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t-72

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Re: [WT] Tour of California
« Reply #60 on: May 19, 2019, 21:57 »
I got to watch a recording of the Baldy stage, and I have to say it was a fantastic race by #uae Pogacar, but by now (having watched him win 3 stage races) I have become used to his style and this climb suited him perfectly. He is superb on long climbs without too much of a gradient, and it seems that his endurance is his strong hand - he always comes back late with a strong surge (not a sprint, just a surge), which can defeat more explosive climbers. I will put him over in the Chris Froome side of the spectrum but without Froome's accelrations (so far, not seen) and perhaps a bit of Ryder Hesjedal / Bauke Mollema too.

Pogacar comes across as tactically clever, as his two GC wins this year have come with small margins and late in the race. Now, let's hope UAE let him rest and train in adequate doses for such a young rider and that they won't run him though every grand tour to become the next Meintjes. If his development is carefully guided, he can become one of the best in a new generation of GC riders.
 
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: [WT] Tour of California
    « Reply #61 on: May 20, 2019, 13:02 »
    Youngest ever winner of a WT stage race. There are WT races and there are WT races of course, but nevertheless it's still very impressive.

    Although imo Asgreen probably eclipsed him in the impressiveness stakes, if only because he had no preceding results to show that this sort of performance was possible. A big engine yes, but climbing like this? Add that to his cobbles prowess, a fast finish and not too shabby time trialling......he'll be at Ineos in no time.

    Speaking of which, the newly sponsored team had a pretty anonymous time in California. One top-3 for Moscon and a handful of top-tens for Halvorsen. Nothing that special, which kinda mirrors their season (with a couple of exceptions).

    The two big American PCT outfits must be disappointed as well. Although Rally had a better time of it, they went in with bigger expectations (from McNulty) and neither can be too happy. Hagens Berman best placing in a stage was 24th! They were in breaks, but didn't really look like doing anything. It was the Aevolo youngsters Hernandez and Hoehn on the USA National team who were getting in the mix for the KoM jersey and intermediate sprints.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: [WT] Tour of California
    « Reply #62 on: May 20, 2019, 15:38 »
    The two big American PCT outfits must be disappointed as well.

    I wasn't able to follow the race very closely during its last couple days, but I did make note of this final GC placing:

    44 Travis McCabe (USA) USA National Team   0:28:17

    I had noted previously in the thread that McCabe had final GC podium ambitions, based on the overall course profile, but now I can't seem to find the interview where that quote came from. I seem to remember that it also included a supportive quote from his wife/girlfriend about those same goals, but now I just can't find it. I could've sworn that I read that in one of his interviews after coming in second to Sagan in Stage One.

    Did I imagine that, or misremember that, or did I simply attribute it to the wrong person?
     :S
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: [WT] Tour of California
    « Reply #63 on: May 20, 2019, 20:01 »

    I wasn't able to follow the race very closely during its last couple days, but I did make note of this final GC placing:

    44 Travis McCabe (USA) USA National Team   0:28:17

    I had noted previously in the thread that McCabe had final GC podium ambitions, based on the overall course profile, but now I can't seem to find the interview where that quote came from. I seem to remember that it also included a supportive quote from his wife/girlfriend about those same goals, but now I just can't find it. I could've sworn that I read that in one of his interviews after coming in second to Sagan in Stage One.

    Did I imagine that, or misremember that, or did I simply attribute it to the wrong person?
     :S
    McCabe having overall podium ambitions for California? I don't think he's that delusional.
    He's a very good sprinter, but that's what he is. A sprinter.
    In a stage race with Mount Baldy, there's no way he'll podium.
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    t-72

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    Re: [WT] Tour of California
    « Reply #64 on: May 20, 2019, 20:08 »
    Although imo Asgreen probably eclipsed him in the impressiveness stakes, if only because he had no preceding results to show that this sort of performance was possible. A big engine yes, but climbing like this? Add that to his cobbles prowess, a fast finish and not too shabby time trialling......he'll be at Ineos in no time.

    The race fits this rider category, for example not only Asgreen, but also #uae VSL (aka Vegard Stake Laengen) did not feature in the GC this year as he was riding in support of Pogacar but on a previous occasion he brought home a 6th place in the GC. I think that even if the climbs are long, the roads are smooth and the gradients doesn't kill these heavier locomotives, even if they are built for hauling the peloton along loong stretches of road.

