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LukasCPH

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2018 Women's WorldTour
« on: March 04, 2018, 08:37 »
I thought that we could collect all the WWT races in this one thread instead of having separate threads for some and next to no information for others. Starting with yesterday's

Strade Bianche, 136 km (incl. 31.6 km sterrato)

[1]



And the CN reporting debut by yours truly:
Anna van der Breggen wins Strade Bianche in heroic solo
Van der Breggen: I'll remember Strade Bianche win for the rest of my life
 1. RCS cuts off those parts of the map that don't conform to a 3x2 ratio, so this is copied from the racebook :angry
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  • Cyclingnews Women's Pro Cycling Correspondent
    2018 Synergy Baku Press Officer; 2017 0711|CYCLING PR Manager; 2016 Stölting Content Editor
    Views presented are my own. RIP Keith & Sean

    L'arri

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 13:50 »
    It's disappointing to have to make a first contribution to this thread with a moan but the TV coverage was awful. I suppose we should count ourselves lucky to have witnessed the winning "move", which was really just VdB riding away, and the line being crossed by the #boels leader before the whole thing cut off yet again. Few pictures of Kasia or Longo Borghini, too many of VdB nearly running into the back of the moto.

    Conditions were even more epic for the women's race, as it ran off earlier in the day, and only the usual suspects were left after almost the whole peloton just melted away. VdB's long solo move, which came in the closing kms of what I think she described as the hardest bike race she'd ever done, was pretty legendary.

    I cast my mind back to this:

    This woman excites me in a way that few of the current women's peloton do. Such a powerful rider, all legs and no BS. Anyone who saw the Worlds in Florence last year would agree her potential is enormous and gritty tenacity in spades.

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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: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #2 on: March 06, 2018, 21:42 »
     Next up the Ronde van Drenthe, this Sunday (11th)





    Mega exciting profiles. :D

    Live tv coverage from RTV Drenthe  13-45CET until 15-00CET.

    Followed by the men's race 15-00CET until 17-30CET.
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  • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    LukasCPH

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #3 on: March 12, 2018, 10:44 »
    Two of the nine cobblestone sections were cut from the course (confirmation during the race!), but the remaining seven, the four ascents of the VAMberg, the rain, the wind, and not least the length (>150 km) made it a hard race that belies its 'bunch sprint' result.

    Cyclingnews: Pieters wins Ronde van Drenthe


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  • L'arri

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 09:16 »
    Two of the nine cobblestone sections were cut from the course (confirmation during the race!), but the remaining seven, the four ascents of the VAMberg, the rain, the wind, and not least the length (>150 km) made it a hard race that belies its 'bunch sprint' result.

    Cyclingnews: Pieters wins Ronde van Drenthe




    Ryan is on fire at the moment but I hadn't realised she was only 23, so that probably explains the improvement from placings to podiums. #canyon looking like a proper team this season after a terrible (and rather inexplicable) underperformance in 2017.

    The women's field at this level is still largely an affair of four or five teams though: #boels, #sun, #canyon and a rotation of #mitchelton, #ale or #wiggle depending on the race.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 11:22 »
    And here is my write-up of the podium finishers' reactions:
    Pieters: I have been waiting for a big victory for a long time

    It's true that it's mostly those 4-6 teams battling for victory. But at least that's more than the total #rabofem domination of years past.
    And as Hosking said (though it didn't make it into that article), Alé Cipollini have made it from a small Italian team to an international squad that is definitely a challenger. In time, other teams will reach that level too.

    Random observation:
    Both here and at Strade Bianche, the second- and third-placed riders were more verbose in their post-race interviews than the actual winners.
    I think that some of this has to do with language - though Longo Borghini and Niewiadoma aren't native English speakers, Ryan and Hosking are. And both ELB and Kasia race on teams where English is the main language. But I would have thought that with Dideriksen, Majerus, Deignan, Guarnier etc. the same would be true for Boels.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 12:16 »
    And here is my write-up of the podium finishers' reactions:
    Pieters: I have been waiting for a big victory for a long time

    It's true that it's mostly those 4-6 teams battling for victory. But at least that's more than the total #rabofem domination of years past.
    And as Hosking said (though it didn't make it into that article), Alé Cipollini have made it from a small Italian team to an international squad that is definitely a challenger. In time, other teams will reach that level too.

