The Women's Road Racing Thread 2021

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Emma's been waiting for so long this season to get a win, but they're like London buses. Except that since she now takes the GC as well, that makes it 3 wins in 2 days!

I fear this race might need to ramp up the difficulty of the final stage, could have sworn it was harder back four or five years ago but I think it's more just a factor of the way the profiles are drawn because the circuit is more or less the same but a little shorter now, rather than anything else. However, the greater depth of péloton has meant it's gone from being one where puncheuses and climbers are able to win (e.g. Bubnenkova in 2009 and Pooley in 2010) to one where apart from Niewiadoma in 2016 (which was a solo escape when Rabo were super strong and were playing spoiler behind to keep her up front) it's harder to get separation in the Garnich stage. The last stage has consistently been a sprint of around 30-35 riders for the last four editions, and the riders who are winning the stage are getting more tilted in favour of rouleuses and baroudeuses. This is not a bad thing - it shows the increasing professionalism and depth - however it does mean that the race is slightly more divorced, parcours- and field-wise, from its traditional partner races in the Ardennes which it followed logically on from.
 
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