How to beat Quick-Step

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It’s an interesting conundrum. The top favourites have less options as any attempt to chase Terpstra would be chased down. You either need to be strong enough to break yourself or rely on others to work with you. Sagan did the right thing, he launched an attack when the other couldn’t follow. He just didn’t have the legs to chase down Terpstra or Pedersen. The lower level riders should have gone after him earlier. If GVA, Sagan, Vanmarcke etc. watch each other then you can get a gap and QS are stuck either dragging the favourites up to you and shortening Terpstra’s lead or letting you go. You still have to be strong enough to bridge but you need to throw the dice. This is what Bora should be doing. It might mean to not Sagan competing for the win, but that’s life. Otherwise you don’t work at all and risk a break winning, but you have fresh men who can counter the QS attacks, wear down the weaker ones and then hope your guy is strong enough for that one big dig. If it had all been together on the Kwaremont I think Sagan would have had his best chance in the race.
 
At that point in the race, the best hope was to mark all QS attacks, Sagan and Greg should personally mark Terpstra and Gilbert. It wouldn't take long for Hotond to be over, and then Roelandts etc. should be able to deliver the group to Kwaremont (not easy to get away on the flat with a headwind). Then it's just full gas, and if a non-QS rider is ahead after Paterberg, everyone would naturally have QS chase, as they would likely have two riders in the chase group.
 
The Hegelian said:
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....
Other champions in the past have found out ways to call in favors, offer little bits of help, in exchange for a bit of cooperation here, a chase there, keeping it a group together before a sprint etc and we won’t sprint against you next week, or chase any break you’re in. Is it a skill that’s been lost in the current peloton?

Also, in Flanders, there wasn’t much coordination of the 3 teams in the break. It was surely the job of Stuyven, Vanmarcke, Moscon etc to follow any attacks behind vanBaarle, Peddersen and the other guy. Whereas once Terpstra was clear, we saw all the QuickStep riders on the front, disrupting chase rhythms, sitting up leading into corners, covering attacks. Just doing everything they could to slow down the pursuit.
 
Speaking of the trio up ahead, I was puzzled that they kept working hard to keep Terpstra away, only to be tired and caught at the worst point in the race possible. If they had sat up sooner and sat on his wheel, I think they would have had a better chance of surviving Kwaremont. It's not like Terpstra would slow much down with three (lesser) passengers on his wheel in the lead in to Kwaremont.
 
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Netserk said:
Speaking of the trio up ahead, I was puzzled that they kept working hard to keep Terpstra away, only to be tired and caught at the worst point in the race possible. If they had sat up sooner and sat on his wheel, I think they would have had a better chance of surviving Kwaremont. It's not like Terpstra would slow much down with three (lesser) passengers on his wheel in the lead in to Kwaremont.
That too.

Maybe they were hoping to survive to the top before the catch, and then hitch a ride to the Paterberg. Peddersen nearly made it.
 
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El Pistolero said:
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.
He would be perfect for Sagan.
 
Peak Cancellara seems to work pretty well against Quick Step.

More seriously, if you aren't strong enough to render superior numbers irrelevant then the obvious answer is that you want to hang with them until the sprint (easier said than done I know). Terpstra and Stybar aren't the slowest guys in the world but Sagan, Van Avermaet, Demare, Kristoff and a bunch of others have to fancy their chances in that situation. To do that, the other leaders would have to start by being more careful with the way they use their teammates (looking at you FDJ burning your riders 100kms from the finish to leave Demare alone in the finale) so the disparity in numbers at the end wouldn't be quite as bad. But perhaps it's unfair to ask teams to find a solution to the Devolder conundrum, it's only been like ten years since Quick Step started using that tactic regularly.

That being said it's harder to leverage numbers in Roubaix than in Flanders so I don't think the other teams should throw in the towel just yet. Plus you can always go the O'Grady way, get in the early break and hold on for dear life.
 
Re: Re:

Eyeballs Out said:
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
Terpstra himself for sure, but I doubt QS would have told him to work full with those guys immediately.

