Paris - Roubaix 2021 (03.10)

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Just have to weigh in on the moronic move by Rowe...he tries to give us the "I do this for a living so you commoners need to STFU," defense. He indicated that we have no idea what it's like to ride on the pave of Arenberg with a flat front...yeah, because I'm smart enough to not ride a flat on one of the worst sections of cobbles in France...in the rain...you know, because it's pretty freaking predictable that control will be an issue. Fk us? No, Luke, fk you. You cost a contender his chance...an you weren't the contender.
The obvious implications in Rowe’s response are that a) he got the flat while already in Arenberg b) there are no support cars in Arenberg (or at least not any close enough to support him at that time) c) he needed to ride, with a front flat, to the far side of Arenberg to get a new tire.
 
The obvious implications in Rowe’s response are that a) he got the flat while already in Arenberg b) there are no support cars in Arenberg (or at least not any close enough to support him at that time) c) he needed to ride, with a front flat, to the far side of Arenberg to get a new tire.
The obvious implications are that you can't ride in Arenberg on a flat front. Evicence for my theory" He took out Mads. I think anyone who has ever had a front flat can attest to the fact that it's almost impossible on smooth pavement...this was one of the worst sections of cobbles in France...the math isn't complicated, and Rowe is a moron.
 
...what I can't decide is if his response is moronic because he just doesn't have common sense to know that when you do something stupid that harms someone else, you apologize and move or, or his response is moronic because he doesn't see how he did anything wrong, or worst case scenario: Both. I'm leaning toward both.

As to Colbrelli, he antimated the race then sat on while MvdP chased down Moscon (in all fairness, karma was taking some pulls as well), and then sprang to life again. Fair play, but I'd ask MvdP what he thinks of the subject...though I am guessing that his reluctance to give an interview is all the opinion we need to know what he thinks.
 
The obvious implications are that you can't ride in Arenberg on a flat front. Evicence for my theory" He took out Mads. I think anyone who has ever had a front flat can attest to the fact that it's almost impossible on smooth pavement...this was one of the worst sections of cobbles in France...the math isn't complicated, and Rowe is a moron.
So what’s he supposed to do? Just quit the race right there and then because someone on the internet knows you can’t ride Arenberg on a flat tire?
 
From la Gazzetta dello Sport:

GdS: You saw the devil approaching (MvdP) as you rode in Hell:
Colbrelli: "Yes and no, in the sense that he was decisive in giving the final knock-out blow to Van Aert, who I saw was in difficulty. Allowing him (Van Aert) to come back on would have been risky. The Dutchman pulled super hard, allowing me to stay away (thus implying he had been aggressively on the attack before MvdP caught up)

GdS: Grande Italia, but Gianni Moscon was so unfortunate:
Colbrelli:
"He was so strong. Perhaps we would not have caught him without the two mishaps he had. At Roubaix you need a day when everyghing goes perfectly..."

As we witnessed in the race itself and as Colbrelli tells us, therefore, Colbrelli rode an agressive race to then play off MvdP at a critical moment to his advantage. It's not Colbrelli's fault that MvdP apparently has the need to overdo (strafare) things, evidently either owing to overcondifence, in which case he sins of hubris, or an incapacity to ballance effort with astuteness, in which case he suffers from stupidity. At any rate, Colbrelli simply smartly played off MvdP's strength, a feat that deep into Roubaix is iteslf no mean task and shows you have the legs to win. Then after Moscon was caught (the moral winner of the day as far as I'm concerned), Colbrelli went to the front and accellerated again, which seemed to put even MvdP briefly in difficulty who going full gas was lingering at three meters behind the Italian's wheel.

MvdP after the race said he was absolutely dead on the track just before the sprint and just hoped that his rivals were more dead than himself. Obviously they weren't quite so empty, with just that bit more reserve to keep ahead in the sprint for the finish line. To be fair, it was truly tough for MvdP, who was not riding just to leave Van Aert behind but catch a flying Moscon, who only through the cruelty of fate likely didn't stay away for the win. The Dutchman, however, races like he has the responsibility to take on the race full gas no matter what. While undoubtedly admirable, this clearly is not always the best tactic, especially when you have strong rivals who can play off your strength, but also your getting carried away.

Moral: Colbrelli was no wheelsucker, just smart; MvdP was in a tough position, not helped by his uncontrollable enthusiasm to always go eyeballs out; Moscon was poised to arrive solo, were it not for the fact that Paris-Roubaix is the one race where you can have the best day of your career, and apparently are going to win, when anything can happen that screws you over.
 
