Velorooms - Cycling Forum

Professional Cycling => Road Races => Topic started by: just some guy on March 28, 2017, 10:08

Title: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on March 28, 2017, 10:08
1st thing like all good build ups you need to get yourself in the right head space, hope this helps

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxBTVU9JDrA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zxnA4asj44

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QSpuhIQg1A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vcTAix3mU0
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on March 28, 2017, 10:08
Paris Roubaix /L'Enfer du Nord

(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Xty4VomAyys/maxresdefault.jpg)(http://redkiteprayer.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/PIC452175673.jpg)(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CBHbfF7UYAEpjbN.png:large)


History
(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TmAbFunODPs/T34NFyaKPWI/AAAAAAAAC4M/dBMSis58IBo/s1600/EM-Paris+Roubaix.jpg)
(http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/photos/2006/apr06/roubaix06/woodland_hell_of_the_north/1919pelissiertn.jpg)
Paris–Roubaix is one of the oldest races of professional road cycling. It was first run in 1896 and has stopped only for two world wars. The race was created by two Roubaix textile manufacturers, Théodore Vienne (born 28 July 1864) and Maurice Perez. They had been behind the building of a velodrome on 46,000 square metres at the corner of the rue Verte and the route d'Hempempont, which opened on 9 June 1895.

Vienne and Perez held several meetings on the track, one including the first appearance in France by the American sprinter Major Taylor, and then looked for further ideas. In February 1896 they hit upon the idea of holding a race from Paris to their track. This presented two problems. The first was that the biggest races started or ended in Paris and that Roubaix might be seen as too provincial a destination. The second was that they could organize the start or the finish but not both.
They spoke to Louis Minart, the editor of Le Vélo, the only French daily sports paper. Minart was enthusiastic but said the decision of whether the paper would organise the start and provide publicity belonged to the director, Paul Rousseau. Minart may also have suggested an indirect approach because the mill owners recommended their race not on its own merits, but as preparation for another.
They wrote:
Dear M. Rousseau, Bordeaux–Paris is approaching and this great annual event which has done so much to promote cycling has given us an idea. What would you think of a training race which preceded Bordeaux–Paris by four weeks? The distance between Paris and Roubaix is roughly 280km, so it would be child's play for the future participants of Bordeaux–Paris. The finish would take place at the Roubaix vélodrome after several laps of the track. Everyone would be assured of an enthusiastic welcome as most of our citizens have never had the privilege of seeing the spectacle of a major road race and we count on enough friends to believe that Roubaix is truly a hospitable town. As prizes we already have subscribed to a first prize of 1,000 francs in the name of the Roubaix velodrome and we will be busy establishing a generous prize list which will be to the satisfaction of all. But for the moment, can we count on the patronage of Le Vélo and on your support for organising the start?1

and so it began a race designed to capture the attention of the people of Paris to remind them that Roubaix in fact still was part of France, and now the race capture cycling fans from every corner of the globe , a Sunday in hell.

It is also the last time we will see Tom Boonen ride the race that helped make the modern day classsic rider a legend of the sport

(http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02188/Tom_Boonen-cobble_2188570b.jpg)(http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/paris-roubaix-tom-boonen-quick-step-wins-the-race-frontzonesport-picture-id504422557)(https://cdn-cyclingtips.pressidium.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Kramon_Roubaix2012_DSC5661-Version-2.jpg)
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on March 28, 2017, 10:09
The Route

(http://www.letour.fr/PHOTOS/PRX/2017/100/CARTE.jpg)

(http://www.letour.fr/PHOTOS/PRX/2017/100/PROFIL.png)

SECTIONKILOMETRESPLACELENGTHRATING
29   97   Troisvilles to Inchy   2.2 :*:*:*
28   103.5   Viesly to Quiévy   1.8 :*:*:*
27   106   Quiévy to Saint-Python   3.7 :*:*:*:*
26   112.5   Viesly to Briastre   3 :*:*:*
25   116   Briastre à Solesmes   0.8 :*:*
24   124.5   Vertain to Saint-Martin-sur-Écaillon   2.3 :*:*:*
23   134.5   Verchain-Maugré to Quérénaing   1.6 :*:*:*
22   137.5   Quérénaing to Maing   2.5 :*:*:*
21   140.5   Maing to Monchaux-sur-Écaillon   1.6 :*:*:*
20   153.5   Haveluy to Wallers   2.5 :*:*:*:*
19   161.5   Trouée d'Arenberg   2.4 :*:*:*:*:*
18   168   Wallers to Hélesmes   1.6 :*:*:*
17   174.5   Hornaing to Wandignies   3.7 :*:*:*:*
16   182   Warlaing to Brillon   2.4 :*:*:*
15   185.5   Tilloy to Sars-et-Rosières   2.4 :*:*:*:*
14   192   Beuvry-la-Forêt to Orchies   1.4 :*:*:*
13   197   Orchies   1.7 :*:*:*
12   203   Auchy-lez-Orchies to Bersée   2.7 :*:*:*:*
11   208.5   Mons-en-Pévèle   3 :*:*:*:*:*
10   214.5   Mérignies to Avelin   0.7 :*:*
9   218   Pont-Thibaut to Ennevelin   1.4 :*:*:*
8   224   Templeuve (Moulin-de-Vertain)   0.5 :*:*
7   230.5   Cysoing to Bourghelles   1.3 :*:*:*
6   233   Bourghelles to Wannehain   1.1 :*:*:*
5   237.5   Camphin-en-Pévèle   1.8 :*:*:*:*
4   240   Carrefour de l’Arbre   2.1 :*:*:*:*:*
3   242.5   Gruson   1.1 :*:*
2   249   Willems to Hem   1.4 :*:*:*
1   256   Roubaix (Espace Crupelandt)   0.3 :*
TOTAL   55 km

Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on March 28, 2017, 10:09
Taken from The website - source (http://www.letour.fr/paris-roubaix/2017/us/)

On 9 April, for the 115th edition of the “Queen of the Classics”, the route the peloton will race on will comprise 55km of cobblestones (vs 52.8km in 2016), on the total distance of 257km between Compiègne and the Roubaix velodrome. The favourites are expected to stand out on the tranchée d'Arenberg, in Mons-en-Pévèle or at the Carrefour de l'Arbre… but early in the race they will also discover the Briastre (km112.5) and Solesmes (km 116) cobbled sections, which haven't been used since 1987!

The opening weeks of the year have given the best riders in the world the opportunity to gradually get back in action, under summer skies in Australia or in the Middle East for example. All riders come into the season with their individual perspectives and ambitions… and some of them rack up the kilometres with the sole goal of starring in the Spring Classics. Scenarios do not necessarily follow the prediction logic on Paris-Roubaix, as was the case last year with Matthew Hayman winning at the conclusion of an early-race break away. While the key sections of the route are detected and carefully identified, from the first cobblestone sector at Troisvilles to that of the Carrefour de l'Arbre, by passing through the famous sections at Arenberg and Mons-en-Pévèle, arrangements have been made to visit or revisit some places that are likely to reshuffle the cards.

This year, immediately after the first stretches of cobblestone a change of direction will lead the peloton to the Briastre and Solesmes sectors (numbers 26 and 25), which haven't been used in the race for 30 years. Route designer, Thierry Gouvenou details the characteristics. “The first is three kilometres long, it is actually being renovated but it is one of the difficult sectors. The next is a lot shorter, however it is uphill! It is not our wish to make the race harder at this stage, but to find more diversity between the cobblestone sectors and make sure these areas continue to feed the legend”. In total, the cycling acrobats will have an added 2.2 kilometres of cobblestones to ride over compared to last year, before reaching the finish at the Roubaix Velodrome.


On the tracks of the cobbles…

Each week, letour.fr will be taking a detailed look at a place that has marked the history of Paris-Roubaix


Compiègne: cycling royalty


From Saturday 8th April, Compiègne will be bathed in the atmosphere of Paris-Roubaix for 24 hours. The presentation of the teams, the race headquarters and the press room as well as the race's start will be located within the grounds of the sumptuous château in the heart of the town.

 
The esplanade of the Château de Compiègne hosted all the monarchs of the Middle Ages for their first halt on the return from their coronations in Reims Cathedral. However, since 1977, it is the kings of the cobbles who assemble with the aim of a consecration that they all dream of on completion of the 250-kilometre route. Already, on the day before the race, the favourites are questioned about their form, strategy and fears. The nearer the start, the more intense the tension becomes: the large cobbles at the start zone set the tone for this especially particular day.
 
Forty years ago, the first start in Compiègne gave rise to a historical race for several reasons. Although he was unaware of it, Eddy Merckx climbed onto his bike for his last Paris-Roubaix, which he finished in the middle of the afternoon in 11th position. The opportunity to pick up a fourth title slipped through The Cannibal's fingers, but not those of his rival Roger De Vlaeminck, who climbed on top of the podium that day. Consequently, to this day, The Gypsy is still on cloud nine, even if he now shares the record for victories with Tom Boonen since 2012.
 
In 2007, the cobbles of Compiègne did not only have pride of place for the “Easter Race”, several months later they also hosted the finish of a stage on the Tour de France, on which a regular rider on the Hell of the North excelled. At the age of 26-years old, Fabian Cancellara already possessed a cobble trophy in his collection thanks to his victory in Roubaix in 2006. After the initial phase of the 2007 Tour de France in England, Spartacus was in the Yellow Jersey for the finish in Compiègne, where he outdid all the sprinters with an attack one kilometre from the finish.
 
Already in the spotlight since 1977, as from last year, Compiègne has benefited from extra exposure: the race is broadcast live around the world from the very first kilometre, so that viewers miss nothing of the initial moves on the race, or the landscapes of the Oise department.

