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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoroninK View Post
    He definitely has a bit of a lack of discipline, however in the one week races against the top GC guys he always looses time when you get to the big mountains. He doesn't seem to know how to limit his looses like Valverde does. Contador, Froome and Nibali are more of your pure climbers. Valverde is not a pure climber but is a good enough climber to stay with the top climbers on many tough mountain stages and on the toughest to limit his looses. Alaphilippe does not appear to be good enough of a climber to do that, although he does have the body of a climber. The other thing to remember in why I'm also saying this is that at 23 Valverde had his first Grand Tour podium. That was actually in his very first attempt at a Grand Tour (2003 Vuelta). Alaphilippe hasn't come close to a Grand Tour podium and he's 24 now. Now he does keep saying he doesn't want to be a GT GC contender and wants to be a classics specialist. If that's what he wants and that's what he's happy doing then don't make him do something he doesn't want to do. The problem at Paris-Nice wasn't the TT it was the major climb where he lost a ton of time. I'm also a fan. I became of fan of Alaphilippe when he finished 2nd to Valverde at Fleche Wallone and Liege in 2015.
    Agree! Agree on all fronts!! But he COULD be a GC guy right? Watched him lose out on climbs and wondering why... He should be the rider he wants to be, so long as that satisfies him and his team contract. But I struggle with him being that close, so close, to a guy that can challenge a world tour... I really think he's got it. But whatever, if he wants to go after Sagan in classics at 6' 160 and a sprint that can come close to the elite sprinters, so be it. What you want and what your parents give you aren't always compatible. But agree completely!!
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  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    Agree! Agree on all fronts!! But he COULD be a GC guy right? Watched him lose out on climbs and wondering why... He should be the rider he wants to be, so long as that satisfies him and his team contract. But I struggle with him being that close, so close, to a guy that can challenge a world tour... I really think he's got it. But whatever, if he wants to go after Sagan in classics at 6' 160 and a sprint that can come close to the elite sprinters, so be it. What you want and what your parents give you aren't always compatible. But agree completely!!
    I keep thinking he could be a GC guy as well. Truthfully I think he could do what Valverde has done. However, it doesn't seem to be what he wants to do. Valverde in his younger days did get involved in full field sprints and still has the speed to do so, just chooses not to now. I really think he could follow the path Valverde has taken. I don't expect him to end up with the wins Valverde has, but he could have a nice career doing that. Valverde was asked if he should have been a classics specialist because in truth that is what he is. His responce was no, being an all-rounder is what I was always best suited to. Besides if I'd just have concentrated on the classics I'd never have won all the other races I've won including the Vuelta or had the podiums in all 3 GTs. I really think Alaphilippe could follow that.

  3. #103
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    Double posted for some reason. Sorry about that.
    Last edited by KoroninK; 1 Week Ago at 05:53 PM.

