Strade Bianche: August 1, 2020

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Six punctures? That would suggest more than just 'bad luck'. Would be interested to know what wheels, tyre width/ pressures he was using. After hearing reports after the recce that it was very slippery, I would expect maybe wider tyres and lower pressures. However, teams are reluctant to go too wide.
 
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I really think this is a fantastic race!!

And the strongest always wins.

And top riders are often isolated against each other making for more fun watching.

I never understand why GTs do not put in more of these types of stages. Not necessarily dirt of course. But lots of ups and downs etc. some of the most exciting stages in the TDF have been when they ride through the Midi (1990). These types of stages make greater time differences, crown the strongest, and are so much better than thinking you have to finish on a 14% climb that everyone waits for to have a few seconds between the riders.

my 2 cents.
 
Out of curiosity I checked the final results of each team.

Turns out three teams didn't have a single finisher in this race! Those teams being Bardiani, Movistar and Sunweb (quite surprising considering the strength of their selection).

Ten teams only had one finisher.

UAE (5 riders) and Bora (4 riders) had the most finishing riders while all other teams only had two or three finishers.

I haven't done this for other races before but I can't imagine there are many (classic) races where so little riders are actually able to finish the race. Obviously the heat and mechanicals play their part but nonetheless this must be the hardest race with a distance below 200km.
 
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I haven't done this for other races before but I can't imagine there are many (classic) races where so little riders are actually able to finish the race. Obviously the heat and mechanicals play their part but nonetheless this must be the hardest race with a distance below 200km.
No doubt about that. Lots of riders claim it's the hardest one day race, period.

Especially if it rains, or I would imagine is 40 degrees.
 
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Van Aert's final 15k were a minute faster than Benoot's 2 years ago. Different weather conditions though.


Has there ever been a 55k solo to the finish in Strade Bianche? And if there has, chances are it wasn't a climber that did it. Chances at success were slim to say the least. I guess it doesn't matter anymore but i think he blew his chance then and there. Just how i see it.
From memory, Moser won from a long way out, but he had a group of chasers none of whom wanted to drag Sagan back up to his teammate. And Sagan still finished 2nd anyway.

I think Fuglsang would have wanted someone else to join him on the attack. His move did cut some bodies from the front selection; I think his mistake, as he said himself, was to go too deep once he had made his move. Nothing wrong with attacking at that point, but if he had good communication from his DS about the damage done by the chase, then he could have maybe sat up earlier, and focused on getting food and water on-board. Like what vanAert was doing at that point of the race.
 
Likely due to rider safety and not having a desire, for the GT race to be decided, based on who had a mechanical issue or puncture.
The 2010 Giro stage that Evans won was one of the things that put the Strade Bianche race itself on the map. And the Finestre has featured there a few times in recent years too.

The Tour have been a bit more cautious about including gravel roads, and at the most have featured them far enough from the finish to not have a major impact. But they've had some pretty epic Roubaix stages in recent years (Nibali in 2014 being one of the classic stages in the modern race).
 
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It's obviously insane to make SB the precise stage cause it's too much. But a little bit wouldn't be wrong at all, however in some of the cases they've actually done these type of hilly stages right before a mountain stage or just in a position in the race nobody likes to make a move.

I like these dirt roads a lot more than the cobbles because of the hilly terrain that comes with them, making it less about having the expensive rouleur domestiques.
 
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Likely due to rider safety and not having a desire, for the GT race to be decided, based on who had a mechanical issue or puncture.
Yeah, but Big Doopie's post specifically said stages with constant, steep up-and-downs, not just about dirt roads. And those stages are often very good. I think the key thing, whether mountains or smaller hills, is not having much flat between climbs. The long valleys add to the more controllable nature of the Tour.
 
AFAIR whenever such stage gets added to a GT race, (some) riders complain that organizer focus too much on a spectacle and too little on safety. I personally wouldn't mind watching it. But as for the riders being concerned about their safety. Hard to argue with that, knowing an average GT race isn't all that safe to begin with.
 
