Worlds: evaluation of the favorites.

Sep 17, 2012
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Here my personal evalution of the favorites for the road race next sunday. I'd like to hear your opinions.
*****
Gilbert
****
Gerrans, Sagan
***
Rodriguez, Valverde, Freire, Nibali
**
Boonen, Mollema, Terpstra, Boasson Hagen, Uran
*
Voeckler, Van Avermaet, Contador, Sanchez, Breschel

Gilbert:
Pro:
The Cauberg is his territory.
Focussed totally on this race and seems to be in the right shape on the right moment.
Can finish solo and win in the sprint of a select group.
Strong team in support.
Contra:
Is the Gilbert of this season good enough?
He has to win to save his season, so high pressure.
Has made tactical errors in previous championnats (olympics, Geelong,...)

Gerrans:
Pro:
Tactical very smart.
Great season, great form and not much pressure.
Team totally in his support (no Evans).
Contra:
Australia can't compete with Belgium and Spain so he will need to make right choices.

Sagan:
Pro:
He just needs to follow, can rely on his sprint.
Contra:
Long season, he doesn't seem to be in topshape.
Weak team.

Rodriguez:
Pro:
In great shape this season.
Very motivated after losing the Vuelta.
Contra:
Finish is not on the Cauberg. Don't think he will be able to finish solo and in a group with a Gerrans, Gilbert or Sagan he is beaten in the sprint.
Tough Vuelta.

Valverde:
Pro:
In great shape last month.
Contra:
Never great in Amstel Gold Race.
He was nowhere in the classics this season.
Tough season with two grand tours.

Freire:
Pro:
The worlds specialist.
Finish just after Cauberg is great for him.
Last race in his carreer, so give it all for the last time.
Contra:
Too old.
Needs to drop Sagan and Boonen.

Nibali:
Pro:
Focused on the world.
Squadra Azurra behind him.
Contra:
Needs to finish solo.

Boonen:
Pro:
Great season, so not much pressure.
Skipped the grand tours to focus on the worlds.
Can profit of Gilbert?? Just needs to follow when everyone needs to chase Gilbert.
In topshape he was able to beat Freire and Sagan in the sprint (E3-prijs and Gent-Wevelgem so he is the fastest??)
Contra:
Too heavy for the Cauberg.

Mollema:
Pro:
Part of the home team.
Could take it easy in the Vuelta to focus on this race.
Contra:
Just not (yet) good enough to win this kind of races.

Terpstra:
Pro:
Part of the home team.
Total focus on this race.
Great season, great form.
Contra:
No sprint.

Boasson Hagen:
Pro:
Good shape.
Contra:
Weak team.
Very disappointing in previous worlds and big classics.
 
*****: Gilbert, Sagan
****: Valverde, Gerrans, Freire
***: Rodriguez, Nibali, Voeckler, Boonen
**: Boasson Hagen, Betancur, Kolobnev, Costa
*: Contador, Nordhaug, Van Avermaet, Moser, Ulissi, Uran, Henao, S. Sanchez, Degenkolb, Chavanel, Paolini, Terpstra, Oliver Zaugg :D
 
Feb 15, 2011
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Sylvester said:
*****: Gilbert, Sagan
****: Valverde, Gerrans, Freire
***: Rodriguez, Nibali, Voeckler, Boonen
**: Boasson Hagen, Betancur, Kolobnev, Costa
*: Contador, Nordhaug, Van Avermaet, Moser, Ulissi, Uran, Henao, S. Sanchez, Degenkolb, Chavanel, Paolini, Terpstra, Oliver Zaugg :D
I mostly agree with your rating. Underlined riders are ones that I rank as lower, Bold as higher.
 
Aug 4, 2010
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Nice post.Probably Valverde can rely on sprint with everyone expect Sagan:D so that the Pro,the same with Gilbert.
It is gonna be hell of the race,cos they need to drop Sagan(I think 1-2 attack from Belgium and Spain could work);)
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Sagan couldn't get a gap at the Cauberg this year. Valverde has never been able to do that. Only one rider has shown he can gap absolutely everyone on the Cauberg and that's Philippe Gilbert. Of course there's still 1.5km after the Cauberg, so who knows.
 
*****: Gilbert
****: Sagan, Valverde, Gerrans
***: Voeckler, Freire, Nibali
**: Boonen, EBH, Rodriguez, Albasini, Moser, Costa
*: Contador, GVA, Samu, Noncentini, Terpstra, Uran, Mollema and just for the kicks JTL :D
 
Aug 4, 2010
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El Pistolero said:
Sagan couldn't get a gap at the Cauberg this year. Valverde has never been able to do that. Only one rider has shown he can gap absolutely everyone on the Cauberg and that's Philippe Gilbert. Of course there's still 1.5km after the Cauberg, so who knows.
Ye,but Sagan and Piti dont have to drop Phil,they can win in the sprint against him.Only thing its matters for Phil and Piti is Sagan in their group.Gerrans can sprint too,but he probably will be dropped on Cauberg.
I expect total fireworks from Purito on last Cauberg,cos he has to go full gas:cool:
 
ILovecycling said:
Ye,but Sagan and Piti dont have to drop Phil,they can win in the sprint against him.Only thing its matters for Phil and Piti is Sagan in their group.Gerrans can sprint too,but he probably will be dropped on Cauberg.
I expect total fireworks from Purito on last Cauberg,cos he has to go full gas:cool:
Valverde cannot rely on that. It is far from certain.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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ILovecycling said:
Ye,but Sagan and Piti dont have to drop Phil,they can win in the sprint against him.Only thing its matters for Phil and Piti is Sagan in their group.Gerrans can sprint too,but he probably will be dropped on Cauberg.
I expect total fireworks from Purito on last Cauberg,cos he has to go full gas:cool:
Yeah, they have to stay with Phil. And if he's in his 2011 or even 2010 shape that's far worse.
 
