2014 Pro-cycling season thread

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  • Strade Bianche, love it. The 1st pro race that's grown out of a sportive (instead of the other way around); L'Eroica

    Mont Sante Marie never looks as steep on TV as it feels riding there yourself though :-/

  • is that the climb into sienna? it looks brutal on TV

  • no, it's the one after Asciano toward Castelnuovo Berardenga, after 147km. Exact same stretch as in L'Eroica

    gravel and up to 18%

  • Lazy racing in the chasing pack once OPQS and Belkin forced the early selection, only Lotto and Sky getting organised and chasing, belatedly Katusha with the rest of them hoping they would do the work and they could profit at the end. Once the gap went out to a minute the chasers were cooked, especially since one of the team doing the chasing had done a lot of work the day before. I was hoping for a tense clock watch as they slowly reeled them but no, OPQS and Belkin played it perfectly. Still a great race, worthy winner in the end.

  • Luca was pulling like a fucking steam train.

  • Just watched the final 80km. Impressive stuff from OPQS and Belkin.

    Can't remember seeing two teams put such a massive number in a break that hasn't been forced by a crosswind.

    Pleased it wasn't too cold for Boonen today.

  • The lead group made up about 30 seconds of their gap riding on a cycle path beside a cobbled section which according to latest rules was supposed to be banned.

    Chasers stayed on the road.

    Good luck with taking a home win off Tommeke.

  • Ha, I didn't see that. The outcome should be interesting.

  • there will be no outcome I suspect, other than 'jury, pay attention next time, rules have changed'

  • I say if you're prepared to take the risk of street furniture and run the gauntlet of fans - possibly because you've recce'd the route well - then fair fucks to you.

    How is this rule going to be enforced? What if there's a massive pile up on the Koppenberg and a load of riders unclip and run up the banking to go round?

    Loads of riders will use the grass in P-R to get off the cobbles if its drier. It's not a smooth path but its not the road either.

  • You can understand why the rule needs to exist, to cover the organiser's butt if/when riders or peds hurt themselves.

  • The element of danger posed by pissed Belgians and errant dogs makes cycling all the more fun as far as I'm concerned. Same with riders smashing into the odd sign or coming a cropper when the try and bunny hop a kerb.

  • Luca was pulling like a fucking steam train.

    But him and Katusha only belatedly started to chase: they needed to be pulling straight after the climb that split them, the Kwaremont

  • Cheers that's a great read!!

  • Finally got round to watching the highlights of K-B-K. Watching the OPQS guys in the break was great, some awesome teamwork going on there. And Boonen makes it all look so horrendously easy. Prick.

  • Pez cycling got photos of the exact moment the break went away; some Pro Conti chopper lost the wheel then cut up Greipel trying to get over to the gutter and they were gone.

  • So, in actual fact Gripes was in the wrong place and didn't or couldn't respond in time.

    As for your dig at Pro Conti, Topsport had a man in the break, what does that say about the rest of the Pro Tour teams that failed this fairly simple task? They had one team to watch, one team...

  • Would seem to be a fairly easy task to get from behind the rider in front and ride up the middle. You turn the handlebars to the left and pedal hard...

  • it looks very much like he was dropped before that guy cut him off

  • The gorilla nickname is funny cos he really isn't; pro cyclists are just tiny

  • isn't that name to do with the way he grips the bars in a sprint?

  • Paris-Nice starts on Sunday, with a course that goes against the grain by not including a time-trial or a summit finish of any real difficulty. Instead the course features lots of medium mountains and narrow roads, thus giving the opportunists and tactically savvy riders more chance of the overall win.

    Will it lead to anarchic, chaotic racing or will one or two of the stronger teams look to shut down the race and win via the bonus seconds available to the top three finishers each day?

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2014 Pro-cycling season thread

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