardennes 2016

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I'm more enthused by the call of Vuillermoz to win FW, that I'd like to see.

The big problem with AGR is the new finishing circuit, the climbs other than the Cauberg itself aren't that hard so everybody waits for the Cauberg. It's neutralized climbs like the Keutenberg which are much better platforms to attack from. The new finish LINE is a good compromise between the old Maastricht finish (though in some ways I'd like it to return) that they moved when they got fed up of seeing people like Olaf Ludwig and Erik Zabel win and not making it 3 races in a week that all finish at the top of the climb. But they need for the climbs like Eyserbosweg and Keutenberg which could be platforms to attack to be close enough to the finish to tempt it because the Bemelerberg will never see any significant moves as long as we live. FW is already a guaranteed 2km slow-motion sprint (although it's the most important one of those all season of course), we don't need the other races becoming that.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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BigMac said:
Mayomaniac said:
BigMac said:
Hugo Koblet said:
Coquard will win AGR
...
I'd dig it. Allez Bryan.
I think he has a chance in AGR (and De Brabantse Pijl), he's a fast sprinter who can climb and he's only 58kg heavy.
Agreed. And he seems to be going strong at the moment. I'd swap Matthews spot in the mix for him. :p
Will we get the same Amstel finish as last year or is it going to be the one that we had before?
 
The feeling that LFW has become the most satisfying races among the three says it all for me... I still view this part of the season as an important week, yet AGR and LBL for years have almost been the much more boring versions of some stages in stage races which seemed to be inspired by their designs. Big classics duller than similarly-styled stages in stage races are just sad. LS's comment on the route changes is spot on as always, but the peloton's mentality is also hopeless sometimes when it comes to these races.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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Libertine Seguros said:
I'm more enthused by the call of Vuillermoz to win FW, that I'd like to see.

The big problem with AGR is the new finishing circuit, the climbs other than the Cauberg itself aren't that hard so everybody waits for the Cauberg. It's neutralized climbs like the Keutenberg which are much better platforms to attack from. The new finish LINE is a good compromise between the old Maastricht finish (though in some ways I'd like it to return) that they moved when they got fed up of seeing people like Olaf Ludwig and Erik Zabel win and not making it 3 races in a week that all finish at the top of the climb. But they need for the climbs like Eyserbosweg and Keutenberg which could be platforms to attack to be close enough to the finish to tempt it because the Bemelerberg will never see any significant moves as long as we live. FW is already a guaranteed 2km slow-motion sprint (although it's the most important one of those all season of course), we don't need the other races becoming that.
On the L-B-L course: do you think that moving the finish to Liège, as was floated a few years back, would do anything apart from make it a reduced bunch sprint pure and simple? I was thinking that if they put some slightly harder climbs earlier on as well as inserting Colonster between RAF and Nicolas then there's a chance that a non-uphill finish would encourage earlier attacks, but I'm not really sure.
 
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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.
And Valverde. Those 2 combined are evil.
 
Re: Re:

Flamin said:
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.
And Valverde. Those 2 combined are evil.
Yeah, Valverde is basically Gerrans v 2.0
 
Jun 30, 2014
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gunara said:
The feeling that LFW has become the most satisfying races among the three says it all for me... I still view this part of the season as an important week, yet AGR and LBL for years have almost been the much more boring versions of some stages in stage races which seemed to be inspired by their designs. Big classics duller than similarly-styled stages in stage races are just sad. LS's comment on the route changes is spot on as always, but the peloton's mentality is also hopeless sometimes when it comes to these races.
Yeah, LBL used to be a big deal for me, but the race has become pretty boring. I wonder if it's just us hardcore fans or if the casual fans are feeling the same, it would be nice to know if the ratings also dropped, I guess that Gilbert's rise has been a blessing for their ratings, but when he calls it a day they'll probably have to face the truth.
 
Aug 4, 2010
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Flamin said:
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.
And Valverde. Those 2 combined are evil.
Yes.
They are something like White walkers of cycling.You always think they are nowhere near but then they rise and kill the whole race :eek:
 
Re: Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Flamin said:
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.
And Valverde. Those 2 combined are evil.
Yeah, Valverde is basically Gerrans v 2.0
Valverde is conservative and very boring in the classics.
 
Re: Re:

TMP402 said:
DFA123 said:
Looking forward to:

- Gerrans and Matthews squabbling about who is leader.
I say Matthews leads for AGR, Gerrans FW and LBL. Matthews is still a sprinter who can climb and Gerrans is still a puncheur who can sprint.
Reckon Albasini will lead at Flech Wallone and Gerrans at LBL. Think Gerrans and Matthews will Co lead at Amstel Gold. Expect A.Yates to feature at Flech and LBL.
 
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Rollthedice said:
This year we have a new short steep cobbled climb 2.5 Ks from Saint Nicolas at 250K called Cote de la Rue Naniot in LBL. Might be fun.
This is actually quite interesting. It might make even more riders wait for the final but I think it will at least make the final more interesting and I take everything that makes the group, which arrives at the finish together, smaller
 
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Logic-is-your-friend said:
Any up & comers to watch? Which of the young generation is going to ride FW and LBL? Too soon for Oomen, De Plus, Power...? Vervaeke, Lopez...?
Power is still injured. I think Oomen and De Plus will feature but I wont expect any results from them. They might be around in the final or go into a break or do something to show themselves but I dont see them delivering great results yet.

