The forecast for Sunday

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Peter Sagan

It’s hard to get the weather forecast right sometimes so predicting the results a 266km race is a lot harder. Nevertheless, for the fun of it here are some thoughts for Sunday’s elite men’s road world championships, starting with some scenario analysis and then a run through of the favourites.

Sprint
With the junior women’s and U-23 men’s race ending in a bunch sprint, you can imagine this happening on Sunday too. The surprising thing for me with the U-23 race was the sheer size of the bunch at the finish. Now the dynamics of the race meant it was not the fastest race of the year but the circuit seems to allow riders in trouble to get back on and recover. Now 260km are quite different but all the same, a lot of what I’d call secondary riders are going to hang in there for a long time.

In addition with Mark Cavendish as a favourite to win the race teams will realise they cannot eliminate him on the hills but have to send riders in attacks. So we should see some lively racing on the final laps as teams try to test the strength of the British squad, on whose shoulders a lot of work will fall. An attack won’t go clear because of the hills but because of hesitation amongst the chasers.

The sprint itself is a straightforward affair. It’s about momentum, meaning you cannot come off a wheel and surge past in the last 50 metres but you can follow a rider from 400m to 100m and then go past as they fade.

The favourites

Mark Cavendish is the fastest sprinter and in very good shape right now which suggests the uphill finish is within his reach. When ever people seem to doubt he pops up and win. Note he’s won uphill before, I think it was the Tour of Switzerland in 2009 where he gave a good demonstration of this. Plus his sprinting style is to lead instead of emerge from bunched chaos. His big problem is his reputation, in being such an obvious favourite we will see others plan their race with him in mind, launching attacks and more.

Thor Hushovd the strong silent type, Hushovd lets his legs to the talking and he is a rider who rises to the occasion. I think the uphill finish is perfect for him and he has the chance to play a good one-two with Edwald Boasson-Hagen. The younger Norwegian is another candidate but erratic at times and as a Team Sky rider we’ll see how he rides.

Peter Sagan is the wunderkind of pro cycling right now and in case you forget, he’s already won a rainbow jersey before, the junior MTB title. The Slovakian rider has a decent team with him and has a powerful finishing sprint that allows him to win solo on hilly courses but to win bunch sprints too. With the Vuelta in his legs I don’t think the 260km will pose too much of a problem for him so long as he reminds himself to eat correctly.

Philippe Gilbert has had a year that reminds us of Eddy Merckx, even if Gilbert is – for the moment – incapable of overall success in a big stage race. If Gilbert does not win then who ever else wins will be compared to Gilbert and the Belgian might well end the season as the “moral” world champion. But he has a great chance on Sunday, especially with a team expected to provide great service for him. My only doubt is how he will execute the win. If he attacks it will be obvious and the terrain is hard for a rider, even Phil, to solo away. He has a powerful sprint but prefers to terrorise a small group instead of a whole bunch.

Many outsiders
Grega Bole is a stealthy Slovenian rider who won the GP Plouay, he has a good finish and comes with the fast finish Borut Bozic and Jure Kocjan who excels in uphill sprints. If many are watching Oscar Freire, keep an eye on José Joaquin Rojas as he’ll enjoy the finish if he can make to the end. The Italians have a squad headed by Daniele Bennati but watch out for Luca Paolini, often a surprise package and Sacha Modolo. Nobody has mentioned the Germans but they have John Degenkolb, André Greipel and Marcel Kittel, as well as Danilo Hondo for a leadout. Amongst the French Yoann Offredo is a dark horse but if you want random excitement, see Thomas Voeckler although I think the course is too flat for him. Fabien Cancellara is going to try something and the distance is no problem for him. And Japan’s Yukiya Arashiro cracked the top-10 last year.

Teamwork
Possibly the subject of a whole topic but note riders compete in national colours but have obvious allegiances to their pro teams. Just as if you played tennis against your boss you might let him or her win for the sake of your career, Sunday’s race will see certain riders working in the interests of their professional colleagues. Note Gilbert and Hushovd are good friends who train together and will be team mates next year. Keep your eyes open.

