The Muur is back to farewell Tommeke

Velominati Super Prestige: Ronde Van Vlaanderen 2017

by / / 187 posts

Some things come, some things go. On Sunday in Flanders, there will be a mix of joy and melancholy as an old favourite returns, and another bids farewell. The famed Muur de Geraardsbergen aka the Kapelmuur finally reappears where it belongs, albeit not with the important role it once played. But at least it’s there. And riding up it for the last time will be another legend of the race, also possibly not playing as important a hand, Tom Boonen. It might be fitting to see him lead the peloton past the iconic cross and chapel one last time.

It may be a bridge too far for Tommeke to take a fourth Flanders, and something tells me he’s keeping his powder dry to have a real tilt at a fifth cobblestone next week after coming oh-so-close in 2016. Contending with the rampaging Greg van Avermaert and Peter Sagan up the bergs might take the sting out of ageing, tired legs, and probably most younger ones too. Who can stop these two right now? Probably not QuickStep, who seem more concerned with working out how not to win than actually using any of their many weapons to try to win. Giblets looks to be on song though, and a win in Oudenaarde in the Tricolor jersey is a sight we’ll never tire of.

This promises to be a race for the ages, and picking the winner might not be a flip of the coin situation at all. Best put the thinking casquettes on, study the start list and settle in with a fine Tripel and enjoy the show!

Final Race Results
1. GILBERT Philippe
2. VAN AVERMAET Greg
3. TERPSTRA Niki
4. VAN BAARLE Dylan
5. KRISTOFF Alexander
Final VSP Results
1. Skip (14 points)
2. Teocalli (12 points)
3. Adrian (12 points)
4. MangoDave (11 points)
5. osbk67 (9 points)
6. ojhart (8 points)
7. igloo (8 points)
8. The Grande Fondue (8 points)
9. tony macaroni (8 points)
10. chuckp (8 points)
11. RobSandy (8 points)
12. Yagerbomb (8 points)
13. Two Ball Billy (8 points)
14. Lebowski Acheiver (8 points)
15. xyxax (8 points)
16. sthilzy (7 points)
17. MikeK (7 points)
18. Erik (7 points)
19. ramenvelo (7 points)
20. David van Dijk (7 points)
21. Rob (7 points)
22. 1860 (7 points)
23. Rick (7 points)
24. JonnyG (7 points)
25. gopha650b (7 points)
26. RAFAEL OLIVEIRA RIBEIRO (7 points)
27. Snowy (7 points)
28. Kevin (7 points)
29. TXGunslinger (7 points)
30. Jason Ziegler (7 points)
31. Phillip Hasty (7 points)
32. Byron (7 points)
33. chris (7 points)
34. Minnesota Expat (7 points)
35. the Engine (7 points)
36. foggypeake (7 points)
37. Brett (6 points)
38. Randy C (6 points)
39. Fred (6 points)
40. Haldy (6 points)
41. oneninefiveninesix (6 points)
42. schall und rauch (6 points)
43. Buck Rogers (6 points)
44. Quasar (6 points)
45. CanuckChuck (6 points)
46. John Irvine (6 points)
47. Ron (6 points)
48. Jansen (6 points)
49. sinikl (6 points)
50. KogaLover (6 points)
51. mulebeatsdrums (6 points)
52. R00tdown (6 points)
53. lokerola (6 points)
54. eenies (6 points)
55. Jay (6 points)
56. Steve (6 points)
57. HeinrichHausslersHairstyle (6 points)
58. wiscot (5 points)
59. davido (5 points)
60. BK (5 points)
61. Chica (5 points)
62. Barracuda (5 points)
63. taon24 (4 points)
64. Floridian (4 points)
65. dancollins (4 points)
66. Clingon (4 points)
67. Kyle (3 points)
68. Ccos (3 points)
69. stooge (3 points)
70. hhbiker (3 points)
71. Phillip Mercer (3 points)
72. TheDon (3 points)
73. Cary (3 points)
74. Cameron W (3 points)
75. Carel (3 points)
76. Geraint (3 points)
77. Harminator (3 points)
78. Bianchi Denti (3 points)
79. TBenz (2 points)
80. freddy (2 points)
81. ErikdR (2 points)
82. JCM (2 points)
83. hombre_U (2 points)
84. Pot Belj (2 points)
85. Canucklehead (2 points)
86. Quadzilla (2 points)
87. VirenqueforeVer (2 points)
88. Jared Wilkie (2 points)
89. BaltoSteve (2 points)
90. Monti Martani (2 points)
91. Heusdens (2 points)
92. LeoTea (2 points)
93. GoldenGorilla (1 points)
94. Kunanyi (1 points)
95. dyalander (1 points)
96. Magaramombi (1 points)
97. JohnB (1 points)
98. Jerry (1 points)