    Random observation:
    Both here and at Strade Bianche, the second- and third-placed riders were more verbose in their post-race interviews than the actual winners.
    I think that some of this has to do with language - though Longo Borghini and Niewiadoma aren't native English speakers, Ryan and Hosking are. And both ELB and Kasia race on teams where English is the main language. But I would have thought that with Dideriksen, Majerus, Deignan, Guarnier etc. the same would be true for Boels.

    I left my comment rather unfinished there because I didn't mean to suggest that the situation was somehow disappointing. It is true that there is a better spread of talent today, which makes the racing more competitive, but I wonder how many talented women there are sitting in small teams who could burst through given the means to focus entirely on their sport and benefit from coaching.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #7 on: March 19, 2018, 10:35 »
    Yesterday saw another hard race at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda. 131.7 km consisting of a short point-to-point from Taino to Cittiglio, one large circuit, and four laps of a 17.8-km circuit with two climbs - Casale short and steep, Orino 4 km long and gradual.

    Not much happened until the second of those four laps where #canyon Alena Amialiusik[1] & #ale Ane Santesteban (plus briefly #wiggle Elinor Barker) went away, but they never got more than a minute. On the penultimate lap #boels Megan Guarnier & #mov Małgorzata Jasińska jumped across the 20-second gap. Those four had 57 seconds going into the final lap, but mainly #sun #wiggle #mts halved that within two kilometres (not exactly hampered by a very eager camera moto that may have given the chasers some slipstream).

    #canyon Katarzyna Niewiadoma opened up on the Casale climb, catching the front group and reducing a fairly large peloton to only 12-13 riders (that she, #boels Karol-Ann Canuel & #wiggle Elisa Longo Borghini - the local hero, living only a few km away from the course - descended away from only to be caught again). On the Orini climb, after some failed attempts by #canyon Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, Amialiusik[2] & Canuel, Kaśia put in her second dig, and nobody could follow.

    Official reporting by yours truly:
    CN: Niewiadoma solos to victory in rainy Trofeo Alfredo Binda
    CN: Niewiadoma takes inspiration from Nibali with daring Trofeo Alfredo Binda attack

    Did Kaśia 'do a Nibali' - or did Nibali 'do a Kaśia' on the Poggio before it was called that?
    We'll never know. ;)
    Quote
    After the top of the climb, the Pole continued on without second thought. She said that she had been inspired by a similar all-or-nothing attack in the men's Milan-San Remo the day before. "We were watching Milan-San Remo, and we saw Nibali's move where he attacked and never looked back. He mentioned that afterwards in the interview that he just went all-out and wanted to give all that he had left in his legs. And I thought that was so inspiring, to just do everything you can and keep on going, never looking back. I am so, so happy to deliver this victory to the team after this great effort."

    Kaśia got a frog on the podium! :shy

    And she's now the leader of the WWT.
    https://twitter.com/Babelia1/status/975402489968242689




    Next up, the confusedly-named Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne one-day race on Thursday. 151.7 km from Brugge to De Panne, flat as a Belgian pancake, mostly going along the coast. Race outcome will probably depend a lot on the wind - with a westerly wind, echelons galore, without it, sprint.
    I guess the sprinters need something too. :P
     1. who else?
     2. bloody hell, she's strong
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  • « Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 15:37 by LukasCPH »

    L'arri

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #8 on: March 19, 2018, 12:12 »
    So #canyon rode as a team and this could improve Kasia's chances of reaching the top step more often this season. With Vos out or uncompetitive for much of 2017, the lack of support for her was conspicuous.