  4. #104
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    I don't think that Alaphillipe has the tools to be a GC guy in the grand tours, but I think he can definitely be a threat for GC in the 1 week races, if the stages are the right mix for him. I think he'd have to work on his climbing more and lose some of that stage-stealing sprint speed. For that matter, I think Kwiato could do the same thing if he chose too... for either of them to win GC in a grand tour, I think they'd need the upper tier of GC contenders to have problems. I don't see them handling guys like Froome, Porte, Contador, Nibali. I also think that it will be interesting to see how Majka and Dan martin develop in the next few years. I think that both of them have good mountain legs and the ability to become GC contenders.
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  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by TricrossRich View Post
    I don't think that Alaphillipe has the tools to be a GC guy in the grand tours, but I think he can definitely be a threat for GC in the 1 week races, if the stages are the right mix for him. I think he'd have to work on his climbing more and lose some of that stage-stealing sprint speed. For that matter, I think Kwiato could do the same thing if he chose too... for either of them to win GC in a grand tour, I think they'd need the upper tier of GC contenders to have problems. I don't see them handling guys like Froome, Porte, Contador, Nibali. I also think that it will be interesting to see how Majka and Dan martin develop in the next few years. I think that both of them have good mountain legs and the ability to become GC contenders.
    I agree. To me, Alaphillipe and Kwiat are both Classics/Ardennes guys that have some GC ability. I think Valverde is a very appropriate comparison. They will likely have to make some adjustments to accomplish what he has in grand tours, but they have similar skills. The Ardennes, Strade Bianche, Flanders, and Lombardia, etc. should be home base for them though. They can build great careers in those races and they call for what they already do best.
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  6. #106
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    Last edited by PBL450; 1 Week Ago at 07:21 AM.
    If I knew then what I know now, I woulda done it anyway.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by TricrossRich View Post
    I don't think that Alaphillipe has the tools to be a GC guy in the grand tours, but I think he can definitely be a threat for GC in the 1 week races, if the stages are the right mix for him. I think he'd have to work on his climbing more and lose some of that stage-stealing sprint speed. For that matter, I think Kwiato could do the same thing if he chose too... for either of them to win GC in a grand tour, I think they'd need the upper tier of GC contenders to have problems. I don't see them handling guys like Froome, Porte, Contador, Nibali. I also think that it will be interesting to see how Majka and Dan martin develop in the next few years. I think that both of them have good mountain legs and the ability to become GC contenders.
    But why loose the sprint speed he has? Valverde still has that speed and that this point even age hasn't done much to slow it down. In a tough stage he can beat Sagan, which he's done a couple of time for both stage wins (Vuelta stage 4 2015) and a stage in the Tour for 2nd place also in 2015. Alaphilippe definitely needs to work on his climbing because that is no where near what Valverde has.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rashadabd View Post
    I agree. To me, Alaphillipe and Kwiat are both Classics/Ardennes guys that have some GC ability. I think Valverde is a very appropriate comparison. They will likely have to make some adjustments to accomplish what he has in grand tours, but they have similar skills. The Ardennes, Strade Bianche, Flanders, and Lombardia, etc. should be home base for them though. They can build great careers in those races and they call for what they already do best.
    I hadn't thought about Kwiat, but you are right they both do have similar abilities. I do not believe they would ever end up with the kind of palmares that Valverde has, however I think they both could do more than just be good at classics. I also wouldn't expect either to race as long just because most riders retire before they turn 36-37 years old (Valverde will be 37 in April) and certainly aren't racing after they turn 39. Valverde's currently contract runs through the 2019 season, he'll be 39 before the end of that season, and has stated he wants another contract after this one (and wants one more shot at the Olympics in 2020). So no, I would not expect either to race as long as he is. It's just not typical.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoroninK View Post
    But why loose the sprint speed he has? Valverde still has that speed and that this point even age hasn't done much to slow it down. In a tough stage he can beat Sagan, which he's done a couple of time for both stage wins (Vuelta stage 4 2015) and a stage in the Tour for 2nd place also in 2015. Alaphilippe definitely needs to work on his climbing because that is no where near what Valverde has.
    Why lose the speed, because you're training different muscles... I don't know much about Valverde farther back than few years ago when I got into cycling, so I'm not gonna argue with you about whether or not he's lost speed, but its basically impossible to train and be good at all of the aspects... Look at the guys that are good at TT's like Dumoulin.. he wants to transform into a GC guy, he's going to lose some of that power and ability to crush TT's, in order to lose weight and be better in the mountains. The announcers are all wondering the same about Dennis right now, he's been training a lot for climbing, and everyone is wondering just how much of his TT power he's losing. Climbers aren't good sprinter's because they don't have the muscle required for that top end speed...
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  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by TricrossRich View Post
    Why lose the speed, because you're training different muscles... I don't know much about Valverde farther back than few years ago when I got into cycling, so I'm not gonna argue with you about whether or not he's lost speed, but its basically impossible to train and be good at all of the aspects... Look at the guys that are good at TT's like Dumoulin.. he wants to transform into a GC guy, he's going to lose some of that power and ability to crush TT's, in order to lose weight and be better in the mountains. The announcers are all wondering the same about Dennis right now, he's been training a lot for climbing, and everyone is wondering just how much of his TT power he's losing. Climbers aren't good sprinter's because they don't have the muscle required for that top end speed...
    Didn't Lemond beat Sean Kelly in a sprint for a World Championship win?
    Didn't Lemond beat Laurent Fignon in a 24.5 kilometer TT by 58 seconds, winning the Tour by 8 seconds?
    Wasn't Lemond a GC contender...3 TdF wins?
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  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    Didn't Lemond beat Sean Kelly in a sprint for a World Championship win?
    Didn't Lemond beat Laurent Fignon in a 24.5 kilometer TT by 58 seconds, winning the Tour by 8 seconds?
    Wasn't Lemond a GC contender...3 TdF wins?
    IMO, the TDF's routes form the era you're referencing were much more suited to all-rounders... they had climbing, but weren't as climb heavy as the routes today. Additionally, I think that cyclists in general have become much more specific in their training and the climbers ave realized that if they smash it on the climbs, they can take back a lot more time then they lose on the TT's.
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  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by TricrossRich View Post
    Why lose the speed, because you're training different muscles... I don't know much about Valverde farther back than few years ago when I got into cycling, so I'm not gonna argue with you about whether or not he's lost speed, but its basically impossible to train and be good at all of the aspects... Look at the guys that are good at TT's like Dumoulin.. he wants to transform into a GC guy, he's going to lose some of that power and ability to crush TT's, in order to lose weight and be better in the mountains. The announcers are all wondering the same about Dennis right now, he's been training a lot for climbing, and everyone is wondering just how much of his TT power he's losing. Climbers aren't good sprinter's because they don't have the muscle required for that top end speed...
    When Valverde was young he got involved in full field sprints and to this day will still get involved in partial field sprints. Sagan and Cav have both said Valverde is the one GC rider who has as much right to be in a full field sprint as the sprinters because he has the speed and bike handling abilities to be there. They also said they'd love to have him as a leadout man because of his speed. His boss has also stated that he has the lowest degradation of skills he has ever seen in an aging athlete. He has always stated that for someone who can climb he was blessed with a good sprint. He has never had the speed of a pure sprinter (although as an amateur he won those type of races as well), nor is he a pure climber. He is just good enough with climbing to be able to stay with the pure climbers and not loose too much time, while having the speed to win partial field sprints. First time I saw him race was his first year with what is now Movistar in 2005, which is when he became my favorite. I have friends who raced with and against him as cadets and juniors. They have said his speed is one of his unique gifts to go along with his consistency.

