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Gent - Wevelgem: Sunday 24th March

Should have kicked this off for E3 yesterday and made it a double bill.

Snow disruption possible again

FP thread over here

Back to E3.

Gerry wrote:
Aye, the sound has been rediscovered on the Eurosport feed just in time for Fatarse the One Trick Pony to do that thing that he does in his annual benefit race.  It's quite a trick though!

Yep. Once again he set's himself up as the strong favourite for a big upcoming race by winning a less important race, so that the whole field then spends the afternoon watching his fatarse for the upcoming race. Mind you, it's somewhat slimmer than mine. Embarassed

A gripe about yesterday which may not be justified as there seems to have been some technical problems, but I recorded the delayed transmission E3 of UK Eurosport yesterday and was pleasantly surprised when it kicked off with 100km to go so could watch the early climbs and see the race evolve properly. Thinking this is perfect, kids in bed and I can sit for 2.5 hours and watch something in detail which is too seldom these days. Who's got the legs and who hasn't. Boonen is not looking ready for next week. The fact that I've cycled those lanes several times was making it perfect. Then they jump from 52km to go to 27km to go in an ad break and the race is basically over and we've missed how it finally played out. And the commentators then sounded like they were literally phoning in the commentary.

Apart from that from what I saw I thought it was a great race the way it was constantly developing with attacks from protagonists as far out as they came.

Yep, ti well deserves WT status and has been better than Gent - Wevelgem in recent years.  So, Tomekke off-colour, Cancellara back in business, and Sagan prepared to do alot of work - interesting spring (for want of a better word Rolling Eyes )

Course now shortened by 46kms and the climbs are under review.
The presentation and 'ceremonial' start will be in Deinze as normal, the riders do a couple of kms on the bikes to get out of town, then get in the bus, and the 'real' start is 45 km further. Must be to honour the contract with Deinze to have the start there, but all a bit of a faff for riders and mechanics

It's basically back to the distance it was a couple of years ago and could end up completely flat?
So, a junior Scheleprijs, then.
Great buy Sky Sports. Embarassed  
Should have moved to Monday.

Re: Gent - Wevelgem: Sunday 24th March

Biosphere wrote:
was pleasantly surprised when it kicked off with 100km to go so could watch the early climbs and see the race evolve properly. Thinking this is perfect, kids in bed and I can sit for 2.5 hours and watch something in detail which is too seldom these days.

Amen to that!!!

The only issue i have is that my week day schedule now reads:

06-08  ride
08-09  breakfast/travel
09-17  work
17-23  KID
23-00  computer
00-02  cycling highlights/tv

4 hrs sleep is not enough!

back to the racing - Sagan to make it third time lucky. But i would be asking the team to keep it together as long as possible.. when Canc or Boonen attack and Sagan bridges across, it simply becomes a tactic to let him chase down everything, and he shouldn't get bullied into that!

I know the one he really wants is next week.. so perhaps this can be used to try a different tactic, just to see what can work?
MSR - closing down everything didnt work
E3 - letting Canc go didnt work
GW - another lesson ?
Flanders - the plan comes together!! Smile


I'm with you both with watching major races evolve in detail.
Hate it when we get 25kms like today. 80kms+ is where we need to be.
Talking of which, we should see plenty of Flanders evolving.
Eurosport have an uninterrupted five and a quarter hours pencilled in for next Sunday. Smile
mr shifter

Re: Gent - Wevelgem: Sunday 24th March

Boogerd_Fan wrote:

GW - another lesson ?
Flanders - the plan comes together!! Smile
Oh I do hope not. !

It is going to be an East wind I think, so the finish should be a sprinters train.

Oh hum, Mr Millar to play Santa?

The up and downs of the climbs being salted.
Feels like -10C, so the riders won't miss those extra 50kms.

Yikes!  I expect a pitch inspection or is the -46km still definite?

gerry12ie wrote:
Yikes!  I expect a pitch inspection or is the -46km still definite?

Kick off confirmed for 11-30gmt, with no further changes.
Could be the hardest, mostly flat 190kms of the year.

Only 4 races live on tv or the net, today.
What a pity! Smile

(feeds should appear between 14-00-14-30CET)

Edit: Even ITV 4 getting in on the act.
Paris Nice 10.55am
Criterium International 9pm

HuwB wrote:
Oh hum, Mr Millar to play Santa?

