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    UCI World Championships- Elite Men Road Race


    So, tomorrow is the last day of 2011 Worlds. It's time for the fight for the most prestigious of the rainbow jerseys. I have to admit given the easy course I'm not looking forward to it as much as usually but whatever- that doesn't mean I'm not excited.
    Seeing U23, junior and elite women road races, it looked like it's almost impossible to get away here, but who knows, incredible things happen sometimes, especially when Phillipe Gilbert is racing.

    What riders (and DSes) themselves say:
    Sylvain Chavanel- "Sunday will be the saddest race in the world"
    (While Quickstep manager, Lefevre, hopes "that Chavanel will win and Gilbert will die on his wheel".)
    Phillipe Gilbert doubts anyone can finish alone on this course but says his team will do everything to make race hard from the beginning.
    Team GB seems really fired up, they think for them it's now or never since at least the next three years Worlds should be much harder. Cav admits he's rarely nervous but now is one of those moments, Wiggins says it's their best chance but Cavendish will still need the ride of his life.

    Favourites:
    Mark Cavendish- The uphill finish isn't perfect for him but he'll have a very solid team, on a good day he can do it.
    Thor Hushovd- Exactly the other way- finish is great for him but he could do with slightly harder course plus he has a poor team. His teammate Boasson Hagen could win as well, depending on who's the leader on the day. I heard many Norwegians came to cheer for them.
    Oscar Freire- Few years ago, he'd be an overwhelming favourite on such course but he's getting old and it's been almost a year since his last big result (Paris-Tours). However he's proven before that he can win this thing out of nowhere and he's chasing the record.
    Peter Sagan- His age and only two helpers can make it difficult but other than that it looks great for him and he's my pick.
    Phillipe Gilbert- It may look too easy for him but among those 18 races he won this season, there were some which he won making a gap on the easier terrain. And after such a long race, even the sprint isn't such a terrible option for him. If sprinters can be beaten here, he should be the one to do it...
    Fabian Cancellara-...unless it will be him. It's been a while since he's done something like that but he's an ambitious guy who may feel he has smth to prove.
    Matthew Goss- Has a very good team behind him but he doesn't seem to be in great form. A shame as such course fits him like a glove. (Also I'd say not taking Renshaw wasn't the best decision.)
    Andre Greipel- Has a good chance I think. He can count on great leadout, he isn't bad on such finishes and anyway he's one of the fastest guys out there.
    Tyler Farrar- Would be a nice way to end a rough year. I wouldn't put money on him, when in great shape he would be a very serious contender... but you never know with his shape.
    Bennati- Seems unlikely but I guess he deserves a mention.
    (Others include Bole, Feillu, Germany back up options in Kittel and Dagenkolb, Rojas... or if the race turns out to be miraculously hard and messy Chavanel or Voeckler.)

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Cavendish. Or maybe Greipel...

    The GB team is remarkably strong and seems to be more or less a tribute band for Cav, celebrating his decision to sign for Sky. Were it not for the uphill finish I'd say it was a shoo-in, but Greipel is going to be a tough opponent on this terrain. I predict that it will be dull as hell for about 250km, then there'll be attack after attack until the end.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    CAVENDISH! In a magnificent finish to a much better race than I had anticipated. Anyone who thinks he can't win without being delivered to the line needs to watch this, he was superb.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Senior Member TeamPlayers's Avatar
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    Saw it and I still don't think he can win without being delivered.

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    Senior Member javal's Avatar
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    Cavendish & Greipel. You´re pro betters! All in all, a great WC for Germany.
    the rider makes the bike - steel club member 198

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamPlayers View Post
    Saw it and I still don't think he can win without being delivered.
    You were clearly watching a different race from me, given that he was detached from his team pretty much from the final corner. Thomas even dropped back to look for him, and then ended up on Cavendish's wheel rather than the other way round.

    Having said that, the GB team - especially Wiggins - did a great job of controlling the race until the closing stages. But the last kilometre was pretty chaotic.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Senior Member TeamPlayers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    You were clearly watching a different race from me, given that he was detached from his team pretty much from the final corner. Thomas even dropped back to look for him, and then ended up on Cavendish's wheel rather than the other way round.

    Having said that, the GB team - especially Wiggins - did a great job of controlling the race until the closing stages. But the last kilometre was pretty chaotic.
    Was there a photo finish at the end for Cancellara? If so then yes we saw the same race.

