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HuwB

The Spring Semi Classics 2016

So, the season starts tomorrow! The FPing season that is. So far only Slapshot has his wits about him. Time to get cracking.
Thread here:

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/about5320.html

Now, as to the race and as usual, Belgian graphics seem as old as their races.

Course:



Profile:



TV coverage starts with Sporza at 13-30cet, but live racing is likely to appear on screens around 14-15cet.

For the first time ever, as far as I can recall, the race can be seen live on UK tv, via the Bike Channel, from the time above. The channel is available to anyone with a sat dish as it is totally free.
Also available on the Bike Channel in HD from Italy.
kathy

Not much time to make your FPs!
Biosphere

I've been through all my channels, but no joy. The sporty channels are still focussed on Winter Sports. Ski Jumping from Almaty in lovely HD is an option. As is Jim Al-Khalili waxing lyrical on Snells Law of Refraction on Al Jazeera Balkans  Shocked  Laughing

Meanwhile the race is reading fairly lively with Luke Rowe doing his best to fill Stannard's boots.
Biosphere

This is working for me Smile

http://www.lequipe21.fr/direct/

15km to go.
Biosphere

Sagan proves the Curse of the Rainbow jersey is just superstitious nonsense by coming second again Wink

Van Avermaet wins it.
gerry12ie

Biosphere wrote:
This is working for me Smile

http://www.lequipe21.fr/direct/

15km to go.


Me too - good feed.  Blood hell, van Avermaet didn't finish second!
HuwB

Not a vintage edition.
Great that Luke Rowe made the definitive selection.
Sporza interviewed GVA in English. Shocked
Biosphere

A few minutes of highlights from Cyclingnews


Link
mazda

How to put this ?
For some reason Sagan in the rainbow jersey isn't as aesthetically pleasing as I might have expected.
Suppose I'll have to get used to it, bound to be an extremely prominent year for the jersey.
HuwB

Biosphere wrote:
This is working for me Smile

http://www.lequipe21.fr/direct/

15km to go.


That link will be handy tomorrow, too.
Straight after today they had over an hour of the Classique Sud Ardeche.
Two and a half hours of live La Drome Classique for anyone who can't get (or doesn't want a flat race) tomorrow afternoon.
Boogerd_Fan

Really curious to understand Peto today.. first race in Europe, I'd expected he would sit in the wheels and try for the sprint if it stayed together.

Really didn't expect him to roll the dice @ 40km. Must have been feeling quite fresh. It's OK to have good sensations, but there are still a few weeks until P-R and Flanders.. based on that final sprint, where GVA successfully went first and held him off, means he is still @ 90% and just cooking nicely for the more important stuff???

GVA clearly in good knick too, as we've seen in the earlier races in February. He too is long overdue a nice win in Belgium, so i'm glad it was him who took initiative and held off the rest in the sprint.

It's difficult to be critical of Sagan forcing the selections, but if he's going to run the gauntlet and show his strength, he needs to start converting these good positions into wins. Simply because, realistically He won't be able to make that final selection every week.

Two alternative excuses:
1. He really loves 2nd Very Happy
2. The curse of the Het Nieuwsblad means he would rather save himself - but that's ridiculous considering similar level of efforts used as GVA and Benooit in the final hour.
Nolte

mazda wrote:
How to put this ?
For some reason Sagan in the rainbow jersey isn't as aesthetically pleasing as I might have expected.
Suppose I'll have to get used to it, bound to be an extremely prominent year for the jersey.


Maybe its the arm and leg warmers?

Well between Sagan and gva, someone had to win Smile

Good ride from Alexis gougeard in 5th, I think his ride in pushing it on was to keep it cohesive and working  together as 5th is better than 55th.
Fontfroide

Biosphere wrote:
This is working for me Smile

http://www.lequipe21.fr/direct/

15km to go.


Sadly, for reasons I can only guess, this same channel seems to not be doing Kuurne.  Instead, at 14h00 (French time) they are doing two hours of Les Boudes Drome Ardeche.  I think L'Equipe is a low budget operation picking up what no one else wants and frequently having loads of interviews with riders rather than lengthy coverage of small races.  Still, the countryside around there is utterly gorgeous.

