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Professional Cycling => Road Races => Topic started by: just some guy on March 15, 2017, 14:25

Title: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: just some guy on March 15, 2017, 14:25
(https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/570268656413872128/Tt3Pi7Gp_400x400.jpeg)
Gent-Wevelgem 2017: BACK TO ONE of the most remarkable PHENOMENA OF MILITARY HISTORY.
November 23, 2016
: Life on the Western Front was certainly no fun in the winter of 1914. The strijdende had dug in both camps (the allies on the one side in Germany and on the other side), after the war ended in a stalemate. The Northern European landscape looked quite remarkable: from the North Sea to the Swiss border were two opposing trench systems with between one country and barbed wire. On both sides were more or less made permanent facilities, such as underground rooms, shelters, stoves and latrines. On Christmas Eve in 1914, it froze on the Western Front. No further offensives were therefore expected. Both sides tried to make the best of it.

The Germans started the first Christmas to celebrate, there was drunk and here and there appeared a Christmas tree or a lantern above the trenches. Somewhere there began a soldier Silent Night, Holy Night sing. The British felt they had to give back and sang "The First Noel." The Germans applauded and then put 'O Tannenbaum' in, and so it went on.

The next day, on Christmas Day, came from both sides of the front the soldiers out of their trenches. field services were held in full view of the vijand without a shot being fired. Both parties waved to each other and a few brave soldiers walked into the no man's land to greet each other. Initially formed small groups, then increasing until in some places hundreds of soldiers stood By another. There were shaken hands, they put together a fire and an exchange of gifts: cigarettes, cigars and sausages, canned stew, tobacco, and London newspapers.

In some places were even factions played football. The most legendary contest between the British and the Germans, in the Saint-Yvon, near Ploegsteert. The Germans won 3-2. On December 11, 2014 by Michel Platini became UEFA Christmas Truce Monument inaugurated in KomenWaasten.

This spontaneous file was obviously much to the displeasure of the commanders. It affected the discipline, soldiers could indeed come to think that the vijand even a man. The carefully crafted vijandsbeeld must at all costs be preserved. Both sides justified measures to avoid this in the future. Nevertheless, there were twinning again during Christmas 1915, though on a smaller scale. Again the army leadership was furious. In the fall of 1916, orders were up by ordering execution for those who fraternized. That winter and also in those of 1917, there was no more files.

Yet there was a moment of peace on earth in 1914. The guns and cannons fell silent a moment. Just as there was room for Christmas for a little companionship and humanity.

While no other conflict has ever been talk of such a spontaneous rapprochement between the besieged. It remains one of the most remarkable phenomena in the history of war.

"This Christmas Eve was celebrated in a fraternal mood. The Germans brought fine stuff. They also had plenty of wine. Our soldiers could nothing to offer in its place. As the hours passed pulled everyone back to his trench and soon crackled gunfire again Never land. [...] An investigation was conducted, the court martial came to pass and the station chief was called to account. Lieutenant Naviau, a Walloon, was demoted. The soldiers were allowed to rest. "
(http://www.gent-wevelgem.be/sites/default/files/styles/node_detail_gallery/public/images/FOTO%20GWE3.png?itok=VXE4xMtj)


(Belgian soldier Rik Reynaerts)

Hans De Clercq, sporting manager at Gent-Wevelgem:

As World Tour Tier 1 game we enjoy a massive appearance. Gent-Wevelgem Flanders Fields is broadcast around the world, from Norway to Australia, from Mexico to Thailand.

By integrating with Plug Streets in the course will be fought again, albeit happy with the bike. We also pay tribute to the victims and the viewer can appropriately commemorate the fallen.

We therefore the link between the sport in the year 2017 and the unfortunate past of 100 years ago. "Let us never forget how they fought for us!"

plug Streets

"This is about 3 strips, semi-paved roads or otherwise called Green Roads, with a total distance of 5.2 kilometers. The first two strips are slightly inclined and are in open plains where the wind will have free reign. At the entrance to the 2nd strip is the Christmas Truce monument that reflects the symbolism of Christmas in 1914 Files. "

"Integrating this strip between the two Kemmel Race, will provide additional nervousness. There will be less opportunity to recover. The match will be here


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLcTcMud3Pg

(http://i66.tinypic.com/syxqg1.png)

(http://i66.tinypic.com/hv6ude.png)

previous winners
2016   SAGAN Peter *si   
2015   PAOLINI Luca *it   
2014   DEGENKOLB John *de   
2013   SAGAN Peter *si   
2012   BOONEN Tom *be   
2011   BOONEN Tom *be   
2010   EISEL Bernhard *at   
2009   BOASSON HAGEN Edvald *no   
2008   FREIRE GOMEZ Oscar *es   
2007   BURGHARDT Marcus *de

Info source the :web (http://www.gent-wevelgem.be/nl/gw/elite-mannen) and :twitter (https://twitter.com/GentWevelgem)
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: Armchair Cyclist on March 15, 2017, 17:44
Life on the Western Front was certainly no fun in the winter of 1914.

Has there ever been a greater understatement?
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: Echoes on March 19, 2017, 15:08
(http://img11.hostingpics.net/pics/596705VANMARCKEGvA20161123.png)
(http://www.zupimages.net/up/17/11/yi8m.png)

Four Kilometers Through Battlefield

Passed the Irish Peace Tower of Mesen the Ghent-Wevelgem route is modified for a passage across the World War One battlefields. The area is 5.7km long including 4 of them on half-asphalted little roads. The ‘Plugstreets’ owe their names to the British soldiers of the time who had a hard time pronouncing “Ploegsteert”.

(Gazet van Antwerpen 23/11/2016)

2017 Edition more than ever a tribute to the Great War with a passage over the land paths in Flanders Fields.

With three half asphalted sections with 4km altogether Ghent-Wevelgem goes more than a century back in time. The route even goes across the World War One battlefield in Ploegstreet whereby this WorldTour-monument gets even more nervous than ever.
Quote
The three Plugstreets don’t come like that. The land paths of the time perfectly fit in the story of the Classic in Flanders Fields.

Ghent-Wevelgem: that has always been the game of wind in the Moeren and the Westhoek [a great sand region around De Panne with an oasis inside it :)], the hilly roads[1] and hills of the Heuvelland, and then the long straight roads to Wevelgem. Last year there were even 7 races in one day and in 2017 the organization added an extra dimension to it with the introduction of three half-asphalted sections in Ploegsteert alongside bunkers, above trenches and alongside the Christmas Truce Monument in Komen-Waasten for the single Christmas ceasefire of the war in 1914.

Greenroads[2] is the name of these farmer paths who are situated in the no man’s land around the Plugstreet Experience 14-18 Belevingsmuseum and who get along historically valuable places. They are chariots path sprinkled with gravels and not much wider than a car.
Quote
Last year I was advised by Rudy Lamond (member of the organization of Ghent-Wevelgem, e.d.) who was bitten by this cruel history of this back land where Flanders goes over to the Hainaut province and Northern France[3] The first time I saw the Plugstreets I was skeptical. I’m not even a fan of the Strade Bianche which goes through a lot of non-asphalt roads but the municipality Ploegsteert was very much honoured and promised to refine it but not to sweep it up. That was unnecessary. The riders we invited  last week for a test asked to please not do it otherwise from a race viewpoint it makes no sense. There is less chance of flat tyre there than in the Arenberg Forest or the Carrefour de l’Arbre, the key points of Paris-Roubaix
 3. the historical County of Flanders included part of Northern France and of the currently Walloon province of Hainaut

says Hans De Clercq [I’m wondering how a dirt road can be less open to flat tyre than cobbles but well, ???]

Those test pilots were Jens Debusschere, Sep Vanmarcke, neo pro Maxime Farazijn, [Mr Aranesp] Johan Museeuw and Nico Mattan.
Quote
You know that here you have to be in front. Everybody knows that there'll be a hard fight there. Okay it goes on narrow roads but that is also what Ghent-Wevelgem is. Otherwise you need to remove every roads in Flanders. It's a good ride-able area on which you good less chance to recover.

According to Debusschere it won’t happen on Plugstreets soon.
Quote
These are not Strade Bianche situations. This I’m glad about. The most dangerous spot is just thereafter when you get to the wide roads. It will be all in one line. If the wind is then good, you can make an echelon out of it. It belongs to the peculiarity of the race that can lead to two options, a bunch sprint or a small group sprint.

The big difference is that after the first crossing of the Kemmel there’s a deviation from the wide road pattern. Now between km 163 and 210 (the last trip on the Kemmel) it can be a nervous race.
Hans De Clercq
Quote
I don’t expect that you can win the race on the Plugstreets but you lose it. From the Mount Noir to the second time on the Kemmel, you also get 3 climbs in 10km

[Ploegsteert is the hometown of the Vandenbroucke family. No need to translate the bit about the infamous nephew of Jean-Luc’s]

Ghent-Wevelgem is about ready with its new identity with this new find because it has always been the aim to link the sad past and today. Hans De Clercq:
Quote
Last year we even had 50,000 TV viewers more than Paris-Roubaix and as much as the Tour of Flanders. Ghent-Wevelgem in the background of Flanders Fields is a world story that touches as much the Chinese as the Canadians.

(http://www.zupimages.net/up/17/11/ukaa.jpg)

(Nieuwsblad – 15 March 2017)

Ghent-Wevelgem Cares for Safer Feed Zone

Ghent-Wevelgem organizers set new rules to improve safety in the feed zone. It comes from former [clinical] *fr rider Jacky Durand. The idea was straight forward:
Quote
The soigneurs stay where they are. Beforehand teams are given a number[4]. The soigneurs are also with their number in their job [not sure if my translation is correct, Dutchies help me?]. There are always 5 teams on a 100m distance. In zone 1: teams with numbers 1 to 5, in Zone 2: those with numbers 6 to 10, etc. The numbers in the feed zones match those of the following cars. For Ghent-Wevelgem, there needs to be a 500m zone in order to give room to every team.
 4. ”I am not a number. I’m a free man!!!”
Says Hans De Clercq, race director.

The new system had already been adapted in the Gooikse Pijl and Jacky Durand introduced it in the Boucles de la Mayenne.
Quote
I hope that the UCI and race organisers quickly adapt it everywhere.
Says Hans De Clercq again.

 1. in English in the text
 2. ditto
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: LaVelocipede on March 19, 2017, 15:38
Is the last passage of the Kemmelberg a little closer to the end than before?
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: search on March 19, 2017, 16:42
no, it's exactly the same as last year, as far as I can see
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: LukasCPH on March 20, 2017, 11:54
I’m wondering how a dirt road can be less open to flat tyre than cobbles but well
A well-maintained gravel road with no large stones on the surface is almost as good as asphalt to ride on: Much less vibrations as on cobbles, and one continuous surface.
Cobbles aren't laid next to each other, but with a small (or even large ...) gap in between. On a 500 m stretch of cobbles you will have 2500-5000 of those small gaps, and the tyres will suffer a lot more through this sudden decrease in 'ground pressure' than they will on a gravel road.

If it's a gravel road that's more water-filled potholes than actual road surface, it's a different matter altogether - but as far as I can tell the Ploegsteert sections will be alright-ish.
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: just some guy on March 21, 2017, 12:17
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C7TXtDUXQAEFjzc.jpg)
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: Not My Circus on March 23, 2017, 08:56
Patrick is not happy this morning... I take it this is Plugstreet dissatisfaction

https://twitter.com/PatLefevere/status/844833940032540676
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: just some guy on March 23, 2017, 09:06
yep Patrick likes a Grump so ignore and move on
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: Not My Circus on March 23, 2017, 09:08
yep Patrick likes a Grump so ignore and move on

You'd think he'd still be all happy after yesterday...
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: just some guy on March 23, 2017, 09:09
You'd think he'd still be all happy after yesterday...

maybe he knows it will be their only race with good tactics - every spring they give out a classics clinic, so maybe he is worried for Roubiax now  :lol :lol :-x
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: Not My Circus on March 23, 2017, 09:22
maybe he knows it will be their only race with good tactics - every spring they give out a classics clinic, so maybe he is worried for Roubiax now  :lol :lol :-x

HAH... they were very good yesterday. Not only the front two, though I was worried about Terpstra, he's always a bit of a wildcard.
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: just some guy on March 23, 2017, 09:24
HAH... they were very good yesterday. Not only the front two, though I was worried about Terpstra, he's always a bit of a wildcard.

the Stybar Niki move to bridge to G2 which stopped them from chasing the leading 4 was a thing of beauty
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: Not My Circus on March 23, 2017, 09:26
the Stybar Niki move to bridge to G2 which stopped them from chasing the leading 4 was a thing of beauty

It was... keep it up Quicksteppers
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: LukasCPH on March 23, 2017, 09:38
Patrick is not happy this morning... I take it this is Plugstreet dissatisfaction
So Tro Bro Leon, GP Herning, Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic etc. should drop their gravel sections now, just because a race first held in 2008 that has since become extremely successful is the only gravel race that a WT team manager knows of?

What a dunce.
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: AG on March 23, 2017, 10:18
agreed - you would think he would be happier with these types of races - its Quicksteps bread and butter.  Its what their team is structured around ...


The move of Stybar and Terpstra yesterday was fantastic.  They are as much to credit with the win as Lampaert and Gilbert.  It stopped the chase
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: just some guy on March 24, 2017, 09:07
https://twitter.com/GentWevelgem/status/844445364174409728
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: search on March 25, 2017, 19:58
*be Het Nieuwsblad:

***** Sagan
**** Boonen, Degenkolb
*** Kristoff, GvA, Démare
** Groenewegen, Trentin, Cort, Debusschere
* Roelandts, Gaviria, Ewan, Stuyven, Planckaert
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: just some guy on March 26, 2017, 06:55
https://twitter.com/Velorooms/status/845876379312947203

Sector 1: 2100m

The first sector is clearly the most critical of the three. Riders come off a wide main road, taking a 90-degree right-hander onto a narrow lane before the gravel begins 100 metres or so further on. The race may have split up by that point but if there's a large bunch then the fight for position going into that bend will be intense.

As soon as the gravel starts, the path is exposed, with a heavy crosswind blowing on the Saturday. After 100 metres or so there's a 90-degree left-hander and from there the road rises gradually before a right-left chink takes them through another patch of farmland, where the surface is marginally better for a brief stretch. Another tight left-hander, in front of a row of poppy emblems, leads the riders through a snaking but gently downhill stretch, with barbed wire fencing on the right-hand side a gentle reminder of the price of a moment's misjudgment.

The surface is actually pretty decent and not a huge danger in and of itself, though the length of this sector, combined with the significant drag and the exposure to the winds, make it a key flashpoint of the race, where splits will occur.

Sector 2: Christmas Truce – 1300m

The first sector ends back at the aforementioned main road, and the riders head straight over it and down a narrow road towards the second sector, passing the memorial to the Christmas ceasefire.

With a pile of footballs placed between two preserved trenches, it's a moving spot, but the riders will have no time to dwell on it all as they immediately take another tight 90-degree right-hand bend into the second sector, named Christmas Truce.

It runs gently downhill until a right-hand bend, and after that it's flat and pretty straightforward, with the hill on one side and the forest on the other providing protection from the wind. The surface is much the same as the first sector. There's a kick up off onto the main road again and a short stretch before another right-hander that leads onto the narrow road that precedes the third and final sector.

Sector 3: Catacombs – 600m

Another tight 90-degree right-hand bend leads onto the third sector but there's little in the way of difficulty here. It's flat, relatively straight, and is once again gravelly without being too sketchy. With a thick layer of trees on either side, the wind won't be a factor, and in any case it's all over after just 600 metres.

really good from CN
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: just some guy on March 26, 2017, 07:49
Sun and very little wind this morning
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: just some guy on March 26, 2017, 13:46
https://twitter.com/TeamUAEAbuDhabi/status/845979959873224704
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: just some guy on March 26, 2017, 16:33


lots of talk about interesting, Enjoyable race tons of stupid tactics

Sagan I thought was really smart

#quickstep
#sunweb
#trek
#dimension

Fail

Big Jens road a smart race
GVA as well

Naesen dumb
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: DJW on March 26, 2017, 17:11
Agree on those team fails, riders getting called to wait up for the chase was crazy.

Degenkolb was in a good position again to counter when GVA went but couldn't hold Sagan's wheel, same as MSR, but he was strong enough to win the bunch sprint so looks in decent form.

Another #quickstep fail after having numbers and too many teams waiting to see what happens. It's not been endless action in the past week's races but at least the guys who have won have done plenty of work and attacked.
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: Mellow Velo on March 26, 2017, 17:38
 A stonking race.
Much talk about the new parcour, particularly the dirt roads around the WW1 battlefields increasing the distance between the Kemmelberg ascents, as destroying the character of the race.
I am happy to report that they did and all the better for it! :D

Hard to disagree with Jsg, but for the fact he rode in with the natural Freudian slip. ;)
Quick Step chiefs again undone by a lack of Indians.
Terpstra the worst possible rider to have out front in that scenario.
Just ask Peter Sagan. :-x
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: t-72 on March 26, 2017, 22:22
https://twitter.com/TeamUAEAbuDhabi/status/845979959873224704

Ganna crash?  :S I hope whatever/whoever he crashed into still lives! Did anyone check if the earth flipped out of orbit?

(He needs an inventive nickname in italian that makes Tony Martin look like a tiny german tin can, maybe corazzata if that will work..  :D )
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: AG on March 27, 2017, 01:00
I thought Quickstep in general - in terms of team tactics - did ok.  They had someone in every single move.  They had 3 guys in the front group, and when it split again they had a guy with that.  Perhaps not the one they wanted, but sometimes you dont get to pick.