    Sorry but I will never get excited for Cav, or sprinters in general, when they sit back and pretty much suck wheel for the entire race. I found more excitement in the Voeckler breakaway.

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamPlayers View Post
    Sorry but I will never get excited for Cav, or sprinters in general, when they sit back and pretty much suck wheel for the entire race.
    Tastes differ. But that's their job. He's good at his.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Senior Member SouthFLpix's Avatar
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    It was well done for Great Britain and Cav, but I also have to say that I generally prefer the hillier courses. Not just for the WC, but I also tend to view the hilly or mountain days in grand tours as the most exciting. I guess I'm just not a huge fan of the bunch sprints, although I understand that they are a part of cycling.

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    The whole British team did an unbelievable job for Cavendish. Froome was pulling for like >100 km, I hope he'll be in similar shape next season. Wiggo also great, he's awesome these days. And they started working for this long ago when they were counting every point in every race possible to have eight men team. Chapeau.
    But it's also true that the job in the final was all Cav's. For a moment there I thought he's done but he managed on a messy uphill finish, with his train cooked- and it wasn't the first time when he showed he can do it. I don't even want to imagine how much pressure he was under which makes it all the more impressive, really well done.

    Gossy did good, I thought he isn't strong enough at the moment and it was actually pretty close. Shame he didn't have Renshaw- who I imagine was throwing things at his TV seeing how the race panned out- but whatever, silver after Cavendish is fine anyway.

    I suppose Cav, Goss and Greipel is the outcome you would expect on such easy course, they are probably the fastest (maybe along with Farrar and perhaps Kittel will join them soon). It was nice to see Cav and Greipel warmly congratulating each other having in mind their past differences. On the side note, HTC continues to impress.

    Gutted for Cancellara though, awesome effort. And Voeckler-Hoogerland at the front were pretty epic, you gotta love them, no matter how hopeless it is they'll always have a go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamPlayers View Post
    Was there a photo finish at the end for Cancellara? If so then yes we saw the same race.

    Sorry but I will never get excited for Cav, or sprinters in general, when they sit back and pretty much suck wheel for the entire race. I found more excitement in the Voeckler breakaway.
    You don't have to get excited for the guy, but he won this race without a leadout in the final stretch. I agree sprinters just sit in the group and get pulled to the finish, but that's what sprinters do. I think this course was a bore. Great to see hoogerland and voeckler have a go though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamPlayers View Post
    Saw it and I still don't think he can win without being delivered.
    Agreed. I'm glad he at least had to fight it out for himself the last km or so, but this race was a joke. What if Cav had to ride with nobody but Wiggins, and Thor and Boasson Hagen had six awesome teammates? It's possible he could win without a team, but this is about as close as he ever gets.
    Last edited by Kind of Blued; 09-25-11 at 06:46 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member TeamPlayers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farby View Post
    You don't have to get excited for the guy, but he won this race without a leadout in the final stretch. I agree sprinters just sit in the group and get pulled to the finish, but that's what sprinters do. I think this course was a bore. Great to see hoogerland and voeckler have a go though.
    whether he had a lead out by team sky or some random guy bottom line is he had a lead out.

    not that it matters but in my opinion he will never go down as an elite cyclist to me cause he can't win anything without the help of others. sure he has an awesome kick, sprint or whatever you want to call it but that's about it.

    unfortunately in today's society that's whats deemed as successful or elite when all the real hard workers will go down as underpaid unknowns or in this case the pseudo team sky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamPlayers View Post
    whether he had a lead out by team sky or some random guy bottom line is he had a lead out.

    not that it matters but in my opinion he will never go down as an elite cyclist to me cause he can't win anything without the help of others. sure he has an awesome kick, sprint or whatever you want to call it but that's about it.

    unfortunately in today's society that's whats deemed as successful or elite when all the real hard workers will go down as underpaid unknowns or in this case the pseudo team sky.
    Well, your opinion is wrong. And you're pretty much talking about all sprinters then. Not just Cav. Sprinting is a discipline in cycling just like climbing and time trialing is. The WC course varies from year to year because there are many different types of cyclists. Cav is an elite sprinter. The guy has won over 70 races in his short career. He's won the green jersey at the TdF. Cav is the reigning world champion. Cav is an elite cyclist. You don't have to like sprinters or watching sprints, but that doesn't diminish the fact that the dude is a great sprinter. That "awesome kick," as you put it, is exactly what makes him great. Its not easy or anybody could do it. And he's shown that he CAN win without the great HTC leadout or Mark Renshaw. If you don't like Cav because of his antics or attitude, just say so. But to try and make a case that he's not an elite cyclist is nonsense. World Champion = elite.
    Everyone has a right to an opinion. However, this does not mean that one's opinion is right.

