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L'arri

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Re: Paris - Nice 2018
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2018, 11:03 »
A lot of noise has been made about that Cousin win, or rather the way he won.

It wasn't pretty but you have to think that it was as much the result of Politt's insistence on doing all the work as Cousin's sly sit-in. Politt admitted later to preferring second over nothing and even if Cousin had done his share in the last few kms, there's every reason to believe he would have beaten the German in a clean sprint.

One of the reasons I enjoy watching our sport is because I don't have to listen to the stupid, oversimplified moralising that goes on in other sports. It's that old "kick him to death" quote from Krabbé. Come next week, nobody will remember or care much about who did what.

Watching that finale was certainly no worse than sitting in on a 5-hour snoozefest that ends in a bunch gallop.
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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: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #31 on: March 09, 2018, 15:57 »
    #fdj Rudy Molard comes from Antibes, only 20k away, and did a recon of the finish multiple times. He looked good in recent days, and may be a rider to watch out for today as well

    well done, Rudy :win

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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #32 on: March 09, 2018, 19:13 »
    at the beginning of the stage there was some confusion btw because Dylan Teuns was part of the 13 men breakaway - accidentally as it now turned out. Six riders were up the road already when the peloton took a wrong turn, allowing seven riders (including Teuns) who were at the back at that point to somehow end up in between.
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  • t-72

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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #33 on: March 09, 2018, 22:19 »
    .
    #fdj Rudy Molard comes from Antibes, only 20k away, and did a recon of the finish multiple times. He looked good in recent days, and may be a rider to watch out for today as well

    You nailed that one, and it wasn’t one of the usual suspects. Chapeu!  :cool
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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #34 on: March 09, 2018, 23:43 »
    at the beginning of the stage there was some confusion btw because Dylan Teuns was part of the 13 men breakaway - accidentally as it now turned out. Six riders were up the road already when the peloton took a wrong turn, allowing seven riders (including Teuns) who were at the back at that point to somehow end up in between.

    more about it in this piece by Velonews. :cool

    http://www.velonews.com/2018/03/news/paris-nices-wrong-way-breakaway_459259
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  • t-72

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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #35 on: March 10, 2018, 08:05 »
    I am waiting for Search's predictions before I run off to some Maltese tax evading betting company for placing my bets today   ;)   (It's payback time  :shh )

    In the meantime, I have noticed that there is something strangely familiar about today's final climb. I google-earthed it and it turns out La Colmiane is as close to the mirror image of last year's stage 7 climb to Col de Coulliole as you can get. They head out of the same valley, just 3 km apart. The Coullioule is on the west and La Colmiane on the east side. View image below for an explanation (you might have to blow it up to near full size to read it, if you are viewing on a small screen device).

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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #36 on: March 10, 2018, 08:37 »
    I can't be of much help today, I'm afraid. Maybe Hivert is worth a shot again, he seems to be in massive shape. Looked like he was pulling for Calmejane yesterday before dropping back and losing time in the end -  there were two #direct riders coming past Poels after the crash at least
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  • t-72

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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #37 on: March 10, 2018, 09:55 »
    For the stage win, there are a couple of A-list GC contenders that have dropped far enough out of contention so they'll be let up the road:
    #uae Dan Martin,
    #katusha Ilnur Zakharin
    #trek Bauke Mollema
    (#astana Fuglsang will be towing Lulu as long as possible)

    And then there are some french stage cowboys that have pretended not to be there, that might not be there at all, or might just pretend:
    #fortuneo Warren Barguil,
    #ag2r Tony Gallopin
    (#fdj Rudy Molard #direct Calmejane  would normally be here, but now, too high in GC  :o who saw that coming?  )

    An international stage vaquero that may not be on team duties if Mollema doesn't have a good day:
    #trek Jairlinson Pantano
    And a new aquintance at this level, a stage schäfer maybe?
    #bora Felix Grossschartner         

    Finally, the GC candidates will battle it out among themselves wether there are someone further up the road or not, and it may be that they come first and get the stage win:
    #movistar Marc Soler
    #sky Sergio Henao
    #mitchelton Esteban Chaves, Simon Yates
    (#lotto Tim Wellens doesn't know how to win a race without attacking hard and that will kill him today)

    After #sky Poels dropped out yesterday, it's now a very open race. Astana has a strong team, but perhaps the wrong man in the  #yellow. Mitchelton-Scott seems to have the most of the best climbers, but the less famous #movistar team here is not that far behind actually.

    There are few of the very best climbers here, the ones that if they have a good day will open up a lead and then just keep riding away, all the way to the finish line. Of those that are here, most seem to be missing something and just not in their best form. That goes for #katusha Ilnur Zakharin (who would love such climbs in shape and won stage 7 two years ago)  #uae Dan Martin (on the podium last year). Contador is not riding this year and not anymore and the more boring replacement #trek Bauke Mollema is also one of the really good ones missing something in this race.

    The few very good climbers that seem to be in shape and that might end up just riding away into the sunset with a stage win and maybe a good shot at bringing the yellow-blue jersy home today, could be #mitchelton Chaves and #movistar Soler.

