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HuwB

The Battles of the Ardennes: April 10th-21st, 2013

Thought it might be an idea to have a roll over thread for all 4 races, rather than just an LBL and AGR pair.

Wednesday kicks off the campaign, with Brabantse Pijl, or La Flèche Brabançonne.
Right on 200km, the 1.HC race features a new climb on it's re-vamped finishing circuit.


Profile


Climbs on the finishing parcour:
Hagaard 660m @ 5.3% max 13%
Hertstraat 760m (cobbled) @ 3.7% max 10%
Holstheide 955m @ 5.4%
IJskelderlaan 440m (partly cobbled) @7.3% max 12%
Schavei 720m (partly cobbled) @ 5.4% max 11%

Instead of doing 5 laps with 4 climbs, they now tackle a significantly longer loop, completing just shy of 4 laps, each with 5 climbs.
Last year, Tommy Voeckler rode away and solo'd to victory, with 3 time winner, Oscar Freire taking the group finish.

There should be plenty of live race feeds, as Sporza, RTBF and Bein Sports all have tv coverage, from 15-10cet.
kathy

FP thread for Amstel Gold here.

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/sutra208907.php#208907
mr shifter

I don't like the title to this thread as there is only One race through the Ardennes.
The Ardennes are south of the river Meuse between Namur and Liege which then turns North away from the forests to become the River Maas and to the town of Maastricht and the area of Amstel Gold.

La Fleche Wallonne is only loosely connected with the Ardennes these days.
It used to start in Spa in the Ardennes.

The Brabantse Pijl is run in Flanders near Brussels.
THE Amstel Gold is miles away from the Ardennes in Netherlands.

Sorry but I've spent too much time within these areas in a car or on the bike and followed the German breakout of 1944 from the Eifel mountains that border the Ardennes.

I know a suspicious Philippe Gilbert won all four in 2011.
HuwB

Yes, I know, too.
If you can come up with a better one to lump the 4 races together, then I'm sure Bio will change the offending pun title.
Boogerd_Fan

Sagan to repeat Gilbert's 2011 tally?

His social media soundbites yesterday seem like he's pumped for todays at least.

/Edit
Correction - the schedule is today, Amstel... and maybe Fleche Wallonie.. but no LBL
Biosphere

HuwB wrote:
Yes, I know, too.
If you can come up with a better one to lump the 4 races together, then I'm sure Bio will change the offending pun title.


Settimana Rebellin e Gilbert?  Wink
HuwB

Biosphere wrote:
HuwB wrote:
Yes, I know, too.
If you can come up with a better one to lump the 4 races together, then I'm sure Bio will change the offending pun title.


Settimana Rebellin e Gilbert?  Wink


A pity Piti didn't have a treble, then it could be a triple treble.

I'm working on it...........So far I've come up with: "The Narrows, Arrows and Gilbert's old BMC Wheelbarrows".

Mmmm, anyhow, Sporza is on:

Sporza just starting up.....................

Live feed:
http://sports-livez.com/channel/ch-5.php
Biosphere

HuwB wrote:


Sporza just starting up.....................

Live feed:
http://sports-livez.com/channel/ch-5.php


Ta. Don't see Philip Deignan too much these days.
mr shifter

Biosphere wrote:
HuwB wrote:
Yes, I know, too.
If you can come up with a better one to lump the 4 races together, then I'm sure Bio will change the offending pun title.


Settimana Rebellin e Gilbert?  ;-)
Seconded, as the only connection possible.
That was my thought about the odd Gilbert Quartet .
HuwB

2 laps to go and it begins to get a bit animated.
Devolder and Leukemans put out early feelers.
Small groups popping out the peloton.
kathy

Doesn't look very animated!
kathy

Hmmm!
Biosphere

GVA looked like he had a chance of a win, but Sagan very strong to close him down and then finish it off.
Fontfroide

Rather good last few k.  Sagan is really so much better than nearly everyone, and just a bit better than the others who are almost as good.  Week after week.
HuwB

Looks as if Gilbert will make Sagan work for his wins, over the next 10 days.
Biosphere

Sagan has met Maja today and bought her flowers.
HuwB

Biosphere wrote:
Sagan has met Maja today and bought her flowers.




