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Biosphere

The 2015 Spring Semi Classics Begin

The season begins in earnest  with the race of too many vowels tomorrow (notwithstanding that Froome and Contador have kicked things off already).

I am away in the mountains at the moment, but I kick this off as I've opened an FP thread here

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/sutra223889.php#223889

Will tidy up and post spreadsheet when back on Sunday evening.
Fontfroide

I look at the names of the teams and wonder about how keen I really am in following the sport.  I have no idea at all about some of these teams, not really.  Maybe one name or two.  I guess this is the fun of it.

Nippo-Vini Fantini,
Cult Energy
Southeast
Team Roopot

Always new jerseys (mostly).  Always some people I know on strange teams.  Always a strange mix.  That time of the year.  I am still fresh, still think things are fine, full of high hopes for good racing.  Yippeee.
Nolte

wow - fabian wegmann is on the cult energy team and i thought he was older than 34
HuwB

The long winter finally ends today.
First day of Spring tomorrow, too.

Anyhow GVA..................................

https://twitter.com/nealrogers/status/571570249302085634
mr shifter

HuwB wrote:
The long winter finally ends today.
First day of Spring tomorrow, too.

Where the hell did you get that from as the Equinox is not till 21st March after my birthday.

Todays Het Nieuwsblad has run 45 Km's with 8 in the Break on 6.10 mins lead.

Must admit that it must seem like Spring with warmesh temperatures and little wind.
My previous 17 visits were usually cold, wet or snowing.
Biosphere

My initial reaction is that if Van Avermaet is on a program, then he should probably ask for a refund Wink I'm actually struggling to think what he's won rather than placing for FP points. I'm probably forgetting something big though.

Seems to be different definitions of the start of spring. We were taught as kids in Ireland that the first day was 1st Feb. I always thought that was a bit nonsensical given the usual weather but there you go . . .
HuwB

GVA does not look a happy bunny.

A very, very good Sporza feed here:

http://cyclinghub.tv/livestream.php

Chat atm.
Fontfroide

In Bulgaria tomorrow IS the first day of Spring, and the day that people give martinitza to everyone or people close or something.

http://www.studyenglishtoday.net/martenitsa-bulgarian-tradition.html

Mrs John Murphy

And in Romania and former Yugo, Greece and Italy. Martisor - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C4%83r%C8%9Bi%C8%99or
gerry12ie

All the shite that goes on in this sport and it's still magical watching men on bikes racing in spring. 😄 There's even added Matt Brammier...

50k to go
gerry12ie

Stannard has managed to blag a seat on the OPQS carriage with Boonen, Vandenbergh and Terpstra. Lotto are chasing but the four up front are squeezing the seconds out...
gerry12ie

Vanmarcke pulling GVA and Stybar across to make it seven up front, four of which are OPQS Borg. Gilbert chasing furiously on his own but mainly for the cameras...
Fontfroide

Yannn Stannard, le Britannique, not so bad.  Good to see the lads on bikes in real races.  The pleasure returns.
gerry12ie

Vandenbergh pouring it on up front because he would rather finish fourth than seventh😉

Hard to know who is getting the easiest ride here - Stannard or Stybar?
Fontfroide

Stybar seems to look easier than Stannard.  I guess he might have less on his mind for the moment.

Stannard might well be pretty busy figuring out what to do, maybe just calmly waiting.  I hope he is fit for something, after all that "rest".
Beasley

Stannard doesn't have much of a sprint on him, so his only hope is giving them the slip.
gerry12ie

Vanmarcke isn't going to make it across. Boonen or Terpstra?
Mrs John Murphy

Stannard channelling his inner-Pozzato
Fontfroide

Stannard .,, gros rouleur
Nolte

if stannard wins, another e word might be more appropriate than etixx
Fontfroide

Who would have guessed it, one guy beats three, and a decent three.

Surprise and not surprise.  Good race.
gerry12ie

Well ROFLMAO
HuwB

Well, that was an epic fail from Etix or whatever they are called this year.
Should have finished 1, 2, 4 and 5.
Instead finished, 2, 3, 4, and 7.
ROFLMAO also.
mr shifter

.
Fantastic finish and I didn't pick Ian to repeat as I thought the forecast this week of a Southerly Wind wouldn't benefit him.
Slapshot 3

I did though...hope its not the high point of my FP year... had to follow it on twitter, did the Quick Steppers catch a dose of the Schlecky's over the winter, Lefevre must be furious.