Summary
Forecasts set you up for trouble; still I sort of called the U-23 result. The most obvious scenario is a sprint finish and a battle between Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan and Thor Hushovd. Cavendish is faster but the uphill finish seems to favour Sagan who seems in perfect condition right now. But I can’t help feel many will be trying everything for a breakaway, none more so than Philippe Gilbert.

But even the precise weather isn’t known. As much as we might look forward to a finish like this the course is not so selective and in the chaos of the sprint anything can happen. That’s why it’s all so exciting and the final hour on Sunday promises plenty of drama and suspense.

Nick September 24, 2011 at 10:49 am

Kinda missed the Australians there….

Anonymous September 24, 2011 at 11:43 am

The Australians missed Renshaw..

Bundle September 24, 2011 at 11:59 am

The Belgian team and Cancellara are going to be the key. They both want and expect to win, and at least they will surely make other favourites lose. By the way, comparing Gilbert with Merckx is slightly outrageous, but Gilbert’s season does compare well with Freddy Maertens (who said so himself, and does not foresee a bunch sprint tomorrow).

Granny Gear September 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm

What about Goss or Gerrans? No mention of their chances?

The Inner Ring September 24, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Nick: the trouble is that I don’t see who can win. Goss is off form, Haussler has not won a race since the Tour of Qatar, it’s too flat for Gerrans and O’Grady is a tough not but less of a fast finisher today. If Haussler was winning this month, I’d have him in the top-5 contenders. They are contenders and if they work as a team then it’s possible.

Larry T. September 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I’ll be happy with pretty much anyone except Cavendish. Oscar Freire would be a sentimental/old guy favorite to close out his career. Any of the Italians would be good, but I don’t give them too much of a chance tomorrow. More than anything else I’d like to see an exciting race with lots of attacking.

Daniel Moszkowicz (TKofC) September 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm

How you can seriously say that Cav is “in very good shape” is just really amusing, the Manx Missile was more of a misfire in the recent Tour of Britain where Renshaw, his lead-out man, rode away from him in the stage 5 finish to win. And then you go through a list of outsiders missing the most in-form and arguably the toughest rider on the starting line on Sunday: Lars Boom! The guy won two stages at the Tour of Britain to win it overall, is not fearful of rain and wind should it arrive in Copenhagen, and is suited by the course.

If you’re going to take the effort to make a forecast than at least take the time to present something comprehensive, or it begins to look threadbare and senseless, and a bit of an amusing oddity rather than the authoritative examination it should be.

Bit disappointed by this after an exciting piece earlier examining the vailidity of this course being suited for sprinters.

Cheers,
Daniel Moszkowicz

Kevin Foote September 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Wow, Daniel, it seems the you are the one who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Cav won two stages of the Tour of Britian, including the final stage. Watch the helicopter shots in the following video and tell me he is not at the top of his game:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDhPN9awnDw
Personally, think he’s a cocky kid who always needs an excuse when he doesn’t win but, right now, he’s the best in the business when he wants to be. He also proved his uphill sprinting abilities in Stage 5 of the Tour this year:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvxRPK0UfDY
I’m rooting for Gilbert, although I’m not sure the course will suit him unless there’s heavy winds in the forecasts.

gavin September 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I think cav let renshaw win at the tour of Britain. One because he owes renshaw a large amount of credit for his own success. And two to give him something to smile about having missed out on the team for the worlds. Cav was reported to be looking good by the other riders. He has his best ever chance and will have prepared accordingly. Whoever wins will be a worthy champion.

jjlega September 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Gotta throw Farrar in there too, as a dark horse at least.

The Inner Ring September 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Daniel Moszkowicz: I didn’t say Cavendish was in good shape for a laugh, but as has been pointed out by Kevin Foote, he is sprinting very well and I hear his overall shape is good too.

As for Boom, a good choice. But we have yet to see him win in a big race over 200km so I didn’t mention him. As ever, there are many names that get overlooked and the history of the championships suggests we get a surprise every few years too.

Beau September 24, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Goss for the win! Captain O’Grady will control the race – enough said

pcan September 24, 2011 at 8:47 pm

hmm interesting, looks like team GB are out of the running then!! no mention of them! all of our hopes on Cav then!