// Velominati Super Prestige

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  2. @Teocalli

    @chris

    @chris

    Shirt Sleeve Order in Oudenaarde today. And looks like more of the same tomorrow and Sunday.

    Well. Bollocks to that. Woke up to rain.

    Indeed. SFSFSFSF – Being….Started, Farted, Slipped and Fell, See you Friday, Sid Farell.

    Kept awake till 3 am by folk in an adjoining room and bathroom extractor fans. Only half awake at the start, cold in the half light and rain and missed the course split after only 10 KM or so. Was well round the short course by the time I woke up and realised I was way too far along compared to where I should be. Was cussing and not paying attention on a “lubricated” concrete farm path and bit the dust (which wasn’t dust) on a turn as a result. Bike OK, left thigh more like a track sprinter’s than my own on the right.

    Guess I’m coming back next year to complete unfinished business. Makes mental note DO NOT BOOK GHENT CAMPANILE.

    Turned out nice – after I finished way too early.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Gilbert
    2. GVA
    3. Sagan
    4. Stannard
    5. Boom

    Ouch. Two of our group were taken out by a twat with 6 km to go. One spent the afternoon in A&E getting stitches and having a dislocated finger straightened out.

    everyone was back on the Qwak this evening so no real damage done. Upside was that my finish was quicker in Strava despite having told them to ride in at the 80 km mark.

    Hope you get a better sleep tonight and aren’t too sore in the morning!




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  3. VSP PICKS:

    1. Greg Van Avermaet
    2. Peter Sagan
    3. Philippe Gilbert
    4. Lars Boom
    5. Stijn Vandenbergh



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  4. VSP PICKS:

    1. SAGAN Peter
    2. Van AVERMAET Greg
    3. ROWE Luke
    4. TERPSTRA Niki
    5. KEUKELEIRE Jens



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    VSP PICKS:

    1. Gilbert
    2. Sagan
    3. Van Avermaet
    4. Degenkolb
    5. Boonen



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  5. I’m re-posting with my correct picks

    because I royally screwed up my first entry, posting Sagan twice. He’s good, but not that good.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Boonen
    2. GvA
    3. Gilbert
    4. Sagan
    5. Kwiatkowski



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  6. VSP PICKS:

    1. Sags
    2. GVA
    3. Phil Gil
    4. Kwiat
    5. Kristoff



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  7. VSP PICKS:

    1. VAN AVERMAET Greg
    2. SAGAN Peter
    3. GILBERT Phillippe
    4. DURBRIDGE Luke
    5. STANNARD Ian



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  8. VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Van Avermaet
    3. Gilbert
    4. Naeson
    5. Kristoff



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  9. VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Degenkolb
    3. GVA
    4. Gilbert
    5. Durbridge



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  10. VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagwagon
    2. GVA
    3. Stybar
    4. Giblets
    5. Naesen



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  11. Gah, hoping my post goes through this time…. and hoping I can stay spoiler-free til later this evening when I finally get a chance to watch. Heart wants Boonen to have a good race, but feeling more like he’s saving it for Roubaix. Too much shadow boxing ruins it for Sags again, and GvA nips away with the win in

    brilliant form.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Greg van Avermaet
    2. Peter Sagan
    3. Philippe Gilbert
    4. Niki Terpstra
    5. Alexander Kristoff



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  12. @chris

    Ouch. Two of our group were taken out by a twat with 6 km to go. One spent the afternoon in A&E getting stitches and having a dislocated finger straightened out.

    everyone was back on the Qwak this evening so no real damage done. Upside was that my finish was quicker in Strava despite having told them to ride in at the 80 km mark.

