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September 27, 2017
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  • Discussion thread #1: What did you make of the weather conditions? And do you think the race would have unfolded any differently had the weather been more mild?

    • Il_falcone

      Some people were actually hoping for bad weather thinking that this would liven up the race which was kind of boring to watch except for the very finals during the last editions. I didn’t share that hope and it turned out to be right. It became a procession, no contender tried a real attack until that cobbled climb. Obviously the collective strength of the strong teams leads to that way of racing if the course doesn’t prohibit this.

  • Discussion thread #2: How did you rate Movistar’s ride on the day? And will Valverde get another shot at win #4?

    • Mike K

      It seems to not be the tactics they normally follow. I am used to seeing a Movistar rider in the break. So in the end I am not sure if they did too much work or Vakverde was too tired from the two races earlier in the week? it certainly allowed SKY to have a lot of people at the finish.

    • Patrick

      seems like they had too much of a plan and failed to keep reserves to adapt as is so important in classics racing. re #4 valverde stated he underestimated the new climb. a team looking to control the race needs to have someone to go in late moves like that. if valverde himself didn’t want to follow moves on the Naniot then someone else should have done eg betancur if he hadn’t used up his legs with speculative attacks earlier.

      they seemed to be copying sky’s approach when even sky have now learnt that in classics, riding the front for the first half of the race doesn’t do you any good if it means you’re not at the front at the end of the race

  • Discussion thread #3: What is Carlos Betancur capable of from here?

    • Alex

      Lets not get too excited. Bentancur launched two attacks towards the end of the race and neither of them look particularly threatening, especially considering the way he blew up on his second attack (from which he got a modest gap at best and stayed away for probably <30 seconds). To suggest from that display he is about to come into a rich vein of form I think is getting ahead of yourself

      • jules

        the bunch was winding up and Betancur rode off the front. you have to be strong to do that. he wasn’t trying to win, he was working for Valverde, making the race hard. he did his job well.

    • Still too fat. Not committed yet. Harsh but true. He was so impressive in the Giro a few years ago…

      • thats why he could ride without leg warmers ;)

      • Stefan Eckardt

        I can identify w/him on the weight. Although I’m older (pushing 50) it seems like I have little or no metabolism these days, and while I normally watch how much & what I eat, I like to enjoy life once in a while too. Seems like the amount of diet control & exercise required to maintain weight gets disproportional to the amount of weight lost as you get older. But that’s how it is for most of us as we age.
        Now if I was 20-25 years younger and getting paid to ride/race my bike……….

    • Il_falcone

      I really enjoyed seeing him back in the mix. I watch him closely since the 2013 Giro where he impressed and already showed that he’s a bad ass. If his new surroundings help him to get his mental jojo back on track and we will probably see good thins from him in the future. His performance in LBL was impressive, mixing things up in the finale after he had already spent much time riding at the front in the hours before.

  • Discussion thread #4: The Côte de la Rue Naniot decided the race. Do you think some riders underestimated how decisive it would be, expecting it to come back together after that?

    • Laurens

      The Ardennes have been boring for years now.
      This year, the most decisive, most thrilling climb of the “Queen of the Ardennes classics” was a 600m cobblestone ramp. Sound familiar?

  • Discussion thread #5: How did you rate Michael Albasini’s ride? Do you see him as underrated?

    • pedr09

      Yes, Alba is very underrated. What he did in that final was amazing and he deserved the win. Was gutted to see him lose to Poels who refused to work.

      • Dave

        Payback’s a bitch hey? I do recall Sky riders being among those who towed Gerrans to the line for the first two of OGE’s three monument wins.

    • A very fine line but he obviously did a little too much work at the end. I know they had to keep the chasers at arms length but a 30s “rest” behind one or two of the others (if possible) would’ve freshened him up the tiny bit he needed to either outsprint Poels or snap the elastic just before the the last corner.

      But easy from my lounge chair….

    • BarkingOwl

      Albasini has pretty won 2-4 races per year at the World Tour level since he has been with Green Edge. That’s a very good record for a guy that spends most of the year as a domestique. He has come within a bee’s dick of winning a Tour De France stage and L-B-L. The poor bloke may be rueing those misses as he reflects on his career in old age. I hope he gets a big win before he retires.

  • Discussion thread #6: Given how stacked Sky’s GC stocks are, could Poels find a niche for himself in races like the Ardennes? Or do you see him as a stage race GC rider?

    • jules

      if he wants to stay at Sky, he’s best off targeting classics.

      • Dave

        Or Sky’s final frontier of the Giro, where he did well a couple of years ago before going to Sky. Their ‘ride by numbers’ guys simply don’t understand Italian racing and keep well clear of it.

  • Discussion thread #7: Was LBL a fitting end to the Spring Classics?

    • claude cat

      Given that the Amstel Gold and Flèche Wallonne were (somewhat predictably) dull compared to the cobbled classics, no doubt the LBL was the pick of the Ardennes classics and a good way to finish up the spring classics.

      • Mike K

        Agree. I would also add as an SBS watcher the commentary for Amstel Gold took all the drama out of it and Fleche Wallonne was not much better. I actually enjoyed Sherwin’s commentary for LBL this time. I assume Phil must have been sick. I think that even Carlton Kirby wuold have had trouble with injecting life into the AG.

        • Dave

          I’ve heard a few called by Paul without Phil over the years, and they are usually much better than when he is distracted by waiting for Phil’s next Murray Walker-esque stuffup.

    • Andy Logan

      Personally I didn’t think any of the Ardennes were that good, I fell asleep on the sofa with 20km to go on Sunday night. Put it this way, LBL didn’t keep me engaged like ToF or Roubaix did.

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  • Discussion thread #8: What have we missed? What will you take from the 2016 Liege-Bastogne-Liege?

    • jules

      disappointed Gerro wasn’t in better form.

  • toffee

    Ive got to say, these articles “talking points from…” and “five conclusions from…” as seen on another website come across purely as “we need to post more content, let’s write up the race report in a different way”.

    And adding these “Discussion thread’s” is like “hey our readership is dumb, we need to start the discussion for them”. While your at it, you may as well give us the “Cycling tips approved answer/reply” for the thread. Do us a favor get some real articles… and lets start with some real interviews with riders, not just rehashed sound bites.

    • I disagree. I don’t have the time to search everywhere else for all the info on various races and enjoy the simple breakdown and talking points.

      I’m meh on the comments but find value in the article content

    • jules

      “we need to post more content, let’s write up the race report in a different way”

      you make it sound like a crime


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September 27, 2017
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