5 Things We Learnt From The Tour Of Flanders | The Cycling Racing News Show
Articles Blog

5 Things We Learnt From The Tour Of Flanders | The Cycling Racing News Show

October 27, 2019


(start clock beeping) (start clock rings) (men cheering) – Coming up this week on
the GCN Racing News Show, five things we learned
from the Tour of Flanders including a monumental cockup from GCN, even by our own low standards. We’ve also got the Dwars door Vlaanderen, the continued emergence of a bright young American talent at the at
the Giro Di Sicilia plus, we’ve actually got a
race that I competed in the Battle on the Beach. It was the the first cobbled
monument of the year, the Ronde, and the first thing we learnt is that we’re getting
even worse at predictions. That’s right, not only did we not predict Alberto Bettiol to win, we
didn’t even name check him. Even by our standards that is poor, and in fact it was
pointed out to us pre-race in the comments section
by Evert Borghraef. There we go, yes, perhaps
we should have taken the advice of Jan Willem Kuilenburg. He said ‘if you would
have had some more beers you could have mentioned
the complete peleton’, which is a very good point actually, and there will be an
extra long Paris-Roubaix preview show coming right
up for you this week. Either way, it was a
phenomenal victory for the 25-year-old of EF, Education First. Here is what his colleagues
had to say to Lloydy after the race starting with Team Manager Jonathan Vaughters. – JV, congratulations,
that must have felt like a long time coming. – Yeah, for sure, I mean what
is it 15 years or something big, I mean back when
you were riding for us. Yeah, I mean
– Where we had no chance. – Right, exactly, where we had no chance. No, yeah, I mean it was a, it was a really beautiful
victory for a guy that really deserves it, you
know, that went through a really rough year last
year with a lot of crashes and injuries and came back and you know, just beautiful teamwork
all the way around, a lot of sacrifice from everyone involved, from you know, Sep Vanmarcke
and Sebastian Langeveld and, I mean what can you say I think it’s, we were debating if it’s the most beautiful
win of this organization since it began and it’s like
2011 Roubaix or this one. And it’s tough, I don’t know we’ve won every monument
except Milan-San Remo, dammit but this one, I think
this one’s number one. – That’s cause it was about an hour ago, of course it’s gonna
feel number one. (laughs) – I know, I know, I know. – Andy, your entire cycling career has been about the Tour
of Flanders, and today you’ve won it with Alberto, that must feel pretty special. – Yes, absolutely. I mean I wasn’t in doubt
that he can drop everybody, I just wasn’t sure if he
can manage to hold off a 10K group of, whatever how many and I was very happy afterwards
that he managed, yes. I’m sure he’s gonna have many more victories in his career. – Well this is the first one. (chuckles) – Yeah, yeah I didn’t know. They said first pro victory. – Matti you’ve been in some
monument-winning teams before, but I’m sure it doesn’t get any worse when you win the Tour of Flanders. – Yeah I’m almost getting
emotional here, it’s incredible. For sure. I didn’t expect it, I
hoped for it and, yeah, but for him to pull this
out you know, it’s amazing. – And what about Sep
because obviously he comes into this race every year
as one of the favorites, this year he’s had his problems
but he rode his heart out for somebody else today. – Yeah, it just shows
how much class he has. I mean a couple of days ago he couldn’t even ride his bike still, he showed how much he want this and how much he loves this race and for him as the normal
road captain for us kind of stepped down and helped Alberto and made the difference. Yeah, shows some character. – How far will the
celebrations go tonight? – Full gas. – Good man. (Chuckles) – Still hard to believe
that his first pro win was the Tour of Flanders. Now clearly we didn’t know an awful lot about Alberto Bettiol before Sunday and it seems we weren’t the only ones. Visits to his page on Pro Cycling Stats are up 17,000 this week,
but first up, he is 25, which makes him the
youngest Tour of Flanders winner since Tom Boonen in 2005, he was born in Poggibonsi, Tuscany and now lives in nearby Castelfiorentino. He turned pro in 2014 with Cannondale, spent last year with BMC, where most of his season
was affected by injury, and returned to EF this year. He showed a lot of promise in 2016 taking second at the
