Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, 26/02/'17, 200.7k

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DFA123 said:
Still, he'd (Demare) have had more chance of beating Sagan than those other four jokers.
I was just wishing that somebody would attack just as Sagan finished pulling with about 3-4km left. However, I think only Stuyven would have the ability to bring it off, but he had been on his own for a while. Stuyven definitely wasn't a joker. Rowe, Benoot and Trentin didn't try such a move, since it would guarantee losing (pre-empting the sprint would probably been the only chance for an unlikely win).

The strongest two riders took the first two places. Sagan was the strongest, played his cards correctly and deserved to win.

SKSemtex said:
I just say one thing. LOL BMC :D
Stannard and Rowe seemed to show much more awareness. It's clear that the break was very dangerous. Stannard did a huge pull to close in on the group and then Rowe was the last man to jump across. BMC were then caught in a trap. They didn't have enough firepower to bring the group back, while having many more riders in the chasing group than other teams, who thus did not chase.
 
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BigMac said:
DFA123 said:
portugal11 said:
Sagan was by far the strongest
Looked that way, but the others made it pretty easy for him in the end. No-one on his wheel with 300m to go is a bit of a major error from all four.

You can see why riders like Benoot and Rowe never actually win anything.
Yet again, the others were focused on making Sagan lose more than in winning themselves. That they allowed the pace to drop with 2k to go and risk being caught just so that Sagan would be taking the pull to the line proves it. Until Trentin attacked (for which he is being criticized) I was convinced hey were trying to tire Peter out so as to beat him in the sprint. Everyone in that group deserved this result but Matteo, I don't understand why he is being slagged.
If they were focused on making Sagan lose, why did they only stop pulling with less than 2k to go? By doing this so late, the risk of getting caught was close to non-existant (gap was 40" at that point). If anything, that played into Sagan's hands perfectly. He could ease down because the gap was big enough and there was simply no more time for multiple attacks he would have had to respond to.

Guess they worked so well together and there was a lot of respect among each other because of that, nobody wanted to be a **** by starting to sandbag further away from the finish, break the rythm and do risk getting caught. Instead keep riding and just let the sprint decide. A bit like Vanmarcke yesterday.
 
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DFA123 said:
portugal11 said:
Sagan was by far the strongest
Looked that way, but the others made it pretty easy for him in the end. No-one on his wheel with 300m to go is a bit of a major error from all four.

You can see why riders like Benoot and Rowe never actually win anything.
Oh for crying out loud; Benoot is 22 and is just about to begin his third cobbled season, with his last one curtailed a bit by the crash in De Ronde. Perhaps - just perhaps - we should let riders develop for a bit without jumping on their backs at the first signs of inexperience, or let him ride a few more races before criticising him for neve winning. Just a thought, I know 'IT'S THE NEXT EDDY MERCKX!' -> 'HE NEVER WINS ANYTHING! HE'S USELESS!' cycle is more fun.
 
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Gigs_98 said:
I fear that Stuyven won't be in such a good shape anymore when the really big cobbles races take place. Last year he was super strong around this time of the year as well, but very mediocre later in spring.
I don't think he was mediocre.
He simply had to work for Cancellara, who was often in the chasing group.

Stuyven is a beast. He's clearly among the best cobble riders of the peloton at this point.
 
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