Funny...wonder of he'll show them a video of LBL a few years ago
mr shifter

Fontfroide wrote:
In Bulgaria tomorrow IS the first day of Spring, and the day that people give martinitza to everyone or people close or something.
http://www.studyenglishtoday.net/martenitsa-bulgarian-tradition.html
So that's where Huw gets it from.
I've never heard of it like that, so to explain why we differ, try this

http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-spring-vernal-equinox
Quote:
........Meteorologically speaking, however, in the Northern Hemisphere the official spring season always begins on March 1 and continues through May 31. Summer begins on June 1; autumn, September 1; and winter, December 1. Weather scientists divide the year into quarters this way to make it easier to compare seasonal and monthly statistics

I like your version better than what I've always understood the Equinox to be.
But then I'm only a former cyclist that trained to start a racing season after the Equinox and finish just after the the 2nd Equinox, like other cyclists did.
However I'm very happy I asked the question because now when the Summer Solstice occurs my age old problem of the first day of summer will no longer clash with the "Midsummer" celebrations.
Meteorological and Gardening have a better fit than the Equinox timings. Very Happy

Be Lucky (never too old to learn)
Fontfroide

mr shifter wrote:
Fontfroide wrote:
In Bulgaria tomorrow IS the first day of Spring, and the day that people give martinitza to everyone or people close or something.
http://www.studyenglishtoday.net/martenitsa-bulgarian-tradition.html
So that's where Huw gets it from.
I've never heard of it like that, so to explain why we differ, try this

http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-spring-vernal-equinox
Quote:
........Meteorologically speaking, however, in the Northern Hemisphere the official spring season always begins on March 1 and continues through May 31. Summer begins on June 1; autumn, September 1; and winter, December 1. Weather scientists divide the year into quarters this way to make it easier to compare seasonal and monthly statistics

I like your version better than what I've always understood the Equinox to be.
But then I'm only a former cyclist that trained to start a racing season after the Equinox and finish just after the the 2nd Equinox, like other cyclists did.
However I'm very happy I asked the question because now when the Summer Solstice occurs my age old problem of the first day of summer will no longer clash with the "Midsummer" celebrations.
Meteorological and Gardening have a better fit than the Equinox timings. Very Happy

Be Lucky (never too old to learn)


And my mum (a Bulgarian immigrant) always used to make us remember and somehow appreciate that Bulgarian Christmas was 6 January.

Nowadays I have to sort out Bulgarian, American, English and French holidays and celebrations.  And since I am retired, I respect all the time off work to celebrate.
Fontfroide

Nobody watching KBK?
Fontfroide

I guess if Cav doesn't win it, I would much prefer either Coquard or Bouhanni to take it.
Fontfroide

Good bunch sprint, Cav takes it.  OK.

Over to the rugby.
HuwB

Fontfroide wrote:
Nobody watching KBK?


No.
Was out to lunch.
Great mid section, lousy last 30kms.
Should have watched the Drome Classic on L'Equipe 21. Wink
mr shifter

Fontfroide wrote:
Nobody watching KBK?

Too Bloody True, I did.
Disappointed it came together again and this big circuit has taken some of the ambience from the village of the Kuurne Finish.
Well they have knocked my Pub down for those Flats.
Cavendish looked in fine form with that weaving about (after his mistake to go right hand side) to get across briefly to the Kristoff wheel.

I think Eurosport are showing the 1.1 Le Samyn race on Wednesday 4th March this week.
Which starts not far away near Mons at Quaregnon.
gerry12ie

50k left in Le Samyn and Lord Thomas of Gendt is off out for a spin on in his own in that lovely race.  I'm delighted he is on his own for a while as it gives good camera time to that pretty Ridley bike and rather nice Lotto Soudal kit...
gerry12ie

...and that nice Lotto Soudal kit and Ridley bike benefit from further QS Etixx inability to do anything that isn't Plan A - Boekmans takes the sprint from Meersman.
HuwB

Yes, the GP Samyn is becoming a bit of a midweek gem.
I'm liking the course changes, in particular that stretch of proper pave, 3kms from the finishing drag.
Vandenberg showed his cobbled class there in destroying the bunch.
A pity that once again, someone hitched a ride of the Etix train and ruined Pat Leferve's day! Smile
Nolte

HuwB wrote:
Yes, the GP Samyn is becoming a bit of a midweek gem.
I'm liking the course changes, in particular that stretch of proper pave, 3kms from the finishing drag.
Vandenberg showed his cobbled class there in destroying the bunch.
A pity that once again, someone hitched a ride of the Etix train and ruined Pat Leferve's day! Smile


vandenbergh is just a big powerhouse of a rider. i recall his attack in the tour of ireland when he was with unibet as first time he came to attention and it looked so awkward as it was on a hill but powerful.
Nolte

25km left, oss in the lead, attacking from 9 man group with peloton at 40 seconds, lead by orica-green edge.

