Cro Race, Croatia 27.09-02.10

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Then it's not a meaningful deal...

Anyway, it's a little frustrating that Skjelmose won Luxembourg. Not only because it meant that he didn't win your beloved competition, it was also the only stage race won by a Danish male apart from the Tour de France the entire season.
Van Poppel was getting too close. It's better to beat yourself in that competition, than be beaten.
(And you forgot about Hindsgaul.)
 
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Wasn't he part of Italy's team pursuit Olympic gold winning team?
He was but the Italian national team, to put it kindly, is not particularly competent at TP strategy, positions or aero tech.

Okay that wasn't very kind, but they really really suck at it :tearsofjoy:. They on the men's side went for the head up, wide elbows position for all of their riders except Ganna (he still had head up but used the same position as on the road) and on the women's side it was much much worse. Positionally, I'd say they're about half a decade behind and none of their skinsuits fit (in pursuit position, funnily enough they fit great when the riders are standing up with their shoulders retracted, presumably they don't fit the suits in the TP position, or they do it really badly). Lamon and Consonni's turns were also consistently half a lap too long, with them both absolutely parking the bus at the end of their turns, leading to significant time loss.

Nonetheless, Denmark had a disaster of a tournament and Milan + Ganna is a pretty nice combination, so they won.
 
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Why does Kwiatkowski never try? Why is he always a helper who doesn't keep himself in contention? It's so frustrating...
Just a guy who prefers financial security to personal ambition. He made that choice a long time ago and it has shaped his career. He showed at AGR that he still has the physical capacity to win, but neither him nor Ineos seem to think that winning is a significant part of his job. Since the end of 2018, he has two wins. Two pretty nice wins, a classic and a Tour stage, but it’s a pitiful return for his talent.
 
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Just a guy who prefers financial security to personal ambition. He made that choice a long time ago and it has shaped his career. He showed at AGR that he still has the physical capacity to win, but neither him nor Ineos seem to think that winning is a significant part of his job.
Yeah, but in the Cro Race? I get it if he played a role like in the Tour in the late 2010's but now it's just ridiculous. And why would the team think this is how he is best employed? It just doesn't make sense to me.
 
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Just a guy who prefers financial security to personal ambition. He made that choice a long time ago and it has shaped his career. He showed at AGR that he still has the physical capacity to win, but neither him nor Ineos seem to think that winning is a significant part of his job. Since the end of 2018, he has two wins. Two pretty nice wins, a classic and a Tour stage, but it’s a pitiful return for his talent.
Kwiatkowski just hasn't been that good since then. This year he has an excuse after getting covid in february, flu in march, knee injury in june and then a concussion in july, but he's certainly been declining, like a lot of riders do after they pass 30 years old. Look at Besseges last year and his classics season he was just solid, but clearly a tier below the best. Also fwiw, he for sure didn't show that much in AGR. He won but was maybe 7-10th strongest rider in the race but made a great tactical move, with Pidcock then completely destroying cooperation in the 2nd group and Cosnefroy not wearing an aerosuit and then loses a sprint in a photo finish because of that.
 
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Kwiatkowski just hasn't been that good since then. This year he has an excuse after getting covid in february, flu in march, knee injury in june and then a concussion in july, but he's certainly been declining, like a lot of riders do after they pass 30 years old. Look at Besseges last year and his classics season he was just solid, but clearly a tier below the best. Also fwiw, he for sure didn't show that much in AGR. He won but was maybe 7-10th strongest rider in the race but made a great tactical move, with Pidcock then completely destroying cooperation in the 2nd group and Cosnefroy not wearing an aerosuit and then loses a sprint in a photo finish because of that.
Do people generally wear aero suits in Amstel?
 
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Yeah, but in the Cro Race? I get it if he played a role like in the Tour in the late 2010's but now it's just ridiculous. And why would the team think this is how he is best employed? It just doesn't make sense to me.
My suspicion is that Ineos don’t care at all about winning a stage of the Cro race and they are just letting Rivera have a go as I think he’s out of contract. Maybe they are considering extending, maybe they are just letting him put himself in the shop window.

