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De Ronde van Vlaanderen (270.8 km), 2024 March 31 (Sunday)

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I’ve got a lot of Belgians (Wout fans) in friends and family saying to me he looked bad and on decline. Even today at my group ride.
After a 40km solo, 2 days later 2nd after doing the most work. With a week rest. He’s only halfway his classics schedule, it’s not like he’s got Pedersen number of races.
I just don't buy that. His numbers were supposedly better than they have ever been.
 
I gave him credit the entire CX season. Like I posted to another person, I genuinely believe that Mathieu is not at his peak. That is frightening in some ways, but I do believe that. I also believe that Wout would have been on equal measure today. Jorgenson was almost able to keep contact when he attacked. To suggest Wout would not have been able to respond (particularly when Jorgenson faded so much), I think is not correct. From what I witnesses, I believe Wout would have been able to keep Mathieu's wheel today.

We will never actually know. What I am sure of is that if Pog were here, neither of them could handle his strength, right now.
If if if. If my aunt had a p*nis she'd be my uncle. If you're not here, you're beaten.
 
Great edition, a wet Ronde is something that was missing in the last few years.

Van der Poel enters the history books by getting his third win and what a win it was, it reminded me a bit of his World Championships win last year even though he suffered a little bit at the end maybe because the final kilometers are very much in a straight line which meant he could use the corners to rest and take a few more seconds on his rivals. Has to be the favourite for Roubaix, even though that's a more tactical race.

The second and third favourites, Pedersen and Jorgenson ended up with disappointing results, the Dane burned his match too soon and probably still felt the effects of his crash four dags ago and the American cracked badly after trying to follow Mathieu in the Koppenberg. Lazkano also cracked pretty badly.

Teuns and Bettiol did really well, a shame that were caught so close to the finish. Mozzato though, chapeau to him, I never thought he would have been to finish this race on the podium and I am glad Matthews was relegated but not DSQ.

Finally a word on UAE. Until 2022, their cobbled classics team was virtually non-existent and two years later they put 4 riders in the second group without their last year's winner taking part, which is a massive step forward and specially Morgado finishing in he top5 of a monument at 20 years of age is an incredible result and shows that he is one of the biggest young talents in cycling. If Pogačar returns to the Ronde with this sort of team, he will be thought to beat even for Van der Poel.
 
Without Lazkano literally killing himself to close the gap Van der Poel already goes clear on the Kwaremont!

Also I don't see much difference whether Mathieu finishes the competition on Koppenberg already or on Taaienberg roughly 15 kilometers later.
I do think that if Jorgenson had caught MvdP after the Koppenberg the two would have sat up and others could have rejoined and potentially attacked. I think Van der Poel probably wins anyway but that section until the final Kwaremont could have been very tricky for him. But then I'm talking scenarios where VdP cannot drop everyone at will which is clearly already a false premise.
 
I do think that if Jorgenson had caught MvdP after the Koppenberg the two would have sat up and others could have rejoined and potentially attacked. I think Van der Poel probably wins anyway but that section until the final Kwaremont could have been very tricky for him. But then I'm talking scenarios where VdP cannot drop everyone at will which is clearly already a false premise.
True. My response was rather to the people that claimed Koppenberg ruined the whole race.

Whether Van der Poel jumps on Koppenberg or Taaienberg doesn't make much difference. What you lined out only adds up on it, because Jörgensen nearly closed the gap!
 
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I do think that if Jorgenson had caught MvdP after the Koppenberg the two would have sat up and others could have rejoined and potentially attacked. I think Van der Poel probably wins anyway but that section until the final Kwaremont could have been very tricky for him. But then I'm talking scenarios where VdP cannot drop everyone at will which is clearly already a false premise.
Van der Poel said himself that he thought about waiting for Jorgenson, but he wasn't sure if Jorgenson would ride with him and he didn't want everyone else to return because of that either. So they decided to go on
 
I think people are somehow underestimating VdP performance today. The fastest Ronde ever, in shitty weather, 45k solo. That would be jaw-dropping a few years ago. But somehow, people are underwhelmed by it. Remember, VdP is a rider who normally wins by his explosiveness; his solos have always been this way.

Claiming Wout would have won this seems like a fantasy to me. His performance in 200k+ races is just a bit less than that of MvdP and Pogi. So I have missed Pogacar more than Wout during this Ronde, that would have been a nice spectacle again. The last two editions with them battling it out were among the best races I have seen.
 
I think people are somehow underestimating VdP performance today. The fastest Ronde ever, in shitty weather, 45k solo. That would be jaw-dropping a few years ago. But somehow, people are underwhelmed by it. Remember, VdP is a rider who normally wins by his explosiveness; his solos have always been this way.

Claiming Wout would have won this seems like a fantasy to me. His performance in 200k+ races is just a bit less than that of MvdP and Pogi. So I have missed Pogacar more than Wout during this Ronde, that would have been a nice spectacle again. The last two editions with them battling it out were among the best races I have seen.
People always overrate Wout when he isn't there and are constantly surprised he is dropped by MVDP when he is there. It's one of the great mysteries in public opinion about cycling
 
People always overrate Wout when he isn't there and are constantly surprised he is dropped by MVDP when he is there. It's one of the great mysteries in public opinion about cycling
this is spot on.

Tho its not many people who think that anymore after what weve seen time and time again everytime the last years, its only fanatics fans or trolls who do and you can count en on two hands properly.

Wva is in fact way closer to likes of Bettiol and Pedersen than he is to Vdp level weve seen that countless of times over and over the last years.
 
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And the whole WvA vs Van der Poel is weird anyway. On the road they are, in my opinion, completely different riders.

As much as WvA loves classics I think Van der Poel is generally much more geared towards them in his abilities.
Wout is just an allround nutcase who can do anything. And therefore a very effective at GT stages. The rivalry is only really there in Paris Roubaix in my opinion.
 
And the whole WvA vs Van der Poel is weird anyway. On the road they are, in my opinion, completely different riders.

As much as WvA loves classics I think Van der Poel is generally much more geared towards them in his abilities.
Wout is just an allround nutcase who can do anything. And therefore a very effective at GT stages. The rivalry is only really there in Paris Roubaix in my opinion.
Spot on as i said the suspense would change only if pogacar entered flandern thats not the case in Robauix. Wva in robauix is a challenge for vdp and their more equal atleast there,100%.
 
And the whole WvA vs Van der Poel is weird anyway. On the road they are, in my opinion, completely different riders.

As much as WvA loves classics I think Van der Poel is generally much more geared towards them in his abilities.
Wout is just an allround nutcase who can do anything. And therefore a very effective at GT stages. The rivalry is only really there in Paris Roubaix in my opinion.
I can certainly see what you're saying, and agree in some part. I still think Mathieu would not have dropped him today. Like I said, we will never know.