Bretagne Classic in Plouay and finishing top ten at both the Canadian one-day world tour races. To be fair, his performances
this year in Tirreno and E3 were more than enough to
have warranted at least a mention in our preview show. We will never learn. Well, hopefully we will actually. – It’s not often you get a crowd this size outside the bus of a Pro Continental team, but such is the furore
around Mathieu van der Poel and that incredible ride today where he hit the deck, managed to get back to the front and then
start attacking again. Not surprised if so many people so excited about his prospects on the road. – The crowds in Flanders
and cycling in general are loving Mathieu van der Poel and it’s easy to see why
– just like Peter Sagan, he makes riding a bike look effortless. And not in that he’s going blooming fast, but also the fact that he does it with incredible style,
white shorts excepted. Bike riding the van der Poel way just looks like a heck of a lot of fun and let’s face it, we kinda need more of that flamboyance in cycling. Every kid that’s into bike riding now wants to be the next van der Poel and he’s gonna attract more participation into road, cyclo-cross,
and mountain biking, and that’s just brilliant! His ride yesterday was
nothing short of spectacular, crashing on the run-in, to the second time up the Oude Kwaremont,
he managed to get himself back to the coat-tails of the peloton, ride past everyone to make the front group at a time when the race
was well and truly on, then go faster than everyone up the final climb of the Paterburg before finally taking second in the group sprint to finish fourth in his first ever
participation at the race. It was the story of the day, and whilst there wasn’t
a fairytale ending, there almost didn’t need to be. At the other end of his
career is Alejandro Valverde, the world champion just 18
days before his 39th birthday, made his debut at the Tour
of Flanders yesterday. And not a single person was surprised that he managed to finish eighth. His versatility really is remarkable. He may not have set the
world on fire yesterday, but when you consider how important road knowledge is deemed
to be in Flanders, that was an extremely impressive ride. And according to Strava, he was also the fastest up the Paterburg yesterday. Now what was also evident to me yesterday was just how much of an influence he’s had on his teammates’ performances. Movistar, normally most
notable for their absence in the finale of the Cobbled classics, but yesterday, rallying
around their leader; they had a total of four
riders in the top 50, which is something they’ve
never achieved before. The Ronde as a race is bigger
than it’s ever been before, there are more and more
people on the roadside, the VIP tents continue to get larger, they have an increasingly international television audience,
but for the first time since World War II, no Belgian rider has won a one-day classic yet this year. Now if that trend continues, will that affect the Belgian classics? Well, probably not, in the same way that the Tour de France
is bigger than ever despite not having had a French winner for over thirty years, but that said, the celebration at the finish line was perhaps slightly more muted yesterday. The best Belgian finisher
was Oliver Naesen in seventh place; the only other time that Belgium has failed to place a rider in the top six was 1997,
when Jo Plankaert was eighth. Talking of future
hopefuls, Man of the Match for me yesterday had to be Kasper Asgreen of Deceuninck-QuickStep. He was one of four riders in the top eight who were making their debut at the race and he was the best of the lot, in second. Now what made that performance
even more exceptional was how much work he
had done along the way. He did an enormous amount
on the front of the group after things split over
the top of the Muur, then got in a break with Vanmarcke, Vandenburgh, and van Baarle, and still found the strength to attack the group of chasers
in the last few kilometers. Now Asgreen only turned pro with QuickStep in April of last year, and
he’s already proven himself as a potential monument winner. And what more important weapon in that team’s seemingly
never-ending arsenal of talent. To be fair to our new
recruit, Marty McDonald, he did somewhat save our bacon
when it came to predictions. – Women’s race, I’m gonna
go for Marta Bastianelli. Okay, so she’s had a
great start to the season. – Thank goodness he absolutely
nailed that one, didn’t he? To be fair, Lloydy’s pick
of Annemiek van Vleuten was the runner-up and
my pick of Chantal Blaak was in seventh place, so