Jul 5, 2011
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No doubt the final selection will be made on Cauberg but as others have said the finish is another 1700 metres on, probably too far for a lone breakaway from the climb. Probably Gilbert, Sagan, Rodriguez, Nibali, TJVG, will be present but they wont work together over that last flat bit. Given the plateau finish maybe the winner will have saved a bit on the climb and get to the front late especially if there's any dithering. A lot will come down to teamwork, who will be ready to bury themselves for a team mate over that last 1.7 km.
Could Contador, Valverde and Sanchez for example bring Freire to the front to finish the job?
 
Jul 25, 2010
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I hope Rodriguez gets it.

However I think it'll be between Boonen/Gilbert/Sagan

And if not them then Rodriguez, Nibali, Cunego, Valverde, Chava & JTL

Incidentally, the BBC keep suggesting that Cav has a chance of defending his title. :D
 
Aug 16, 2011
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rainman said:
No doubt the final selection will be made on Cauberg but as others have said the finish is another 1700 metres on, probably too far for a lone breakaway from the climb. Probably Gilbert, Sagan, Rodriguez, Nibali, TJVG, will be present but they wont work together over that last flat bit. Given the plateau finish maybe the winner will have saved a bit on the climb and get to the front late especially if there's any dithering. A lot will come down to teamwork, who will be ready to bury themselves for a team mate over that last 1.7 km.
Could Contador, Valverde and Sanchez for example bring Freire to the front to finish the job?
Freire's a bit of a mystery, he was 4th in Amstel this year but he crashed out of the tour. He hasn't gotten any real big results since Amstel Gold so his forms a bit of a mystery.

I think it will be between Gilbert, Valverde, Purito, maybe Gerrans for the win if they hit the Cauberg together. I could also see Nibali soloing away for the win, he has been looking in good form coming into the race.
 
Izzy eviel said:
I hope Rodriguez gets it.

However I think it'll be between Boonen/Gilbert/Sagan

And if not them then Rodriguez, Nibali, Cunego, Valverde, Chava & JTL

Incidentally, the BBC keep suggesting that Cav has a chance of defending his title. :D
Cunego is not going.
 
Afrank said:
Freire's a bit of a mystery, he was 4th in Amstel this year but he crashed out of the tour. He hasn't gotten any real big results since Amstel Gold so his forms a bit of a mystery.

I think it will be between Gilbert, Valverde, Purito, maybe Gerrans for the win if they hit the Cauberg together. I could also see Nibali soloing away for the win, he has been looking in good form coming into the race.
I think Freire is in decent shape. He hasn't got any results lately, but he was riding very well in GP de Wallonie, being very active in the break.
 
Aug 4, 2010
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I think Freire and Boonen are overrated for Sunday.If there is high tempo(and there will be,cos of Sagan) they will be dropped on penultimate Cauberg.Just saying :rolleyes:
 
Apr 12, 2009
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ILovecycling said:
I think Freire and Boonen are overrated for Sunday.If there is high tempo(and there will be,cos of Sagan) they will be dropped on penultimate Cauberg.Just saying :rolleyes:
I think Boonen is being underrated tbh. Cauberg isn't that hard. In fact, most of the hills on Ronde Van Vlaanderen are harder. I also believe his form is great.
Above that, the finish is not on top of the cauberg.
 
Yes, and what about Freire. In the AGR, he doesn't usually get dropped before the last Cauberg. They won't be able to drop him before the last 5 km I guess.

As for his form: he's doing fine. He was very convincing during Paris - Bruxelles and the GP Wallonie.
 
Jan 11, 2010
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rainman said:
No doubt the final selection will be made on Cauberg but as others have said the finish is another 1700 metres on, probably too far for a lone breakaway from the climb. Probably Gilbert, Sagan, Rodriguez, Nibali, TJVG, will be present but they wont work together over that last flat bit.
Tejay could make it, of course, but don't you think it's a bit of a stretch to put him in this list, given his lack of classics pedigree?

Buffalo Soldier said:
I think Boonen is being underrated tbh. Cauberg isn't that hard. In fact, most of the hills on Ronde Van Vlaanderen are harder. I also believe his form is great.
Above that, the finish is not on top of the cauberg.
But Boonen isn't confronted with real hills riders in Flanders. Except for Gilbert, who usually isn't at his best there.

I don't think the 1.5 km to the finish matter much. I'll be surprised if a group manages to pull back a guy who has gone clear over the Cauberg.
 
Buffalo Soldier said:
I think Boonen is being underrated tbh. Cauberg isn't that hard. In fact, most of the hills on Ronde Van Vlaanderen are harder. I also believe his form is great.
Above that, the finish is not on top of the cauberg.
The Cauberg is climbed 10 times.

It will be very surprising if he survives that.
 
Nov 14, 2011
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I'm going to be shamelessly nationalistic/patriotic and ask do the GB team have no chance at all? (I can't see any real race winners in the nine man squad except JTL obviously!)

Being from Northern Ireland I can also play the Irish card! However i dont even know if dan martin is riding. I dont think roche will be there in the end
 
williamp78 said:
I'm going to be shamelessly nationalistic/patriotic and ask do the GB team have no chance at all? (I can't see any real race winners in the nine man squad except JTL obviously!)

Being from Northern Ireland I can also play the Irish card! However i dont even know if dan martin is riding. I dont think roche will be there in the end
Yes he's riding. Nicolas Roche and Ronan McLaughlin the others being selected.
 

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