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Tour of Flanders (spoilers!!)

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Tour of Flanders (spoilers!!)

Old 04-03-22, 09:08 AM
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GrainBrain
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Tour of Flanders (spoilers!!)

To be honest Pog spoiled it himself



I don't think I've ever seen him so angry, can't believe he sat up like that before the line. Swearing and cursing across the line. What did you expect? Just ride. MvdP is incredible; Madous and Baarle absolutely deserved that podium!

Pog did have an incredible climb second to last time up the Oude Kwaremont!
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Old 04-03-22, 12:46 PM
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TP was making the race all day - attacking, responding, making the moves - he was surely the strongest. He even positioned himself perfectly with 400 m to go. Then he buggered up the finish... maybe he did too much, maybe he was over-confident, but he waited too long to start the sprint and then he allowed himself to get boxed in.

Good race - I was hoping for some worse weather though.
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Old 04-03-22, 05:37 PM
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Here's how I see it. He was strongest all day, but MvdP hung with him. Going to the line, it looked like it was going to be a two-up sprint. Pogacar KNEW that he likely could not win a two up sprint against van der Poel, especially if they both accelerated early. So he was playing that cat and mouse game to give him the best shot at outfoxing mvdp. He didn't pay enough attention to the chasers, who caught him and he lost not just the race, but the podium.

(Let me edit that to be more clear. Pogacar knew he couldn't start the sprint first, as mvdp would surely come around him and win. So he hung back in the hopes that he could use the draft from mvdp's sprint. But (1) he still didn't have a chance to win that way, because he just doesn't have enough explosive power to come around mvdp and (2) he waited so long that the other two guys blew by him and he didn't have a chance to catch their wheels with enough momentum to overcome them either. )

He could have taken a clean second had he not played those games, but he was hoping somehow to win. Instead, he ended up 4th.

As to him getting 4th because he sat up, look at the overhead replay. By the time he sat up, he had already been beaten.

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Old 04-04-22, 09:37 PM
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There doesn't seem to be much interest here in discussing the race result further, but I just looked at the overhead footage one more time and I've changed my mind a little. Pogacar had no chance of winning when van Baarle moved in front of him, and I don't think he could have overtaken van Baarle for second. But he could have had third, had van Baarle not made that move. You can see that he was moving up on Madouas until van Baarle got in front of him, at which point Pogacar had to ease off the pedals.
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Old 04-05-22, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
There doesn't seem to be much interest here in discussing the race result further, but I just looked at the overhead footage one more time and I've changed my mind a little. Pogacar had no chance of winning when van Baarle moved in front of him, and I don't think he could have overtaken van Baarle for second. But he could have had third, had van Baarle not made that move. You can see that he was moving up on Madouas until van Baarle got in front of him, at which point Pogacar had to ease off the pedals.
Tl;Dr - Pog really needed a teamate with him in that last 50km. What was Trentin doing burning himself out early? Or a team mate in the early break.

...

Oh there is interest! It was a fabulous race and I was taking pot shots at Pog. I agree he had no chance at a 250m sprint; MvdP apparently is capable of those ridiculous 10 second 1400 watt efforts. Pog must not have realized the speed of van Baarle and Madous; or as Horner stated - there is no difference to Pog with 2nd or 4th placing.

So I watched Horner and I agree with his analysis that the race was lost many kilometers before, with the team desperately trying to reel back the early break. Which worrying about the break made sense to me if you saw how strong taco van der horn was just as Tadej caught the break on the 2nd patterburg (or was it the Kwaremont?) attempt (? Going from memory here and not attempting to look up Flemish names). It was this spectacular scene of Pog flying up past 15 riders like they were standing still.

Was it this point that MvdP had found himself on the back foot? There was a point in the race where MvdP was quite far behind but he continued his own effort and regained contact. Here was a point Pog should've gone all in with his TT power.

Anyway as amazing as Pog was I thought it would've been race winning if he had been at the front and done that. Then, on the final Kwaremont then patterburg climb you had some tailwind. I'd assume Pog would've gone full power up both because you have to wear out MvdP over the long climb; he'll match you with short efforts. There was a moment where MvdP had flicked to the side; you'd think that would be the point where Pog would do a max effort or even go over there limit. I wonder if he was already tired from the previous march up.

They both crested the top and I was like "well, now what?". If I was Pog I would not be doing any turns; at least he could've rested if Baarle and Madous had reconnected with a few k's left. Yeah more people to sprint against but also maybe a chance to slip away in the added confusion. For sure MvdP would have gone full because Kristoff group was approaching. Also what a great result for Kristoff, that was a surprise for me.
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Old 04-05-22, 12:28 PM
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For me, the strongest man actually did win the race. You have to broaden out the definition of strongest to include MvdP's strength, knowledge of the parcours and tactical nous.
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Old 04-05-22, 01:00 PM
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I agree Pog was willing to risk 2nd to go for 1st. He wasn't racing for a podium.

MVDP played it perfectly. I think it was actually harder for him with van Baarle and Madouas closing, because that put him on someone else's time. That could have tilted things slightly to Pogacar by forcing MVDP's hand, but as it turned out, it didn't. Even if Pog had a clean wheel to follow, IMHO he wasn't coming around. At least not 9 times out of 10 in that situation.

van Baarle had every right to MVDP's wheel after passing Pogacar.

I still haven't seen a big chunk of the race leading up to the break of 2 and 2 chasers for the final kms. I can't wait to see how the two of them got away. I assume Pogacar flew on a climb and MVDP hung with him. Then took him in a sprint. That sounds like the strongest man to me. But I shall have to watch and see.
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Old 04-06-22, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by slcbob View Post
I

I still haven't seen a big chunk of the race leading up to the break of 2 and 2 chasers for the final kms. I can't wait to see how the two of them got away. I assume Pogacar flew on a climb and MVDP hung with him. Then took him in a sprint. That sounds like the strongest man to me. But I shall have to watch and see.
Yes, but more dramatic than that. Pogacar attacked and attacked on climbs. mvdp hung on, scrapping to keep from getting dropped. Well worth a watch.
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Old 04-08-22, 07:32 PM
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>Finally< had a chance to catch some RvV coverage ... crazy week ... anyway:


1. Back injuries can be niggling and never really go away, so it was great to see MVdP fully recovered. He looked imperious in DdV but that's a shorter race, and that didn't involve hanging on to Pogacar. Proper flahute, that one. If we're going to go with half-century old comparisons, maybe the Maertens or de Vlaeminck to Pogacar's Merckx (both have rather a long way to reach that comparison, though...)


2. Fantastic results for van Baarle and Madouas. I don't think anyone gave them more than an outside shot at top 10, outclassed the whole race, but neither ever gave up.


3. I didn't think Pog was going to win this race: Flanders rewards experience and a heavily marked first-timer has no chance. But he passed all the tests with flying colors only to throw it all away with cutesy amateur hour position games. Still, full credit for attacking and forcing the pace; that cruise through the pack up the Oude Kwaremont took the breath away; and you get the feeling he'll be back next year savvier, hungrier, and, at the ripe old age of 24, stronger still. RvV isn't a race he can win so much as one he'll be one of the heavy favorites for.


4. Hello, Quick Step, anybody home??
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