Battlin' battaglin keeping out of the spotlight and quiet all day, just waitin'

i hope

2 sections of white road left
Fontfroide

I love it when a race has only strong guys left and you still don't know who is going to win.  A good classic.

Who is Rosas?  Thought it was a place just south of the French border where lots of people go for stages on the bike.
HuwB

The racing is just what I would wish for from a classic race, no matter how young.
Excellent stuff, with the strongest selection being sorted by the tough terrain.

Valverde and Stybar this year, Sagan and Kwiatkowski, last.
Fontfroide

Just such a cool race, with only quality riders in the end, nice hills, retro roads, I am quite fond of it.  Too bad it clashes with Paris Nice, I guess there are only so many weekends.

Has my boy Sepp fallen apart?
gerry12ie

Nice win for Stybar and well deserved too.  Valverde flattered to deceive, but not as much as Sagan did who got blown away quite easily... I'm beginning to wonder if Sagan actually has the right stuff?
HuwB

Sagan isn't on Bertie's stuff, that's for sure. Wink

The final climb had it's biggest impact on the race by far this year.
Thought GVA would pop, not Piti.
As for Cancellara and Oss......
Boogerd_Fan

gerry12ie wrote:
Nice win for Stybar and well deserved too.  Valverde flattered to deceive, but not as much as Sagan did who got blown away quite easily... I'm beginning to wonder if Sagan actually has the right stuff?


I'm thinking thats exactly the same question Tinkoff is asking himself too!

Sagan is OK... he is now advertising T-Mobile 4G easy plan, and his face is everywhere on TV, billboards etc.. under the logo S4GAN..

not that he is at all distracted by his media commitments... but...
Nolte

not to derail the fp thread but i think half of the etixx- quick step team has been fped
HuwB

Nolte wrote:
not to derail the fp thread but i think half of the etixx- quick step team has been fped


The good  folks on BR seem to have found a reason for this:



Smile
Mrs John Murphy

Smile
gerry12ie

I'm more than a bit envious of the group from my wife's club that made the trip for Dwars Door Vlaanderen, E3, and Gent-Wevelgem.  Three great races, and a few great nights drinking the best beer in the world - what could be better?*

*This is a great time of the year Very Happy
Mrs John Murphy

It's my favourite time in the cycling year.
Biosphere

E3 FP thread now featuring start list is here

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/sutra224517.php#224517

Picks by tomorrow morning please
HuwB

My favourite time, too.
I'm liking the recent DDV, E3, GW triple header a lot.
Then De Panne and the Ronde.

Better than a Summer holiday fortnight. Smile
mazda

Cancellara and a few others already down and out.
gerry12ie

mazda wrote:
Cancellara and a few others already down and out.



Quote:
14:32:58 CET

Cancellara reportedly said as he climbed into the team car that his spring campaign is over, and he may be forced to miss Flanders and Roubaix. Let's home his condition improves in the coming days.


Might be an initial over-reaction, but generally these guys know their own bodies...
mazda

I am not the most attentive, but it seems a long way to the finish line after the Kwaremont (41km).
gerry12ie

16:09:35 CET


   X-rays have confirmed the worst: 2 fractures of vertebrae in lower back for @f_cancellara means no spring campaign. #E3H

@TrekFactory Fri, 27th Mar 2015 15:06:15
mazda

16:23 Sep Vanmarcke attacks on the Paterberg but he gives it too much and ends up riding over the embankment on the side of the road.
Embarassed
gerry12ie

S4oofer Wink
mazda

Ben Swift destroys the opposition in terrible conditions on S2 of Bartali e Coppi
Boogerd_Fan

gerry12ie wrote:
S4oofer Wink



terrible.... we have another new billboard outside our flat... huge 10m x 3m placing.. S4GAN in capital letters on a bright pink background. Its even more garish than the Slovak national kit on fluo yellow.

OK so he didnt have it to follow Thomas, but even to lose Stybar's wheel when he knew he was coming through to take a turn..pfff... a week to get some kind of form ready...

