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t-72

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Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
« on: April 06, 2021, 20:52 »
Didn't think he'd beat MvdP in a sprint ... but then again, Asgreen hasn't had to sprint for a win until now. So it's not that he can't sprint, more like we've never seen him do it before. And it was after a long, hard race.

I thought #champdk Asgreen could beat #champnl van der Poel after seeing them up the Patersberg, last time. It reminded me a lot of Terpstra vs Kristoff in 2015, when "everyone" expected Terpstra to pull away from Kristoff on the Patersberg, but instead it was Kristoff taking the initiative, almost opening a gap to Terpstra towards the top.
The stronger rider on the Patersberg, last time,  will last longer, or more precisely:  the weaker rider on the Patersberg is alreadyrunning out of steam.

Van der Poel is an excellent cyclist, but he has occasional problems getting enough fuel to last through the day,  and to finish strong in the longest races. Asgreen probably knew this, because he talked to a guy called Mads after a race in Yorkshire some time ago.  Probably he saw something with Mathieu and recognized signs something similar was about to happen. It wasn't an extreme collapse, as in Yorkshire (or at the rainy Tirreno-Adriatico stage earlier this spring), but it was enough to take his best sprint legs away.
Thankfully, the monuments are practically unwinnable, even for the riders with the highest top level, if they fail to turn up with one of the very best versions of themselves. The competition is just too hard for that, and I hope it stays that way. 
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