(Dutch Beer Race) Amstel Gold Race 2021, 216.7k. Sunday.

Page 18 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.

Pick the winner.

  • Pidcock / Kwiatkowski

    Votes: 9 11.3%
  • Bagioli / Vansevenant / Alaphilippe

    Votes: 10 12.5%
  • Schachmann / Schelling

    Votes: 3 3.8%
  • van Aert / Roglic

    Votes: 33 41.3%
  • Valverde

    Votes: 5 6.3%
  • Hirschi

    Votes: 2 2.5%
  • Fuglsang

    Votes: 1 1.3%
  • Matthews

    Votes: 2 2.5%
  • Hindsgaul Madsen

    Votes: 3 3.8%
  • All these choices are ridiculous, I'm making my ballot invalid.

    Votes: 12 15.0%

  • Total voters
    80
  • Poll closed .
Yea, you'd say that realistically rather than being part of Ardennes Week, it really belongs as a pair with Brabantse Pijl and then Flèche and La Doyenne are the Ardennes proper.

At the same time, we should be wary of extrapolating too much from this year's edition because of the route changes - while they went up the three obstacles of the race several times, it was significantly shorter than normal editions and also skipped a lot of the climbs that could be more preferable to the Ardennes specialists, like Keutenberg and Eyserbosweg, in favour of a circuit including some less selective ones (the love affair with the Bemelerberg must end, it adds nothing other than a number to the amount of climbs in the race, and is no more worthwhile than literally a bit further on flat roads). Also Gilbert winning cobbled classics is more of a late career development, he's always been competitive in them but the hilly classics have always been his bread and butter.
Agree with the entire post except the Bemelerberg bit. At least I don't see a better alternative. On a race with laps like today, maybe there would be some, but todays circumstances are hopefully not gonna get the norm anyway. But usually I'd argue it's pretty much perfect at what it does. It's so easy that nobody in his right mind would think of waiting for it as the spot for your attack, but late in the race it's an interesting last spot for attacks from a small group. Iirc it's the point where Gilbert and Kwiatkowski dropped the rest of their group in 2017 and it was kinda crucial in 2019 since for a long time it gave Fuglsang hope that he could still attack Alaphilippe there. The track standing only started once those attacks weren't succesful.

Of course it's only an easy climb, but that's exactly its point and I disagree that it's so easy that it doesn't impact the racing anyway.
 
Can somebody tell me why Bora did send Schelling away? Could he not be more helpful a bit later in the final? Or did they think he wouldn't play a role in the final anyway, so better use him as long as he's got gas?
I just really wondered, he looked so strong and his move seemed rather like a waste to me.
 
Reactions: Fantastico
100% the marginal gains of Roglic sacrificing is tire for you
Pidcock:
"I got excited following Roglič with a few laps to go. I just need to wait a bit longer. I got drawn in a bit but it was clearly just for Wout. I’ll be careful for that next time.”
Marginal gains by WvA with Pidcock following Roglic's attack and getting tired because of it. :tearsofjoy:
 
Agree with the entire post except the Bemelerberg bit. At least I don't see a better alternative. On a race with laps like today, maybe there would be some, but todays circumstances are hopefully not gonna get the norm anyway. But usually I'd argue it's pretty much perfect at what it does. It's so easy that nobody in his right mind would think of waiting for it as the spot for your attack, but late in the race it's an interesting last spot for attacks from a small group. Iirc it's the point where Gilbert and Kwiatkowski dropped the rest of their group in 2017 and it was kinda crucial in 2019 since for a long time it gave Fuglsang hope that he could still attack Alaphilippe there. The track standing only started once those attacks weren't succesful.

Of course it's only an easy climb, but that's exactly its point and I disagree that it's so easy that it doesn't impact the racing anyway.
In recent years they've done circuits with this finish and it has rendered the more interesting climbs, save for the Cauberg, worthless. If they didn't keep on with circuits and could therefore get climbs like Keutenberg into areas where they become potentially selective again, then did the current Cauberg-Geulhemmerweg-Bemelerberg-finish route but without any repetition of it, I'd be much less anti, as the only reasonably selective climb on that loop is the Cauberg, and that circuit takes up too much of the finale for climbs other than the Cauberg to be decisive. With some of the climbs that are steeper and offer more to the Ardennes specialist a bit closer to the finish but the last obstacles easier, those guys would hopefully be tempted to make moves while simultaneously the run-in with the easier Bemelerberg as the last climb would mean that they wouldn't be able to leave it to a sprint on the Cauberg like happened too often in the late 00s-early 10s, and the short length of those steeper climbs wouldn't exclude the cobbled guys from contention either because the flat parts of the run-in would obviously favour them over a climber type, so it would remain a nicer halfway house between the cobbled guys and the Ardennes specialists but with more potential platforms for attack. Since introducing the crappy Bemelerberg loop following the Worlds in 2012, it feels like every climb elsewhere on the route has been reduced to an afterthought. Moving the finish so they didn't go back to the Cauberg was a positive thing as it meant forcing attacks on the previous pass of the Cauberg since the last climb was so difficult to get separation on unless you're already in a very small selection, and IIRC the first edition after that move was the best received AGR in years.

I don't, however, want to slate them for the circuits race here, because that was their option in order to get the race held at all. But that 2012 Worlds Circuit, while fine in and of itself as a Worlds route, had been a horrible addition to AGR, making potential platforms for decisive attacks not worth using while simultaneously adding nothing of value to the route, until the re-routing of the final lap to skip the Cauberg which was a risky choice, but it worked really well.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
In recent years they've done circuits with this finish and it has rendered the more interesting climbs, save for the Cauberg, worthless. If they didn't keep on with circuits and could therefore get climbs like Keutenberg into areas where they become potentially selective again, then did the current Cauberg-Geulhemmerweg-Bemelerberg-finish route but without any repetition of it, I'd be much less anti, as the only reasonably selective climb on that loop is the Cauberg, and that circuit takes up too much of the finale for climbs other than the Cauberg to be decisive. With some of the climbs that are steeper and offer more to the Ardennes specialist a bit closer to the finish but the last obstacles easier, those guys would hopefully be tempted to make moves while simultaneously the run-in with the easier Bemelerberg as the last climb would mean that they wouldn't be able to leave it to a sprint on the Cauberg like happened too often in the late 00s-early 10s, and the short length of those steeper climbs wouldn't exclude the cobbled guys from contention either because the flat parts of the run-in would obviously favour them over a climber type, so it would remain a nicer halfway house between the cobbled guys and the Ardennes specialists but with more potential platforms for attack. Since introducing the crappy Bemelerberg loop following the Worlds in 2012, it feels like every climb elsewhere on the route has been reduced to an afterthought. Moving the finish so they didn't go back to the Cauberg was a positive thing as it meant forcing attacks on the previous pass of the Cauberg since the last climb was so difficult to get separation on unless you're already in a very small selection, and IIRC the first edition after that move was the best received AGR in years.

I don't, however, want to slate them for the circuits race here, because that was their option in order to get the race held at all. But that 2012 Worlds Circuit, while fine in and of itself as a Worlds route, had been a horrible addition to AGR, making potential platforms for decisive attacks not worth using while simultaneously adding nothing of value to the route, until the re-routing of the final lap to skip the Cauberg which was a risky choice, but it worked really well.
I don't really understand your problem then. The Kruisberg to Keutenberg section had become completely indifferent to the race over the late 00's, early 10's yet apparently has gotten back its importance in 2017, precisely the year the Bemelerberg became the final climb of the race again. I don't know which climbs exactly the attacks happened on but both Gilbert's attack in 2017 and Alaphilippe's attack in 2019 (even though he eventually didn't win, that attack still made the race) came in that Kruisberg to Keutenberg section so I feel like if we want to keep that section important, not changing the route is precisely what should be done. I guess the race could do without the Bemelerberg and not have any climb in the last 10 kilometres but I don't see how that's making things better either.

I'm also not entirely certain what route you would be proposing based on your post because when you mean they should ditch that lap at the end do you mean they should ditch the Cauberg as well? If yes I guess I kinda see your point. I really like the current route, but I suppose if the Keutenberg was the last climb of the race the route would be pretty good too. I just don't ever see that happening because the organizers won't want to completely eliminate the by far most iconic climb of their race from their finale.
If no, I simply disagree. The racing would be better than with the Bemelerberg as the penultimate climb like it was for a few years, but I genuinely think on the current route, the Kruisberg-Keutenberg section is more important than it would be with the Cauberg back in the finale.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
I got nothing to do, so I'll see how my "prediction" went.

green: right, blue: okayish, yellow: okayish because I'm nice to myself, red: massively wrong, red and italic: keep away from the peppermint tea BR, black: not graded

:beermug::beermug::beermug::beermug::beermug:+:frenchfries: Roglic (69), van Aert (1)
:beermug::beermug::beermug::beermug::beermug: Alaphilippe (6), Pidcock (2)
:beermug::beermug::beermug::beermug:+:frenchfries: Schachmann (3), Schelling (56)
:beermug::beermug::beermug::beermug: Bagioli (out before race)
:beermug::beermug::beermug:+ :frenchfries: Trentin (12), Teuns (33)
:beermug::beermug::beermug: Matthews (4), Valverde (5)
:beermug::beermug:+:frenchfries: Impey (21), Stannard (92), Vansevenant (67)
:beermug::beermug: van Avermaet (26), Hirschi (35)
:beermug:+:frenchfries: Gogl (51), Fuglsang (38)
:beermug: Paret-Peintre (18), Cort (39), Barguil (25), Colbrelli (72)

Top10 riders not on my list: Sbaragli, Kwiatkowski, Mohoric, van der Sande. (Basically, the top6 were all on my list, but none from 7-20 was except for Trentin and Paret-Peintre).
 