It is an cycling event on the TV programme, but I have no idea what,  as "boudes"
, in my dictionary, means sulking.  No doubt some secret local meaning of the word.  Almost makes me what to check it out.
Fontfroide

Turns out to be Classique Sud Ardeche, or rather then end of the race yesterday, won by Peter Vakoc.

Apparently in a few minutes, they will have the Drome Classic on live.  Splendid countryside, really outstanding.  This is a channel I have only recently been able to watch, looks like it might be great for minor events.

And currently on my TV, after buying a new box due to new national policy, EVERYTHING is now in HD.

http://www.boucles-drome-ardeche.fr/dc_accueil.php

As you can see, the TV programme was wrong, and it is "boucles", which as we all know means loops or circles.
HuwB

Fontfroide wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
This is working for me Smile

http://www.lequipe21.fr/direct/

15km to go.


Sadly, for reasons I can only guess, this same channel seems to not be doing Kuurne.  Instead, at 14h00 (French time) they are doing two hours of Les Boudes Drome Ardeche.  I think L'Equipe is a low budget operation picking up what no one else wants and frequently having loads of interviews with riders rather than lengthy coverage of small races.  Still, the countryside around there is utterly gorgeous.

It is an cycling event on the TV programme, but I have no idea what,  as "boudes"
, in my dictionary, means sulking.  No doubt some secret local meaning of the word.  Almost makes me what to check it out.


I wouldn't worry, since Eurosport have the KBK option today, so there is bound to be a few feeds around.
Just look here at 15-00cet:

https://www.procyclinglive.com/livestream/


In the meantime, I'll be watching the "small" race, since it's got a pretty "big" named field.
It's already on the link, with 66kms to go. Wink
Biosphere

Fontfroide wrote:

Sadly, for reasons I can only guess, this same channel seems to not be doing Kuurne.  Instead, at 14h00 (French time) they are doing two hours of Les Boudes Drome Ardeche.   . . . .


Yeah, Huw had mentioned that above. Actually just gone live now with 70km to go. In the meantime we got a handy replay of yesterdays Classique Sud Ardeche (as I now see you've mentioned) and a win for Mr Lefevere. Not the one he wanted I'm sure Smile
Biosphere

Hopefully no one minds too much, but I changed the thread title to be a bit more general and cover us for casual chatting for the next few weekends.
HuwB

Biosphere wrote:
Hopefully no one minds too much, but I changed the thread title to be a bit more general and cover us for casual chatting for the next few weekends.


I think a single thread for the semis is all we can manage nowadays.
There is only so much the desperate dozen can post. Laughing

That was quite a little climb they went up a few minutes ago.
I made it 8.8% average, not 6.8.
Endless ad break ends....
Biosphere

I don't think the new AG2R colour scheme is going to grow on me. Looks very odd in the long sleeve version. IMO.
Biosphere

Well that was enjoyable. Vakoc does the double.
gerry12ie

Biosphere wrote:
I don't think the new AG2R colour scheme is going to grow on me. Looks very odd in the long sleeve version. IMO.


Difficult to tell Katusha and Lotto apart - the helmets are about the only giveaway
HuwB

Biosphere wrote:
Well that was enjoyable. Vakoc does the double.


They have a couple of nice courses there. Very animated racing, although what Bardet was playing at is anybody's guess.
A pity their live coverage didn't get out to a larger audience.
HuwB

Might as well stick this here, too.
NO live Strade Bianche coverage in the UK this year.
Live coverage host will be Rai Sport 2, with about 2 and a half hours scheduled.
That means 1 hour of coverage and 90 minutes of Italiano. Razz
gerry12ie

Le Samyn was most enjoyable today - and a real tough day out.  Terpstra proved too strong for the remaining dozen and won by 20 seconds from Scott Thwaites who was clear of Senechal by same amount.  BMC's young Belgian Vliegen looks a nice prospect, as does Katusha's Politt, who looked an impressive 21 year old on a filthy Belgian day.  

