How to beat Quick-Step

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QS riders are certainly very strong, but individually none of them would be an absolute top favourite in a direct confrontation. I think QS played with fire because they almost managed to get to the final part of the race with all the favourites still together, which almost allowed a straight confrontation head-to-head on the basis of raw power going up the muurs. Anyway, as noted, QS's numerical superiority might well have made it impossible for the other contenders to cover their every move, but when you just let the first serious move go I don't think you're honestly in a position to blame it on their numerical superiority.
 
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DFA123 said:
Flamin said:
It was QS's third attack actually after Terpstra on Koppenberg and Stybar between Taaienberg and Kruisberg.
Not all attacks are the same. Those two weren't proper attacks, they were just trying to thin the group out a bit. Terpstra's decisive move was clearly a full on effort to get away. The first such move in the race by Quickstep.
Of course those were proper attacks, except that they were covered by other major favourites so no point in riding on. Terpstra's continued to be one because he had a solid gap straight away and Nibali was a good companion.
 
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DFA123 said:
Flamin said:
It was QS's third attack actually after Terpstra on Koppenberg and Stybar between Taaienberg and Kruisberg.
Not all attacks are the same. Those two weren't proper attacks, they were just trying to thin the group out a bit. Terpstra's decisive move was clearly a full on effort to get away. The first such move in the race by Quickstep.
You say 2 posts up that “half the group could have stayed with a Terpstra if they wanted” but here you say those other attacks “weren’t proper attacks.” I don’t think you can have it both ways.

Besides which, I also don’t think you can say “half the group” could go with Terpstra when Nibali couldn’t even hold his wheel. There was definitely a collective sitting up after Terpstra bridged to Nibali, and that was a crucial moment for everyone, but he put a lot of power down on that attack and he was determined to go away solo.

But again, as everyone has said, even if Terpstra had been brought back, QuickStep still had 2 fresh options sitting in the wheels waiting to launch the next one.
 
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Leinster said:
DFA123 said:
Flamin said:
It was QS's third attack actually after Terpstra on Koppenberg and Stybar between Taaienberg and Kruisberg.
Not all attacks are the same. Those two weren't proper attacks, they were just trying to thin the group out a bit. Terpstra's decisive move was clearly a full on effort to get away. The first such move in the race by Quickstep.
You say 2 posts up that “half the group could have stayed with a Terpstra if they wanted” but here you say those other attacks “weren’t proper attacks.” I don’t think you can have it both ways.

Besides which, I also don’t think you can say “half the group” could go with Terpstra when Nibali couldn’t even hold his wheel. There was definitely a collective sitting up after Terpstra bridged to Nibali, and that was a crucial moment for everyone, but he put a lot of power down on that attack and he was determined to go away solo.

But again, as everyone has said, even if Terpstra had been brought back, QuickStep still had 2 fresh options sitting in the wheels waiting to launch the next one.
Of course half the group could go with Terpstra (the likes of GVA, Sagan, Benoot etc) when he attacked if they had responded immediately. Nevertheless, it was completely different from his move on the Koppenberg which was almost nothing.

And obviously Quickstep had 2 options that could have counter attacked. But how 'fresh' they were is open to debate. They didn't look too fresh on the Kwaremont or Paterberg. It's not really a race where you can just sit and follow and conserve energy all day. And, in any case, the only way to beat Quickstep is to make them prove that their riders are unbeatable and hope that they fall short. If they can put in however many counter attacks are needed to win then there is nothing you can do. But at least make them do that. The other favourites didn't make them do that yesterday, because they were all too scared about giving an edge to the other big names in the group. It was weak, defensive riding from all of them, and they all lost out to one pretty basic and predictable move by Quickstep.
 
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Leinster said:
DFA123 said:
Flamin said:
It was QS's third attack actually after Terpstra on Koppenberg and Stybar between Taaienberg and Kruisberg.
Not all attacks are the same. Those two weren't proper attacks, they were just trying to thin the group out a bit. Terpstra's decisive move was clearly a full on effort to get away. The first such move in the race by Quickstep.
You say 2 posts up that “half the group could have stayed with a Terpstra if they wanted” but here you say those other attacks “weren’t proper attacks.” I don’t think you can have it both ways.

Besides which, I also don’t think you can say “half the group” could go with Terpstra when Nibali couldn’t even hold his wheel. There was definitely a collective sitting up after Terpstra bridged to Nibali, and that was a crucial moment for everyone, but he put a lot of power down on that attack and he was determined to go away solo.

