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Cavendish to win Milan San Remo?

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Oct 29, 2009
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He's behind on his training schedule and a tad chubby. Others know they really have a shot at it this year. Last year they got a warning that you can't let Cavendish off the hook even if he looks a bit iffy. Which will means teams that want to grab it before he regains his focus for 2011, won't give him as easy a ride getting there. To me that adds up to a no.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Having seen the clip posted by Polish, bringing back happy memories, I am tipping Sean Kelly to win it, dragging back a gap of almost nine and a half million minutes to pip Petacchi in the last few metres. Just listen to the Italian crowd sigh when they hear he's catching up at 6.36!

Failing that, I'd say a breakaway will win it, with no-one doing the catch-up work for Columbia, who will have it all to do after the big hill. My money is on Gilbert.
 
Jul 18, 2009
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What will work in Cavs favour will be if the other sprinters teams keep the race together for their men. Not do what tended to happen last year, esp in the TdF, and leave everything to Columbia in the knowledge that Cav was a certainty.

He has already demonstrated an ability for a wee bit of trickery to win last year, so why not this? His biggest weapon again will be people writing him off.

None of his finishes this year so far look like anywhere near full gas. Maybe I'm spouting rubbish and it's all cos he's not fit:rolleyes:
 
Feb 12, 2010
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Boeing said:
In fact Lofkvist is a dark horse in any race this season IMHO. I am just not sure how they intend to use him this year and what goals they have for him. After all this is an upper management goal oriented team we are learning.

Where do you get that from then about an upper management goal oriented team? Not sure where you've got that from other than plucked from your a*se.
 
Jan 18, 2010
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Swingtop said:
Arrogance has also something to do with it, maybe? Last year was too easy for Cav, he got cocky, if he wasn't already. His management made their mistake right there, in not controlling his attitude.
(M-S 2009 was handed to him by Haussler, by the way.)

Anyway, looking forward to a more leveled sprint field this year, it could be great.

Haussler is too good a rider to bottle or blow finishes, Cavendish was just too quick for him last year. period.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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sublimit said:
Haussler is too good a rider to bottle or blow finishes, Cavendish was just too quick for him last year. period.

+1, plus HTC worked their butts off to deliver him through the pack to a position that he could launch from. he owes Hincapie big time for his first Classics win.
 
Feb 18, 2010
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sublimit said:
Haussler is too good a rider to bottle or blow finishes, Cavendish was just too quick for him last year. period.

While Cavendish definitely was very, very, VERY quick at MSR last year, Sporza (Belgian TV station) used good ol' Pythagoras to calculate that Heinrich would've won if he hadn't strayed from his line seventeen thousand (or three) times.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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tgsgirl said:
While Cavendish definitely was very, very, VERY quick at MSR last year, Sporza (Belgian TV station) used good ol' Pythagoras to calculate that Heinrich would've won if he hadn't strayed from his line seventeen thousand (or three) times.

He did that in an effort to keep Cav out of his slipstream. I do the same thing when I get that far ahead in a sprint, be it in a race or club ride. It really makes it hard for people to hop on your draft. I actually took it from watching guys like him. I think what really slowed Haussler down was dropping his head down and looking back....big no no. It's one thing in a paceline to look back like he did, but in a sprint, all looking back does is slow you down.
 
Feb 18, 2010
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Nah, it were the three times he looked over his shoulder and under his arms to check where Cav was. If he'd just kept on going he would've won by a centimeter or three. If only I had an idea of where to start looking I'd try to find the video.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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tgsgirl said:
Nah, it were the three times he looked over his shoulder and under his arms to check where Cav was. If he'd just kept on going he would've won by a centimeter or three. If only I had an idea of where to start looking I'd try to find the video.

but did he look back to keep Cav out of his slipstream?

And was it effective. IE. Was time/speed/distance lost greater than the slipstream potential Cav lost, because he could not get his slipstream. Slipstream on the track inside, can go back close 20 metres, obviously on a continuum of aero coefficients.
 
Jan 20, 2010
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Potomac said:
I suppose in 09 the peloton took it as matter of faith Cav wouldn't make it up the hill.

This year I'm sure other contenders have made a mental note to speed things along enough to drop him for sure.

