The Women's Road Racing Thread 2021

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Interesting little group here. Three very strong engines with Brand, van der Breggen and Lisa Klein - Trevisi and Manly are two of the others, not sure who the Drops rider is... and Lucinda Brand attacks from the group to try to solo. Strong tactical option from Sunweb with Kirchmann and especially Rivera able to sprint from the péloton if she's caught.

Edit: the ever-reliable Peter van den Veen confirms the Drops rider is, as could probably have been guessed in all fairness, Eva Buurman. Anna VDB covers that attack and it all comes to nought.

Too many teams want to be part of these moves for any of them to really work, I think there have been few moves that have satisfied the biggest teams - Boels, Sunweb, Canyon - and those that have been strong enough have been too few in number thus far.

Now we have Guarnier, van der Breggen, Mackaij, Ludwig and a Canyon rider, with Guarnier attacking solo, Boels much happier now they're back on familiar territory, i.e. outnumbering everybody else.
 
Re: Re:

GuyIncognito said:
RedheadDane said:
And I was seriously confused for a moment; I was certain I'd seen her ride in a different jersey earlier this year.
Yeah… I'm stupid.
Kennedy or Vos? You're not stupid, you're right they both have.
Voss, didn't see Kennedy.
And the stupid part was me not realising that Marianne has indeed been wearing a different jersey until quite recently.
 
...and Anna's dropped Floortje, and as soon as WaowDeals chased the break, Boels had a third and a fourth rider following, as soon as Floortje was dropped Sunweb were all over it too, and we're back to a reduced péloton, but Anna's got some daylight now. Dani Rowe trying to chase but Guarnier and Blaak are basically running interference, very successfully but very frustratingly. One on one, Rowe surely can't catch van der Breggen. Sunweb need to burn a match here.

Wiggle now add Audrey Cordon-Ragot to the chase. Eurosport seem fairly convinced Anna can't be caught, but van den Veen suggests that Sunweb have pegged the gap at only around 10-15" which is eminently catchable. Mackaij and Brand doing the lion's share of the chase and Boels massing near the front so if they catch Anna too early, expect somebody else to launch. The climb is where VDB needs to make her time I think, as she holds the advantage over the Mackaijs and Cordons of this world there... oh, scratch that, Moolman-Pasio has decided that the climb is the best place for catching van der Breggen, and of course Ash is one of the very best in the world when it comes to climbing, so quite a few riders being shelled as the South African looks to catch Anna. WaowDeals now onto the front to pull her back, and it's all over for the solo escape. Immediate counter from Blaak but too many people knew that was coming and watched the rainbow jersey like hawks.

Marta Cavalli makes an attack, marked by WaowDeals, which draws Amy Pieters and Emilia Fahlin out of the group for a bit, but a really high tempo on the front now making escaping hard. I think that final ascent has got rid of a few sprinters so many teams don't want to let them back. There are a few there though, Wild appears to be there, Vos of course and I think I've spotted the defending champion Lotta Lepistö too. Oh, and Rivera is there too, Sunweb have carefully kept her out of too much trouble, left the attacking to the likes of Brand and Floortje, and are now setting about leading her out.

Wow, Vos mugged them all, sneaking around the final corner and bolting before anybody launched a sprint - she was able to open up a couple of seconds and sit up celebrating with a huge gap in the last 50m. Remarkable finish, with Wild and Lepistö battling the remainder of the podium. But wow. That was a dominant finale.
 
Lepisto's divebomb into the final corner killed her and everyone else's chances

Specifically, she forced everyone except Vos (who was already through) to slow down to a crawl. Coming out of the last corner with the line just ahead, with a gap that big and going that much more slowly, there's no chance to catch anyone ahead

The good news is she didn't cause a crash like Impey did at the Tour :)
 
Re:

GuyIncognito said:
Lepisto's divebomb into the final corner killed everyone else's chances
That corner always seems to decide things. When the break took it and Fahlin won two years ago, Barnes was the best sprinter in the remainder of the group, but she got into the worst position into that corner and had far too much to do and was a non-factor. All that scrapping for the corner means a tetchy péloton and some risky type moves. I don't think Lotta's move was especially bad per se, but she did carry too much speed which gave Vos the small opening she needed. In a leadout scenario, nothing's wrong there, but Vos is far too experienced and she knew where she needed to be.
 
Sometimes we find excuses to show why a rider shouldn't win - Vos' final today was one of the most dominant performances in a one day race in 2018 - She effectively gapped quality sprinters in the last 200 metres.
 
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yaco said:
Sometimes we find excuses to show why a rider shouldn't win - Vos' final today was one of the most dominant performances in a one day race in 2018 - She effectively gapped quality sprinters in the last 200 metres.
It's not an excuse, and I didn't say anything remotely like "She shouldn't win".
Why would I, if I don't have a single favored or disliked rider in the race?

I merely pointed out that the way the final corner was ridden meant she exited it with a sizeable gap and a significant advantage in speed.

It was a quality ride but it wasn't sprinting, it was cornering. Ivan Basso could win exiting a corner with that gap and that speed advantage. She gapped quality sprinters yes, but not in a sprint and it wasn't in the last 200 meters. She did it by riding the corner smartly and not making the mistakes others made.
 
Re: Re:

GuyIncognito said:
yaco said:
Sometimes we find excuses to show why a rider shouldn't win - Vos' final today was one of the most dominant performances in a one day race in 2018 - She effectively gapped quality sprinters in the last 200 metres.
It's not an excuse, and I didn't say anything remotely like "She shouldn't win".
Why would I, if I don't have a single favored or disliked rider in the race?

