Le Samyn: 2 March 2021



Tomorrow it's time for another slog on the cobbles. After last weekends action, we are leaving Flanders for a bit. Le Samyn is up next, the traditional Walloon season opener.

Race guide:
https://www.lesamyn.be/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Technische_Gids_Le_Samyn_2021_web_def1.pdf

The parcours:

Local loop:
Where all the action will happen for the women and men is a local loop of 26.9 km.

The loop contains 5 cobble sections of various length, and they are generally in worse shape than what you find in flanders. We are getting closer to Roubaix afterall (geographically at least).

Vert Pignon 1400 m, 1 star
La Roquette 500 m, 2 star
Chemin de Wiheries 400 m, 3 star
Cote de Nonettes 300 m, 3 star
Rue Belle Vue 500 m, 3 star.

Women 92.5 km:

The women start with a short run-in from Quaregnon before arriving on the local circuit, about halfway through. They will ride the rest of the loop to cross the finish line for the first time, and then complete 2 more laps of the circuit before finishing after 92.5 km.



Men 205.4 km:

The men start with a 100 km runin before completing four complete laps of the local circuit, finishing after 205 km. Which is about 5 km more than last year's race. Won't change the look though.



Startlist highlights:

Women:



Jolien d'Hoore, SD Worx
Lorena Wiebes, DSM
Marlen Reuser, ALE BTC Ljubljana

participant list, no idea why but the womens is a google docs spreadsheet and the mens is a screenshot of a pdf, but here you go:


Men:



MVDP, Alpecin-Fenix (not on the list, but he's on the list as per interview last sunday at Kuurne)
Hofstetter, ISN (Last years winner!)
Gaudin, Total Direct Energie
Mark Cavendish, DQT
John Degenkolb, Lotto-Soudal



previous winners:

Women:
2020: Chantal van den Broek-Blaak
2019: Jip van den Bos
2018: Janneke Ensing
2017: Sheyla Gutierrez
2016: Chantal Blaak
2015: Chantal Blaak
2014: Emma Johansson
2013: Eleonora van Dijk
2012: Adrie Visser

Men:
2020: Hugo Hofstetter
2019: Florian Sénéchal
2018: Niki Terpstra
2017: Guillaume Van Keirsbulck
2016: Niki Terpstra
2015: Kris Boeckmans
2014: Maxime Vantomme
2013: Alexey Tsatevich
2012: Arnaud Démare
2011: Dominic Klemme
2010: Jens Keukeleire
2009: Wouter Weylandt
2008: Philippe Gilbert

The weather:
we've had multiple editions with inclement weather, but the forecast for tomorrow for some real good weather with sun, not much wind and nice racing temps.
 
Always one of the best races of the year. Never seems to fail to have loads of attacking racing

Unfortunately, it all depends on Van Der Poel tomorrow. If he breaks away early enough, then the rest should still be be motivated enough to make a race of it for the other podium spots.
 
In the absence of some Dutch big names this is a chance for the Belgian women: D'hoore and Kopecky.

In the men's race Vanmarcke, Degenkolb and Sénéchal are my picks. MvdP will of course work for Philipsen.


I hope your right about that. I would have thought Vanmarcke was riding for last year's winner, Hofstetter? Didn't realise Degenkolb was riding. He looked in great form at the weekend
 
Reactions: Pantani_lives
Due to the Devo teams being here there is so many bright young talents to watch next to the big guns, amazing. Hvideberg could do great here.

Some other guys I rate really high as potential future classics prospects are senior debutant Magnus Sheffield, Brit Lewis Askey and German Maurice Ballerstedt. Wouldn't surprise me to see them feature in one way or another tomorrow.

And there are so many others on the devo and smaller teams. Paquot had great races, Waerenskjold should love this race, Tulett as a CX rider too. Clement Russo out for revenge? Jordi Warlop continuing his great season start?
 
Reactions: Carrick-On-Seine
Due to the Devo teams being here there is so many bright young talents to watch next to the big guns, amazing. Hvideberg could do great here.

Some other guys I rate really high as potential future classics prospects are senior debutant Magnus Sheffield, Brit Lewis Askey and German Maurice Ballerstedt. Wouldn't surprise me to see them feature in one way or another tomorrow.

And there are so many others on the devo and smaller teams. Paquot had great races, Waerenskjold should love this race, Tulett as a CX rider too. Clement Russo out for revenge? Jordi Warlop continuing his great season start?
Last year we had Dekker showing a flash of brilliance here before corona hit. Definitely a race for new talent to show what they have got!
 
So, Olav Kooij, who got elevated to WorldTeam status earlier than originally planned in order to do OHN, is rejoining his old mates from the devo-squad for this race. Of course, the riders from devo squads may join the WorldTeam squad for select races rules also works in reverse, and he might very well have been scheduled for this race before they decided to bring him to the WorldTeam squad with immediate effect.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
I had to look up who José Samyn was. He was a talented Frenchman who died at the age of 23 after a crash in a race in 1969. He won the GP Fayt-le-Franc, which was renamed after him after his death.
Yep, the riders who lay names to races this week have a very heavy history.

On Sunday the GP Jean-Pierre Monseré will happen. Jean-Pierre Monseré became world champion in 1970. In 1971 he was killed by a stray car in a race while wearing the rainbow jersey. Five years later, his then seven-year-old son suffered the same fate.
 

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