+1 I think it's going to be a lot more difficult a second time around now that riders know he can get to the home straight for the bunch sprint, last year we had experts saying there was no way he would make it over the hill with the leaders.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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More importantly, last year we had something very specific happen. The climbers' teams joined forces to up the pace on the flats too and kill the sprinters. That ended up backfiring by killing the climbers who therefore couldn't punch on the climbs. This led to an easier race than usual for the flatlanders (including the sprinters), and a bunch sprint, which is a very unlikely event since they changed the route to include the Manie climb.

They won't make the same ridiculous mistake again this year. Expect a fractured race without a bunch sprint.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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issoisso said:
More importantly, last year we had something very specific happen. The climbers' teams joined forces to up the pace on the flats too and kill the sprinters. That ended up backfiring by killing the climbers who therefore couldn't punch on the climbs. This led to an easier race than usual for the flatlanders (including the sprinters), and a bunch sprint, which is a very unlikely event since they changed the route to include the Manie climb.

They won't make the same ridiculous mistake again this year. Expect a fractured race without a bunch sprint.
9 of the last 13 have finished in field sprints with groups of over 10.

And since Zabel, the peloton has brought their form to the boil, earlier and earlier, which means it is less easy to fracture.

So we have Cancellara, Pippo, and Bettini, plus the other one I forget.

Which rider can help Cav? Peter Velits and Rogers are about the only guys who would be there when the smack goes down. Perhaps Tony Martin.

Are any riders as committed as Hincapie? Hincapie was invaluable to Cav. Rogers and Martin probably have the same ability on the flat, but they dont have the willingness to sacrifice their own race for him.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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issoisso said:
More importantly, last year we had something very specific happen. The climbers' teams joined forces to up the pace on the flats too and kill the sprinters. That ended up backfiring by killing the climbers who therefore couldn't punch on the climbs. This led to an easier race than usual for the flatlanders (including the sprinters), and a bunch sprint, which is a very unlikely event since they changed the route to include the Manie climb.

They won't make the same ridiculous mistake again this year. Expect a fractured race without a bunch sprint.
same theory at the Tour. I think Schleck and Contador's teams should just back off the pace, and bring the peloton to the final climbs together, instead of shelling everyone. Even on the Queen stage. Just glasscrank it, all the way to the finishing climb, then let Schleck and Contador run a drag race upwards. Especially against guys like Wiggins, Vande Velde, StrongArm, Evans.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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blackcat said:
same theory at the Tour. I think Schleck and Contador's teams should just back off the pace, and bring the peloton to the final climbs together, instead of shelling everyone. Even on the Queen stage. Just glasscrank it, all the way to the finishing climb, then let Schleck and Contador run a drag race upwards. Especially against guys like Wiggins, Vande Velde, StrongArm, Evans.

GOD NO.

Contador's sole weakness is stamina. Specifically, he has none. He's always been awful in long, very hard stages. More so when the climbs are shorter.

It's the reason why he's never going to win a classic other than the Flèche and it's the reason why the 2009 Tour was tailor made for him, other than stage 17 (where you'll notice he suffered), since most mountain stages were flat with a single climb at the end.

(He even starts to lose major time by the last few kms of time trials over 40kms)

If they want to shell him they have to do the opposite, ride hard from the start.

Of course that will also greatly benefit Evans and Sastre who in their entire careers have only ever done well in very very long hard stages, but they're just not good enough to compete, especially after having raced the Giro at full tilt, so it's a moot point.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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blackcat said:
9 of the last 13 have finished in field sprints with groups of over 10.

And since Zabel, the peloton has brought their form to the boil, earlier and earlier, which means it is less easy to fracture.

So we have Cancellara, Pippo, and Bettini, plus the other one I forget.

Again, what I said was since the Manie climb was introduced it became too hard for sprints to happen consistently. Except for Cancellara's win, the rest of the results you mention were before the climb was introduced. Therefore they're not relevant ;)
 
Aug 22, 2009
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I'm thinking Haussler (incredible kick, probably second to cav/bos and a talented all round rider - good form) or Gilbert in a small breakaway over the Poggio.