But more generally, I agree. Kwiatkowski has to objectively be one of their strongest options in quite a few races over the course of a season where he still rides like an out and out domestique.
 
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Do people generally wear aero suits in Amstel?
Smart people, yeah. Kwiatkowski and basically all the riders from the teams that are knowledgable about aero were (Ineos, Jumbo, FDJ, BEX). If you don't wear one, you're basically saying: "let's piss away a few metres in a sprint". For most of the top teams, the vast majority of their riders use aero suits for every single road race, because aerodynamic drag matters massively in all of them.
 
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Kwiatkowski just hasn't been that good since then. This year he has an excuse after getting covid in february, flu in march, knee injury in june and then a concussion in july, but he's certainly been declining, like a lot of riders do after they pass 30 years old. Look at Besseges last year and his classics season he was just solid, but clearly a tier below the best. Also fwiw, he for sure didn't show that much in AGR. He won but was maybe 7-10th strongest rider in the race but made a great tactical move, with Pidcock then completely destroying cooperation in the 2nd group and Cosnefroy not wearing an aerosuit and then loses a sprint in a photo finish because of that.
Having the racing intelligence to make the winning “great tactical move” is just as much a part of a rider‘s set of important abilities as putting out a load of watts.

I do agree that he probably also isn’t as good as he used to be at a lot of things that top race contenders need to be good at. That would be partly explained by ageing but also partly explained by training to be great at domestique work and racing endlessly as a domestique. Not as much emphasis on explosive efforts, more on being able to pull a train forever. He was only 28 when his personal results fell off a cliff.
 
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Smart people, yeah. Kwiatkowski and basically all the riders from the teams that are knowledgable about aero were (Ineos, Jumbo, FDJ, BEX). If you don't wear one, you're basically saying: "let's piss away a few metres in a sprint". For most of the top teams, the vast majority of their riders use aero suits for every single road race, because aerodynamic drag matters massively in all of them.
Amstel certainly tends to have close finales the past couple of years.
 
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Ineos rode for Kwiat in Tour de Pologne last year, when Almeida won. (The race we all had to watch on tiz because no Eurosport broadcast). He finished 3, after Almeida and Mohoric.

https://www.procyclingstats.com/race/tour-de-pologne/2021/gc
I know, that hardly explains why he is pissing away time every day in the Cro Race and Tour of Denmark this year.

Or maybe he is also just too shaken after having seen Mathieu in his underwear and can't cope.
 
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Ineos rode for Kwiat in Tour de Pologne last year, when Almeida won. (The race we all had to watch on tiz because no Eurosport broadcast. He finished 3 after Almeida and Mohoric.

https://www.procyclingstats.com/race/tour-de-pologne/2021/gc
They definitely do have him as a leader sometimes, most obviously in some classics. Just nowhere near as often as anyone would expect them to ride for a guy who has won MSR, WCRR, AGR, Strade, E3, Tirreno etc.
 
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Having the racing intelligence to make the winning “great tactical move” is just as much a part of a rider‘s set of important abilities as putting out a load of watts.

I do agree that he probably also isn’t as good as he used to be at a lot of things that top race contenders need to be good at. That would be partly explained by ageing but also partly explained by training to be great at domestique work and racing endlessly as a domestique. Not as much emphasis on explosive efforts, more on being able to pull a train forever. He was only 28 when his personal results fell off a cliff.
It's certainly part of a rider's skillset but doesn't really speak to their physical decline. Also it is probably worth mentioning that Kwiatkowski specifically didn't attend worlds because he wasn't in good shape and just wanted to get in some race days at the end of the season because he enjoys racing, not with any specific goals.

 
It's certainly part of a rider's skillset but doesn't really speak to their physical decline. Also it is probably worth mentioning that Kwiatkowski specifically didn't attend worlds because he wasn't in good shape and just wanted to get in some race days at the end of the season because he enjoys racing, not with any specific goals.

You're probably right, but I still don't see why he can't at least try something but feels the need to take a big turn with 3 kms to go just because.
 
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