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t-72

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BMC news
« Reply #210 on: March 01, 2016, 21:29 »
He was already pretty good in the US pro challenge last year. I am not saying that was a race at top level (except in terms of altitude :) ) but he was already winning stages at 2.HC six months ago and that's got to count for something. I think he can be a serious contender sooner rather than later.


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  • L'arri

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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #211 on: March 15, 2016, 15:58 »
    Philippe Gilbert will not start Milan-Sanremo or the Ronde.

    In the former case, he is still not recovered from his PN DNF and in the latter, it's a team decision.

    He feels OK himself but tests suggest otherwise.

    http://sporza.be/cm/sporza/wielrennen/1.2601798 (NL)
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  • Cycling is a Europe thing only and I only watch from Omloop on cause I am cool and sh*t
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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #212 on: March 16, 2016, 00:26 »
     :TT :TT :TT :TT :TT :TT :TT :TT :TT
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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #213 on: April 13, 2016, 07:42 »
    Gilbert: on the road a cyclist is totally defenceless

    Edited for brevity

    "We have followed the procedure," explains the Belgian champion (sic). "Until we'd talked to the police, we couldn't discuss this despite the various versions of events which have appeared in the press. Our version is this:

    "Three of us were riding on the road between Spa and Theux, the third being a tourist who had joined us as often happens. This guy was on our wheel, so we were still two abreast rather than three. A car tore past us very close on a risky section of road and we reacted by shouting and with hand gestures."

    Loïc Vliegen continues: "the vehicle slowed down to wait for us. The window was open on the left side. I let the driver know I was disgusted. The man swerved the car into me and hit me but I was able to hold onto the car to stay upright. The driver grabbed by arm by the sleeve of my jacket. The car then accelerated dragging me over to the centre line of the road where we barely avoided a frontal collision. The car coming from the opposite direction luckily managed to stop. I was scared for my life because I couldn't move. Now I was able to wrest my arm free, which wasn't easy on the bike."

    Gilbert: "the vehicle drove off as in a hit-and-run situation. We saw it again by chance in the centre of Theux where there was a lot of traffic. We demanded an explanation from the driver who swore at us, called us all sorts of names and tried to play down the incident. A fight ensued which had heavy consequences for me because my finger broke in three places. We've got several witnesses including another driver who saw everything.

    "I left Belgium eight years ago. [Pepper spray] is freely available to buy in France. I carry it because I've already been attacked several times while training. A cyclist is totally defenceless against anyone. I've already been involved in some violent episodes. It happens."

    Earlier today, the public prosecutor in Verviers confirmed that a complaint had been submitted by the driver concerning the use of a pepper spray in the events of this case.

    http://www.lesoir.be/1179319/article/sports/cyclisme/2016-04-12/gilbert-sur-route-un-cycliste-est-sans-defense-face-autrui (FR)
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  • L'arri

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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #214 on: April 13, 2016, 08:09 »
    While acknowledging that he hadn't seen what happened earlier Henri Bredo, a resident of Theux who was moving house at the time, told La Meuse what he saw of the fight in the town centre:

    "I saw these cyclists in an extremely worked up state, banging on a car, then opening the door and trying to pull the driver out of it. Fists were flying in all directions."

    The passenger of the car, who was the driver's brother, got out of the car and the fight exploded. [A deliberately convoluted French sentence follows describing punches to the face without saying who was throwing them but the allusion is to Gilbert because he missed a few and hit the car, which probably explains the broken finger - L'arri]. Then Philippe Gilbert pulled out a canister to spray the two men.

    "At that point, I didn't know he was Gilbert. I just saw the BMC jerseys," says the witness. "When I found out later, I couldn't believe it. Then Gilbert's brother, who was in the newspaper, said he often carried this aerosol thing with him when out training."

    [Bredo] intervened to stop the fight. "I told them: stop all this now, it's over the top. Then they pushed me. At that moment, a bar owner came out to calm things down." This person also got pepper sprayed but he does not intend to lodge a complaint with the authorities.

    "To me the reaction of the cyclists was a bit exaggerated, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm a fan of Gilbert," claims Bredo, "When I saw these two riders going for the driver, I don't know what happened before that. I reckon there was certainly something, some spark, for Philippe Gilbert to go off like that."

