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Re: Retirement announcements
« Reply #480 on: November 25, 2017, 14:09 »
Even at his best (which was 5 years ago?) I think a top-ten would be overly optimistic for Nordhaug. It just looks too tough a course.

I'd be pinning my hopes on awful weather or Foss in the U23.

Top-ten was definetly within reach in Firenze world championship.

About those tough courses, both the Rio olympics and the Bergen worlds showed that first you need to stand the distance, then you need to hang on over the climbs, stick the turns on the downhill, but to win,  you also need to finish fast.

Perhaps it sounds strange that I include the Bergen world championships in this, but yes: In Norway we always discuss Edvald Boasson Hagen vs Aleksander Kristoff. Before the Bergen Worlds the conclusion was already reached: this race was for Edvald, because the Salmon hill umpteen times would break Kristoff. Pre race press coverage in Norway focused exclusively on EBH as "our man" for this kind of course. However, he's got one weakness: the distance. Edvald has delivered a couple of spectucular performances where he fades away at the very last challenge, with nothing left to ride with. Remember when he practically stopped on the entrance to the velodrome in Roubaix? That was the most typical EBH failure - and in Bergen he basically did it again, dropping on the last lap up Salmon hill after an attempt at following Alaphilippe on the attack. This, once again, thaught Norwegians that first, you got to stand the distance. While Edvald struggles with that, Kristoff would be my default pick for any race >400 km just as Quintana normally looks like he wiill excel in the fourth week of grand tours. Even Norwegian media commented afterwards that they need to remind themselves more often that when distance matters, Kristoff must never be forgotten - even on a course made for EBH.

Lars Petter, in the past 5 years or so our third force, often forgotten in the media hype surrounding EBH and Kristoff,  did not have an obvious problem with long distances and he was also above average on the downhills. He doesn't climb like Chris Froome,  but he also knows how to make the finish line in a one-day race, something Froome isn't capable of. If "Lappe" kept racing, and managed to leave his health issues behind. he would be the default pick for *no Norway captain in Innsbruck. He would probably get a large team without much climbing strengh to support him, but then again this seems to matter less in worlds (if you don't consider Sagan as racing for Checkoslovakia (this was a roadside joke in Bergen ,as it looked much like the Checs controlled the race for the Slovaks). My hopes wouldn't be high, I probably wouldn't travel to Innsbruck to watch it   - it sorta would surprise me with a podium,  but the top-10 would be within reach.
Of the Norwegians, only an improved #wanty Odd Christian Eiking is within firing distance for a result of that order (still young he might actually improve significantly).

Remember the special Nordic irony: we (the Norwegians) are the "mountain monkeys" that can't climb, even if we just need to step out of the door to start climbing - it is normally left to the Danes to take care of that activity.  *dk Jakob Fuglsang is clearly the Nordic rider that can podium in Innsbruck. Perhaps we should do like the central Europeans and start the race controlling it as Denmark-Norway  :D
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