Thunder Poster

Thunder Poster

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad - Winners and Losers

Winners


Rabobank - Yes, they're a winner because Sebastian Langeveld won the race, but also because of a solid team performance. Boom bridged up to group #2 on the road and was in good position if Langeveld's solo mission hadn't worked.

Sky - Juan Antonio Flecha was the only 5 star favorite that seemed interested. His heroic effort to bridge to Langeveld showed his class and gained a couple more fans for Sky. Matt Hayman was third on the day after sitting on Yoann Offredo, but that's racing. The cameras caught a great shot of Offredo flicking his elbow and Hayman shaking his head. Rumor on the street is that Sky going to try and be more fan friendly. Today was a start....

FDJ - The signing of Dominique Rolling was a good one. He made the group with the leaders and looked strong. The highlight for FDJ was Yoann Offredo's riding. He was aggressive and really earned his 4th place. On some of the climbs Offredo would lead and Boonen gave him a couple glances....."like who is this dude"

Losers

Quickstep - Terpstra bridged up to the move that had Flecha and Boom. It surprised me that they played this card. With strong riders in the group you need to counter with your strong riders. Terpstra is magnificent but he was clearly a domestique in this race.

Garmin-Cervelo - Same tactic as Quickstep. They put Maaskant in the move. Maaskant is plenty strong just like Terpstra, but that move was meant for team leaders like Hushovd. At times Andreas Klier and Hushovd were chatting alot during the race. I think the lack of race radios might have come into play here, but the "Super Classics Team" looked awkward in the first classic.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad - Odds

Classics season starts tomorrow. At the bottom of this post is a full spreadsheet of favorites to hold in your lap while you grip your laptop. (click it to make it bigger). Here are some highlights if you don't like stats:

#1) 11-1, 8.55 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky), Mini Eddie has been gaining form. He made all the selections in Qatar, and sprinted well at Oman, including a 5th in the hilly tt (Gesink won). Also he was top ten last year, and I feel like the course change this year actually helps him the most. His motivation is high, as he's still young and wants to put some notches in his belt.

#2) 11-1, 8.33 Philippe Gilbert (Omega), Impressive victory in Stage 1 of the Tour of Algarve. Looks a bit heavier then his 2o10 late season blitz, but the other favorites are naming him as the one to beat. Also on his side are two victories at this race in 06' and 08'. His perceived lack of motivation for this "semi classic" puts him behind EBH.

#3) 11-1, 8.1 Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky), He made all the selections at Qatar and is always hungry for a big win, as his lack of kick has hurt his career win total. He's the defending champ and comes with a stacked group of domestiques in Stannard, Barry, Hunt, and Arvesen. Also with EBH's sprinting a group might be more lax about letting him go.

#4) 12-1, 7.6 Tom Boonen (Quickstep), Tom says he's not a "pure sprinter" anymore. That doesn't mean he can't win from a group of 30. He looked good in Qatar but then again he always does. He's never won Omloop (Het Volk), but he says if the tactics are right he'll go for it. Chavanel is dedicated to Boonen, he's proved that over two seasons. If he's in the move expect the crazy eye from Tornado Tom, he needs a win after a disappointing year.

#5) 12-1, 7.35 Lars Boom (Rabobank), The squad is putting faith in Lars. They came out in the press and said he was a co-leader for the weekend. Boom has been sprinting well and won the prologue at Qatar. He's a trendy pick, but the stats back it up. He doesn't have a whole lot of history with this race, but he's highly motivated for Rabo and himself and is carrying tremendous form.

My Fav Sleepers: Marcus Burghardt, Greg Van Avermaet, Sebastian Langeveld, Bernard Eisel, Yoann Offredo

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Inspirational

During my daily readings I came across this comment on the Z-Blog. Inspirational words from one of Montana's best riders. The author was listed as Micheal Moore but signed Mully. Whoever wrote it.....I like it. Photo by John Sieber.

Willy, lovin
g the blog. Good stuff. I noted your reference to Merced being the first big race. And I know that some races are bigger than others, but another way to think about it is that every race is big. Every race is important, because each time out gives you the chance to improve. Even if the external stakes aren't high, part of the fight is inside. Go hard -- the opposition is sometimes you yourself. I know this is going to be a great season for you, but take nothing from granted. Every race is a chance to prove something, even if it's only to yourself.

-Mully

You gotta love it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Poaching Pics

Here's a picture of Matt Shryock training at The Cycling House this past week. He's been posting pictures on his blog from his training trip.

Matt is back at it for another season. MTcx.com is once again supporting him in his athletic expeditions. Cyclocross season only lasts so long and I get bored. Matty gives me something to follow during the winter and spring. I wish him the best of luck in his 2011 racing. Follow him all season long on his blog www.mtxcmattshryock.blogspot.com. Check out Matt's special MTcx suit at this year's Griz Tri.......

Google