Ronde van Vlaanderen: October 18th, 2020

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I'm more inclined to say "general clusterfudge on the part of all involved." The jury Moto is on the left of the road, telling the Shimano and Race official Moto on the right to slow down. The Shimano moto slows down where they were told to, so the race official moto behind also slows down.

WvA was in the slipstream of the moto on the left, and then aims right for the air-pocket in behind the Moto on the right, and then veers out of that pocket at the last split second. vdP reacts in time, but Alaf, who picked the wrong moment to have a chat, ploughs into the other moto.

There were too many motos on the road. The race official who tried to clear the motos out of the road, was in the way of where the motos should have gone to get out of the way, so their only possible reaction was to slow down. The racer at the front of the group skirted very close to the motos as he was overtaking, and the rider at the back of the group wasn't looking far enough ahead.
Van Aert was simply taking the inside of the turn, which is the natural side of the road for a rider to take. And at that moment, the motos slow down.
 
The motorbike was WvA's target to get some draft. The moment they got close, it slowed down.
If you think WvA is a jackass, you must think that Alaphilippe is a super-jackass. He swerves all the time with guys in his wheel, avoiding potholes, road furniture,... at the last minute.

I still don't get it why people lay blame at riders, and even try to suggest that riders are trying to crash their adversaries on purpose. It requires an evil mind.
Ha! Evil mind. I've been called a lot of things, but evil mind is the first. Congtrats. Who doesn't possess thoughts like these, especially when tactics like the one shown by WVA have been demonstrated since time immemorial? Bike racing is a cut-throat business. Riders take any advantage they can to win a race. I'm not saying WVA deliberately lured his opponents to a disastrous situation because I am not in his head. Is it possible? Absolutely. de Ronde is not a club ride. The leader is not obligated to point out obstacles in the path of those behind them. That's why you have field marshals with whistles to warn of upcoming road furniture. You see that when riders face vicious cross-winds, for example. The lead rider will hug the side of the road to prevent anyone behind from gaining an advantage. It is instinctual is what I'm trying to say. That does not make anyone evil; it's just part of the game.
 
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Van Aert was simply taking the inside of the turn, which is the natural side of the road for a rider to take. And at that moment, the motos slow down.
Well yes, he came out of a left turn, directly into a right turn. And was drafting a moto on both sides of the road. So it seems unreasonable that so many posts here are arguing that the Moto "should only ever pull off on the left"; an identical crash could easily have happened on the other side of the road.

Asking motos to only ever pull over on the outside of a turn is also unreasonable, as this then demands that the motos in this case would have to swing over to the far side of the road, with obvious potential consequences, to slow down.

The best suggestion for the future that I've seen is to recommend that a moto seeking to get out of the riders' way should accelerate to 50m ahead of the riders, and pull over and wait for them to pass. But even this brings other problems (eg, Ventoux 2016, or the possibility that the motos would then just be catching up with other groups if there are several of them on the road).
 
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But it's not the cross version of Van Aert, but the road one, improved, much faster.. ;)
Agreed, but big difference between a high speed bunch sprint with leadout teams and the sprint on Sunday. MVDP played it perfectly to use his explosivness. By the time Wout hit his top end it was too late.
 
Can you tell me sprinting history of the two, head to head, who has the edge, nevermind cross or the road. I mean, when they both turned on the road, general opinion was that Van Der Poel is faster. Now is opposite it seems...
So someone posted one video of van Aert being fresher at the end of a cyclocross race and you think the opposite now?

In cyclocross at least, van der Poel was definitely considered faster. With that being said though, many sprint finishes in cyclocross are too short for anyone to profit off having a higher top speed. So van der Poel, having better acceleration mostly took the victory.

In the duels, mano a mano, between Wout and Mathieu the latter has won a lot more than the former.
 
Can you tell me sprinting history of the two, head to head, who has the edge, nevermind cross or the road. I mean, when they both turned on the road, general opinion was that Van Der Poel is faster. Now is opposite it seems...
Mathieu has always been better at short accelerations and interval. Be it during the race or in the sprint. Wout has always been better at longer sustained efforts. Mathieu was very smart in making the sprint as short as possible, from a near standstill. This was always in his favor.
But there have been much less sprints between the two in cyclocross, than people expect. Most crosses were decided before it ever came to a sprint. If you go through the results on firstcycling.com that since they became pro, you'll have to look hard to races where they finished 1 & 2 within the same second. I can't remember that many sprints between them. The one in the video was a bit epic, and thus well remembered. But again it shows that Wout has the upperhand when it comes to a longer sprint, while Mathieu initially blasts away.

The sprint sunday also shows this. Had they started sooner, Wout would have won in a longer sprint. Mathieu's sprint in Amstel is a bit uncharacteristic in that sense, so it will probably also come down to form of the day.

So someone posted one video of van Aert being fresher at the end of a cyclocross race and you think the opposite now?