Daniel Moszkowicz (TKofC) September 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Kevin Foote, wow indeed, you are using the evidence of Cav labouring on his bike, struggling to find his natural “2nd kick” to just nudge-out Gilbert and a blanket-finish of other riders by a wheel in one stage, and then in the other acres of room to develop for himself to come over the top — as a good form guide. Deary me, I will accept that I don’t know what I am talking about if you think that’s Champs-winning form on an uphill finish with a long run-in and a narrow road. Moreover, stage 5 of the Tour was only 165 kms, whilst here in Copenhagen he’ll be doing 100 kms more, and climbing nearly twice as much vertical, additionally they were likely crusing for three-quarters of the race as they do in most stages of the Tour — no room to hide in Copenhagen. Nevertheless, when asked about his stage 5 win in the Tour, Cav answered; “That was hard…!” he then went to say that at least it meant he was in good form. We’re now way past the end of the trade team season, and he has been flat at the Tour of Briatin, imo. Hardly a good sign of form going into a race which decides who gets to wear the rainbow jersey.

And INRNG; that’s precisely what I thought, I thought you were doing it to be funny, so thanks for assuring me that you weren’t, now I can regard your comment as just nonsense, after having a good initial laugh. Nevertheless, you make a compelling argument for why you didn’t mention him as he is missing that prize in his career, although sometimes it’s worth drilling down a little a more to find the appropriate analysis, and in this case with such top form to point at, and asking the question of who might steal a break with a lap and a quarter to go and have the tough-as-nails strength and stamina to hold off a peloton arrowhead — he fits the candidacy very well imo, and of course offers much more interest than the riders you have mentioned in your long list of “many outsiders” — many of which, strangely, haven’t proven themselves as barrel-lunged lionhearts let alone the title of, World Champion — as Boom has several years ago.

A writer’s responsibility is not to “overlook” anything — as it is impossible to know how important one’s words may have in terms of many things, one of which being influence, and thus to overlook is to fail in presenting a well-balanced and fair assessment. You have attempted to do something here with this piece and failed imo, but I hope I have inspired you to next time at least ask yourself if what you have completed is worthy of publishing, or just an attempt at stoking a discussion. Because if it’s the latter, you can save yourself a lot of time with a catchy title, a photo, and the words: [enter comment here:]

…The strong and well-balanced Aussie team to control things early, if not for the most part, before ratcheting up the pace and leaving an elite 30 to bury themselves into a world of pain for the final few laps, where the riders feeling best and capable of going even harder will look to attack each other with the words — I can suffer more!

Should be a cracker with tricky road conditions giving the race that little bit more character. Bring on the rain and wind, oh flat Copenhagen, you lover of bikes and riding! …and Champs in this instance!

Cheers,
Daniel Moszkowicz

Qwerty September 25, 2011 at 12:04 am

Many races are ending in the sprint finish so far in Denmark. But I don’t think the finish is right for Cavendish. I see Bennati and Sagan. Also there are many to mention. Why not Roche or Nuyens, or look at the French who have medals, maybe Feillu or Dumoulin??

Daniel, if you are so certain I hope you win in the bookmaker betting!

kilodave September 25, 2011 at 1:01 am

Well I for one would love to read Daniel Moszkowicz’s Worlds prediction blog post as he obviously has some experience being the Troll King of Chatsitea.

I’d like to see Sagan win if the bunch doesn’t succeed. I won’t be surprised to see Cav take the win though, but his team will really have to control the entire race with the Aussies.

