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Milano - Sanremo: March 20, 2021

Page 22 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
They might ... might ... have still had fatigue in their legs from TA. But really, only a week ago they were destroying people, so I doubt it is a decline. WvA did not look off, but he was definitely not super aggresive either.
Of course they have fatigue in their legs, and the CX season in their legs isn't helping either. And, as in a phtotography, the point of view is very important to what we are witnessing.

  1. If a rider/s starts producing less watts and the rest of the riders stay at the same level, you can tell those riders producing less watts are on the decline.
  2. If a rider/s produces the same watts, but all the other riders start producing more watts, you can tell those riders producing same watts are on the decline.

If those two factors combine, the decline from our point of view multiplies. It's just a hypothesis, but:

  1. WVA a MVDP are coming from CX season which finished with WCH, were we can expect them to by in top shape. They had few weeks to adapt and with their talent and so much serious racing in their legs, they are in a monster mode at one point, compared to the others.
  2. TA was for many first serious 1 week race, and a pretty tough one. Lot's of tough kms. Usually, the first tough racing has huge impact on riders, then the gains are not that evident.

These to facts support the theory and the hypothesis might not be that off.
 
But shouldn't van Aert be starting to peak? He took a (small) pause after cx, and did build his form for the spring races. Also, when has he ever been extraterrestrial on a poggio climb? He usually catches up a bit later. And he still was second to Ewan in the sprint. Don't think he's on the form decline.
 
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But shouldn't van Aert be starting to peak? He took a (small) pause after cx, and did build his form for the spring races. Also, when has he ever been extraterrestrial on a poggio climb? He usually catches up a bit later. And he still was second to Ewan in the sprint. Don't think he's on the form decline.
Van Aert probably waited too long for the Alaphilippe attack if anything
 
But shouldn't van Aert be starting to peak? He took a (small) pause after cx, and did build his form for the spring races. Also, when has he ever been extraterrestrial on a poggio climb? He usually catches up a bit later. And he still was second to Ewan in the sprint. Don't think he's on the form decline.
No, I don't think so either. The size of the group really suggests that many were feeling pretty fresh near the end. If the reports of a tailwind were true, that might explain why the group was so big and possibly so fresh. MvdP did, however, look sluggish, but there could be a number of explanations.
 
Also, the MVDP and WVA shape migth also be on the decline after the CX winter, although still on very good level, but not monster any more. They started strong, because they carried the form from the winter, but might slightly fade away. Actually, WVA was always very strong in march, but started to fade away on cobbles. They dominated last year, because thanks to Covid 19, they had enough time to recover before the road thingy happened. This year might actually answer, if it is possible to combine CX and ROAD after all. The april and WCH will tell, that's for sure.

Well, two years ago VdP did a much bigger cross season (beginning of october until the middle of february) and was also very good all the way to Amstel, with very good performances at RvV too (after a big recuperation). Wout was also very strong that year at Ronde (one of the best at the bergs) and Paris - Roubaix (after his team left him alone after the mechanicals, he managed to get back and was near the front of the race with Lampaert and Vanmarcke, who finished in the top 5, until he eventually cracked).
 
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Also, the MVDP and WVA shape migth also be on the decline after the CX winter, although still on very good level, but not monster any more. They started strong, because they carried the form from the winter, but might slightly fade away. Actually, WVA was always very strong in march, but started to fade away on cobbles. They dominated last year, because thanks to Covid 19, they had enough time to recover before the road thingy happened. This year might actually answer, if it is possible to combine CX and ROAD after all. The april and WCH will tell, that's for sure.
You basically mean Jumbo and Alpecin are clueless. Because if they are on the decline after two weeks than that 'd be some grade-A level incompetence.
Also, van Aert looked strong, so i have no idea what you're getting at here. Van der Poel was not having his day clearly, but again screwed up with his positioning. Had he been closer to WvA and JA, the three of them would have worked together towards the finish. Now, van der Poel's stupid move made him react too late, and brought the others back, instead of gapping them.
 
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Well, two years ago VdP did a much bigger cross season (until the WCH) and was also very good all the way to Amstel, with very good performances at RvV too (after a big recuperation). Wout was also very strong that year at Ronde (one of the best at the bergs) and Paris - Roubaix (after his team left him alone after the mechanicals, he managed to get back and was near the front of the race with Lampaert and Vanmarcke, who finished in the top 5, until he eventually cracked).
Indeed! Also, vA took a break after cross and then immediately went to do more distance work to re-establish a base. VdP seems to set up his season in pulses with breaks between. I could see vdP possibly having peaked, as he went straight from CX into road, but less so vA ... I think his form is likely on the rise.
 
I'd only fault van Aert for two things: first, he seemed a bit hesitant after Ala's attack, he came through for a pull, but didn't launch an attack of his own or really commit. Second, after Kragh's attack Pidcock chased and had van Aert on his wheel (with Ewan in third position) and they had a bit of a gap to the rest; that was the last moment for van Aert to attack or bridge the gap to Stuyven, after that the chase died completely.
 
