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Biosphere

Paris-Nice: Sun 6th - Sun 13th March 2016

FPs are awaiting here

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/about5324.html
Biosphere

Early riders have gone off and Kelderman in pole position, but rain is on the way

Quote:

Letour.fr gives us the bad news that rain and thunderstorms may be moving in


whilst in other Cyclingnews

Quote:
We have a "new" team in the race today. For Paris-Nice, we no longer have Lotto-Soudal, but Lotto-Fixall! And they have changed their jerseys as well, just to add to the general confusion.
Nolte

I don't see the big fuss about those roads today. I am on far worse roads than those, occasionally even with my fat bum on a saddle

I think the only GC contender to finish outside lead group was spilak, unless I am mistaken, which I could be.
Fontfroide

I like those sprint finishes where no one can quite figure out for absolute certain whether Nacer was bad or not.  We all must have seen the end five or six times already.  Right on the limit.  But even though I picked him for my Velogames team, I think he was just a little bit bad.  

On the other hand, Matthews was taking a bit of a chance.

Amazing bike handling for them both though.  I can't imagine I could have kept my bike upright.
HuwB

I reckon they got it about right, FF.
Relegated to the bottom podium step, as opposed to the rear of the bunch, which would have been too harsh.
Definitely a deliberate, dodgy move, though.
gerry12ie

Is Bio paying out First Past the Post - like a good Irish bookie? Wink
gerry12ie

Yes, Nacer was a bit naughty but we have seen much worse.  Matthews did very well to stay upright, and ultimately deserved the win as a result.

Kittel? Nowhere again...
Biosphere

The Commissars decision is final Gerry Wink

I've not seen the footage yet, but the stills are pretty impressive

Boogerd_Fan

Nice to see G on the right side of a split just behind, gathering 5s on Bertie.
Nolte

HuwB wrote:
I reckon they got it about right, FF.
Relegated to the bottom podium step, as opposed to the rear of the bunch, which would have been too harsh.
Definitely a deliberate, dodgy move, though.


yes, i think the reason relegated to third was that they had judged bonifazio, matthews and bouhanni as a group on their own and then a one second gap to kristoff in 4th so by demoting him.

seemed to be a very tight space in the first place for matthews to try to get through but there would have been just enough. bonifazio seems to have wanted to follow matthews before decided to try the other side.
Fontfroide

If you figure those guys were going at 70kph, looking at the still picture (which makes it almost impossible to believe, hence the need to know they were moving), their bike handling skills are incredible.  Seems like the judges did a decent job of deciding this time.
HuwB

Stage cancelled as on the way to the finish it was like this:



However, at the finish it was like this:

Boogerd_Fan

so it's going to come down to a shootout on La Madone Utelle
HuwB

Yesterday's casualties:

DNF       FRA        VICHOT Arthur       FDJ              0  
   DNF       FRA        VUILLERMOZ Alexis       ALM              0  
   DNF       ERI        TEKLEHAIMANOT GIRMAZION Daniel       DDD              0  
   DNS       BEL        GILBERT Philippe       BMC              0  
   DNS       FRA        FEDRIGO Pierrick       FVC              0    

Have to say that yesterday hammered the nails into my Velogames team's coffin.
HuwB

In my opinion, a thoroughly undeserved win for Bouhanni.
Despite appeals to aid in the chase, Cofidis refused to do a solitary turn on the front, until within the final 2kms.

Were it not for Katusha being prepared to sacrifice their entire team, just and only just bringing the break back to within catching distance, he would have been left, sprinting for fourth.

It is something I have regularly noticed with French teams: not taking responsibility for the chase, but having a sense of entitlement, come the sprint.

No wonder Nacer enjoys a less than stellar rep with his fellow professionals.
mazda

A lot of cycling tactics are built around the mutual benefit of cooperation.
But I don't see why everyone has to play the same game.
If it were that prevalent then surely others would have changed their behaviour by now - or at least should be considering doing so.

Also, it is more incumbent on the team of the top sprinter to do the work. Maybe the lack of work is a tacit acknowledgement that they don't have the best sprinter.

As for French attitude. That's a whole other story of which I know very little and have nothing to say Wink
Boogerd_Fan

Presumably that entitlement is because it is a French race. Showing some contempt to the teams around is just part of the whole French racing culture presumably... On the lesser (1.1/1.2) events, that make up the French Cup, i'm sure Cofidis and Direct Energie like being the flat track bullies against all those Conti teams from local area, and that attitude just gets transferred to the WT and 1.HC events
Nolte

20km left, contador has been showing some aggression but henao is doing a great job so far protecting thomas
Nolte

That was a good finish

Good to see porte knock zakarin off the podium too.
Really well rode by Thomas to stay calm, ride within himself on col d'eze and not panic
Fontfroide

Nolte wrote:
That was a good finish

Good to see porte knock zakarin off the podium too.
Really well rode by Thomas to stay calm, ride within himself on col d'eze and not panic


You know something about Zakarin that makes you glad Porte beat him?  I was hoping Ilnur would do well, and am glad he did.  He is a promising and exciting young rider.  Maybe you know something bad about him?

Overall while the race was good enough, I kind of feel deprived of the stage, which may well have had some effect.  I never noticed Kittel leaving the race, or entering either.  Where was he?  Lovely countryside though, and some decent racing too.  Not quite as good as it usually is though, can't put my finger on it.  Sometimes it is one of the best races of the year!
Biosphere

Zakarin is a "promising young rider" who has already served a two year drugs ban.

With respect to the exciting bit, I may be mistaken but he didn't seem to be doing too much chasing to try to defend his 3rd place.

Anyway I decided to have some live cycling of my own today. First outing on summer bike this year but I was surprised to see there was still a bit of snow on the pass I went over - only at 700m. Thought I was coming back to a nice recording only to find Eurosport had over run on downhill skiing and then went to snooker instead of the scheduled cycling. Not like they even had to free up a commentary team for TA. Caught less than I would have liked on Italian TV later Evil or Very Mad

All very exciting though Smile
Bartali

Pleased for Thomas.
HuwB

Just watched the recording.
Cor, that was a bit tasty.
Chapeau to Bert and the boys for getting their tactics spot on for once.
Geraint's climbing is still his Achilles heel.

Zakarin? Wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw a crate of Meldonium.
Boogerd_Fan

Zakarin's riding style isn't too glamorous is it!?

Bertie going for another Punta De where he surprised JRod with a long one... but SKY are not Katusha.. and there were enough lieutenants around to ensure Thomas was never too isolated.

Allegedly G had a 54-tooth big ring for the descent to Nice... Might also explain his struggle on the final ascent if they were riding the big ring.
Nolte

Biosphere wrote:
Zakarin is a "promising young rider" who has already served a two year drugs ban.

With respect to the exciting bit, I may be mistaken but he didn't seem to be doing too much chasing to try to defend his 3rd place.


Yes the two year ban is the reason I don't like zakarin.

Yes I didn't notice him working either to bring it back

What was interesting looking back was we had wellens in the front doing some work with porte and contador while behind, we also had gallopin doing work with henao and Thomas so we had two team mates helping other riders but also a mutually beneficial to each team mate but in contrast, the work they did was counter to the riders their team mate was working with.

It makes sense in my head.

Huw - climbing might be his weak point but determination certainly isn't
Biosphere

I got to watch last night what I had missed on Sunday because of ES schedules (Contador et al building a 30s lead). In fairness, Zakarin was a bit more active in the chase than I had thought.

It was a very nicely balanced ending. Thomas offsetting his climbing loss with his pursuit /classics pedigree.

Both races impacted by weather this week, but both produced entertaining endings.

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