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Biosphere

The Ardennes Classics 2016

Again with geographical apologies to the Dutch, it's time for the Ardennes' phase of spring.

FP thread for next weekend is here

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/sutra231580.php#231580

Meanwhile, Gilbert was in an unusual incident

http://road.cc/content/news/18561...ury-after-altercation-drunk-bloke
HuwB

The Gilbert affair takes a bit of a turn. Seems he was the instigator and the men were not drunk. The result is that he's now in trouble with the authorities.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/g...al-spray-in-training-altercation/
gerry12ie

Seems to have fired Vliegen up anyway, he is active in the break at Brabantse Pijl Wink
gerry12ie

Any pointers where I might get streamed highlights tonight for the Brabantse Pijl?
Fontfroide

gerry12ie wrote:
Any pointers where I might get streamed highlights tonight for the Brabantse Pijl?


Got the last hill on Sporza, but have to go out for a few hours and will search when I get back.  If you can find maybe the last ten k, I would love to know.
gerry12ie

You tube is fairly good these days for the last few kms.  The ticker reported attacks for what seemed the last 30 kms or so, though... Very Happy
gerry12ie

Bloody hell. that didnt take long!  Last 10k...


Link
HuwB

That was probably the best Ardennes race of the year..................again.
Much animation from 50kms out. Legs being tested for the bigger races etc.
Biosphere

A few km of racing and Felline and Benoot are already out - still in my Velogames team though Rolling Eyes
Biosphere

Have put the midweek FPs up as there will probably be a bit more traffic here this afternoon.

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/sutra231621.php#231621
HuwB

Today's big race:



There is a better race on, today though. Cool







And a topical pic.





Only on French tv, though and I'll be out for both. Recording headache. Sad
Biosphere

HuwB wrote:
Only on French tv, though . . . (


Worse that that - French regional TV only. Being able to see the Alsace out the window counts for nothing Sad

In the absence of a stream, France 3 Bretagne might upload the race later- last years last 50km:


Link
Biosphere

Some more French TV to watch tonight. Alleged heat signature of seattube hidden motors used during Strade Bianche and Coppi e Bartali.



http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/m...i-e-bartali-claims-investigation/
Nolte

A number of the favourites dropped so far - Gilbert, kwiatkowski, tom dumoulin off the back
gerry12ie

Aye, the french race would be the one to watch given the option.  Meanwhile, Kwia and Gilbert both cooked and out of the frame...
gerry12ie

As they used to say at Wimbledon...

Come on Tim!!
Biosphere

Great for Wanty to get a big result.
Bartali

Good finish ... he deserves his beer tonight! Smile
Biosphere

Have just seen the footage of Felline's neutralised start crash. Probably fiddling with his front fork speed sensor when his hand got caught in wheel. Imagine his fingers are very badly messed up Sad
gerry12ie

Aye, a nice win for a small team, but this race has never caught my imagination
Biosphere

gerry12ie wrote:
Aye, a nice win for a small team, but this race has never caught my imagination


I think it works as part of a trilogy (or more accurately part 2 of 4) that marks the transition from the spring one dayers to main stage racing part of the season. Not a great race by itself, but it's part of a bigger narrative IMO. Gasparotto's win after his near miss on Wednesday being a case in point and resonating a bit in that context?
mazda

Biosphere wrote:
Some more French TV to watch tonight. Alleged heat signature of seattube hidden motors used during Strade Bianche and Coppi e Bartali.



http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/m...i-e-bartali-claims-investigation/

You should set up yor own blog site Bio.

Interesting trying to fathom the motivations of the reporters (I don't mean that in a negative way).
Are they genuinely trying to show that the UCI tests aren't working (no surprise there) and haven't done it to target individual riders ?

Although having said that the article does go on to make some unsubtle references to "suiting riders with high cadences" and how the latest motors could turn an average rider into a superstar. Made me smile, a bit.

As an aside, there aren't any special suspensions out there that could be absorbing, and then radiating energy in that part of the bike ?
Fontfroide

I saw the programme.  I was fairly short, a segment of the Sunday night sports show.  They showed some scanning by a thermal imaging camera which indicated some hot spots on a bike or two.  They had some footage of a guy who supposedly had a lot to do with inventing the bike motor that might be used.  Much showing of seat tube shaped motors and suggestion of ones that could fit in the chain stays, or seat stays, even the dropouts.  Although I can't figure out how he was the only guy who invented little motors.  That guy suggested the one heat image showed nothing interesting, but another one did.  

