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European Championships 2023: Road Races (September 22-24)

Page 8 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
but then why leave it so late to try and cut the gap back ? at 1km it looked like Laporte had it won, WvA cuts the gap superbly to take it to the line but in so doing knackered his sprint for it

so I dont see what any of them sitting back hoped to gain by waiting on a circuit like that, its not like they hadnt done it a few times to know the way the course ran so would have a good idea where theyd have to commit to pull a 10sec gap back, its like almost they just expected Laporte to tire or give up.

Laporte was super strong. Full credit to him for holding on superbly after his solo.

I did think he was committing tactical suicide by attacking with Belgium/Netherland/Denmark having 2 riders each, but I guess this is also why noone responded to the attack on the last lap.
 
Overall, I think this race is a terrible proxy for actual championship races or hard classics. This was a meme parcours where the biggest selection was due to crashes. Unless De Lie shows something in a Sanremo or RVV I'm really not inclined to back him over Van Aert in a major championship race any time soon.
If a WC/EC is as hard as something like Ronde, then Belgium are obviously highly unlikely to end up with two of Van Aert, De Lie and Philipsen in a group that sprints for the win in the first place, so that's a moot point.

In longer races, Van Aert has ***ed up almost every sprint he's been in, so persisting with him there is a proven losing strategy, whereas going for De Lie isn't. As for shorter races, what De Lie did in Quebec was more impressive than any sprint Van Aert has done in a one-day race for years independent of difficulty, and therefore reason enough to go for De Lie today. And don't even get me started on Philipsen.
 
If a WC/EC is as hard as something like Ronde, then Belgium are obviously highly unlikely to end up with two of Van Aert, De Lie and Philipsen in a group that sprints for the win in the first place, so that's a moot point.

In longer races, Van Aert has ***ed up almost every sprint he's been in, so persisting with him there is a proven losing strategy, whereas going for De Lie isn't. As for shorter races, what De Lie did in Quebec was more impressive than any sprint Van Aert has done in a one-day race for years independent of difficulty, and therefore reason enough to go for De Lie today. And don't even get me started on Philipsen.

So Van Aert is not allowed to attack early because of Remco and not allowed to sprint because of De Lie and Philipsen?

I don't think he will sign for that.
 
Ok but Laporte was not spent too? De lie did a wonderful job, this should be an easy win specially against his regular domestique in classics. He is not riding against MVP.

Laporte was super strong and it was a very big gap to close against a strong rider in 1 km.

Maybe going Van Aert - De Lie for the finish would have been faster, but doing the VAM-berg flat-out and hoping for the best from there was the only choice in the last kilometer.
 
So Van Aert is not allowed to attack early because of Remco and not allowed to sprint because of De Lie and Philipsen?

I don't think he will sign for that.
Van Aert should share responsibility with Evenepoel for earlier attacks, be the one to instigate/cover later moves (but sit on the wheel if Belgium have better chances in the sprint) and sometimes do leadouts and that's it. Obviously you don't relegate him to a domestique role, but he should never be the out-and-out leader. If he doesn't want to be a teamplayer, then don't select him at all, or at least not on a route where a reduced sprint is expected - Belgium can win without him when they have a generation this good.
 
Van Aert should share responsibility with Evenepoel for earlier attacks, be the one to instigate/cover later moves (but sit on if Belgium have better chances in the sprint) and sometimes do leadouts and that's it. Obviously you don't relegate him to a domestique role, but he should never be the out-and-out leader. If he doesn't want to be a teamplayer, then don't select him at all - Belgium can win without him when they have a generation this good.

How do you come to such harsh and definite conclusions after today?

It's very likely that noone in the world would have been able to beat Laporte in a similar situation as the one that was at the bottom of the VAM-berg today.

Mads Pedersen was absolutely destroyed, and you would think he would be one of the best riders for a finish like that.

I might agree that De Lie has the upper hand to Wout on a finish like today's but certainly not in a flat sprint.
 
How do you come to such harsh and definite conclusions after today?

It's very likely that noone in the world would have been able to beat Laporte in a similar situation as the one that was at the bottom of the VAM-berg today.