    Hope you get a better sleep tonight and aren’t too sore in the morning!

    Inevitably a great night’s sleep and the sun is well and truly up this morning!

    Grazed knuckles, elbow and road rash thigh so all in all not too bad this morning. Sounds like your team came off far worse. Hope they are OK this morning.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Gilbert
    2. GVA
    3. Sagan
    4. Stannard
    5. Boom



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  13. VSP PICKS:

    1. Greg vanAvermaet
    2. Phil Gil
    3. Sags
    4. Naesen
    5. Degenkolb



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  14. VSP PICKS:

    1. Greg Van Avermaet
    2. Philippe Gilbert
    3. Peter Sagan
    4. Sep Vanmarcke
    5. Alexander Kristoff



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  15. Keukeliere is out sick. I’m tempted to slot Kristoff in but I’ll stick with OBE.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Stannard
    2. Stybar
    3. Sagan
    4. Durbridge
    5. Van Avermaet



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  16. Seems just like it was only twelve months ago ….

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. GVA
    3. Durbridge
    4. Stannard
    5. Vanmarcke



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  17. VSP PICKS:

    1. Terpstra
    2. Degenkolb
    3. Durbridge
    4. Greg VA
    5. Gilbert



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  18. Wow, what a race! Poor Boonen with 3 times changing bike, brave Gilbert, Sagan and GVA showing teeth after all.

    Stunning show!




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  19. what. a. ride.




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  20. Super human




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  21. Chapeau to Gilzilla! What a ride! What a friggin amazing race! Poor Tommeke and sad to see the Sagan crash. What’s up with the QS bikes?




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  22. Great solo ride by Gilbert. I was looking forward to a closer finish before the Sagan and van Avermaet crash.




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  23. Coo – I might just have won that with a First and Second. Might have peaked early (like last year!).




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  24. Ok, I’ not opening up he helmet debate, but I can’t believe Sagan finished today. Watch his crash with GvA and Naesen. Sagan’s head thwacks the cobbles hard! No helmet = concussion, no doubt about it. And on the subject of headgear, what’s up with PhilGil going capless on the podium? EQS are usually very diligent about diong the proper (not baseball-style) cap. Terpstra did it right, but I can’t remember I saw a rider sans head gear on the podium.




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  25. @wiscotAshleigh

    And on the subject of headgear, what’s up with PhilGil going capless on the podium?

    Weird, huh. I bet he simply wasn’t handed one and in the excitement didn’t notice it.

    Felt bad for Sagan. Would have perhaps been a closer run thing if not for that stack. Did he run into a spectator’s jacket, or did he take out the spectators jacket on his way to the deck? Unlucky too for Boonen to have a mechanical with his replacement bike. Gonna be some hungry front runners out there next week.




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  26. That was a griping watch! This spring has just been producing ride after ride of power – yes I remember the Kelly’s and Hinault’s and of course Eddy laying down serious hurt but it seems these guys – those winning this year are in a league of their own and it’s not like the bunch is full of wimps. Do @all think they are different from the past? Phils display today, Van Avermaet, Sags, Cancelarara and Boonen the past few years are they the same as Kelly, Hinault and the Great one?




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  27. @Rob

    Do @all think they are different from the past? Phils display today, Van Avermaet, Sags, Cancelarara and Boonen the past few years are they the same as Kelly, Hinault and the Great one?

    Does Howdy Doody have wooden balls ? Heck ya they’re different from perspective of physical preparation, training and being stronger. Couple that with top flight advances in equipment. No different than any sport I have to believe. My opinion. Maybe not different in terms of having the mental killer attitude about wanting to crush souls and going however deep is necessary to do so. But for sure, physically ? Absolutely.




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  28. @Rob

    @Randy C

    It’s hard to measure across eras of course, but there is some evidence that modern cyclists aren’t any better than older ones (excluding the effects of blood doping).

    Eg, Coppi did Alpe d’Huez in 45:22 in 1952 (on dirt roads without modern gears!), Luis Herrera did 41:50 in 1987 (which was probably before EPO) and Pinot did a 42:18 in 2015.