I disagree.
Hopefully this is the last edition on a circuit.
Hard to please, much?

It pretty much had everything you want in a bike race. Attacks by top riders from far out, strong breaks, leads changing hands, multiple teams trying to leverage their strength, and a will-they-won’t-they bunch bearing down on the cat and mousing leaders at the finish. I enjoyed it.

It beat the snot out of “everybody who wants to win, hide in the bunch until the last time up the Cauberg” that we got every year with the old route.
 
After posting that, I saw some on Twitter saying it was actually 4/10.000 which would be 6mm. Confusing, just like most of the finish data we got :D Kittel/Haagen was something like 3/10.000 so even closer than that anyway.
Even now I'm still not convinced on that Kittel win; like today they announced the winner far too soon without having looked properly. They need to stop doing this; wait until they've got confirmation - not 30 secs after the finish.

After having seen too many poor VAR decisions, I'm inclined not to trust any photos, especially when they put lines on them.....
 
I don't really understand your problem then. The Kruisberg to Keutenberg section had become completely indifferent to the race over the late 00's, early 10's yet apparently has gotten back its importance in 2017, precisely the year the Bemelerberg became the final climb of the race again. I don't know which climbs exactly the attacks happened on but both Gilbert's attack in 2017 and Alaphilippe's attack in 2019 (even though he eventually didn't win, that attack still made the race) came in that Kruisberg to Keutenberg section so I feel like if we want to keep that section important, not changing the route is precisely what should be done. I guess the race could do without the Bemelerberg and not have any climb in the last 10 kilometres but I don't see how that's making things better either.

I'm also not entirely certain what route you would be proposing based on your post because when you mean they should ditch that lap at the end do you mean they should ditch the Cauberg as well? If yes I guess I kinda see your point. I really like the current route, but I suppose if the Keutenberg was the last climb of the race the route would be pretty good too. I just don't ever see that happening because the organizers won't want to completely eliminate the by far most iconic climb of their race from their finale.
If no, I simply disagree. The racing would be better than with the Bemelerberg as the penultimate climb like it was for a few years, but I genuinely think on the current route, the Kruisberg-Keutenberg section is more important than it would be with the Cauberg back in the finale.


The biggest problem is actually that big loop around using the finishing circuit and a bunch of flat before the Kruisberg to Keutenberg stretch because they've got to get multiple laps of that circuit in, and doing that can't be chained in as well as OK-Paterberg in RVV because you've got to get back to somewhere selective other than the Cauberg via the Bemelerberg to do so. Because the Bemelerberg is nothing to a pro péloton and is on wide and well paved roads, it serves in the same fashion as that long gap between the Kapelmuur and the remaining climbs in the women's Ronde. Nobody will ever go earlier than that, because that period of the race will neutralise moves, but it means everybody's hitting the Kruisberg to Keutenberg stretch fresh, meaning more domestiques are available and moves are less likely to succeed. If we can chain that section directly off some of the tougher sections from earlier in the race and put the clone of the 2012 circuit near the start of the race when it's just empty kilometres rather than putting a 30km stretch where the Bemelerberg is the toughest obstacle that separates the race up as though having an officially designated "soft-pedal part" and "racing part", then you're likely to have more selectivity at that section.

I mean, hell, if they're embracing the "not quite Ardennes" identity and allowing the race to become more of a middle ground like Brabantse Pijl (and I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing) then just forgo the unnecessary circuit and put the finish back in Maastricht like it was until they got upset that Zabel won. Chain the harder climbs to one another without the crappy Bemelerberg circuit earlier on so there's constant up and down from like 100k to 20k to go if they're scared about having sprinters win it again, and then have Geulhemmerweg be the last climb.
 
Reactions: Red Rick
Attacks by top riders from far out, strong breaks, leads changing hands, multiple teams trying to leverage their strength, l
I'm not hard to please actually.
I just watched a different race. Nothing really happened until the last Cauberg. It was exactly how the race looked like on the old route, with an additional 15 minutes of drama.

Which is fine if compared to the old route. But much worse than what we've seen in the past 3-4 years on the new route.
 
Reactions: search
I'm not hard to please actually.
I just watched a different race. Nothing really happened until the last Cauberg. It was exactly how the race looked like on the old route, with an additional 15 minutes of drama.

Which is fine if compared to the old route. But much worse than what we've seen in the past 3-4 years on the new route.
It was better than I expected. Plenty of moves early though nothing went anywhere, and I'd feared it would be a super obvious 30 guy sprint after the final Cauberg.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan

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