Le Samyn 2023 (February 28)

It can't be that we don't have a thread for the men's race!



Route: exactly the same as last year, so I've quoted my post from that edition.
They seem to tweak the section between the final cobbled section and the finish line every year, this time they've chosen the most direct route. Otherwise, it's the same circuit as in 2019 and 2021. Unfortunately there isn't a detailed map of the circuit this year, so I've added last year's below. It's still accurate for this year, save for that detour right before the finish line.

The route won't need introduction to most of us by now, but to reiterate: the first sector (Rue du Vert Pignon), while the longest, is very easy, basically on urban cobbles. The second sector, Côte de la Roquette is on cobbles that are only a bit harder, but there's a twist: we start with 150 metres of downhill, followed by the first 450 metres of the profile below:

The final three sectors are on much rougher cobbles, comparable to Paris-Roubaix sectors, only shorter. The first of these, Chemin de Wihéries, comes almost immediately after Roquette. It's flattish, but followed by an uphill drag. It's the profile below minus the first 250 metres, and on cobbles until the 700-metre mark.

A descent takes us to the next sector, Côte des Nonettes, shorter and stingier than the other sectors.

The route then heads back towards Dour, up this (asphalted) drag...

...before heading to the final sector, Chemin Belle Vue. It's flat, but it comes inside the final 3 kilometres, making life harder for the sprinters if things have come back together. The remaining two-and-a-bit kilometres are through the sometimes-tight streets of Dour, the direct route means that the end of the uphill drag is closer to the finish line than until 2021.

I'm curious to see what Mighty Madis could do today, but it's pprobably a field too stacked for him, maybe GP Criquelion and GP JP Monséré are better opportunities.

If he still has the legs. The last kms are slightly uphill. This isn't usually a typical sprint. Tiller was first of the peloton last year for example. Groves & Dainese should be pretty good here tho. Jakobsen can obviously win this, but he needs to be in good form.
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Arkea also there with a lot of guys. DSM, UNO X and Q2334334 working in peloton.

Don't think 2nd group will come back, best riders are at the front. Pretty big group, peloton isn't even bigger. Lotto, Arkea and Trek all with a lot of riders in first group.