Troisvilles: ready, steady… shake!

The first cobbled section on Paris-Roubaix commences shortly after the ride along Rue de la Sucrerie, but, despite what the street's sugary name may suggest, there is nothing sweet about this introduction! After the start in Compiègne, the first 100 kilometres are generally covered at a swift pace by the pack, whilst a good handful of breakaway riders are under illusions of success as they pedal at the forefront. The race favourites will not have awaited the entrance to the village of Troisvilles to put their team-mates into action, going shoulder to shoulder with other riders and flirting with the road verges to reach the front. The tension that reigns over the race at this vital moment is best described by Stephen Roche: “There are some guys who would kill their mother to be among the first riders”.
 
The first encounter with the cobbles has taken place in Troisvilles since 1987, after 98 kilometres of racing. Of course, the hardest part of the race still awaits, but the test to overcome on the first two kilometres of cobbles (2,200 m to be precise, with a 3-star classification) offers a wealth of insights. The sensations rarely tell lies at this stage of the race: the leaders will know if they have the legs to win, but also whether they are mentally ready to throw themselves into the endless sequence of juddering that they will have to tackle to reach Roubaix.
 
The resilient riders will already be put through the mill on the route leading from Troisvilles to Inchy, even though the cull among the pack has only just started. Many twists in the tale still await, but sometimes the riders who go on the attack at this point meet with a glorious destiny at the end of the day. Such was the case for Australian Mathew Hayman, involved in the morning's breakaway last year, unaware that he was going to experience the finest day of his career, just like his countryman Stuart O'Grady ten years ago. In Troisvilles, anything can happen.

Haveluy: in a spin

On tackling the last 100 kilometres, the riders have “only” covered 17 kilometres of cobbles. The number of punctures and falls is already starting to mount and the Arenberg section, deadly to many a rider's hopes, is approaching. However, sometimes the battle may well start as soon as Haveluy, which is very conducive to winning moves.

Modern washing machines allow their users to carefully adjust the speed of spin required. The same principle can be applied to the cobbled sections on Paris-Roubaix, with the level of difficulty giving an idea of just what sort of a spin the riders will find themselves in. At the end of the 1990's, the route on the Queen of the Classics included a stretch of tarmac that was considered to be too comfortable and especially conducive to regrouping, between the passage through Valenciennes and the Trouée d'Arenberg section, separated by twenty kilometres. The detour required to take in Haveluy, where a 2.5-kilometre cobbled lane is located, made it possible to put the riders in even more of a spin and to kick off a cull which only becomes even more formidable.
 
On entering the Haveluy section, a headstone pays tribute to Jean Donain, a very knowledgeable connoisseur of the area through his position as organiser of the Denain Grand Prix. It was Mr. Donain who suggested to Jean-François Pescheux, in charge of drawing up the route at the time, to incorporate this cobbled section that was capable of slimming down the pack. This malicious stretch of route was adopted from the 2001 edition onwards and the best strategists soon grasped the opportunities thrown up by these disjointed and sometimes flooded cobbles, even if they were still 100 kilometres from the finish. Moves made in Haveluy are not always successful, but last year, it was precisely at this point when Tony Martin and Tom Boonen, then team-mates and in pursuit of the breakaway, put in an acceleration that left Peter Sagan and Fabian Cancellara in their wake. Thereafter, the World Champion and the foremost future retiree in the pack were not able to regain contact with the race leaders…

Arenberg

On the world cycling map, some places appear in capital letters. Alpe d'Huez and Mont Ventoux are among them, as is the Stelvio in Italy, the Angliru in Spain and the Cauberg in The Netherlands. The review of these sites steeped in the history and soul of cycling inevitably stops at the Trouée d'Arenberg, which the peloton will take on this year at km 161.5. But 2.4km further, only some elite riders will still believe in their chances

Here is a bit of suffering in which they ride into headlong! When the time comes to lunge into the Trouée d'Arenberg, the peloton will be at more than 70kph. Once a year, the peaceful Drève des Boules d'Hérin, frequented by strollers, becomes the “Trench”, as it was renamed by Jacques Goddet, who borrowed WWI terminology to underline the severity of the challenge. Before heading in, the race runs along the Wallers-Arenberg mining site, which is also a symbol of extreme conditions, where coal miners plunged into the galleries during most of the 20th Century. It was precisely one of these hard-working labourers, Jean Stablinski, who suggested the idea of using this cobblestone sector, which was still unknown to the organizers, for the 1968 edition.

The winner of the 1958 Tour of Spain and 1962 World Champion didn't have a bigger dream than to win Paris-Roubaix, where he was more frequently unlucky than rewarded for his efforts (best result, 7th in 1964). However, Stablinski indeed made history as the only rider who suffered and sweated underground, then rode on the Trouée cobblestones. A monument bearing his name was inaugurated in honour of the "discoverer" of the spot following his death in 2007.

Over nearly 50 years, the Trouée d'Arenberg has been the theatre of glorious feats and twists of fate, until becoming something the favourites fear. While the most experienced teams try to anticipate it, the threat persists and the cobblestones do their damage. 1999 favourite, Johan Museeuw injured his kneecap and lost hope of victory on the cobblestones. Philippe Gaumont broke his femur while in contention for the podium in 2001. The punishment was not as harsh for Tom Boonen in 2011, but it was perhaps a puncture in the middle of this straight run cutting through the Raismes forest that saw his opportunity to become the record holder for victories slip away. The Belgian champion still has a chance to claim his 5th Paris-Roubaix success!

Mons-en-Pévèle

Three cobbled sections receive the 5-star classification synonymous with the maximum level of difficulty. The section of Mons-en-Pévèle, three kilometres long and exposed to the wind, marks the entrance into the last fifty kilometres. Those who make it out of this “trap” in the lead can consider that they are in with a chance of winning Paris-Roubaix.

Days that include more than 200 kilometres on a bicycle are not so frequent during the season. By the time the pack approaches Mons-en-Pévèle, they have already exceeded this distance. Furthermore, the build up of shakes on the cobbles has martyrized the riders' hands, wrists and legs for a cumulative total of more than 40 kilometres. Over more than three kilometres of especially bumpy cobbles, the elite group of the pack is reduced to a handful of potential winners. Only the strongest, those who have what it takes to triumph, are able to resist within the leading group, as the man in charge of the route, Thierry Gouvenou, explains: “This section is a genuine indicator of just how able a rider will be in negotiating the final part of the race”. In an even more categorical fashion, the winner of the 1988 edition, Dirk Demol, has the memory of “a place that is a real ordeal. It feels like it will never end. Yet, that is where you genuinely know who will not be victorious in Roubaix”.
 
Keeping up with the pace is not enough at Mons-en-Pévèle. When a champion of the cobbles is in control, he can also take advantage and move into action on this portion that boasts both a slope conducive to accelerations and a good distance to open up significant gaps. In 2000 for example, this is where Johan Museeuw, accompanied by Frankie Andreu, shook off the majority of his rivals before going on to pick up his second title. His heir in the Quick Step team, Tom Boonen, imitated this feat on the day of his third triumph (in 2009), by ramping up the pressure to reduce the leading group to 6 riders. The following year, Fabian Cancellara commenced a solo breakaway at Mons-en-Pévèle for the last 50 kilometres until the cycling arena in Roubaix.

Victories can be built here, but the cobbles of Mons-en-Pévèle can also shatter dreams. George Hincapie had never seemed so close to success, following his second place in 2005, when, in 2006, the fork on his bike broke, throwing him to the ground and leaving him with a broken collar bone. Misfortune or jinxes sometimes combine with mental and physical wear and tear which provoke punctures and falls. Last year, Fabian Cancellara saw his hopes of one last victory in Roubaix crushed at Mons-en-Pévèle when he fell, whilst Peter Sagan appeared to miraculously levitate over him! At Mons-en-Pévèle, action is always guaranteed…

------

2 more to come will be added
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on March 28, 2017, 10:10
Teams
AG2R La Mondiale *fr #ag2r
Astana Pro Team *kz #astana
Bahrain - Merida *bh #bahrain
BMC Racing Team *usa #bmc
Bora – Hansgrohe *de #bora
Cannondale Drapac Professional Cycling Team *usa #cannondale
FDJ *fr #fdj
Lotto Soudal *be #lotto
Movistar Team *es #movistar
Orica - Scott *au #orica
Quick-Step Floors *be #quickstep
Team Dimension Data *za #dimension
Team Katusha - Alpecin *ch #katusha
Team Lotto NL - Jumbo *nl #jumbo
Team Sky *gb #sky
Team Sunweb *de #sunweb
Trek – Segafredo *usa #trek
UAE Abu Dhabi *ae #uae
wildcards
Cofidis Solutions Crédits *fr #cofidis
Direct Energie *fr #direct
Fortuneo - Vital Concept *fr #fortuneo
Delko Marseille Provence KTM *fr #delko
Wanty – Groupe Gobert *be #wanty
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise *be #vlaanderen
Roompot Nederlandse Loterij *nl #roompot
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on March 28, 2017, 10:10
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CdwPww0WEAE5hfi.jpg)

4 wins (2)
*be Roger De Vlaeminck (1972 1974 1975 1977)
*be Tom Boonen (2005 2008 2009 2012)
3 wins (7)
*fr Octave Lapize (1909 1910 1911)
*be Gaston Rebry (1931 1934 1935)
*be Rik van Looy (1961 1962 1965)
*be Eddy Merckx (1968 1970 1973)
*it Francesco Moser (1978 1979 1980)
*be Johan Museeuw (1996 2000 2002)
*ch Fabian Cancellara (2006 2010 2013)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C7nj0oaW4AAUp23.jpg)