Said Filthy Day


Link
Slapshot 3

I caught the last 20km and yes a proper northern European race, Cobbles, rain, wind, Belgian toothpaste the lot. Terpstra rode well but what about Scott Thwaites in second, that was most unexpected
Boogerd_Fan

Scott Thwaites held that gap to Terpstra really nicely for last 20KM.
HuwB

The women's race is on and it's raining in Tuscany. Very Happy

I have a proper working feed for Rai Sport 2 which I'll post just before live coverage starts at 12-30GMT.
Should get close to two hours of the action and some of the key strade which won't be on Eurosport anywhere other than their player.
Biosphere

FPs awaiting here. It's free of charge and only takes a few seconds Wink

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/sutra230751.php#230751

Moderately late entries preferable to none Smile
Biosphere

Probably not so accessible for most, but I noticed that RAIS1 will have half an hour of highlights of the women's at 17:00

Unfortunately the Mrs has arranged visitors for this afternoon, so I will not be watching live. At least Swiss TV will be doing a nice HD broadcast from 14:25 local time to supplement the RAIS2.

Another online streamer option here for people who have the means to work around geo blockers (well I presume it's blocked). Coverage from 14:25.

http://www.rsi.ch/play/tv/live?channelId=LA2#?tvLiveId=livestream_La2
HuwB

Biosphere wrote:
Probably not so accessible for most, but I noticed that RAIS1 will have half an hour of highlights of the women's at 17:00


Free to all access to Rai Sport 1 for 4pm GMT or 17-00cet:

http://raisport1.web.tv/

Unfortunately, it looks like me might be about to suffer the curse of live sport, in this case slalom, but free to all access to Rai Sport 2.
Race due in 5 minutes, so whenever, but hopefully soon:

http://raisport2.web.tv/

Not bad for someone who has it already on tv! Laughing
HuwB

Finally, we have live racing on that link.
HuwB

11kms of strade now
HuwB

What a finish.
Spartacus Stannard.
The customary E Quick Step classics fail ticked off for another year. Laughing
gerry12ie

What a way to kick off the farewell tour for old fat arse.  How, oh how, do QS manage to do it again and again?

Another one for the housewives favourite Very Happy
Fontfroide

Housewives and me too.  What a catch up!  I thought it was all over.  And his interview in Italian was as fluent as in English or French.  How can you not love a guy who rides like the wind, is old, and can speak six languages or five anyway.

Kind of takes the pressure off for the next couple of weeks.
HuwB

Highlight's of the women's race:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kerbu_BApMI
gerry12ie

Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen

Dupont (Willems) took the stage from De Bie and Politt which meant De Bie took overall.  Young Politt caught the eye again though, and certainly looks one for the future...

Overall:

1. Sean De Bie (Lotto Soudal) op 8u16m55s
2. Lukasz Wisniowski (Etixx-Quick-Step) op 7s
3. Nils Politt (Katusha) op 13s
Biosphere

A bundle of FPs are awaiting picks (and not just Belgian Classics).

Have stuck everything for the weekend up  now to help everyone achieve an FP / Easter Family commitments balance Wink

At least I might actually get to watch something live this time around . . .

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/about5337.html

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/about5338.html

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/about5339.html
gerry12ie

Good work on the FP posts Bio - much appreciated.  

Too much backslapping going on here this weekend  Wink so I'm clearing off to Vienna.  Hope I get to see at least some of the racing...
Boogerd_Fan

Good timing Gerry, it's scheduled to be very nice weather this weekend!
Biosphere

Decent turnout today in the end with about 20 riders missing due to travel problems. Movistar started with just 4 though.

Have fun in Vienna Gerry. Be wary of buying a ticket to climb the tower in the cathedral though. When we did it, we climbed to gift shop with no view  Laughing
HuwB

Gaviria's lack of top end speed means he has to go long and after such a hard race, he died well short.
Coquard pulls a Bouhanni in grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory.

