Paris - Nice 2021, March 7 - March 14

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Looking at that sprint again, there was actually a very impressive display of sustained power from Demare. I’ve no idea what he thought he was doing putting his face in the wind that far out on an uphill finish, but he opened up his sprint long, long before Ackermann opened up his, kept sprinting while Ackermann sprinted and then kept going after the German ran out of gas and died. Really bad sprinting in terms of positioning and timing, but he must have been holding serious watts for a very long time.

Ackermann by contrast was not impressive in any way. I believe in the guy, he will show that he’s a top sprinter again, but that really wasn’t great. In UAE he looked like he was getting his timing wrong, today he just didn’t look good enough. It may partly be that he’s just less competitive against a Bennett or Demare on an uphill finish than he is in a true flat sprint.
 
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Looking at that sprint again, there was actually a very impressive display of sustained power from Demare. I’ve no idea what he thought he was doing putting his face in the wind that far out on an uphill finish, but he opened up his sprint long, long before Ackermann opened up his, kept sprinting while Ackermann sprinted and then kept going after the German ran out of gas and died. Really bad sprinting in terms of positioning and timing, but he must have been holding serious watts for a very long time.

Ackermann by contrast was not impressive in any way. I believe in the guy, he will show that he’s a top sprinter again, but that really wasn’t great. In UAE he looked like he was getting his timing wrong, today he just didn’t look good enough. It may partly be that he’s just less competitive against a Bennett or Demare on an uphill finish than he is in a true flat sprint.
What do you think of Pedersen? I am beginning to rate him quite highly. Today, he might have been able to challenge Bennett if Démare hadn't shut the door on him.
 
What do you think of Pedersen? I am beginning to rate him quite highly. Today, he might have been able to challenge Bennett if Démare hadn't shut the door on him.
I‘m very impressed with him as a sprinter. With the current crop of freak all rounders (MVDP, WVA, Pidcock..,) it’s easy to overlook just how unusually versatile Pedersen is. He’s a top classics specialist, has ITT wins as a pro and having decided to take up sprinting he’s almost immediately able to compete with top professional sprinters.

He‘s fast. There’s a relatively small sample of sprints to draw conclusions from, but I suspect that he doesn’t have the acceleration of a Ewan, Bennett or Groenewegen and will be more like a Demare or younger Kristoff in style. Its also remarkable that he seems to mostly make good decisions. He’s racing against guys who have been specialists since they were espoirs or even juniors and he already seems to have a better split-second tactical brain than some of them.

I don’t think he will win a bunch sprint here against all of Bennett, Demare, Ackermann and a bucketload of slightly lower tier guys. But it wouldn’t be a real shock if he did, which is notable in its own way given that nobody thought of him as a sprinter until very recently.
 

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