    Afterwards the cyclists left. The driver of the vehicle was on the ground, his eyes full of spray, witnesses told us. He went to the police. "The police came to take our statements," confirmed an employee of the bar.

    http://www.lameuse.be/1545972/article/2016-04-10/henri-bredo-a-ete-temoin-de-la-bagarre-entre-automobilistes-et-cyclistes-impliqu (FR)
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  • Echoes

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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #215 on: September 12, 2016, 20:39 »
    Interview of Golden Greg for the Morgen on September 9 (before the two French-Canadian races)




    Praised and celebrated, Van Avermaet still wants nothing but racing

    I can also win Liege

    Greg tried his best to keep his condition and train well despite all the agitation around him after his Olympic success: he’s far more often requested for interviews, even by the foreign press, the people in his hometown Hamme-Zogge get crazy. Wait & see if it worked [meanwhile we’ve seen that]. It’ll be a tough winter. He was already accustomed to all kinds of obligations but there’s gonna be more of them by now.

    Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix are very important to him. He also wants to be World Champion. He feels like he’s got it in him. This year he does not say it’s his big objective, he’s gonna be marked and the route does not suit him.

    This season, he no longer needs any win but any win is a good bonus. It’s much easier to recover from a win than from a crash at the Tour of Flanders. I’ve always had good results in Canada.

    Quote
    I got more economical but winning a race like a robber, I cannot.

    The Tour of the Low Countries is nothing. There’s only one nice stage, to Geraardsbergen. He finds it disappointing that there are no Ardennes stages.

    His main victories are all on hard routes and he also contemplates trying to win Liege. He was 7th in 2011 and that was not the same Van Avermaet that he is not sitting in front of you. He thinks he has his chances to win Liege but it’s still not on his agenda. First he wants to win the Tour of Flanders.

    He still tries to race in the same way despite being more economical. In Rio, he was always in front. It’s still his way to win. He cannot win like a stealer. He likes racing hard races better. Then he can make the difference.
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  • "Paris-Roubaix is the biggest cycling race in the world, bigger than the Tour de France, bigger than any other bike race" (Sir Bradley Wiggins)

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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #216 on: September 13, 2016, 18:49 »
    Today Gazet van Antwerpen made an article about the rivalry between Van Avermaet and Sagan.

    (I deliberately cropped the pictures with the Slovak’s wheelies, we don’t need such foolishness and lowliness)



    Two top riders, two bosses and yet striking differences.
    “Sagan is a real personality. A blabbermouth speaking lots of languages. […] While Greg … yeah, Greg is Greg. A personality in his own way. But also a Fleming? He is naturally quieter. Will much less faster open his mouth.” Says Wilfried Peeters.

    They all agree that it’s been long since a duo has been so dominant in single-day races as Sagan-Van Avermaet this year. With the two World Cup events [sic] in Canada as an absolute peak.

    “Today you simply cannot say who’s the best with the slight nuance that Sagan has more speed on a flat finish while Van Avermaet is better on the tougher routes – the Sagan heavier body is impairing his performances there, but only by a couple of percents.” Says Frederik Willems.

    “They are absolutely two different personalities. Sagan is the star. The man with whom you can always laugh [???]. Besides, he’s somebody who stood there very young. He’s a natural-born winner. While Greg who is already naturally much more humble has needed a lot more years and work to be where he is now. Be careful: there’s nothing wrong with it. On the contrary, it’s estimated at its true value. But that’s really him. Everybody likes Sagan, everybody appreciates Van Avermaet. Do you feel the difference?” says Dirk Demol.

    “Sagan is the acrobat with aura. Van Avermaet is a hard worker who keeps quiet in all circumstances.” Peeters again.

    Sagan has never had to overcome doubts. He turned pro and immediately became a leader and a winner. He’s always had that prestige. With Greg, it’s different. Let’s be honest: for him, it’s long been a story of “just not”. He had to overcome doubts. Even within his own team. Only when Gilbert was kept from the Tour of Flanders against his will, he got full trust from BMC. The audience and the peloton also feel that. It defines your prestige” Willems again.