:web (http://www.letour.fr/paris-roubaix/2017/us/) :twitter (https://twitter.com/Paris_Roubaix) #ParisRoubaix
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on March 28, 2017, 10:47
not quite race news, but ASO has sent out a bunch of posters for Paris Roubaix  :cool

(http://i.imgur.com/fuUt8Cw.jpg)(http://i.imgur.com/sSpRBU2.jpg)(http://i.imgur.com/GVOVRmn.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/Ps2cP9f.jpg)(http://i.imgur.com/IVyWoZw.jpg)(http://i.imgur.com/slRQKeT.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/KgptRvN.jpg)(http://i.imgur.com/KnH8LIl.jpg)(http://i.imgur.com/yu4ifbE.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/QoO0pVV.jpg)(http://i.imgur.com/7SXpdPY.jpg)
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on March 28, 2017, 13:08
https://twitter.com/Paris_Roubaix/status/846693549835980802
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: DJW on March 28, 2017, 13:20
This ought to be included, one of my all time favourite videos to watch along with the 2016 PR BSP


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUFwms7f4wg
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on March 29, 2017, 14:27
https://twitter.com/A_ParisRoubaix/status/846452492208615424
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 03, 2017, 09:56
https://twitter.com/inrng/status/848820551770660864
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 03, 2017, 11:39
https://twitter.com/A_ParisRoubaix/status/848844865836396544
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 04, 2017, 10:45
https://twitter.com/Cyclingnewsfeed/status/849195477862141952
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 04, 2017, 12:40
Offical :* for the Pavé

SECTIONKILOMETRESPLACELENGTHRATING
29   97   Troisvilles to Inchy   2.2 :*:*:*
28   103.5   Viesly to Quiévy   1.8 :*:*:*
27   106   Quiévy to Saint-Python   3.7 :*:*:*:*
26   112.5   Viesly to Briastre   3 :*:*:*
25   116   Briastre à Solesmes   0.8 :*:*
24   124.5   Vertain to Saint-Martin-sur-Écaillon   2.3 :*:*:*
23   134.5   Verchain-Maugré to Quérénaing   1.6 :*:*:*
22   137.5   Quérénaing to Maing   2.5 :*:*:*
21   140.5   Maing to Monchaux-sur-Écaillon   1.6 :*:*:*
20   153.5   Haveluy to Wallers   2.5 :*:*:*:*
19   161.5   Trouée d'Arenberg   2.4 :*:*:*:*:*
18   168   Wallers to Hélesmes   1.6 :*:*:*
17   174.5   Hornaing to Wandignies   3.7 :*:*:*:*
16   182   Warlaing to Brillon   2.4 :*:*:*
15   185.5   Tilloy to Sars-et-Rosières   2.4 :*:*:*:*
14   192   Beuvry-la-Forêt to Orchies   1.4 :*:*:*
13   197   Orchies   1.7 :*:*:*
12   203   Auchy-lez-Orchies to Bersée   2.7 :*:*:*:*
11   208.5   Mons-en-Pévèle   3 :*:*:*:*:*
10   214.5   Mérignies to Avelin   0.7 :*:*
9   218   Pont-Thibaut to Ennevelin   1.4 :*:*:*
8   224   Templeuve (Moulin-de-Vertain)   0.5 :*:*
7   230.5   Cysoing to Bourghelles   1.3 :*:*:*
6   233   Bourghelles to Wannehain   1.1 :*:*:*
5   237.5   Camphin-en-Pévèle   1.8 :*:*:*:*
4   240   Carrefour de l’Arbre   2.1 :*:*:*:*:*
3   242.5   Gruson   1.1 :*:*
2   249   Willems to Hem   1.4 :*:*:*
1   256   Roubaix (Espace Crupelandt)   0.3 :*
TOTAL   55 km


https://twitter.com/Velorooms/status/849224741047160833
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 04, 2017, 12:44
remember the vote in who you think will win

http://velorooms.com/index.php?topic=8444.
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 04, 2017, 15:12
https://twitter.com/CafeRoubaix/status/849263078743134211
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: AG on April 05, 2017, 00:19
Damn.

 :(
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: hiero on April 05, 2017, 03:10
Damn.

 :(

Awww, AG!  This gives Boonen the spotlight on his last race! P Gilbert will be around for the coming classics! No Worries!

Honestly, though, looking at the QS lineup for PR, I am not hopeful for Boonen. This looks to me like anyman's race.
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: AG on April 05, 2017, 07:13
Dont get me wrong - Phil would have ridden for Boonen - and I am 100% sure that he would have been happy to do so. 

He would have made the QS team stronger though - given them another option to throw up the road or do some work late in the race for Tommeke.

I do think Tom will have a hard time on Sunday though.  The tactical situation is always tricky for the big favourites ... though Tom is in a much better place than Sagan right now.  Tom has options.
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 05, 2017, 07:58
Dont get me wrong - Phil would have ridden for Boonen - and I am 100% sure that he would have been happy to do so. 

He would have made the QS team stronger though - given them another option to throw up the road or do some work late in the race for Tommeke.

I do think Tom will have a hard time on Sunday though.  The tactical situation is always tricky for the big favourites ... though Tom is in a much better place than Sagan right now.  Tom has options.

agree with all of that, I bet Boonen has been doing a rain dance for months, I can see quickstep just turning screws from a long way out, and by the forrest be Boonen Niki Stybar and then go from there, this big lose for them if say Niki attacks and everyone blinks and says look your last ever race

are Quickstep/Boonen willing to do that?
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: AG on April 05, 2017, 08:20
yeah totally agree.

the numbers only work in Quicksteps favour if they are prepared to use them.

If they want Tom - and only Tom - to win ... then there is a much greater chance that none of them will win it.


I also think that they will go early and go hard.  They will be the aggressor from Arenberg on ... putting as many guys as possible in the moves going up the road ... and working hard to ensure that they have at least 1 strong guy up front
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 05, 2017, 13:02
https://twitter.com/Ride_Argyle/status/849590948371853312
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 05, 2017, 13:49
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8pfiFTWAAELT0f.jpg)

love this
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Mellow Velo on April 05, 2017, 13:53
 I never expected Phil to ride for one second.
I think he's only ever ridden once, 10 years ago and finished outside the top 50.
He hard a hard week, last week and could do with a spot of rest.
QS have an embarrassment of cobbles riches.
Meanwhile, he goes to Amstel as a hot favourite.
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: AG on April 05, 2017, 14:33
:*  AG's Star Rating   :* 


:* :* :* :* :*   Peter Sagan
Immense talent.  Will win Paris Roubaix someday - but will it be this year wearing the rainbow jersey?
Sagan has been around for some time now - 4 straight green jerseys, 2 rainbow jerseys ... but still only 1 monument.  He has had so much promise, but has had a long learning curve in these big races. 

He moves teams to Bora Hansgrohe this year - and has handpicked half his team.  So why, oh why has he picked such a poor one? :fp  Honestly, he will struggle against the might of the Quickstep team, as well as they weight of expectation and the alliances of others who will actively ride against him.   When you are the strongest - and by a considerable margin - you will find it hard to get riders to work with you. 

He needs to learn how to win again.   Has struggled a bit since MSR when he was strongest but got beaten on the line after being forced to do all the work.   Made a stand against Terpstra at GW - but I dont know that it will change much.

:* :* :* :* :*  Tom Boonen
Comes in here in great shape - and the sentimental favourite .. he has the entire cycling world behind him to go for the fairy tale.  Not just the fans behind him though - he comes here with a team full of superstars willing and capable of backing him up.  Quickstep have a super strong team and are backing him to the end.

2nd last year - and 2nd at the world champs as well, Tommeke doesnt seem to have lost a lot in the last years - and Roubaix is a race that you can win at a much later age.

In fact the biggest obstacle in his way may well be the strength of his team.  Be prepared for Quickstep to go early and go hard ... throwing moves and riders off the front often - in the hope that eventually one of them will stick.  Tom may be lucky and get to show his strength in the final, but its just as likely that with everyone looking at Tom, and not working with Sagan, that someone else gets away and fights for the win.

Will be a very interesting race, tactically speaking
 
:* :* :* :* :*  Greg Van Avarmaet
Ordinarily I would have only given Greg 4 :*'s .... but his form so far this spring has been monsterous and he has the strength to stay with the big guns here I think.

Up there at the end of MSR, wins at Omloop, E3 and GW and 2nd at RvV ... and that comes on top of an outstanding 2016 (winning Tireno Adriatico, stage win and yellow at the Tour, gold at the Olympics ... only the crash in spring ruined his fun).    Surely GVA has to break through and win a monument soon.   He comes here with an ok team - but one he will need to use well in order to overcome the sheer numbers of the Quickstep team.  He will need to be prepared to work with others too ... and given his super form, may be forced to do more than his share.

I did get the impression that Flanders was more his goal this year - but he will certainly be content with a win on the velodrome of Roubaix on Sunday.

:* :* :* :*  John Degenkolb
Not the sparkling form of previous years - but as a past winner, powerhouse and sprinter, Degenkolb cannot be understimated here. Stuyven, Rast and Theuns all will be of assistance (provided his team use them a bit more effectively than they did Felline at RvV)

:* :* :* :*  Alexander Kristoff
Has been a little quiet this spring.  He won the sprint in the bunch at MSR for 3rd place, but missed the moves at both E3 and GW.  His team had him out of position at 3 days of de Panne so he missed the move there too - but he worked very hard for a good hit out and ended up 3rd overall anyway.   And again, won the bunch sprint behind at Flanders for 5th.   He has been there or thereabouts for the big races, without actually being either in position or strong enough on the climbs to go with the moves.  That doesnt mean that he wont be strong enough on cobbles though ... big difference.

