Tag Archives: Peter Sagan

MMT does the TDF 2018 – part 2

Dear Rouleurs,

Another 6 stages into the TDF 2018 edition, and its been an absolute cracker.  Sadly for the Australian contingent of competitors its been a hard and frustrating time.  As of stage 12, only 8 of the 11 starters are left.  The biggest loss being Richie Porte who crashed out on Stage 9.  That meant Australia’s best 2 chances for podium honours are gone.  Similarly Mark Renshaw has withdrawn, but MMT suspects that this has more to do with Mark Cavendish performing well below par and withdrawing as well.

So as of stage 12, the best placed Australian in the General Classification is ….Matt Hayman.  the man must have the heart of elephant.  In fact, one wonders whether the Aussies are forming their own grupetto to avoid the broom wagon, as they are positions 107, 113, 117, 118, 121, 122, 128 and 142 respectively.

However, what’s become clear is that this years par cours has been cursed for ‘pure sprinters’.  Look at this list of DNF/DNS:

Stage 10
Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin

Stage 11
Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data
Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data
Marcel Kittel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin

Stage 12
André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors

So this means, unless something goes horribly wrong, Peter Sagan has the Green Jersey in the bag.  He’s an incredible 220 points ahead of Alexander Kristoff.  Speaking of interesting situations, who exactly is the team leader at Team Sky, Chris Froome or Geraint Thomas.  Thomas has had back to back wins on stages 11 and 12 and is a 1m and 39s ahead of Froome.

Until next time, ride safe

MARV

MMT does the TDF 2018 – part 1

Dear Rouleurs,

MMT can’t wait for the weekend and the bulk binge of SBS Tour de France (TDF) highlight packages he intend to watch.  Sadly, Michael Matthews has already withdrawn from the TDF with some form of YAFF and will not defend his green jersey from last year.  Mind you it looks like Peter Sagan already has this in the bag, with none of the other sprinters really doing too much.  It looks like the changing of the guard is starting to occur.  Yes I’m looking at you Messrs Kittel, Greipel and Cavendish.

However, MMT is much more interested in the fate of the remaining Australian’s competing this year.  To this end, MMT has put together a General Classification focused graph showing how remaining ten Australian’s are going.  MMT had considered including non-Australian members of the Michelton-Scott team eg Daryl Impey and Adam Yates, but thought better of it.  So here’s the graph.

 What this reveals, is that Australia’s only GC rider, Richie Porte is having a fair crack, being 11th on overall time.  The next best Australian is Simon Clarke in 70th.  Everyone else is outside the first 100, which is consistent with these guys being either team captains eg Simon Gerrans or domestiques eg Luke Durbridge.

MMT will update this graph next week. Hopefully Richie Porte is in the top 5 by then.  MMT is really looking forward to stage 9, which retraces most if the Paris-Roubaix route.  While a GC rider may not win the tour on this stage, they certainly can lose it by either crashing out or losing time on the back of pack splitting the peloton.  Either way MMT can’t wait….woo hoo!!

Until next time, ride safe

MARV

Ode to the Strade Bianche not being streamed by SBS…grumble

Dear Rouleurs,

As a cycling tragic, its MMT’s favourite time of year, the brief lull in UCI calendar before all the spring time Monuments and one classics start.  MMT figures that these races are most like the sportive and charity rides he does, so there’s a bit to simpatico.  Also the riders tend to win these races are of the bigger variety, as opposed to the 50-55Kg jockeys that tend to dominate the mountain and general classifications.MMT is particularly enarmoured with the  Strade Bianche due to start on the 3rd March 2018.  Unfortunately SBS aren’t covering this modern day gem (…or for that matter the Giro..WTF!!!)

The Eroica Strade Bianche (“Heroic race of the gravel roads”) was created in 1997 as a granfondo, a recreational bike race for vintage bikes only, on the white gravel roads around Siena, an event that is still held annually the day after the professional race. In 2007, a professional race was spun off the event, inaugurally called Monte Paschi Eroica, won by Russian Alexandr Kolobnev. The race was held on 9 October; it started in Gaiole in Chianti and finished in Siena. Organizer RCS asked local cycling icons Fiorenzo Magni and Paolo Bettini to promote the maiden event.[8] Monte dei Paschi, the world’s oldest still-existing bank with its headquarters in Siena, served as the race’s title sponsor for the first four years. In 2008, the race was moved to early March on the calendar, closer to the heart of the spring classics season. At this point, professional cycling teams started competing more seriously.