  15. #15
    Sua Ku rollin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamPlayers View Post
    whether he had a lead out by team sky or some random guy bottom line is he had a lead out.

    not that it matters but in my opinion he will never go down as an elite cyclist to me cause he can't win anything without the help of others. sure he has an awesome kick, sprint or whatever you want to call it but that's about it.

    unfortunately in today's society that's whats deemed as successful or elite when all the real hard workers will go down as underpaid unknowns or in this case the pseudo team sky.
    The only road cycling discipline that is truly solo is solo time trailing. All other events rely on teamwork. there are a lot of team players, TeamPlayers.

    So who do you consider "elite"? It's got nothing to do with "today's society". You need to go back a long long time to see unsupported riders winning.

    Eugene Christophe was disqualified from the 1912 TdF when he mended his broken fork using a blacksmith's furnace but asked a kid to pump the bellows. Was that the good old days?

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    Sua Ku rollin's Avatar
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    Well done Cavendish. Truly deserved.

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    Senior Member GrayJay's Avatar
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    Dont think I saw Gilbert attack or at the front today and he was way out of contention at the finish. Seems like he should have at least tried an attack at some point.

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    Senior Member TeamPlayers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrionKhan View Post
    Well, your opinion is wrong. And you're pretty much talking about all sprinters then. Not just Cav. Sprinting is a discipline in cycling just like climbing and time trialing is. The WC course varies from year to year because there are many different types of cyclists. Cav is an elite sprinter. The guy has won over 70 races in his short career. He's won the green jersey at the TdF. Cav is the reigning world champion. Cav is an elite cyclist. You don't have to like sprinters or watching sprints, but that doesn't diminish the fact that the dude is a great sprinter. That "awesome kick," as you put it, is exactly what makes him great. Its not easy or anybody could do it. And he's shown that he CAN win without the great HTC leadout or Mark Renshaw. If you don't like Cav because of his antics or attitude, just say so. But to try and make a case that he's not an elite cyclist is nonsense. World Champion = elite.
    You do know the great thing about an opinion is that it truly can't be right or wrong? Your reading comprehension on the other hand could leave a lot more to be desired cause I stated earlier that I wasn't a huge fan of sprinters in general and not just Cav. But I promise not to hold that against you.
    Quote Originally Posted by rollin View Post
    The only road cycling discipline that is truly solo is solo time trailing. All other events rely on teamwork. there are a lot of team players, TeamPlayers.

    So who do you consider "elite"? It's got nothing to do with "today's society". You need to go back a long long time to see unsupported riders winning.

    Eugene Christophe was disqualified from the 1912 TdF when he mended his broken fork using a blacksmith's furnace but asked a kid to pump the bellows. Was that the good old days?
    It honestly doesn't matter what or whom I think is an elite cyclist. My opinion on the subject won't change and I'm not here to change the opinion of anyone else.

    Bottom line is Cav is an elite sprinter and probably the best this generation will ever see. I respect him for what he's good at and we can just leave it at that.

  19. #19
    Dopamine Junkie dglevy's Avatar
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    okay, let's not let this thread get hijacked by one bomb-thrower.

    moving on, did anyone notice, after the finish, cavendish lifting up his bike and kissing it? that would be advertising gold for the bike manufacturer, i would think.

    another thing: i find it really amazing how small countries like netherlands, belgium, denmark and norway produce such outstanding racers. i can only suppose it's b/c the residents of those countries (esp. belgium and netherlands) are absolutely fanatical about the sport.

    --d.

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dglevy View Post
    okay, let's not let this thread get hijacked by one bomb-thrower.

    moving on, did anyone notice, after the finish, cavendish lifting up his bike and kissing it? that would be advertising gold for the bike manufacturer, i would think.

    another thing: i find it really amazing how small countries like netherlands, belgium, denmark and norway produce such outstanding racers. i can only suppose it's b/c the residents of those countries (esp. belgium and netherlands) are absolutely fanatical about the sport.

    --d.
    You assume correctly, especially with regard to Belgium, they're nuts about it. I find it more difficult to account for Norway, it may be a transient thing, they just happen to have a couple of top, top riders at present. But if you want a country that punches well above its weight, in this sport and in many others, you have to look at Australia. Only about 22m Australians (there are 18m Dutch) and they are among the top nations in a number of fields.

    Incidentally, one of the many Australian jibes about the British is that the "poms" are only any good at sports you can do sitting down - cycling, rowing, sailing, horse-riding. Not too far from the truth...
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  21. #21
    Senior Member TeamPlayers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dglevy View Post
    okay, let's not let this thread get hijacked by one bomb-thrower.

    moving on, did anyone notice, after the finish, cavendish lifting up his bike and kissing it? that would be advertising gold for the bike manufacturer, i would think.

    another thing: i find it really amazing how small countries like netherlands, belgium, denmark and norway produce such outstanding racers. i can only suppose it's b/c the residents of those countries (esp. belgium and netherlands) are absolutely fanatical about the sport.

    --d.
    Cause I have a difference in opinion its called bomb throwing? Its not my fault people easily get their knickers in a bunch if someone doesn't agree with them.

    Anyway, having once lived in Belgium for many years I have to admit that that country absolutely loves its cycling like no other. There's a reason a lot of pros train there. My only regret was not cycling more while I was there. I usually try to head back there for a sportive every year. I did fail miserably at the Koppenberg and Paterberg during the sportive a few years back and hoping to give it another go next year.

  22. #22
    Dopamine Junkie dglevy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    You assume correctly, especially with regard to Belgium, they're nuts about it. I find it more difficult to account for Norway, it may be a transient thing, they just happen to have a couple of top, top riders at present....
    Quote Originally Posted by TeamPlayers View Post
    Anyway, having once lived in Belgium for many years I have to admit that that country absolutely loves its cycling like no other. There's a reason a lot of pros train there....I did fail miserably at the Koppenberg and Paterberg during the sportive a few years back and hoping to give it another go next year.
    i can understand why the dutch would be fanatical, considering how cycling is such an integral part of the transportation mix. but i don't remember belgium being a cyclist's paradise like netherlands. and what about denmark? great country for cycling but they don't churn out champions like netherlands do (or am i wrong about this?) i agree about norway. it may be a transient thing. i don't remember any big name norwegians back in the 90's.

    i have a biking buddy who is dutch, made enough money from racing to finance his studies at the university. both his daughter and son are excellent racers. he's in his 50's and can ride me off his wheel. (i'm about his age). he could probably finish with the pack in a cat. 3 (u.s.) race, maybe better. it's like he's made of steel... it was interesting watching him tutor his daughter in the pack--"hold back; go; go here; not yet; get on my wheel; go, go, go! etc.". i think his son could have gone pro but went to college instead and is doing crew.

    how many take part in the koppenberg and paterberg sportives?
    Last edited by dglevy; 09-26-11 at 02:17 PM.

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dglevy View Post
    i can understand why the dutch would be fanatical, considering how cycling is such an integral part of the transportation mix. but i don't remember belgium being a cyclist's paradise like netherlands. and what about denmark? great country for cycling but they don't churn out champions like netherlands do (or am i wrong about this?) .
    I haven't done a count, but I reckon the Belgians have "churned out" far more cycling champions than the Dutch. Merckx, Maertens, van Looy, van Impe, de Vlaeminck, Boonen, Van Steenbergen, Maes, Bruyneel... That's off the top of my head. There have been hundreds.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Dopamine Junkie dglevy's Avatar
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    that's interesting. it appears that every single belgian you cite has a flemish (i.e. dutch) name, even though the country is 40% french/60% dutch.

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dglevy View Post
    that's interesting. it appears that every single belgian you cite has a flemish (i.e. dutch) name, even though the country is 40% french/60% dutch.
    Yeah, that's true. There isn't really a belgian nation, it's a purely political construct. Separate Flemish and Walloon media, institutions, political parties, everything. As a result they haven't had a Government for over a year, they can't sort out a workable coalition. Just goes to show, maybe political leadership isn't required: but that's for another forum.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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