Mads Pedersen was absolutely destroyed, and you would think he would be one of the best riders for a finish like that.

I might agree that De Lie has the upper hand to Wout on a finish like today's but certainly not in a flat sprint.
It's not just today, it's years and years of Van Aert simultaneously being bad at sprints at the end of classic-style races and getting full leadership with Belgium over and over anyway. Hence why I already said as much about Van Aert leading Belgium in sprints before the sprint actually happened.

I think De Lie could have pulled it off if the roles were reversed. I definitely think an in-form Van der Poel pulls it off.

Pedersen is not in great form anymore, the Denmark-Hamburg-Germany trio back-to-back-to-back was too much and he hasn't had the same legs since collapsing in the first hilly stage of the latter race.

De Lie's flat sprints have mainly been less impressive because it's his positioning that hurts him and flat sprints are more frequently full bunch sprints than uphill ones are. The more reduced the sprint is, the less that becomes an issue, and then Belgium can obviously offer stronger support than Lotto (not a criticism of Lotto, Belgium is simply the strongest country on De Lie's terrain).
 
It's not just today, it's years and years of Van Aert simultaneously being bad at sprints at the end of classic-style races and getting full leadership with Belgium over and over anyway. Hence why I already said as much about Van Aert leading Belgium in sprints before the sprint actually happened.

I think De Lie could have pulled it off if the roles were reversed. I definitely think an in-form Van der Poel pulls it off.

Pedersen is not in great form anymore, the Denmark-Hamburg-Germany trio back-to-back-to-back was too much and he hasn't had the same legs since collapsing in the first hilly stage of the latter race.

De Lie's flat sprints have mainly been less impressive because it's his positioning that hurts him and flat sprints are more frequently full bunch sprints than uphill ones are. The more reduced the sprint is, the less that becomes an issue, and then Belgium can obviously offer stronger support than Lotto (not a criticism of Lotto, Belgium is simply the strongest country on De Lie's terrain).
It's interesting to blame Van Aerts failing sprint when he won the sprint of his own group and it's not like Kooij is a hack on this terrain. It's also hard to blame Van Aert for claiming leadership when he's literally in every first group while De Lie is missing groups at multiple laps to go.
 
It's not just today, it's years and years of Van Aert simultaneously being bad at sprints at the end of classic-style races and getting full leadership with Belgium over and over anyway. Hence why I already said as much about Van Aert leading Belgium in sprints before the sprint actually happened.

I think De Lie could have pulled it off if the roles were reversed. I definitely think an in-form Van der Poel pulls it off.

Pedersen is not in great form anymore, the Denmark-Hamburg-Germany trio back-to-back-to-back was too much and he hasn't had the same legs since collapsing in the first hilly stage of the latter race.

De Lie's flat sprints have mainly been less impressive because it's his positioning that hurts him and flat sprints are more frequently full bunch sprints than uphill ones are. The more reduced the sprint is, the less that becomes an issue, and then Belgium can obviously offer stronger support than Lotto (not a criticism of Lotto, Belgium is simply the strongest country on De Lie's terrain).

I definitely don't think it's only positioning that's a problem for De Lie. He is way way too un-aerodynamic to be efficient in a flat sprint. Wout is a better bet, there.

It's true that Wout is probably no Kristoff or Pedersen in a sprint after a long, hard day, but he isn't that bad either...
 
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It's interesting to blame Van Aerts failing sprint when he won the sprint of his own group and it's not like Kooij is a hack on this terrain. It's also hard to blame Van Aert for claiming leadership when he's literally in every first group while De Lie is missing groups at multiple laps to go.
Again, I'm not saying Van Aert should spend 200 kilometres riding for De Lie, or that De Lie should be the sole leader - in fact, I've very clearly stated that that should not be the case. I'm saying De Lie should be the one sprinting when both of them are in a small group. Québec De Lie likely wins today. Had De Lie missed the decisive split, it's a different story, but that goes without saying - and you'd think that De Lie will get better at making splits as he gains more experience anyway...
 