Simma September 25, 2011 at 1:23 am

my money is on sagan, too many outside bets to even think of making a list

daniel you need to take your nose out of lars booms ass o.O bit fanatical… there’s an insane ammount of “proven talent” at 250km+ and lars just isn’t on the list, and this isn’t your blog, he can leave any name he wants out of his predictions, yes it’s bias but so what, this is not declared as gospel fact, so and so will be the winner. (like i personally do not see cav being a favourite, but i’m not being a douche about it)

Daniel Moszkowicz (TKofC) September 25, 2011 at 6:59 am

Qwerty; I see a breakaway succeeding on account of one finally being well-timed, after all, the elite men have the experience of making such developments occur on a more likely than less likely basis. So far, in the under23 race and the women’s race yesterday especially, the Canadian girl was looking good off the front by herself but just timed it too early and didn’t have the strength to really dig down and stay clear, not that close to the finish admittedly, she really did try though. In the former race, I think there were two lads off the front who were there for multiple laps before one Eritrean rider made the gap dragging with him the peloton, on just approaching that final turn. Strong efforts, but ultimately lacking experience to go at the right time. Nuyens fits the bill, however with him there is not much good form to point at, but he is one who has the time-trialling ability to stay away, definitely a good selection but perhaps you might find he is chasing down attacks for Gilbert. Roche like D. Martin has a good chance, the reason I like D. Martin more, is because he hasn’t stuck his hand up and said I am just a climber, so still for me very much an evolving rider who likes to suffer in a “bar-room brawler”-style. I’m one to drill-down a little with my selections, and not just follow the so-called experts, they get it wrong far too often, imho. The French I’m not a fan, and with some riders you just have to be, I guess.

If I win with the bookmakers, in my own book, or simply with my “fantasy team” of riders isn’t what is worthy of consideration here. An exercise such as this is about using a framework of reliable information (or just using a fan’s selection criteria) to select a rider or riders worthy of merit in such an important race.

Just, on a point concerning bookmakers, actually: The reason they are so consistent at winning, essentially taking the money from gamblers or punters, is because they don’t change the systems which work, so ask yourself next time if you like, how a bookmaker frames his market and you may understand that to go about such an exercise as this, in the manner of the author of this piece has, is nonsense. I think he realizes this now, though.

kilodave, well spotted, although I don’t go about advertising this anymore, you can see the conflict I create without my longer-form moniker, in any case. It’s a pity some people just don’t accept that some people in society are just moralists deep down.

Simma, what a thing to say, in your case your parents abviously failed with raising a decent member of society, since you choose to furnish this “comments page” with such uneducated talk. Lars Boom is one of the most under-rated riders in the field, the guy is a barrell-chested lionheart who would help a lady change her bicycle tyre on his way home, after a training ride in the mud and rain of some cyclo-cross forest course for 7 hours, with no request for fee or favour — he is deserving of the gold to match his golden character and not only has the form to do it, but has the support of many.

Nevertheless, it’s easy to brand someone a “douche” or even infer such a description, but if you were less quick to judge and more keen to observe the reasoning for my blog suggestion for the author you would be less blind, perhaps.

Cheers,
Daniel Moszkowicz

Simma September 25, 2011 at 7:52 am

i’m not blind i just don’t agree with you, which it seems you can’t really tolerate. are you in love with lars boom? seriously… it doesn’t really matter what you think he deserves, he’ll get what he gets.

also i wasn’t actually that quick to judge, i read everything you wrote, i think i understand your motives (but can never be sure as obviously, they’re yours alone), but i and anybody else don’t have to agree with you no matter how logical a point you might make (not saying you actually made a point i see as logical), it’s a free world, i don’t think boom can win, get over it.

oh how do you infer that i’m a bad member of soceity because i think your being a bit of a brown noser and called you a douche? is that really all it takes? your either being narrow minded and petty to try and “win” an “argument” (quotations because i see such thing as impossible online), or you have crazy standards for human beings, good people can use bad words… they’re just words after all <3 either way, it's sunday so we'll see if your supreme mind and logic has outsmarted most of the worlds pundits, or if your just a really big lars boom fan (i think you know which way i'm betting)

Daniel Moszkowicz (TKofC) September 25, 2011 at 8:44 am

Simm, quite obvious for anyone to notice that given you are an anonymous person on an internet forum, raising such objectional language to fashion into some sort of weapon — the way you likely behave in society. I’m not at all fazed by your comments, I come across people like you in cyberspace and in life, who all tell the same story time and again, and follow the same pattern.

I reject your assertion that I am intolerant, I welcome differences from thinking people all the time.