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So what’s he supposed to do? Just quit the race right there and then because someone on the internet knows you can’t ride Arenberg on a flat tire?
...run with his bike until the team car arrives, like did after he took out Mads (and many others have done after flatting on cobbes)...again, just spitballing. That he is being defended owes itself to something other than logic. He shows EXACTLY why you don't try to ride a front flat on wet cobbles...or really any cobbles. It was moronic, and his response was worse.
 
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Watched the full race: some things took my attention in the rewatch.

Mohoric at the front of the peloton with Colbrelli not far behind him on the start of almost every sector before Arenberg.

Van der Poel went full gas in the last 200-300 metres of every sector often passing multiple riders and taking the corner of the sector really aggressive. No idea what the thought process was there.

Alpecin also needs to steer him more tactically. No idea why Philipsen didn't go full gas with the group in his wheel for a couple kms when he got caught.

Ineos/Moscon obviously with a big mistake not preparing that 2nd bike. The setup was quite clearly different. Would not surprise if he had never ridden that bike before given it was a disc.

Big tactical mistake obviously from the teams of favourites to let a group of 30+ ride away early on, especially when it rains.

Also maybe they should hold Roubaix twice every season :D
 
Just have to weigh in on the moronic move by Rowe...he tries to give us the "I do this for a living so you commoners need to STFU," defense. He indicated that we have no idea what it's like to ride on the pave of Arenberg with a flat front...yeah, because I'm smart enough to not ride a flat on one of the worst sections of cobbles in France...in the rain...you know, because it's pretty freaking predictable that control will be an issue. Fk us? No, Luke, fk you. You cost a contender his chance...an you weren't the contender.
Just like you said in the last sentence. At that point of the race, Rowe was neither riding for the win nor riding in support of any of his teammates (Moscon was in the front and all of the other grenadiers had been already out of contention), so the one objective he should've mainly focused on was not interrupting other riders at racing, which basically meant getting his a*s out of the way.
 
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Have to admit, that I on live signal yesterday only had the opportunity to watch the race from 22k to go.
Now I've watched from the start until 67k to the finish line, and from those parts I cannot fathom folks yelling about Colbrelli wheel sucking. Either some ppl have bad memory or simply didn't watch the race, except for the last hour maybe (?). What I've just witnessed so far is Sonny Colbrelli animating the favourite group on several occations on the last 50-60k's incl. his breakout up to the group in front.
A long, exhauating and maybe not so clever move, however a strong effort teying to put MvdP and van Aert under pressure.
And then when MvdP rejoins and put the group under pressure, Colbrelli is immideately there and even doing more pulls in the front.
And then in the finale Colbrelli answers fully on Carrefour de l'Abre on MvdP's attack.

So still with reservations, haven't yet watched a 45k part in the finale, I would postulate he has largely been one of the riders who has helped to animate the race, of what I've seen until now.

And so if the next part is hesitation and wheel sucking, thats a part of a great race, too.
Think I've mentioned it before, I'm very keen of classics where the cunning cheats the less cunning, due to clever tactics and having the sense of the right moments.
Yesterday, however, I think it was both the smartest and the strongest rider who won the great cobblestone trophy.
Ofcourse previous historic P-R long distance rides of Cancellara, Boonen, Tafi, etc. are fantastic, but I like the excitement to be spread out right to the velodrome.

For me this is the best edition since 1993, no maybe even better I think - and yet still have to watch 45k to get the full picture ;-)
Best since 1194 (the muddy one) you mean? 1993 was OK but a bit like 2021: the best man didn't win.

If you haven't seen the race-defining final 45K part that mattered the most where MvdP was almost single-handedly chasing Moscon, you can't judge the wheelsucking.
And gain, Colbrelli had every reason to do so, as MvdP was so crazy to keep pulling and almost never even asked for some help, even in headwind sections.
Every other rider would have done the same as Colbrelli (if they were smart): there are very few riders crazy enough to help MvdP when he doesn't ask for it (like Asgreen, WvA, Alaphilippe, Pogacar, Evenepoel, but those are all in a league on their own).
And again, Colbrelli didn't steal the win.
 
Big tactical mistake obviously from the teams of favourites to let a group of 30+ ride away early on, especially when it rains.
What's the mistake and what's the alternative? Going with a full peloton towards the first cobbles (a recipe for chaos)?
Most teams of favourites were having riders in that front group.

