Ovo Energy Tour of Britain UCI 2.HC (07.09-14.09)

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MvdP has to be the biggest favorite for worlds.

The only ones I see that might be strong enough, to stay with him when he kicks, is Alaphilippe and Asgreen, everyone else will have to drop him before the last 10 k.
Asgreen, really? Dont get me wrong, I believe he can get a great result at the worlds but I wouldn’t put him up there yet, especially not when it comes to ability to accelerate
 
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Helicopter views - ah! Classification!

Nope

Helicopter views - ah! Classification!

Nope

Helicopter views - ah! Classification!

Nope

Helicopter views - ah! Classification!

Finally, yes.
 
Feb 22, 2019
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His sprint is really good for a non-sprinter. That's true. But we also have to look at the riders that finished in front of or just behind him.
Suisse:
GVA and Fraile finished right behind him.
California:
  1. Sprint for minor places. Beat Philipsen and Schachmann was "3rd".
  2. Sprint. Got beaten by Higuita and again Schachmann finished just behind him.
Also i was more referring to the actual Acceleration and not the Sprint itself.
 
MvdP has to be the biggest favourite for worlds.

The only ones I see that might be strong enough, to stay with him when he kicks, is Alaphilippe and Asgreen, everyone else will have to drop him before the last 10 k.
Is this some Danish joke? Asgreen has even been in a break with MvdP in Dwars door Vlaanderen and then was dropped even when he was riding tempo. He isn't even 1 tier away from MvdP in acceleration.. Asgreen is an endurance/solo/ttist rider. Nowhere near Alaphilippe or Mathieu in acceleration
 
His sprint is really good for a non-sprinter. That's true. But we also have to look at the riders that finished in front of or just behind him.
Suisse:
GVA and Fraile finished right behind him.
California:
  1. Sprint for minor places. Beat Philipsen and Schachmann was "3rd".
  2. Sprint. Got beaten by Higuita and again Schachmann finished just behind him.
Also i was more referring to the actual Acceleration and not the Sprint itself.
I'm not saying he is a sprinter, I was merely making you aware, that he DOES have acceleration, contrary to your belief.

You would not call MvdP or Alaphilippe sprinters either :)
 
Is this some Danish joke? Asgreen has even been in a break with MvdP in Dwars door Vlaanderen and then was dropped even when he was riding tempo. He isn't even 1 tier away from MvdP in acceleration.. Asgreen is an endurance/solo/ttist rider. Nowhere near Alaphilippe or Mathieu in acceleration
Every spring classics race, he spent killing himself as a Dom for someone else on DQ, so missing strength towards the end of those races (incl. his 2nd at Flanders), is not really an indication of anything.

At worlds he will be a protected rider, on a strong team.

Either way, as said, it's my inside bet, if you don't like it - cool - we'll all know pretty soon ;)
 
Dude, I'm an Asgreen fan, he's in my fantasy cycling team for this season. But he's never beating VdP in a straight up sprint. He might have good top end speed for a non-sprinter. But he has nowhere near that acceleration. If Alaphilippe get's put at 3 bike lengths in Brabantse Pijl, then Asgreen stands no chance in a sprint either.
He might beat him in some other way, but not in a sprint.
 
Is this some Danish joke? Asgreen has even been in a break with MvdP in Dwars door Vlaanderen and then was dropped even when he was riding tempo. He isn't even 1 tier away from MvdP in acceleration.. Asgreen is an endurance/solo/ttist rider. Nowhere near Alaphilippe or Mathieu in acceleration
Okay, even if I think mentioning Asgreen in the same breath as MvdP and Alaphilippe is perposterous, I have to say that this is also completely ignoring the fact that his bike broke when the tv transmission had problems. That's why he was dropped. Of course he wasn't dropped while they were just riding tempo without reason.
 
MvdP has to be the biggest favourite for worlds.

The only ones I see that might be strong enough, to stay with him when he kicks, is Alaphilippe and Asgreen, everyone else will have to drop him before the last 10 k.
If VDP kicks on one of the short ramps I can see the likes of Kwiatkowski, Gilbert and Valverde matching, maybe (but it's a BIG maybe) Sagan, GvA and Matthews as well.

Staying with him to the line is another proposition though.
 
If VDP kicks on one of the short ramps I can see the likes of Kwiatkowski, Gilbert and Valverde matching, maybe (but it's a BIG maybe) Sagan, GvA and Matthews as well.

Staying with him to the line is another proposition though.
It’s really going to depend on a) who’s still there and b) who’s freshest.

The course has been compared on here to a cyclocross track. It’s constant up-down, with frequent corners. Whoever can stay in the wheels best and avoid having to sprint out of every turn will have a huge advantage over someone who’s had to spend a lot of time out of the saddle.

