QS 2018

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Gilbert has had one unbelievable season, 2011, and several especially good years, including 2017, obviously. But he's always been a potential one-day winner. I rate him = rather suspect.
Terpstra, I just do not know about. He's had some unreal results, including this year, and some really meh years. But he really does seem to have an engine. So = suspect
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The rest, Stybar, Jungels, Alaphillppe = suspect, but no more so than anyone in the peloton.

W/R/T systematic doping, Q-S's past taints it a bit. Sinkewitz, Keisse are somewhat old news, though Sinkewitz's allegations were pretty damning, and Q-S seems to have been given the benefit of the doubt. However, they did boot LL (though he wasn't exactly a good fit, so that was an easy call).

Highly in their favor is that Q-S absolutely targets the spring classics, and this year they've figured out a way to win most of them. Their results are within the realm of preparation and tactics + coincidence and good luck.

As for team-wide doping in general, I have no idea if it's prevalent anymore. My thoughts on doping is that since around 2010 it's been 90 percent or more microdosing up to the limit, which might imply that team "programs" continue to exist.
 
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Brullnux said:
Boonen retiring has helped them ride together rather than as 7/8 individuals. Terpstra settling for second and pulling Kristoff to the line is more unlikely today.
This. I don't think they are doping more or less than last year or the year before. They were super strong all the other years too but they would often completely butcher the tactics (which are a much bigger cobbled classics than say, GT mountain stages). The 2015 Omloop, holy *********. That race was a good microcosm of their problems before this year - Boonen wasn't at his previous level but was still the #1 protected rider and also tried for the romantic solo when he should have sat on for the sprint, and Vandenbergh just Vandenbergh'd it, being in the final selection but not strong enough to win and also covering his own teammate's attack due to delusions of grandeur.

This year they have a lot of guys around the same level, who are prepared to put their noses in the wind in one race in the knowledge they'll get payback in another, also their opponents have been more interested in not towing Sagan to the line than not losing to a long range Quickstep attack a lot of the time.

The one more general thing of Clinic interest is that a lot of these races are being won by long solo attacks. This isn't Quickstep-specific as the have a team of diesels and no Boonen/Kristoff/Sagan type but it would be interesting to see how the distance of the critical attack (and how long they rode on their own vs bridging to a breakaway) has changed over the years for those races that haven't had significant course changes. Of course it could also be that teams like Quickstep are working harder earlier in the race to make it more selective. This is one of the big reasons why alien performances at this time of year will cause a few raised eyebrows, while someone winning a MTF by a minute in July will knock the site offline.
 
The wolfpack looking a little bit too strong. Schachmann almost holding on at FW and Ala sprinting like it`s flat. When a whole team are doing the best races of their whole career over and over again it is suspect.
 
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hrotha said:
"Alaphilippe has a strong finish on Huy" and "guy who didn't work in the break survives a bit longer than the others" is hardly earth-shattering.
Or "Man who has come second in a race both times he has ridden it now comes first as the person who beat him both times gets old"
 
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Serpentin said:
The wolfpack looking a little bit too strong. Schachmann almost holding on at FW and Ala sprinting like it`s flat. When a whole team are doing the best races of their whole career over and over again it is suspect.
I don't know about that but certainly they've been suspect as long as I've been watching them.
 
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Parker said:
hrotha said:
"Alaphilippe has a strong finish on Huy" and "guy who didn't work in the break survives a bit longer than the others" is hardly earth-shattering.
Or "Man who has come second in a race both times he has ridden it now comes first as the person who beat him both times gets old"
Or actually the guy who kept beating him finally screwed up on the final climb, so the guy who finished 2nd twice was in the best position to actually win.

However posted times up the final Mur de Huy. Valverde had the same time as 4 of his 5 wins. Only his all-time record was faster. Alaphilippe had a time that was closer to his all-time record.
 
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Koronin said:
Parker said:
hrotha said:
"Alaphilippe has a strong finish on Huy" and "guy who didn't work in the break survives a bit longer than the others" is hardly earth-shattering.
Or "Man who has come second in a race both times he has ridden it now comes first as the person who beat him both times gets old"
Or actually the guy who kept beating him finally screwed up on the final climb, so the guy who finished 2nd twice was in the best position to actually win.

However posted times up the final Mur de Huy. Valverde had the same time as 4 of his 5 wins. Only his all-time record was faster. Alaphilippe had a time that was closer to his all-time record.
His own all time record or Bala's all time record?
 
Re: Re:

Koronin said:
Parker said:
hrotha said:
"Alaphilippe has a strong finish on Huy" and "guy who didn't work in the break survives a bit longer than the others" is hardly earth-shattering.
Or "Man who has come second in a race both times he has ridden it now comes first as the person who beat him both times gets old"
Or actually the guy who kept beating him finally screwed up on the final climb, so the guy who finished 2nd twice was in the best position to actually win.

However posted times up the final Mur de Huy. Valverde had the same time as 4 of his 5 wins. Only his all-time record was faster. Alaphilippe had a time that was closer to his all-time record.
Yeah, they did the bottom of the climb faster than usual as Haig and Schachmann still had a reasonable lead (so much that Schachmann still finished 8th). Mollema, for one, said as much. Usually that bit has the favourites eyeballing each other.

I can see you are a Valverde fan, which is fine, but he's not immune to the ageing process. Everyone stops winning eventually.
 
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therhodeo said:
Koronin said:
Parker said:
hrotha said:
"Alaphilippe has a strong finish on Huy" and "guy who didn't work in the break survives a bit longer than the others" is hardly earth-shattering.
Or "Man who has come second in a race both times he has ridden it now comes first as the person who beat him both times gets old"
Or actually the guy who kept beating him finally screwed up on the final climb, so the guy who finished 2nd twice was in the best position to actually win.

However posted times up the final Mur de Huy. Valverde had the same time as 4 of his 5 wins. Only his all-time record was faster. Alaphilippe had a time that was closer to his all-time record.
His own all time record or Bala's all time record?

Sorry. Alaphilippe's time today was a bit closer to Bala's all-time record. So even if he was positioned correctly it's likely Alaphilippe still wins as his time was under 2:50 while Bala's was just over 2:50 right in line with 4 of his wins. Hope that clarifies what I was saying. Alaphilippe had a personal best.
 
Re: Re:

Parker said:
Koronin said:
Parker said:
hrotha said:
"Alaphilippe has a strong finish on Huy" and "guy who didn't work in the break survives a bit longer than the others" is hardly earth-shattering.
Or "Man who has come second in a race both times he has ridden it now comes first as the person who beat him both times gets old"
Or actually the guy who kept beating him finally screwed up on the final climb, so the guy who finished 2nd twice was in the best position to actually win.

However posted times up the final Mur de Huy. Valverde had the same time as 4 of his 5 wins. Only his all-time record was faster. Alaphilippe had a time that was closer to his all-time record.
Yeah, they did the bottom of the climb faster than usual as Haig and Schachmann still had a reasonable lead (so much that Schachmann still finished 8th). Mollema, for one, said as much. Usually that bit has the favourites eyeballing each other.

I can see you are a Valverde fan, which is fine, but he's not immune to the ageing process. Everyone stops winning eventually.

I am and he's not. However his time up the Mur de Huy was in the same range as 4 of his 5 wins. That isn't slowing down or stopping winning when you're still putting up the same time you put up the past 3 years and won with. The 2014 time is an all-time record and likely to not be touched for a long time.
 
Jungels, donkey turned race horse. Not every guy on a team should be able to win like this. All solo wins. They din`t have the numbers today besides Ala.
 
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Serpentin said:
Jungels, donkey turned race horse. Not every guy on a team should be able to win like this. All solo wins. They din`t have the numbers today besides Ala.
Nah, he's a racehorse turned lucky racehorse. He hasn't had a long enough career to be a donkey. He attacked on a descent when no one wanted to chase. He lost 30 seconds to a climber on a climb, and then made up the loss on a descent.

These aren't massive shows of strength like we have seen before. These wins are one guy going away from a group of 12-15, a perfect storm of looking about, waiting, bluffing, and letting the gap go out
 
The cobbled races I wasn't totally surprised as that is this team's fortay and they had great classics. I did say let's see what happens when they come to the Ardennes. Well now I definitely will go with there is something more to this than JUST being a classics teams and good tactics.
 
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Koronin said:
The cobbled races I wasn't totally surprised as that is this team's fortay and they had great classics. I did say let's see what happens when they come to the Ardennes. Well now I definitely will go with there is something more to this than JUST being a classics teams and good tactics.
They are winning with different riders, it’s not like it’s one rider smashing every race. The consistency is impressive though.
 
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Serpentin said:
Jungels, donkey turned race horse. Not every guy on a team should be able to win like this. All solo wins. They din`t have the numbers today besides Ala.
Jungels is exactly the kind of rider who should be winning big one day races. He's got an amazing engine, he climbs well, he's got a strong anaerobic kick and a half-decent sprint.

Whether or not there is a team-wide doping programme at Quickstep, Jungels certainly isn't, and never has been a donkey.
 
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DFA123 said:
Serpentin said:
Jungels, donkey turned race horse. Not every guy on a team should be able to win like this. All solo wins. They din`t have the numbers today besides Ala.
Jungels is exactly the kind of rider who should be winning big one day races. He's got an amazing engine, he climbs well, he's got a strong anaerobic kick and a half-decent sprint.

Whether or not there is a team-wide doping programme at Quickstep, Jungels certainly isn't, and never has been a donkey.
Agreed but you can still take drugs even with a big engine. You can iron out any weak spots or down days.
 
Re: Re:

thehog said:
DFA123 said:
Serpentin said:
Jungels, donkey turned race horse. Not every guy on a team should be able to win like this. All solo wins. They din`t have the numbers today besides Ala.
Jungels is exactly the kind of rider who should be winning big one day races. He's got an amazing engine, he climbs well, he's got a strong anaerobic kick and a half-decent sprint.

Whether or not there is a team-wide doping programme at Quickstep, Jungels certainly isn't, and never has been a donkey.
Agreed but you can still take drugs even with a big engine. You can iron out any weak spots or down days.
Of course. You just have to look at Indurain or Ullrich to see how they can take you to the next level. One thing Jungels has though, which is very difficult (maybe impossible) to fully creae using drugs, is that rounded power profile. I always think riders who have excellent aerobic, anaerobic and sprint power are the biggest natural talents. While my suspicion of 'donkey to racehorse' falls mostly on those who just have huge aerobic engines and not much else.
 

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