Do I have to be in Love with Lars Boom to regard him as I have portrayed him here? More crazy talk from you, I feel, but “he’ll get what he gets” I agree there with you, and substitute you for your own logic as an added bit of tinkering.

I’m not exacting a plan for everyone to agree with me, more evidence that you are blind to what I have proposed: I suggested something to the author of this piece, end of story!

You tell me so much about you without my having to ask anything, please continue as you wish and as is best for you to consider. I can tell you are a betting person, however I’m not interested in the odds of a likely sure win in your obvious failure at such a lame attempt to discredit the master of all Trolls on the internet.

I was going to leave something for you to consider in my final paragraph, however it’s unlikely you deserve it, and so I’ll seek your favour elsewhere. Good day.

Cheers,
Daniel Moszkowicz

Tom September 25, 2011 at 10:05 am

@Daniel & Simma
…Oh dear

Kevin Foote September 25, 2011 at 10:27 am

Daniel,
The main reason why I began my post so incredulously was because you said that Renshaw road away from Cav. I think it’s clear that Cav gifted him the win and I’m surprised you didn’t pick up on that. Nevertheless, you certainly follow cycling closely and so I enjoy reading your opinions. I’m not a gambler or anything close to a professional cyclist. I love to ride my bike and work on my bike and watch pro cycling in the little free time I have. And, yes, my real name is Kevin Foote, as I’m assuming yours is Daniel. I don’t know much about computers beyond leaving a comment on this site (one of my very favorite cycling blogs, by the way, Inner Ring) and so I’m a bit worried that you’re going to hack my computer and expose my hidden collection of Backstreet Boys screen savers. I agree with Simma, that there is no such thing as winning an argument, unless its an organized debate, and especially on the internet. I don’t know what a troll is or why one would want to be one, nor do I care – all I can gather is that it has something to do with a need to always have the final word, which you’ll probably get. I’d rather engage in friendly and spirited debate. By the way, I searched for Troll King of Chatsitea because I thought I might find some more of your cycling commentary, but all I found was a forum on role playing games and a link that crashed my computer. If you do blog about cycling point me in the right direction. Otherwise, please leave me alone. Respectfully, Kevin

Daniel Moszkowicz (TKofC) September 25, 2011 at 10:32 am

Just on a further point concerning Boom’s suitability for this race – he did win the 2010 installment of the GP Jef Scherens which whilst only covers 183 kms, has four “stiff” climbs on each of the circuit’s 14 km laps.

Tom, acknowledged, my apologies for allowing non-cycling discussion to influence my correspondence with Simma.

Cheers,
Daniel Moszkowicz

The Inner Ring September 25, 2011 at 10:47 am

Easy guys. Lively debate of ideas is fine but don’t be too personal.

If Boom wins, great. He’s a nice guy who will win big sooner or later.

Qwerty: Feillu and Dumoulin would be outsiders on the best of days but they have both been injured.

Daniel Moszkowicz (TKofC) September 25, 2011 at 10:49 am

Mr Foote,

Firstly, I very much appreciate your opinion and that you provided links to support your assertions is clear indication you wanted them tested. I’m not willing to accept that Cav gave him the win, although the interview can be read for and against such a point-of-view. I enjoy reading peoples’ opinions also, that’s why I stated how much I enjoyed the necessary piece earlier considering the type of course the rider’s face in Denmark. This piece on the other hand, has proved a little incomplete and perhaps that is all I sought to highlight. I am not out to convince people Boom will win, just that imo he has the best chance, from what I have observed, because of course I follow pro-cycling. Love the sport, and like you am not a pro but a genuine lover of swinging my leg over the saddle and going for a good long ride around some part of Sydney, where I reside in Australia. Yes, my real name is Daniel and so you are correct.

My Trollship performance is all there to put together if you care to examine what I am about and what I seek to achieve, neither hero nor foe necessarily – the internet my blog story and only this small cave my home. I only enjoy intelligent correspondence and whilst I’m new to this particular forum, I accept that even the authors get it wrong. You have nothing to fear from me as you are not a dunce or dullard.

