Race Thread

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Feb 20, 2019
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Heinrich Hausler in da house!
It was nice to see him give it a go. Interesting how MVDP can step right into the pro peloton and win huge races when current and former big-time WT riders are hanging on for dear life in a cyclo-cross race.
You are as bad in being subtle about your feelings towards Mathieu as you are in this particular analysis.

How many CX races does Hausler do annually? How long has it been since Hausler was a decent WT rider? What did you expect?

Even Stybar doesn’t “just” enter midway a CX season and finish right behind Mathieu. He finishes well behind the seasoned top CX riders. Again I ask, wat did you expect?

The explosiveness and technique to be a top CX/MTB rider takes time to hone and diminishes over time without practice. It never goes away completely though and I think Stybar will finish higher as the season goes along and he finds that “cross feeling” as Mathieu put it.

Based on the level of skill it takes to be a top CX/MTB rider I think it’s easier to transition to the road if you have the physical ability to go along with it than the other way around. At least it sounds more logical to me.
 
You are as bad in being subtle about your feelings towards Mathieu as you are in this particular analysis.

How many CX races does Hausler do annually? How long has it been since Hausler was a decent WT rider? What did you expect?

Even Stybar doesn’t “just” enter midway a CX season and finish right behind Mathieu. He finishes well behind the seasoned top CX riders. Again I ask, wat did you expect?

The explosiveness and technique to be a top CX/MTB rider takes time to hone and diminishes over time without practice. It never goes away completely though and I think Stybar will finish higher as the season goes along and he finds that “cross feeling” as Mathieu put it.

Based on the level of skill it takes to be a top CX/MTB rider I think it’s easier to transition to the road if you have the physical ability to go along with it than the other way around. At least it sounds more logical to me.
What did I expect? Absolutely nothing. I just thought is was cool to see a WT rider from Australia take the start and be willing to take his lumps.
I don't know enough about transitioning between disciplines to make an educated guess on where he, nor Stybar should finish.
As for Stybar, I believe he was a former CX world champ. He didn't get lapped and made a decent finish, so that's good.
I said I find it interesting that seasoned WT pros with little experience get shelled out the back when seasoned neo WT tour pros take it all the way to the top with very little experience.
You have shed a little bit of light on why that be the case. That's what discussions are all about: Learning from others. Thanks for your input.
I believe the Freudian term for the meaning of your opening sentence is called projection.
 
Feb 20, 2019
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What did I expect? Absolutely nothing. I just thought is was cool to see a WT rider from Australia take the start and be willing to take his lumps.
I don't know enough about transitioning between disciplines to make an educated guess on where he, nor Stybar should finish.
As for Stybar, I believe he was a former CX world champ. He didn't get lapped and made a decent finish, so that's good.
I said I find it interesting that seasoned WT pros with little experience get shelled out the back when seasoned neo WT tour pros take it all the way to the top with very little experience.
You have shed a little bit of light on why that be the case. That's what discussions are all about: Learning from others. Thanks for your input.
I believe the Freudian term for the meaning of your opening sentence is called projection.
I’ll play along and say you’re welcome, then. It just seemed to me that since you found the whole thing so interesting that you must have had some sort of expectation either from the WT riders in CX or from Mathieu on the Road. Oh well, it’s probably just me, projecting is it?

As for the Freudian reproach I believe the term for your initial post is a Freudian Slip ;).

It’s all good though.
 
Maybe they should introduce handicap laps... a fall at the very beginning didn't make a difference.
Good ride by Iserbyt, nevertheless.
Van Aert solid for the first showing after the injury. I feel he's been cautious a bit and needed more races in order to be closer to the front.
Nice racing.
 
Maybe they should introduce handicap laps... a fall at the very beginning didn't make a difference.
Good ride by Iserbyt, nevertheless.
Van Aert solid for the first showing after the injury. I feel he's been cautious a bit and needed more races in order to be closer to the front.
Nice racing.
Van Aert didn't take any chances. He hopped off every time to jump over the barriers and the ditch right after. That's only 2 or 3 seconds every lap, but more importantly, when you're riding in a small bunch, there are 3 or 4 riders that will overtake you there, and it takes some energy having to overtake them every time in the following sections, each lap.
 