    Jan Bakelants realized during the last Tour of France that Sagan was more than [sic] the playful kid he’s sometimes referred to. He gave the example of riders weeing on the bike, whereby urine lands on riders behind them [lol]. “Sagan saw that and wiped out their mantle” [still a kid’s attitude if you ask me, lol]

    “Greg will never seek public attention. Sagan on the other hand.” Willems again.
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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #217 on: September 14, 2016, 21:41 »


    Van Avermaet, Sagan’s “bête noire” [“bogeyman”?, I don’t know how to exactly translate that]

    Het Laatste Nieuws made last Monday an article about the four wins by Van Avermaet against Sagan this year (so far): Omloop, Tirreno Stage 6, Tirreno GC (in my opinion, I have to concede that it was mainly due to time bonuses and the TTT but well) and Montreal. To which they added two wins last year: a Tirreno and a Tour of France stage. They however conceded that Sagan outsprinted Van Avermaet 4 times as well: in California, twice at the Tour of France and in Quebec.

    They noted that though many sprinters outsprinted Sagan in bunch sprints because Sagan is no pure sprinter, only Van Avermaet has regularly outsprinted him on hilly terrain. Kwiatkowski did it in the E3 and Matthews did at the Tour of France but that’s it (I think they forgot Cancellara at the Strade Bianche).

    However they still claim that Sagan is a superman and Van Avermaet a damn good rider because if the finish is flat or Sagan has a top day, then he wins (really?). Greg admits that in a mano a mano, Sagan would win more often than he does.

    Greg does not appreciate being set up against him in a direct dual. He says it’s a challenge for the whole peloton to beat him, not just for him.

    Sagan rarely talks about his opponents and he does not always digest his losses to Van Avermaet easily. For example the British press reported that Sagan did not appreciate the Van Avermaet win in Tirreno, hence he did not shake hand on the podium but Greg claimed that he got congratulations. Then when Greg was Olympic champion, Sagan claimed that Nibali was the strongest [I’ve read other articles about that. In an interview it really seemed to disgust him from cycling because it’s the evidence that the strongest rarely wins, according to him] and Greg replied that he was not really wrong, Nibali was the strongest but crashes belong in races [I would add that it was Nibali’s own mistake, perhaps Henao can consider himself unlucky].
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  • just some guy

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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #219 on: September 16, 2016, 22:15 »
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  • t-72

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    BMC news
    « Reply #220 on: September 17, 2016, 09:11 »
    It's worth reading the piece that Rogers wrote. At least if you think a good report on failure is equally interesting or better than the glossed-over success stories that come from some team's PR machines.
    However, there is another perspective here - BMC obviously expects TJ to live and train in Europe for very long time periods, away from his family. They seem to believe that if you don't live in one if the same three towns as the rest of the peloton, you are not dedicated enough. I thought they would know better by now, they sent away riders for that type of lack of dedication before, and one of those has collected two monument wins since leaving BMC.
    At #katusha Katusha, Aleksander Kristoff has been granted the freedom to live and train where he thinks it is best for him, and he spends a lot of time at home in Stavanger, combining the roles of world-class athlete and a father. It makes you wonder about BMC, how could they think that someone putting in long days on the roads around Stavanger in winter is *not dedicated*? Just a faint glimpse at weather statistics should indicate quite the opposite.
    Now it seems they are giving TJ much the same treatment - what if they let him live in Aspen with his family most of the year, race Tour of California as TdF preparation as he used to in his breakthrough years, and just generally let him do the things that has been proven to work well for him?
    It seems to me that TJ's story is just another case of BMC being to eager to take 24 h control on what their riders do and change the way they work and live their lives - when they were already quite good at it and not much change was needed. Both BMC and TJ should learn from this but if I was TJ, Iwould look very closely on how Kristoff achieved his success once out of BMC....and by the way, #katusha could use a solid reinforcement in the GC department. :)


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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #221 on: September 17, 2016, 10:57 »
    They seem to believe that if you don't live in one if the same three towns as the rest of the peloton, you are not dedicated enough. I thought they would know better by now, they sent away riders for that type of lack of dedication before, and one of those has collected two monument wins since leaving BMC.
    Very much this.
    I have a hard time believing that van Garderen would suddenly turn into a GT winner if he left BMC, but it's clear that they don't get the best out of him.