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I'd only fault van Aert for two things: first, he seemed a bit hesitant after Ala's attack, he came through for a pull, but didn't launch an attack of his own or really commit. Second, after Kragh's attack Pidcock chased and had van Aert on his wheel (with Ewan in third position) and they had a bit of a gap to the rest; that was the last moment for van Aert to attack or bridge the gap to Stuyven, after that the chase died completely.
Could've gotten himself 2nd probably, but I think Ewan was set on Van Aert mostly and you're not dropping someone straight off your weel on the flat if you didn't drop them uphill unless they're flying a parachute behind them.

What I don't really get is what MvdP was doing in the final 5km
 
You basically mean Jumbo and Alpecin are clueless. Because if they are on the decline after two weeks than that 'd be some grade-A level incompetence.
Also, van Aert looked strong, so i have no idea what you're getting at here. Van der Poel was not having his day clearly, but again screwed up with his positioning. Had he been closer to WvA and JA, the three of them would have worked together towards the finish. Now, van der Poel's stupid move made him react too late, and brought the others back, instead of gapping them.
No, I just mean that the last year dominance is not going to be present this year. Because those two will feel the winter. It might be something similar as 2019. They were good, actually very good and we all were doing wow, look at them after the busy winter. And same as that year, the others will catch up a will be on par with them. Comparing result from 2020 a 2021 how it would look like, if they tried only the ROAD for one season.

EDIT: Also, one thing is to go from easy autumn to CX to busy spring and the other is to go from veeeery busy autumn, to CX to busy spring. Jumbo and Alpecin are not clueless for sure, but the pandemic messed with the calendar and this might be the result.
 
No, I just mean that the last year dominance is not going to be present this year. Because those two will feel the winter. It might be something similar as 2019. They were good, actually very good and we all were doing wow, look at them after the busy winter. And same as that year, the others will catch up a will be on par with them. Comparing result from 2020 a 2021 how it would look like, if they tried only the ROAD for one season.

EDIT: Also, one thing is to go from easy autumn to CX to busy spring and the other is to go from veeeery busy autumn, to CX to busy spring. Jumbo and Alpecin are not clueless for sure, but the pandemic messed with the calendar and this might be the result.
Ok, sure, but still there is no way that would already manifest itself so soon. It will never be 2020 again (hopefully) but that doesn't mean they are suffering because of CX season already. Also, they both started their CX season late, and never rode a complete calendar. Check the amount of races they did this winter. The both of them did 14 or 15 races. That's not even half of a complete CX calendar. And they both were far from their top level initially.
 
I don't see how WVA wasn't at or near his best. He's not as explosive as Alaphilippe or MVDP and never will be - he needs longer sustained effort (he also needs long sprints, cf. Ronde 2020, huge mistake), and probably also a harder race than today. He mentioned there was a tailwind all day. Last year, he also only caught up with Alaphilippe on the descent. I think Julian isn't at his best yet, and MVDP should've tried more on Poggio, and was also very passive afterwards. MVDP not on his best day perhaps, but seeing him go just days ago implies it shouldn't be seen as loss of overall form, I think. They should all three be in contention the next weeks as well.
 
I don't see how WVA wasn't at or near his best. He's not as explosive as Alaphilippe or MVDP and never will be - he needs longer sustained effort (he also needs long sprints, cf. Ronde 2020, huge mistake), and probably also a harder race than today. He mentioned there was a tailwind all day. Last year, he also only caught up with Alaphilippe on the descent. I think Julian isn't at his best yet, and MVDP should've tried more on Poggio, and was also very passive afterwards. MVDP not on his best day perhaps, but seeing him go just days ago implies it shouldn't be seen as loss of overall form, I think. They should all three be in contention the next weeks as well.

He is at his best.
 
Could've gotten himself 2nd probably, but I think Ewan was set on Van Aert mostly and you're not dropping someone straight off your weel on the flat if you didn't drop them uphill unless they're flying a parachute behind them.

What I don't really get is what MvdP was doing in the final 5km
^This. Especially not going to accelerate a sprinter off your wheel who is already missile locked to you
 
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No, I just mean that the last year dominance is not going to be present this year. Because those two will feel the winter. It might be something similar as 2019. They were good, actually very good and we all were doing wow, look at them after the busy winter. And same as that year, the others will catch up a will be on par with them. Comparing result from 2020 a 2021 how it would look like, if they tried only the ROAD for one season.

EDIT: Also, one thing is to go from easy autumn to CX to busy spring and the other is to go from veeeery busy autumn, to CX to busy spring. Jumbo and Alpecin are not clueless for sure, but the pandemic messed with the calendar and this might be the result.

Well, in 2018 VdP hadn't a "easy autumn" as well, since during the summer he was doing the MTB world cups with the odd road race like the Arctic Race of Norway to peak for the MTB Worlds (where he finished 3rd at the first half of september). He had less than a month of rest before going to cx in the first week of october).
 

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