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Servais Knavendish

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wow -not there this year alas but just watched on playback and what a race!  Big shout on NP CA but must admit delighted to see big Phil collect #4.    So much to love today, really nearly everything I love about pro cycling in the best race of the year, all my frustration of last eek dissipated in an attritional race to that hallowed place!

Big nod to WVA too ... my word we are set for a battle of the ages between those two princes aren't we?
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  • Echoes

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    Just some things:

    In 2007 Philippe Gilbert raced his very first Paris-Roubaix for Française des Jeux. He finished 52nd. He wouldn't come back to the race in more than a decade, if I'm not mistaken. Next day, I distinctly remember reading the Dernière Heure and him saying it was so hard, even harder than the Tour of France. Clearly it was impossible to think at that time that someday would be in contention for the win, least of all win it...

    At the start of Binche-Chimay-Binche last year - where I was - he clearly said that his objective for 2019 was winning Paris-Roubaix... I think I posted the interview here on the Napoleon Game Cup 2018 thread.  ;)

    I know that Gilbert dreamed of winning all major classics. He was so close to winning Milan-Sanremo, for example the day Matt Goss won. Had Pozzato not chased behind him and brought back the group he would've won. Normally Paris-Roubaix suited him much less than Milan-Sanremo but he got the former and not the latter. Milan-Sanremo is the race he first shone in if I remember well. He attacked on the Poggio in 2004. It will be hard for him to win it in the future now.

    Even more than just the 5 classics that we know call "Monuments", Gilbert also won the Arrow (formerly equal to present-day monuments), Paris-Tours (historical classic), Amstel Gold (currently as hard as several "Monuments"). Volk/Nieuwsblad is not a classic but he also won it. Which other classic has escaped him? Ghent-Wevelgem but well, when you won Paris-Roubaix, you don't mind not winning Ghent-Wevelgem.
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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)

    Drummer Boy

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    It turns out the NBC Sports does offer coverage of the race.

    There's a two-hour condensed version airing from 1:00 to 3:00 am.  :S

    I'll record it, of course, but they're not doing much to promote cycling. You really have to be looking for it. I don't even see it listed on their website. I just discovered it by scrolling through the channel guide on TV, almost as a lark. But there it was.

    (It's all NHL Stanley Cup playoff coverage until then. Due the time change, the Western Conference playoffs won't end until midnight here anyway.)

    ----------------
    EDIT
    Actually, forget all that. I just tried to watch an eleven minute highlight video that NBC Sports posted. I only got through four minutes of it. Having watched Eurosport all day, I had forgotten that this would be Liggett and Roll. Absolutely horrible. Not to mention the terrible soundtrack, it was nothing more than a crash highlight reel. I will never, ever pay for the NBC subscriptions services when the commentating is still so weak.

    Rant over....
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  • « Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 02:09 by Drummer Boy »

    M Gee

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    My star rankings

    Spoiler (hover to show)
    Gilbert? 64???

    Ok then!

    Hey, AG, where were you today! Your  <3 throb lookin' good! Hehe, and Tiger Woods is a winner on the same day. Must have been something in the globally warmed air!
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  • . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .

    AG

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    Thanks everyone for thinking of me ...

    Unfortunately my husband is in the final stages of terminal brain cancer - so has been pretty freaking awful really.

    I did watch the race but though, and Phil winning did make me smile - something I really need right now

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  • LukasCPH

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    quoted from last year's thread:

    came back to finish 9th today :cool

    good race by the way. Will come back for more later on :)
    Woah. A previous top-10 is basically a prerequisite to win Paris-Roubaix - so Siskevicius is now part of a (large) group of possible winners! :o

    I think Nils Pollit will win today. Never won much if anything but he does appear to be a rider who is continually improving at the cobbled races.
    Very good call! One I (and others) made myself on Radsport-News, and he was oh so close. :cool
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    Woah. A previous top-10 is basically a prerequisite to win Paris-Roubaix - so Siskevicius is now part of a (large) group of possible winners! :o

    you may need to extend that to Top 15 now :D

    or in other words: Gilbert is one of the rare exceptions of winners not to have finished in the Top 10 before. The only others in (more or less) recent times were O'Grady and Knaven, as far as I can see.
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

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    Excellent deduction!  :cool

    Shame that the top spot wasn't his, for he was the one responsible for initiating the escape, and the one who caused the winning split. I suppose he had to make a move like that, but it was gutsy and well-timed. Phil was good for some solid pulls of his own (obviously), but it must sting to get so, so close to victory.