There are roughly 63km of gravel roads, appearing in 11 sectors (eight of those shared with the Women Elite course). For the men that’s approximately 1/3 of the course.

Strade Bianche course for 2018

There are some nasty, nasty hills in this race ranging from 6% to 18%. But what makes it really special is the final 4 kilometres approaching the city centre of Siena.

Up, down, up down…looks like hard work.

Here’s a description pilfered from event’s web site.

“The demanding final kilometres, with gradients up to 16%, approach the city of Siena along broad, straight sections of road, connected by sweeping curves, first descending, and then climbing slightly. 2km from the finish line, the route joins Via Esterna di Fontebranda, where the gradient touches 9%. 900m from the finish line, the race route passes beneath Fontebranda Gate where the road surface becomes paving slabs. The gradient exceeds 10% until 500m from the finish line, reaching its highpoint of 16% in Via Santa Caterina. A sharp right hand turn leads to Via delle Terme, and then Via Banchi di Sotto. With 300m to go, the road continues to climb slightly then, 150m from the line, a right turn leads into Via Rinaldini. The route enters the Piazza del Campo just 70m from the finish line. The final 30m descends at a gradient of 7% and the finish line itself is flat.”

So this what the final 4km route through Siena, ending at Piazza del Campo.

WTF, that’s a really nasty finish.

Man that’s seriously leg burning and after 180km or so…ouch The other thing about the race, is that professional’s seem to take it very seriously.

  • The Palmares of the last ten years include:
  • Fabian Cancellara (3 wins),
  • Michał Kwiatkowski (2 wins), and
  • Philippe Gilbert, Zdeněk Štybar (1 win each)

and then a raft of minor placings to stars of the sport like:

  • Peter Sagan,
  • Greg Van Avermaet, and
  • Alejandro Valverde.

Australia’s own Michael Rogers finished 3rd in 2010 and is to this day the only Australian to make the podium. Luke Durbridge of Orica Greenedge/Scott/Bike Exchange/Mitchelton, finished 6th last year (2017). Cancellara has the most difficult section of strade named after him, following his third win in 2016. The 11.4km, 5 star section is 54km from the finish line and was previously known as ‘Monte Sante Marie Settore’

So speaking of the great man and Siena here’s a few pilfered happy snaps.

Whoa…how beautiful is this piazza?

The piazza from above. Spectacular!!!

Proof that the organisers named a strade section after Cancellara.

Cancellara winning the Strade Bianche for the first time.

OK that’s enough skiving off at work. Hopefully I can shake off this damn throat virus and go for a ride tomorrow morning. The weather outside looks awesome.

Until next time, ride safe.

MMT

The new People’s elbow as demonstrated by Peter Sagan

 

OMG!!!! Dear Rouleurs,

Has the Tour de France 2017 been terribly exciting.  The wet time trial and second stage looked like a number of riders were playing russian roulette with the conditions and losing badly eg Alejandro Valverde and Luke Durbridge.  But far the biggest story of the event thus far has been the expulsion of current reigning world champion Peter Sagan.  A nasty incident on stage 4 in the dying moments of bunch spirit has cost Sagan his opportunity to win a 6th Green jersey.  If an image can tell a thousand words, then here’s 2 that should provide sufficient description as to why Sagan was turfed.

Now., that can’t possibly be legal…

Man…that has got to hurt.

Earlier, Arnaud Demare Launching through a hole along the barrier to get pass Alexander Kristoff and Andre Greipel. Mark Cavendish tried to follow him only to be cut off by Sagan and greeted with an elbow. Cavendish crashed into the barriers and then had the igdominy of being run over by another 2 riders. Ouchies…That indiscretion has ended both their races. Cavendish tried to continue the next day but was unable. ‘Chapeau’ to Demare, who became the first Frenchman, to win a bunch spirit for a stage in the Tour de France, since Jimmmy Casper in 2006.

Here’s a very excited Frenchman winning Stage 4’s bunch spirit.

However, Sagan’s use of the elbow as an effective finishing move, is not first time its been used on prime time TV.  Ladies and Gentlemen, MMT gives you the ‘People’s Elbow’ has used by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in WWE.  This bad boy debuted on WWE back in 1990/2000’s and was voted by readers of that paragon of journalism, the UK’s Sun newspaper, as the fourth best finishing move ever in the history of WWE.

   

Perhaps this is were Sagan got the idea from.  MMT wonders if the Rock will sue Sagan?  Now that would be interesting.

Until next time, ride safely in bunches without elbows,

Marv