Vervaeke looks really strong and could do something I reckon but is probably third in the pecking ordre after Gallopin and Wellens. Lopez I dont know about.
 
Re: Re:

Cannibal72 said:
Libertine Seguros said:
I'm more enthused by the call of Vuillermoz to win FW, that I'd like to see.

The big problem with AGR is the new finishing circuit, the climbs other than the Cauberg itself aren't that hard so everybody waits for the Cauberg. It's neutralized climbs like the Keutenberg which are much better platforms to attack from. The new finish LINE is a good compromise between the old Maastricht finish (though in some ways I'd like it to return) that they moved when they got fed up of seeing people like Olaf Ludwig and Erik Zabel win and not making it 3 races in a week that all finish at the top of the climb. But they need for the climbs like Eyserbosweg and Keutenberg which could be platforms to attack to be close enough to the finish to tempt it because the Bemelerberg will never see any significant moves as long as we live. FW is already a guaranteed 2km slow-motion sprint (although it's the most important one of those all season of course), we don't need the other races becoming that.
On the L-B-L course: do you think that moving the finish to Liège, as was floated a few years back, would do anything apart from make it a reduced bunch sprint pure and simple? I was thinking that if they put some slightly harder climbs earlier on as well as inserting Colonster between RAF and Nicolas then there's a chance that a non-uphill finish would encourage earlier attacks, but I'm not really sure.
I am in favour of moving the finish to Liège, so long as the finish gets revamped. If that's the case I'd drop St-Nic entirely, and then descend from RAF to use something like Côte d'Embourg-La Lemmetrie as the final double - although La Lemmetrie might be a bit too steep and people would wait for it so maybe Côte de Romsée and then descend into Liège to finish (preferably passing through Outre-Meuse and finishing at Place St-Lambert) so that RAF is a little over 30km out but still the best opportunity for attacking. Maybe Côte d'Henne after Embourg instead of Romsée/La Lemmetrie, on the Thier des Critchions road.
 
Re: Re:

Bushman said:
Logic-is-your-friend said:
Any up & comers to watch? Which of the young generation is going to ride FW and LBL? Too soon for Oomen, De Plus, Power...? Vervaeke, Lopez...?
Power is still injured. I think Oomen and De Plus will feature but I wont expect any results from them. They might be around in the final or go into a break or do something to show themselves but I dont see them delivering great results yet.

Vervaeke looks really strong and could do something I reckon but is probably third in the pecking ordre after Gallopin and Wellens. Lopez I dont know about.
Thanks for the info. Yes, i'm aware these guys (especially the really young ones) aren't going to compete, but that wasn't why i was asking. Just interested to see how they develop. Lopez did a nice TT saturday too, so that's why i was asking.
 
Re: Re:

yaco said:
TMP402 said:
DFA123 said:
Looking forward to:

- Gerrans and Matthews squabbling about who is leader.
I say Matthews leads for AGR, Gerrans FW and LBL. Matthews is still a sprinter who can climb and Gerrans is still a puncheur who can sprint.
Reckon Albasini will lead at Flech Wallone and Gerrans at LBL. Think Gerrans and Matthews will Co lead at Amstel Gold. Expect A.Yates to feature at Flech and LBL.
Yes, this is what I expect too.
 
Re: Re:

Logic-is-your-friend said:
Bushman said:
Logic-is-your-friend said:
Any up & comers to watch? Which of the young generation is going to ride FW and LBL? Too soon for Oomen, De Plus, Power...? Vervaeke, Lopez...?
Power is still injured. I think Oomen and De Plus will feature but I wont expect any results from them. They might be around in the final or go into a break or do something to show themselves but I dont see them delivering great results yet.

Vervaeke looks really strong and could do something I reckon but is probably third in the pecking ordre after Gallopin and Wellens. Lopez I dont know about.
Thanks for the info. Yes, i'm aware these guys (especially the really young ones) aren't going to compete, but that wasn't why i was asking. Just interested to see how they develop. Lopez did a nice TT saturday too, so that's why i was asking.
If Lopez his programm did not change t hen he will not ride any of the Ardennes races this year.
 
I was partly joking when I mentioned Coquard for AGR - but only partly. I actually think that he could be able to do well - perhaps not this year, but eventually. He's been looking much stronger this year than previously and he looks to have improved a lot on the hills. Cauberg is probably still too hard for him, especially when he has to follow the likes of Gilbert, Matthews, Kwiatkowski etc., but the new finale suits him much better. He has also pointed to AGR as one of his big targets this year. He'll be interesting to follow for sure.

Swift could be another outsider to watch as his climbing is better than ever. Sky have one of the biggest favorites in Kwiatkowski (and Henao as another rider who could do well), so I'm not sure how much freedom he'll be given. I think that he's pretty well suited to AGR though.
 
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.
It was hardly Gerran's fault if the Ardennes were a bit dull last year. He was out with a broken bone. Or maybe he crashed during the Ardennes and broke a bone... I don't remember. But there was something with Gerran's and a broken bone during the Ardennes last year.
 

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