    Next time he'll likely be more of a marked man, so he may have missed his best shot at the element of surprise. But I hope victory finds him soon. He animated an already very exciting race, and deserves a lot of credit for that.
     :)

    yeah, also #katusha Marko Haller mentioned that in the post race interview. Before the race they talked about it, and that it would be his last chance to fly under the radar - and I think he really made the most out of it :cool



    It's likely to be a bit of a different race for him next year, I guess. But he's strong, so who knows...

    And although JSG isn't around much anymore, a Roubaix thread also needs a #bahrain Heino Haussler mention of course (video in German):



    He sounds super disappointed (with finishing 14th). His legs were amazing already during the recon, "all he had to do was steering", and he could barely sleep the night before the race due to excitement - but having to fight back from two punctures at the worst possible time (and with the comissaires builing up a barrage) cost him too much energy.
    From what it sounds like, he really thought he'd win the race otherwise.

    So about time to get the hypetrain started for next year?! :D
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  • Echoes

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    Thanks everyone for thinking of me ...

    Unfortunately my husband is in the final stages of terminal brain cancer - so has been pretty freaking awful really.

    I did watch the race but though, and Phil winning did make me smile - something I really need right now

    Oh my God! Be strong AG. My thoughts are with you. :hug
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  • M Gee

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    Thanks everyone for thinking of me ...

    Unfortunately my husband is in the final stages of terminal brain cancer - so has been pretty freaking awful really.

    I did watch the race but though, and Phil winning did make me smile - something I really need right now


    Oh, man. So sad to hear this! Virtual hugs are the best I can do from here. This is awful news. "My thoughts are with you" - as Echoes said. Just wish I could say more - but there is nothing to say. But we will be here for you.
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  • M Gee

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    As for this P-R, I have seen some of the most amazing journalism this year. Maybe it is just my poor memory, but I feel like these are all well above standard:

    This one is fun - I can feel the pain.
    https://twitter.com/VelonCC/status/1117520273589395457

    Caley Fretz, showing some remarkable writing skills:
    https://cyclingtips.com/2019/04/at-paris-roubaix-a-once-and-future-wout-van-aert/

    Andy Hood's great article at VN looks pale in comparison to Caley's, but is still well above average, imo. BTW, VN has some other good articles on P-R as well.
    https://www.velonews.com/2019/04/analysis/the-longest-hour-how-the-monuments-greater-distance-sets-them-apart_492504
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  • rote_laterne

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    All the best to your husband and you AG!

    I might be the minority here and I like watching Paris-Roubaix but the Tour of Flanders gets me more exited.

    I was rooting for Politt or Vanmarcke and I'm not a fan of Gilbert, but he is a worthy winner (although Politt would deserve it more) I wouldn't bet a penny on before the race.
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  • M Gee

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    I FINALLY got to watch the last half of the race tonight. O.M.F.G. BRUTAL! Wow, the NUMBER of crashes! I mean, I almost felt like I was watching MMA, it was so brutal! I felt a little guilty for enjoying the spectacle - my god - it was positively Roman!

    From the gun - action. It did not stop. Crash here, crash there - even the famous "Hell of the North" movie didn't have this many crashes.

    And Wout Van Aert! If effort was the judgement for winning, he WON! But that isn't the case - you have to get there first. WVA was amazing tho. Quite incredible. Sagan just didn't have the legs yet, and faded in the finale. Deceuninck/QS were brilliant. And Gilbert finally returned to the promised talent he last showed winning the world champs. Mostly unseen since.

    GREAT race. As good, or maybe better, than vanSummeren's win.
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  • Echoes

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    I might be the minority here and I like watching Paris-Roubaix but the Tour of Flanders gets me more exited.

    I think it's a shame because there are longer breakaway ranges at Paris-Roubaix, it's a war of attrition and most definitely a harder race but it's your opinion and I respect it.

    However there are things I've noticed. The work done by the "Amis de Paris-Roubaix" is gradually denaturing the race. Of course I'm all for safety but some cobbled sections now seem cakewalk to me while they use to be so hard.  The Bourghelles section (last but one before Carrefour de l'Arbre) was particularly striking to me and it's no surprise if Van Avermaet broke the record average speed which dates back from the old route on different cobbles. I wonder what this year's average speed was (though of course it all depends on the way the wind blows).

    But then again, on the Arenberg Forest there are no serious crashes anymore and that's of course something positive.
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