I take it back.
Sagan isn't doing Flèche Wallonne or Liège. Confused
gerry12ie

HuwB wrote:

A pity Piti didn't have a treble, then it could be a triple treble.

I'm working on it...........So far I've come up with: "The Narrows, Arrows and Gilbert's old BMC Wheelbarrows".

Mmmm, anyhow, Sporza is on:

Sporza just starting up.....................

Live feed:
http://sports-livez.com/channel/ch-5.php


Gerry Murphy likes this Very Happy
mr shifter

HuwB wrote:

If you can come up with a better one to lump the 4 races together, then I'm sure Bio will change the offending pun title.
HuwB also wrote:

I'm working on it...........So far I've come up with: "The Narrows, Arrows and Gilbert's old BMC Wheelbarrows".

Some other works by
HuwB wrote:
Drug Analysis Fast Tracking (DAFT)
Testing of Synthetic Substances Evidence Retreaval Squad (TOSSERS)
Forensic Applications of Random Testing (FART)
Track Illicit Test Substances (TITS)
Number Unidentified Test Samples (NUTS)
Committee Responsible for Evaluating Tests of International non Negative Samples (CRETINS)
From the old Eurosport forum of 2007 that some of you may remember.

It's just with a copy of some Info I kept filed away and remembered it.  Laughing  Laughing
gerry12ie

mr shifter wrote:
HuwB wrote:

If you can come up with a better one to lump the 4 races together, then I'm sure Bio will change the offending pun title.
HuwB also wrote:

I'm working on it...........So far I've come up with: "The Narrows, Arrows and Gilbert's old BMC Wheelbarrows".

Some other works by
HuwB wrote:
Drug Analysis Fast Tracking (DAFT)
Testing of Synthetic Substances Evidence Retreaval Squad (TOSSERS)
Forensic Applications of Random Testing (FART)
Track Illicit Test Substances (TITS)
Number Unidentified Test Samples (NUTS)
Committee Responsible for Evaluating Tests of International non Negative Samples (CRETINS)
From the old Eurosport forum of 2007 that some of you may remember.

It's just with a copy of some Info I kept filed away and remembered it.  Laughing  Laughing


Very Happy  Very Happy

I think he did fairly well in the BMC competition too...
Severo

Cunego's dream is to win LBL. I think I've had this in my dreams as well, it's so far out.

Why is Sagan not riding FL or LBL?
Fontfroide

I heard or read, somewhere, that he said the hills were too difficult.  But what you read and what someone said …. Gilbert, in the same article, said he thought Sagan should try to ride it and see what happens.  Sorry, I forgot where it was.  In the last 24 hours.
ullrichfan

That's unfair on Cunego - he's a puncheur with a decent sprint.  Remember that he has been an advocate of clean cycling for a while now and appears to be riding on bread and water.  It's no wonder he can't compete with the Gilberts and Sagans of the peloton.  And he has been third and in the top ten a couple of other times in LBL from what I can remember.
Beasley

Interestingly, the reason Cannondale gave for not entering Sagan in P-R was that they were saving him for races they thought he had a better change of winning.

I'd say Fleche Wallonne and L-B-L suited him to a tee, for what it's worth. Obviously his management think otherwise.
Bartali

ullrichfan wrote:
That's unfair on Cunego - he's a puncheur with a decent sprint.  Remember that he has been an advocate of clean cycling for a while now and appears to be riding on bread and water.  It's no wonder he can't compete with the Gilberts and Sagans of the peloton.  And he has been third and in the top ten a couple of other times in LBL from what I can remember.


Absolutely!!! Smile
kathy

I agree on Cunego.  I have a great deal of respect for his stance (even though he never wins when I FP him Laughing )
HuwB

Right, time for "The Race of a Thousand Corners" Info:







New final KM


2012 result
1. GASPAROTTO Enrico AST 6h32'35"
2. VANENDERT Jelle LTB
3. SAGAN Peter LIQ


This year they will ascend the Cauberg 4 times instead of 3 times. The final lap will be pretty much the same course as the worlds.
Boogerd_Fan

re: Sagan

On his social media he is 50% for Fleche, and soundbites on the local news here say he's interested to see what he can do on the Muur....  However,d epends on how Amstel goes, i think that he doesn't want to continue his spring campaign if he fails to win tomorrow.

In case he wins Amstel, he'll ride next week too, without pressure to deliver Canondale a result.

He's peaked for MSR <-> Amstel... not sure he could keep it going for another week...
Fontfroide

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
re: Sagan

He's peaked for MSR <-> Amstel... not sure he could keep it going for another week...


Actually, I am not sure we have any idea of his capabilities yet.  There have been others recently, like Zabel, who have ridden well all year.  I am beginning to think that he will be able to win any race he rides, not all though.  I also hesitate to guess how good he will be in two three years, when he reaches what most people consider "a peak", the mid twenties.  I doubt that very many riders could have won as many races as he has so soon, probably Merckx.

Maybe he negotiated a clause in his contract so he could go back home and act like a lad in between races.
Boogerd_Fan

Speaking of which, he's back in Slovakia on the weekend after LBL... signing autographs and competing in a public sprint contest on stationary bikes at the local shopping center...

Got my ticket Smile
maffy

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
Speaking of which, he's back in Slovakia on the weekend after LBL... signing autographs and competing in a public sprint contest on stationary bikes at the local shopping center...

Got my ticket Smile


ooh. how much? being charged to enter shopping centres is obviously the way forward. especially with an experienced judge...

then cannondale will want him to strut the important funky big bucks stuff in cali again.

did cyclingireland or whatever it's called now do the wrong thing yet?
gerry12ie

No news yet but the late burst of outsiders advising the Irish what to do will almost certainly sway it for Pat... Wink
mr shifter

Severo wrote:
Cunego's dream is to win LBL. I think I've had this in my dreams as well, it's so far out.
When was the year that the little prick dyed his hair White/Silver. (can't say blonde because it was outrageous)
Whenever it was, I stood next (almost) to him (and girl/wife on his arm) giving an audience to jorno's at Liege and an interpretation of that was his "Dream" which he obviously still has.  Laughing
mr shifter

HuwB wrote:


This year they will ascend the Cauberg 4 times instead of 3 times. The final lap will be pretty much the same course as the worlds.
Which means the Finish is 1.8 Km's later than previous years Amstel Finish's.

Means that if the 2012 finish had been the same as this years finish then Oscar Freire would probably have won.
HuwB

Nobody at home?
Boom and Blanco not making any friends today.
Voeckler gone to hospital as a result of the pile up.
gerry12ie

Missed the crash but Boom sure didn't make any friends.  Break might pull out a bit more now while they bicker...
gerry12ie

Nothing to report...
gerry12ie

Tro Bro Leon

http://www.cyclingfans.com/node/7422
HuwB

Recording TBL, but no sound so far.
66kms to go.
Rumour mill says either fractured leg, or collarbone for voeckler.
Whichever, he's out for a while.
Fontfroide

That moment of absorbing the one guy from the break was incredible.
HuwB

JRod done by a crash. Could be a muscle pull which means bye bye to Fleche and LBL.

Mud in the Tro Bro. Smile
Beasley

Big crash.

J-Rod down and limping; looks to be having problems with his left knee. Back on, but riding very gingerly. Doubt he'll finish.
Beasley

Valiant ride from Astarloza, but with 38km to go his lead his lead has dropped under two minutes.
gerry12ie

Weening to catch Astorloza soon.  Three more chasing behind - two Blanco including Nordhaug
Fontfroide

Weening rather blasted past on the hill.  Too early to tell though.
Fontfroide

I am liking Magnus Backstedt as a commentator.  Can't believe how good his English is.
gerry12ie

Fontfroide wrote:
I am liking Magnus Backstedt as a commentator.  Can't believe how good his English is.


Yes, he is very good lately.  Astorloza having a cracking ride.
Beasley

TBF, Maggie does have a bit of a leg-up over other non-natives. Not only is he Swedish, but his wife is Welsh!
Fontfroide

Apparently partly decided to live in Wales on account of Magnus liking the cycling countryside better, less traffic.  Although I am sure there was more to it.
Fontfroide

Oops, here come the rest of the lads.  Should be be good up the last hill and then a lot of argy bargy on the flat bit.
Beasley

Kreuziger looks to have pulled out 150m on the rest of the lead from. Chase fairly unorganised.

Peloton ~30 second back with 5km to go.
Beasley

Gilbert charges out of the peloton. Valverde and Gerrans follow.
Beasley

Kreuziger's got this!

BMC got their number wrong; left it too late!
gerry12ie

Clever win by RK.  Maybe he might yet be the rider we thought he should be some time ago.
HuwB

Kreuziger wins and a bunch sprint. Perhaps the result the "new" race deserved?
Fontfroide

Always like Kreuziger, but kind of drifted off him as he drifted off.  Very glad he won, proper attack at the proper time. Made it a good race.

I see I picked the wrong time to back the sure thing Sagan.  Where WAS he?
gerry12ie

Fontfroide wrote:
Always like Kreuziger, but kind of drifted off him as he drifted off.  Very glad he won, proper attack at the proper time. Made it a good race.

I see I picked the wrong time to back the sure thing Sagan.  Where WAS he?



Poor babba tired...

TBL feed down Sad
Beasley

With Sagan likely going home and J-Rod possibly out of action I'd say Gilbert has to be the favourite for Wednesday.

I reckon he got his maths wrong today, but he looks to be in great form.
Fontfroide

1-2-3 for FDJ in Tro Bro Leon.  Not bad, not bad at all.  they have a team of potential winners for any minor race.

Allez les Bleus.
Boogerd_Fan

Fontfroide wrote:
I am liking Magnus Backstedt as a commentator.  Can't believe how good his English is.


Probably all that time he lived in Wales... not sure he still does...

Problem that I have with RK's renaissance is that its come under Riis. For obvious reasons.
gerry12ie

Just realised that Kwiaktowski finished 4th - another fine showing by him.  He could be the future of Quick Step...
kathy

The FP thread for La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday can be found here.

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/sutra209031.php#209031
Boogerd_Fan

So, Sagan is on the official start list... didn't hear any news locally though.
kathy

Remember to get your FPs in for La Flèche Wallonne before 11.50 CET tomorrow.  FP thread here.

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/about4921.html
Biosphere

Bartali wrote:

MAILLOT JAUNE wrote:
Not exactly doping news, but a sign of potential doping - Sagan struggled in the Amstel Gold due to the warm weather. Of the countless books I've read about cycling racing history - not performing in warmer weather is supposedly a classic sign of doping, Charley Gaul being one example.

berck wrote:
Yes, technically a sign of amphetamine usage.

.... and dehydration.

I'm not saying he isn't juiced ... but poor form switching from cold to warm weather riding is not unusual even for weekend riders.  I'm much better out of the sun.


Thought I'd drag this over here whilst waiting for the pointy bit today. I'm with Bart on this one that there's probably a simpler explanation. The only time I've ever cramped on a bike has been when riding the Flander's sportif - each of the 3 times I did it Embarassed There's just something about those type of short sharp climbs coming one after another that tipped me over the edge*, whereas for example I can climb (badly) an Alp for an hour without that particular problem.

*Or maybe it was the Belgian Beers one after another the night before that were the problem Smile
Biosphere

From the FP thread

Fontfroide wrote:
If I had  not been extremely busy this morning and very tired last night, I would have changed my pick to Henao or Martin.  Probably Henao.  I am finding myself in a strange space where I don't really care who wins, as long as it is as good a race as Paris Roubaix, I will be happy.  Even better would be truly magnificent.

It is Spring in my part of the world.  I ride a fair bit these days, and am loving it.  Gone to have my nap with the thermometer saying 28.  blue sky.  OK a few wisps of white.  One's heart soars.

Allez Sagan, and any of the French guys.  I might pick everyone French for a few weeks.  I am liking the young French lads a lot.


It seems quite open to me today (although i guess the top step probably is a fight between Gilbert and Valverde). I have no trouble imagining any of the picks being on the podium. Not to mention others like Albasini, Vanendert, Martin, Mollema and so on . . .  Although of course what I imagine and what is real are two different things Smile

The weather here is beautiful too and I've been enjoying it. I have the Italian and Swiss temperatures displayed on the PC desktop and over the winter I was looking wistfully at the Italian one which was often 10C higher, whilst today the Swiss one is 6C higher at 24C. Perfect Smile
kathy

I'm waiting for the race to start on TDP, but they're showing live tennis at present Twisted Evil   Weather here is nice.  we were going out for a ride last Sunday, but I acquired an unrepairable puncture and had no spare tube.  Problem fixed now!
kathy

30km to go. Where is everyone?
Biosphere

Post Office! That looks like Martin's chances are over. BMC taking on the work.
berck

Just able to monitor now. Things happen a bit early here for me. Smile
Fontfroide

Errands prevented me until now.  Seems I have missed nothing, and they are 15k from the end.  Musts happen soon, no?
Biosphere

Fontfroide wrote:
. . .  Seems I have missed nothing, and they are 15k from the end.  Musts happen soon, no?


