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What about the ladies?

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there have been threads on certain riders before, so its a topic that gets covered from time to time, I suspect that most people arent paying that much attention to the women, and theyre not turning in the kind of that looks really supicious rides that cause the most discussion, there hasnt been a high profile rider pinged for a while.

the TdfF didnt look that out of place to me fwiw, doesnt mean there isnt some dodgy stuff going on still, or riders whose performances I question but theres nothing obvious to call out.
 
there have been threads on certain riders before, so its a topic that gets covered from time to time, I suspect that most people arent paying that much attention to the women, and theyre not turning in the kind of that looks really supicious rides that cause the most discussion, there hasnt been a high profile rider pinged for a while.

the TdfF didnt look that out of place to me fwiw, doesnt mean there isnt some dodgy stuff going on still, or riders whose performances I question but theres nothing obvious to call out.
I thought Kopecky’s second place in the gc was quite extraordinary, as is her development the last 2-3 years.
 
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I thought Kopecky’s second place in the gc was quite extraordinary, as is her development the last 2-3 years.

she won the first stage, which wasnt that unexpected, and the next stages were all a bit sprinty based up till the last two stages at weekend only one of which that went uphill, gosh this sounds almost like the much criticised Tour of Britain profile ;)

but as has been the case for most of this season at least, the other teams have been really dumb about taking the fight to SDWorx and never really attacked their riders or their positions, so she was able to comfortably defend her leading GC position, just finishing in the bunch and she kept the leaders jersey uptill the uphill stage, so had an inbuilt advantage already going into the key stage

and thats when Demi took control of the race, because thats what she and Annemiek had been focussing on the whole race rather than the other stages, but 2023 Annemiek isnt the same as previous years Annemiek and Demi was able to ride that stage and not have to Vingegaard the competition to do it, Kasia rides into 2nd place GC at that point simply by being the next best rider on that stage, Kopecky who'd been in the group with Demi before she launched after Kasia's breakaway, just had to keep in touch and not lose bags of time, and shes got the strength to do that.

Which just left the ITT, and shes a track cyclist and just happens to be Belgians national time trial champion for the past 5 years, so of course shes going to be able to take time off Kasia who isnt an ITT specialist, and in the end she finishes on the same time as Kasia GC wise but takes 2nd because of the count back on stage wins

so for me she gets second place in GC, which is a surprise that no-one predicted before the race I would totally agree, but she's there because of the way the race and stages played out, and how the bigger favourites fell away and who she was racing and the race fell her way to a large part. She didnt come from nowhere and suddenly become an unexpected GC contender, she rode really well and smartly and then was kind of rewarded for being in the right place and then she went on after that race to be multiple world champion on the track, and took the road race too, so was obviously in a good form placing.


that doesnt mean Im not thinking that wow she looks like shes been down the gym alot this year, playing gym buddies with Wiebes, or that the team unironically have given her the Hulk as a nickname...or that they went to a altitude training camp and when they came back were unbeatable.

but Im not feeling her performances on the whole stand out as questionable, or the progression she has made in the past couple of years does either
 

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