Really hoping Haussler can get his big breakthrough win. Such talent.

Cav could surprise though but his off season hasn't been all that good.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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issoisso said:
Again, what I said was since the Manie climb was introduced it became too hard for sprints to happen consistently. Except for Cancellara's win, the rest of the results you mention were before the climb was introduced. Therefore they're not relevant ;)
Manie is too far from the finish to be decisive. They are still riding piano there.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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issoisso said:
GOD NO.

Contador's sole weakness is stamina. Specifically, he has none. He's always been awful in long, very hard stages. More so when the climbs are shorter.

It's the reason why he's never going to win a classic other than the Flèche and it's the reason why the 2009 Tour was tailor made for him, other than stage 17 (where you'll notice he suffered), since most mountain stages were flat with a single climb at the end.

(He even starts to lose major time by the last few kms of time trials over 40kms)

If they want to shell him they have to do the opposite, ride hard from the start.

Of course that will also greatly benefit Evans and Sastre who in their entire careers have only ever done well in very very long hard stages, but they're just not good enough to compete, especially after having raced the Giro at full tilt, so it's a moot point.
dont know, the queen stage last year, La Colombiere Pass, only Schlecks and AC got away.

In 2007, Col d'Aubisque, was that the Queen stage, stage 16, he had a competent ride. He was only 24. A 23yo Andy Schleck had a jour sans in 2008, otherwise he would have been on the podium.

I dont think you can judge Contador's lack of potency in the Ardennes on his stamina. The motivation to ride those races is not going to be high, like StrongArm. He has no reason to peak then, and compomise his season objective(s).
 
Jul 17, 2009
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Reverend_T_Preedy said:
Where do you get that from then about an upper management goal oriented team? Not sure where you've got that from other than plucked from your a*se.

do you even know what it means
 
Mar 18, 2009
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blackcat said:
Manie is too far from the finish to be decisive. They are still riding piano there.

Only in 2009, due to what I mentioned above. The pace was very hard in 2008 and should be again this year.

blackcat said:
dont know, the queen stage last year, La Colombiere Pass, only Schlecks and AC got away.

And Contador couldn't. It was clear he was suffering to stay with them, which didn't happen anywhere else.

blackcat said:
In 2007, Col d'Aubisque, was that the Queen stage, stage 16, he had a competent ride. He was only 24.

He cracked near the end. Couldn't even get out of the saddle to try to follow Leipheimer.

blackcat said:
A 23yo Andy Schleck had a jour sans in 2008, otherwise he would have been on the podium.

That was different. It was not eating properly. It's nothing to do with the normal physical capacity of a rider. Same as Contador last year at Paris-Nice


blackcat said:
I dont think you can judge Contador's lack of potency in the Ardennes on his stamina. The motivation to ride those races is not going to be high, like StrongArm. He has no reason to peak then, and compomise his season objective(s).

I didn't say Ardennes. There are many more classics than just the Ardennes.
Any classic other than the Flèche involves stamina he doesn't have. That includes the Worlds.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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issoisso said:
GOD NO.

Contador's sole weakness is stamina. Specifically, he has none. He's always been awful in long, very hard stages. More so when the climbs are shorter.

It's the reason why he's never going to win a classic other than the Flèche and it's the reason why the 2009 Tour was tailor made for him, other than stage 17 (where you'll notice he suffered), since most mountain stages were flat with a single climb at the end.

(He even starts to lose major time by the last few kms of time trials over 40kms)

If they want to shell him they have to do the opposite, ride hard from the start.

Of course that will also greatly benefit Evans and Sastre who in their entire careers have only ever done well in very very long hard stages, but they're just not good enough to compete, especially after having raced the Giro at full tilt, so it's a moot point.

Depending on your perspective did you just agree? Seems blackcat were saying Astana should soft pedal and you say that will play into Contadors hands...I agree with most of what you say, I don't think contador had any trouble with the schlecks, I think he was hoping Kloden would get back on...or am i thinking about the wrong stage. Having said, last years tour ITT is the longest i can think of where he has performed, I would say i long flat TT would be his weakness. Be interesting to see what happens if a team drives hard all day. I say you've got to gamble something to beat him, so why not??