Friday Group Ride #356

Friday Group Ride #356

We have to get this started early, so I’m going to keep it brief. Paris-Roubaix is this Sunday. For many of us, this is the Super Bowl, the World Cup, the Westminster Dog Show of pro cycling. So we’re going to run predictions again this week.

First, did you see the Tour of Flanders? Did you expect Gilbert to win with a 50k+ solo attack? Could there have been a better result really? Gilbert is throwback rouleur, all-rounder. He’s an older rider, a former world champ. To see him upset the new guard was heartening. To see the favorites struggle (for one reason and another) makes the racing more interesting and reminds you that in these, the Classics, anything is possible, any little mishap or miscalculation can end your day.

I could cut and paste my favorites for this race from last week’s Group Ride, so I’ll just list some of them here: Peter Sagan, Greg van Avermaet, Tom Boonen, Ian Stannard, John Degenkolb. This race doesn’t favor dynamic climbers, like Gilbert, so much, but anything is possible. Johan Vansummeren anyone?

This week’s Group Ride asks, win, show and place? Name that podium.

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  1. wayno

    I know we are supposed to name top three at PR but first a comment on Gilbert. I felt uneasy watching him stay away with the horsepower chasing behind before the crash…

    The heart says Boonen solo with Degenkolb winning the sprint and GVA in third. Head says another surpise due to games/tactics behind because picking Sagan or GVA is boring.

  2. Geoffrey Knobl

    My predictions are sans mechanicals which changes everything.
    Sagan. He’s angry and on a mission. Followed by an unexpected, perhaps Degenkolb. Next Boonen.
    I want Hayman to repeat but don’t think he will though he may factor in there somewhere.

    I hope the race is as good as last year.

    1. TomInAlbany

      You were on to something both in terms of mechanicals and a surprise!

      GVA may have been an ‘obvious’ pick but, he’s been super strong. I think he would’ve won der Ronde if Sagan hadn’t taken him out. Stybar in second wasn’t hard to come up with either, given the depth of Quick Step. However, a Cannondale on the podium NOT named Sep was a huge surprise! People will say Langeveld was just happy to be there and, he probably knew he was the weakest link. But don’t underestimate his desire to win. Everyone at that level has it and, I’m sure, he did everything he could to pull out a victory.

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