The issue was that Terpstra was missing turns - and from a long way out.  Sagan decided he wasnt going to put up with that - and sat off behind him ... and a gap opened up int he middle in front of Sagan and Terpstra (and the unlucky Anderson who had just taken his turn and was behind them both).  Sagan told Terpstra it was his spot and HE had to close the gap as Sagan was not going to.

They played silly's for a while - eventually Anderson lost patience and starting riding before Terpstra eventually agreed - but by then there was about 7 or 8 seconds gap.  Not much but with GVA and Keukelaire very committed up front and decidedly not playing games, it was enough to hold them off.

Full marks to GVA and Keukeliere - they totally deserved this.

Full marks to Sagan who was prepared to sacrifice the win to make sure that everyone did their part.  Its about time he made that stand


This is not poor tactics from Quickstep - this is poor racing from Terpstra. 

As much as I dont like Sagan, or GVA for that matter - credit to both ... they race.  They race hard and they dont miss turns.  If they win its because they are the strongest and best in that group and they have worked hard for it. 
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: AG on March 27, 2017, 01:03
In terms of the race - it was a cracker.

I kind of expected a sprint race ... so a few attacks on the climbs and settle back for a bunch finish due to the 30km flat run in ... but it wasnt.  Really hard racing from 80km. Splits everywhere .. groups forming, chasing, falling back, tactics and dramas. 

It was the kind of race that fans love.  A case of "get to the front and stay there for as long as you can" 

It epitomises the reason that I love the Flemmish classics.  The way races should be.
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: just some guy on March 27, 2017, 08:20
https://twitter.com/Velorooms/status/846260159009689600

https://twitter.com/Velorooms/status/846259290830766082
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: just some guy on March 27, 2017, 08:23
going to disagree AG if #quickstep have 3 in a 15 man group they need stop the we have 2 sprinters behind

this is the classics they all need to work, Quickstep lost the chance to got for the win today, which the last 2 races ie the ones where Phil was there they were much smarter also Peeters verse Steels in the main car

I should also add #lotto to the fail
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: search on March 27, 2017, 09:43
mmh, Sagan seems to have had a bit of an off-day though, not quite focused. Just pushing Vantomme out of the way on the Kemmelberg was a pretty poor move as well at least

https://twitter.com/Alpe__dHuez/status/846026801528913921
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: LukasCPH on March 27, 2017, 14:02
VeloNews commentary: Should Gent-Wevelgem keep dirt roads in its route? (http://www.velonews.com/2017/03/commentary/should-gent-wevelgem-keep-dirt-roads-in-its-route_433694)

I didn't see a second of the race, but that won't stop me from chiming in ... ;)

The danger element I don't see at all. This is the race that had riders descending the Kemmelberg on cobbles, no matter what the weather was, with gory crashes as the result. Yet nobody ever questions having the Kemmelberg in the race.

In my experience, a compacted gravel road is easier to ride than a pavé section - both in the dry and in the wet. It's also way easier to maintain than pavé.

The "there's already plenty of dirt" argument is nonsense.
There are already plenty of races with mountains - should new races just go around on panflat inner-city courses because of that?
Many races have sections where there could be crosswinds - should all other races have to build windbreakers along the course?
On the UCI calendar, there are the following gravel races: Strade Bianche, Tro Bro Leon, Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic, Schaal Sels, and now Gent-Wevelgem. Plus the GP Herning that isn't a UCI race these years, but used to be one. That's six races. SIX. A Grand Tour has more HC climbs than that!
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: t-72 on March 27, 2017, 19:58
Cobbles and gravel are not that dangerous. Unmarked bollards are, and now once again riders go down and get the season shortened in its most intense phase due to this:

https://twitter.com/sebystrom/status/846322918946734082
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: LukasCPH on March 27, 2017, 22:25
Cobbles and gravel are not that dangerous. Unmarked bollards are
Damn you and your bringing logic into this discussion! Lefevère and Ochowicz must hate your guts! :P
Title: Re: Gent-Wevelgem
Post by: Echoes on April 02, 2017, 11:27
mmh, Sagan seems to have had a bit of an off-day though, not quite focused. Just pushing Vantomme out of the way on the Kemmelberg was a pretty poor move as well at least

https://twitter.com/Alpe__dHuez/status/846026801528913921


Read in the newspapers last Friday that he had just seen the footage and that he claimed it was unintentional. Who believes him? He was too far behind at a key moment, so everybody should get out of the way to let Her Highness pass.

Vantomme philosophised about it: "That is the lot of every 'small riders'".  :-x