Debusschere picks up where he left off last year.
Nice win for Lotto.
Fontfroide

That was fun to watch.  Life is looking good.
gerry12ie

That was a hell of a go by GVA!  Nice finish and on the ticker in work the race appeared animated from a long way out.  BMC's young Vliegen seemed active in the closing stages - I like the look of him.  The real winner today though was racing - and Belgium - don't let the bastards grind you down is as cliched as hell, but it suits the day that was in it...


Link
Biosphere

Cheers for the link Gerry. Me Dad is here at the moment, so he's had Catalunya in German and now a dose of Flemish. Makes a change for him from Kirby Smile
gerry12ie

Biosphere wrote:
Cheers for the link Gerry. Me Dad is here at the moment, so he's had Catalunya in German and now a dose of Flemish. Makes a change for him from Kirby Smile


I'm sure you could mute it and fill in for Kirby perfectly well - I'll be bound Wink
Slapshot 3

anyone got a decent feed for E3??
HuwB

Slapshot 3 wrote:
anyone got a decent feed for E3??


Sporza now, Eurosport soon:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ64GBqwXRw


Edit: Top notch Eurosport feed:-

http://cyclinghub.tv/livestream

(enjoy the ads)
Slapshot 3

Thanks mate, now just got to contend with the fect that my laptop doesn't want to play sound......
Fontfroide

What a wonderful race!  Such a group up front now!  Cancellara back after being written off.  We wait the last hill to see who can drop whom.  Unless they just ride on until ten k from the end.

These are terrific races, with such spectacular racing.  Hard racing.

Last two world champions making a move.  Cool TV.
Fontfroide

Finally I can stop switching, Catalonia over.  E3 IS a better race.  Feeling peaceful now.  Two races in one day stretches the fingers a bit.
Fontfroide

We should take bets on who will attack from the chasing group.  Gotta be at least Fabian, accompanied by someone.  Or maybe Fabian is tired.  No point in getting back on with a totally excellent ride if you don't make the final effort.  Let's hope he gets one collaborator.   Those two champs at the front are really going though, losing not too many seconds.
HuwB

You have to wonder why Etix keep making the same old mistakes.
All those riders up front after the Taaienberg, yet they end up without rider in the top 10.

Sagan keeps up his impressive run of second places.
He only lost that sprint to Kwiatkowski by 30 metres or so.
Boogerd_Fan

A brilliantly weak sprint from Sagan there.

I can only claim that it was a bluff... he wants Flanders 100th edition, and now everyone will be comfortable to tow him to the line cos his sprint is weaker than a one-legged dog on a tricycle.

(impressive attacking on top of Paterberg, Kwaremont and the one after tho).
Fontfroide

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
A brilliantly weak sprint from Sagan there.

I can only claim that it was a bluff... he wants Flanders 100th edition, and now everyone will be comfortable to tow him to the line cos his sprint is weaker than a one-legged dog on a tricycle.

(impressive attacking on top of Paterberg, Kwaremont and the one after tho).


Never thought of that.  Very clever.
Nolte

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
A brilliantly weak sprint from Sagan there.

I can only claim that it was a bluff... he wants Flanders 100th edition, and now everyone will be comfortable to tow him to the line cos his sprint is weaker than a one-legged dog on a tricycle.

(impressive attacking on top of Paterberg, Kwaremont and the one after tho).


Yes, Flanders and/or Roubaix I think will be Sagan's this year.

Etixx and the tow line of the others, what were they doing. There was the problem, it was 2 against 2 between flower and Sagan and the etixx tow while no one else wanted to chase down the leaders but etix were just bad
Severo

Whatever happens Etixx will find a way to mess it up. Kwiatek didn't even make their cobbled classics team.
HuwB

Gent Wevelgem live from Sporza with 122kms to go.
A very good feed:

http://cyclinghub.tv/livestream
HuwB

Not quite a carbon copy of last year, but the wind has already caused havoc and we have a "red" echelon alert in place until 4-30pm. Very Happy
Nolte

Ettix seems to have made the same mistake as harelbeke
I wonder if the plan with big stijn vandenbergh attack before kemelberg (?) Was if attacks would go, he'd be ahead when the main attacks go.
Fontfroide

