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Echoes

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Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
« Reply #60 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.
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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)

    just some guy

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #61 on: April 10, 2017, 11:30 »
    seems I missed a cracking race

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #62 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
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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #63 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

    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.

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #64 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
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #65 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!
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l\'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #66 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"




    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



    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!).  ;)
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  • « Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 20:55 by Echoes, Reason: Merged DoublePost »

    hiero

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #67 on: April 11, 2017, 01:41 »
    seems I missed a cracking race



    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.
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    Echoes

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #68 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.
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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #69 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.
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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #70 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

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  • Not My Circus

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #71 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

    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
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #72 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...   
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  • Not My Circus

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #73 on: April 11, 2017, 15:42 »
    Hah! some tongue in cheek with a cheeky side of serious :lol


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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #74 on: April 11, 2017, 17:00 »
    Hah! some tongue in cheek with a cheeky side of serious :lol



     :D
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #75 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!
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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #76 on: April 11, 2017, 22:24 »
    Whats a "Euro Faux Hawk"


    and Humble?? :-x
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    Echoes

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #77 on: April 12, 2017, 09:18 »
    Yes humble ...
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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #78 on: April 15, 2017, 08:22 »




    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!   
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #79 on: April 16, 2017, 15:13 »
    Want Tommeke to win if only for De Vlaeminck's reaction.  :P




    (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 ...
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #80 on: April 16, 2017, 19:22 »



    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.

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  • Echoes

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #81 on: April 16, 2017, 23:38 »


    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. :)
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Paris-Roubaix l'enfer du Nord
    « Reply #82 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




    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:
    Quote
    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.

    Quote
    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:
    Quote
    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:
    Quote
    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:
    Quote
    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
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