    Keeping with the team theme, I felt that #boels - easily the best drilled team in the women's peloton - had a different problem yesterday. With AVDB off sick, there wasn't an obvious candidate for that parcours. Guarnier isn't there yet, Canuel rode strongly but to a strict formula and Blaak would have needed a sit-in on the final climb to win.

    And then #sunweb didn't show up at all. Rivera's win here was a bit unexpected anyway last year but the team had nobody when it mattered.

    But back to Kasia. She not only won but also made the race. It was her first attack that created the élite group and it was that élite group that she attacked on the final climb. A virtuoso performance, then, and hopefully we will see more of that and a bit less wasted effort spent on the front or chasing down digs.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #9 on: March 23, 2018, 16:38 »
    Fourth WWT race of the year, fourth race held in sh*t conditions.
    Those women are hard as nails! :yuush

    Yesterday, it was rain and wind. Lots of wind. And on a new and therefore unfamiliar race course as well, in the inaugural WWT Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne one-day race.[1]
    The early break went after ~15 km, just after the relatively large at 15 riders, and they deserve to all be named here:
    #boels Christine Majerus
    #cipollini Romy Kasper
    #canyon Lisa Klein
    #bigla Emma Norsgaard Jørgensen
    #cylance Jelena Eric
    #cylance Sheyla Gutierrez
    #futuroscope Moniek Tenniglo
    #mts Gracie Elvin
    #tvc Sara Penton
    #tvc Mieke Kröger
    #tvc Katarzyna Pawlowska
    #waowdeals Jeanne Korevaar
    #waowdeals Monique van de Ree
    #drops Eva Buurman
    #drops Abigail van Twisk

    Korevaar and Majerus both punctured out of the break, but the other 13 were still together into De Panne for the two final laps ... where Penton and Tenniglo crashed on the tram tracks, splitting up the group. In the peloton, riders crashed here as well, disrupting the chase and giving the eight remaining escapees a lead of a minute again.

    But now the tactical games began as #cipollini Kasper stopped working, and the gap shrunk to 30" with one lap to go. #tvc Mieke Kröger went solo with ~11 km to go, and it still looked good for her with 2 km to go when her lone chaser #mts Elvin and the rest of the break had been caught. A long turn at the front by #sun Ellen van Dijk spelled the end of the breakaway, and we got the expected sprint - with a #champbe home winner in Jolien D'hoore. Who didn't even know she was sprinting for the win, by the way, and said to Gracie Elvin (I think?) after the finish: "Why is everybody cheering, I'm seventh or something!" :D



    CN: D'hoore wins Women's WorldTour race in De Panne

    CN: D'hoore unaware she was sprinting for Driedaagse De Panne victory

    Special props to Majerus, Korevaar, and especially Sheyla Gutierrez for sprinting into the top-10 after spending some or all of the race in the break. :cool





    Bonus material:
    #InsideValcar video shows the exact moment when the breakaway broke away (from ~1:40)
     1. already a front-runner for Most Confusing Race Name
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #10 on: March 28, 2018, 10:07 »
    A bit of bookkeeping ...

    The WWT Gent-Wevelgem was decided on the second Kemmelberg when the big riders went away and left the weaker puncheurs behind (including many sprinters), and in the crosswinds when the re-formed peloton of 60 was cut in half.
    Still a sprint at the end, won by #ale Marta Bastianelli in no small part due to Chloe Hosking's world-class leadout.

    CN: Marta Bastianelli wins Gent-Wevelgem women's race
    CN: Bastianelli: Gent-Wevelgem win is a reward for all my hard work





    Today is Dwars door Vlaanderen (not part of the WWT), then on Sunday it's time for the Ronde. :)
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  • L'arri

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #11 on: April 03, 2018, 11:20 »
    A big solo from Anna Van Der Breggen in Sunday's Ronde and, you had to think, revenge was sweet given the debacle of last year.

    There had been a BOTD with solid riders but no potential winners were involved, so it took a nasty crash on a nervy run-in to Geraardsbergen to make the most important selection of the day. After the Muur, where some big names struggled to hold on, a small peloton regrouped but at least two thirds of the field would not see the pointy end again.

