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Paris-Nice 2024, March 3-10

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Let me start by saying that i am not advocating he should do a 10km solo.

That said, since you're asking, you are severely lacking in your estimation of how fast Evenepoel can ride for that length. First of all, in the scenario you are discussing, he doesn't have to ride the entire length of the TT solo, just the final 10k. As for speed, on sections like those final 10k, he can push well over 55km/h. Look up his flat TT's (Vuelta'22, Vuelta'23, Giro'23, ECC'21... etc). After the climb it's downhill, which would actually suit him since speed is higher and his aerodynamics become more important.

He should try to keep Cattaneo and Van Wilder with him as long as possible, the three of them should have no problem going over the hilly section together. Someone like Vervaeke should completely bury himself on the climbs imho, since he won't be of much use later on anyway, probably more like a weak link by then. I think that it might be best to have Pedersen and/or Lampaert and/or Moscon go all out in the first split before the climb, to get a buffer. If one or two of them can manage to hang on til after the climb, that would be great, but they have to make sure they aren't holding back more in the first section in order to keep guys on board for the second section, than the advantage those guys will actually offer in the final section. I think that's the difficulty in managing this TTT, but Bora has similar problems with their line-up.
I’m not necessarily saying he can’t push 55 km/h over 10km, though even in slipstream those first 25km ridden at 55km/h mean he’s not exactly fresh at the start of his stint. And 55 may not be enough - we have no data what the average speed in the final 10km of that time trial was, for instance.

But more importantly, that tactic just doesn’t make any sense. It would if he was faster than his team. Everything else is just a final km or two where he gets to sprint…
 
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This thread in a couple of days:

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We're in March. This is already clearly harder than what used to be on offer at this time until quite recently.
Is it?

The MTFs are both much easier than Jebel Hafeet that's in February every single year. On top of that, Valenciana can have really hard MTFs, and Ruta del Sol often tends to just have 5 hard stages and no flat sprints, in addition to frequently having a hard MTF. Tour of Oman goes up to Green Mountain every year and has an overall pretty heavy medium mountain profile too.

I'm not saying there aren't good stages in PN, but I really dislike the combination of longish TTT and weakest main MTF in years.

And I can ***, moan and complain about the Tirreno route, but at least the MTF choice is great.
 
The route is perfect for Remco. A longish TTT, a lot of medium mountain, no hard and long MTF, Rogla's first race of the season...

If he doesn't win this, then well...

We can also look at this from the opposite perspective, if Roglič doesn't win this against Remco, he may be in for a rough year as he will face Vingegaard in the next races.
 
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I’m not necessarily saying he can’t push 55 km/h over 10km, though even in slipstream those first 25km ridden at 55km/h mean he’s not exactly fresh at the start of his stint. And 55 may not be enough - we have no data what the average speed in the final 10km of that time trial was, for instance.

But more importantly, that tactic just doesn’t make any sense. It would if he was faster than his team. Everything else is just a final km or two where he gets to sprint…
The tactic "could" make sense. Let's say there is a tailwind and the final isn't technical (haven't checked) meaning other teams won't be going faster in that section (since downhill+tailwind). That would mean his rivals wouldn't really benefit (much) from riding in group. In case the trade-off is that Evenepoel's teammates burried themselves in the first 20km, meaning they gained time in the first part of the TT, then it could work out. Gain time in part 1, at the expense of teammates, hold on in part 2.

In this case, with this team, i would not opt for that scenario, as i said before. But it's not that outrageous as it would seem.
 
The tactic "could" make sense. Let's say there is a tailwind and the final isn't technical (haven't checked) meaning other teams won't be going faster in that section (since downhill+tailwind). That would mean his rivals wouldn't really benefit (much) from riding in group. In case the trade-off is that Evenepoel's teammates burried themselves in the first 20km, meaning they gained time in the first part of the TT, then it could work out. Gain time in part 1, at the expense of teammates, hold on in part 2.

In this case, with this team, i would not opt for that scenario, as i said before. But it's not that outrageous as it would seem.
Yes, you gain some time in the first part with all your teammates riding like madmen knowing they’ll be doing it for 10 km less than their colleagues from other teams and then you lose some time in the last part, or even hang on if you will. But the point is not even how well you do employing this tactic against other teams - it’s how well you do comparing to your team had they not employed that tactic. Would they really reach their full potential? And here’s where it stops making sense. Even if they pull it off and Remco wins in this manner, it should still be with worse outcome than if they keep that train for longer.

Ok maybe with some extreme tailwind that basically nullifies the effect of the train, but other than that I can see no sense in that. But I guess we’ll see soon enough. If any team employs this tactic voluntarily with a positive outcome I promise, I’ll come back and admit I was wrong😉
 
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Yes, you gain some time in the first part with all your teammates riding like madmen knowing they’ll be doing it for 10 km less than their colleagues from other teams and then you lose some time in the last part, or even hang on if you will. But the point is not even how well you do employing this tactic against other teams - it’s how well you do comparing to your team had they not employed that tactic. Would they really reach their full potential? And here’s where it stops making sense. Even if they pull it off and Remco wins in this manner, it should still be with worse outcome than if they keep that train for longer.

