April: Cobbles time

Phil

Maximum Pace
#1
Sure the Giro and Tour de France are great spectacles, but the intensity of one-day racing + cobbles + tradition and history + dust and mud + beer + savviest fans in the world = my favorite month of racing.

J-Sports schedule:
Tour of Flanders: 4月5日(日)19:40~24:00 (J sports 1)
Paris-Roubaix: 4月12日(日)20:50~25:30 (J sports Plus)
Liège-Bastogne-Liège: 4月26日(日)21:10~24:30 (J sports 1)

For Flanders, Boonen, Pozzato, and Haussler seem to come up most on people's podium prediction lists. Hard to make the case against Boonen, especially given the strength of his team.

Have a soft spot for Silence Lotto, who are having an awful season, so Leif Hoste or Gilbert are my longshot picks.
 

evan06

Warming-Up
Jul 23, 2007
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Yokosuka
#2
Phil,


Thanks for the info I will make sure my eyes are glued to the set for these races, especially Paris Roubaix.

Maybe, just maybe, this will be Hincapie's year to win either Flanders or Paris-Roubaix.

James
 

chazzer

Speeding Up
Nov 23, 2006
449
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Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire
#4
Films

Yes - this joint (Uplink) is not far from where I live and they show minority sport movies. I have seen a few cycling movies there. I noticed this poster last weekend but did not have time to check it out.

If people are interested then perhaps we could organise a night out.

chazzer
 

lylen

Speeding Up
Apr 30, 2008
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Tokyo
#6
Hmmm... I didn't see it quite that way. I think the strongest guy won. Of course if it came to a sprint I wouldn't bet against Boonen, but Devolder was sensational. He pulled several short time trail efforts to help pull Boonen up to the break and force their opponents to make difficult decisions. After regrouping a short time later, he broke away on his own, Pozzatto couldn't catch him. He comes up to the break again. Then he attacks uphill and does a 16 km time trail to win. It was a team effort and Boonen Chavenel and Devolder had great moves, but Devolder was the star. The most enduring image of the race for me was Chavenel finally getting to go-ahead from the DS to go for second place and trying to stay away from the peleton with the other two break-aways. The look on their faces of utter suffering was something.
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#7
Indeedy, didn't mean to take anything away from Devolder. He worked for that win.

Guess by "everyone" I was thinking mostly Pozzato. Pundits were looking toward a Boonen vs. Pozzato showdown, but QS fooled them again. By playing anchor in the main group Boonen effectively made it easier for Devolder to get away. Had Boonen bridged to the lead group as well, he would have likely brought Pozzato and Gilbert and others; and that would make a solo 15km break much harder to pull off.

Full props to Devolder, but that was very much a team win.
 

evan06

Warming-Up
Jul 23, 2007
103
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Yokosuka
#8
Quick Step played their cards nicely. Boonen was contained by his evil shadow, Pazzato. Chavanel contained any attack by Manuel Quinziato doing hardly any pulling once Devolder made his impressive move.

I felt bad for Cancellara seeing that chain snap. The crash at the finish area was pretty impressive. Seeing that Astana rider do a complete 360 while crashing looked very ugly but in the end he walked his way to the finish. Beppu took a nice little spill as did man other riders, but nothing new. Oh, the weather was awesome there.

James
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#11
I felt bad for Cancellara seeing that chain snap.
He handled it with aplomb though, didn't he? He briefly thought about tossing the bike a la David Millar, realized that would be declasse, and so hoisted it on to his shoulder like Spartacus shouldering his spear, strode down the hill, collected the offending chain and draped it around his neck as if to say, "yes, yes, THIS is why I walk." Classy guy.
 

evan06

Warming-Up
Jul 23, 2007
103
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Yokosuka
#13
I am still rallying behind Hincapie. As many times as he has done this race it would be nice to see him finally win it. But Quick Step is a powerhouse. Curious, what is the weather suppose to be like? The dry and sunny races are ok, but when it rains that is when the race gets interesting.

I will forego sleep to watch this. Unfortunately due to military commitments I will be unable to watch the Liege race.

James
 

lylen

Speeding Up
Apr 30, 2008
57
0
26
Tokyo
#15
I think I read Ballan is banking on his whole spring campaign for this race (Roubaix). I can't remember where I read that, but I don't see how he could be ready without torturing himself at Gent or Flanders first.
I guess whoever wants to win will have to figure out how to isolate the Quick Step racer. Sounds very difficult when your just trying to stay fast and RSD.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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Noda
japanichiban.com
#18
O'Grady isn't on the starter's list either.

I'd like to see Cavendish go in a breakaway to see how Boonen reacts... Cavendish has no chance winning this unless everybody sticks together but he needs to play some mind games with Boonen for the races to come.

Goss who looks like an O'Grady fill in did well in the Olympics and I like another young inexperienced up and coming Aussie, Sulzberger who seems to want to be noticed. Definitely going to be a big star in the future.

Looks like a Boonen race at the moment.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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Noda
japanichiban.com
#19
Last man standing. Too bad it was such a disaster in the last 50km...
Boonen is definitely the strongest on this type of terrain.
Hincapie's run of bad luck continues but I couldn't see him doing any better than 2nd if he were to hang on and not have any problems.

The 2 lotto riders in the final 5 group had a chance of breaking Boonen but their luck ran out as well.

I had to watch most of it online till my wife & kids finished with their movie but even still...was not so exciting as the last 2 years.Caught the last 50 on the TV...
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#20
Yeah, it was a shame that crashes took out 4 of the 6 in the breakaway and split Boonen/Pozzato. Still, really enjoyed the race... I was cheering for Hoste and Van Summeren--they both deserved better than being taken out by a falling Flecha (especially Van Summeren, hardest working rider out there?)

Would have been great to see the six reach the velodrome together, but then that's the nature of the race, and I think it's more than just luck that Boonen stays at the front of these things and avoids the mishaps. He just seems to know how to ride the cobbles.