    One difference between Stavanger and Aspen is the time zone, though.
    From Stavanger, you have max. 3 hours of flight to anywhere in Europe, and no (or next to no) time difference.
    From Colorado, it's a transatlantic flight to Europe and many hours of jetlag.

    But that's no reason not to try to make it work. It feels as if many teams yes, I'm looking at #sky in particular, but apparently also #bmc - have one and only one way of doing things, and try to fit their riders into that plan, instead of making plans that fit the riders.
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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #223 on: October 07, 2016, 16:09 »


    (Belang van Limburg, yesterday)

    Van Avermaet, Exhausted to the Desert

    That still can, it seems. And that's due to his heavy half season, race mentality, post Olympic celebrations and an uncontrollable training lust. Even the Olympic champion is just a man.

    Before the Tour of Lombardy Greg van Avermaet said he would finish it but he didn't.

    Quote
    I raced the whole day wholeheartedly but when you drop and there are 50 riders ahead of you than you know it all.

    Van Avermaet's amount of race days is not incredibly high: 77. In 2014 he stopped at 90 and was also 5th at the Worlds but the distribution of those race days makes it heavy.

    On 15 May he came back to racing after his collarbone break at the Tour of Flanders. Thereafter he clocked 60 race days in 142 [!!!!] Almost one in two. And that in a span of time in which rest and training are almost as important is as racing.

    Jose De Cauwer argues:

    Quote
    Greg doesn't think that way. For him it's not like: more training less races but more training more races. He simply cannot swallow the idea of watching the race on TV at home.

    Valerio Piva:
    Quote
    Greg cannot either race without going full gas. He cannot let aside a chance to win a prize

    Another reason is the Olympic Gold in Rio.

    De Cauwer:

    Quote
    Now for Greg a race last for two hours longer than between start and finish. All those podiums, autographs ... It will contribute to make him think about his agenda better and to be better 'coachable'. Besides, Qatar should not be his Worlds either

    Jeeez, I hope that Greg does not change anthing at his approach to cycling. It's great to see him fight for every race.  :cool
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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #224 on: November 01, 2016, 08:29 »
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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #228 on: March 04, 2017, 08:57 »
    Interesting article about Golden Greg in Sport Foot Magazine on Wednesday 22 February. That was before the Omloop. I have even more respect and admiration after reading the article than before. During the live coverage of the race, Michel Wuyts of Sporza referred to it. What interested him is Max Testa saying that Greg can no attack when he is at 90% of his ability and not just at 98 or 99%.

    I only have the French version. Sorry for the Dutchies here.  ;)

    Also it's mainly an interview with Max Testa, translated into French (also been into Dutch). So I've just translated back but my English vocabulary is not quite as rich as Mr Testa's is, in particular with regards to scientific terms, so it might seem odd if you think Testa used those words. Obviously he did not, so just keep in mind that it's just a back translation by myself. Hopefully I haven't betrayed his thoughts and it all makes sense.  ;)

    I've also left out an article about "the Omloop curse" which implies it's statistically impossible to win Omloop or Kuurne and other classics. It's just statistics and superstition, so not interesting I think.











    Max Testa

    “The Worst Punishment for Greg? No Training for Two Days!”

    Half an hour after the sprint that would propel Greg Van Avermaet to everlasting glory in Rio Max Testa posted a picture on his Facebook page:
    Quote
    2016 Olympic Gold Medalist on the right, proud coach on the left ! Fantastic race today Greg ! Congratulations !
    You also find that picture on the home page of the website Max Testa Training. It was taken after Van Avermaet’s victory at the Tour of France stage in Le Lioran. That day, the American placed other selfies with the Belgian rider on his Facebook account.

    This illustrates the close but little known tie that exists between the Belgian rider and the famous sport doctor who has been present in the peloton since the mid-eighties. At that time he was busy with the riders of the US team 7-Eleven such as Andy Hampsten, Davis Phinney or Jonathan Boyer. The team had been founded by Jim Ochowicz, present-day manager of BMC. Since 2007 Testa (61 years old) is the head of a medical cell in the team but he also follows riders in a more individual way. That’s how he became Greg Van Avermaet’s coach in 2011 when the latter defected from Lotto to BMC.