    EDIT: Thomas de Gendt could probably win it ...
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: [WT] Tour of California
    « Reply #65 on: May 21, 2019, 01:16 »
    McCabe having overall podium ambitions for California?

    It turns out that I didn't imagine it after all!  :P

    After searching Google high and low to find the interview in question, it occurred to me that it was actually in the post-stage comments, on NBC Sports, that I heard the remarks. Luckily, I hadn't yet erased Stage 1 from the DVR, and there it was, in the final fifteen minutes of coverage. As they were talking about both Sagan and McCabe, in the immediate aftermath of the sprint, the following conversation took place:

    Liggett: "I'll tell you what. Before the race started, we spoke to the girlfriend of Travis McCabe, and she told us that the aim this week is a podium finish in Pasadena. And he's off to a terrific start with second place."

    Roll: "Stage 3 with some climbing..."

    Vande Velde: "Yup."

    Roll: "Stage 5 ['Yup'] also might factor into his fitness even better."


    For whatever reason, they all seemed to agree that it was a realistic goal.

    This was all reinforced with Travis' pre-podium interview with Steve Schlanger.

    "Now, your goals for the week, were a podium...but down the road, not on this opening day. How surprising was this?"

    McCabe: "It's pretty surprising. I mean honestly, I'm not a 'pure sprinter.' I was looking at more stages like, Stage 3 and 4, I believe, and the next stage after that."


    I shouldn't have doubted my memory.  :s
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  • « Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 01:38 by Drummer Boy »

    LukasCPH

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    Re: [WT] Tour of California
    « Reply #66 on: May 21, 2019, 06:53 »
    It turns out that I didn't imagine it after all!  :P
    :o :S

    Here's my attempt at an explanation:
    'A podium finish in Pasadena' could mean 'a podium on that stage', not overall. :P
    And Liggett, old man that he is, simply understood that wrongly. ;)
    Finishing on the stage podium in Pasadena wouldn't have been out of the question at all - only a small group left after a stage with lots of climbing and a whirlwind Rose Bowl finishing circuit. McCabe finished 7th.

    Stages 1, 3, 4, and 5 ended with sprints of some sort (sometimes with attackers still up the road), so it's not unrealistic that McCabe could have been there. And he was - except for stage 5 with the wall at the outskirts of Ventura the steepness of which apparently caught everyone (at least on the commentary team) by surprise.[1] He lost 28" there, and 1'05" at Lake Tahoe on stage 2 with its 1200-metre uphill finish (I hesitate to call it a mountaintop finish).
    And then he was in the gruppetto to Mount Baldy.

    McCabe may not be a 'pure sprinter', and he probably took it easy up Mount Baldy, otherwise he would have been far close to the front that day. To give an indication, #astana Magnus Cort is the best-placed rider on that stage who can be labeled 'sprinter' - in 18th place, 1'18" down. If we, hypothetically, put McCabe a bit further down (WT rider vs. US Conti pro), he would end up with an overall time gap of 2-3 minutes to the best.
    That would put him somewhere between 15th and 20th.
    Which he may well have achieved under the best of circumstances. But the overall podium? Only if Mount Baldy had been snowed out.

     1. To which I say: Do you not look at the roadbook?!
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  • « Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 18:12 by LukasCPH »

    Drummer Boy

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    Re: [WT] Tour of California
    « Reply #67 on: May 21, 2019, 16:15 »
    :o :S

    Here's my attempt at an explanation:
    'A podium finish in Pasadena' could mean 'a podium on that stage', not overall.

    I keep trying to respond but my browser keeps crashing like a pre-Sky Froome Time Trial.

    I agree with your overall interpretation (I suppose there may have been one of the other jerseys in mind too, but who knows).

    That's the problem with journalists getting too cute with what they're trying to convey.

    A "podium in Pasadena," or a "podium down the road." Both are too vague. Say what you mean!!!

    Also, the fact that Bob Roll and Christian VdV didn't offer any pushback or clarification didn't help either. Roll seemed to be implying a possible cumulative victory by mentioning those other stages. It's too bad we can't just read or hear McCabe's girlfriend's interview (if it was even that) for ourselves.

    I don't want to put words into Travis' mouth that he never may have intended in the first place. He's still super enthusiastic about racing, and was more than happy just to be on Sagan's wheel for the opening sprint. A nice birthday present for him it was. I'm sure we'll more from him before the season is done.

    Go Floyd's of Leadville! :win  :P
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