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kathy

Volta a Catalunya, starts Monday, 21st March

FPS hers

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/sutra231038.php#231038

I believe Eurosport has coverage.
HuwB

Kelderman has already abandoned.
Nolte

Magnus backstedt said cofidis did little work in bringing it back for a sprint today.

Anyone watch it ( I saw last 15 k this evening so I can't judge but similar criticism as to the Paris nice win for bouhanni
Fontfroide

Thing is, when other teams (Giant used to do this) remain invisible until the end and then pop up with their train at the end, some people call them smart riders, good team strategists.  It is quite clear that Bouhanni is getting a bad press, a bad reputation and maybe is a bad guy or bad sprinter anyway.  I am not sure whether commentators think that all teams should take an equal share in bringing back a break or leading the peloton in the last ten k, but seems to me there is much ado about nothing.   I reckon I could prove conclusively that in some race or other Cofidis did TOO MUCH work and lost a race.  Not that I am going to review all the videos to find the example.  But it is always like this in a race, a team has to decide to work hard or to take a chance that others will do it.  I think it is fair to say, having watched the last 15k like you did, that Cofidis did less work than some teams who had sprinters.  So what!
Fontfroide

Must admit I am totally impressed with the lineup of riders and teams for the Volta.  I won't bother to look it up, but it seems that this race has a stronger field than for many a year.  Nearly everyone is there, amongst the GC boys.  Should be fun to watch.
Boogerd_Fan

Cofidis are not making any friends with their style, but teams need to play to their strengths. If they are not strong enough to leadout the chase/peloton from far out, it makes sense they keep the powder dry and ramp it up in the finale.
Nolte

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
Cofidis are not making any friends with their style, but teams need to play to their strengths. If they are not strong enough to leadout the chase/peloton from far out, it makes sense they keep the powder dry and ramp it up in the finale.


they did a lot more work today it seems.

working for a sprint is about keeping other teams happy, not doing too much but enough for the other teams.

bouhanni is the strongest sprinter in the race as shown on the first 2 stages (unlike in paris-nice where there was a good collection of very good sprinters) and so if cofidis don't do the work, then it comes to the other teams with spritners to wonder if they should bother doing the work either.

when cavendish was the all dominating sprinter in the tour de france, the flat stages was just htc working on the front with no/little support from any other team to help bring the breaks back
Biosphere

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
Cofidis are not making any friends with their style, but teams need to play to their strengths. If they are not strong enough to leadout the chase/peloton from far out, it makes sense they keep the powder dry and ramp it up in the finale.


Well the report I read said they were chasing, but then the other teams muscled to the front a bit in the closing km, so they sat back and then came forward at the end and Soupe did a fine job of piloting Bouhanni into position.
Fontfroide

I am not a fan of Cofidis, and they are a second rank team.  Looks like about 80% French.  They have one leader for sprints and the rest of the team is supposed to help him win.  Even in the rest of the team, they are mostly not quite made it, or past it guys.  The kinds of guys you can hire with a miniscule budget (except for the BIG money they pay Nacer).  I should think their budget is about 20% of the budgets of nearly any World Tour team, certainly the big ones.  

Therefore it is pretty clear that they cannot do leading out the peloton for twenty k or so more than now and again.  And hardly that.  They have a couple of fairly rapid guys, but none of them would obviously get a job on another team.  Soupe has a fantastic beard and is pretty good.  Navarro might win something this season, or he might not.  Borut Bozic has a cool name and has won a race somewhere.

So their only strategy is to make sure they keep Bouhanni in the first group on the road, and hope he doesn't crash or knock someone over in his haste and "rage to win".  If it works out, he might win.  He is a very fast sprinter, and takes no shit from anyone.  

Bouhanni himself seems to have a slightly immature or weak control over his emotions, disguised by saying he really wants to win.  Took two days for Soupe and his manager to talk him down after his electronic derailleurs let him down in the Primavera.  He was clearly ready to win the race, and might well have done it.  Neither he nor his team had anything bad to say about his mechanics nor his equipment.  But he was PISSED OFF.  Imagine you have a ten thousand euro or more bike with the best stuff on earth and just as you start to make your move, after big training and good team support, in exactly the right place … and the chain slips to the small ring.  I would have hired someone to speak strongly to the manufacturer.  This just should not happen.  Clearly they had a strategy and it almost worked.

