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Strade Bianche 2024, March 2, one-day classic (men's)

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Even without Pog the gaps were significant. With him they were gigantic. With added distance and changing weather it was a true race of attrition, classy riders riding 3-5 minutes behind Pog looked very tired at the end.
It seems like it was a hard race from the beginning.

When we hit the live pictures about 100k into the race I think they said they had been going at 40-41 km/h, which is pretty fast given the route and the climbs.

Pog only had Del Toro and Wellens left... when the next sector coming up was Monte Sante Marie. Wellens went to the front and just started do decimate the already small peloton, like a lead-out for Pog, and then he went on a bit of a slope half-way into Sante Marie. Gone immediately. The rest is history.
 
It seems like it was a hard race from the beginning.

When we hit the live pictures about 100k into the race I think they said they had been going at 40-41 km/h, which is pretty fast given the route and the climbs.

Pog only had Del Toro and Wellens left... when the next sector coming up was Monte Sante Marie. Wellens went to the front and just started do decimate the already small peloton, like a lead-out for Pog, and then he went on a bit of a slope half-way into Sante Marie. Gone immediately. The rest is history.

That's why I don't think the rest could've done much better in terms of chasing. They were already tired when Pog attacked (as Pidcock said). It was a demolition of epic proportions. An important factor was the weather - it was good for Pog and contributed to the magnitude of his win.
 
That's why I don't think the rest could do much better in terms of chasing. They were already more tired than Pog. It was a demolition of epic proportions. An important factor was the weather - it was good for Pog.
Yes, but it was also planned to perfection by him and the team. He said he was gonna attack there. He knew his form and preparation/hard work put in during the winter must have been very good. He was confident in winning this one, no doubt about it.

That it rained was a nice touch, for him, but I dont think it was a huge factor in this win.

I think nobody beats Pog today and he knew that too.
 
Didn't manage to watch the race live, but I did watch the replay, and wow what a race it was. Hats off to Pog for absolutely monster ride, although it did make the race a bit predictable in the end. But nonetheless, what a spectacular scenery, fans, just a wonderful race.

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Not for me...terrible race. It would have been nice to have the other two riders, who are likely the only other two in the world who have the legs to have gone with him at 80K to go, in the race...then maybe a great race. As it happened, it was awful to watch, competition wise.
I see it from a pure cycling performance perspective, and that delicious scenery - wow. Of course a layman might be bored not understanding the difficulty of what they were watching (not you). Admittedly, I didn’t watch for five hours but reading that a massive favourite tell everyone where he would attack and then nobody could counter when he did exactly that is frankly inspirational for those of us who have raced a bike. Anyone who can’t understand why Pog is popular should study this year’s race and circumstances.
 
I see it from a pure cycling performance perspective, and that delicious scenery - wow. Of course a layman might be bored not understanding the difficulty of what they were watching (not you). Admittedly, I didn’t watch for five hours but reading that a massive favourite tell everyone where he would attack and then nobody could counter when he did exactly that is frankly inspirational for those of us who have raced a bike. Anyone who can’t understand why Pog is popular should study this year’s race and circumstances.
I've raced and I continue to race, but I don't find these performances inspirational. Poggi and Joni are the two most alien riders I've seen, I definitely don't get inspired by what they achieve.
 
Agreed. I was pumped to watch it and it was a total letdown. That is not to take anything away from Pog and UAE, who were smart and strong.
The more I think about it, the worse it seems. One of the worst races to spectate, that I can remember, not because Pog won, but because there was no real competition to watch. One guy, who looked like he was the only pro on a training ride with a junior development team, and he wanted to show them what the big show was like...it also makes me feel sick about how Ronde will go...sucks doubly because it's my 2nd favorite race, and Pog has already dropped the peloton, and the race hasn't started. I'll watch, but I'm not drinking coffee, because I'll want to snooze a bit more after he attacks...let's hope he doesnt decide to do a 270.8k solo attack that day.
 
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The more I think about it, the worse it seems. One of the worst races to spectate, that I can remember, not because Pog won, but because there was no real competition to watch. One guy, who looked like he was the only pro on a training ride with a junior development team, and he wanted to show them what the big show was like...it also makes me feel sick about how Ronde will go...sucks doubly because it's my 2nd favorite race, and Pog has already dropped the peloton, and the race hasn't started. I'll watch, but I'm not drinking coffee, because I'll want to snooze a bit more after he attacks...let's hope he doesnt decide to do a 270.8k solo attack that day.
Pogacar is not doing RVV.
 
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I thought he was?? My mistake then.
He's not this year. I agree this type of racing can be dull to watch. I watched twenty k into pogacars attack and then switched off.

In RVV 2023 though the race was far from dull and the margins were smaller then in this race.

He did drop everybody at the first (or second) passage of the Oude Kwaremont. But then he chose not to go solo (van der poel, van aert, pidcock and laporte were still together) but to wait for the next passage of the Oude Kwaremont and drop Van der Poel (his then only companion) then. I'm not sure if RVV is hard enough to go away solo earlier then where he did, he didn't think so at the time apparently.

There are some races where is not that easy to ride away solo still, that are either to hard or too easy for that like Fleche Wallonne, Giro di Lombardia and Milan San Remo (dull races in itself) and E3 Harelbeke being examples.

Most other races seem to be in that sweet spot for him where the can be made so attritional that he can ride away from his tired colleagues.

ofcourse there are similarities with Remco in that. I would like to see them in the same races more often. Let's hope to see that in Liege.
 
This was probably the most impressive solo in a classic since Bernard Hinault in Liège 1980. The Frenchman did a 77 km solo through the snow. Hennie Kuiper finished second at 9'24". :openmouth:

Bettini in Zürich 2005 won by 2'57", which is thirteen seconds more than Pogacar today, but I don't know how long Bettini's solo was.

Pogacar did 81 km solo. Does anyone know of a longer successful solo in a classic?
Gregorz Gwiazdowski in the Meisterschaft von Zürich in 1999. Before that we have to go to the days of Coppi, who did some solo from the Turchino to win MSR. Another notable solo is Franco Ballerini in the 1998 paris-roubaix, who won with more than 4 minutes after a 60km solo.
 
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There are a lot of pictures on Getty, but none of those show Hirschi or Christen at the front, as far as I could see. It's mostly Novak...

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and here it looks like even Wellens was used before Hirschi (unless there are more riders ahead)

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Considering how extremely white Wellens' jersey was when Pogacar attacked, it would seem as though Wellens had been pulling on all the sterrato.
 
Considering how extremely white Wellens' jersey was when Pogacar attacked, it would seem as though Wellens had been pulling on all the sterrato.
Yeah, seems like Hirschi and Christen didnt have to do much or that it just went too fast too quickly for them to be relevant.

Wellens, if riding for himself, probably could have finished top 5 given he seems to be in great form atm. Looks better than in the last couple of seasons so far imo. He also said he had no problem working for a rider like Pog, pretty easy to understand seeing what happened.
 
Impressive ride by Pogacar.
But I agree with the comments that the competition was not extermely high. Pidcock was expected to be somewhat of a competitor to Pogacar, but I found his race a bit disappointing although he got 4th.
 
Impressive ride by Pogacar.
But I agree with the comments that the competition was not extermely high. Pidcock was expected to be somewhat of a competitor to Pogacar, but I found his race a bit disappointing although he got 4th.
Bar WVA and MVDP, everybody else who could have challenged in this race was here. It was a strong field and the best outside of the other two that the pro peloton can throw at him.

Pog just that much better. Doesnt mean everybody else are amateurs. Soon people will be calling them farmers and plumbers. Sounds familiar. What era are we in?
 

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