The question I always have about Wout: why is he not the rider to go up the road at 12-15 kms? He can sprint out of corners, climb and TT with the best. Why is he seemingly always caught flat footed when the winning move goes? You can't tell me that Laporte is a better rider on today's finishing circuits. So frustrating because Wout has all the skills to win almost every one day race he enters. If he gets even a 10 second gap, all De Lie has to do is sit back and rehydrate, pound some gels and think about his sprint if Wout is caught, which would be no sure thing...
 
The question I always have about Wout: why is he not the rider to go up the road at 12-15 kms? He can sprint out of corners, climb and TT with the best. Why is he seemingly always caught flat footed when the winning move goes? You can't tell me that Laporte is a better rider on today's finishing circuits. So frustrating because Wout has all the skills to win almost every one day race he enters. If he gets even a 10 second gap, all De Lie has to do is sit back and rehydrate, pound some gels and think about his sprint if Wout is caught, which would be no sure thing...
That’s what everyone is saying. He did it twice in Wevelgem and in the yellow jersey (Tour). Maybe not the best feeling in the final and thinking he would be the best in the sprint in this field.
 
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I just finished watching the replay. This is the month of the gifts.

I know that there are some die hard fans of the ban of the radios, but for an outsider it simply looks stupid. An outsider would just say, "why don't they use technology?" LOL. You just don't want to watch members of the same team pulling at the same time on both ends of the race. How do you explain that.
 
I overslept this morning so just watched replay of last 40km.
When LaPorte attacked, he did not make some monster, Pog-like jump. But the two riders soft-pedaling side-by-by side on the front were chatting at that moment, paused to look up when LaPorte cruised by as though they were thinking, “oh, isn’t that interesting,” and then went back to chatting without increasing the pace at all. We blame the failure of power teams (Belg, Danes) to put enough effort in the chasing group for screwing up their chances to win the race. Yet they weren’t the ones who couldn’t be bothered to get on LaPorte’s wheel at that key moment.

Do riders who aren’t on the strongest teams feel so impotent in being able to win or shape the race results that they only follow whatever others are doing? I guess that’s inevitable to a certain degree when certain teams dominate a sport like we are seeing in cycling now. But that doesn’t mean riders on the less powerful teams should be free from criticism for sh*tty race awareness or lackluster effort.
 
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Woah.. just watched the replay now, that was some finale! Wva explodes himself to close in but then Laporte The Greatest finds somethin extraterestrial for a final dig.
Yes, the chase and the ending were unbelievable. I thought that Laporte would get caught and he put his guts on the table in the last 50 meters. What an effort! What a win! Bravo Christophe!
 
Yes, the chase and the ending were unbelievable. I thought that Laporte would get caught and he put his guts on the table in the last 50 meters. What an effort! What a win! Bravo Christophe!
Chapeau to Laporte for taking he race on and finding that last reserves of power to cling on but the finish line was ridiculous to have less than 50 metres of straight road meaning whoever had the inside line had at least a 90% chance of winning.
 
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Jumbo 1-2-3 getting really old at this point
I mean, yeah but not really. France, Netherlands and Belgium won medals. What makes it boring is when they are working together for sweeps. That came down to the wire and was really fun to watch. Everyone was talking about how it was going to be a bunch sprint but it turned out to be a pretty great finale. The crash had a small effect but I don't think that was coming down to a bunch sprint anyway.
 
Van Aert should share responsibility with Evenepoel for earlier attacks, be the one to instigate/cover later moves (but sit on the wheel if Belgium have better chances in the sprint) and sometimes do leadouts and that's it. Obviously you don't relegate him to a domestique role, but he should never be the out-and-out leader. If he doesn't want to be a teamplayer, then don't select him at all, or at least not on a route where a reduced sprint is expected - Belgium can win without him when they have a generation this good.
While I think much of the WvA criticism here is way over the top...this is fair. I think he has shown in the WC/Olympics/Euro Championships, that him being the sole or preferred leader, ends badly every time. I think if he has a season where he wins a spring monument, and is clearly riding well, then maybe allow that, but his career so far shows that when he is Belgium's main threat, he isn't a real threat at all, for the win...but if your goal is 2nd, he's your leader...
 
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