    VDB was in no mood to carry anyone this time and a poll of the others in the select group behind tends to confirm that they hesitated too long and expected each other to chase. I was quite amazed by the Dutchwoman's apparent souplesse as she rolled into Oudenaarde: she looked like she could have done another 50km on what was otherwise a pretty rough day.

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  • L'arri

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #12 on: April 16, 2018, 12:44 »
    I didn't see the women's race but Blaak, resplendent in her stripes, monstered that sprint in a finale where most of the royalty finished outside the top 10.



    Another dominant #boels performance and the Ardennes phase has barely started.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #13 on: April 16, 2018, 18:46 »
    I did watch the race. It was a good one, if with a somewhat unexpected outcome - not because of who won (you can't discount any #boels rider, ever), but because of how she won.

    A break of eight got away with 60 km to go, just before the first Cauberg, and most big teams had a rider up there. So they weren't interested in chasing, the first peloton (the bunch had just split on the Keutenberg) even sat up to wait for the second peloton ... which caused the gap to balloon to 2:35 minutes in no time.

    From there, the break managed their advantage well, and there still was little desire to chase. #rainbow #boels Blaak tested her legs on the penultimate Cauberg ascent and split the group (though it came back together again, with Lepistö and Bronzini catching up right at the foot of the final Cauberg). Here, Blaak followed the moves by #sun Brand and #mts Spratt, and they were no match for her in the sprint.

    More details, on CN: ;)
    Chantal Blaak wins women's Amstel Gold Race
    Blaak: Amstel Gold is one of my most precious victories

    And for completeness' sake, here's the Ronde reporting as well:
    Van der Breggen storms to Tour of Flanders victory
    Anna van der Breggen: I did not expect to win like this
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  • L'arri

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #14 on: April 18, 2018, 20:24 »
    Flèche Wallonne

    The AVDB machine rumbles on. Another fabulous and entirely expected win for the Dutchwoman and two out of three podium spots for #boels.

    Could have expected better of Kasia but PFP, who was in the big break, said that, despite feeling great herself, she had waited for the Pole who was having a bad day. ELB was also well down the results sheet.

    Gillow got sixth despite getting caught up in a mid-race crash which took out D'Hoore among others.

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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #15 on: April 19, 2018, 19:13 »
    It was a good race. Or so I think, because for the first time this year we didn't see any of it live. Not even the finish up the Mur where they have fixed cameras was broadcast live. :(
    This is simply not good enough in my opinion. And it will be the same for LBL on Sunday. :angry

    Looking at the positives, women's road cycling has come some way in the past decade or so. Back then, the Flèche was one of the pinnacles of the women's calendar, purely due to the fact that there was a race. Now, people are upset if they can't watch the race live - and rightly so; the race was on from 36 km out with a strong group of #canyon PFP, #boels Guarnier, #cipollini Ensing & #mts Spratt up to 50" ahead of what remained of the peloton.

    Things came back together at the bottom of the Mur, though Spratt and Guarnier still mixed it up with the best puncheurs on the climb. #bigla Moolman-Pasio led the peloton for most of the Mur, but #boels van der Breggen was never far behind, took the lead with 250 m to go and won the sprint easily.

    Cyclingnews reporting by yours truly:
    Van der Breggen wins La Fleche Wallonne Feminine
    Van der Breggen: I hoped that the break would stick at Fleche Wallonne

    #boels mechanic Richard Steege suffered a heart attack in the days between AGR and Flèche, but woke up in the hospital the morning of the race. Best wishes, Richie!
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #16 on: April 23, 2018, 10:23 »
    The Ardennes races - and the whole spring classics season - finished yesterday with the second-ever edition of the women's Liège-Bastogne-Liège. And it was the same winner as in the first edition, #boels Anna van der Breggen.
    There was attack after attack by the favourites from the Redoute, 40 km out, but sadly we couldn't see any of it[1] live on TV - something that the winner commented on in her post-race interview.