Expect him therefore to be up there and fighting - and with the likes of Tony Martin and Marco Haller working for him, I think he will be one of the strong men here.

:* :* :*  Nicki Terpstra
Another former winner, and someone who has been on good form this spring.  Missed out at GW when he refused to work with Sagan, was also good in E3 and DDV but had team mates in the moves so didnt get to show his wares.

At Flanders he struggled on the climbs - and would not have been part of it except for the crash of Sagan/GVA/Naeson as he had dropped off Sagans wheel on the way up.  Still, he made it back to GVA and was there at the end. 

Even after making GVA do all the work int he last 15 .. he was still outsprinted though - so for Terpstra to win it would be a solo move.   That isnt out of the question tactically though - with Quicksteps team that will no doubt be an option.

:* :* :* Oliver Naeson
I have been super impressed with him so far this spring.  What a great pick up for AG2R - and with Stijn Vandenberg to back him up, I would rate him a definite chance here if the big guns play games and leave the door open.  He certainly proved that he is strong enough to stay the distance.

7th at Omloop, 8th at KBK, 6th at DDV, 3rd at E3 and int he bunch at GW ... the 23rd at RvV isnt reflective due to the crash ... really great spring for him.

:* :* :* Zdenek Stybar
It has been an average spring so far for the cyclocross WC.  The problem with being in a team of superstars is that you dont always get the nod to go ... and with Gilbert, Boonen, Terpstra and Trentin all in equally good shape ... Stybar has often had to be the one waiting in the pack to see if the move gets brought back.

At RvV he was caught behind a crash and never made it back so was out of things quite early on - but has finished essentially in the bunch all spring.  But 4th at Strade Bianchi and 9th at KBK shows that he hasnt been slacking off too much - and we know that he is strong enough and capable over the cobblestones of France.

Still - will be working for Tommeke ... so will roll the dice and hope his numbers come up in the tactics of the day.

:* :* :* Dylan Van Baarle
Sad for Cannondale that VanMarcke crashed and is out injured - but they should be pretty happy with the performance of their "plan B" because he was super at Flanders.  Certainly a talent for the future - and if the cards fall his way could easily end up in the finale here.

:* :* :* Ian Stannard / Luke Rowe
I have given them both 3 stars as I am not sure exactly which will be team leader here - but both are strong, capable and good enough to hang with the talent here.  Not on the same level as Boonen and Sagan ... but if the door is left open, either of these guys are capable of riding through it and staying to the end

:* :* Jens Keukeleire
Hard to know how he will be - sick just before Flanders - but could be a surprise here


there are quite a few other :* riders that I havent mentioned here
Sacha Modolo has been in great form, DeMare would be a chance, Sylvain Chavanel has shows sparks of his old self, Edvald Boassen Hagen is well capable of doing something here, Tony Martin has a shot if something happens to Kristoff, Daniel Oss would be a good plan B for BMC, Lars Boom has the talent over the cobbles to surprise us.  Trentin too could be another card to play for Quickstep - and there are no doubt a number of others that I have missed off.

After all - its Paris Roubaix.  Anything can happen - and often does  :D
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 05, 2017, 14:43
I am not sure Sagan deserves his Fav label though I recon he might DNF been a bad spring for his standards
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: AG on April 05, 2017, 14:47
For his standards - sure.

Still

1st - KBK
2nd - omloop
2 firsts, a 2nd and a 3rd from Tireno
2nd at MSR
3rd at GW
missed the move at E3 and couldnt get back
and crashed at RvV when he was in a good position.

Whether he is strong enough mentally to cope with the weight of expectations is another matter totally.
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 05, 2017, 15:42
https://twitter.com/velowire_com/status/849632994298011648
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 05, 2017, 15:43
For his standards - sure.

Still

1st - KBK
2nd - omloop
2 firsts, a 2nd and a 3rd from Tireno
2nd at MSR
3rd at GW
missed the move at E3 and couldnt get back
and crashed at RvV when he was in a good position.

Whether he is strong enough mentally to cope with the weight of expectations is another matter totally.

maybe we expect too much, still a bit peeed at the Crash and bringing down the 2 Belgium's
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: killswitch on April 05, 2017, 18:41
No Pippo  :(

Want Tommeke to win if only for De Vlaeminck's reaction.  :P
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: LukasCPH on April 05, 2017, 19:50
Peter Sagan moves teams to Bora Hansgrohe this year - and has handpicked half his team.  So why, oh why has he picked such a poor one? :fp 
Maybe he should have settled for a lower wage for himself so that they could have attracted stronger support?
On the other hand, which other riders would have been available this off-season?

And if he wins on Sunday - which is not at all out of question -, this whole discussion will be forgotten. :)
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: search on April 05, 2017, 19:57
And if he wins on Sunday - which is not at all out of question -, this whole discussion will be forgotten. :)

yep, and to be fair, Burghardt and Saramotins (on paper at least) are excellent support for Roubaix.
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 06, 2017, 08:59
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvkbsX9-I7Y
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 06, 2017, 10:31
Phinney also out for #cannondale

Will Clarke gets a ride though one of his life in cycling goals was ride Roubaix so that is cool and a probable break member
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 06, 2017, 10:43
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dBpdDlHDKw
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: AG on April 06, 2017, 10:52
Phinney also out for #cannondale

Will Clarke gets a ride though one of his life in cycling goals was ride Roubaix so that is cool and a probable break member

wow - heavy cost from RvV for Cannondale.   

Still - with the form VanBaarle is in, they might end up happy enough
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 06, 2017, 12:02
https://twitter.com/CafeRoubaix/status/849940188994424833
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Servais Knavendish on April 06, 2017, 13:21

Maybe he should have settled for a lower wage for himself so that they could have attracted stronger support?
On the other hand, which other riders would have been available this off-season?




... spent more on their "Cooking Revolution" TV ad   :shh
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: hiero on April 06, 2017, 15:14
. . .

Whether he is strong enough mentally to cope with the weight of expectations is another matter totally.

He IS showing his irritation a little more each year, it seems. Maybe I'm just noticing more.

AG, your favs analysis is great. Just one problem with it - I think this year is going to be one for the unknowns again. Unless they can make some kind of early selection to a small group of strong men - like RvV - everybody big is going to be too busy watching the others.

I'd love to see Boonen win it - just as a farewell salute. But I don't think he's going to, much as it pains me to say. Nor do I think Sagan will take it - everybody really IS riding against him, time and time again. It seems to me even worse than riders not working with Canc in his day.
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 06, 2017, 18:33
https://twitter.com/inrng/status/850036300254150656
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: LukasCPH on April 06, 2017, 21:02
He IS showing his irritation a little more each year, it seems. Maybe I'm just noticing more.

AG, your favs analysis is great. Just one problem with it - I think this year is going to be one for the unknowns again. Unless they can make some kind of early selection to a small group of strong men - like RvV - everybody big is going to be too busy watching the others.

I'd love to see Boonen win it - just as a farewell salute. But I don't think he's going to, much as it pains me to say. Nor do I think Sagan will take it - everybody really IS riding against him, time and time again. It seems to me even worse than riders not working with Canc in his day.
I agree.

Not expecting one of the big favourites to win. It could be Trentin "doing a Knaven" ... or Kristoff (who I don't see as that big of a favourite this year for some reason). Stuyven is a dark horse as well.
Who knows.

What I'm sure of is that it will be a great race. :cool
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: AG on April 07, 2017, 00:23
He IS showing his irritation a little more each year, it seems. Maybe I'm just noticing more.

AG, your favs analysis is great. Just one problem with it - I think this year is going to be one for the unknowns again. Unless they can make some kind of early selection to a small group of strong men - like RvV - everybody big is going to be too busy watching the others.

I'd love to see Boonen win it - just as a farewell salute. But I don't think he's going to, much as it pains me to say. Nor do I think Sagan will take it - everybody really IS riding against him, time and time again. It seems to me even worse than riders not working with Canc in his day.

I do agree - I actually think that with everyone riding against Sagan it will be a lottery as to who manages to pull it off. 

I think Quickstep will keep pushing guys up the road hoping that the chase will be disjointed - and IMO there is a pretty good chance that eventually a small group staying away.  Which move will work?   that is the big gamble .....
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Echoes on April 07, 2017, 07:55
Want Tommeke to win if only for De Vlaeminck's reaction.  :P

He wouldn't say anything special. He doesn't really care about it, has said it several times. Anyway that won't happen.  :P
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Flo on April 07, 2017, 22:02
Scarred for life. Open at your own risk. Can't look at Tommeke the same way again :o
Spoiler (hover to show)
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Joelsim on April 08, 2017, 10:47
Scarred for life. Open at your own risk. Can't look at Tommeke the same way again :o
Spoiler (hover to show)

Cheesy beans.
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Joelsim on April 08, 2017, 10:51
I agree.

Not expecting one of the big favourites to win. It could be Trentin "doing a Knaven" ... or Kristoff (who I don't see as that big of a favourite this year for some reason). Stuyven is a dark horse as well.
Who knows.

What I'm sure of is that it will be a great race. :cool

In theory this should be the ideal race for Kristoff. Even if he's not in top shape he manages to win the sprint for 4th or 5th as seen in MSR and Flanders, in long, hard, races. He certainly gives it everything he's got. In previous years he's been unlucky. Dege is similar.

Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: t-72 on April 08, 2017, 13:06
In theory this should be the ideal race for Kristoff. Even if he's not in top shape he manages to win the sprint for 4th or 5th as seen in MSR and Flanders, in long, hard, races. He certainly gives it everything he's got. In previous years he's been unlucky. Dege is similar.

Kristoff has never had a good feeling about the P-R, but this year he has made some changes in preparations for the classics season which looks like pointing towards a prioritization of P-R relative to RVV: a later form curve peak and less focus on explosive hill climbs. However, I don't think Kristoff is good on the cobbles :)
That's of course an exageration as there are about 50 on this planet that can follow him, but, I mean - the cobblestones in RVV is a different breed (mostly of the good looking garden variety) compared to the long rustic cobble sections in P-R. So far in his career there is no doubt that Kristoff better matches the Vlaanderen cobbles than the P-R ones. Kristoff can endure the flat cobble sections, but he does not excel at them. The cobbles are not his competitive advantage.

Further to that, he rides his regular bike with fatter tires and he missed out on the #katusha Katusha team cobbles section recon ride yesterday due to a delayed flight. OK, he has previously (2015) commented that the recon ride never gave him much in terms of increased performance on race day. This hints to one of his weaknesses on varied terrain, he doesn't seem to be able to memorize the course and visualize it to guide his placement on the cobbles, he picks his route on visual impression as he rides. (Could learn something from #joker Markus Hoelgaard and #tss Andreas Vangstad or why not *no Kjetil Jansrud there...)

In other words, I don't think Kristoff is as much as a favorite as some thinks he is - but he can still win it. A more technical rider who can go faster over the cobbles can likely distance him on the Carrefour de l'Arbre or maybe as early as in the Auchy-lez-Orchies à Bersée/Mons-en-Pévèle area: from ~55km to ~45 km from the finish there are 6 km of cobbles grade 4 and grade 5 - that's got to hurt! This is technically the hardest part after the Arenberg, but much longer. Perhaps it does not get enough attention in the previews, but the tendency in this year's cobbled classics of winning moves from a looong way out suggest this will be the critical part of the race. 
My prediction now is Sagan, Boonen and dark horse EBH cut clear from here.. :shh
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Not My Circus on April 08, 2017, 13:39
Thought I'd add this to the L'Enfer Du Nord video must watch list...

De achterkant van 'de Hel' (The back of 'Hell') from Dutch broadcaster NOS in 2013

It makes me shiver for the haunting music, for the broom wagon, for the weary & battered, for the thousand yard stares, for Jerome Cousin being more French than a Gauloise, and for Chris Juul Jensen's "I'm f*5#ed man".

(http://i64.tinypic.com/2mwb4pl.jpg) (http://nos.nl/video/493569-de-achterkant-van-de-hel.html)

CJJ was the last man to make the velodrome some 26 mins behind the winner Fabian Cancellara.
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: search on April 08, 2017, 16:56
*be Het Nieuwsblad

:*:*:*:*:* Boonen
:*:*:*:* Terpstra, Degenkolb
:*:*:* Sagan, Naesen, GvA
:*:* Stannard, Démare, Durbridge, Hayman
:* EBH, Lampaert, Greipel, Kristoff, Stuyven
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: pastronef on April 09, 2017, 08:45
https://www.twitter.com/Mathew_Hayman/status/850958691226574848

 :cool
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: search on April 09, 2017, 09:27
more star ratings:

*fr l'Équipe
:*:*:*:*:* Boonen, Sagan
:*:*:*:* GvA, Degenkolb
:*:*:* Kristoff, Stybar, Terpstra
:*:* Greipel, Naesen, Stannard
:* EBH, Démare, Durbridge, Stuyven


*it Gazzetta dello Sport
:*:*:*:*:* Boonen
:*:*:*:* Sagan, Degenkolb
:*:*:* Stannard, Kristoff
:*:* GvA
:* Terpstra, Hayman
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Echoes on April 09, 2017, 20:28
We may give comments by now, can't we?

I'm just over the moon right now. Finally Greg wins a major classic after winning Paris-Tours and Ghent-Wevelgem and not any other classics, the greatest of them all and the one he least expected to win. It's just unbelievable. He deserves it more than anyone else for his competitiveness, his ability to endure pain (I still cannot believe he's done all his career despite the Haglund syndrome!), his fighting spirit and aggressive racing. He's on top of the world now. It cannot get higher than this. Everything that now comes is bonus.

Pretty sure that Sagan supporters will once again point to his bad luck but you only need to look at how he finished and crossed the Carrefour de l'Arbre to understand that the De Vlaeminck theory "puncture are no bad luck but a matter of clear-mindedness" applies to him. How far did he end? When you think that Naesen had even more bad luck and even Van Avermaet had bad luck at the worst possible moment. You cannot invoke that for Sagan.

Greg said he could not understand Styby's tactics. Neither can I. I mean behind was Boonen but also Degekolb and eventually also sprinters like Greipel or Démare came back. Styby had equal chance to beat Van Avermaet than Boonen to outsprint all these guys. I guess Quick Step wished Boonen to say farewell in style  but in the end he just say farewell in classless mood accusing Degenkolb of racing "the most pathetic race of his life". Right or wrong it's sad to end a career with such words. I don't blame Styby because knowing Lefevere it definitely was team orders. 

Also I'm very glad with Piet Allegaert's 18th. You remember my post last year when he raced the Tour of Alberta last year as a trainee for Trek:          http://velorooms.com/index.php?topic=8166.30


Oh and now glad to see that De Vlaeminck's record has survived the Boonen/Cancellara generation. Equalled but not broken.  :D
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Leadbelly on April 09, 2017, 20:34
https://twitter.com/quintencouckuyt/status/851131319694307328

.....and arrested by the cops according to some other tweets. :D
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: search on April 09, 2017, 20:35
yeah, a good race again, as usual. I don't think van Avermaet really was the strongest today, but he raced cleverly, attacked at the right time, and that's a major part of it as well. Personally I was a bit sad to see Oss having to sacrifice his own chances - but well, it paid off in the end.

I'm happy for Langeveld by the way - sure, Stuyven & Moscon did a great race as well, but it would have been sad if he had lost the podium due to Greg & Stybar playing games.
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: t-72 on April 09, 2017, 22:27

Also I'm very glad with Piet Allegaert's 18th. You remember my post last year when he raced the Tour of Alberta last year as a trainee for Trek:          http://velorooms.com/index.php?topic=8166.30


I admit I had forgotten everything I possibly knew about him and thought there was some kind of mistake in the results list! I was like WTF? who's that? - but yes, a very good result indeed reminds me of Tiesj Benoot ... was that 2 years ago?
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: AG on April 10, 2017, 00:43
it was a pretty good race - without being spectacular for any one thing.

Racing was on hard and early as no break ... so it was always going to be a struggle to the end.

Considering the long chase back on after a crash, GVA did well to be back up there - though for his chase he had teammates so that made a big difference.

I thought Oss was fantastic - and the decision to make Oss sit up was I thought an interesting one.  I thought Oss had a pretty good chance of making it if GVA didnt chase behind, and none of the others wanted to either ... but obviously BMC was as all in for Greg as Quickstep was for Tommeke

Bit sad for Tom that he was so strong, but not quite strong enough.  He wasnt quite up to it when it counted - when Greg bridged to Stybar, Tom should have been able to stick to his wheel ... but couldnt.

Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: search on April 10, 2017, 09:49
Greg said he could not understand Styby's tactics. Neither can I. I mean behind was Boonen but also Degekolb and eventually also sprinters like Greipel or Démare came back. Styby had equal chance to beat Van Avermaet than Boonen to outsprint all these guys.

I think playing the 'Boonen excuse' was alright. Stybar was 2nd already, and to be able to really have a chance to beat van Avermaet he needed to save some energy. Langeveld and Greg were always going to work anyway
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: t-72 on April 10, 2017, 10:50
One thing I question: What did the intense start of the race, with no attacks really sticking until 90 km do to the way the race unfolded later? Did anyone notice something out-of-the-ordinary swing of things in P-R? :slow
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Mellow Velo on April 10, 2017, 11:14
The mystery of the disappearing Terpstra is solved.....

(http://i.imgur.com/Cm2l9Nr.png)
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: AG on April 10, 2017, 11:18
I do think the intense start had a major impact on the race.

The big hitters - GVA, Sagan, Boonen etc - they needed a super hard race in order to win.  Otherwise the cooperation between them was possibly going to crumble (as it did with the Boonen/Sagan group at hte end) which might have given a move more of a chance off the front.

I admit to being a little surprised that Degenkolb wasnt a bit stronger - he seemed to be feeling pretty good until those last few cobbled sections when he couldnt bridge to the Stybar group along with GVA and Sagan
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Echoes on April 10, 2017, 11:20
I think playing the 'Boonen excuse' was alright. Stybar was 2nd already, and to be able to really have a chance to beat van Avermaet he needed to save some energy. Langeveld and Greg were always going to work anyway

I guess there's something in this sport you call sportsmanship...  :shh Styby could beat Greg. Of course he had cramps but Boonen was done at that time. Even if they came bakc he would have needed to outsprint faster guys than him. It's really silly. Boonen has already sunk the Belgian team in Doha. I think it's about time he leaves the peloton now.
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 10, 2017, 11:30
seems I missed a cracking race

(http://i68.tinypic.com/52ghhi.png)
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: search on April 10, 2017, 11:49
I guess there's something in this sport you call sportsmanship...  :shh Styby could beat Greg.

no, I don't think so. Doing the same amount of work, and from a three man group - maybe 1 out of 20 times. From my point of view, his only chance to win was by doing exactly what he did. Sure it's not good sportsmanship, but it's part of the game
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: search on April 10, 2017, 11:53
and as I - for whatever reason - received a press release about the Juniors' edition... here are some words from the winner

(http://atcommunication.cc/i/uploads/17520/p/Tom-Pidcock-Paris-Roubaix.png)
After the World Title in cyclocross I identified the Roubaix as a major goal for my on-road season. There was a group of 11 pacemakers ahead and I didn’t think I stood a further chance at victory. But with a nice acceleration I quickly managed to catch up to them. I was feeling good so at the entrance to the Carrefour de l’Arbre (editors’ note: one of the hardest cobblestone stretches) I gave another acceleration and I saw that no one followed me. This is when I realized I could win and I gave it everything I had. I am happy. Of course, this is a junior race, yet however, it’s still a special race…it’s very hard; I really ate a lot of dust. My road season doesn’t end here. There are still a lot of important events and I’m especially looking forward to the road racing World Championships in Bergen, Norway,” says Tom Pidcock.

Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: AG on April 10, 2017, 11:56
yeah totally agreed.  His only chance was to sit on and make GvA do the work.

And whoever it was in chat who said it was totally correct - Stybar would have been crucified at Quickstep and by the Belgian public if he contributed.  It was undoubtedly team orders that he not do a thing
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Echoes on April 10, 2017, 20:22
Stybar has a sprint and already has outsprinted Van Avermaet two years ago in Roubaix. He can outsprint him in a good day. He had cramps so that didn't prevail this year. Let us admit that he would have been defeated any time by Van Avermaet on the velodrome? Then why just sit? It's not unprecedented in the history of cycling that a breakaway is heading to the finish line for the win. I remember a comment about the 1986 edition of Paris-Roubaix. Sean Kelly came to the finish with the obscure Rudy Rogiers. The latter would've worked no chance against Kelly in the sprint. He took turns. Why? His answer was: just imagine that Kelly punctures. So just imagine that Greg punctures. Like in the Hem section, for instance. Not unprecedented either. But Stybar is not Rogiers. He has a sprint. He has the grinta to attack, he even did it. He had his chances against Van Avermaet. Terpstra's tactic at Ghent-Wevelgem was more comprehensible because he would work no chance against Sagan, because Ghent-Wevelgem is not Paris-Roubaix and there were fewer rooms for an attack and third you had Gaviria behind. But Quick Step's tactics with Styby was absurd. It's not unprecedented either. Lefevere has been a specialist in those dirty tricks for over ten years, I can list countless examples of that. How sad to see that such a horrible person is defended here.  :(

It's crystal clear that Lefevere wanted to win Paris-Roubaix with Boonen at all cost, not with Stybar. Styby claimed that he had no personal objectives on this Paris-Roubaix. He only came to help Boonen : https://www.rtbf.be/sport/cyclisme/detail_stybar-deuxieme-ne-pensait-qu-a-aider-tom-boonen?id=9576804 He who was a very ambitious cyclocrosser... That's really the vices of team spirit in cycling. I just saw that "De Tijd" published last Saturday a front page with a headline "With Boonen retiring, Quick Step loses their biggest marketing image". That tells a lot about Lefevere's will to win with Boonen and not with Stybar

If the breakaway held through that's because Greg judged that he could handle Stybar even with the latter wheelsucking and probably he noticed that the latter was not at his best. However just imagine that Greg decided to stop pulling as well because he would have judged it impossible to outsprint a fresh Stybar. Then the group behind comes back and Arnaud Démare wins. No freaking way Boonen could have worked a chance in the sprint. Then Styby would have been crucified in Belgium, at least in the Waasland, Greg's area (my family's area). Usually those dirty tricks do not work, not only they don't work but they are really ugly, acts of cowards and



Anyway Styby is super popular in Belgium, ever since the cyclocross years, he's got his fan club and all. Probably the most loved foreign athlete here. No worry about that!
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l\'enfer du Nord
Post by: Echoes on April 10, 2017, 20:43
By the way Greg Van Avermaet is of course front page of most newspapers in Belgium as well as Phil was last week, both Francophone ones and Dutch-speaking ones: Nieuwsblad, De Standaard, De Morgen, Het Laatste Nieuws, Le Soir, La dernière heure, La Libre Belgique, etc.

Also L'Équipe at a small picture of his on its front page.

Front Page of Het Laatste Nieuws. "Wat een kei" (Literally it means "What a Cobblestone" but it's a pun because "kei" can equally refer to a "hard man" or to a "cobble", I'm speaking under the control of the Dutch-speaking posters here ;)

"Van Avermaet Finally Has A Monument to Grab"

"Tom Boonen Ends his Career with a 13th Place"

(http://www.zupimages.net/up/17/15/yqto.jpg)
(http://www.zupimages.net/up/17/15/hlyh.jpg)

Yesterday 150,000 Belgians went to the beach. The rest were sitting behind their telly or standing alongside the roads of Northern France in order to see Tom Boonen win his5th cobble. But there were no Campiners among the first riders to turn up on the Velodrome of Roubaix. Greg Van Avermaet did! After the fastest ever Paris-Roubaix (average speed 45,204km) he still had the legs to win his first major classics - sorry Monument [no sorry you have to say "major classic"]. In such circumstances, you deserve a cobble. even more you are as hard as a cobble [the best way I can render the pun].

-----------------------

No it wasn't Tom Boonen's 5th. That one will no longer come. The people's hero was unfortunate. But let's not make too much fuss, winning or crossing the line as 13th what does it change to such a palmares? And even though Boonen was never in contention for the win [wink to what I said above], it still was a whole circus around the retiring champion. Boonen contributed to the race, smiled politely and said "it's time to go". That's what he said. In such circumstances you are as hard as a cobble (bis).



Post Merge: April 10, 2017, 20:55

(http://www.zupimages.net/up/17/15/sw7a.jpg)

Le Soir today

Van Avermaet in Boonen's Footsteps

The Olympic Champion won the fastest Paris-Roubaix in history (45.204kmh average speed). Thereby the Waeslander [they make a mistake it's "Waeslandien" and not "Waelandien" !!  :angry] finally could write his name to the palmares of a monument, the Queen of the Classics. Dropped with 32km to go, Tom Boonen finished 13th for his farewell


What I appreciated with Le Soir today is that beside this front page Paris-Roubaix is also the first pages of the sport part of the newspaper. There are three pages for Paris-Roubaix and as many for football news, plus a small article about the Basque Country. So even in the Walloon land road cycling can be more mediatic than football when major events are held (and provided a Belgian wins probably!).  ;)
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: hiero on April 11, 2017, 01:41
seems I missed a cracking race

(http://i68.tinypic.com/52ghhi.png)

Yes, you did. Available on replay, for sure tho.

IMHO, Stybar played it 100% right. He worked at the front until the final, oh, 10k or so? Then he played it right. He DID have Boonen still in contention behind him. And he needed to save energy as much as possible.

You guys WILL remember that I do NOT always approve of wheel-sucking. It you are going to wheelsuck, you at least have to make a decent showing on the front to help. If you just suck wheel and let another rider drag you to the line, just to out jump your engine? I am not keen on that. If Stybar was alone, and it was him alone against GvA and that other guy - I would be upset with him. But with Boonen right behind? Not. Completely reverses the tactical "sportsmanship" allowance.
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Echoes on April 11, 2017, 11:13
It begs the question whether Boonen was a real contender behind or not. How could he have handled Degenkolb or Démare coming back. Please don't talk nonsense. It was tactically inept. Why then couldn't Langeveld stop pulling with the excuse that Van Baarle was behind. Or Van Avermaet because Oss was behind. It's just ludicrous. There's always a good excuse. After Hem, the gap was over the minute and over 40" to Stuyven and Moscon. There was no way Boonen could come back.

You ARE approving of wheelsucking here.
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: search on April 11, 2017, 11:24
personally I was just referring to the point, that Greg couldn't (nor you)  "understand" Stybar's tactics - and I pointed out why I very much can. Because his (and the team's) chances to win increased that way.

Whether this is the preferred tactic everyone should use for all times or not, is a totally different subject to discuss.
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: AG on April 11, 2017, 11:53
totally agree search

there is a huge difference between saying "i am not working because of Oss or VanBaarle who have no history in this race, and were not even their own teams preferred option  ... and saying I am not working because I behind me is Tom Boonen who has won the race 4 times, and was 2nd last year.   In his last ever race. 

I do understand and agree with Stybar's tactics

Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Not My Circus on April 11, 2017, 12:27
and as I - for whatever reason - received a press release about the Juniors' edition... here are some words from the winner

(http://atcommunication.cc/i/uploads/17520/p/Tom-Pidcock-Paris-Roubaix.png)
After the World Title in cyclocross I identified the Roubaix as a major goal for my on-road season. There was a group of 11 pacemakers ahead and I didn’t think I stood a further chance at victory. But with a nice acceleration I quickly managed to catch up to them. I was feeling good so at the entrance to the Carrefour de l’Arbre (editors’ note: one of the hardest cobblestone stretches) I gave another acceleration and I saw that no one followed me. This is when I realized I could win and I gave it everything I had. I am happy. Of course, this is a junior race, yet however, it’s still a special race…it’s very hard; I really ate a lot of dust. My road season doesn’t end here. There are still a lot of important events and I’m especially looking forward to the road racing World Championships in Bergen, Norway,” says Tom Pidcock.