Dutch or Flemish or whatever it is always makes me smile  Smile

Q: Is dit in Gent genommen?
A: In Gent inderdaad

Feeling like -10  Shocked Cue more mass abandons.

Latest, nicked from BR:


Race will officially start at 12,35 and will cover 183.4Kms.
Latest from the organisers is there main worry is getting all the course marshals who of course are volunteers and come from far and wide to there respective locations on the course.They feel that they should have everyone in position on time for the race.

More latest:
Wilfred Peeters has told the race directors if one rider crashes on ice, the peloton will stop the race.
I wonder if the Rabo ladies "experience" has anything to do with it? Wink

Flying. 51km in the first hour.
43 seconds ahead we have these:

Maes, Steegmans (OPQS), Rasch, Rowe, Stannard, Thomas (Sky), Roelandts (Lotto), Bazayev, Bozic, Grivko (Astana), Van Emden, Tjallingii, Vanmarcke (Blanco), Gilbert, Hushovd, Schär, Van Avermaet (BMC), Marangoni (Cannondale), Beppu, Goss, Howard, Langeveld (Orica), Haller, Kristoff (Katusha), Cancellara, Popovych (RadioShack), Sinkeldam (Argos) et Flecha (Vacansoleil)

What channel are you watching Huw?

No worries, Coquard not there, so Europcar will bring them back.   Laughing

Bartali wrote:
What channel are you watching Huw?

No channel until now.
Just starting-a nice French feed:

98kms to go...........

50 riders in the lead. All the big names.
I reckon this means > 50 riders will finish.

Cancellara and Thomas quit.
Boonan crashes on a drain cover and limps on.....

Ta, Huw.  Meanwhile in Corsica Froome is riding away - 35".  Evans as much use to Tejay as an ashtray on a motorbike

Yup ... the word 'unbelievable' sprang to mind!

Quite an astonishing performance from Froome - asked Peraud to work with him and when he said no, Froome just said sod you then and went again.

Eisel must be a dangerman here in GW.

Froome puts almost a minute into Talansky and Tejay in one km .... ummm

Go on Sagan ... hammer it!!

This isn't how I was expecting him to win - Cancellara style!

I like the way he took responsibility for that ... a good win!!

A facile win for Sagan, no small thanks to the stupid games going on behind him.  They weren't prepared to bring the best rider to the line so they certainly weren't going to try to bring anyone back to him as he was riding away.  They never learn, do they?

Cold must have frozen a few brains.
After Bodnar went, what did they expect?
Pretty dull edition even by G-W standards.

I'm having a hard time watching Sagan.  The "best doped rider" appears to win again.  OMERTA is alive and well in the UCI Pro Tour and we are repeating the past by letting it fade into history, forgetting Festina, Gewiss, USPS and all the rest.  Sagan's performance at the 2012 Tour wasn't believable, and neither was today's, although Gent is made for the sprinters.  I think it's finally getting to me.  The UCI Pro Tour has become somewhat of a joke.  Our sport isn't credible.

Without saying he's clean ... why do you find him harder to watch than Boonen or Cancellara?  Both of which have regularly produced far more spectacular performances than Sagan.

I think with Sagan you are in the same territory as Museeuw, Kelly, Maertens & co.  Doped or not, he is clearly that much better than the rest.  It blurs assesment of how unnatural the performances may seem.  Sagan was flagged up early on as having huge potential, and maybe because of that (like I said it blurs the edges) he was also on the doping radar very quickly.

Ultimately, until we hear otherwise you have to consider Bart's question.  What about those he is beating (and sometimes losing to)?

I think part of his success comes down to his fearless approach... i mean, he's not afraid to wheel suck Cancellara and out-sprint him like Seraing last year... and his flamboyance more often that not does account for some wild, rugged aggressive racing like today.

Good to see Canondale try something different this time, rather than try to control that front group and let him sprint for the win. Shows he learned a bit from the last two weeks.

Having said that, sadly i wouldn't be surprised to learn he was a naughty boy. If that was the case, i'd prefer to learn he's flying under the radar like 90% of the rest of them, and as Gerry says, he's just really that good - or wreckless - to try things and get the job done.

interesting one handed wheelie after the finish line too Wink  The build up for next weekend couldn't have gone better - with both Cancellara/Sagan having won races in the build up... although i hope it will be slightly warmer, so that the full distance/course is covered! Forum Index -> Cycling Forum
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