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Future cobbles challengers.

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Jun 9, 2012
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Pentacycle said:
Zdenek already was a contender this year until that spectator hit him. And Gilbert is an unknown factor, perhaps he's getting better on pavé as he gets older.

Yeah, Gilbert may do well. No pressure from the stripes anymore either.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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I guess Vanmarcke shouldn't be mentioned anymore because he is al ready a contender, no? Otherwise I don't see why he isn't being mentioned in every post already, riding (almost) equally with Cancellara in past PR, despite, IIRC, being injured during the preparation of the classics.
 
For your random surprising Frenchman this year, consider Johan Le Bon. He was 4th in De Panne this year, and 2nd in Tro-Bro Léon - behind his own teammate, so he didn't attack until near the end once Mourey's victory was assured. He's pretty good at putting down the power on the flat too (5th in the Chrono des Nations, 4th in the De Panne TT). He was 26th at Roubaix last year, satisfactorily anonymous not to be picked up for much attention, but finished ahead of some pretty notable names.
 
No mention of Hayman? He's the sole leader of Orica, doesn't have to overtrain at Tenerife this year, now has DS's that understand classics, an ok (but not great) team and won't be expected to take charge.

I think a top 5 is very possible for him. Now Flecha's retired the only riders you would say are definitely better are Boonen, Cancellara and possibly Stybar.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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No love for Vanmarcke?

He crashed in TA and had a knee injury. Only by PR he found his form again and there he was almost equal to Cancellara, losing only because of a crappy sprint. If he comes in that shape for all the cobbled classics next year, he's going to be right up there with Cancellara and Boonen. I guess barring PR Sagan will be up there as well. I also expect great things of Stybar doing so well in his first PR.

These races are very difficult to predict, but I guess there are three guys who might come close to Cancellara and Boonen level this year. Imo it will be very open and exciting. :)

EDIT: although I guess he shouldn't be mentioned in this thread as he isn't a future cobbled challanger anymore, considering he contended for the win in PR this year, despite starting the cobbled races coming out of a crash in TA.
 
Apr 15, 2013
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Libertine Seguros said:
For your random surprising Frenchman this year, consider Johan Le Bon. He was 4th in De Panne this year, and 2nd in Tro-Bro Léon - behind his own teammate, so he didn't attack until near the end once Mourey's victory was assured. He's pretty good at putting down the power on the flat too (5th in the Chrono des Nations, 4th in the De Panne TT). He was 26th at Roubaix last year, satisfactorily anonymous not to be picked up for much attention, but finished ahead of some pretty notable names.

He has great potential indeed, after having lost a fair bit of time since his junior titles. Could be a surprise in future years.

For me next year could see Stybar topple Boonen and Cancellara. He has great potential, and should be in a position of playing the Chavanel/Devolder role at OPQS while Boonen and Cancellara stay together.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
For your random surprising Frenchman this year, consider Johan Le Bon. He was 4th in De Panne this year, and 2nd in Tro-Bro Léon - behind his own teammate, so he didn't attack until near the end once Mourey's victory was assured. He's pretty good at putting down the power on the flat too (5th in the Chrono des Nations, 4th in the De Panne TT). He was 26th at Roubaix last year, satisfactorily anonymous not to be picked up for much attention, but finished ahead of some pretty notable names.

Good pick indeed. If I'm not mistaken it was his first year with the pros as well.
Promising rider indeed.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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I really hope Durbridge focusses on the cobbles, he has very little experience on them, but seems to have the physical characteristics. Moving forward I don't think he can lose the weight needed to challenge for one week stage races at 1WT level and is more likely to contest the cobbles. This season he got a taste of cobbled classics for the first time and said he enjoyed it and is looking to focus on them this year.
 
karlboss said:
I really hope Durbridge focusses on the cobbles, he has very little experience on them, but seems to have the physical characteristics. Moving forward I don't think he can lose the weight needed to challenge for one week stage races at 1WT level and is more likely to contest the cobbles. This season he got a taste of cobbled classics for the first time and said he enjoyed it and is looking to focus on them this year.

Always good to hear another big TT engine getting interested in the cobbles. Bring on the action.
 
karlboss said:
I really hope Durbridge focusses on the cobbles, he has very little experience on them, but seems to have the physical characteristics. Moving forward I don't think he can lose the weight needed to challenge for one week stage races at 1WT level and is more likely to contest the cobbles. This season he got a taste of cobbled classics for the first time and said he enjoyed it and is looking to focus on them this year.
Call me crazy but I have a feeling that Matthews will be better suited - I see him becoming more like a Hushovd while Durbridge will be similar to Tony Martin in time. He's lost quite a bit of upper body weight over the last year too BTW.

Happy to be proven wrong though.
 
42x16ss said:
Call me crazy but I have a feeling that Matthews will be better suited - I see him becoming more like a Hushovd while Durbridge will be similar to Tony Martin in time. He's lost quite a bit of upper body weight over the last year too BTW.

Happy to be proven wrong though.

Assuming he tried to slim the upper body to be competitive in the more hilly stage races last year, he should be able to put the mass back on again.

But hey lets see both having a go.
 
ingsve said:
Vegard Breen. You heard it here first.
That's certainly a first. Well, he clearly has a talent suited for cobbled classics, but I doubt he'll be a challenger. I just don't see him having that little extra to actually win something, as his sprint is bad and he's not very explosive. He's also 23 already, so who knows how much he can improve (some Norwegians stop developing at 21!).

I hope I'm wrong though, he's an amazing guy and the way he won Ronde de l'Oise would even have made Txurruka proud. To be 2nd overall and attack solo with 100 km to go on a relatively flat stage, bridging to the break and actually stay away is certainly one hell of a performance.

Hopefully Lotto will give him a good program this year with some freedom to go on the attack, it'd be a shame to see him simply riding on the front for Greipel.
 
Aug 16, 2011
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Gallopin's got his sights set on Flanders.

Even though I might have more talent to win a race like Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Flanders is what I dreamed off since I was a young boy."

Gallopin's love for Flanders started early. "I can't explain it but there just isn't a more beautiful race than the Tour of Flanders. Peter van Petegem [two-times winner] was my idol. When I was 13 I bought Leif Hoste's [three times second in Tour of Flanders] bike and rode with it for two years."

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/tony-gallopin-dreams-about-tour-of-flanders
 

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