Just found an interview from young Pidcock.. and let's not forget World Junior cross champion too

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TVY-Bl9-x0&feature=youtu.be
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Echoes on April 11, 2017, 13:08
Jesus. He's 37 year old the four-time winner. He does not have his 2004 legs. He said it himself. The best Quickstepper last Sunday was Stybar, not Boonen. But he simply saw himself as a 24 year old kid. He already sunk the whole Belgian team in Doha because he thought he still was a top sprinter. Now he was about to sabotage a breakaway with teammate Stybar in it with a shot at the win by attacking on the Carrefour de l'Arbre with the risk of bringing back riders such as Degenkolb or Sagan. I was furious when I saw that. Any rider of that group had reasons to attack on the Carrefour but him !! It's about time he leaves because he really starts racing nonsensically against his own teams. I have never been a fan, too much of a showman and a playboy for me but can realise he was a champion in his glory years. Now younger riders should have a chance...


By the way Van Baarle was 4th at the Tour of Flanders and certainly and certainly the preferred option for cannondale at the start. Probably Langeveld proved to have better legs in the end. Just like Styby proved better than Boonen...   
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Not My Circus on April 11, 2017, 15:42
Hah! some tongue in cheek with a cheeky side of serious :lol

(http://i65.tinypic.com/2e58hvc.jpg) (http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/commentary/commentary-van-avermaet-can-become-superstar_435269)
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: just some guy on April 11, 2017, 17:00
Hah! some tongue in cheek with a cheeky side of serious :lol

(http://i65.tinypic.com/2e58hvc.jpg) (http://www.velonews.com/2017/04/commentary/commentary-van-avermaet-can-become-superstar_435269)

 :D
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Echoes on April 11, 2017, 21:39
I don't know if that article was meant to be serious or not but I'll risk taking it seriously. Simply it is the reason why I like Van Avermaet and hope (don't doubt) he'll remain the same. I don't want to see superstars, playboys, showmen on bikes but humble, discrete, low-profile (for some it's a flaw!!!) and dedicated guys like him. I keep saying Greg Van Van Avermaet is a real hard man, a true workhorses who can endure pain like no other. He's got the Haglund syndrome by which his heel gets chronical inflammation, he's won races with such a heel that neither you nor I could walk on, said Max Testa. When he is still fresh after a training session, he thinks it means he hasn't done enough. The worst punishment for him, two days without training. That is an example for me in my own everyday life. I can only admire such will-power.

I know that many observers would rather see "rock stars on bikes" than just cyclists and that's why they cannot stand him, they find him "annoying" because he's too "normal", "low-profile". That is because they don't care about the epicness of that sport, for them it's just fun. The same people defend the Hammer Series and iconise Sagan of course. Greg is just a cycling rider and that's more than enough for him!

And of course he wouldn't show off when he wins. When asked why he bit his gold medal at the Olympics, he just said "that's because everybody does that". So just because it's a convention otherwise he wouldn't do it. If he loses a race, he would be very quick to focus on the next one, which is the attitude of a true champion. Greg can be fun, ask Michael Schär about this. But off camera with his buddies not on the camera to seek attention.
 

Also yes Greg does not have the capacities for long range solo attacks. That is just for the best rouleurs, however claiming he's only waiting for the last decisive moment to attack is ridiculous. In Rio, at which moment did he attack? With 80km to go!
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Trudgin on April 11, 2017, 22:24
Whats a "Euro Faux Hawk"


and Humble?? :-x
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Echoes on April 12, 2017, 09:18
Yes humble ...
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Echoes on April 15, 2017, 08:22
(http://www.zupimages.net/up/17/15/7r1d.jpg)
(http://www.zupimages.net/up/17/15/xsx3.jpg)


Van Avermaet of Stone and Fire

(Le Soir – 10 April)

Cycling: New Belgian Triumph in Roubaix

The Olympic Champion won the fastest Paris-Roubaix in history, his first classic monument
From now on he joins the greatest lineage

Nothing frightens him, not even the insane rhythm of the crossing of the Hell. Nothing stops him, not Sagan’s or Boonen’s ardour any more than technical mishaps. Winner in Harelbeke and Wevelgem a fortnight ago, at the highest of the cobble at the Tour of Flanders, the Olympic Champion Greg Van Avermaet raised himself to another dimension while taking Paris-Roubaix, his first success at the end of monument of the clasics at age 31.
Rightly so he insisted upon the fact that nothing is mightier than the Olympic title, that the gilded medal which is carefully stored in his home in Grembergen triggers unequalled emotions at every glance. However deep in his yet more and more affirmed voice you could feel a hint of fragility. As though Greg Van Avermaet could do without the feeling of inferiority facing with the giants who chronologically preceded him in the hearts of the Belgians: Boonen or Gilbert with their established palmares.

This imperceptible lack blew away last Sunday in the shiny skies of the Hell of the North, it vanished in the halo of dust that took off above the Northern stone dried up by a summer weather. The Waeslander has finally written his name on the palmares of a monument, the Queen of the Classics. By corollary and almost anecdotally he offers his team BMC his first success in a great single-day race [disputable] but most of all he keeps on enriching a palmares that numerous champions have already envied him.

The man of a shining Belgian spring is necessarily him. Winner of three major contests  of the Flandrian calendar (Omloop Her Nieuwsblad – sic – late February, then the GP E3 and Ghent-Wevelgem a fortnight ago), second to an outstanding Gilbert height days ago at the end of the Tour of Flanders, Greg Van Avermaet finishes off his crazy Flandrian ride with a prestigious success, on the Roubaix velodrome all decorated in red-yellow-black, once again.
Where has he found this little extra that makes a huge difference? Where has he found this added soul that enables him to turn everything he touches into gold? In the misfortune he found in the Tour of Flanders, definitely.
Quote
Last Sunday I was inevitably disappointed with my 2nd place in Oudenaerde, mostly after that crash with Sagan and Naesen on the Old Kwaremont, against which I couldn’t do anything. I had nothing to blame myself.

This frustrating place had confirmed his excellent shape and sharpened his will even more, even though he never talked about revenge.

In the experience of key moments, as well. For two years he’s been systematically inviting “at the table” with the greatest, during the classics, championships or stages of the Tour of France. His athletic and psychological fullness enables him to no longer make any mistakes in the finales, without even knowing where his limits are… On Paris-Roubaix it won’t be forgotten that Greg Van Avermaet had already shown solid references (3rd in 2015 and 4th in 2013).

Finally, in these so peculiar circumstances of this Paris-Roubaix led at an insane pace (45.204kmh, new absolute record), on this dry and prominent cobble which favours power. While the cycling world was focused on Boonen’s farewell – the cobble’s goldsmith – the Waeslander had quietly prepared for it as soon as Wednesday far away from media effervescence. With a team that brought him confidence back and that made him tougher after doubts raised in the past weeks. In order to reassure himself he saw in the mild weather a sign of destiny:
Quote
Dust and heat I love it, these are the conditions I like best

The mixture of these elements are explosive and the cocktail soothed in Roubaix is exhilarating.
Quote
At last my dream has come true.
he sighed with a face that was pleated by the effort but a smiling eye.

On Sunday 9 April, Tom Boonen entered the legend. Greg Van Avermaet pushed the door of the Pantheon.

”Someday I’ll Target The Oldest”

Greg Avermaet, what makes you a “serial winner” now after so many high places in the past

Quote
Just confidence given to me by a first great victory on the 2015 Tour of France or obviously at the Olympics in Rio. After that it snowballed… The difference is both tiny and huge ! (he laughs) I’ve always known I could win a major classic. This victory took shape at a moment I didn’t really expected it though.

For long Paris-Roubaix has been shaped by the Boonen & Cancellara rivalry. Are we now ready for a match between Van Avermaet and Sagan.

Quote
First of all I focus on my job, my performances but Peter’s talent is such that he should obviously be one of the main protagonists in this type of classics in the next springs. I hope that we can have such type of rivalries which makes the sport nicer. I’m 31 which means four years older than Sagan but I still have a long way to go, I think (he smiles).

You’ve been Olympic Champion on a Carioca route that has been designed for climbers at first glance. Doesn’t that give you ideas for Liège-Bastogne-Liège?

Quote
Of course, it does. I know every climb of the “Doyenne”, it’s an area where I feel at home and where I love training. Winning Liege-Bastogne-Liège will someday be a primary objective but at this stage I cannot tell you when yet. Before thinking about it I want to win the Tour of Flanders.

--------------

Actually I would love Greg to go all the way to Liège this year (not for the win though). Perhaps he might look for both Tour of Flanders and Liège-Bastogne next year, the way Phil often did in the past, while skipping Roubaix which he’s now won. He may not be in top shape for the Omloop either. Too early!   
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Echoes on April 16, 2017, 15:13
Want Tommeke to win if only for De Vlaeminck's reaction.  :P


(http://www.zupimages.net/up/17/15/8ucf.jpg)

(Het Laatste Nieuws - 10 April)

De Vlaeminck: "I Still May Be Glad I Don't Lose the Record, May I Not?"

No Roger De Vlaeminck on the Velodrome this year. The 4-time winner and co-record holder is still recovering from a surgery at the vocal chords [Hope it's all right because it's a bit scary for a 69 year old :o] and followed the 105th edition at his home in Kaprijke as announced, on his cozy seat. With coffee and ... "four cakes", he laughs. After the race De Vlaeminck has kept from spectacular quotes. Last year in the VIP village of Patrick Orlans he showed himself glad and relieved that Tom Boonen didn't win but Hayman. That eventually boomeranged back into him. Unfairly. That's why: go as you please, Roger. Just be yourself. "That can, can't it?" He carefully asked.
Quote
What is for God's sake wrong with a guy who is happy that he does not lose his record. As though Usain Bolt would jump a hole in the air if his 100m and 200m were bested. Could you imagine that? No, I guess.