    The crazy EPO era was completely different though (eg, 37:35/27:36 for Pantani/Armstrong in 1997)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpe_d%27Huez#Ascent_times




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  29. @stooge

    @wiscotAshleigh

    And on the subject of headgear, what’s up with PhilGil going capless on the podium?

    Weird, huh. I bet he simply wasn’t handed one and in the excitement didn’t notice it.

    Felt bad for Sagan. Would have perhaps been a closer run thing if not for that stack. Did he run into a spectator’s jacket, or did he take out the spectators jacket on his way to the deck? Unlucky too for Boonen to have a mechanical with his replacement bike. Gonna be some hungry front runners out there next week.

    I hear ya, but that’s that soigneurs are for – taking care of the post race clothing.




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  30. “Evil Lady Luck was in the gutter Sunday. Always ride the crown.” I remember somewhere.




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  31. @Randy C Wait whaaaat, No Howdy did not have wooden balls? But that aside you confirm what I feel about these guys – they just look so frikin tuned!

    @The Grande Fondue then you throw facts into the mix and it also confirms how I feel –

    really they are the same athletes (totally ignoring the doping days) just with better food, training regimes and feed back to sharpen the instrument.

    @stooge can not wait for next weekend!! The best race bar none and aren’t we long over due for a wet one??




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  32. @wiscot

    @stooge

    @wiscotAshleigh

    And on the subject of headgear, what’s up with PhilGil going capless on the podium?

    Weird, huh. I bet he simply wasn’t handed one and in the excitement didn’t notice it.

    Felt bad for Sagan. Would have perhaps been a closer run thing if not for that stack. Did he run into a spectator’s jacket, or did he take out the spectators jacket on his way to the deck? Unlucky too for Boonen to have a mechanical with his replacement bike. Gonna be some hungry front runners out there next week.

    I hear ya, but that’s that soigneurs are for – taking care of the post race clothing.

    Yeah, precisely. The soigneur forgot that detail and by the time anyone noticed it was too late. Doubt we’ll see it again from any team this season, as all teams would have made a note of it.




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  33. @Rob

    @stooge can not wait for next weekend!! The best race bar none and aren’t we long over due for a wet one??

    My word! And after yesterday, with podium contenders missing out, first time riders having an impact, and one of the greats riding classics for the last time, next week is shaping up to be a special episode. I’ve told the fam I’ll be in the cave, selected some fine beverages, ordered the cold cuts and cheese (all only occasional indulgences), and set up a small fridge so I don’t have to leave the cave. Can’t wait!




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  34. @stooge

    @Rob

    @stooge can not wait for next weekend!! The best race bar none and aren’t we long over due for a wet one??

    My word! And after yesterday, with podium contenders missing out, first time riders having an impact, and one of the greats riding classics for the last time, next week is shaping up to be a special episode. I’ve told the fam I’ll be in the cave, selected some fine beverages, ordered the cold cuts and cheese (all only occasional indulgences), and set up a small fridge so I don’t have to leave the cave. Can’t wait!

    Talking of “in the cave, selected some fine beverages, ordered the cold cuts and cheese (all only occasional indulgences), and set up a small fridge so I don’t have to leave the cave.” The hospitality tents being set up on last Saturday at the key climbs around the course were simply huge. The event must generate some serious local revenue. Though at least a few must have been complete quagmires by the close of Sunday.




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  35. @Teocalli

    @stooge

    @Rob

    @stooge can not wait for next weekend!! The best race bar none and aren’t we long over due for a wet one??

    My word! And after yesterday, with podium contenders missing out, first time riders having an impact, and one of the greats riding classics for the last time, next week is shaping up to be a special episode. I’ve told the fam I’ll be in the cave, selected some fine beverages, ordered the cold cuts and cheese (all only occasional indulgences), and set up a small fridge so I don’t have to leave the cave. Can’t wait!

    Talking of “in the cave, selected some fine beverages, ordered the cold cuts and cheese (all only occasional indulgences), and set up a small fridge so I don’t have to leave the cave.” The hospitality tents being set up on last Saturday at the key climbs around the course were simply huge. The event must generate some serious local revenue. Though at least a few must have been complete quagmires by the close of Sunday.