  13. #113
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    They do anything just to win a salami in ridiculous races. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me. It was the illest of times, it was the dopest of times. And we looked damn good. Actually the autobus broke down somewhere on the Mortirolo.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by TricrossRich View Post
    its basically impossible to train and be good at all of the aspects... Look at the guys that are good at TT's like Dumoulin.. he wants to transform into a GC guy, he's going to lose some of that power and ability to crush TT's, in order to lose weight and be better in the mountains.
    Bradley Wiggins won the TdF and Olympic Gold in the TT in the same year... And he was a climbing and TT machine in the TdF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcorn View Post
    Bradley Wiggins won the TdF and Olympic Gold in the TT in the same year... And he was a climbing and TT machine in the TdF.
    and it appears as if he had 'help'... hahaha
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  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcorn View Post
    Bradley Wiggins won the TdF and Olympic Gold in the TT in the same year... And he was a climbing and TT machine in the TdF.
    And he is a good size guy. I think he raced that Tour at like 157 and he track races at like 170. He's listed as 6'2"/6'3".
    If I knew then what I know now, I woulda done it anyway.

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbwh View Post
    Fabulous video! Thanks for posting! In 5 minutes he covers key points and, for more casual cycling fans, explains the sport in a way that's really just great!
    If I knew then what I know now, I woulda done it anyway.

  18. #118
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    Man these races have been fun this far. There are a few things that have surprised me so far though:

    1) Philippe Gilbert's form. Dude looks good, as in real good, given his vintage.

    2) How good Orica's and AG2R's classics teams look. Most people think of those teams as having a grand tour focus, but they have really made the most of the additions they made and plans to be better in the spring. I'm impressed.

    3) Where oh where are typical favorites? Degenkolb, Terpstra, Stybar, Van Marcke, Boone, and company haven't been all that relevant thus far. Even when they are within striking distance of the leaders and strongest riders, they appear to be step behind. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues at Flanders and Roubaix.

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    incredible run of quality racing so far! henceforth i will never criticize greg van avermaet's racing. not sure how he came back from an ankle injury in that form, but i am loving his approach to these races. it's hard to think clearly when one is in the red, so i have to acknowledge the pure brilliance and commitment that jens keukelaire made with that attack from the group of 14.

    once terpstra brought sagan back, i think he determined that he would not drag them to the line. a forewarning to QS for sunday perhaps?

    roll on flanders. sagan and GVA will certainly line up as the favorites, and i'm very curious to see what QS can do to counter.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rashadabd View Post
    Man these races have been fun this far. There are a few things that have surprised me so far though:

    1) Philippe Gilbert's form. Dude looks good, as in real good, given his vintage.

    2) How good Orica's and AG2R's classics teams look. Most people think of those teams as having a grand tour focus, but they have really made the most of the additions they made and plans to be better in the spring. I'm impressed.

    3) Where oh where are typical favorites? Degenkolb, Terpstra, Stybar, Van Marcke, Boone, and company haven't been all that relevant thus far. Even when they are within striking distance of the leaders and strongest riders, they appear to be step behind. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues at Flanders and Roubaix.
    1. agree 100% he looks to be on form.
    2.agree 100% again.I'm more surprised by AG2R though, as opposed to Orica. I wouldn't consider Orica a GC team, although they seem to be moving in that direction, I would still consider them in the vein of stage hunters and the 1 day races can certainly be taken advantage of by stage hunter types. They've got a few guys in good shape it seems.
    3. I feel like all of those guys have been there... no in the final move, but at least in the pre-lim moves. They've been part of what animates the race, but just not on the podium, which only goes to show just how hard these races are to win and be in the right place at the right time, which only goes to show that it seems like Sagan, GVA and Gilbert are always in the right spot.