In cyclocross at least, van der Poel was definitely considered faster. With that being said though, many sprint finishes in cyclocross are too short for anyone to profit off having a higher top speed. So van der Poel, having better acceleration mostly took the victory.

In the duels, mano a mano, between Wout and Mathieu the latter has won a lot more than the former.
I'm pretty sure he was talking about Wout winning sprints in Tour de France and Dauphiné :rolleyes: and not about the video i posted.
And you seem to remember a lot of sprints between them in CX. Because i can't. And i can't find many sprints in the results either. Mathieu was considered faster, because he is zippier. Better at shorter accelerations, which was clear from the races, even without the sprints. But i do agree, in CX, sprints are often only 100m straight with a sharp turn right before, so that would always have benefited Mathieu more.

any idea where exactly this was taken? It feels like the photographer was well-prepared and waiting for this, but he couldn't have controlled all circumstances (like other vehicles), so he's also having his bit of luck with this one!
Looking at the lighting, it seems heavily photoshopped or with a lot of HDR. The sky seems dark, yet the riders catch a lot of light. I do not know where it is taken, found it on Twitter.
 
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Mathieu has always been better at short accelerations and interval. Be it during the race or in the sprint. Wout has always been better at longer sustained efforts. Mathieu was very smart in making the sprint as short as possible, from a near standstill. This was always in his favor.
But there have been much less sprints between the two in cyclocross, than people expect. Most crosses were decided before it ever came to a sprint. If you go through the results on firstcycling.com that since they became pro, you'll have to look hard to races where they finished 1 & 2 within the same second. I can't remember that many sprints between them. The one in the video was a bit epic, and thus well remembered. But again it shows that Wout has the upperhand when it comes to a longer sprint, while Mathieu initially blasts away.

The sprint sunday also shows this. Had they started sooner, Wout would have won in a longer sprint. Mathieu's sprint in Amstel is a bit uncharacteristic in that sense, so it will probably also come down to form of the day.


I'm pretty sure he was talking about Wout winning sprints in Tour de France and Dauphiné :rolleyes: and not about the video i posted.
And you seem to remember a lot of sprints between them in CX. Because i can't. And i can't find many sprints in the results either. Mathieu was considered faster, because he is zippier. Better at shorter accelerations, which was clear from the races, even without the sprints. But i do agree, in CX, sprints are often only 100m straight with a sharp turn right before, so that would always have benefited Mathieu more.
You seem pretty sure for someone who doesn’t know for sure. Anyway.

When I said duels, mano a mano, I meant just that, the duels, not specifically sprinting. I just assumed that surely there must have been some sprint victories here and there. It seems that you can’t exactly remember either so who knows. I suppose Mathieu was coming in solo most of the time.

As for as your argument as to why Mathieu was considered faster, you just explained what I said, just with more words.
 
You seem pretty sure for someone who doesn’t know for sure. Anyway.

When I said duels, mano a mano, I meant just that, the duels, not specifically sprinting. I just assumed that surely there must have been some sprint victories here and there. It seems that you can’t exactly remember either so who knows. I suppose Mathieu was coming in solo most of the time.

As for as your argument as to why Mathieu was considered faster, you just explained what I said, just with more words.
So, when someone asks you who was a better sprinter you say the guy with more wins regardless of results in sprints. Ok.
 
So, when someone asks you who was a better sprinter you say the guy with more wins regardless of results in sprints. Ok.
That’s not what I said. Nice try though.

I clearly explained why Mathieu was probably considered faster in cyclocross, which you agreed with. The duels bit, like I said, because it tips heavily in favor of Mathieu I just assumed that there might have been some sprint-victories in there.

I didn’t know Mathieu dropped Wout for every single one of his wins. My bad. However, like I said, it seems you can’t remember it all either, so who knows. Anyway, I don’t really care about all of this nonsense.

One thing is clear that we all seem to agree on; Mathieu has the better acceleration and thus favors shorter sprints while Wout is better at sustained efforts and thus favors longer sprints.

Put that in your peace pipes and smoke it while we anxiously wait for the epic duels that are still to come between these two titans.
 
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One side note, the irony I suppose, is that when the sprints are uphill Mathieu actually seems to prefer starting his sprints early. He can sustain those types of efforts a lot better than most.

It also seems like he doesn’t mind sprinting from the top, against the wind, generally considered the worst position for a sprint finish. Brabantse Pijl 2019 and RVV 2020 is a case in point. I think there are more of those as well, can’t remember them at the moment though.

View: https://youtu.be/flEBdyCrH9w
 
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That’s not what I said. Nice try though.
It was implied by the way you formulated your answer to the question, who was the better sprinter between the two in CX. Why else would one respond to that specific question.

I didn’t know Mathieu dropped Wout for every single one of his wins. My bad. However, like I said, it seems you can’t remember it all either, so who knows. Anyway, I don’t really care about all of this nonsense.
I said i can't remember many, and in the results there don't seem to be many. So... maybe it's possible, that there weren't many? And please drop the troll act.
 
It was implied by the way you formulated your answer to the question, who was the better sprinter between the two in CX. Why else would one respond to that specific question.