    We were on the Kwaremont yesterday, an invite only corporate hospitality compound behind us and, I think, a pay to enter set up opposite with a big screen. Both looked like great spots to watch the racing but whilst the bunch behind us definitely seemed to be looking down on the plebs stuck in the hedge, the people opposite spend the afternoon handing beers and canapes over the fence to their adjacent plebs.

    If we hadn’t spent the previous three evening testing the recovery, anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties of Kwak, we probably would crossed over to join the party.




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  36. Three picks right and two in the right order. I guess that kinda sorta makes up for me Delgado-ing the women’s Ronde.




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  37. This from Pippo Potato:

    “I felt good but it would have been better if I’d been able to stay with Greg and Peter. When Peter attacked, I stayed in the back. I had the legs to stay in the front but I was sleeping,” he told Cyclingnews, brushing off the disappointment with his usual jokey style. “The tactic was to try and be attentive all day because I wanted to stay right behind Peter. When he attacked, I was at the back of the group and it wasn’t possible to follow. I tried to attack a lot of times but a lot of guys didn’t have the legs to follow and it was impossible to close the gap.”

    Jeez. You’d think that taking part in 50 Monuments plus hundreds of other races would have ingrained a little more stagecraft? I mean, it’s not as if Sagan was considered a legit contender or anything, was he? I’m sure GvA’s strategy was to stick close to Sagan (although, maybe not quite that close . . . ) and that worked out as well as could e expected under the circumstances.

    And speaking of “circumstances”, he’s a slomo vid of the Sagan crash. I’m not sure the banner or the jacket caused it. To my eyes Sagan simply hit one of the barrier supports. Here’s the link. Discuss.

    http://www.steephill.tv/players/720/twitter/?title=Slomo+spectator+footage+of+the+Peter+Sagan+crash+reveals+spectator+interference&dashboard=tour-of-flanders&id=Seal_jobs/status/848851695597608962&yr=2017




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  38. @wiscot

    Hmm interesting – it does appear as though the jacket snags the bars and turns him into the barrier support. You can just see that it is picked up by the brifter hood and his front wheel skews into the barrier support. Then again there were plenty of jackets on the barriers so it’s up to the riders to make allowance.




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  39. @wiscot

    This from Pippo Potato:

    “I felt good but it would have been better if I’d been able to stay with Greg and Peter. When Peter attacked, I stayed in the back. I had the legs to stay in the front but I was sleeping,” he told Cyclingnews, brushing off the disappointment with his usual jokey style. “The tactic was to try and be attentive all day because I wanted to stay right behind Peter. When he attacked, I was at the back of the group and it wasn’t possible to follow. I tried to attack a lot of times but a lot of guys didn’t have the legs to follow and it was impossible to close the gap.”

    Jeez. You’d think that taking part in 50 Monuments plus hundreds of other races would have ingrained a little more stagecraft? I mean, it’s not as if Sagan was considered a legit contender or anything, was he? I’m sure GvA’s strategy was to stick close to Sagan (although, maybe not quite that close . . . ) and that worked out as well as could e expected under the circumstances.

    And speaking of “circumstances”, he’s a slomo vid of the Sagan crash. I’m not sure the banner or the jacket caused it. To my eyes Sagan simply hit one of the barrier supports. Here’s the link. Discuss.

    http://www.steephill.tv/players/720/twitter/?title=Slomo+spectator+footage+of+the+Peter+Sagan+crash+reveals+spectator+interference&dashboard=tour-of-flanders&id=Seal_jobs/status/848851695597608962&yr=2017

    Great find on the slo mo vid. At :06 his hood clearly catches the spectator’s jacket after which his front wheel veers into the foot of a barrier.




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  40. @Rick

    @wiscot

    This from Pippo Potato:

    “I felt good but it would have been better if I’d been able to stay with Greg and Peter. When Peter attacked, I stayed in the back. I had the legs to stay in the front but I was sleeping,” he told Cyclingnews, brushing off the disappointment with his usual jokey style. “The tactic was to try and be attentive all day because I wanted to stay right behind Peter. When he attacked, I was at the back of the group and it wasn’t possible to follow. I tried to attack a lot of times but a lot of guys didn’t have the legs to follow and it was impossible to close the gap.”

