La Fleche Wallonne

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Jan 11, 2010
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The Mur obviously suits Evans' strengths, and let's face it, he was stronger than his designated team leader in the Amstel, so he's my main favourite. Other than him, Andy Schleck (who has miraculously managed to reach top form again), Rodriguez (who faded away yesterday, but this one is 60 k shorter), and perennial favourite Bert de Waele :p

Valverde needs some hard racing to get the engine started again (I think). Gesink could be up there... he almost singlehandedly brought the chase group back yesterday, so maybe he was not that bad, and he loves the Mur de Huy. Contador could ride everyone off his wheel on this thing, don't know if he's team leader though.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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theyoungest said:
The Mur obviously suits Evans' strengths, and let's face it, he was stronger than his designated team leader in the Amstel, so he's my main favourite. Other than him, Andy Schleck (who has miraculously managed to reach top form again), Rodriguez (who faded away yesterday, but this one is 60 k shorter), and perennial favourite Bert de Waele :p

Valverde needs some hard racing to get the engine started again (I think). Gesink could be up there... he almost singlehandedly brought the chase group back yesterday, so maybe he was not that bad, and he loves the Mur de Huy. Contador could ride everyone off his wheel on this thing, don't know if he's team leader though.
I don't think it would be that simple for contador to just ride away from everyone. classics aren't that straight forward.
 
Gesink is not as bad as it seemed no, he'll hopefully be right up there at FW

Gesink, Evans, A. Schleck, Cunego, Valverde, maybe even Contador and Rodriguez and Gilbert (although Gilbert himself denies that the Mur de Huy is good for him)
 
Jan 11, 2010
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auscyclefan94 said:
I don't think it would be that simple for contador to just ride away from everyone. classics aren't that straight forward.
Tell that to Gesink, who came in 8th in his first participation here, at age 20.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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theyoungest said:
Tell that to Gesink, who came in 8th in his first participation here, at age 20.
9th in 2007, 4th in 2008. Still not convinced he will just ride away. What does publicus think?
 
auscyclefan94 said:
9th in 2007, 4th in 2008. Still not convinced he will just ride away. What does publicus think?
Frankly, I have no idea what AC will do at Wallonne or LBL. Looking at the course and his form right now, my guess is that if stays with the right moves (and that seems to be the real key to these classics) and manages NOT to be the one to animate the race (and burn his matches in the process), then I think he has a decent shot. From what he's said over the last week or so, I think he wants to do well. And he has absolutely ZERO expectations going into this one (not even being mentioned as a contender of any kind).

But like I said initially, I have no idea and there are far too many contingencies that will affect the outcome of the race.
 
Jan 11, 2010
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auscyclefan94 said:
9th in 2007, 4th in 2008. Still not convinced he will just ride away. What does publicus think?
The most important thing is to have the right position at the bottom of the climb. The Gesink example is also kind of proof of your point that the classics aren't that straightforward, because he did the fastest climb of the Mur, but he didn't win ;)
 
theyoungest said:
The Mur obviously suits Evans' strengths, and let's face it, he was stronger than his designated team leader in the Amstel, so he's my main favourite. Other than him, Andy Schleck (who has miraculously managed to reach top form again), Rodriguez (who faded away yesterday, but this one is 60 k shorter), and perennial favourite Bert de Waele :p

Valverde needs some hard racing to get the engine started again (I think). Gesink could be up there... he almost singlehandedly brought the chase group back yesterday, so maybe he was not that bad, and he loves the Mur de Huy. Contador could ride everyone off his wheel on this thing, don't know if he's team leader though.
It is surprising how quickly his form has come around. He was struggling to make the selection at Tour of the Basque Country about two weeks ago...
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Publicus said:
Frankly, I have no idea what AC will do at Wallonne or LBL. Looking at the course and his form right now, my guess is that if stays with the right moves (and that seems to be the real key to these classics) and manages NOT to be the one to animate the race (and burn his matches in the process), then I think he has a decent shot. From what he's said over the last week or so, I think he wants to do well. And he has absolutely ZERO expectations going into this one (not even being mentioned as a contender of any kind).

But like I said initially, I have no idea and there are far too many contingencies that will affect the outcome of the race.
I'd be amazed if he lasted the distance anywhere near the front group on the 260kms of Liége.

