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Thread for early Spring 2022 races - up to Milan-San Remo

Old 02-13-22, 10:43 AM
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Thread for early Spring 2022 races - up to Milan-San Remo

I don't know how much interest there is among all of you, but I'm really enjoying the return to stage racing. Few of the early spring events are big enough for their own thread, so let's make this a place for commentary through mid-March or so.

Cavendish has looked fantastic in Oman. He powered by everybody on Stage 2, without any leadout. Supposedly Quickstep is going with Jakobson as the lead man for the Tour, but Cavendish is making his case that he's not done.

Also Quintana is showing unexpectedly great form in Provence. I can't see him being a serious GC threat anymore, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him take some marquee mountain stage wins in a grand tour or two.

And though we spend a lot of time talking about McNulty, another young American to watch is Matteo Jorgenson. He's looking great, too.
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Old 02-15-22, 08:34 PM
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A few random observations so far:
Evenepoel should let his legs do the talking, and the QS DS should realize that the head is as important as the body. I know he's under a lot of pressure from the Belgian press but just shut them out and shut up already.
Jaen looks like it'll be a classic (not to be confused with a Classic) -- can't imagine the last climb on the sterrato when it's bucketing down though.
Speaking of, Lutsenko, Cavendish, Quintana, and Ala look to be in good early season form. But it's only February.
Arkea should be safe if Quintana stays healthy and in even half-decent form. Cofidis making hay while the sun shines, Lotto off to a slowish start, so too Israel (for those teams on the bubble)
MVdP a big question mark, when and how he'll return.
It's mid-February, still almost 2 weeks to Het Volk and 3 to P-N and TirrAd. Way too early to see who's in form and who isn't.
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Old 02-15-22, 09:30 PM
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Volta ao Algarve - starts tomorrow - 2 rolling stages, 2 with climbs, 32km ITT.
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Old 02-15-22, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by sincos
A few random observations so far:
Evenepoel should let his legs do the talking, and the QS DS should realize that the head is as important as the body. I know he's under a lot of pressure from the Belgian press but just shut them out and shut up already.
Jaen looks like it'll be a classic (not to be confused with a Classic) -- can't imagine the last climb on the sterrato when it's bucketing down though.
Speaking of, Lutsenko, Cavendish, Quintana, and Ala look to be in good early season form. But it's only February.
Arkea should be safe if Quintana stays healthy and in even half-decent form. Cofidis making hay while the sun shines, Lotto off to a slowish start, so too Israel (for those teams on the bubble)
MVdP a big question mark, when and how he'll return.
It's mid-February, still almost 2 weeks to Het Volk and 3 to P-N and TirrAd. Way too early to see who's in form and who isn't.
Jaen is a nice addition to the calendar. I hope it attracts an ever-strengthening field. It does rain a bit in the winter in Andalucia - I was riding in Ronda a few years ago in January and got rained on a couple of days - but overall it doesn't rain much in those parts.

Yeah, Cavendish and Quintana are the two standouts in the contest for who has form early. But we haven't seen many key riders in action yet - van Aert, the Slovenians, Jakobsen (who has to be feeling some pressure with Cav getting so much attention) will debut in the Algarve, as will Merlier. That should be interesting. Caleb Ewan won a stage in the Saudi tour, but I didn't really get a feel for whether he's going to be the dominant force he was before his crash last year....

Lots of interesting racing to come. The Algarve start list looks very strong.
https://www.procyclingstats.com/race...2022/startlist
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Old 02-16-22, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
Jaen is a nice addition to the calendar. I hope it attracts an ever-strengthening field. It does rain a bit in the winter in Andalucia - I was riding in Ronda a few years ago in January and got rained on a couple of days - but overall it doesn't rain much in those parts.

Yeah, Cavendish and Quintana are the two standouts in the contest for who has form early. But we haven't seen many key riders in action yet - van Aert, the Slovenians, Jakobsen (who has to be feeling some pressure with Cav getting so much attention) will debut in the Algarve, as will Merlier. That should be interesting. Caleb Ewan won a stage in the Saudi tour, but I didn't really get a feel for whether he's going to be the dominant force he was before his crash last year....

Lots of interesting racing to come. The Algarve start list looks very strong.
https://www.procyclingstats.com/race...2022/startlist
I was wrong - Jakobsen raced in Valencia before his very strong debut in the Algarve today.
Also, the UAE tour starting this weekend is going to see a matchup between Cavendish, Bennett, Viviani, and Groenewegen. That should be interesting. Can quickstep provide superior leadouts for the team in both the Algarve and UAE? Morkov will be at UAE
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Old 02-18-22, 02:39 PM
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Geraint Thomas at Algarve. 16th year as a Pro.
Tells people he is ready to prove something this year, in a video that was posted by BBC Sport on 16Feb.
Geraint is 12+ minutes down after stage 3, on 18Feb.
Did not read about him crashing, but maybe he got caught behind one.
What he has proven in his initial races is that he has a long way to go.
But then it is also true that July is a long way up the road. If that is his true goal.

I expect a retirement announcement before the Giro.
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Old 02-18-22, 07:53 PM
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That sprint/attack/whatever-the-last-400m-was-called on Stage 2 of the Ruta looked just incredibly painful. Covi timed it well though, early enough to catch the one guy who could have caught him by surprise and late enough that Lopez didn't actually catch him. Looked shattered at the end, though.
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Old 02-19-22, 12:50 PM
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Evenepoel dominates 32km TT at Algarve.

Brandon McNulty in 3rd place overall with one stage remaining.
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Old 02-20-22, 02:20 AM
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Final Stage of the Volta ao Algarve today. I'll do 2 hours of training and then pop down to see them - they start literally 4km from my house.

