Ronde van Vlaanderen - Tour des Flandres 2023, one day monument, April 2 (men's)

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View: https://twitter.com/hudsonmalta_art/status/1641191678030630914
 
I'm not quite sure this will turn out as a big battle among the three top riders.
Jumbo was quite unlucky in E3, with Benoot suffering a mechanical and Van Baarle crashing out, both in crucial moments of the race. Laporte has also looked incredibly strong the past couple of races, so Jumbo might have the numbers to put both Pog and VdP in difficult positions.
But if team strength doesn't become too big a factor I can see Pogacar dropping them all on the Kwaremont and win solo.
You are right, but for strategy to work in favor of Jumbo WVA almost have to give up victory.
 
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The current route is largely inspired by Wouter Vandenhaute (CEO of Flanders Classics), and unfortunately, he has more interest in making money than in a good race and probably hasn't got too much talent for how to create a race parcours.
He is very much fixated on people with money in VIP tents, and what better place to put such tents than on the Kwaremont (a relatively flat climb with loads of space for those tents). To maximise the VIP tent value-for-money, he ofcourse had to do Kwaremont multiple times.
He has an obsession with Kwaremont / Paterberg. In his view, these were too early in the parcours, and Oudenaarde is better looking (again for VIP's) than the more marginal city of Ninove.
Those final 12K are so painful to watch. Almost never there is anything happening there, besides consolidating positions and anticipating the sprint. It doesn't favour the brave lone rider who has to endure a last painful flat stretch of endless road where he can't hide as it allows the chasers to see far ahead, and it doesn't help the chasers to do late attacks for a podium spot.
This doesn't work because it forces you to take a level railway crossing (on a far busier line than the one crossed in the Stationsberg descent) after Langedreef, the first overpass west of Oudenaarde is all the way at Tiegemberg. There are barely any routes into Oudenaarde without a level railway crossing unless you approach from the east.

For that reason, my preferred Ronde finale would be Oude Kwaremont - Paterberg - Kortekeer - Mariaborrestraat-Stationsberg - Eikenberg - Jagerij - Molenberg - Kerkgate, which still allows you to pass through the centre of Oudenaarde to the finish.

it was just an example of how you possible could adapt the final, nobody will miss langedreef, they could go differently to the other options as well.

Your option would work really well as well. I designed that option for fun many times as well. But I tried to give some alternative within the perspective that they have to go over Kwaremont in the final for the VIP.
 
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Van Der Poel with his Alpecin squad will neutralize Jumbo's attempts of sending strong riders up the road, and will drop the hammer some 40-50 km from the line (Koppenberg, Taaienberg?), being followed by Van Aert and Pogacar.
Pogacar will be forcing on Kwaremont dropping Van Aert in the process. He'll try the same on Paterberg but Van Der Poel will drop the bomb there and go solo to the finish.

If Van Aert is already dropped and there is indeed a headwind in the end, I don't think Van der Poel will try to drop Pogačar in the Paterberg as the Slovenian can be a useful companion against the pursuit that Jumbo and perhaps others will do behind. He knows how to beat Pogačar in a sprint after all.
 
Sep 16, 2021
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View: https://twitter.com/JumboVismaRoad/status/1641428094400491520


Wout, Laporte, Benoot, Affini, van der Sande, van Hooydonck, and T. van Dijke for Jumbo at RvV. No van Baarle, who probably has not yet recovered from his injuries, and surprisingly, no Tratnik.

Now, Wout still has Laporte, Benoot, and van Hooydonck but Jumbo is definitely not as strong as I thought it would be. I can understand van Baarle's absence but Tratnik's absence was definitely surprising.
 
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Did Wout van Aert escape death on Tuesday? "He was almost under a concrete mixer, really harrowing," Jan Bakelants testifies in Wielerclub Wattage

 
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So you think the others were surprised when Pogi attacked last year? maybe the place but surprised? no way
Pogacar has not your typical size for the Northern Classics. There's a reason why such Classics usually select more built and tall, powerful bodies than the ones that GTs or one week races select. The fact that Pogacar already podium E3 and missed RVV podium for a tactical rookie error is tantamount for such a breakthrough being a surprise...he is a jack-of-all-trades rider, very talented and that just loves racing. We are very privileged to see him in action.
 
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I'm not quite sure this will turn out as a big battle among the three top riders.
Jumbo was quite unlucky in E3, with Benoot suffering a mechanical and Van Baarle crashing out, both in crucial moments of the race. Laporte has also looked incredibly strong the past couple of races, so Jumbo might have the numbers to put both Pog and VdP in difficult positions.
But if team strength doesn't become too big a factor I can see Pogacar dropping them all on the Kwaremont and win solo.
That's the problem with counting on too many riders in a single race, especially in cobbled classics.

The chances of so many riders all being in good form, avoiding bad luck and being in the right place at the right time on a given day is pretty small.

I remember that Cannondale had awesome team in 2017 with Vanmarcke, Van Baarle, Langeveld and Bettiol but there wasn't a single race that year where they could have used all of them in an optimal way.

One rider avoiding bad luck is already not an obvious scenario but at 3 or 4, the probability of all of them avodiing bad luck starts getting quite small.
 
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That's the problem with counting on too many riders in a single race, especially in cobbled classics.

The chances of so many riders all being in good form, avoiding bad luck and being in the right place at the right time on a given day is pretty small.

I remember that Cannondale had awesome team in 2017 with Vanmarcke, Van Baarle, Langeveld and Bettiol but there wasn't a single race that year where they could have used all of them in an optimal way.

One rider avoiding bad luck is already not an obvious scenario but at 3 or 4, the probability of all of them avodiing bad luck starts getting quite small.
And yet Jumbo has had multiple riders in the front group of every cobble classic this year. So I wouldn't count on bad luck stopping them, although the absence of Van Baarle clearly makes the team weaker.

I'm just saying we shouldn't be 100% confident it will be a mano a mano battle among Van Aert, Pogacar and Van der Poel.