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gerry12ie

Just Deserts - Dubai/Qatar/Oman

Halting site here for any comments and observations on the February races.  

After 2 stages of Dubai I think its fair to suggest that Phinney is off to a serious flier, Kittel is now the undisputed heavyweight champ and Sagan is, well, still Sagan.  Haven't yet seen today's highlights but a 3rd place for Phinney in a sprint ahead of the likes of Ferrari and Nizzolo is eye-catching.  Cav might be reunited with Renshaw but it didn't improve matters from last season as OPQS once again got boxed in.  It's bad enough for a sprinter losing a little bit of that final speed to a younger rival but when Cav is repeatedly getting hampered on the run in it must be very frustrating indeed.  

After years of Cavendish dominance the sprints are now becoming much more democratic and more watchable for it.
HuwB

I left it to this afternoon to watch.
Yup, Phinney going well.
Not impressed with Tony Martin's outburst, yesterday.
If he's got reason to complain about having to contend with a bit of extra wind during his ITT, he should spare a thought for the GT contenders who frequently have to deal with different conditions, when the discipline crops up early in a race.

OPQS too long in the wind and washed away in the final couple of kms.
Kittel's Giant boys seem to have perfect timing, these days.

On a side note, Qatar could be quite difficult to watch.
gerry12ie

I loved Backsted's decription of a stage at Qatar where the little top tube directions sticker read simply 'after 100k turn left'
HuwB

Anyone glancing at the results will think: "Oh Kittel wins again, must have been a bunch sprint."
Except, it was anything but.
Held on over the climbs with riders such as Valverde and Costa attacking
and still had the legs to out muscle the king of such stages, Sagan, from a group of no more than 40 riders.

Might be the end of the world as we know it.
Bartali

Early season Huw ... I never read so much into these 'winter' races.
Boogerd_Fan

Kittel's definitely flying... but Sagan is "undercooked" - he was on super form in Oman last year, and maybe they have looked at that and considered it as peaking a couple of weeks early.. considering he was flying in San Remo, but then ran out of puff in Flanders.

In his words: "quality not quantity" in 2014. It's monument or bust... Smile

Altho i have a really sneaky feeling about Pozzato for S-R... the extra climb might favour the less sprinters... and his engine looks to be firing based on his TT performance. Having said that Sagan has now top 10'ed in two ITT's under 20km in length in space of two weeks.. which, could also say something.
gerry12ie

Judging by Twitter and a less than reliable ticker it seems that OPQS are tearing up the annual OPQS benefit race. Having managed to get the whole team into the first echelon they have 33 seconds on the second group with 20k to go...
gerry12ie

Got a feed just in time to see Tom win his usual (21st!) Qatar stage from Morkov and Roelandts. Roelandts in to the lead overall?
HuwB

gerry12ie wrote:
Got a feed just in time to see Tom win his usual (21st!) Qatar stage from Morkov and Roelandts. Roelandts in to the lead overall?


Managed to get my sat back up and working, so I watched my recording late afternoon.
Terpstra still hold the lead, Boonan up to third with JR in the OPQS sandwich.
Less live coverage this year, so the echelons were well established before we got a shot.
Boom's tactic was mystifying. With his ITT, odds on favourite, but he ended up losing a few more seconds when that lead group broke up at the sprint.

The last 5kms with English commentary:
http://www.cyclingfever.com/video...?detp=view&video_idd=MTE2Mzk=
Boogerd_Fan

almost everyone in the vid clip is wearing black!!
difficult to see who is who.
gerry12ie

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
almost everyone in the vid clip is wearing black!!
difficult to see who is who.


Presumably the races will be as monochrome as this seasons outfits Rolling Eyes

Tom, Tom, Tom took win 22 at Qatar today just squeezing past the Gorilla.  Terpstra holds on to lead at 16 seconds from Tomtomtom who is now up to second.  

Sam Bennett rubbing shoulders with the best in 5th place on the day...
gerry12ie

Kristoff took stage 2 from Howard and Tomtomtom in Oman, so Howard's second runner-up spot in a row (2nd behind Gorilla yesterday) gives him the overall lead.  Lumps tomorrow.
HuwB

gerry12ie wrote:
Kristoff took stage 2 from Howard and Tomtomtom in Oman, so Howard's second runner-up spot in a row (2nd behind Gorilla yesterday) gives him the overall lead.  Lumps tomorrow.


Quite lucky not to get DQF'd. Swung straight across an Ag2r rider and almost put him on the deck.
Quite sombre coverage with the news of Goddaert's tragic death.
gerry12ie

Stage 3 - Greipel, Sagan, Bouhanni

Haven't seen it but apparently Froome attacked and Greipel chased him down so let the idiocy begin...



Click to download file
HuwB

With the race being shown a day late, I must stop coming to this thread. Embarassed
gerry12ie

I have been busy the last couple of nights so I haven't checked but is it on ESUK?
HuwB

gerry12ie wrote:
I have been busy the last couple of nights so I haven't checked but is it on ESUK?


Several times a day, first showing around 8am.
The usual half hour, a day behind.
Kirby with hindsight commentary, so not foolproof.
Beasley

Vroome, vroome...  Wink

ps. has Nibali finished yet!?  Laughing
HuwB

Nice to see Sky send Henao up the road and force others to chase.
Refreshing change from the usual mountain railway.
Worked a treat and made the winning margin very significant.
Maybe TJVG coming second says more about where the rest are, atm,
than his GT trajectory.

Nibali's thoughts currently elsewhere, I would imagine.
Bartali

Beasley wrote:
Vroome, vroome...  Wink

ps. has Nibali finished yet!?  Laughing


I don't know ... just watching the previous stage Laughing

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