    However, the race is very open and we might see a few surprises more before we end up at the beach in Nice.
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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #38 on: March 10, 2018, 18:24 »
    after those endless, fruitless attacks yesterday, #mitchelton Simon Yates finally found the right time to try it again today



    #yellow Lulu cracked pretty spectacularly, with Alaphilippe following closely, ending up in tears at the finish. #astana Fuglsang initially kept going when Sanchez was dropped. Then was told to wait for Lulu. Then saw that this doesn't make any sense, as he barely could keep Fraile's wheel anyway, and kept going again. Makes you wonder where he could have finished otherwise...

    The GC is basically as close as it can get:

    1      #mitchelton   SIMON YATES       -
    2      #bahrain   JON IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI       + 00'11''
    3      #bahrain   GORKA IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI       + 00'12''
    4      #lotto   TIM WELLENS       + 00'13''
    5      #bmc   DYLAN TEUNS       + 00'27''
    6      #movistar   MARC SOLER       + 00'37''
    7      #bora   PATRICK KONRAD       + 00'39''
    8      #sky   SERGIO LUIS HENAO MONTOYA       + 00'57''
    9      #quickstep   JULIAN ALAPHILIPPE       + 01'48''
    10      #ag2r   ALEXIS VUILLERMOZ       + 01'49''

    so everything will come down again to the finish in Nice, which is different than in recent years though:



    But same as usual, the roads are likely to be be wet, and the Izagirre brothers will be happy to show what they learned on the twisty descents back home in the Basque Country. Chaves was nowhere today, so Yates probably needs to trust on Kreuziger to close as many gaps as possible - but it'll be tough. I can see everyone from the top 8 still having a go at the overall victory - and most of them do really have a realistic chance to finish it off
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  • « Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 20:18 by search »


    t-72

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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #40 on: March 11, 2018, 10:49 »
    Does this look like a #lotto Tim Wellens day?

    https://twitter.com/GroupamaFDJ/status/972784193662017536
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    t-72

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    t-72

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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #44 on: March 11, 2018, 16:51 »
    very entertaining stage, from the start to the finish :win

    Soler looked pretty anonymous so far, often just trying to hang on, so to be honest he was the one I least expected to have a shot at the win - but well, he obviously proved me wrong

    Of course, both Izagirre brothers crashing into each other on the final descent was a bit of a help for him - but even if not, there was quite a good chance to keep enough of a gap



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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #45 on: March 11, 2018, 18:08 »
     I'm not sure I agree about Soler being anonymous or lucky.
    He may have hung on when he needed to, but it is after all a stage race.
    A stage race which history shows has a nasty sting in it's tail.
    Both Thomas and Henao came within a whisker of having the title taken from them on this super Sunday.
    Marc Soler's big effort stuck and so he narrowly succeed, where Contador had narrowly failed.
    The last three editions have been won by a combined total of just 10 seconds.
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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #46 on: March 11, 2018, 18:22 »
    oh, I didn't mean to say that he didn't deserve the win - just that I didn't expect him to show such an offensive, strong effort, based on the way he was riding so far. To be honest, I thought he'd be happy trying to defend his 6th place
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  • t-72

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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #47 on: March 11, 2018, 19:08 »
    The two riders that knew best how to ride the last stage of Paris - Nice:
    #sky Davide de La Cruz
    #movistar Marc Soler
    They both participated in a special training for this about same time last year, as I have heard it.  :) Some old magician showed them the tricks, but apparently, they're even better at it than he ever was, already 1 year later.  :D

    They're both quite young but when it comes to this stage you could argue that they were the most experienced riders in the peloton and that experience was put to work in a brilliant and brave way. Chapeu!   :cool
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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #48 on: March 11, 2018, 20:26 »
    not too surprisingly, quite a lot of riders abandoned the race over the past days. The only one from #uae UAE who made it to Nice was Rory Sutherland - but unfortunately not within the time cut ;)



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  • Jamsque

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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #49 on: March 12, 2018, 05:12 »
    What a race
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  • AG

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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #50 on: March 12, 2018, 11:20 »
    Nice race !!!

    I do like it when the offensive early attack pays dividends ... just encourages many more to give it a go.  And I really like a guy who is willing to risk it all for a shot at winning, rather than defending an anonymous 6th.

    great effort.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Paris - Nice 2018
    « Reply #51 on: March 13, 2018, 08:55 »
    Lately I have read a few comments from people who believe that there is an ever-so-slight trend of despecialisation developing in the generation just now breaking through.

    This type of rider is otherwise known as an "all-rounder" and there have always been plenty of those, of course, but today's all-rounders, it follows, prefer the classic logic that talent should be measured by versatility and polyvalence. Kwiatkowski and to some extent Sagan have already pioneered that general refusal to funnel their abilities and we are seeing Benoot, Wellens, Alaphilippe and now Soler extend themselves a bit.

    So much for the pull, the attraction of showing off in a variety of races, but there's also the push, which is that the preparation needed for GTs is terribly hard and dull in comparison. Monkish altitude camps, rigid race programmes, limited objectives and, dare I say it, a different sort of Dark Side programme with less assured outcomes.

    Finally, and perhaps just as importantly, it cannot have escaped anyone's notice, and certainly not ASO's, that the last two nailbiting editions of P-N, both of which were decided by gambling on the last stage, were designed neither for pure climbers nor for TT destroyers. Some of the recent route selection policy stems from worries about weather conditions in the higher mountains but the result has been a parcours that favoured polyvalence, challenging but by no means extreme.
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