not too bad all round. As Marty said, Bastianelli had pinpointed the Tour of Flanders
as a race she could win and would target this year. Bastianelli has been the epitome
of consistency this year, she’s not finished outside the top eight in any of the ten Pro
races that she’s done. Like the men’s race, the winning move went on the Oude Kwaremont, but
rather than just one rider, here we had four:
Bastianelli, van Vleuten, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig,
and Kasia Niewiadoma. The Pole did lose
contact on the Paterburg, leaving the other three to
share the podium places, and really, from that point, there was never a doubt
as to who would win. Bastianelli is one of the
world’s best sprinters, and she actually took the win relatively comfortably from van Vleuten. Uttrup Ludwig had to settle
for the last podium spot, but it was yet another step up for the 23-year-old, who
continues to improve and impress. Rewind a little further than Sunday, and four days before the Tour of Flanders came Dwars door Vlaanderen, which marked van der Poel’s second World
Tour race, and his first win. He was part of a five-man
group that fought for victory and such was his dominance
in the final sprint he was able to raise
his arms in celebration with about 50 meters still to go. In the women’s race,
Ellen van Dijk made it back-to-back wins for her, the Trek-Segafredo rider attacked with a little under 20Ks to go and would never be seen again. That was her first victory of 2019, and came just after we’d said
on the Flanders Preview Show that she’d yet to take a win this year. Pro riders, you know where
we are, if you need us. Last week also saw the
return of the Giro di Sicilia after 42 years of absence. The four-day race saw Brandon McNulty take another leap forward in his career, the 21-year-old set up overall victory with a dominant display
on the penultimate day, to Ragusa, under some
pretty horrific conditions. Attacking with 10Ks to go,
McNulty showed strength but also some pretty
mean bike handling skills to take the win by almost a minute. The following day, he and his team admirably defended the overall race lead, McNulty therefore taking his first two professional UCI wins in
the space of two days. Expect to see plenty more of
him in the next few years. In other news, Pete
Kennaugh of Bora-Hansgrohe has officially called time
on his cycling career. The Manxman put out an open, honest, and heartfelt message on Instagram, saying that he has been struggling both on and off the bike
for a number of years. We here at GCN wish him well
in his future endeavors. Finally, our random Race of the Week, and this was actually one that I was in! Yes, that’s right, the Battle on the Beach takes place in South
Wales, here in the UK, and is three laps of a
circuit which includes five kilometers flat out down a beach before looping back to the start on a mixture of forest trails. Bram Imming took his
third victory at the race from his teammate Hank Verdonk and Welsh hill-climbing
sensation Dan Evans, and the women’s race was won
by young Harriet Harnden, from Ffion James, and Terry Fremineur. And finally this week,
the results from our poll from last week’s show where we asked you if you were fans of e-racing. The results: 64% of you said
that you are a fan of e-racing. Now without a doubt, it
is a discipline in cycling that’s gonna be here to stay. Next week, we will be back
with the Hell of the North, Paris-Roubaix, and we’ve
got a special treat for those of you in the USA and Canada: A one-hour program with
full race highlights over on Facebook with commentary from Dan and expert analysis from
multiple top-10 finisher, Juan Antonio Flecha. Oh yes, that’s gonna be good. You can catch it over
on our Facebook page, where you’ll also be able to catch shorter highlights of the
Scheldeprijs on Wednesday. The seven-day Tour of the Basque Country also starts today, and
if you’re in Europe, you’ll be able to catch
live daily coverage on Eurosport, as the likes
of Julian Alaphilippe, Geraint Thomas, Adam Yates,
Mikel Landa and Dan Martin duke it out on the
notoriously steep climbs of that beautiful region of Spain. Now stay tuned this coming Thursday for our Paris-Roubaix preview show with added beers, plus if
you’d like something else to watch in the meantime
why not click down here for my epic and very English bike ride with US cyclo-cross star, Jeremy Powers.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. FYI- "learnT" is not a word in the English language. You might consider "learnED" instead. 😉