Ok maybe with some extreme tailwind that basically nullifies the effect of the train, but other than that I can see no sense in that. But I guess we’ll see soon enough. If any team employs this tactic voluntarily with a positive outcome I promise, I’ll come back and admit I was wrong😉
Let's say your team consists of only heavy guys, TT'ers genre Affini, Van Emden, and sprint leadout specialists like Morkov, etc. Guys that can go insanely fast on the flat, but if you have to wait for them on the climb, you'll be bleeding a lot of time. Then this tactic makes a lot more sense.
But as it stands, Evenepoel has Van Wilder and Cattaneo, so at the very least, he has to take them as far as possible.
 
Is it?

The MTFs are both much easier than Jebel Hafeet that's in February every single year. On top of that, Valenciana can have really hard MTFs, and Ruta del Sol often tends to just have 5 hard stages and no flat sprints, in addition to frequently having a hard MTF. Tour of Oman goes up to Green Mountain every year and has an overall pretty heavy medium mountain profile too.

I'm not saying there aren't good stages in PN, but I really dislike the combination of longish TTT and weakest main MTF in years.

And I can ***, moan and complain about the Tirreno route, but at least the MTF choice is great.
Until quite recently = more than a decade ago.

The hardest uphill finishes in Paris-Nice then were Lure, Mende, Faron, Chaubouret (more often with the finish down in Saint-Étienne). It was exceptional when Mont Serein (Ventoux) featured in P-N in 2008. Vaujany and Valberg were similar one-offs in the 90's. Ventoux featured thrice as an uphill finish in the 80's though, once at the top and twice at Chalet Reynard. But before Couillole in 2017, I think it's fair to say that MTFs of that nature were rare.

I think Prati di Tivo (2012) was the first proper MTF in Tirreno ever. Catalunya was moved to March in 2010, first MTF harder than Auron was Port-Ainé in 2012 (cancelled/neutralised).

Setmana Catalana was the only race to regularly feature "big" MTFs in March - and that being the only hard stage in the race (last edition in 2005).

Up now on page 1.

The good news, I'm apparently allowed 25 images now rather than 20. The bad news, I had 26 profiles.
I asked for the limit to be increased last year:
The limit on the number of images in a post is still the same, unfortunately. Would it be possible to increase it?
"Please enter a message with no more than 20 images."
 
He really should, he’s been training at altitude for a long time now. If he loses this he must be in serious doubt for TDF
If the situation were reversed, you would probably argue how Remco is directly from an altitude camp which is not good as you need some time to adapt and this being his first race of the year against seasoned riders, you can't really expect anything from him, etc., etc.

You Remco guys have offered quite a few excuses just in case he doesn't win by two minutes after he smashes everyone and their mother solo in TTT in the last 20 km: the course doesn't suit him, not enough climbs, TTT instead of ITT, Roglic fresh, Roglic on an altitude camp, ...

Let's just agree these are equal conditions for them and may the best man win?
 
Until quite recently = more than a decade ago.

The hardest uphill finishes in Paris-Nice then were Lure, Mende, Faron, Chaubouret (more often with the finish down in Saint-Étienne). It was exceptional when Mont Serein (Ventoux) featured in P-N in 2008. Vaujany and Valberg were similar one-offs in the 90's. Ventoux featured thrice as an uphill finish in the 80's though, once at the top and twice at Chalet Reynard. But before Couillole in 2017, I think it's fair to say that MTFs of that nature were rare.

I think Prati di Tivo (2012) was the first proper MTF in Tirreno ever. Catalunya was moved to March in 2010, first MTF harder than Auron was Port-Ainé in 2012 (cancelled/neutralised).

Setmana Catalana was the only race to regularly feature "big" MTFs in March - and that being the only hard stage in the race (last edition in 2005).


I asked for the limit to be increased last year:
While it's true that Tirreno-Adriatico was more about Sanremo prep for the longest time, and to this day I still associate it more with the Muri of the Marches than as a mini-GT stage race and think of editions like 2009 and 2010 as the ideal of what the race should be, they did have a San Giacomo MTF in 2007.

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In the late 2000s Paris-Nice was very much the petit-GT although its mountain stages were more like tough medium mountain stages as you mention, largely because too much higher altitude racing wasn't really possible in early March, but for some reason in the early 2010s the two races swapped roles with Tirreno-Adriatico adding genuine MTFs at places like Prati di Tivo, and Paris-Nice serving up some appallingly bad routes like 2011 (an over-long TT with the penultimate stage to Biot-Sophia Antipolis making all climbing an irrelevance) and 2012 (penultimate stage with the final climb over 60km from home and an MTT the next day neutering all racing) and a failed experiment in 2014 (featuring barely any climbing at all, though being an interesting experiment in a Tirreno-Adriatico type route that didn't really work because only the Mur de Fayence was steep enough to really create separation), before Paris-Nice moved more towards the profile it had had before that (and heading deeper into the Alps for bigger climbs).

Would certainly be interesting to see some profiles of the 1964 edition when they went to Corsica.
 
If the situation were reversed, you would probably argue how Remco is directly from an altitude camp which is not good as you need some time to adapt and this being his first race of the year against seasoned riders, you can't really expect anything from him, etc., etc.
That would be silly, Remco is always immediately great after altitude camp.

Also I only wrote that to be silly because of this post.
 
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