It has been great to watch, meet and chat to the guys!







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Old 02-20-22, 09:57 AM
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wow. Serious sprint talent on display at the 1st stage of UAE tour. Even with one prominent personage missing in action. What happened to the Quickstep train?
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Old 02-20-22, 02:54 PM
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It was a great final stage of the Volta ao Algarve!






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Old 02-21-22, 04:49 PM
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Lot of interesting results so far. When did Groenewegen switch to bike exchange; I missed that?

​​​​AlgarveCycling That's incredible you're right there! Wow thanks for the pictures!
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Old 02-21-22, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
wow. Serious sprint talent on display at the 1st stage of UAE tour. Even with one prominent personage missing in action. What happened to the Quickstep train?
Groenewegen, Philipsen, Bennett, Cavendish, oh my!
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Old 02-22-22, 11:25 AM
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Wonderful result for Bissegger and EF, no worries of rain!
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Old 02-22-22, 11:55 AM
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I'm hopelessly behind. I finished Ruta del Sol two days ago and fell asleep last night watching the Algarve stage 1. My wife wants to watch the scenery in the full broadcast, but the ratio of olive groves to attacks was all wrong for me.

I'm headed south on the auto train tomorrow. I may have to skip ahead of her and watch a bunch of highlights. Lots of action and no olive trees in UAE.
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Old 02-22-22, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by slcbob
I'm hopelessly behind. I finished Ruta del Sol two days ago and fell asleep last night watching the Algarve stage 1. My wife wants to watch the scenery in the full broadcast, but the ratio of olive groves to attacks was all wrong for me.

I'm headed south on the auto train tomorrow. I may have to skip ahead of her and watch a bunch of highlights. Lots of action and no olive trees in UAE.
If it helps any, for the first two stages of the UAE, all you have to watch is the last few km. They are both dead flat stages with all the drama in the sprint and its leadup.
And stage 3 was an ITT.
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Old 02-22-22, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by slcbob
I'm hopelessly behind. I finished Ruta del Sol two days ago and fell asleep last night watching the Algarve stage 1. My wife wants to watch the scenery in the full broadcast, but the ratio of olive groves to attacks was all wrong for me.

I'm headed south on the auto train tomorrow. I may have to skip ahead of her and watch a bunch of highlights. Lots of action and no olive trees in UAE.
If you ever take the train (or drive) from Madrid down through Andalusia (say, down to Granada), you'll be amazed at the expanse of olive groves.
Spain grows a ton of olives. Most olive oil you buy comes from Spain. If it says "Made in Italy", that usually means that they are spanish olives shipped to Italy for pressing.
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Old 02-22-22, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain
Wonderful result for Bissegger and EF, no worries of rain!
It would be dull if Ganna won every time.

Where is Rohan Denis? He hasn't been in any of these events, has he? Has something happened to him (apart from departing Ineos and signing with JV) and I lost track?
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Old 02-22-22, 03:36 PM
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PCS says he's slated to ride Paris-nice in March and JV has him locked in already for the tour. Not much mention of his program. The DS of JV was mentioning that the last two Tour positions will be determined after the classics - I wonder if he will target something there also?

I haven't watched any racing yet! I know my bad. I will tune in tomorrow or what not for the final UAE stages.

I paid my dues to cycling news at least.

I'm ready for a few romps through basque country and Brittany.
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Old 02-22-22, 03:41 PM
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Oh the tour of Rwanda is this week. I've wanted to follow this closer; I'll poke around a bit on this to see if there's any broadcast or highlights.
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Old 02-23-22, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
If it helps any, for the first two stages of the UAE, all you have to watch is the last few km. They are both dead flat stages with all the drama in the sprint and its leadup.
And stage 3 was an ITT.
Actually, only tomorrow's stage (stage 4) and the last 10 km of the final stage *doesn't* qualify as dead flat.
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Old 02-23-22, 04:39 PM
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A few more random observations:

Bad day for Dumoulin on the Jebel Jais. The Jais is long but not terribly steep and he got shelled anyway.

Ganna had a GREAT day -- ride of the stage for me. But Jebel Jafeet is rather steeper and it's a long shot for him to win it all.

Not great news for the peloton, perhaps, but it appears Pog has recovered from Covid and is rounding into form. Still not clear what the guy's ceiling is.

Hirt looks good, Intermarche punching above their weight here.

The view of the top of Jebel Jais is breathtaking. At lower elevations the air looks kind of murky, though.

Cannot figure out what Israel-PT are up to. They're on the bubble (granted it's only February, but are they really expecting to scoop up points when JV, QS, Ineos, and UAE get into gear?) but send a B-team to Rwanda, where they are getting smoked by Pro and Conti squads. They're at UAE but making no impression at all. The lack of urgency here is puzzling.

Het Whatevertheycallit is this weekend -- we'll see who's bringing their A-game to the Classics!
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Old 02-23-22, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by sincos
Ganna had a GREAT day -- ride of the stage for me. But Jebel Jafeet is rather steeper and it's a long shot for him to win it all.
That was ridiculous to see him sprint and catch the second group. So so close to gc lead. He sat for quite awhile just breathing heavily - that was really a remarkable run. Paris-nice should be interesting with him and Rohan. Would be fun to see him make use of crosswinds on stage 5 for that leaders jersey.
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Old 02-24-22, 06:35 AM
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Tour of Rwanda stage 4

Mountain stage with a cat 1 and 2 climb. Pierre Roland in doomed break. I spotted an American rider in the break as well, a Scott McGill riding for wildlife generation pro cycling.
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Old 02-24-22, 08:49 AM
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UAE Tour is a sprint fan's delight
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