Yeah, about 700m to go  Smile
Fontfroide

I saw Andy Schleck!
Biosphere

Fontfroide wrote:
I saw Andy Schleck!


German Commentators said that means they've had an easy afternoon Laughing
Fontfroide

Biosphere wrote:
Fontfroide wrote:
. . .  Seems I have missed nothing, and they are 15k from the end.  Musts happen soon, no?


Yeah, about 700m to go  Smile


If my French coverage is delayed, as it might be, don't tell me who won.  I still have 11.2 k to go.  Still nothing happening.
Fontfroide

Or if you are going to reveal the winner, then tell me now, I can leave until later.
HuwB

Race more or less following the prescription.
TV picture bug has been a pain.
10kms still to go, FF.
Fontfroide

I guess we just have to wait.
Fontfroide

Allez Arthur Vichot.
Biosphere

Fontfroide wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
Fontfroide wrote:
. . .  Seems I have missed nothing, and they are 15k from the end.  Musts happen soon, no?


Yeah, about 700m to go  Smile


If my French coverage is delayed, as it might be, don't tell me who won.  I still have 11.2 k to go.  Still nothing happening.


I was trying to convey that nothing much is likely to happen until inside the final km
Fontfroide

NOw they are serious.  Going fast, fighting for the right position.  Might sign off until the end.  Should be the best part.
HuwB

FP success! Moreno.
Gilbert and Sagan die the death.
Biosphere

Henao giving Bentacur a hug was a bit cheeky. Moreno impressive!
Fontfroide

Good finish, surprise winner, uncertainty for at least one k of this race.  Not a classic, but good enough at the end.
berck

Moreno wins?
Biosphere

berck wrote:
Moreno wins?

Convincingly.
berck

Still haven't seen the placings...
berck

So is it.

Moreno
Betancur
Henao
Martin
HuwB

It's become an awful race, though.
A few half hearted digs from domestiques on the lap, and then all out for the last 2kms.
Biosphere

berck wrote:
So is it.

Moreno
Betancur
Henao
Martin


Swap 2nd and 3rd. Kwiatkowski finished off the top 5.
gerry12ie

Damn, this Kwiatkowski boy is good!
HuwB

BMC now officially the home of washed up World champions.
gerry12ie

Beaten Most Clearly
Biosphere

HuwB wrote:
BMC now officially the home of washed up World champions.


Whatever about his true form, his tactics were appalling in the final km. 15th in the end. Martin was unlucky that he had to chase back on after his mechanical towards the end.
HuwB

This turned up today.
Interesting blog.
Climbing speeds up famous climbs:
http://climbing-records.blogspot..../04/dani-moreno-flies-up-mur.html
Fontfroide

HuwB wrote:
FP success! Moreno.
Gilbert and Sagan die the death.


Nice one.  I remembered someone had picked him and was a little bit happy.  Glad it was you.

Should have given up on Sagan.  Bad judgement.
berck

HuwB wrote:
This turned up today.
Interesting blog.
Climbing speeds up famous climbs:
http://climbing-records.blogspot..../04/dani-moreno-flies-up-mur.html


Since Lance did it in 3:03, anything better must indicate doping, right? Wink
Bartali

Not sure what it shows but hits hard to believe todays guys are a minute faster than the guys in the eighties on an under 4 minute power climb like that .... thank goodness we know Evans and Gilbert are clean!
gerry12ie

Bartali wrote:
Not sure what it shows but hits hard to believe todays guys are a minute faster than the guys in the eighties on an under 4 minute power climb like that .... thank goodness we know Evans and Gilbert are clean!


Carbon frames and nutrition Bart Wink
maffy

don't be forgettifying all the other accruation of marginal gains available in the modern world. obviously nothing to see here, move along now. maybe without wirelesses and pooeymeters they went and made the race more fun to watch in a stupid way earlier.

---
the trentino stage was interesting.

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