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September 26, 2017
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  • Cav, sore as ever: “I know I was faster today…”. Erm, no Mark. If you were faster you’d be on the top step. Durh!

    • Sir Wiggo

      Yep, Cav reckons he would’ve won if he stayed on Blythe’s wheel.

      Instead he went up against another rider without a lead-out and came second.

      Greipel should come out and say he knows “he was faster today”. It’s as relevant as Cav’s comment.

    • winkybiker

      The comment is likely true, but not relevant, as you say. There is always more to it than just speed. That’s what makes it a great sport.

    • Dave

      If he couldn’t hold his leadout man’s wheel, perhaps Blythe (the GBR national champion) should have been the protected rider on the day with Cav working for him.

    • J Evans

      Even with his tactical error, he didn’t look to be going faster than Sagan at the end – but we’ll never know.
      Sagan – as he says – was fortunate that Nizzolo let him through.
      EBH should probably have led out Kristoff, but you can see both POV: EBH is thinking ‘What’s in it for me?’ and AK is thinking ‘I’m faster than you’.
      I felt Belgium had to do something – like GVA attacking with the Dutch – because Boonen was never likely to be Cavendish and Sagan.

      • We will/do know – Cav was second ;) With the numbers Belgium had I’m sure we were all surprised they didn’t try something in the last few kays. Maybe Boonen told his crew he felt absolutely bloody fantastic and thought he could do the sprint of his life. Mind you, if he said that I would have replied, “If you feel so great hit it hard with a long one and let GVA sprint if it doesn’t work out.”

        • ebbe

          That was the case indeed. Boonen claimed an absolute protected status and demanded everybody work for him, even before the race. The Belgian nation coach/manager is an old friend of his, so he got it.

    • Allez Rouleur

      I don’t think he was being a poor sport at all, just frustrated with his tactical error. Sagan was smarter and savvier, but I think Cavendish had the legs to win. Either way, awesome for Sagan, I watched him win in person last year. This year…not quite;)

  • Sir Wiggo

    What an amazing win by Sagan.

    Imagine how fortunate you’d feel if you were one of just the few to witness him going back-to-back in the flesh.

  • Will

    Really only 53 finishers?!

    • Dave

      That’s pretty normal for the world championship, when the pace is always very hard and the distance long enough that winning requires conquering the course as well as the opponents.

      The riders who are more than about 10 minutes behind get put out of their misery at the end of the lap, and riders who have cracked after doing their job will pull off voluntarily at the end of the lap even if they aren’t past the cutoff.

      It’s not a stage race where you need to finish to be allowed to take the start the following day. In a big one day race, you either win or you lose.

      • sps12321

        Ryan Mullen didn’t seem to agree that he needed to be “put out of his misery” https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/667c2fe15dfa0f1d252d980c106f325656e1302e5dd0b0ca18f0a3959b9191f9.png

        • Oldan Slo

          Having the grupetto get lapped in the final would have caused unnecessary chaos in the race.

      • Edvid

        To put it another way, almost as many were marked DNF in Doha as in Firenze 2013 (144 and 147 respectively).

        Not bad for a pan-flat course, eh?! (In comparison, only 32 (by my reckoning) were marked DNF in Copenhagen 2011.)

    • Cameron Harris

      Really only 53 spectators?!

      • Nitro

        53 ? That looks like an over-inflation to me…

      • Simon

        I think 32 of them were workman, and another 8 were just very large lumps of tumbleweed

    • Sean

      The belgies went nuts in the cross wind about 180km from the finish.

  • Rob

    Gamble for Bora has paid off. World Champ on a Tier 2 team!

    • Andy B

      surely they have to go world tour now?

      • Morten Reippuert Knudsen

        Doesn’t matter for them – Sagan will get an invite to any race he chooses to enter.

        • Dave

          Which is exactly what SATC have done with the TDU – signed a deal to have Sagan there, even if Bora-hansgrohe stays at PCT level and they need to get in with the invitational entry previously used only for BMC and Drapac.

      • Dave

        Quite the opposite actually, it’s an incentive to stay at PCT level for 2017. It worked for BMC when they had Cadel Evans as the reigning World Champion.

        Have you seen the proposed expansion of the WorldTour calendar for next year? No way would anybody sign up for that if they had other methods of guaranteeing entry to the big races. Even without Sagan and Majka, Bora has been one of ASO’s favourite teams for quite a few years now.

        • Morten Reippuert Knudsen

          Even would a new UCI road elite title Sagan is by far a bigger deal for any race or sponsor than Evans ever where.

          In terms of sponsor value Sagan’s value exeeds every other current pro tour riders value because his appeal trancends accross nationality, age – without the ‘bigger than cycling’ appeal that a certian US rider from a previous decade – and of course that rider wasn’t bigger than cycling either, he was just a gigantic fraud.

          And reg Bora – Dont forget it’s a german team and now ARD1 broadcasts cycing again its a really big deal in its own – among ASO too. Germany is the largest cycling market in the world due to its size, it’s purchasing power and the wide spred popularity of cycling which by far exceeds elite road racing.

          • H.E. Pennypacker

            He’s not effing Voldemort. Nobody’s going to show up and kill you if you use his name.

          • Dave

            You prove my point so well.

            It it worked well enough for BMC with Evans, it should work even better for Bora-hansgrohe with Sagan.

            Just for good measure, they also have Majka to contest the Ardennes week, Romandie, the Vuelta etc.

  • George Darroch

    Congrats Michael Matthews, outstanding effort!

  • pedr09

    Looking at the podium, it’s clear that the amount of hair you have is a factor.

  • Cam

    The atmosphere was electric, let’s hope the UCI never repeat such a poor decision.

    • Andy B

      money talks

    • Dave

      If only there was another bidder to vote for…

  • Robert Merkel

    While the scenery and complete lack of crowds were a downer, crosswinds can sure make for some entertaining racing even in the absence of cobbles and/or climbs.

    • Agreed – I’d rather see a race play out in the crosswinds than mountains any day.

      • MattHurst

        I’d say, the race was good, not Roubaix good, but highly entertaining.

  • Andy Logan

    5h40mins for 257km…..silly quick!

    • Nitro

      I’ll admit it – I just did the average speed maths. I’ll also admit to just falling off my chair…

      • Andy B


        • Allez Rouleur

          I’m coming up with 45.4 KM/hr for nearly 6 hours. If my basic math is still adequate, that is INSANE.

          I know they are elite athletes and train for many, many years, but as an avid roadie…that is truly mind boggling. Especially considering the wind!

  • Belgium, taught me a long time ago, that you don’t need a hill, for a race to be hard or fast. They ruled it until 1km to go!
    Never mind, it’s only bike racing. A great Champion,
    On a positive note, it’s only 88 days till Tour Down Under & 131 days until Omloop Het Volk

  • Allez Rouleur

    Great finish! Pretty amazing for Cavendish to be there with only 1 teammate to ride that final break. Also, pretty amazing for Sagan, with just two. But, he’s making a career out of solo gunning.

  • Edvid

    Other than being the first podium to boast 3 that have donned the stripes before, it is also the ‘winningest’ in recent years (a staggering 340+ pro wins between them if PCS is correct).

    How does, say, 2002 compare?


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