But again, as everyone has said, even if Terpstra had been brought back, QuickStep still had 2 fresh options sitting in the wheels waiting to launch the next one.
Terpstra's attack was after he was when he dropped Nibali. The move to close down Nibali was fairly benign. I don't think he necessairly had to be 'brought back', just followed immediately. I don't think the energy expended in that case would have been too much.

QS are overwheliming favourites again on sunday, but I think someone like vanmarcke can put Gilbert under a lot of pressure on the cobbles. In fact, so could Oss. Stybar is the best out of QS on the cobbles imo, and Terpstra is in incredible so they'll be near impossible to shed - lampaert too.
 
There is no such thing as beating them if they play it right and no accident occurs. You would need a Cancellara or a Boonen in top shape, maybe Van Avermaet 2017 could do it, but there's nobody on that level this year.

Say you follow Terpstra, he stops riding and then if the group behind bridges Lampaert goes. And you have no teammate to cover it. It's a nightmare.
Paris Roubaix, being the most unpredictable of all cobble races, could be the easiest to win for the others. But still very hard.
 
putting riders up the road might work in theory but Quickstep would of course never allow Bora and BMC to go clear. I think they let Van Baarle and Langeveld go because neither team has a top tier favourite, it would never happen if one of the riders had been from BMC or Bora.
 
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hrotha said:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayHPWnb1ZRo

It's not like QS are guaranteed to play their cards right every time.
Exactly. At least give them the opportunity to f*** it up. Don't just hand them the race on a plate. In exactly the same way you have handed them nearly every other cobbled classic this season.
 
How to beat them? Easy.
Don't let them have a guy in early break.
Let them do the chasing.
Brutally atack them when they have a problem, like you always attacked when Sagan had one.
If they survive make agreement and put Sagan in Gilbert's wheel, Vanmarcke, Benoot on Terpstra one, GVA on Stybar one.

But impossible to do. Everybody is more scare of Sagan sprint then theirs nombers in finale, although is another CN forum mantra that Sagan sprint in the finale of PR should not be a problem.
This can be applied if they get rid of Sagan. Then the season can be saved for GVA.
Unfortunately this plan is not good enough for Vanmarcke.
 
SKSemtex said:
If they survive make agreement and put Sagan in Gilbert's wheel, Vanmarcke, Benoot on Terpstra one, GVA on Stybar one.

Unfortunately this plan is not good enough for Vanmarcke.
That's exactly what I was thinking with my original post and the idea of colluding. Then I also thought: that won't work for Vanmarcke (and also Benoot). Then I thought: it's just so counter to the mind set you need to have to win......because you have to exploit all your other rivals as well as just QS. And some one will free ride and exploit the riders riding against QS.

Then I thought: that's why this chess game was so intriguing. Even mentally I couldn't find a way out....imagine being out on the road....
 
Apr 1, 2013
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SKSemtex said:
How to beat them? Easy.
Don't let them have a guy in early break.
Let them do the chasing.
Brutally atack them when they have a problem, like you always attacked when Sagan had one.
If they survive make agreement and put Sagan in Gilbert's wheel, Vanmarcke, Benoot on Terpstra one, GVA on Stybar one.

But impossible to do. Everybody is more scare of Sagan sprint then theirs nombers in finale, although is another CN forum mantra that Sagan sprint in the finale of PR should not be a problem.
This can be applied if they get rid of Sagan. Then the season can be saved for GVA.
Unfortunately this plan is not good enough for Vanmarcke.
that would be the (theoretical) tactic with 99.9% certainty of beating QS ....
the weakness of QS is, they have no really strong finishers (against the likes of Démare, Sagan or van Avermaet)
the strenght of QS is, they have 3 to 4 riders who can take a 20+ km attack straight to the finish line (in case of Terpstra maybe 30+ km in case of Gilbert perhaps 40+ km) - none of the other teams have more than one rider able doing so ...
so the point would be
- neutralize the attacks from QS (and yes, you can't just have Sagan doing that job on his own)
- get to the finale with a smaller group (like Gent-Wevelgem)
counterattacks maybe aren't too wise as with a bunch of QS riders they should be able to neutralize them
 
One of the key things is to be able to identify which of their riders is a genuine threat. I'd have no problem with Stybar having a minute lead with Kwaremont and Paterberg and the headwind run-in to come. I'd not even be that worried if it was Gilbert based on what we've seen this season. But Terpstra would be a big problem