Conclusive proof that Peter and Fabian are the strongest riders in the peloton presently.  With one or two others who might hang on.  HOpe Sagan wins, so Fabian can do one of the biggest ones in his last year.
Fontfroide

I am happy with that result, although frankly I will be sad when Fabian leaves us.  He is so strong, just rode up the last hill faster than anyone and then kept working til the end with Sagan.  If that Russian guy had one I would not be happy, I would not thinks there is a cycling god in heaven and I wold be annoyed.  Sagan would have pushed him over anyway.

I should think Van Marcke will be around in the other races, but it is obvious who the most remarkable riders are.  Admittedly most of it was a little boring in some ways.  But still.
HuwB

Nolte wrote:
Ettix seems to have made the same mistake as harelbeke
I wonder if the plan with big stijn vandenbergh attack before kemelberg (?) Was if attacks would go, he'd be ahead when the main attacks go.


Lefèvre and his team are clearly slow learners.
To repeat the mistake of Friday is unbelievable.

Luke Rowe was very strong, GVA was working with him to close a pretty small gap and what does Stybar do?
Sit on the back and not do a tap.

Etix E3 and GW = Dumb and Dumber.
Fontfroide

While it is pretty clear that Etixx have the best team in depth, they really have not got a rider with that star quality who can ride away from everyone else.  Maybe on a given day they will win.  But the fact is that when the last hill came up, must be everyone on earth knew that Fabian and Peter would make a break.  And it just turned out that the two of them could keep that up for 20k.  I mean how is that possible?  Even if there were five Etixx guys in front, they still could not catch them.  In fact, I think there were five Etixx guys in front for a bit.  Astounding.
Boogerd_Fan

Well, they count on Boonen being that guy. But its 2016, not 2010.
HuwB

A very worrying footnote to today's race.
There has been another one and this time it looks serious:-

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/ne...after-ghent-wevelgem-crash-218488


Edit: This incident has led to a premature claim of death, via a single twitter twat, which got picked up upon by the Belgian press and quoted as fact.
Wanty have since confirmed the "fact" as fiction.
Modern, lazy, irresponsible journalism, powered by the internet's most unsocial media source, once again.
billgull

HuwB wrote:
A very worrying footnote to today's race.
There has been another one and this time it looks serious:-

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/ne...after-ghent-wevelgem-crash-218488


Edit: This incident has led to a premature claim of death, via a single twitter twat, which got picked up upon by the Belgian press and quoted as fact.
Wanty have since confirmed the "fact" as fiction.
Modern, lazy, irresponsible journalism, powered by the internet's most unsocial media source, once again.



http://velonews.competitor.com/20...er-hit-by-moto-after-crash_399950

VN is now reporting that Antoine Demoite has indeed passed.  Sad
R.I.P.
Slapshot 3

.. and the CN story...

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/a...es-following-gent-wevelgem-crash/

This is just so sad, but it was becoming inevitable. After what happened with Johnny Hoogerland a few years ago there was an inevitability about it.... very sad day for the sport
Bartali

Its a very sad day but it was avoidable.  Sadly the UCI and the race organisers have ignored the red flags time and time again. Very very sad Sad
HuwB

News report out of Belgium shed a bit more light on the incident.
They say that the motor rider tried to brake but the bike fell onto Demoite's head.
The motorbike rider was very experienced, having worked for the Belgian cycling federation for 32 years.
So, maybe less avoidable (unless MBs are removed from races altogether) than early speculation infers, when feeling are running at their highest.
Biosphere

Was shocked when I read it early this morning - very sad news.
Bartali

Okay ... accidents happen, but I think my point still stands.  Must be horrible for the motorbike rider too.  Horrible horrible horrible.
Bartali

And now this .... Myngheer in coma and fighting for his life after Criterium International heart attack http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/m...erium-international-heart-attack/

It's a bad weekend Sad
HuwB

Bartali wrote:
Okay ... accidents happen, but I think my point still stands.  Must be horrible for the motorbike rider too.  Horrible horrible horrible.