  2. How about having Katherine cover the women's race, along with some interviews? C'mon boys, long overdue to give the ladies equal time!

  3. Asgreen's effort in Flanders was absolutely Herculean. And (fun fact) it was the second year in a row that a young Dane came out of nowhere to take second place in the Ronde 🇩🇰🚴‍♂️💪

  4. Special mention for van Baarle. Rode incredibly well yesterday. Wouldn't put it past him to win this coming Sunday

  5. My doubts over MVDP increased exponentially over the last week. First he wins every cyclocross race he enters, by a huge margin (alarm bells). He then goes from some of the shortest races to the longest races on the calendar and wins (alarm bells). He has a mechanical and loses at least a minute to the main peloton who are going full gas. He gets back to them pretty much by himself (alarm bells). Once he finally gets back to the pointy end of the race he attacks, several times (alarm bells)! He then finishes second in a sprint of the remaining peloton to take 4th……alarm bells!!!!! That peloton was made up of the whose who of one day stage races. He's either from another planet or…….

  6. I'm so glad procyclingstats got a shout out – I've used them for years. I used them to see that James got DSQ at the OVO energy tour of Britain 2017. Hmmm. James, you have been a naughty boy.

  7. Pretty sure we've had plenty of flamboyant, stuck up and stone faced characters in cycling. And, seriously, not a ounce of doubt for what that dude did? I had my doubts when he won CX race after CX race – effortlessly – but when he face planted and hurt his arm and then went full gas and finished fucking fourth… yeah I'm highly skeptical of what he's got in his system.

  8. Bettiol has really emerged this season…I'll admit I hadn't heard of him until he attacked at Milano-San Remo.

    I don't know every rider, but I can usually recognise the name of at least 3/4 of a GT or Monument Peleton.

  9. As Si said he has done the beach race in Wales. I am wondering was the Si in the clip about the the race at 12.14?

  10. Is there a feature video coming on Battle on the Beach? I was so stoked to see Si in my hometown smashing down the beach 👌

  11. Something has to be highlighted of Oliver Naesen who was among the strongest on the steepest hills of the Ronde, one of the last three to show some resistance to Bettiol's coup, and one of the very few to try and bridge the gap in the end. Joining AG2R and its group of strong climbers seems to be paying off for him.
    He did all that whilst not having fully recovered from a bronchitis. Clear of all sickness he should be a force to be reckoned with on Paris-Roubaix.

  12. If you want to do some real beach racing, Simon, come to the Netherlands. It will be worthwhile your time and you will be in very good company with the likes of Dumoulin, Terpstra or ten Dam taking part on a regular basis.

  13. I say this with full love and respect, I love your shows but, Guys, you need to stop trying to predict the winner because you’re cursing the favourites. Excellent ride by Alberto Bettiol, reminded me of Terpstra last year. The favourites looked like they preferred him to win than work together so that one of them could win.

  14. Personally I think MVDP did a rookie mistake when his wheel broke. I still have no idea what he tried to do. If your wheel brake, especially the front wheel, stop immediately instead of unclick (?) your foot and raise your arm. The effort to catch the front of the race after the crash cost him the race.

    (On another note. Eurosport in Sweden was down almost the whole race and I missed the last 20 km completely…😢)

  15. That interview with Dan & the EF Bloke was so awesome!!! TRUE CLASS, proud to be an american cyclist!!!

  16. Any update on Stig Broeckx? I saw he rode his mountain bike recently. Since it's Belgian classics time and a Canadian just once the GP Stig Broeckx, it would be cool to see how he is doing

  17. you need to cover Barry-Roubaix race in Michigan. The largest gravel road bicycle race in the world! 3500 riders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    https://barry-roubaix.com/

  18. Was just re-reading the "Dog in a Hat" Chapter about TOF. Yall should do some Kermis videos- send Travolta

  19. I love you guys and as a cyclist I can’t get enough of your content. However, would you guys mind giving your video editor less caffeine and Red Bull so he can properly spell “Education” (of ALL WORDS) at minute 3:00?!? Haha!! Love it!!!

  20. I don't use or support Facebook. Is there another platform I can enjoy and support this content? I'm happy to pay a reasonable fee to view it advertisement free.

  21. Totally agree with you about Asgreen, good to see you didn't forget about him and his fantastic debut ride.

  22. E-Racing is here to stay you predict? Maybe that prediction will turn out like the GCN Pro race winners predictions. I don't see enough interest to cover the costs to put on these events because they are highly expensive. Personally, I would never put money where there is a huge question mark about a fair and level playing field for all participants. Where are they going to get the money?

  23. To bad Wout gets forgotten now, he does alot with alot less talent! Maybe we should give those riders some more recognition!

  24. Thank GCN for Si. He's become tolerable to the point of almost being the best presenter. I'd still have to resist the temptation to flick him in his windpipe if we met in real life but hey, nobody's perfect

  25. Love GCN, but I hate that you guys never introduce yourselves, … you just start talking. I've had to give you all nick names so I can keep everyone straight. Good show "Cy with glasses". And good Flanders coverage, "10 week Dan". Can't wait for the next show, maybe I'll come up with better nick names.

  26. Not sure if anyone has already linked this interview, but my new favourite cyclist 🙂 The pure joy of racing on display – https://twitter.com/i/status/1114898860869074945

  27. The story of the day was MvdP? Great to see your MVP was Asgreen, but his story was at the level of MvdP… Definitely the strongest rider on the day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *