Pro Road Racing thread 2021 (spoilers)

Im glad they are doing ok

Chaves looked really good, until he nearly wrecked on a descent and needed to bail off on a side road. He did tail off a bit at the end, likely because he attacked more than 15k from the finish. Pleased to see him on good form again.

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Pogacar pulled a Remco today and went on a 22k solo. Looked well but there was no real competition tbh. Mostly team mates, Sobrero and Mohoric. The latter is a great rider but not really a contender in a mountaineous stage.

Great TT showing by Rigo!!! :colombia::colombia::colombia:

Great win by Cav in the final stage of Tour of Belgium today, against strong sprint opposition … really pleased for him, even if the fairytale return to the Tour de France doesn’t end up happening this year

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I think Cav did a great interview afterwards too - essentially saying that Sam Bennett should still be ahead of him for TdF inclusion as reigning green jersey winner.

No offence to Sam but I would love to see Cav at the tour - it’s a shame they can’t both go.

He looked really happy in that interview - winning really does agree with him!

I strongly suspect that Lefevre is playing his usual balancing act. He has all the cards to play.
Bennett is probably faster than Cav, and the best bet for the green jersey … if he’s not injured … but he’s leaving DQS next year.
Cav is riding well, and probably wants to race next year too, probably with DQS, but he’s not really being paid enough to be main sprinter at the Tour. If he goes to the Tour then the press will be on him non-stop talking about Merckx’s record.
Lefevre can’t really lose

  • if Bennett’s fit he can take him and look like an honest guy for selecting a rider who’s leaving.
  • if Bennett’s really injured then he can pressure Cav’s personal sponsors for more money either for DCS or direct to Cav and take him (and I think pretty much everyone would love to see Cav at the tour again), which would get a lot of press for DQS and their sponsors, which would help a lot with next years budget
  • if he manages to get big money for Cav at the Tour, then he can send him anyway, and justify not selecting Bennett due to doubts about his knee (no repercussions because he’s leaving the team anyway)
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Worse case scenario, that I really don’t want to happen, is that he takes Bennett but then his knee flares up and we don’t get to see either of them.

Obviously I hope that if Bennett gets the nod (i think he will) he makes it all the way to Paris :+1:

Just wondering if there is room for both. Cav has always been a pretty decent team mate when his head is in the right place, back in 2012 he was on bottle carrying duties for Sky on stages where he didn’t have a chance. Everything I’ve heard from DQS is that he’s gone in with a lot of humility and just wanted to work hard to earn his place again. And from the interview he clearly respects that Bennett should be first choice. Seems to me he’d happily go to the Tour as Bennett’s lead out man, with the possibility of ending up as the main man if Bennett’s knee flares up.

Guess there’s still the question of whether DQS can accommodate 2 out and out sprinters who aren’t going to contribute much on non-sprint stages. But they don’t really need to worry about GC (that already looks like a Rog, Pog and Ineos show), so maybe they could.

They might not be looking to win the race, but Alaphillippe sounds like he’s going for a good few days in yellow.

Alaphillipe won’t win the Tour.

Maybe the Vuelta one day.

He’s like Valverde (or Jalabert or Kelly). Doing the work to be better for the key mountain days in the Tour would take away his sprint and his explosiveness on short classics climbs. He’d turn into a guy who could get 2nd or 3rd in a lot of classics and 2nd or 3rd in the Tour, but not win much.

He knows what side his bread is buttered on – the Tour might get him a stage win, and it will get Quick Step good publicity while he’s up in the top 5, but the Wolfpack will always be a classics joint.

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He may well be, but I’m not sure DQS would need to structure the team differently to allow for that. I.e. they don’t need to pack the team with climbing domestiques in order to control the front of the peloton and protect GC on the big mountain days in the way that Jumbo Visma, Ineos and UAE will. They’ll pack the team with guys who can win stages or help to win stages, and if JA gets into yellow they’ll hang onto it as best they can with that team, in the knowledge that if he’s still in yellow in the mountains he’ll be largely on his own!

Cavendish in - Bennett out :eyes:

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Damn, I hope he can snatch a bunch of stages. Would be really so amazing.

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It’s pretty amazing he’s going at all! I really hope he’ll get a stage win… being on a team that’s not 100% built round him might actually help - a lot of his wins seems to come when it gets chaotic in the finale and he follows the right wheels.
Don’t think he’ll get 4 though :grin: