Let's Talk About Racing!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 07, 2014 7:38 AM GMT
    Starting with the De Ronde van Vlaandaren...the Tour of Flanders.

    This was the same motion I made when Cancellara crossed the line. I love this guy!

    So much is written about how brutally strong he is in the one-day races, but today's repeat and last year's win in Roubaix demonstrate how tactically intelligent he is.

    So today, he's in the main group and there's a breakaway down the road. He stayed with the main group at about 10th wheel most of the time to conserve his energy and mark any attacks. The breakaway had Greg Van Avermaat, Sep Vanmarcke, and Stijn Vandenbergh of Omega-Pharma sucking Van Avermaat's wheel, refusing to do any work because the real Omega favorites, Tom Boonen and Nikki Terpstra were in the main group. Omega was controlling the pace because there is no need to attack when your guy is second wheel in the breakaway.

    Last year, Cancellara won on the last climb of Oude Kwaremont, dropping Peter Sagan and never looking back. Everyone, especially Sagan, who was marking him in the peloton remembers that. So instead of waiting for the climb, Cancellara attacked ahead of the climb. Using all that reserve power, he caught up to the breakaway. The peloton melted away. Sagan is a sprinter who can climb...but not without some help and he had none as his team was way back still drinking espresso and eating waffles in Ghent.

    So now the 4-man break has two guys who were told they could win it in Van Avermaat and Vanmarcke (who lost in the last 100 meters to Cancellara at Roubaix last year)...plus that Omega wheelsucker. Normally, Cancellara doesn't get any help in breakaways, but Van Avermaat and Vanmarke want to get on the podium and don't want the Omega team to deliver more contenders to the line, so everyone worked together to maintain the gap.

    Whats-his-face attacked and Van Avermaat followed because after pulling him for 30 km, he finally could draft behind that big cheater and he really, really, really thought he could win if he just got to the line. Cancellara fell off the back, but he knew Vanmarke wanted to get no worse than third, so he'd dig deep to catch up to the break...for once, Cancellara could let someone pull him to the line, and that's what happened.

    As they got under 1 km, the cat-and-mouse started, but Fabian managed to slow it down to avoid launching the other three to the line. Once they got to within 100 meters, he pulled away with all that reserve energy. Van Avermaat, the alleged sprinter, couldn't catch up, having burned too many matches in the breakaway. Vanmarcke had to figure out how to catch a smarter racer, and the Omega-Pharma-Wheelsucker who was just there to provide some insurance if Boonen or Terpstra couldn't put something together wondered how he came in fourth.

    That's how I saw it. Paris-Roubaix is next week. Let's talk road racing here!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 07, 2014 4:03 PM GMT
    First, you have to draw 'em in.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 13, 2014 6:58 AM GMT
    NBC Sports calls Paris-Roubaix "the 'holy grail' of one-day racing" because finding it aired on the channel the day of the event is a mythical quest.

    They also say "This year's Paris-Roubaix is going to be an early preview of what we'll see during this year's Tour de France," which I guess is true in that they are totally different races that both happen in France.