De Vlaeminck quickly added that he has nothing against Tom Boonen.

Quote
Tom is a real cool guy. A few years ago at the start of the Tour of France in Rotterdam, he was the only one among the current peloton start to come and greet me and have a chat. I haven't forgotten that. Of course it would have been great for him if he had won that 5th Paris-Roubaix but I still find it great that we could still share the record until new orders. By the way I also share his opinion about the race. I saw again too much passivity. Naesen rode a fantastic race. Van Avermaet and Stybar were top. But for the rest they raced way too little, dude. Didn't they?


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This last quote is testament of what I've always said on several boards. De Vlaeminck has never shown any enmity towards Boonen on the contrary. I have quotes of his about Boonen since 2004 in magazines, newspapers or on TV show. Of course he has a big ego and is still proud of his record but he's said several times that Boonen outrecording him wouldn't stop him from sleeping. Actually he's always appreciated Boonen a lot more than Museeuw. A bigger talent in his opinion and for sure "officially" he disliked Museeuw for his modesty (the way he let teammates win and was glad about that, in Roger's eyes that couldn't. As a leader you should win yourself, he didn't like it when Boonen was glad about Pozzato's win at the 2006 Milan-Sanremo) but I suspect he also discarded Museeuw for the dark side issues. This being said, he clearly did not wish Museeuw to break nor even equal his record but did not show as much passion about that when Boonen or Cancellara threatened it. Moser is also a guy he hated (for personal reasons while he admired the rider) and was relieved he did not equal him. But I keep saying he would rather his record be broken by Boonen than by one of these two other guys. Unlike many Boonen-fans thought ...
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Echoes on April 16, 2017, 19:22
(http://www.zupimages.net/up/17/15/a785.jpg)


Still Het Laatste Nieuws


“Golden Greg” keeps just winning,
“Tom Has 148 Victories, me 31 of them. I Still Have Work”

[This is what you call humility]

New Challenge
Winning the World Tour
Where does that hang on? The Van Avermaet statistics from this spring are bluffing. If he doesn’t win, then in the worst case he’s second. In Roubaix it was a prize, next Sunday at the Amstel he is once again a contender for win and in Liège-Bastogne the week afterwards, it also could. Great!

Paris-Roubaix is a peak but not a soon end. Van Avermaet is in the shape of his life. Next Weekend in the Amstel Gold Race he will again be a favourite [he at least was a contender].

Valerio Piva says:
Quote
He will be our leader anyway. We don’t have anybody else of his standard. In order to win the Amstel you need to be able to beat Sagan, Degenkolb [???] and Matthews. We only have one rider who can.

At BMC they don’t need to ask Van Avermaet. Now that he won the Hell Classic that might have changed but in theory he would always say that he has more chance to success at Amstel Gold than at Paris-Roubaix. So be sure that next Sunday Van Avermaet will again start with ambition.

Allan Peiper, the other team director at BMC says:
Quote
In theory he is also on the list at Liège-Bastogne-Liège the week after. Greg is maybe less explosive than Valverde or Contador on the Ardennes climbs but he can also win that race. My main idea is that Greg has been “pushing” for too long and then from next week on he’ll be competing against fresh riders. That can be a problem. On the other hand: this is Van Avermaet. He’s got unbelievable capacities to go deep. And not just once. Every time you think he’s broken down he goes on the attack once again. You don’t see that too often with riders.

Then he may also take his chance at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, you’d think but Peiper remains careful about it.
Quote
It’s not the idea to press out the orange juice. It’s tempting to say yes if a rider is so much “in the flow” but we need our leader all year long and then it’s not smart to press him out like a lemon right now.

Irrespective of the fruit you would compare Van Avermaet to, Peiper’s point is clear. Overdoing can be harmful, even for a rider who can make a series of victories and high places. Peiper would rather think about the long term and suggests a new challenge for Van Avermaet.
Quote
He’s in the lead at the World Tour. With a huge advantage. Why wouldn’t he try to stay there for the rest of the year?

A hard mission because most points are yet to win in the big stage races which favours the stage racers. But it’s possible. Sagan proved last year that it was possible for a classic rider to win the World Tour. Moreover Van Avermaet already has a huge bonus against his opponents after his wonderful spring. Today he’s got 2,398 points, almost twice as many as #2 Sagan.

Still Undecided

And so it’s still unclear whether Van Avermaet will effectively race ‘Liège’ or not.
Quote
We decide after the Amstel
says Piva. Peiper is correcting:
Quote
We may already decide during the week but not now, so close after the race. First we should take it easier. We sure will ask Greg’s opinion on this. We want our rider to decide along about their agenda.

Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Echoes on April 16, 2017, 23:38
(http://zupimages.net/up/17/16/kbwz.jpg)

Another Unlucky Day for Disappointed AG2R Rider

“Needed Three Bikes and Four Pairs of Wheels”

(Het Laatste Nieuws – 10 April once again)

Oliver Naesen (26) was by far the unlucky guy of the last eight days. After crashing with Van Avermaet and Sagan in the finale of the Tour of Flanders, Mother Nature favoured him even less yesterday.
Quote
Bed luck belongs to Paris-Roubaix they say. Yes but each in turn, you see? Not always the same.

After finish Naesen had once again a misfortune: he had to undergo a doping test. It gave him the chance to put his adventures in the Hell in order.
Quote
Unfortunately it can hardly be summed up. On the second section I crashed after which I had to chase for a very long time in order to get back. I wasted a lot of energy there. Once I got back I had a flat. I once again got back. Always at a moment when the peloton was tearing down, nota bene. And then … it was even worse: both front and rear wheels flat. But I still came back and like a wonder I physically recovered. On the Carrefour de l’Arbre I came close to the Boonen pelotonnet  and 30” behind the Van Avermaet group. A high place was still within reach until … my gear shifting broke. Yeah then it was over and out, you know.

“Could Have Won”

Naesen added a weird sentence to it.

Quote
Do you know was the worst of it all is? I still feel fresh. But what can I do? Nothing, you know. Today I raced on three different bikes and with four pairs of wheels. That is really sh*t. I could have won.

Next Sunday Naesen races the Gold Race. With such legs … (Ollie interrupts the journalist)
Quote
There you have another pack riders, you know. Always waiting for that that gives. And honestly? Fot the moment I don’t give it a sh*t damn. I’m heavily disappointed.
Also his AG2R teammate Stijn Vandenbergh wasn’t spared.
Quote
Twice flat and a crash. Yet I felt strong but I’ve also had my share of bad luck this spring.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Vintage Naesen always so spontaneous with journos. :)
Title: Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
Post by: Echoes on April 17, 2017, 11:42
I'm sorry to bother you with another article but it's about Lotto-Soudal and the mighty Jürgen Roelandts and so it should be shared here: the Wevelgem hero of 2015 ;) It's still from Het Laatste Nieuws

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Finally Some Good News for Lotto-Soudal

Wallays in a long escape (23rd), Greipel in Top10, Roelandts with the final lead group (22nd)

“We Still Exist”

Lotto-Soudal almost wrote their Easter story: rise up from the Dead but cramps necked Jürgen Roelandts (31) in the final lead group with Greg Van Avermaet. What remains is the nice team work and Greipel’s 7th place.

The natural law of the jungle – survival of the fittest[1] – does not fit less in Paris-Roubaix. Roelandts may have experienced it in the finale. Yet he seemed to be the strongest within Lotto-Soudal, who delivered a strong collective performance and of whom Jelle Wallays gave the tone with a long escape. The team blatantly went for rehabilitation, that might and had to be after a poor spring. Not only did Roelandts help bridging the gap with the lead duo Oss-Stuyven with 40k to go but also was in the lead group with Van Avermaet up to the crucial section of the Carrefour de l’Arbre. That honoured his reputation. But on the Carrefour de l’Arbre Roelandts was dropped mercilessly whereby Lotto-Soudal lost their card for a podium.

Roelandts admitted he was physically demolished:
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Cramps in my hip came up. I had to recuperate a little in order not to cramp any longer. I lost 50 meters and thereby I had to do it alone on the Carrefour de l’Arbre. After that you no longer come back on Paris-Roubaix, over and out. I’ve had to deal with sinusitis sinds March. If I were 100% then in a super day I could have been along. Now it just didn’t prevail. I was in the good breakaway and being the last to drop is crap. Shame for the guys. The whole team has raced for one another. We were with the five of us in  the top30 but the finish-off was missed. In the real Flemish races this year we always came short.

Marc Sergeant had the same dual feeling. Unrecognizably Paris-Roubaix showed improvement – Lotto-Soudal raced their best ‘Flemish’ spring races – but eventually the team remains empty handed.

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Our man was along in the lead group but at the key moment he was no longer there. We notice that it’s clearly a little beter but thereafter we still have a reasonable team. Wallays raced a fantastic race and Greipel held his word.

“Greg Out of Proportion”

The German sprinter had a top10 place, if not for him for the team. Greipel was 7th. His analysis:
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With Roelandts we had prospects for more but on the Carrefour de l’Arbre he didn’t have the legs to keep up with the best. Collectively we had the best possible results. We showed that we still exist.

Greipel himself attacked several times but knocked on his limits:
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I tried for it but Paris-Roubaix is no kindergarten. We are not playing with sand even though there’s a lot of sand here. Only the strongest remain.

And the strongest of all forces the admiration of Marc Sergeant and Lotto-Soudal:
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Greg is out of proportion. Now he’s got the coolness to never panic. Stybar had a two bike lead but Van Avermaet came back and overtook him with an extra three bike lead. I’ve still rarely seen that.
 1. in English in the text