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Paris Roubaix

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Mar 10, 2009
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richwagmn said:
Does anyone see Cavendish ever contending for PR?

Potentially, yes. He's on record saying that he wanted to ride next year, not to win but in support of a team mate (Burghardt?).

He has bike handling skills that's for sure but whether they are the right skills for PR is questionable. He has the speed, no doubt. Is he tough enough? Physically, I would suggest yes. He grew up riding bad weather and dodgy road surfaces. Mentally? We'll see.
 
maltiv said:
No doubt? I am fairly confident that Thor Hushovd would have beaten him in a sprint. Unfortunately, a silly technical mistake lead to a boring solo victory for Boonen, instead of what would have been a very exciting sprint which Thor definitely would have won.

Thor would have likely won. I would not say definitely ... at the end of P-R lots of things can change and Boonen knows the taste of winning that race.

Also, keep in mind that technical mistakes at this level tend to happen due to fatigue, and you get caught behind crashes when you are not at the front. In other words, Boonen probably was the strongest last year. I for one did not find it boring, as one mistake by Boonen and Thor would have caught him. Boring would be when Mapei or Gewiss would simply TTT away from the field ;)

EDIT - changed my mind to "Thor might have won"
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Ripper said:
Thor would have likely won. I would not say definitely ... at the end of P-R lots of things can change and Boonen knows the taste of winning that race.

Also, keep in mind that technical mistakes at this level tend to happen due to fatigue, and you get caught behind crashes when you are not at the front. In other words, Boonen probably was the strongest last year. I for one did not find it boring, as one mistake by Boonen and Thor would have caught him. Boring would be when Mapei or Gewiss would simply TTT away from the field ;)

EDIT - changed my mind to "Thor might have won"

I thought last year's race was excellent. Boonen just completely buried himself in the final kms. The look of pain on his face said it all.

For my money, PR is greatest day on the cycling calendar.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Buffalo Soldier said:
Has cavendish ever done something in the past that has proven he is able to do something like this?
I see no reason to assume he can win PR...

That's exactly what a lot of people were saying before last year's MSR...

Still Boonen was pretty much unbeatable last year at PR--he forced the decisive breaks, he was constantly on the front, upping the pace--completely dominated the race. Thor (and everyone else) followed Boonen's lead, until he shucked them, one by one (with the help of Flecha). If he trains the same way this year, I don't see why the outcome would be different.

As for Devolder--a large part of his Flanders victories has been due to having the strongest classics rider on his team. Boonen is on record as saying he's sick of it, so I don't see Devolder winning anything this year.
 
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Contador says his advantage in races is that he recovers well between stages, which means nothing in a one day classic. Other guys are physically and mentally better suited to that kind of effort. As a grand tour champion looking for more, he's better off getting six days in a row of quality racing, and maybe a win, at Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco than to be a face in the crowd at Paris-Roubaix. He's just turned 27, so he's got years to try the other stuff, but:

eight days of Paris-Nice
a week of training
seven days at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
another week of training
six days at Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco

gives him 21 quality days of stage racing out of 35, with a chance at victory in three UCI events, with four of the weeks at home in Spain. It's pretty tough to improve on that if he wants to win the Tour de France. Plus, it's twenty-one days of racing and living with with his new teammates.