Flèche, however, he's my top pick
 
Oct 30, 2009
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Publicus said:
It is surprising how quickly his form has come around. He was struggling to make the selection at Tour of the Basque Country about two weeks ago...
Not all that surprising really - Andy Schleck's form moves in mysterious ways. He actually seems better at the moment than this time the last couple of years: In 2009 he had an 8th in Eroica - and then nothing. In 2008 he was nowhere until Liege. In 2007 he was 16th in Paris-Nice and not much else before Tour de Romandie and the Giro. I think he did pretty good in Pais Vasco, ignoring that awful time trial, obviously. His great leap forward this year was probably between Tirreno-Adriatico, where he was spat out the back, and Pais Vasco, where he was among the top 10-15 on the climbs.
 
Jan 11, 2010
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
Every year I'm suprised at how other people are suprised about A. Schlecks form.

It has been this way with him since he became pro. He only shows something when he really needs to
Don't think many people are surprised, just wondering how he does it, time and again.
 
Dekker_Tifosi said:
Every year I'm suprised at how other people are suprised about A. Schlecks form.

It has been this way with him since he became pro. He only shows something when he really needs to
Given his injury, lack of racing, lack of training, race results, I found it surprising. Seem to me there were a unique set of factors that would delay his form versus last year where I don't recall him having any injuries (but also don't recall him doing much of anything before L-B-L). So my surprise is that he still is hitting his form at just the right time despite those challenges this year.
 
Oct 16, 2009
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joy118118 said:
Contador got 26th in LBL

If he tries, he could get a chance to win :D
If Andy Schleck, Cadel Evans, Valverde can win L-B-L or LFW, why not AC ?

I think AC will do a great race... I would love to see he in fisrt place! ;)
 
caça-foice said:
If Andy Schleck, Cadel Evans, Valverde can win L-B-L or LFW, why not AC ?

I think AC will do a great race... I would love to see he in fisrt place! ;)
I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but can you change your avatar to something else? I can tell you just copied mine and saved it as your own. Thanks.
 
Oct 16, 2009
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Publicus said:
I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but can you change your avatar to something else? I can tell you just copied mine and saved it as your own. Thanks.
=( Excuse me.. I will change it now...
 
Mar 18, 2009
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theyoungest said:
Don't think many people are surprised, just wondering how he does it, time and again.
Let's put it this way. Before 1991 there were no riders who were like this. Since 1991 there have been quite a few.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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Rabo changing their team a bit: Steven Kruijswijk, Bauke Mollema, Grischa Niermann, Oscar Freire, Robert Gesink, Laurens ten Dam, Paul Martens and Bram Tankink
 
Mar 10, 2009
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ingsve said:
Löfkvist has Fleche and LBL as some of his main season goals so I expect him to try and be up there. Gerrans should also be interested in doing well but he doesn't look to be in great shape.
Speaking of Löfkvist... Any idea on his current form?

As mentioned by Dekker_Tifoso (I think it was, sorry if I'm mistaken) Gilbert himself has said that the finish of the Fleche Wallone on the Mur isn't really his thing... But I still wouldn't write him of completely, he appears to be in great shape at the moment, and if the oppertunity presents itself I'm fairly sure he wont let it pass him by...
 
Jan 11, 2010
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Cosette said:
Speaking of Löfkvist... Any idea on his current form?

As mentioned by Dekker_Tifoso (I think it was, sorry if I'm mistaken) Gilbert himself has said that the finish of the Fleche Wallone on the Mur isn't really his thing... But I still wouldn't write him of completely, he appears to be in great shape at the moment, and if the oppertunity presents itself I'm fairly sure he wont let it pass him by...
The race organizers have included a nice ramp for Gilbert to escape on, 10 k from the finish. Which is probably what he'll try to do. Otherwise, he's toast.
 
I have to say, looking at the provisional start list, this is going to be one helluva a field on Wednesday. Anton, Schleck Brothers, Gilbert, Cunego, Valverde, LuLu, Cuddles, Kloden, Horner, Nibali, Kreuziger (sp), J Rod, Ivanov, Kolobnev, Sastre, Hesjedal, Gesink, Iglinsky and Contador. I'm sure I'm forgetting someone (and please feel free to point them out), but the point is this field is just stacked.

Hopefully all of them have come to race and not to get race miles.
 

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