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The Spring Classics

Old 02-28-16, 07:55 PM
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PepeM
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The Spring Classics

Anyone following? Two great races this weekend with Van Avermaet beating Sagan to the line on Saturday and an amazing surprise solo victory from Stuyven much to the sprinters' dismay today.
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Old 02-29-16, 09:46 AM
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Great thread. Thanks for starting it.

Omloop was a good race. Nice to see Van Avermat finally get a win, although I would have been happy to see Sagan win as well. I would have thought Sagan would take the sprint but he wasn't fully in form, I guess. Luke Rowe has been aggressive and seems to have the right instincts, but lacking in strength during the final phase of the race.

Kuurne was terrific. Jasper Stuyven's attack and solo ride was remarkable. That was a classy chase group and they couldn't bring him back, neither could the sprinters' teams in the peloton. Between him, Theuns, Cancellara, Trek has a decent classics team this year. I think Jasper could be a next classics star. He was also very aggressive at Omloop but retained his strength for KBK. I was also happy to see Ewan make it to the finish up near the head of the peloton, suggests he's not a fragile little sprinter. Viviani got dropped. Kristhoff looks very strong!

Petr Vakoc has also been a revelation, with two wins over the weekend and his good performance earlier in the season. Without him, EQS would have had a pretty weak opening weekend. I'm a little surprised they didn't bring a sprinter to KBK, I get that Kittel probably would have DNF'd but was hoping to see Gaviria in action. Maybe he is on the track in London? Theuns and Benoot, two riders who broke out last year, have also looked good.

Looking forward to Strade Bianchi!
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Old 02-29-16, 11:48 AM
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Looking forward to Strade Bianchi as well. I really thought Sagan was going to take it, it was cool to see Van Avermaet snatch it away from him. As for Sunday, I love solo victories. Hearing the commentators go from 'no way he's going to make it' to 'the chase better hurry' to 'he got this!' always makes me happy. Kristoff looks like the strongest of the sprinters right now, I'm guessing he will grab a victory or two. I would also like to see Bouhani get something but I am not too sure he will.
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Old 02-29-16, 03:27 PM
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Went on Google Maps to gaze lovingly at the route for the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, and came across this at one end of the Leberg climb:


https://www.google.ca/maps/@50.83008...7i13312!8i6656

I love celeste Bianchis. I have a celeste Bianchi. And what is the first thing I see on the Street View image of one of the climbs in the first spring race of the year? A celeste Bianchi!

It's a sign.
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Old 02-29-16, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
Anyone following? Two great races this weekend with Van Avermaet beating Sagan to the line on Saturday and an amazing surprise solo victory from Stuyven much to the sprinters' dismay today.
Yep, count me in. This is my favourite part of the racing year -- always has been: starting this weekend, through Milan - San Remo, the cobbles and the Ardennes. Really, really pleased to see Van Avermaet take Omloop.

Related: if anyone who loves these races has not come across it, Peter Cossin's The Monuments is a great read.
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Old 02-29-16, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
Yep, count me in. This is my favourite part of the racing year -- always has been: starting this weekend, through Milan - San Remo, the cobbles and the Ardennes. Really, really pleased to see Van Avermaet take Omloop.

Related: if anyone who loves these races has not come across it, Peter Cossin's The Monuments is a great read.
Thanks for the recommendation. I've ordered the book.
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Old 03-01-16, 07:51 PM
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My favorite time of the racing season, the classics are the best races.

I too was happy to see GVA win saturday, Sunday the ride by Stuyven was awesome. I think the break could have caught him, but they were arguing and not willing to work. Boonen seemed pissed, oh well. Such a great race.
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Old 03-01-16, 11:55 PM
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Weather for Le Samyn is supposed to be terrible, which is great!
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Old 03-02-16, 04:28 PM
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Only 20 something riders finished Le Samyn. Tough race. EQS' Terpstra broke away late and soloed to victory. Thwaite of Bora Argon was second, a very fine result.
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Old 03-03-16, 10:58 AM
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Wow, wasn't aware so few finished. It was tough for sure. You could see riders struggling to just keep in touch with that main pack. Terpstra is one strong lad. I was surprised to see the Bora Argon rider hold on to second place, he seemed to be suffering. Great result for sure.
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Old 03-03-16, 02:40 PM
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I can't find definitive info but I think the record for fewest riders finishing a major one-day race is something in the 20s. So this might be within a shout of that record.
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Old 03-03-16, 06:25 PM
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Apparently apart from the conditions, the organizers didn't let some riders complete the last of the 4 25km laps for fear of interfering with the leaders on the run-in. Which is understandable. Not to say that there weren't already people climbing off before then, but just that it wasn't a case of all bar 25 guys abandoning due to the weather.