Overall it was pretty dull and I have read nearly everything before.  It was like a story for sports fans who know nothing about bikes.  There is, however, no doubt that motors of one kind or another might easily be snuck into a race at any level below the highest, and also less easily at the highest levels.  Everyone agreed this was possible, and everyone agreed there was no conclusive proof so far.  They urged thermal imaging cameras being used on bikes while they are racing.

It was as if there was a show on normal doping where it was suggested that there were new methods being invented all the time and almost certainly someone somewhere was using them.  Without proof.  Or names.

Not a deep show segment.
mr shifter

gerry12ie wrote:
Aye, a nice win for a small team, but this race has never caught my imagination
Yes he won it this year for a small team but do remember he won it before with a big team.
He seems to like this race and regularly finishes in the top 10.
I got quite excited on the Cauberg as I exclaimed "that's Enrico again" and by christ he has a chance of winning again. "Forza Enrico" well done.

The Amstel had my interest in the days that it finished in Maastricht after the loop through the town and into Belgium before the finish.
I used to ride that circuit until the race was banned going into Belgium because of the "Foot and Mouth" outbreak through Europe and they used the World Championship circuit as the finish.
It never seemed as interesting to ride those closing Kilometers.
Bartali

Did no one watch FW?  Thought it was a good last 40+km albeit the predictable finish.
gerry12ie

Aye, watched it alright but it was once again Valverde doing what he does best.  It's mighty hard these days to get excited about Piti - who probably best epitomizes function over form in modern cycling.  Brilliantly dull?
mr shifter

Bartali wrote:
Did no one watch FW?  Thought it was a good last 40+km albeit the predictable finish.

Yes I watched it and got all nostalgic about the course and the way they have changed the directions the roads are travelled over.
That I said (wackem) Joaquim Rodríguez Whoa, you know that's too early and you should know better.
It seemed that, that famous Brumie Dan Martin had caught Valverde wrong footed when he jumped on the outside but as we saw the experienced Alejandro had it all under control.

Did you note that the Amstel winner Enrico Gasparotto was close by in 5th place.
HuwB

No love for this monument?
Weather is shiite, racing ditto.
gerry12ie

Tommy on the Telly season has come right on cue this year Wink

It might be interesting to see if there are enough abandons to weaken some of the favourite teams, but I doubt it.
Nolte

They just aren't yet animating stuff
Fontfroide

Just got up from my nap.  Looks like I missed very little.  I lit my fire today, not as wet but looks like worse weather there.  I suppose it should begin any moment now.  The hills are coming.  Valverde looks calm.
Nolte

Fontfroide wrote:
Just got up from my nap.  Looks like I missed very little.  I lit my fire today, not as wet but looks like worse weather there.  I suppose it should begin any moment now.  The hills are coming.  Valverde looks calm.


If it doesn't get aggressive riding, I might be having an involuntary nap
Bartali

FWIW LBL is one of my favourites.
Boogerd_Fan

Zzzzz

The changes in weather is the most interesting thing so far. Hopefully all the 2nd string favourites are waiting for now to light the fireworks.
Fontfroide

Little bit of foreshadowing, wee attacks, making sure we retain interest.  I  guess Falcon Hill might be the place.  Enjoying watching them suffer, sitting at home, warm and toasty, and tired from my trip to Luberon.
HuwB

29kms to go, hardly an attack of note and a huge peloton chugging along.
Fontfroide

HuwB wrote:
29kms to go, hardly an attack of note and a huge peloton chugging along.


I guess this year we must be patient.  HOpe they don't wait for the end.  Mass sprint at LBL, no never.  Three more hills to go.
Fontfroide

Should lose a few riders on the Falcon Hill by the look of it.
Fontfroide

Spoke too soon, looks like they are not really serious yet.
Boogerd_Fan

Still 60+ riders at this stage is unusual... probably the weather didnt help but still... playing into valverse hands
HuwB

I bet the favs are all waiting for St Nick, but also this new 600 metre cobbled ramp.
Better get rid of that for next year.
gerry12ie

Proper rotten conditions, but please can we have some racing?
Fontfroide

One day, when Allaphillippe grows up, maybe he will get beaten.  Surely someone will make a move though.
Boogerd_Fan

Here comes Bardet... telegraphed this attack for 1km
Fontfroide

Damn, Nibali looks cooked.  Bit of a pity.

Oh look, some brightly dressed dickheads.
Boogerd_Fan

The race has been that predictable the belgians on side of road have resorted to day-glo spandex to lighten up this dull day!!
Fontfroide

Damn, Nibali looks cooked.  Bit of a pity.