Stybar, Thomas, SVM, Wiggo?... there will be fewer protagonists for attacks in Flanders/Roubaix.. but de Jongh or whoever is in charge now needs to have a long hard think about the tactics... Sagan needs to wait for the sprint. and the rest of Tinkoff need to ensure the race sticks together. I really doubt the chance of S4GAN from a small group anymore :/ Sad


Otherwise - fantastic from Thomas.. great tactics and great strength too!
gerry12ie

BF - It really is strange that he has looked successively weaker last spring and this spring from where he was in 2013 isn't it?  He should be imposing himself on these races but just doesn't look as fearsome as he did.
Boogerd_Fan

Think its over thinking stuff... and the weight of expectation. In 2013 a failure meant little, but he was under less pressure to actually win, so able to try more suicide move... this must contribute. Today's positive is he was there and made the winning move in fact.. bridging across while cresting Oude Kwaremont with 37km to go, was gutsy (read: foolish), especially as a few KM later the chase group reformed and had Tinkoff riders present. So again 40km or so isolated from the team! Albeit today was his own making, by deciding to follow Styby and Thomas.

I don't know if its over analyzing it, but that bike position looks much less natural than on the Canondale. He did some new bike fit for the Venge, and the media blurb was all about getting him lower and less like a monkey ona  bike....but i don't know, he seems to be less smooth than what i remember. Met him a few times now, and his legs are like treetrunks, but they seem much bigger this spring. Too much weights work in winter?

Also very bulky upperbody. Is it the kit design? But for me he looks overweight a bit compared to 2012-13. Maybe with more folks interested in Green in 2015, he is peaking for the Tour specifically? not sure. But he seems uninterested (or very quick to ease off the pace) so far. Money in the bank for having enough fuel for the one he really wants - Flanders? Hope so.. but time is running out much like last year.
gerry12ie

My missus thought he was well overweight.  I'm no bookie but I would have 3 or even 4 ahead of him in the Flanders betting - and that's without Tommeke or Cancellara in play...
Boogerd_Fan

I would agree. SVM is my pick, Thomas & Stybar seem the form riders, Kwiatkowski? GVA? Terpstra? What they all have in common is the method of win - off the front and attack mode.

Tinkoff should align with Katusha.. control the race and let Sagan/Kristoff sprint Very Happy

that's already 8 names there, without even thinking too hard

but the money continues to roll in.. he is the CR7 of cycling!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reQVJmOrkvw
Bartali

Too much fame and money at a young age.  He's lost his hunger IMO.

By contrast Thomas is starting to grow into his talent at last.  I can't help but feel he was too content to be a team player for far too long. I'd love to see him steal PR from wiggins.
gerry12ie



Paddy Power agrees.  I think its only a matter of time for SVM but he doesn't seem in quite the form of Thomas or Stybar.  Sep doesn't quite get the rub of the green either, but I would like to see him win.
Boogerd_Fan

I think on the big stage... Sep will bring his full can of whupass... and no one will stop him.
HuwB

Had a bit of a busy day, but managed to watch the race eventually.
Great to see Geraint finally nail one, but Sagan has definitely lost his mojo.
MAILLOT JAUNE

Yep, well pleased for G winning the E3, especially after his good showing in MSR last weekend.
Fontfroide

So am I missing something ... a place to pick for GW?
HuwB

Yes, FF.

At the eleventh hour, it seems that Eurosport have picked up Gent-Wevelgem and are now showing it live. Very Happy
1-15pm BST. (note, BST! Cool )
Fontfroide

Sadly I can't find the darn thing, it is not on my TV Eurosport, so maybe on the computer.

Got turned around.  Wrong day.  How can it be live today, Saturday?
mr shifter

Bartali wrote:

I'd love to see him steal PR from wiggins.
I'm a bit more greedy than that.
I had my first "Wish" (or prayer) that Ian Stannard would win Omloop again.
Now that "G" (a welshman) has tasted the fruit then my wish is he takes Flanders and Wiggo wins Roubaix.
Then next year Geraint wins Roubaix.

Isn't it Fabulous that the former GB Team Pursuit boys (one at under 23) are doing so well. !

Be Lucky and Dream On Baby. Greedy
mr shifter

Fontfroide wrote:
Sadly I can't find the darn thing, it is not on my TV Eurosport, so maybe on the computer.

Got turned around.  Wrong day.  How can it be live today, Saturday?

Well here in GB, British Eurosport 2 have scheduled GW Live @ 13.15 for 195 mins till 16.30 BST (remember we loose an hour)
ES 1 has scheduled 11.45 to 13.30 BST as Live Catalunya  with repeat E3 until 14.30 and 90 mins Live Criterium - Day 2: Stage 3 - Porto-Vecchio - Col de l'Ospedale (189.5km) and that till 16.30 BST.

ES Deutschland have no Live Radsport but only 90 mins Catalunya highlights @ 2300 CET.