I said i can't remember many, and in the results there don't seem to be many. So... maybe it's possible, that there weren't many? And please drop the troll act.
Ok. I clearly explained why I said what I said. I even said that it was my bad for assuming something I think most people would have thought, especially after Sunday; that they were so evenly matched that there surely must have been some sprint finishes between them and not only the one you posted. Do you need a written apology as well? Get real.

I never said there were many, so I don’t know why you keep insisting on that. I said that in all of those duels surely there would have been some sprint-finishes. Talk about a troll act. Keep trying though.
 
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As far as the road is concerned, the only sprint finishes I remember where both contested the sprint for the win was Boloise Belgium Tour and on Sunday. Mathieu won both.

That’s not to say who’s the better sprinter, just between them and on the road. Maybe someone knows of another one where they both contested a sprint finish?

Wout has clearly made strides by winning bunch sprints in the Tour and beating Ala in MSR.

So it remains to be seen, which is an exciting prospect for everyone. Cancellara-Boonen levels of rivalry.
 
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As far as the road is concerned, the only sprint finishes I remember where both contested the sprint for the win was Boloise Belgium Tour and on Sunday. Mathieu won both.

That’s not to say who’s the better sprinter, just between them and on the road. Maybe someone knows of another one where they both contested a sprint finish?

Wout has clearly made strides by winning bunch sprints in the Tour and beating Ala in MSR.

So it remains to be seen, which is an exciting prospect for everyone. Cancellara-Boonen levels of rivalry.
And this one elfstedenronde 2017
 
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Also the European Championships in Glasgow (where Trentin beat them) and one could say Dwars door het Hageland 2017 but that was more like a "cross" sprint, with Van Aert upping the tempo on the final cobbled climb near the finish with Mathieu and Van der Hoorn following him. The three were together on the final corner but WVA didn't have the strength to contest the sprint between van der Hoorn and van der Poel.
 
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Also the European Championships in Glasgow (where Trentin beat them) and one could say Dwars door het Hageland 2017 but that was more like a "cross" sprint, with Van Aert upping the tempo on the final cobbled climb near the finish with Mathieu and Van der Hoorn following him. The three were together on the final corner but WVA didn't have the strength to contest the sprint between van der Hoorn and van der Poel.
Good catch. Excluding the one from DDHH where Wout couldn’t contest the sprint that’s 3-1 on the road in favor of Mathieu when they both contested a sprint-finish. Not a big enough sample-size to draw anything conclusive. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Next season can’t come soon enough. Hopefully we’ll see spring season 2019 Mathieu again as well as this year’s Wout. What an exciting prospect. Big champions who like to break-open a race and are evenly matched, what more can one ask for?
 
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It comes down to results, and you have to give Wout credit for winning bunch sprints at the highest level (albeit minus the absolute top competition) in the TDF and Dauphine. But not sure you can say Wout can match MVDP in long reduced bunch sprints. Not sure he could pull off the 3 wins MVDP had at the Tour of Britain last year or what MVDP did at AG or Brabanste last year. And then you look at races like the 2018 European Champs, Gent-W and Flanders last year - MVDP outsprinted him in all those races. Love the rivalry, but MVDP has gotten the better of Wout head to head throughout their career. That said, two things Wout is unbelievably good at, the TT and setting a vicious tempo on GT climbs are two things MVDP wants to fool with. He wants the MTB Gold Medal and WC. As someone who pulls hard for MVDP, I'm not sure he was the stronger rider on Sunday. It was pretty impressive to see Wout pedal back up to him and AP at the critical point in the race.
 
It comes down to results, and you have to give Wout credit for winning bunch sprints at the highest level (albeit minus the absolute top competition) in the TDF and Dauphine. But not sure you can say Wout can match MVDP in long reduced bunch sprints. Not sure he could pull off the 3 wins MVDP had at the Tour of Britain last year or what MVDP did at AG or Brabanste last year. And then you look at races like the 2018 European Champs, Gent-W and Flanders last year - MVDP outsprinted him in all those races. Love the rivalry, but MVDP has gotten the better of Wout head to head throughout their career. That said, two things Wout is unbelievably good at, the TT and setting a vicious tempo on GT climbs are two things MVDP wants to fool with. He wants the MTB Gold Medal and WC. As someone who pulls hard for MVDP, I'm not sure he was the stronger rider on Sunday. It was pretty impressive to see Wout pedal back up to him and AP at the critical point in the race.
Definitely. Wout did the WC double silver for crying out loud. I don’t see MVDP replicating that unless he really starts working on his TT and even then, he’d still need to start proving his worth in TT’s.

Based on results this year Wout is the better rider overall. But the initial question was about sprinting head to head. Hence all of the sprint talk.
 
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On the road, yes, Wout had the better year. That said, there is absolutely no question at all as to who is the best overall bike racer in the world - that is MVDP hands down. There is no human alive that can do anything close to what he can do in Cross/Road/MTB.
 

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