    Jeez. You’d think that taking part in 50 Monuments plus hundreds of other races would have ingrained a little more stagecraft? I mean, it’s not as if Sagan was considered a legit contender or anything, was he? I’m sure GvA’s strategy was to stick close to Sagan (although, maybe not quite that close . . . ) and that worked out as well as could e expected under the circumstances.

    And speaking of “circumstances”, he’s a slomo vid of the Sagan crash. I’m not sure the banner or the jacket caused it. To my eyes Sagan simply hit one of the barrier supports. Here’s the link. Discuss.

    http://www.steephill.tv/players/720/twitter/?title=Slomo+spectator+footage+of+the+Peter+Sagan+crash+reveals+spectator+interference&dashboard=tour-of-flanders&id=Seal_jobs/status/848851695597608962&yr=2017

    Great find on the slo mo vid. At :06 his hood clearly catches the spectator’s jacket after which his front wheel veers into the foot of a barrier.

    Agreed, I think Sagan’s hood just catches enough of the jacket to cause a slight turn in his wheel towards the barriers. You can see that the jacket moves substantially to our right as soon as Sagan passes it. This causes it to billow out and poor Naesen has no choice but to catch it full-on. At the speed they were going and as close as they were, there was no margin of error. The banner on the barrier wasn’t a factor.

    Can’t believe Tommeke didn’t have a chain guide or chain slap protector on his bike. Given the parcours where riders are much more likely to be doing serious under pressure shifts from the big ring to the smaller one, an issue such as chain suck should be catered to. I doubt it cost him the race, but maybe a spot on the podium.

    steephill.tv If you don’t have it bookmarked, you should. Best coverage of everything.




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  41. @wiscot

    I do have Steephill bookmarked but have not actually figured out how to use the site.I find steephill a bit overwhelming and confusing. I look for live races but always wind up watching them on procycling live instead. Sometimes I have to use the Italian or French feed. I can keep up with the live updates and of course I know enough about the idividual riders to know what is going on.




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  42. @Rick

    steephill is not the most aesthetically pleasing site, I’ll grant you, and it can be a bit overwhelming, but once you’ve clicked on a link, you usually have to scroll to the bottom to find live feeds. Sometimes you have to try a few to find one that’ll work/come through. Yesterday my Eurosport feed (with Kelly commentating), kept cutting out to ambient noise. No big deal. What I really like it for is the post race pix and videos. It’s like a clearinghouse for all that stuff.

    procycling live you say? Is that free? I’ll check it out. So long as see the race, I’m happy.




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  43. @wiscot

    https://www.procyclinglive.com/livestream/#

    They usually have several feeds from around the world. If I am fortunate enough to get the Eurosport feed with Carlton Kirby and Sean Kelly I am very happy. More often I can get a French or Italian feed and I follow the action on cycling news live feeds. It is much easier to navigate than steephill.




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  44. @Rick

    Carlton Kirby does come out with some daft quotes though. The other week he was talking about sections of concrete roads coming on the back of a truck and craned into place.




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  45. @Teocalli

    Yes, Mr. Kirby can be colorful. I love it when he calls the GCN “races.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UyVkc1JrHs




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  46. Yea! So far I have won MSR and RVV. What incredible luck. I can assure you it isn’t skill and previous years’ VSP results prove that. If only I didn’t Delgado the two short-window VSPs…




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  47. @Skip

    Yea! So far I have won MSR and RVV. What incredible luck. I can assure you it isn’t skill and previous years’ VSP results prove that. If only I didn’t Delgado the two short-window VSPs…

    Well, FUCK! Chapeau!

    Not a bad problem to have trying to decide which little image to use beside your name, eh???

    Of course, RVV has to trump our MSR, right???




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  48. @Buck Rogers

    Of course the RVV lion is the more bad ass icon to have. As of now it looks like I carry the MSR icon, probably because that was first. Not sure if changing that is a priority for @Frank right now, but it would be an incentive to post more.




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