Mrs Darling Woman is not going to be pleased.
Biosphere

Gent Wevelgem FPs can be found here

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/about5216.html

Apologies from me again for the late posting. Fell through the cracks of getting ready for hols.
HuwB

Horrendous weather conditions if it's anything like I'm experiencing.
Mostly head/sidewind of 30mph for the first 120kms. Gusts of at least twice that.
Raging tailwind during much of the race's second half.

http://www.tameteo.com/meteo_Oste...Belgique-Ostende-EBOS-1-8987.html
Biosphere

Wind wasn't as bad yesterday, but landing in Dublin was a bit of an up and down experience  Surprised
Nolte

catalunya over so over to gent-wevelgem and it is very windy.
Fontfroide

Nolte wrote:
catalunya over so over to gent-wevelgem and it is very windy.


And wet.  Glad I never made my living doing this.  Better to be home under a roof.  Mind you here is is way springtime.
Fontfroide

Nolte wrote:
catalunya over so over to gent-wevelgem and it is very windy.


Not to forget the last few k of the Criterium International
gerry12ie

The Etixx brains trust spring in to action as Stign drags most of the favourites clear of his team leader in pursuit of the forgotten man of the spring classics...
gerry12ie

Terpstra eventually makes it across, and for his punishment Stijn gets to ride the next 40k on the front.  Stupid boy, Pike...
gerry12ie

Meantime at CI, Peraud is going for it big time but carlton's wittering is making it almost unwatchable.  Not that Quigley is that much better at GW...
Biosphere

Watched Catalunya, took the Mrs. for a bit of shopping and back for the last 50km of GV. Can't believe Sagan is on his own at this point of the race. Nice to see some proper spring weather Smile
Nolte

Re criterium international

Spoiler:

yes, a strong ride from peraud though pinot when he got going eventually went strong



roelandt's looks painful
Biosphere

gerry12ie wrote:
. . .  Not that Quigley is that much better at GW...


But you get bikes and tractors - doesn't get much better Wink
gerry12ie

1'30" now for Roelandts with 35k left.  Debusschere got back on after the Kemmelberg so they might ease up and stare at each other for a bit.  I would love to see Roelandts do this but it looks like too big an ask...
gerry12ie

is Stijn having some kind of breakdown out there?  He has now trying to crack Terpstra?
gerry12ie

Cracking finish on the cards here
Mrs John Murphy

gerry12ie wrote:
is Stijn having some kind of breakdown out there?  He has now trying to crack Terpstra?


I can only assume someone is sitting in the car watching Game of Thrones
Biosphere

This is great. Vanmarcke and Debusschere tantalisingly close too.
gerry12ie

Best race of the spring so far
gerry12ie

Luca is the brains in this outfit
Mrs John Murphy

LP goes. The others look at one another
gerry12ie

Brains vs Brawn and another Epixx fail Very Happy
Mrs John Murphy

gerry12ie wrote:
Brains vs Brawn and another Epixx fail Very Happy


'Sad trombone'
gerry12ie

Great race that.  Roelandts back in the frame for next week after some bad injuries so thats good, but most of the entertainment provided once again by Etixx who continue their clueless spring.  The smartest rider won though, no disputing that...
Biosphere

My babbling Dad and noisy kids made it hard to hear Paolini, but he described it as the most important victory of his career and as DQ said he's back to supporting Kristoff next week.
Fontfroide

Busy Day.  The kind of afternoon one can really enjoy.  Sorry that Thibaut lost out, but ... love it that the old guy won.  Same thing on GW, the old guy won.  Although I think that Thomas was very deserving and did everything right.  Now he is a very serious contender for any race he enters.  Missed the end of Catalonia, but life can be a bit full.  Even managed to do a little voting once the break was clear and I had the time.  Very crowded calendar now, but should ease off enough to enjoy the big races to come.  It was even raining and northerly.  A fine ending for the day.  Now a bit of rest, some eating, catching up on a few errands and the footie tonight.  I do love Sundays in the Spring.
mr shifter

gerry12ie wrote:
but carlton's wittering is making it almost
Not that Quigley is that much better at GW...
Kirby was on Mute.
They pass through Ieper and all Quigley can say is they used to make textiles in the town. Twit he is. (you get the Idea of what that should read)
mazda

To be fair he did mention the museum as they went by.

Why did the graphics show the Kemmelberg as being 530m long ?
Mrs John Murphy

gerry12ie wrote:
Brains vs Brawn and another Epixx fail Very Happy


If Saxo can sack Riis for being a shit DS, then the Epixx fail DS's ought to be in the unemployment queue.

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