Having riders in front is a kind of investment (in the lottery of a rainy Roubaix): if all goes well you can aim for the win or a top 10 (Vermeersch, Moscon, Van Asbroeck) or help your team leader deep in the race when most helpers are already dropped (Roosen, Van Hooydonck).
 
Best since 1194 (the muddy one) you mean? 1993 was OK but a bit like 2021: the best man didn't win.

If you haven't seen the race-defining final 45K part that mattered the most where MvdP was almost single-handedly chasing Moscon, you can't judge the wheelsucking.
And gain, Colbrelli had every reason to do so, as MvdP was so crazy to keep pulling and almost never even asked for some help, even in headwind sections.
Every other rider would have done the same as Colbrelli (if they were smart): there are very few riders crazy enough to help MvdP when he doesn't ask for it (like Asgreen, WvA, Alaphilippe, Pogacar, Evenepoel, but those are all in a league on their own).
And again, Colbrelli didn't steal the win.
Can't agree with this one. This was not the same situation as for example in the EC, where Colbrelli would've likely won anyway even had the group behind caught him and Remco.

This time, him and MvdP were loosing the race. They weren't gaining any time to Moscon, and hadn't he had that flat, Colbrelli wouldn't have contested for the win (unless you're assuming that after MvdP would've tired himself out completely, Sonny would've dropped him, caught Gianni and win nonetheless). Not helping van der Poel to chase Moscon (he clearly had the legs to do that) wasn't smart but I think it was just naive and I don't like this kind of passive attitude.

Colbrelli is being praised for smart riding and that he earned his win due to that. The truth is, he was super lucky that Moscon had a defect. Had Moscon won the race, everyone would've been pointing at Colbrelli for not commiting to chase Moscon (btw, being Italian might've been a factor here).

Having said that, I still think Sonny is a deserved winner and rode a great race in general but you also need to admit that there was a lot of luck involved into it.
 
Can't agree with this one. This was not the same situation as for example in the EC, where Colbrelli would've likely won anyway even had the group behind caught him and Remco.

This time, him and MvdP were loosing the race. They weren't gaining any time to Moscon, and hadn't he had that flat, Colbrelli wouldn't have contested for the win (unless you're assuming that after MvdP would've tired himself out completely, Sonny would've dropped him, caught Gianni and win nonetheless). Not helping van der Poel to chase Moscon (he clearly had the legs to do that) wasn't smart but I think it was just naive and I don't like this kind of passive attitude.

Colbrelli is being praised for smart riding and that he earned his win due to that. The truth is, he was super lucky that Moscon had a defect. Had Moscon won the race, everyone would've been pointing at Colbrelli for not commiting to chase Moscon (btw, being Italian might've been a factor here).

Having said that, I still think Sonny is a deserved winner and rode a great race in general but you also need to admit that there was a lot of luck involved into it.
There's something in your comment... at one point I wondered if Colbrelli didn't want to chase Moscon down who was willing to work for him in the weeks before?
 
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MvdP should have made Colbrelli ride or just let Moscon go and the group to come back. He was just burning his bridges chasing Moscon back by himself. Fabulous season Colbrelli has had though. Performing on all terrain. Jeep is about to have a 4x4 Colbrelli edition.
 
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Best since 1194 (the muddy one) you mean? 1993 was OK but a bit like 2021: the best man didn't win.

If you haven't seen the race-defining final 45K part that mattered the most where MvdP was almost single-handedly chasing Moscon, you can't judge the wheelsucking.
And gain, Colbrelli had every reason to do so, as MvdP was so crazy to keep pulling and almost never even asked for some help, even in headwind sections.
Every other rider would have done the same as Colbrelli (if they were smart): there are very few riders crazy enough to help MvdP when he doesn't ask for it (like Asgreen, WvA, Alaphilippe, Pogacar, Evenepoel, but those are all in a league on their own).
And again, Colbrelli didn't steal the win.
Sorry in confusion I mixed 1993 and 1994 versions to my memory the Dusclos-Lasalle vs. Franco Ballerini was a muddy version (which it was not), however it was lots of exitement, just as the 1992 version. 1994 muddy version with Tschmil victory I had the last 170k on VHS but sadly lost in a movement. Without a doubt a legendary version, too! (Especially with Tschmil settling in Roubaix also after his retirement).

But regarding "the best man didn't win", yes I still miss watching the part between 67k - 22k to the finish, but as I read race resumés MvdP put a lot of energy in it, and then one could argue that "the best man" also didn't win the WC (Remco).

