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

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Van-der-Poel-on-Pogacars-Strade-Bianche-win.jpg



In case you missed it, look at comments section...
 
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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.
It's just odd that Pog could simply ride away with 90 km left. I expected him to be part of a small selection and either go solo in the last 30 km, or just attack on via St. Catarina, (think that's the finishing street) but not go solo that from that far out. Was it bad prep by Pidcock et al, or did UAE totally demoralize the field.

One team that really messed up was Trek, given Toms' form. What was Simmons doing trying to ride away just before Pogacar's attack? Skuijns had great legs -- if Simmons hadn't raced like a numbskull, he could have bridged Toms up to Pog's wheel, at least...and Van Gils might have been able to latch on, too. Maybe Pog would have just dropped them all, but having 3 riders on his wheel from that far out might have changed his calculus.

Same for Ineos -- surely Sheffield and Pidcock could have been more disciplined?

(of course, this is a bit of conjecture as Pog was nuclear)
 
It's just odd that Pog could simply ride away with 90 km left. I expected him to be part of a small selection and either go solo in the last 30 km, or just attack on via St. Catarina, (think that's the finishing street) but not go solo that from that far out. Was it bad prep by Pidcock et al, or did UAE totally demoralize the field.

One team that really messed up was Trek, given Toms' form. What was Simmons doing trying to ride away just before Pogacar's attack? Skuijns had great legs -- if Simmons hadn't raced like a numbskull, he could have bridged Toms up to Pog's wheel, at least...and Van Gils might have been able to latch on, too. Maybe Pog would have just dropped them all, but having 3 riders on his wheel from that far out might have changed his calculus.

Same for Ineos -- surely Sheffield and Pidcock could have been more disciplined?

(of course, this is a bit of conjecture as Pog was nuclear)
This is the race Simmons has circled annually to prep for and to win. I think it is now a different race for his qualities and size. So yes, I’m guessing managment promised him leadership and would have been better lining up behind the form of skuljns. It probably wouldn’t have made a bid difference in outcome however
 
Simmons crashed and wasn't seen again afterwards. Who knows whether he had excellent shape too? Maybe he tried to be ahead once Pogacar attacks to hang on once the Slovenian comes up to him. Dillier was 2nd @ 2018 Paris - Roubaix that way.

Of course that tactic or gamble was ruined when he was reeled back in just ahead of the big attack from Pogacar.

In hindsight you're always wiser.

After his showing in Galicia I would've expected Vingegaard to be a late addition towards the Visma squad for Strade Bianche. But he obviously knew why to avoid Pogacar and the reason isn't Tirreno-Adriatico. He would have been shattered. A bit craven IMHO.
 
Just watched the race. Now that was a heck of a show.
However could've been great with more big guns and Pidcock had reacted instantly.
I think world of cycling have to get used to types of Pogi and Remco in the classics and semi-classics.

I like the tension, the tactical endurance drama, few punches here and there from different top riders.
This is my prime interest.

But I pretty much like watching the heroic solo struggle as of Hinault 1980 L-B-L, Tafi 1999 P-R, Boonen and Cance mid 00s and now Remco and Pogi in the 2020s.

All better than a dull hold'em game until the finish line.

The slopes of Strade Bianche really calls for a long shot. I really like this race.
 
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It's just odd that Pog could simply ride away with 90 km left. I expected him to be part of a small selection and either go solo in the last 30 km, or just attack on via St. Catarina, (think that's the finishing street) but not go solo that from that far out. Was it bad prep by Pidcock et al, or did UAE totally demoralize the field.

One team that really messed up was Trek, given Toms' form. What was Simmons doing trying to ride away just before Pogacar's attack? Skuijns had great legs -- if Simmons hadn't raced like a numbskull, he could have bridged Toms up to Pog's wheel, at least...and Van Gils might have been able to latch on, too. Maybe Pog would have just dropped them all, but having 3 riders on his wheel from that far out might have changed his calculus.

Same for Ineos -- surely Sheffield and Pidcock could have been more disciplined?

(of course, this is a bit of conjecture as Pog was nuclear)
Pidcock is way overrated. He's magnificent MTB-er, excellent crosser when the course suits him, not so if this isn't the case, and a very good and versatile road racer, who will snitch couple of big classics, maybe some week long races and could even get a GT podium someday maybe. And that's about it.
Pogacar.., well.., I think this is exactly where Pidcock stands in comparision to Pogacar. Not even close!
And as for Quinn Simmons bridging to Pogacar, how do you think he should do it, with F35 maybe?
 
Pidcock tried to go with Pogacar at the 2023 Amstel Gold Race and got completely shattered. Luckily held on for 3rd,only because Lutsenko & Kron were more busy with their feud than the race.

Healy archived one of the rare 2nd places that will be remembered and felt like a win as Pogacar kinda rode out of competition. Or literally out of competition like yesterday.
 
After his showing in Galicia I would've expected Vingegaard to be a late addition towards the Visma squad for Strade Bianche. But he obviously knew why to avoid Pogacar and the reason isn't Tirreno-Adriatico. He would have been shattered. A bit craven IMHO.
After his showing in Strade Blanche I would've expected Pogacar to be a late addition towards the UAE squad for Tirreno-Adriatico. But he obviously knew why to avoid Vingegaard and the reason isn't volta a catalunya . He would have been shattered. A bit craven IMHO.
 
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Bettini crushed everyone in one of the last Züri Metzgetes by 3 minutes or so.

Does that count as WT?
Fausto Coppi magically galloped from 82 km out, one more than Pogacar, in the 1946 Milano San Remo, which is almost more impressive, given the lack of climbing in the race and those bikes and the preparation of yore. The race marked the return of cycling after the war, renewing something to get happy about. The Frenchman, Teisseire, came second at 14 minutes. Another cycling. At just one km less than Pogacar was Bernard Hinault in the 1980 Liege under the snow: "I couldn't see anything. I only thought of myself and this damned cold". Fourth goes to Eddy Merckx in the first of his two triumphs in Flanders, when, at 23 years-old, he rode 70 km alone to the finish. But Merckx started his attack at over 100 km to go, drawing a few on his wheel.
 
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