I merely pointed out that the way the final corner was ridden meant she exited it with a sizeable gap and a significant advantage in speed.

It was a quality ride but it wasn't sprinting, it was cornering. Ivan Basso could win exiting a corner with that gap and that speed advantage. She gapped quality sprinters yes, but not in a sprint and it wasn't in the last 200 meters. She did it by riding the corner smartly and not making the mistakes others made.
Again in your post you are making excuses for others and failing to acknowledge the brilliance - Every rider knew where they had to be positioned at the final corner - Three or four riders had prime position at the corner but YET Vos sprinted away from the others as if they were standing.
 
Katie's definitely done enough to earn herself the chance to mix it in the European péloton season-long, while Eva's had a really strong season. Interesting to see how Boels play this off-season as obviously they're losing Lizzie but this season has shown they've not really lost a step with the loss of that British arm with Harris leaving too (rather predictably as she seemed to be Lizzie's sidekick, and wanting to focus on the field again) and I do rather have mixed feelings as I feel that the two definitely deserve a place at a top team on 2018 evidence and I like both, but at the same time I am not exactly on board with the ongoing orange steamroller and it will be interesting to see what kind of opportunities the two get to ride for themselves, or who else this suggests may be leaving the team (I see Hall slotting in somewhere between Canuel and Guarnier in the hilly races, tending stronger as the climbs get longer, Buurman likely slots into the kind of role Pieters and Majerus has but for more hilly races).
 
It hasn't quite been the Boels domination this year as compared to the previous seasons - Mitchelton Scott is not far behind and a more than competitive in the mountains and in sprints - Boels is still dominant in the classics.
 
This is a very interesting and enlightening article. I dare say that the fact van Gogh is now into her 40s and has reached something of a performance ceiling, where she's more or less established and accepted within the national and regional scene and is able to periodically race against the very best, but apart from Vårgårda's TTT hasn't reached the top 20 of any World Cup/World Tour races, probably prevents too much controversy arising around her the way it clearly did when she was first racing, and certainly I think the road to acceptance might have been rockier had she been regularly winning races (I think back to the reactions on the forum to Giorgia Bronzini's first World Championships win, which was only a couple of years after van Gogh started racing on the road), but still - I suspect that in competitive sports this is going to be a divisive topic for a long time both among fans and among teams and riders, but on a personal level it's good for her that she's reached what I'd see as an almost unprecedented level of acceptance from within the sport and it seems to have been beneficial for her.
 
Re: Re:

GuyIncognito said:
Libertine Seguros said:
I think back to the reactions on the forum to Giorgia Bronzini's first World Championships win, which was only a couple of years after van Gogh started racing on the road
I just went and read that.
I wish I hadn't.

Some people are such dicks
It's worth noting that back then, the most offensive of the threads was nuked by the mods long before the sidebar thread existed, so what still stands on the forum is actually the less insulting commentary. As I say, considering the kind of comments Bronzini was subjected to for being a bit butch, makes you wonder just how brutal it might have become if van Gogh had been similarly successful.

As things stand however, the Norwegians have had "keeping up with the Joneses" disease strike them and have decided that they'd like a standalone TTT like the Swedes, although admittedly the route around Halden is only just over half the distance of the lengthy Swedish challenge from last week. Having commented just recently on Boels' unstoppability in the format, they didn't actually make the podium today, although the fact that the Tour of Norway TTT is less established than its neighour in Vårgårda is reflected in the startlist and indeed for Boels big time flat engines like van der Breggen, Blaak and Pieters made way, with Megan Guarnier coming in to try to rekindle her 2015 magic in the Tour of Norway (she was 2nd last year), and the team brings in a couple of its less experienced or lower-on-the-totem-pole riders in Anna Plichta and Skylar Schneider too which may well affect it as especially the latter riders have spent less time in the TTT unit, having only joined the team this year and not been part of the major A-team players.

The race was won in the end by Sunweb, whose unit also saw a couple of changes - Mathiesen and Labous out, and Lippert and Winder in - though Mathiesen is a strong TT competitor, she's also inexperienced, although Winder is in her first year in the European péloton and Lippert is also a young prospect. There are a fair few TTs on the American calendar however, and over the shorter distance they complemented the remaining of last week's riders, i.e. Rivera, Brand, Kirchmann and Mackaij, well, allowing the team to come in with over 30 seconds of advantage over the Mitchelton-Scott team which once more saw Lucy Kennedy out, but had its strongest stage racing duo, van Vleuten and Spratt, back in to join Manly, Allen, Elvin and Roy, improving last week's 7th position all the way to the podium, while the prize for consistency has to go to Cervélo-Bigla, whose minuscule lineup managed a second consecutive podium, with the exact same sextet - Moolman-Pasio, Ludwig, Lepistö, Koppenburg, Duyck and Norsgaard - lining up as did so in Vårgårda.

They saw off the Canyon team which has undergone wholesale changes, bringing back hilly and stage race specialised riders and rotating the young riders on the team, resting Cecchini, Erath and the out-of-sorts Cromwell and bringing in Alexis Ryan, Christa Riffel and Kasia Niewiadoma. The German squad missed the podium by a mere 2 seconds, while the also unchanged WaowDeals team were just a further few seconds behind, seeing off Boels-Dolmans and relegating the oft-dominant orange train to 6th place, ahead of the medium-sized type teams like the now outgoing Wiggle team - unfortunately operating without Audrey Cordon-Ragot, one of their best TT riders - and the Movistar squad. Pleased to see TIBCO back on the WWT though - if only because everything's always fun with Valentina "everywhere is a good place to attack" Scandolara, who has joined the team recently.
 

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