Oh look, some brightly dressed dickheads.
Boogerd_Fan

Max 14% on wet cobbles. Slippery!!
Fontfroide

WE got our little attack though.  Can they keep it to the end?
Boogerd_Fan

Nicely done by Poels in the end.
HuwB

Sky win their first, God awful monument.
What an utterly shiite race.
Bartali

Poels took that well ... he's deserved that for all his good riding over the years.
Fontfroide

Bit of a surprise podium, but not really a great race full of moments.  More endurance and suffering.  Not great to watch.  Sky gets first monument.

I guess the little cobbled street was a good idea.
gerry12ie

Poor edition, but a monument for Sky.  Nice to have a bit of interest right at the end, too Wink

gerry12ie

The Clinic is pleased to announce the opening of its brand new Wout Poels thread... Rolling Eyes  Rolling Eyes
HuwB

gerry12ie wrote:
The Clinic is pleased to announce the opening of its brand new Wout Poels thread... Rolling Eyes  Rolling Eyes


I think it is in the CN rules for posting.
Sky win big race, rider automatically gets won doping thread.
That zero tolerance, PR fluff being so much worse than all the other teams, who only claim to be clean, when one of their riders tests positive. Rolling Eyes

That entire site has become a joke. The road racing section is populated by fanboys of one sort or another. The Clinic is ruled by a pair of trolls and the whole thing is overseen by mods who are as Hitler was to the Jews.
Boogerd_Fan

No-one forces you to read it. Among all the fanboy and trolling stuff is some quite intelligent discussion about races and rider preparation.
HuwB

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
No-one forces you to read it. Among all the fanboy and trolling stuff is some quite intelligent discussion about races and rider preparation.


Glad you have the time to wade through it all.
I find VR more succinct.

Awful conditions, yet contrary to early reports that 100+ riders had climbed off, we find that there 154 finishers.
Huge number for a monument.
Nolte

Good win for poels, a very deservant winner

It did get interesting in the last 7-8km
Bartali

gerry12ie wrote:
Poor edition, but a monument for Sky.  Nice to have a bit of interest right at the end, too Wink


Good work Gerry Smile The drinks are on you Smile
mr shifter

Fontfroide wrote:
Bit of a surprise podium, but not really a great race full of moments.  More endurance and suffering.  Not great to watch.  Sky gets first monument.

I guess the little cobbled street was a good idea.
That's what I expect from Liege Bastogne provided the riders stop the favourites riding tempo on the front. It is meant  to be an endurance race all the way back from Bastogne, not a club run.
The script was broken this year by a little side road and some "Non Favourites " making the attacks that the others with their earlier team tactics that had knackered their teams couldn't follow.
Not one of the favourites could close the gap on the ANS road.
Rolf Sorensen did it on his own one year and then won the race.

The race used to be selected on the La Redoute climb with the favourites battling it out through Sprimont and Beaufoys to finish in Liege.

Now they keep putting more climbs in and the riders still won't race the course till the last hill.  
Look at how many in the peloton after Cote de la Roche-aux-Faucons, and then remember Andy Schleck attacking on that climb.
The organisers need to switch the climbs like they did this year to stop the "riders" letting the race becoming Stale.

I still enjoyed the race and am so happy with the winner Wouter Poels but I couldn't see the golden shoes behind him.
Boogerd_Fan

The classic quote - its the riders that make the race, not the parcours...

Seems a trend in recent years that the harder the parcours the more cautious the team tactics tend to be.
Liege used to be my favourite race to watch, back in the 90's with Boogerd, Bettini, Casagrande and a heap of others who lit up the race from La Redoute to the finish.

Organizers switched climbs, but by adding the cobbled one, it saw most teams play it cautiously, and even then, it was the lieutenants and not the designated leaders who were rolling the dice on the climb - clearly even the DS's thought that it would be brought back.. and a new move would go with the favourites.

Piti himself also said he expected it to come back together and he would go again on the last uphill bit to the line.

Schleck reference - wasn't that the year when Frank was also riding in the final selection, so Andy could liberally smash it on Faucons, with a team Plan B already in play. Too many teams are racing one-dimensionally at the moment, and it's nice to see it was Poels who won... from chance, vs. waiting for the sprint. Actually looking at the Classics season - most of the races this year have been won by the protagonist who took a chance to animate the race. That's good to see, although i don't think that its good everyone waited until last 5KM to animate LBL.
mr shifter

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
The classic quote - its the riders that make the race, not the parcours...

Liege used to be my favourite race to watch, back in the 90's with Boogerd, Bettini, Casagrande and a heap of others who lit up the race from La Redoute to the finish.
Agree with your post and one of my favourite memories is Claude Criquielion giving them "HURT" on La Redoute but never winning LBL with a 2nd place by the river finish.

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