Sagan was invisible in Richmond until his winning attack. That might be the way to go in Yorkshire too.
 
Birkenhead! Yes! They are going to make the riders both start and finish in Birkenhead. Now I will admit that it's been a while since I was dodging discarded hypodermics on the Birkenhead Park first team pitch, but that kind of thing sticks with you...


Today's stage takes in the Wirral, a bit of Cheshire and even crosses the border into Wales (don't worry, it quickly jumps back across to avoid any of the hills found in this area, including the beautifully named Hope Mountain, Blwch Pen Barras, Worlds End and the more famous Horseshoe Pass climbing out of Llangollen. This would have provided Instagrammable backdrops galore, maybe that's why they decided to miss them out and send the riders past the Airbus factory...). If you are ever in this area I urge you to seek out the route used for the Rise Above Sportive, you will not be disappointed.

Birkenhead is famous for having one end of the worlds first ever tidal estuary tunnel, running under the Mersey to Liverpool, the first publicly funded park in Britain and Tranmere Rovers. Upon leaving they head through Egerton Park, Rock Ferry (famous for the song and album of the same name by Duffy, a fantastic album by a talented artist whose career took a nose-dive after an ill-fated hook-up with Diet Coke and a widely panned advertising campaign), Bebington and Port Sunlight where the flag will drop for kilometre zero.

If you decide to watch today's stage then catching this neutralised section is an absolute must. Built be the Lever Brothers for their soap factory workers, Port Sunlight is an absolute gem with ~900 listed buildings. It would be remiss of me not to mention the darker side of the Lever Brothers, lest people think they were completely altruistic. The soap produced in Port Sunlight used palm oil and the raw materials for this were obtained from the Belgian Congo through brutal, forced labour.

Once the flag drops it's back through Bebington, past the Grammar School (don't get me started on grammar schools...) and out towards Heswall, the location of first sprint of the day. However, this sprint is taken on our return to Heswall. Heswall is a small, nondescript town that boast some extremely famous sons. Most notably Ian Botham, Jim Bowen, and Ian Astbury, lead singer of The Cult (She Sells Sanctuary, I'm sure you know it). We head towards Ellesmere Port next... I think the less said about this the better... (Anyone who wants to reminisce about Destiny and Elite hit me up. I probably won't reply but at least I'll know I'm not the only person here who suffered at the hands of John "Fixer" Cubbins).

From here we head into deepest, darkest Cheshire, skirt the edge of Delamere Forest and up the climb of the day, Kelsall Hill. 1.2km at 6.8% might trick MvdP into thinking it's the end of the stage so lets hope we see a sprint to the top...

This climb was obvously deemed more that adequate to fracture the peloton, because we head back to the flatlands next and pass through Waverton and by "The Crocky Trail". An epic day out ever since it opened as a rope swing across a muddy ditch, it has now grown into something children speak about in hushed tones of fevered excitement. From here we are back on previously trodden roads through Saighton, Bruera and Alford as we head to Farndon and cross the River Dee into Wales. In Wales we first pass through Holt, a small village full of confused rowing fans looking for the childhood home of Matthew Pinsent, unaware that he was born in Holt in Norfolk. The looming presence of Wrexham will force our riders to take a sharp turn towards the border and back over the Dee into Pulford. Rather than ride past Eaton Hall, the seat of the Duke of Westminster and one of the most obscene displays of British upper class privilege in the UK (the Duke and his family are worth ~£10 billion. He is 28...), we will follow the border to Broughton, about as opposite as possible to Eaton Hall as we can get.

Back over the border and into Chester. There is too much that could be written about Chester so I'll just say that, unless you are interested in that kind of thing, never, ever visit the place while the races are on... The route runs south of the city and out through Sealand road, because why wouldn't you route a race through as many industrial estates as possible (I think the bit they go through is "Officially" the Greyhound Retail Park, but it's all the same thing)? Deep Pan Pizza Company used to have a restaurant here, it was great. It's also a good time to mention that Chester Football Club's stadium (The Deva Stadium) has the strange quirk of making fans cross into a different country to watch the games. The shop and main offices are located in England, but the Stands and pitch are actually in Wales, across the border in Flintshire.


This is already very long and we're only about halfway through the stage, but we're now returning to the Wirral via Moston (location of Chester Zoo which is also well worth a visit), and back along to Heswall. Wes Kirby, Hoylake and Wallasey get a visit as the peloton approach the Birkenhead loop (yes, making them start and finish here wasn't enough, they're also going to make them rider around it). With the WC in mind Flaybrick Hill is included, twice!, to really test the legs of the remaining riders. 0.8km at 4.4%!! Won't someone think of the children!!


Enjoy the bunch sprint. Again. Route and profile:



 
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