But for me best man = the combined product of "the strongest" and "the smartest". Not only "the strongest" (aand for P-R, add a bit of luck ;-) ). And here Colbrelli apparently played his cards right.
Well have to watch the 45k part between 67k and 22k to go later, dunno if that'll change my mind. So far, cutting that part out, Colbrelli stands definitely not as an undeserved winner.
 
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Can't agree with this one. This was not the same situation as for example in the EC, where Colbrelli would've likely won anyway even had the group behind caught him and Remco.

This time, him and MvdP were loosing the race. They weren't gaining any time to Moscon, and hadn't he had that flat, Colbrelli wouldn't have contested for the win (unless you're assuming that after MvdP would've tired himself out completely, Sonny would've dropped him, caught Gianni and win nonetheless). Not helping van der Poel to chase Moscon (he clearly had the legs to do that) wasn't smart but I think it was just naive and I don't like this kind of passive attitude.

Colbrelli is being praised for smart riding and that he earned his win due to that. The truth is, he was super lucky that Moscon had a defect. Had Moscon won the race, everyone would've been pointing at Colbrelli for not commiting to chase Moscon (btw, being Italian might've been a factor here).

Having said that, I still think Sonny is a deserved winner and rode a great race in general but you also need to admit that there was a lot of luck involved into it.
You go further than me in your breakdown of Colbrelli's wheelsucking. I almost feel like having a centrist opinion :D

To counter your argument just a bit: If Colbrelli would have given his all with MvdP (while MvdP hardly asked for taking over), I feel Colbrelli would have looked very naive and dumb if MvdP would have dropped him.
Any rider that works with guys like MvdP has the very real possibility that MvdP will drop them later.
So yes, Colbrelli is lucky MvdP did all that work, but this being his first Roubaix, and with MvdP pulling like the perfect helper, Colbrelli had every reason to save his energy a bit and see what would happen with chasing back Moscon.
The moment Moscon was catched, Colbrelli suddenly had the gas and saw the opportunity to try an attack. When that one didn't work out, he knew that, if he held it together (any attacks from MvdP or Meerschman), his chances were very good on the velodrome.
 
What's the mistake and what's the alternative? Going with a full peloton towards the first cobbles (a recipe for chaos)?
Most teams of favourites were having riders in that front group.

Having riders in front is a kind of investment (in the lottery of a rainy Roubaix): if all goes well you can aim for the win or a top 10 (Vermeersch, Moscon, Van Asbroeck) or help your team leader deep in the race when most helpers are already dropped (Roosen, Van Hooydonck).
Basically Quickstep missed the split. And Bora.

I think pretty much anyone else who mattered was represented, and so nobody was left behind to chase, so the break stayed away.
 
Basically Quickstep missed the split. And Bora.

I think pretty much anyone else who mattered was represented, and so nobody was left behind to chase, so the break stayed away.
Sagan, Schachmann crashed before the finale. Quickstep was well represented and would have made the splits, but asgreen and Lampaert flatted (clinchers?) at very unfortunate moments when both ballerini and Tim declercq (who made the split, just like one bora rider before he had a mechanical) wouldn’t have been in the front anyway (arenberg or later).
 
Sagan, Schachmann crashed before the finale. Quickstep was well represented and would have made the splits, but asgreen and Lampaert flatted (clinchers?) at very unfortunate moments when both ballerini and Tim declercq (who made the split, just like one bora rider before he had a mechanical) wouldn’t have been in the front anyway (arenberg or later).
Well I didn't say why they missed it, but yeah. QS, Bora (and, IIRC, Trek and Jumbo) weren't represented in the big group that went off the front early. Once the Arenberg selection had been made (crashes, flats, etc), the chaos was so total, that none of those teams had enough guys left to organise any sort of chase.

Their best results in the end, 5th (Lampaert), 7th (Wout), 25th (Stuyven) and 57 (Sagan).
 
Well I didn't say why they missed it, but yeah. QS, Bora (and, IIRC, Trek and Jumbo) weren't represented in the big group that went off the front early. Once the Arenberg selection had been made (crashes, flats, etc), the chaos was so total, that none of those teams had enough guys left to organise any sort of chase.

Their best results in the end, 5th (Lampaert), 7th (Wout), 25th (Stuyven) and 57 (Sagan).
Jumbo had three riders (Affini, Van Hooydonck, Roosen) in the big breakaway, actually. QS had two (Ballerini, Declercq) as well. Trek had Skujins and Bora had Oss.
 

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