Tour de France
As we head into another week training for our own Tour, I am contemplating my visit to the Classics and the forthcoming Giro.
We are storming toward the Grand Tour Season, and I would love to see Pink come our way.
Richie Porte is having a cracker of a season having found his mojo after a disappointing 2014. He had some great opportunities last year but for one reason or another didn’t get it together. That happens; the season for Simon Gerrans who shaped a win and outcomes in last year’s spring classics has been not auspicious. Life on the bike has its ups and unfortunately down’s.
Although some of the favorite’s were missing from action during the classics, John Degenkolb (Milan San Remo, Roubaix) and Alexander Kristoff (ronde van vlaanderen) put on an exciting show all the same. While on the Cauberg we witnessed a great battle between Philippe Gilbert and Michael Matthews in the final 1.8k of Amstel Gold Race. Have we seen the emergence of a new generation of classic riders? Taking up the reins of the likes of Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara and Phillip Gilbert?
Michael Mathews showed he has not only the potential, but the courage and determination required to be a champion. It is exciting to watch an emerging talent like that. He was so spent after the finish that he couldn’t make it to the presentation. GreenEdge were present at the business end of the race placing Matthews where he needed to be, at the front at the base of the final climb, ready to jump on Gilbert’s wheel when he made his trademark move on the Cauberg.
The only negative about the Classics are that they are all becoming so predictable and safe, we all know what OGE had to do. There is little room for real drama, we know when Gilbert will attack, we know how most of the races will pan out and one does not have to be a great strategist to know how each team will play its cards. A reinvention of the wheel perhaps, or no race radios may change the game plans and we would witness some pure racing.
This year in all the one day races the only major animation for the duration of the race was seen when the finish-line was in sight. The fans are left wanting, harking back to the day’s when Roubaix’s were won 40k out, or when Flanders split with attacks the first time up the Oude Kwaremont.
It is fantastic to be at the finish and see a great spectacle but it can be a boring race until then. I want to see great attacks and so do the fans, just like in the Grand Tours with the champions like Froome and Contador battling it out. We want to see riders putting it all on the line.
Written by Phil Anderson