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t-72

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Re: 2021 Smaller Race Results and Discussion
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2021, 22:44 »
Some will object to me putting this in the smaller race category, but it is correct as far as TV coverage goes. The French TV producers need a more flexible setup for when the first 100 km goes by in a whoosh due to crosswinds. They only showed the last 30 km of the race, and thus the traditional[1] French fall classic Paris-Tours became was shorter than a cyclocross race. Small race in measured watching time.

That was a pity, because what we got to see was quite beatiful cycling on narrow, dusty, winding lanes through small villages, farms and vineyards. Soaked in low late fall afternoon sun, this world seemed like a very different one from that race to the other side of Paris just one week back. Yet in racing style, they now resemble each other. Or perhaps, the Paris-Tours is even more like de Ronde, because the short hills are more of a feature and the cobbles less. Also the final features a long "time trial" stretch into the finish line after the last real obstacle, which makes it possible for an organized chase to catch the front group, but also for a strong front group to maintain the lead all the way to the finish line.

That was just what happened. At about - how much was that - 11 km? to go, there was a big discussion in the chase group, someone probably refused to cooperate and #groupama Arnaud Demare said zut alors! and attacked up a small hill in mad rage.  #trek Jasper Stuyven followed and they made a strong 2-man chase group chasing the 2-man lead group (#bb Bonnamour and #ag2r Stand Dewulf)   all the way to the Avenue de Grammont.

So there was a sprint between two monument winners known to have the skills and speed to finish with a winning move after a long day in the saddle (both have won the Milano-SanRemo.) Only one of them is a win candidate for big bunch sprints though.

What's more - no Quickstep #quickstep, because apparently Lefevre hates this race as it is  too much gravel, just like he also hates Strade Bianche.  I can't say they were missed.  :angel




 
 1. a wet Paris-Roubaix in October is a hipster's attempt at making a fall classic. Go back to spring!
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