    Quote
    I listen but I do what I want to do

    Says Greg Van Avermaet, friendly but a little bit rebellious. Max Testa, his coach for 6 years within team BMC, is one of the rare with influence upon him. On the eve of the Belgian season opener he talks to us about the Olympic Champion’s legs and assiduity.

    Testa still remembers their first discussion very well.
    Quote
    I always try to know the riders’ past, their psychology, their dreams, their ambitions… What interested me was not what Greg said but the way he expressed himself: he was quiet, sober, his answers were short but clear. He was sure of himself, an adult who knew what he wanted unlike his colleagues who are still mischievous at his age (26 years old at that age, e.d.): becoming the leader of the BMC team and winning major races such as the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Tour of France stages, … Then we got along immediately: we are rather calm but very resolute/determined.
    (probably not Testa’s words though, I’m back-translating here :D)

    At that time the physical tests showed that Van Avermaet had the capacities that were needed to fulfill his dreams. However Testa has to convince him of one thing:
    Quote
    Greg trains a lot, even too much … On Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday he would spend five to seven hours on his bike and at weekends he lacked freshness. He thought that rest was a waste of time. In team training sessions, after the team training he would ride one or two extra hours alone. He had to suffer. Like many top-level athletes, he only felt good if he was tired. If he was fresh, he was angry with himself, thought that he hadn’t done enough. I always needed to repeat to him that he would be better if he took it a bit easier.

    Yet for the American, Van Avermaet has a great advantage:
    Quote
    He’s got a lot of stamina. Riders at the limits of overtraining are often complaining about a sore throat, stomach-ache… Not Greg! He’s very healthy and strong. When I tell him it’s freezing and he shouldn’t remain outside for too long, he laughs. He’s a guy of nature.

    Still Testa and the Flandrian never agreed about training limits.
    Quote
    When I advise him to stay home for two days I have the feeling I’m inflecting the worst punishment to him. It’s my main task, though, even more so than scheduling his sessions. For a few years it’s got better: he even train less today than at his pro debut but sometimes indeed more than I ask. When it’s sunny and rain is forecast for the next day, for instance. Or if he meets with a colleague and he’s making a detour to follow him but he’s no longer going crazy about it. If it’s raining he doesn’t do four or five hours of home trainer like some riders: an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, that’s enough for him.(laughing)

    Not Addicted to Numbers

    Testa managed to convince Van Avermaet of his philosophy without imposing anything.
    Quote
    My riders should discover by themselves what they do best or less good. Greg listens to me more than he used to because we know each other better. I think he’s following 80% of the weekly agenda that I’m preparing for him. But not within about a watt or a second. He’s not addicted to numbers because he’s able to develop some well defined power with a lot of precision without looking at his heart rate monitor. It’s essential for him to follow his instinct and he feels better and better what his body needs.

    No need to talk a lot about figures and training then.
    Quote
    When I’m in the USA I’m calling him every two or three days and usually it doesn’t last for more than ten minutes. We go straight to the point, without too much talking. Coaching such a guy is a dream. The only trouble is that he rarely says when something goes wrong. When he tells me that everything is fine I’m trying to make sure that it’s true while most riders make an issue with the slightest little cut, his pain threshold is very high. He’s been suffering for years from a bump at the calcaneum (Haglund syndrome, ed.) which creates inflammation, mostly when it’s cold. I saw him win races with such an inflamed heel that neither you nor I would have been able to walk with. Last winter after his twisted ankle he never whined. Not before me, at least (laughs). Vintage Greg: he’s always positive, relaxed. If I need to wake him up at 6 am for a doping test he answers: Okay Max, no problem, while many riders moan.

    Testa says Van Avermaet makes him think of another former champion American speed-skater Eric Heiden, Olympic champion in all fields in 1980 before turning pro as a cyclist in the 7-Eleven team.
    Quote
    A fighter and a warrior on his bike but calm incarnate when he’s dismounted. It’s a great quality to switch from one mode to the other because it enables you to save a lot of energy. It’s no wonder Greg likes taking a nap. Actually he’s got the psychology of a stage race rider. He’s quieter than single-day race specialists.