And I myself have read nothing whatever about them making enemies with their "wait til the end and sprint with a leadout man and a sprinter" type strategy.  Is it so wrong?  Who has said it was, except maybe someone on the web.  Someone on the web always says things, but do the professionals say it.  Oh yes, and I was listening to some TV commentator who mentioned it.  Along with tons of other bullshit that tumbled out of his mouth.

Now not liking Bouhanni because he is an arrogant, French, win at all costs, sometimes deviating from his line, sulking immature man (and Maghrebin besides, as there is still racism in the peloton, don't forget) … that I can understand.   I try to overlook that stuff.  I am trying really hard to remember a really classy "non-white" sprinter.  Help me out here.  There was … could he be the only one in recent years, maybe the only one?  Oh yes, and he is a boxer of some ability and trains as one during the winter, as well as riding his bike.  

Just a few observations.  I still am not a fan of Cofidis but try hard to be a fan of Bouhanni.
gerry12ie

FF wins Carlton Kirby drinking game - Geoffrey Soupe *resplendent in his beard* downs one shot

Outrageous pedantry in *Belgium* thread - downs whole bottle!

I'll be bound/// Wink
Fontfroide

What a day for great finishes.  Both races a treat.  The pack coming up the last hill was so packed out, I could have been watching the Tour.

Doncha just love it when it all happens on two channels and it fun to watch.

Merci, Gerry.  You're my man.
HuwB

Eh?

But for the last km or so, I thought it was like watching paint dry.
The gulf between Dwars and this served to highlight the superior racing of the Spring single day events.
gerry12ie

Aye, the usual mountain template I'm afraid.  Sky setting a tempo and nobody goes until the last kilo.  Froome must be out of full condition or I guess he would have gone earlier.  Still, a tough day ahead tomorrow so maybe a bit of cold war going on.

Dan looked a little less emaciated than usual I thought?  Suits him...
ventoux

I see dumoulin has abandoned, and for quite a strange reason according to CN....

Quote:
Dutchman continues to suffer from flew that started in Paris-Nice



Shocked  Wink
Fontfroide

HuwB wrote:
Eh?

But for the last km or so, I thought it was like watching paint dry.
The gulf between Dwars and this served to highlight the superior racing of the Spring single day events.


I only watched the last climb.  I thought it was decent racing at the end.  And even before the end.  I didn't know who might attack, even if not very many attacks were actually visible.  I suspect tomorrow might be a tad better, but I guess I am happy to watch this year.  

Glad someone keeps a critical eye out though.
gerry12ie

ventoux wrote:
I see dumoulin has abandoned, and for quite a strange reason according to CN....

Quote:
Dutchman continues to suffer from flew that started in Paris-Nice



Shocked  Wink


A bird never flu on one wing Wink
Fontfroide

Last climb.  Might be interesting?  I suppose more than one of you are there.  See you at the end.  Weening seems to have ants in his pants.
Fontfroide

Fontfroide wrote:
Last climb.  Might be interesting?  I suppose more than one of you are there.  See you at the end.  Weening seems to have ants in his pants.


So far I am utterly wrong.  Observing the road surface seems to be the main job around here.  My commentators have nothing to say at all, filling up space.  Must patient, someone will attack soon.
kathy

Quite close at the end.  Commentators had no idea what was happening, and Kirby gets more idiotic with every passing day!  I might watch it in Spanish tomorrow!
gerry12ie

Tommy de gendt?
Fontfroide

I had Kirby as well.  He is not the best commentator I have ever heard.  I still have a week spot for Magnus though.  I am especially impressed with his accent.  

But what can you do when everyone on earth (who is watching) wants to see an attack, a see saw battle, someone catching up, someone fading back (we got that, poor Peter Weening).  Weening was pushing what seems to me to be a stupid gear, so maybe he got what he deserved.  I don't fully grasp why riders still do that.
Fontfroide

Gotta admit I don't know much about Carthy, but otherwise a totally impressive top ten.  Worthy of a Grand Tour.
HuwB

Fontfroide wrote:
Gotta admit I don't know much about Carthy, but otherwise a totally impressive top ten.  Worthy of a Grand Tour.


To be fair, he's not your normal, on the radar product of BC.
He's just 21 now and last year had top 10 GC finishes in the US Pro Challenge and the Tour of Languedoc-Roussillion.

Impressive talent.

Loved the understated criticism of Kirby, btw. Smile
Nolte

they didn't shorten the course by enough today i feel Wink
Nolte

Tinkoff making it hard on montjuc

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