Anyway, it's highly hypothetical since everyone would move in that scenario (which is what happened when Benoot responded and bridged up to Nibali) and the group would come back together.
 
Mar 22, 2011
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To fix QS, a top form Sagan or GVA is enough.
The problem is that, both of them aren't in last year form.
 
Re: Re:

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.
But the main reason was Boonen's wish to arrive solo, and that stupid attack of his.
 
Re: Re:

toolittle said:
To fix QS, a top form Sagan or GVA is enough.
The problem is that, both of them aren't in last year form.
I agree. 2016 Sagan could have maybe pulled back Terpstra in that stretch after the Paterberg, or at least put some real pressure on him and the chasers.
 
Re: Re:

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.
I definitely thought Terpstra was the strongest of the three going in. Gilbert had already said he didn't feel like he had the form of a year ago. And Gilbert didn't really make any inroads to Terpstra and Lampaert at E3 while Niki kept having to slow for Lampaert before finally leaving him.
 
Re: Re:

toolittle said:
To fix QS, a top form Sagan and GVA is enough.
The problem is that, both of them aren't in last year form.
I fixed it for you.
I doubt any rider in any form can beat 4 riders like Terpstra, Gilbert, Stybar, Lampaert alone if they play their cards right.
Probably top form two riders can but I doubt the combination Sagan GVA either :D
 
Re: Re:

jaylew said:
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.
I definitely thought Terpstra was the strongest of the three going in. Gilbert had already said he didn't feel like he had the form of a year ago. And Gilbert didn't really make any inroads to Terpstra and Lampaert at E3 while Niki kept having to slow for Lampaert before finally leaving him.
So did I, but I didn't think he was going to be so strong that he'd literally just leave all the major contenders in his wake.....and ride Nibali off his wheel on what was little more than a false flat.

Maybe that's an important point in this thread - it was a blistering performance by Terpstra. Nothing like his PR win where I thought he really did benefit from being the second tier QS guy in the finale.
 
Re: Re:

The Hegelian said:
jaylew said:
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.
I definitely thought Terpstra was the strongest of the three going in. Gilbert had already said he didn't feel like he had the form of a year ago. And Gilbert didn't really make any inroads to Terpstra and Lampaert at E3 while Niki kept having to slow for Lampaert before finally leaving him.
So did I, but I didn't think he was going to be so strong that he'd literally just leave all the major contenders in his wake.....and ride Nibali off his wheel on what was little more than a false flat.

Maybe that's an important point in this thread - it was a blistering performance by Terpstra. Nothing like his PR win where I thought he really did benefit from being the second tier QS guy in the finale.
Nibali was spent at that moment. It was his mark in this race, show not the real attack. He surly learnt something from Contador.

It does not change anything on fact that Terpstra was super strong this year. Stronger then Gilbert last year IMHO. The only chance to bring him back was the immediate organized chase by big guns.
Those 30 seconds when he was bridging Nibali was crucial in this race.
Unfortunately for Sagan Langeweld was in break and Sep had some problem anyway and GVA well GVA is opposite of GVA when Sagan is around.
Sagan did some big pull in that group but it is easy to understand his frustration when nobody from such a big group did not follow.
He is used on negative racing in the finale or when he make the selection but so far from the end when he knows it is decesive attack WTF. He is taking it still quite OK I pretty sure Cance would be much louder and more personal for sure.
 
Mar 22, 2011
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The Hegelian said:
jaylew said:
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.
I definitely thought Terpstra was the strongest of the three going in. Gilbert had already said he didn't feel like he had the form of a year ago. And Gilbert didn't really make any inroads to Terpstra and Lampaert at E3 while Niki kept having to slow for Lampaert before finally leaving him.
So did I, but I didn't think he was going to be so strong that he'd literally just leave all the major contenders in his wake.....and ride Nibali off his wheel on what was little more than a false flat.

Maybe that's an important point in this thread - it was a blistering performance by Terpstra. Nothing like his PR win where I thought he really did benefit from being the second tier QS guy in the finale.
How about a flying cancellera?
 
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