Oh it does.
Somebody found this TDS link over on Velorooms:

http://www.tourdesuisse.ch/de/new...news/140000-kilometer-in-9-tagen/

44 motorbikes supplied by the race, albeit 34 to race security.
Nolte

Very sad about Demoite Sad
My sympathies to his family.

And the motorbike driver, it must be an awful feeling Sad

Also, Myngheer is in my thoughts. I hope he can pull through
HuwB

Anyhow, on a happier note, 3 Days of De Panne starts tomorrow.
As usual, it kicks off with the Flanders warm up stage.
It's been toughened up considerably and for the first time includes a double ascent of the Muur de Geraardsbergen.
Biosphere

Myngheer very sadly passed away last night. A black couple of days Sad
Nolte

Very sad about myngheer. RIP Sad

De panne on now. 17 rider group ahead without any etixx riders so they have to work on the front but have assistance from Lotto soudal

Sky have Rowe and others, kristoff is there, astana have riders there too as do orica and bmc
Nolte

Kristoff, westra and lutsenko with Rowe puncture
gerry12ie

Etixx seem intent on finding even more humiliating ways to lose races this spring - I don't think they had a rider in the top 10.  Astana managed to out-Etixx them today as their two riders provided an excellent guard of honour to the line for Kristoff  Very Happy

Great to see the Muur back
gerry12ie

1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 4:22:34
2 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
3 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team
4 Mads Pedersen (Den) Stölting Service Group 0:00:29
5 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky
6 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal 0:00:36
7 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
8 Juraj Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff Team
9 Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10 Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha
Nolte

gerry12ie wrote:
Etixx seem intent on finding even more humiliating ways to lose races this spring - I don't think they had a rider in the top 10.  Astana managed to out-Etixx them today as their two riders provided an excellent guard of honour to the line for Kristoff  Very Happy

Great to see the Muur back


It was funny watching lutsenko and westra argue with each other.
Biosphere

A worthwhile listen re Demoitié and motos in the peloton

https://soundcloud.com/cyclingtip...istof-ramon-race-moto-29-march-16

http://cyclingtips.com/2016/03/a-...ties-death-and-what-happens-next/

Twas a bit of a shame to to see the Muur on Tuesday being ridden in such a tame manner when compared to say Boonen and Cancellara head to head on it a few years earlier.

I did think Etixx were at least going to get a stage yesterday via Kittel but Viviani was quite nicely hidden until 50m to go. Kristoff looked a bit slow compared to the two of them, but I guess they're not the ones he may be sprinting against on Sunday.
HuwB

Biosphere wrote:
A worthwhile listen re Demoitié and motos in the peloton

https://soundcloud.com/cyclingtip...istof-ramon-race-moto-29-march-16

http://cyclingtips.com/2016/03/a-...ties-death-and-what-happens-next/

Twas a bit of a shame to to see the Muur on Tuesday being ridden in such a tame manner when compared to say Boonen and Cancellara head to head on it a few years earlier.

I did think Etixx were at least going to get a stage yesterday via Kittel but Viviani was quite nicely hidden until 50m to go. Kristoff looked a bit slow compared to the two of them, but I guess they're not the ones he may be sprinting against on Sunday.


Thanks for those, Bio.
A 20 odd minute education on a part of the game few have much idea about.
Plus a couple of simple constructive ideas for improvement.
Fontfroide

Biosphere wrote:
A worthwhile listen re Demoitié and motos in the peloton

https://soundcloud.com/cyclingtip...istof-ramon-race-moto-29-march-16

http://cyclingtips.com/2016/03/a-...ties-death-and-what-happens-next/


Nice find.  We all watch, but some things you just cannot see.  Like the inside of a rugby scrum.  Or for that matter, the last two hundred metres of a sprint, for those who never ridden in one, or have not watched slo-mo replay as of hundreds of sprints.  Motos and races are a bit like that for those of us who have never ridden one, nor have been on one in a race.  

Merci.  I learned a lot.

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