Still, quite a ride by Terpstra et al to be so far ahead with 25 to go that the organizers wouldn't let some ride through.
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Old 03-03-16, 06:29 PM
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21 finished Liege in 1980 in the snow. Hinault won by nearly 10 minutes over Kuiper.

Velominati ? Guest Article: Bernard Hinault?s 1980 Liege-Bastogne-Liege
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Old 03-04-16, 09:37 AM
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Amusing article:

Boonen's secret legwarmer code - VeloNews.com
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Old 03-05-16, 08:40 AM
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What an exciting finish to Strade Bianchi today, absolutely great ride by the winner, also some heartbreak tho I think we all saw that happening.
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Old 03-05-16, 04:32 PM
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Perfect summary w/o giving anything away -- nice work!

And a great race. Love the classics.

Originally Posted by WCroadie View Post
What an exciting finish to Strade Bianchi today, absolutely great ride by the winner, also some heartbreak tho I think we all saw that happening.
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Old 03-05-16, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by GuitarBob View Post
Perfect summary w/o giving anything away -- nice work!

And a great race. Love the classics.
Yep; or, as we say these days, +1!
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Old 03-05-16, 09:14 PM
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Loved today's race, one of my favorites in a while. Nice to see Fabian and Sagan going at it, plus the Etixx duo only made it even more interesting. A bit surprised and very happy to see Cancellara riding so strong and I am also happy that Brambilla got third after that massive effort. Paris-Nice tomorrow, Milano-San Remo soon. Love this time of the year.
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Old 03-06-16, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by GuitarBob View Post
Perfect summary w/o giving anything away -- nice work!

And a great race. Love the classics.
Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
Yep; or, as we say these days, +1!
Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
Loved today's race, one of my favorites in a while. Nice to see Fabian and Sagan going at it, plus the Etixx duo only made it even more interesting. A bit surprised and very happy to see Cancellara riding so strong and I am also happy that Brambilla got third after that massive effort. Paris-Nice tomorrow, Milano-San Remo soon. Love this time of the year.


Yes, this is by far, my favorite time of year for bike racing.
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Old 03-07-16, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
Loved today's race, one of my favorites in a while. Nice to see Fabian and Sagan going at it, plus the Etixx duo only made it even more interesting. A bit surprised and very happy to see Cancellara riding so strong and I am also happy that Brambilla got third after that massive effort. Paris-Nice tomorrow, Milano-San Remo soon. Love this time of the year.
Indeed! Great to see Fabian win! I hope he has a big final season. These races really shine when compared to the relative sterility of the TdF; mud, small roads, cobbles, fans right there-love it.
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Old 03-14-16, 08:00 PM
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Milan San Remo is my favorite. I have only started watching the Spring races in the last 6-7 years. Thanks to YouTube I can catch up on a lot of the great races I missed in years past.

Fabian Cancellara has been a favorite of mine for many years and is probably the single biggest reason that I started watching the Spring races. As this is his last year I am hoping he goes out in grand style. It would be really great to see him win in San Remo.
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Old 03-18-16, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bici_mania View Post
Milan San Remo is my favorite. I have only started watching the Spring races in the last 6-7 years. Thanks to YouTube I can catch up on a lot of the great races I missed in years past.

Fabian Cancellara has been a favorite of mine for many years and is probably the single biggest reason that I started watching the Spring races. As this is his last year I am hoping he goes out in grand style. It would be really great to see him win in San Remo.
I love YouTube too, for the very same reasons. This is absolutely my favourite time of the season. Nothing beats the spring classics. I am looking forward to MSR, even though it is not being televised where I live (thanks goodness for steephill.tv bike travelogue and procycling live coverage).

I do not foresee Cancellara making the podium at MSR this year. I think he will be more focused on Flanders and Roubaix. Those are my 2 absolute favourite races of the year and I hope we get a genuine Cancellara / Boonen duel for the last time. I would also really like to see Sagan put his stamp on these races.
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Old 03-19-16, 04:42 AM
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I just hope it's not everyone sitting on Fabian's or Sagan's wheel until the end, I hope it's an exciting race. I've been waiting for this all week, I have an issue with my back right now forcing me to stay off the bike, so I'll be home all morning watching.
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Old 03-19-16, 10:07 AM
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Well it sure was an exciting finish. I am not a sky fan so I root for my favorites then anyone but sky. Lots of crashes today.
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Old 03-20-16, 11:44 PM
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Is there a reason the 2 Italian monuments (MSR and Lombardia) are on Saturdays this year? The other 3 are all still on Sundays.
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