It's not just a question of defence either. If you're Benoot / Vanmarcke / Stuyven etc then how are you realistically going to have a chance to win this race or even make the podium ? I'd be basing my whole Ronde around trying to get away with Terpstra. Not that he's particular likely to be beaten in that scenario but you know you'll have some sort of chance. Sometimes I wonder what the folks in the car are getting paid for
 
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hrotha said:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayHPWnb1ZRo

It's not like QS are guaranteed to play their cards right every time.
Well that was a very specific scenario, and Stannard won for a number of reasons:

1) Vandebergh is an idiot;
2) Stannard was clearly the strongest rider in the race;
3) There was no other non-QS rider in the group, so Stannard had only one strategy available: close down any attack himself and pull like a madman hoping he was the strongest rider in the race. He didn't have to worry about dragging a faster rider to the finish, he didn't have to think about what to do, just pull.
4) Vanderbergh is tactically inept.

Whereas in the current cobbled races:

1) No VDB;
2) All QS riders are on the same page and tactically sound;
3) There is no rider who can make the difference like Stannard did in that race;
4) Whenever a QS rider attacks, other riders will always start looking at each other. One because he is tired, one because he has a teammate in the break, one because he doesn't want to drag Sagan to the finish only to be outsprinted. And so on. Groups rarely work together in this kind of races.

So in races where strength matters a lot, like De Ronde, I give the other riders very slim chances of winning (unless some QS riders crash or they decide for whatever reason to ride difensively like in GW).
In a race like PR, where luck and other thing must be factored in, I give the other riders a better shot, but still less than 50%.
 
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Eyeballs Out said:
One of the key things is to be able to identify which of their riders is a genuine threat. I'd have no problem with Stybar having a minute lead with Kwaremont and Paterberg and the headwind run-in to come. I'd not even be that worried if it was Gilbert based on what we've seen this season. But Terpstra would be a big problem

It's not just a question of defence either. If you're Benoot / Vanmarcke / Stuyven etc then how are you realistically going to have a chance to win this race or even make the podium ? I'd be basing my whole Ronde around trying to get away with Terpstra. Not that he's particular likely to be beaten in that scenario but you know you'll have some sort of chance. Sometimes I wonder what the folks in the car are getting paid for
That's easy to say in hindsight. I personally didn't think Terpstra was that strong before he did what he did. Strong yes, but that strong? No. I would say probably all three, but definitely the first two were hoping to make the race winning selection - with Sagan or GVA or someone else - on the Kwaremont or Paterberg. And then try a late attack for the win. Pretty sensible strategy really.
 
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The Hegelian said:
Eyeballs Out said:
One of the key things is to be able to identify which of their riders is a genuine threat. I'd have no problem with Stybar having a minute lead with Kwaremont and Paterberg and the headwind run-in to come. I'd not even be that worried if it was Gilbert based on what we've seen this season. But Terpstra would be a big problem

It's not just a question of defence either. If you're Benoot / Vanmarcke / Stuyven etc then how are you realistically going to have a chance to win this race or even make the podium ? I'd be basing my whole Ronde around trying to get away with Terpstra. Not that he's particular likely to be beaten in that scenario but you know you'll have some sort of chance. Sometimes I wonder what the folks in the car are getting paid for
That's easy to say in hindsight. I personally didn't think Terpstra was that strong before he did what he did. Strong yes, but that strong? No. I would say probably all three, but definitely the first two were hoping to make the race winning selection - with Sagan or GVA or someone else - on the Kwaremont or Paterberg. And then try a late attack for the win. Pretty sensible strategy really.
It's not really hindsight - I mean it's not like he hid his form this past month
 
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Eyeballs Out said:
One of the key things is to be able to identify which of their riders is a genuine threat. I'd have no problem with Stybar having a minute lead with Kwaremont and Paterberg and the headwind run-in to come. I'd not even be that worried if it was Gilbert based on what we've seen this season. But Terpstra would be a big problem

It's not just a question of defence either. If you're Benoot / Vanmarcke / Stuyven etc then how are you realistically going to have a chance to win this race or even make the podium ? I'd be basing my whole Ronde around trying to get away with Terpstra. Not that he's particular likely to be beaten in that scenario but you know you'll have some sort of chance. Sometimes I wonder what the folks in the car are getting paid for
Say Sagan and GVA bridge up to Terpstra, what makes you think the latter would ride on? And I mean properly, not at 80% in which case that break would likely be doomed.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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SafeBet said:
hrotha said:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayHPWnb1ZRo

It's not like QS are guaranteed to play their cards right every time.
Well that was a very specific scenario, and Stannard won for a number of reasons:

1) Vandebergh is an idiot;
2) Stannard was clearly the strongest rider in the race;
3) There was no other non-QS rider in the group, so Stannard had only one strategy available: close down any attack himself and pull like a madman hoping he was the strongest rider in the race. He didn't have to worry about dragging a faster rider to the finish, he didn't have to think about what to do, just pull.
4) Vanderbergh is tactically inept.

