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Old 05-30-11, 05:47 AM   #1
Caretaker
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Philippe Gilbert Wins Tour of Belgium

Gilbert has already said he wants to ride the TdF and his win yesterday in Belgium shows he's a rider in super form.

Not a serious contender for yellow in the TdF but what chance for stage wins and green?
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Old 05-30-11, 06:28 AM   #2
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Although I don't see him as a contender for the green jersey (too many sprint specialists riding with good teams, i.e Cavendish, Boonen, Hushovd), a stage win is certainly within his capabilities. A few days in the polka dot jersey isn't beyond belief, either (though he won't take it in the end). He's fun to watch, I'll give him that.
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Old 05-30-11, 07:18 AM   #3
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Eddy Merkx believes that Gilbert could be a GT contender if he drops some weight. I think he can definitely get a stage win on a hilly stage suitable for a breakaway.

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Old 05-30-11, 12:23 PM   #4
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I'd like to see a grand tour one year with no mountain top finishes. Or limit it to just one mountain top stage finish. I don't mind them going over big mountains. Just would like to see flat finishes. More conducive for breakaways and such. Help break apart the peloton. Just want to see how guys like Cancellara, Gilbert, or Hushovd would do in the overall. Remove the huge time gains in mountain top finishes and it opens it up to a bunch more riders. Don't know how well it would work out, but I'd like to see it once.
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Old 05-30-11, 12:36 PM   #5
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PG said that he's looking at a victory in one of the early stages, then supporting Jurgen Van Den Broeck: 5th last year, pretty good climber (for a Belgian).
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Old 05-31-11, 10:06 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by OrionKhan View Post
I'd like to see a grand tour one year with no mountain top finishes. Or limit it to just one mountain top stage finish. I don't mind them going over big mountains. Just would like to see flat finishes. More conducive for breakaways and such. Help break apart the peloton. Just want to see how guys like Cancellara, Gilbert, or Hushovd would do in the overall. Remove the huge time gains in mountain top finishes and it opens it up to a bunch more riders. Don't know how well it would work out, but I'd like to see it once.
Wow, a 3 wk long Tour of Quatar... great
would be about as much fun as a sharp stick in the eye.

way too many flat-ish stages already
breakaways in the era of radio control are mostly TV time for the riders, infinitesimal chances for success.

spartacus, gilbert and now even hushovd are rouleurs - very good ones, and would be great to watch on tough courses with continuous up and down profiles - AS long as radios are taken away...
cadel evens is a rouleur, with some climbing ability - Gilbert needs to work towards that if He's gonna be a GT contender.

the mtns and the TT, currently are the litmus for the true All-rounders.
take away the radios and the rolling courses will again become important.

Sprinter stages are truly a total yawn
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Old 05-31-11, 01:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by OrionKhan View Post
I'd like to see a grand tour one year with no mountain top finishes. Or limit it to just one mountain top stage finish. I don't mind them going over big mountains. Just would like to see flat finishes. More conducive for breakaways and such. Help break apart the peloton. Just want to see how guys like Cancellara, Gilbert, or Hushovd would do in the overall. Remove the huge time gains in mountain top finishes and it opens it up to a bunch more riders. Don't know how well it would work out, but I'd like to see it once.
I would like to see 21 days of downhill! Salvodelli would come out of retirement. He wouldn't even have to train, but he would increase his intake of Italian Sausage
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Old 06-02-11, 06:03 PM   #8
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I think the tour does a pretty good job of having a downhill and some flat after some of the mountains. That way some one could attack and get a huge gap but they'd have to work harder for it. They need to have stages that reward every style of riding. then you're a true overall champion.
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Old 06-02-11, 08:35 PM   #9
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PG said that he's looking at a victory in one of the early stages, then supporting Jurgen Van Den Broeck: 5th last year, pretty good climber (for a Belgian).
Its funny that he is aiming only for the early stages. Besides the lack of elite climbing ability, I also wonder if Gilbert know that he his no good for three week races. This same issue came up with Valverde. While he was a lot smaller and more naturally suited to the big climbs of a Grand Tour I remember an interview he once gave where he effectively said he was just plain no good over three weeks (maybe something to do with his doping regimen in hindsight =) ), for his part he said he just seem to lose focus. So guys falter over three weeks while others seem to get better and better as the days push up into the teens (Contador comes to mind). I wonder if Gilbert falls into this former category, and perhaps he knows it.
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Old 06-02-11, 08:59 PM   #10
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I think the tour does a pretty good job of having a downhill and some flat after some of the mountains. That way some one could attack and get a huge gap but they'd have to work harder for it. They need to have stages that reward every style of riding. then you're a true overall champion.
I understand what you're saying. But that's not really the case. This year's Tour has something like 4 mountain top finishes. The reality is that the mountain top finishes are what bring the huge time differences. When a rider wins a breakaway on a flat stage its usually because the top GC riders don't consider him a mountains threat or he's way down on time already. Mountain top finishes are what eliminate almost all of the riders from overall contention. A great climber but crappy rider in any other condition will still finish in the top ten because of that. But horses like Cancellara, Hushovd, and Gilbert (great riders who can climb to a certain degree) will never be a GC threat.

I'm not saying that they should eliminate the mountain top finishes altogether. I know that they create great racing spectacles. I would just like to see a grand tour, one year, limit it to one just to see how the race unfolded. You could still go over the big mountains, just have the finishes at the bottom or down the road. The peloton and teams would be broken up and we see a different race.
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