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Lesser known races 2024 edition

Page 59 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
If you like Paris-Roubaix and Strade Bianche then why not combine the two!
Sunday and it's time for the Antwerp Port Epic / Sels Trophy (1.1 the only races worth watching!) 177.9 km, start (men) 12.30 CET, TV from the start if you're in Belgium or from 15.30 CET.
Startlist at https://www.procyclingstats.com/race/antwerp-port-epic/2024/startlist
Roadbook at https://www.schaalsels.be/uploads/2...oadbook_Antwerp_Port_Epic_digitale_versie.pdf
Map at
https://www.schaalsels.be/uploads/20240519_APE_2024/2024-04-17-ANTWERP-PORT-EPIC-map-01.gif
antwerp-port-epic-2024-result-profile-2a8b85a288.jpg

Favs? Previous winner Vermeersch, Mozzato, Kristoff, Girmay (if he starts) and of course, De Lie.
Edit add- 32 kilometers of gravel and 24 of cobblestone roads.
 
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That’s a pretty dismal showing. Is there no way to arrange it on a weekend when more of the top pros will turn up?
Until this year it has been held in the normal calendar slot for national championships at the end of June. Don't know why it has changed. You'd think that's one of the best slots for it, as you can reasonably expect all Americans who aren't doing the Tour. Late May doesn't suit the Giro participants (obviously) and not really the guys preparing for the Tour either.
 
Tour of Japan is back up to 8 days which is cool, still similar format - prologue, Mount Fuji and a bunch of flat or punchy circuits, but the circuits are mostly interesting ones this year at least. The big shame is the lack of the Izu cycling circuit because that was brutal, just relentless up-and-down all day despite no big climbs. Fairly tame final weekend in its place, with one of the flattest of the circuits on stages 7 (mostly rolling with 600m at 5,2% the main obstacle) and then a pan flat crit-type circuit on stage 8.

Also the Mount Fuji stage is not the pure hillclimb we've grown accustomed to but has some circuits around the Fuji Speedway first, but it is back to being from the steep side, with a final climb of 11,7km at 10%. I'm not really sure how I feel about it, because it's still only 66km, so it seems almost not worth it; the pure hillclimb was at least something more or less unique among UCI categorised racing (they do have a few of these in non-UCI races in East Asia), but the revised stage isn't really long enough to be a full length road stage either, so it's not adding enough distance for fatigue to be a factor, but giving riders a chance to warm the legs before the climb, whereas before they'd be hitting those gradients off a total cold open.

Max Walker of Astana development team won the prologue, and took it by enough to hold on to the lead after finishing second to Matteo Malucelli on stage 2. Probably the GC will be settled by the Fuji stage, there are a good few CT sputniks on Japanese teams out there including the evergreen Paco Mancebo, but also José Vicente Toribio, Nathan Earle, Benji Dyball and Yecid Sierra, plus some of the teams like Terengganu who have solid rosters for this kind of race with people like Anatoliy Budyak and Merhawi Kudus. No Iranian motorbikes this year.
 
Possibly silly question, but didn't there use to be a rule that if you left one race you couldn't start another for as long as that race continued? Just re Girmay in Ronde van Limburg. I remember Nibali not being allowed to race after the DSQ at the Vuelta in 2015 - was that just because it was a DSQ?
UCI can grant permission to ride another race (and I presume in Nibali's case UCI wasn't particularly keen on granting it).
 
Possibly silly question, but didn't there use to be a rule that if you left one race you couldn't start another for as long as that race continued? Just re Girmay in Ronde van Limburg. I remember Nibali not being allowed to race after the DSQ at the Vuelta in 2015 - was that just because it was a DSQ?
In Cavendish’s book he said he had to get permission from the 2011 Vuelta organizers in order to start Tour of Britain when he dropped out due to being sick. I think it still holds true and is one of the reasons Nibali couldn’t race because they wouldn’t approve due to him being disqualified vs an illness/accident.
 
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In Cavendish’s book he said he had to get permission from the 2011 Vuelta organizers in order to start Tour of Britain when he dropped out due to being sick. I think it still holds true and is one of the reasons Nibali couldn’t race because they wouldn’t approve due to him being disqualified vs an illness/accident.
Ya, that makes sense. Girmay had an accident which is likely why they allow him to race rather than the good old Cipollini who used to race the first week or so of the Tour and then drop out when the mountains came. That would likely not get approval to race somewhere else.
 
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Cycling is a funny sport. Groenewegen looked second hand in Hungary and Venendeel when in good positions for the final, yet, today he got far from a perfect lead out and won easily.

Cause the only one who didn't get hindered by Moschetti's ridiculous divebomb was Maurice Ballerstedt... If he had lost that he shouldve retired.

This finish has nothing to do with sprint speed, all about being in that corner first or second and he did that perfectly so that deserves some praise.
 

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