Warm regards,
Daniel Moszkowicz

Daniel Moszkowicz (TKofC) September 25, 2011 at 11:27 am

Mr Foote,

Additionally; I’ve been told this makes for good reading, especially if you have an interest in the fixed-gear bicycle culture in Sydney, Australia:

http://www.sydneycyclist.com/profile/DanielMoszkowicz

Cheers,
Daniel Moszkowicz

Kevin Foote September 25, 2011 at 11:52 am

The Inner Ring: Agreed. I will keep my comments cycling-related. Presently, I’m watching the race live via a Sporza Belgian link on http://www.steephill.tv . I must admit these relatively flat circuits are not making for edge-of-your-seat viewing. Someone on another site mentioned that there is a lot of road-garbage. I wonder how much luck will play into the success of some of the contenders. I haven’t been following Sagan closely enough this year to know if he is capable of this sort of distance but he, too, as Inner Ring has already mentioned, has a strong uphill sprint finish, so I’ll be watching him closely.

Mr. Moszkowicz: Thank you for the link. I have been to Sydney, but had not gotten into cycling at the time. If you are ever in Tucson, Arizona, you should climb Mt. Lemmon, a relatively mellow 6% grade for 25+ miles, which offers great views of the Southwestern environs. At the risk of shameless self-promotion, here is link to an article I wrote about my experiences at Bicas, a local bike cooperative, of which I’m rather proud:
http://tucsonvelo.com/news/bicas-class-brings-old-bikes-back-to-life/4952

gavin September 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm

What a great day this is for all British team sky loving fan boys. The best man and the best team won today. Cav is a legend.

Bundle September 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Ok. So it’s Cav. Congrats, inrng and the UK. But especially the teams that helped a sprint finish (Germany, USA, Australia, Norway), and also all of those who did nothing to prevent it (Spain, Switzerland, Russia) have proved to be mentally disabled.

Daniel Moszkowicz (TKofC) September 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Fair play. Called it correct, INRNG and Mr Foote, The Manx Missile exploded with celebration in a bunch sprint. Top ride by the GB team, although nice to see the Australian team under the elder statesman leadership of O’Grady giving them a run for their money toward the end. Looks as though Goss opened the door for Cav on the inside when he could have easily kept it closed. The guy just needs the slightest opening, and he did the business on a finish I didn’t think woud suit him. Also; thoroughly enjoyed watching Bak bridging the gap, what a heroic ride, I thought that that was what another Lars could have done, and to be fair he was there (29th), so not too disappointed, he has all the requirements to win one of these, away from the mud and dirt.

Mr Foote, thanks for the link, thoroughly well-written article, I’ve been reading the American monthly “Powder Magazine” for many years – so really identified with the American style, well done, you should be very proud of it indeed, I would be. I lived in the USofA for half-a-year but mainly in Colorado and some eastern states, lovely place from what I saw, I’ll keep Mt. Lemmon in the memory bank, maybe one day. Incidentally, my mother owns a KHS Flite 100, so my commiserations to your wife, they’re lovely bikes – real craftsmanship work on the joint welds, very dainty and overall elegance.

INRNG; lovely site overall, hope the point I tried to make is seen with some validity, and not regarded as some kind of mean attack which it wasn’t – that’s never what I’m about.

Cheers,
Daniel Moszkowicz.

grumpyoldman September 25, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Well done Cavendish who delivered a great finish, but also his team who controlled the race to perfection. I had a feeling that superiority of numbers would play an important role in the race, but was not sure if Cav would handle the uphill finish.

O ye of little faith.

kilodave September 25, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Congrats to Cav and the GB team, they did a wonderful job controlling the race BUT I must agree with @festinagirl that the leadout was rubbish. Obviously it all worked out well in their favor at the end, but there were a couple of slight factors that could have entirely changed the outcome.

If Renshaw was leading out Goss I’m almost certain he would have that rainbow jersey.

Wiggins dropped from the train too early letting a flush of riders catch up. Obviously he was working hard to bring back the break but that was a very nervous time for the entire peloton and could have easily create a crash up front.

Cav was dropped off too early, plain and simple.