    Quote Originally Posted by dnice View Post
    incredible run of quality racing so far! henceforth i will never criticize greg van avermaet's racing. not sure how he came back from an ankle injury in that form, but i am loving his approach to these races. it's hard to think clearly when one is in the red, so i have to acknowledge the pure brilliance and commitment that jens keukelaire made with that attack from the group of 14.

    once terpstra brought sagan back, i think he determined that he would not drag them to the line. a forewarning to QS for sunday perhaps?

    roll on flanders. sagan and GVA will certainly line up as the favorites, and i'm very curious to see what QS can do to counter.
    I think that QS's problem is that they have TOO many weapons. The guy who's in a position to win, always seems to be thinking, "how can I set this up for my team mate behind to win." Sometimes, you just need to put your head down and go. I feel like sometimes the team car is too much influence. if there was no sport director yelling at terpstra that Boonen and Gaviria were being, then he likely does some work and is in with a chance to win, instead of watching GVA ride away, hoping that Sagan does all the work.
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  21. #121
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    I sort of agree with TricrossRich and sort of not.

    I'm not a big fan of QuickStep the team, but they have some great riders. They've been riding really well this year, even including some good team tactics (a rarity, IMO).

    I think today, though, Terpstra had the team car yelling in one ear and Sagan yelling in the other. After 220 Km of racing he just kind of said the Belgian version of "**** all y'all. I'm shuttin' 'er down." I don't know another way to make sense of what he did, because he got what the tactic deserved - zippo.

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    Yeah, I don't know what was going on there. What I can say (and this goes back to my original point from earlier today) is that I feel like Gilbert is single handedly salvaging their spring thus far (I guess Lampaert had a win as well though). Gilbert looks like he belongs back on the cobbles. Killing it. I can't wait to see him, Sagan,& GVA go toe to toe in Flanders and Roubaix!
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TricrossRich View Post

    I think that QS's problem is that they have TOO many weapons. The guy who's in a position to win, always seems to be thinking, "how can I set this up for my team mate behind to win." Sometimes, you just need to put your head down and go. I feel like sometimes the team car is too much influence. if there was no sport director yelling at terpstra that Boonen and Gaviria were being, then he likely does some work and is in with a chance to win, instead of watching GVA ride away, hoping that Sagan does all the work.
    QS is an old school Belgian classics team. In that model the DS has absolute control and you try to ride for one guy (Boonen or Gaviria it seems right now). You also do not deviate from the plan unless you are told to. They definitely have tons of talent, but sticking to the plan just doesn't work as well as used to when Boonen was in his prime. Most of their guys can't ride with GVA and Sagan one on one when they are hitting on all cylinders. What is working for them is that it seems like Gilbert has been given free reign to ignore the script due to his status and the success he has had in the sport. He gets to flat out go after it in whatever race he is in (except for MSR, where it looked like he was just supposed to cover moves) and that is producing good results. I don't think Boonen can hang with the best of the best on his own anymore, so I agree that they should free some guys up to get into breaks like they did today and go for the win if they get the chance. I think Trek should do the same thing with Stuyven and Theuns because I'm not sure Degenkolb is there yet (despite how he performed today).

    FWIW, my gut says Van Marcke and Stybar will be there and attempt big moves in one or both of next big races. I feel like they have a bit more in the tank than they are showing. I also think Durbo lays it all on the line in Roubaix and, if he doesn't crash or have a mechanical, he forces one or more of the big guns to bury themselves to have a chance to beat him.... We'll see if I am right about any of this at all, lol....
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  24. #124
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    I actually like Quick Step, however they do have too many guys who can win any classics race. Thus leading to the issue of not wanting to work. As for what Terpstra was doing today, who knows. I think JSR may be right that he basically just said **** y'all, I'm done today.

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rashadabd View Post
    Yeah, I don't know what was going on there. What I can say (and this goes back to my original point from earlier today) is that I feel like Gilbert is single handedly salvaging their spring thus far (I guess Lampaert had a win as well though). Gilbert looks like he belongs back on the cobbles. Killing it. I can't wait to see him, Sagan,& GVA go toe to toe in Flanders and Roubaix!
    Yes to all this! Gilbert sort of got robbed at Dwars Door Vlaanderen where he rode really well. Lampaert's win was due in no small part to Gilbert looming right behind. It was a good team win led by a great veteran.

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