    Thanks to this happy-go-lucky attitude the Flandrian is never laying low for long.
    Quote
    Last year after his crash at the Tour of Flanders he was very disappointed but two hours later at the hospital he already laughed about the fact his roommate Michael Schär, who had also crashed, landed next to him at the hospital. Look at that smile (he shows a picture on his smartphone, ed)! That is vintage Greg: an optimist who quickly retain the positive aspect of things and who already focuses on the next objective. That evening when I called him to say he could get a surgery at midnight while he had just got back home, he didn’t hesitate for a second. Nothing was too quick for him. He was very motivated again. A few days later he was already riding on a home trainer and the next Saturday, he was on the road. Without pushing too much of course. But still … I told him that that compelled rest came at the right time for later at the Tour of France or in Rio. And it was the case. I hope that his inactivity to which he’s been compelled after his twisted ankle will have the same effect during the next few weeks.

    Ecological Car

    Beside a better balance between training and rest Van Avermaet has also physically evolved. He most of all cared to improve his aerobic capacity, that is to say his stamina.
    Quote
    Five or six years ago Greg already had enough punch to pedal very strongly for one or two minutes. We’ve specifically worked on that, notably with 10 to 20-minute interval, often in the Ardennes. That could seem useless for a classic rider who rather had to make short efforts of a maximum 5 minutes but those long intervals consolidated his base and it helped him recovering better between short efforts.

    [Compared to 2011 he’s progressed by 5 to 10% in stamina. It’s his best skill along with his explosiveness: he can attack in a climb but also keep it on at high speed after the top. That’s why he kept it up for so long in Rio: while most riders are blowing up after a violent effort, he managed to sneak into three or four breakaways without fainting. After 5 hours 30 minutes of racing he still developed more than 350 watts, it’s phenomenal! He’s also learned to accelerate at 90% of his capacities and not at 98 or 99%. He’s not going red.

    Testa is also sharpening Van Avermaet’s main weapon with smaller intervals (one to five minutes):
    Quote
    What he likes best his attacking on the climbs of the Flemish Ardennes. Since 2011 his maximum power has increased by more than 10%. He’s able to hit 1,500 watts and more than 900 watts in one minute like at his victory in Rodez in 2015 when he outsprinted Peter Sagan. The effort showed in itself that was already world class but doing this after two weeks at the Tour of France and after a stage under extreme heat during which he partly was dehydrated… I’ve rarely seen that in thirty years coaching. After an explosive acceleration Greg manages to quickly eliminate lactic acid and recycle it. A bit like a car would use its own exhaust gas to produce more energy. You could hence say that Greg is an ecological car. The best marathon runners also have that ability. Physiologists have long thought that the best athletes were those who did not produce lactic acid but you now see former 5,000 and 10,000m stars shining on the marathon, like Kenenisa Bekele, because they’ve learnt to keep a high rhythm on 42km and to recycle the lactic acid, like Greg.
    That’s why I’ve been convinced right from the start that he could be very strong in ITT’s. He only needed to get used to the specific position on the bike and it happened. During the TTT’s that BMC won at the World Championships or at the Tour of France Greg always was one of the best. He’s also finished several time in the top10 of a 10km-max ITT, like in Tirreno-Adriatico.

    That is also why according to Testa, the Belgian is the climber of all classic riders.
    Quote
    He even climbs better than Sagan, who is heavier, Greg can ride longer just below his maximum capacity, at 145-150 heart beats on an average, with a maximum 180.That’s why I wasn’t surprised he won in Rio on a route that was designed for climbers. After all he had dropped Thomas De Gendt in the hard Tour of France stage to Le Lioran while De Gendt went on to win on Mount Ventoux a bit later on.
    Greg was very sharp after the Tour of France. On the eve of the Olympic race I told a friend in the USA that he would win. I laughed saying it was impossible on such a route but the next day he phoned me to say I was right. Greg had already proved several time he could handle demanding routes. At the 2014 Tour of France he almost won the stage over the Port de Balès and in 2015 without that crash with the motorbike he would have won the Clasica San Sebastian…
    Several months before the Olympics I told him he had to believe in it, all the more so since in a single-day race the climbing rhythm is less high than at the Tour of France. In Rio, he teams consisted of five man only and there were no Sky train to beat everybody. I told him that if he survived the climbs without forcing too much, he could get back in the descents. My prediction proved accurate. (laughs)