AFAIR whenever such stage gets added to a GT race, (some) riders complain that organizer focus too much on a spectacle and too little on safety. I personally wouldn't mind watching it. But as for the riders being concerned about their safety. Hard to argue with that, knowing an average GT race isn't all that safe to begin with.
People complain about safety if there is a stage with lots of ups and downs without valleys in between?
 
I don't get it... And it isn't true. Aren't you talking about the inclusion of gravel?

People didn't complain about safety after the Massif Central stages of last year's Tour which were very up and down, and if they did, they should get a year's automatic suspension. Like the Schleck brothers should have gotten a few times.
 
Yes, people tend to complain if you put a F1 car on a motocross circuit. Indeed, what is up with that?

It's spectacular, but for sure it's less safe.
When you are referring to a 'motocross circuit', are you still implying the gravel roads? Because I think the discussion is simply about adding more stages with constant up and down parts and less flat parts, just like the Strade but without the gravel roads.

I personally don't see how this can be less safe compared to for example mass sprints where 150 riders are constantly fighting for the best position. Stages with constant up and down parts will string out and break up the peloton and thus will be more safe I would think.
 
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Yeah, but Big Doopie's post specifically said stages with constant, steep up-and-downs, not just about dirt roads. And those stages are often very good. I think the key thing, whether mountains or smaller hills, is not having much flat between climbs. The long valleys add to the more controllable nature of the Tour.
I'd like to watch more stages like that, but there aren't many places that have roads like that in quick succession. Or if you can find them you need to send the race down some really narrow roads, which does become a safety issue, like when the 2015 Tour had a bunch of stages on Belgian climbs like the Mur de Huy.
 
But we weren't talking about gravel.

And gravel is not that dangerous, by the way. It increases the risk of punctures, but that's about it.
Increased punctures would tend to increase the risk of crashes, especially at speed on a descent (the bergs in Flanders are cobbled, but the downhill side is usually paved), and decreased traction would almost always be considered a crash risk. The riders do approach it differently, granted.
 
As we were talking about SB, for sure i have seen gravel all around. Obviously, without gravel, making the riders go more up and down, that likely wouldn't lessen the safety. My bad.

P.S. As for gravel being considered safe or not, my personal experience is, it is much less forgiving, then road. And as said earlier i always feel it is a shame to see a favorite drop out of a GT race, due to mechanical issue or a puncture.
 
P.S. As for gravel being considered safe or not, my personal experience is, it is much less forgiving, then road. And as said earlier i always feel it is a shame to see a favorite drop out of a GT race, due to mechanical issue or a puncture.
Tours get won or lost to mechanicals all the time, no matter the surface. Maybe there's a slight increase in the chance of that happening if you introduce the sterrato in a GT, but generally what gravel has led to in the Giro has just been good racing.
 
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But when there are such stages in a GT, they are usually ridden rather conservatively. The GC contenders are nursed around by their teammates, and finish with minimal gaps, and if those who like hilly classics are freed from such duties they might make a successful break that resolves itself in an interesting way for the stage honours, but it is pretty much neutral for GC.
 
But when there are such stages in a GT, they are usually ridden rather conservatively. The GC contenders are nursed around by their teammates, and finish with minimal gaps, and if those who like hilly classics are freed from such duties they might make a successful break that resolves itself in an interesting way for the stage honours, but it is pretty much neutral for GC.
It's also because on cobbles none of them are specialist and they're always before the first mountain stage.

I think if you put an SB stage in the 2nd week of the Giro things get a lot more spicey
 
Yeah, but Big Doopie's post specifically said stages with constant, steep up-and-downs, not just about dirt roads. And those stages are often very good. I think the key thing, whether mountains or smaller hills, is not having much flat between climbs. The long valleys add to the more controllable nature of the Tour.
might be worth repeating this. I specifically noted it did NOT have to include gravel/dirt.

lots of short up and down with no flat between, exactly.

more LBL, Lombardy-type routes, stages in the Massif, etc. stuff that isolates the best riders from their team and can end up making big differences and crowning the strongest all round rider.
 

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