    #canyon had PFP attack on the Redoute. She got a 55" gap, but was caught on the Roche-aux-Faucons. A group of ten formed after that climb, and #mts Amanda Spratt attacked next, going on a solo from ~16 km to go. #bigla Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, van der Breggen, and #mts Annemiek van Vleuten went after her on the Saint-Nicolas, but only #boels van der Breggen made it to the front after shaking off the two others. Spratt went onto the Boels Dolmans rider's wheel to save some energy for the sprint, but couldn't follow van der Breggen on the uphill drag to the Ans finish.

    Van der Breggen has now won four WWT classics this spring season (out of nine) and, even more dominantly, seven of the last eight Ardennes races (all in the last four years except the 2018 AGR won by her teammate Chantal Blaak).

    Cyclingnews reporting:
    Anna van der Breggen solos to LBL victory
    Van der Breggen: I love to see the others take initiative



    Van der Breggen interview with Voxwomen:






    Next up is the three-day Tour of Chongming Island aka. the sprintfest. :shh
     1. except for the final 200 metres
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #17 on: April 26, 2018, 16:57 »
    Stage 1 of the Tour of Chongming Island was exactly as flat as I imagined it to be.


    It also played out pretty much as expected: Peloton kept together until first intermediate sprint (won by #wiggle Wild ahead of #mts #champbe D'hoore & #ale Hosking), break (11-12 riders) let go up the road, break brought back with 10 km to go. Two riders tried to escape in the final, but didn't really get anywhere either.
    Then there were two mass crashes in the final 3 km: The first took out the Alé Cipollini & #tibco Tibco-SVB sprint trains (Hosking & Kendall Ryan), the second, on the finishing straight, spelled the end of stage victory hopes for Mitchelton Scott & Wiggle High5. #cylance Cylance got through relatively unscathed and took a 1-4 with Giorgia Bronzini and Sheyla Gutiérrez; #doltcini Kelly Druyts & #valcar Silvia Persico finished second and third.

    Cyclingnews reporting:
    Bronzini wins opening stage at Tour of Chongming Island
    Crashes turn Tour of Chongming Island upside down



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  • « Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 18:19 by LukasCPH »

    LukasCPH

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    Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
    « Reply #18 on: April 29, 2018, 22:05 »
    Stage 2 was marginally less flat - but only because the race crossed a bridge from one island to another.


    About halfway through the stage, #hitec Charlotte Becker, #tibco #champau Shannon Malseed, #btc #champru Anastasia Iakovenko, #valcar Dalia Muccioli & #futuroscope Coralie Demay got away. With two current and two former national champions, this was a strong break, and they built a substantial advantage.

    The peloton didn't seem all that interested in chasing, and with 27km to go, the gap was 3'34". At the finish, 1'12" remained, but that was enough for the first real breakaway win in Chongming since it has a high-quality field.[1] Becker won the sprint.

    Cyclingnews reporting:
    Tour of Chongming Island: Charlotte Becker wins stage 2 from breakaway
    Becker takes rare breakaway victory at Tour of Chongming Island




    Stage 3 was a circuit race, 11 laps à 11.5 km. Intermediate sprints after 3 & 6 laps, a 'mountain' sprint after 9 laps, and what was bound to finally be a sprint royale after 11 laps.


    Malseed didn't really contest the intermediate sprints, instead #hitec & #tibco cooperated to keep the race together. A few short-lived attacks on laps 7 & 8, but eventually it came down to the sprint.
    #virtu hit the lead-out, #mts #champbe Jolien D'hoore was boxed in a bit behind them, #wiggle Kirsten Wild launched from the left, and though D'hoore was fastest at the end, she couldn't get past the Dutchwoman.

    Cyclingnews:
    Wild wins final sprint in Tour of Chongming Island
    Wild dedicates Chongming sprint victory to her team







     1. In 2013, the peloton was led the wrong way, meaning that a solo rider got through, and in 2011, the favourites distanced the field in the wind.
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