Whereas in the current cobbled races:

1) No VDB;
2) All QS riders are on the same page and tactically sound;
3) There is no rider who can make the difference like Stannard did in that race;
4) Whenever a QS rider attacks, other riders will always start looking at each other. One because he is tired, one because he has a teammate in the break, one because he doesn't want to drag Sagan to the finish only to be outsprinted. And so on. Groups rarely work together in this kind of races.

So in races where strength matters a lot, like De Ronde, I give the other riders very slim chances of winning (unless some QS riders crash or they decide for whatever reason to ride difensively like in GW).
In a race like PR, where luck and other thing must be factored in, I give the other riders a better shot, but still less than 50%.
Getting rid of Vandenbergh is probably the best thing QS has done. That guy got in so many breaks causing the rest of his team to be side-lined and he ALWAYS lost. It's no coincidence that QS started winning Monuments again after they got rid of this giant loser.
 
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Flamin said:
Eyeballs Out said:
One of the key things is to be able to identify which of their riders is a genuine threat. I'd have no problem with Stybar having a minute lead with Kwaremont and Paterberg and the headwind run-in to come. I'd not even be that worried if it was Gilbert based on what we've seen this season. But Terpstra would be a big problem

It's not just a question of defence either. If you're Benoot / Vanmarcke / Stuyven etc then how are you realistically going to have a chance to win this race or even make the podium ? I'd be basing my whole Ronde around trying to get away with Terpstra. Not that he's particular likely to be beaten in that scenario but you know you'll have some sort of chance. Sometimes I wonder what the folks in the car are getting paid for
Say Sagan and GVA bridge up to Terpstra, what makes you think the latter would ride on? And I mean properly, not at 80% in which case that break would likely be doomed.
I don't think the latter would ride on in those circumstances. But I did not mention Sagan and GVA
 
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Eyeballs Out said:
Flamin said:
Eyeballs Out said:
One of the key things is to be able to identify which of their riders is a genuine threat. I'd have no problem with Stybar having a minute lead with Kwaremont and Paterberg and the headwind run-in to come. I'd not even be that worried if it was Gilbert based on what we've seen this season. But Terpstra would be a big problem

It's not just a question of defence either. If you're Benoot / Vanmarcke / Stuyven etc then how are you realistically going to have a chance to win this race or even make the podium ? I'd be basing my whole Ronde around trying to get away with Terpstra. Not that he's particular likely to be beaten in that scenario but you know you'll have some sort of chance. Sometimes I wonder what the folks in the car are getting paid for
Say Sagan and GVA bridge up to Terpstra, what makes you think the latter would ride on? And I mean properly, not at 80% in which case that break would likely be doomed.
I don't think the latter would ride on in those circumstances. But I did not mention Sagan and GVA
Same goes for Benoot and Vanmarcke. You think Terpstra would go full gas with them? With Stuyven probably, but he could never follow Terpstra in the first place.
 
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Flamin said:
Eyeballs Out said:
Flamin said:
Eyeballs Out said:
One of the key things is to be able to identify which of their riders is a genuine threat. I'd have no problem with Stybar having a minute lead with Kwaremont and Paterberg and the headwind run-in to come. I'd not even be that worried if it was Gilbert based on what we've seen this season. But Terpstra would be a big problem

It's not just a question of defence either. If you're Benoot / Vanmarcke / Stuyven etc then how are you realistically going to have a chance to win this race or even make the podium ? I'd be basing my whole Ronde around trying to get away with Terpstra. Not that he's particular likely to be beaten in that scenario but you know you'll have some sort of chance. Sometimes I wonder what the folks in the car are getting paid for
Say Sagan and GVA bridge up to Terpstra, what makes you think the latter would ride on? And I mean properly, not at 80% in which case that break would likely be doomed.
I don't think the latter would ride on in those circumstances. But I did not mention Sagan and GVA
Same goes for Benoot and Vanmarcke. You think Terpstra would go full gas with them? With Stuyven probably, but he could never follow Terpstra in the first place.
Yes, absolutely, I think Quickstep would be happy enough with that. Terpstra certainly would be
 
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