    (New) Objectives 

    Testa believes that after what he showed in Brazil, Van Avermaet still has something left under the pedal.
    Quote
    I don’t know his limits. He always surprises me. He’s able to win one week stage races with an ITT – Lowlands Tour, Tour of Great-Britain, Tour of California… - if the tops are not too high. Last year he won Tirreno Adriatico because the mountain stage was cancelled. He can also win Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour of Lombardy but it depends on how the race unfolds, on the weather, on the route, certainly in Lombardy where the finish place is changing every year. You shouldn’t forget that in 2011 he was 7th in Liège after doing the whole spring in Flanders, you know. He can keep top shape longer than the others but cannot win the Omloop, Milan-Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège in the same year. Perhaps after winning the Tour of Flanders he’ll Liège-Bastogne-Liège as objective. It’s the race that suits him best.
    Since he outsprinted Sagan fair and square in Rodez, Greg is no longer the same rider. He analyses his opponents’ tactics better, he dares to wait longer, he controls himself better in stressful situations… He’s fully self-confident. He knows he’s the only leader at team BMC in the classics that suit him since the extravert Philippe Gilbert has left. It was the first of the two objectives that he told me of at our first meeting in 2011. The second one is winning the Tour of Flanders and believe me: if he manages it he won’t contend with it.

    How Did the Peloton Prepare for the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

    Desert foxes like Tom Boonen, Alexander Kristoff or Mark Cavendish regretted the disappearance of their favourite races [the Tour of Qatar] because the echelon stages made it the ideal build-up for the spring classics. “No races gives you as much punch as the Tour of Qatar” says Cavendish.

    Yet the Tour of Qatar also had their detractors: too intensive, too early in the year, too far from some objectives. These last years, Lotto-Soudal didn’t take part. It wasn’t the only one. Of the top10 of the 2016 Omloop only one rider had crossed the desert: Greg Van Avermaet …

    In 2015 9 riders of the top10 in Ghent had been to Qatar. Of the thirty riders of the top3 in the last decade, 16 of them had been to Qatar. So that race was not an imperative. Mallorca Challenge, Tour of Andalucia or the Haut-Var are as many alternatives in Europe, plus Dubai and Oman.

    What doesn’t change however is that the riders who take part in the Omloop have 10 or 11 race days in the legs. The only exceptions among former winners are Filippo Pozzato (2007) and Sep Vanmarcke (2012) who had only raced for 5 days. This year Philippe Gilbert and Jasper Stuyven have made that choice.

    Like last year Peter Sagan made a totally different choice: he raced a stage race very early (San Luis in 2016 and the Tour Down Under this year) and then stayed for 34 days without competition. He did an altitude training session in the Sierra Nevada. It’s unconventional for a classic rider but his coach, Patxi Villa [former clinical rider, comment by Echoes] doesn’t like traditional methods. In the Sierra Nevada, the World Champion again applied the “live high, train low method”. He slept at 2320m and trained at sea level with 4 hour sessions not too intensive. As we could expect it didn’t prevail in 2016 but he calculated that the altitude training would effect from GPE3 and Ghent-Wevelgem.
  • ReplyReply

  • pastronef

    • National Champion
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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #229 on: April 21, 2017, 11:12 »
    procyclingstats has all BMC team contracts expiring this year (sauf the 2 neo-pros)

    but many contracts were signed for "multiple years" so I guess they are just waiting for the official confirmation by TagHeuer or Andy Rihs or anyone that the funding is there.

    any news?
  • ReplyReply

  • just some guy

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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #230 on: April 21, 2017, 12:11 »
    No nothing, but yep Rhihs gace Och 1 year, and they then signed Tag, who in the future will take over the licence and use BMC bikes

    so expect a lot of re-ups soon
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  • pastronef

    • National Champion
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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #231 on: April 21, 2017, 21:01 »
    No nothing, but yep Rhihs gace Och 1 year, and they then signed Tag, who in the future will take over the licence and use BMC bikes

    so expect a lot of re-ups soon

    ah ok, good to know, thanks.
  • ReplyReply

  • Echoes

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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #232 on: April 22, 2017, 13:28 »



    Ristretto for Greg & Phil

    (in Sport Magazine 26 January 2017, a special edition for the new cycling season)

    By Christophe Vandegoor, commentator on Sporza Radio.