I don’t mention this for any other reason than that team sky has some leading out and train practice to work on for next year. And either way, Cav won so there was certainly more done right than wrong! Great race to watch and looking forward to seeing the rainbow jersey cross the finish line first many times in 2012.

Ian September 25, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Congrats for an immense team effort by GB and Cav for topping it off. Have only seen the finish once but GB clearly worked all day, so didn’t have much left for the finish. As a result criticism of the leadout is a bit harsh imo :)
It seems Cav lost the wheel (squeezed out) as they went down the barriers with a few to go but then decided to sit back abit. You can see some very nervous looks from Thomas in particular as he drops back! In the end Cav timed it perfectly on others wheels as HTC go out in stlye with a 1,2 and 3!

Ian September 25, 2011 at 8:50 pm

p.s Kilodave – Wiggin’s did the best part of 10 minutes at the head of the bunch into the final kms which I wouldn’t call dropping off too early :)

Am sure they would have wanted a train of 8 at the finish in an ideal world but even team GB can’t chase for 260km and do that!

Rocko September 25, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Very good analysis moskxwzsischxs, In punter terms you re clearly a mug. No need to spoil this fine site with your mixture of ingnorance and arrogance.

Great ride by team GB. I guess that cav is paying for the drinks tonight :-) deserved winner. Faster rider in the bunch after 260 k.

kilodave September 25, 2011 at 9:19 pm

@Ian – There is almost no way to take anything from the GB team, they executed and I must agree with some of your points. I just wonder (maybe worry?) how they will be able to lead the train for Cav and work for the GC with Wiggins next year with sky. The small mistakes that were made luckily didn’t cost them the rainbow jersey. It’s probably more of the fact that they just plain aren’t a cohesive unit like HTC has been over the years, yet. I’m sure over time the leadout train will only get stronger and more cohesive but I do wonder how sky will handle that train with a capable GC contender. I guess he will be at the front so maybe he won’t get caught behind in crashes?

bikecellar September 25, 2011 at 9:50 pm

17 yrs old, that was my age when Simpson won, it’s been a long wait, the tears flowed. Roulle Brittania indeed.:)

Ian September 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm

@kilodave so many “if’s” in that I won’t even start on them :D

If all of that happens and Sky have Cav and GC on the go at the Tour (or Giro/Vuelta) then one definite is that Cav can win without a train. Granted other teams probably aren’t going to want to chase, so he might have a few less opportunities with a GC contender in the team to think about, but that’s just another “if” to add into the mix.

I’m taking the time to enjoy this definite in the now. Congrats and thanks to the team GB riders and the whole setup, you’ve given me a buzz that’s gonna get me out on the bike tomorrow. First time I can remember cycling hitting the front page of the BBC news site too.

Bundle September 25, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Really, someone must explain how this sprint was allowed to happen in the first place. True, the British team was great and very strong, especially Froome, but 8 guys are never stronger than a whole peloton determined to ruin their too obvious plan. Were was that determination? What on earth were Gilbert, Cancellara and EBH thinking of??
I hope the lesson is learnt for flat GT stages next year: sprints only benefit one outstanding sprinter, so the rest should race against him and never help his team.

kilodave September 25, 2011 at 11:37 pm

@Ian

Haha too true! There are many ifs indeed.

I certainly hope they post some after party pictures on twitter because it is well deserved. I’d also like to thank INRNG for giving us all, trolls included, a great place to discuss cycling. Obviously everyone that posts here is very passionate about the sport.

cthulhu September 26, 2011 at 12:18 am

@Bundle

And how should Norway and Switzerland have made the race faster with only four men strong teams? That is asking a bit much. Also Albasini tried to get away. Also Cancellara did unexpectedly well in the bunch sprint while EBH disappointed but a bunch sprint was what he was waiting and saving his few men for. No, the Belgians and the Dutch and the French had to make the race hard to drop the sprinters, but couldn’t.

rhys September 26, 2011 at 6:32 am

I feel a bit ripped off. Sprint finishes are getting to be a bit boring these days aren’t they? *shrugs* Ah well, there’s always next year.

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