In your opinion, what is THE 'official' season opening race?

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Jun 19, 2009
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With the ToC moving back, it actually puts more focus on the TdU.

Still, it's hard to argue that it's a must-win. The World Champeen is there, of course, since it's his home field.

But several teams left their key players behind, two of whom are the keyest of the key in the Pro Tour: Contador and Cavendish.

I'd say the season starts when both Pistolero and the Manx Missile are in the peloton with something to win. But that would force me to omit MSR, since Berto knows he's not beating Cavo to the lino in Sanremo. And we can all agree that MSR is unquestionably part of the "real" part of the season. So, since the data don't fit the theory, we must throw out the theory.

Fact is, these keys coulda come to Adelaide if they'd wanted to. And cycling is a billboard sport, and the TdU is getting beaucoup international eyeball time. So the theory says it's the TdU again.

From what I saw they're racing for keeps down there, so it might as well be.
 
Jun 27, 2009
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rhubroma said:
Well for the purists, before the invention of the Tour Upside Down, or whatever it's called: for stage racing Tirreno-Adriatico and Paris-Nice, while for the classics la classicissima Milano-San Remo. Everythimg else before is either a warm-up or a marketing invention.

Unless you live in Belgium.
I couldn't agree more with you !
Tour Down Under for example is just a warm up for real warm up and only thing that you can see are new kits for season 2010 and that's all...

rhubroma said:
Well for the purists, before the invention of the Tour Upside Down, or whatever it's called: for stage racing Tirreno-Adriatico and Paris-Nice, while for the classics la classicissima Milano-San Remo. Everythimg else before is either a warm-up or a marketing invention.

Unless you live in Belgium.
I couldn't agree more with you !
Tour Down Under for example is just a warm up for real warm up and only thing that you can see are new kits for season 2010 and that's all !?

Unless you live in Australia...
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Het Nieuwsblad is the first race I'd be anxious to hear the results. You have generally a quality field of contenders who are all anxious to win - look at the previous winners, even if most of them are Belgian. Etoile de Besseges doesn't have quite the same calibre of winners, impressive as it may be.
 
Moondance said:
Last time I checked, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad was a classic. Also I am from the Netherlands and live there.
I made a mistake, of course. In any case, I was joking. Naurally for the cycling fans from your parts, they surly feel that this is so. However, It seems to me that this is much more of a national than international sentiment. Whereas arguably Paris-Nice/Terreno-Adriatico (especially the former) and Milano-San Remo, in terms of the "big" events at the start of the UCI calendar, they enjoy a wider prestige.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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Het Volk isn't just a national thing.
2009:
1)Hushovd
2)Ista
3)Flecha
4)Van Avermaet
5)Burghardt

These are international names, big names! Like every year...
 
Jun 24, 2009
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stefank said:
Well that's settled then. It's the first race of the year (of any significance) in whatever country you happen to live in. Everybody can be happy now.
Exactly. Choose your race and that answers the question for you.
 
Jul 30, 2009
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While I agree that Omloop is arguably a good place to start I'd argue that Paris-Nice has always been the first true test of early season form for most contenders.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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King Of Molehill said:
While I agree that Omloop is arguably a good place to start I'd argue that Paris-Nice has always been the first true test of early season form for most contenders.
For the Grand Tours general classement yes, but there is more to cycling than the Grand Tours. Thor, who won the Omloop this past year, won the Green Jersey in the Tour, and was a major contender in the Queen of Classics, Paris-Roubaix.
 
Buffalo Soldier said:
Het Volk isn't just a national thing.
2009:
1)Hushovd
2)Ista
3)Flecha
4)Van Avermaet
5)Burghardt

These are international names, big names! Like every year...
Fair enough. Het Volk is pretty important, but not as much as Milano-San Remo. Yet I wouldn't disagree that it is the "start" of the calendar. I would just say that Milano-San Remo is the following "Start."
 
Jan 18, 2010
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The Season never ends

The season never really ends, it just has shorter races and the names and locations change. Most the races later in the 'season' are only 60 minutes long and the racers are known as Nys, Compton, Albert and Van Den brand. Actually, looks like it still is in Belgium where all the best races seem to be anyway.

It's important for the serious viewer to get some early season hours under his belt even if you're not really paying attention or that involved in the racing.