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Mathieu now says he doesn't have the same "dash" he had last year due to training more specifically towards the road season. I remember we had a discussion about whether he was already as good as last year a few weeks ago. Looks like my feeling was correct and he hasn't been on the same level yet. You could also see this with van Aert the past two winters. It really does make a difference.

40s behind at start, still puts most of the field +1m

That means if he went full start to finish without fall he'd win with the same advantages as last year.
He is less explosive than last year but his base tempo is insane
But last year the race was over after 3 laps, and he was freewheeling and didn't go full gas for 7 laps. That's the difference.
 
How come Wout comes back and goes straight to the front of the grid?

MVdP crash!
Van Aert is ranked 13th in the world (UCI rankings on CX24). However Aerts wasn't racing due to injury and nor were Hermans, Vermeersch, Meisen and Pidcock who are all above him in the ranking, therefore he got lucky and picked up a frong row start.
Although UCI website says he's 9th. Either way he would have been second row if Aerts was racing.
 
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Mathieu now says he doesn't have the same "dash" he had last year due to training more specifically towards the road season. I remember we had a discussion about whether he was already as good as last year a few weeks ago. Looks like my feeling was correct and he hasn't been on the same level yet. You could also see this with van Aert the past two winters. It really does make a difference.



But last year the race was over after 3 laps, and he was freewheeling and didn't go full gas for 7 laps. That's the difference.

What would you say is the main difference for MVDP focusing on the road and how it changes his (and others like WvA, Stybar and Boom) rider characteristics?

Obviously less time to focus on technique (doesn’t really seem to have affected MVDP but clearly Stybar, Boom and WvA) but maybe less anaerobic power, less punch (should be needed on the road?) and less core strength?

On the road the hours really count and there will be less time for anaerobic and skill focused training but still. Stybar with his race proven aerobic power (e.g. Strade Bianche) just doesn’t have a chance against the top +10 CX pros. Lack of up to date CX skills? While MVDP and WvA smoothly transition over to road and are immediately competitive. Now, those two may just be exceptions and therefore not meaningful comparisons but Merlier proves a point - a competitive CX rider can transition to road but the opposite is almost impossible, even for a World Champion like Stybar.
 
What would you say is the main difference for MVDP focusing on the road and how it changes his (and others like WvA, Stybar and Boom) rider characteristics?

Obviously less time to focus on technique (doesn’t really seem to have affected MVDP but clearly Stybar, Boom and WvA) but maybe less anaerobic power, less punch (should be needed on the road?) and less core strength?

On the road the hours really count and there will be less time for anaerobic and skill focused training but still. Stybar with his race proven aerobic power (e.g. Strade Bianche) just doesn’t have a chance against the top +10 CX pros. Lack of up to date CX skills? While MVDP and WvA smoothly transition over to road and are immediately competitive. Now, those two may just be exceptions and therefore not meaningful comparisons but Merlier proves a point - a competitive CX rider can transition to road but the opposite is almost impossible, even for a World Champion like Stybar.
I think it one reason is as you say connected to the ability to complete anaerobic efforts of varying lengths over and over again, before returning to threshold. If you look at Wout van Aert's strava he completes alot of training sessions behind the scooter. Not only will this simulate long efforts at a higher pace like in the peloton, but one can complete threshold efforts and then accelerate past the scooter for a set time, then drop back to recover slightly and carry on at threshold.

These sessions of overs and unders are important for road riders, but as they will complete these throughout the winter in races and in training session off and on road, they can use it to their advantage. Whereas a road rider may not be able to to perform at threshold for long periods of time, apart from their skills not being up to scratch as much as crossers possibly, they can't then repeatedly go above threshold for periods and then back down again with little to no recovery.
 
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Incredible recovery by Van der Poel. He did almost a 1h time trial at a speed much higher than the others.

Van Kessel is in very good shape, he seems to have stepped up this season.

I didn't think expect to see Van Aert this strong in his first race of the season. He can still be a contender for the World Championships.
 
Van Kessel is in very good shape, he seems to have stepped up this season.
Van Kessel already had a season two or three years ago, where he was best of the rest. He seems to be close to his best level now.

I didn't think expect to see Van Aert this strong in his first race of the season. He can still be a contender for the World Championships.
I doubt he'll be an actual contender. For the Belgian National Championships, yes, they will need to deal with him.
 
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