    Ring Ring goes the bell. It’s late September but the sun is still generous on the Med. In the entrance hall of one of the uncountable Monegasque blocks of flat the postman is bringing a pack for P. Gilbert. The owner hasn’t ordered anything and is eager to discover what it is. Expeditor: Mr Greg Van Avermaet, Grembergen. With compliments.

    Mid-October Serge Pauwels indicated on Instagram that he had just helped himself with his first home-made Expresso. Three Rocket pictures illustrate the message. Many thanks to Greg Van Avermaet, can we read:
    Quote
    A classy gift from a classy rider

    His four Rio teammate were not offered the traditional watches as thanking presents but a coffee machine which is very trendy in the peloton. On the edge of the silver-coloured machine the five Olympic rings have been engraved. Below it three thin horizontal lines with Belgian colours (red, yellow & black) with the names Greg Van Avermaet, Serge Pauwels, Laurens De Plus, Tim Wellens and Philippe Gilbert. Left to right in that order. A subtle but eloquent sense of detail which evokes the contribuation to this fantastic gold rush that prevailed for Greg the Rocket.

    Coffee is very popular in the peloton, that is common knowledge. Such a machine is currently very much appreciated. It’s also the present that Romain Bardet offered his AG2R teammates for the 2nd place at the 2015 Tour of France. In 2015 Rohan Dennis ordered a personalised machine after making a new [hour performance; the article says “Hour Record” but we all agree that it isn’t one :P]. Simon Gerrans was one of Orica’s first users. That machine can also be found in the Sky bus. “Rocket R60 is the great friend of the riders”, says the commercial slogan. It’s mostly fashionable in Anglophone teams, more so than in the Italian ones.

    For Van Avermaet this coffee machine symbolizes his nicest win against this general embarrassment that Philippe Gilbert has long been. In his words but also in acts (read his results) Phil has often had the last word. The palmares implicitly defined the roles. Like in 2015 at Amstel Gold when Van Avermaet gently stayed in Jakob Fuglsang’s wheel with 7km to go. He protected Gilbert, his leader, that had been agreed at BMC [while Greg could’ve won that Amstel Gold and he ended 5th in the sprint !!!].

    Yes Fuglsang: the man Van Avermaet caught and overtook alongside the Copacabana beach and who was largely satisfied with a place on the podium. This to tell you that had he displayed a bit more audacity and presumptuousness, Greg would have won more races. Until then he hadn’t been lucky either. Let us remember San Sebastián where a motorcycle rider decided about the outcome of the race.

    We do not know today if Gilbert is preparing Expresso on his Rocket coffee machine for his beloved Patricia. We haven’t asked him but suggest it is so. Putting the machine away in the attic would be pretty low. But just imagine: every morning this machine recalls the nicest win you can have as an athlete, an Olympic Gold medal! Only you didn’t win it but a rival that you outclassed for several years. Without anything to be said because victories speak for themselves. But still … The noise of coffee grains which are milled  suggest a blasting attack. And the blow of the smoke which is escaping when a cappuccino is being prepared reminds you of the deep sigh of disappointment that you expressed over there in Brazil. Soon Greg and Phil will meet again for the spring classics. The former in full confidence and still obsessed with the quest of the victory he’s been dreaming about and which has incessantly escaped him: the Tour of Flanders [irony being that the latter got it]. The latter with a renewed energy that he got from a new environment. It only begs one question: who, after the spring classics, will feel like having “grown wings” and will drink the chalice till the end? [Answer is both of them :D]
  • ReplyReply

  • Francois the Postman

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    Re: BMC news
    « Reply #233 on: April 23, 2017, 03:29 »
    In the entrance hall of one of the uncountable Monegasque blocks of flat the postman is bringing a pack for P. Gilbert.

    I deny all involvement and any rumours that I have been following Phil around on a bike also are bigly FAKE NEWS. Sad.
  • ReplyReply

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