Of course I've been doing some work during the winter, some old TDF DVDs, plus for variety a bit of NFL and some cricket (which replicates the general inaction of the Vuelta quite well)

My season is based around peaking for the Classics which require both viewing stamina and the ability to maintain focus and control during periods of intense excitement. Of course you do get a few days recovery between each effort.

Then of course it's the TDF which is a matter of repeating that effort for day after day while taking an active interest in several competitions at once.

For the last couple of years I have been using the Giro for preparation. Mainly for getting used to waiting all day for the inevitable sprint finish or waiting for the contenders in a time trial without falling asleep after good lunch.

It's also good to get in some spectacular panoramic views or arty shots preparation before the TdF as well as an ability to appreciate those is vital in the serious viewer[/QUOTE]
 
Oct 15, 2009
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It's nice to see we disgree on what begins the 2010 season. Personally I look at the TDU as the beginning but that may because it is the only one that I can see on TV. I wish I could find the one-day classics online for free somewhere. I'd love to see the Omloop Het Volk.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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pkreed71 said:
It's nice to see we disgree on what begins the 2010 season. Personally I look at the TDU as the beginning but that may because it is the only one that I can see on TV. I wish I could find the one-day classics online for free somewhere. I'd love to see the Omloop Het Volk.
I think Dutch TV-station NOS always provides a live stream.
 
I know a few who always cross the channel for the Het Volk/KBK weekend, because they recognise it as the start of the season, proper.

Anyhow, here's the stage racing season's opener route, just out:

http://www.letour.fr/indexPNC_us.html

I put it on the general news thread, but that's become another Lancefest.

ak-zaaf said:
I think Dutch TV-station NOS always provides a live stream.
RTBF certainly has, in the past.
 
Jul 2, 2009
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ak-zaaf said:
I think Dutch TV-station NOS always provides a live stream.
But usually it's only available in the Netherlands. Or at least I tried to watch some of their live streams for speed skating over Christmas, but I couldn't get them since I was in Switzerland.

Anyway I never watch the NOS for cycling. Always Sporza :cool::cool::cool:
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Moondance said:
But usually it's only available in the Netherlands. Or at least I tried to watch some of their live streams for speed skating over Christmas, but I couldn't get them since I was in Switzerland.

Anyway I never watch the NOS for cycling. Always Sporza :cool::cool::cool:
Dunno, only had to use it from work a couple of times.
At home I always watch Sporza. The NK on NOS once a year is more than enough.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Sporza, NOS and RTBF are usually geo-restricted. I don't know if EU is considered one zone, so it could be possible to watch Sporza online in the Netherlands.

Last year RTBF screwed up, because the first weekend was available live and streaming. The weekend after it was restricted, for the whole season :(

I Keep on trying
http://www.myp2p.eu/competition.php?competitionid=&part=sports&discipline=cycling

cyclingfans and steephill.

There's often a stream available somewhere.
 
Jan 11, 2010
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Bala Verde said:
Sporza, NOS and RTBF are usually geo-restricted. I don't know if EU is considered one zone, so it could be possible to watch Sporza online in the Netherlands.
Unfortunately, it's not. Well, sometimes, but I guess that's the work of an unpaid intern who can't be bothered.
 
Jul 2, 2009
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ak-zaaf said:
Dunno, only had to use it from work a couple of times.
At home I always watch Sporza. The NK on NOS once a year is more than enough.
Agreed. Sports on the NOS seem only to exist to further Mart Smeets' personality cult. Also Herbert Dijkstra and Maarten Ducrot sound like two 75 year old women chattering over coffee 90% of the time.

Uggghhhh.... Just thinking about them makes me sick.
 
Jan 11, 2010
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Moondance said:
Agreed. Sports on the NOS seem only to exist to further Mart Smeets' personality cult. Also Herbert Dijkstra and Maarten Ducrot sound like two 75 year old women chattering over coffee 90% of the time.

Uggghhhh.... Just thinking about them makes me sick.
They should use the guy who does the cyclocross commentary (Jeroen Koster I believe his name is) for all of cycling. He knows what he's talking about, unlike Mart "Look! Lance Armstrong just let me into his house" Smeets and Herbert "ice skating über alles" Dijkstra. I like Maarten Ducrot, though.
 
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