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 Post subject: Review of 2013 and a look forward to 2014
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:35 am 
Cheeky half-back
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Can be summarised as 'Froome gets let off the leash, Cancellara shows who is the boss when it comes to the hardman classics and Wiggins has that 'difficult follow up year' again.

At the start of the year all the talk was about Peter Sagan and right up to Strada Bianche he looked like the man to beat in the hardman classics. And beat he was when Cancellara rode away from him in the closing stages of Flanders and then made him irrelevant in Paris Roubaix by pretending to be dropped and then riding away. Beat he was again in La Primavera when everyone forgot that Ciolek was a sprinter who they were giving a free tow to the line.

In the hillier classics there were great results for Dan Martin, Kreuziger and Daniel Moreno. I was expecially pleased to see Dan Martin get a result for Garmin who continue to be my favourite team in the world tour.

Sky fan boys - your boys took a hell of a beating. Over and over again the well drilled Sky team failed to realise thwere is not much point hammering away at the front with 100km to go. A classic is about hiding for as long as you can and gettign away with it so that you're fresh when it is time for the selection. As long as Sky have a genuine GC contender they will never amount to much in the classics.

Come the Giro and we sat back and waited for Wiggo to do his business and add a second GT to his palmares. We all forgot though thaWiggo has a long history of completely arsing up the season after a success and thats exactly what happened. He was never going to be able to repeat the season he had in 2012 although a late win in the ToB and second in the worlds sets things up nicely for 2014.

What the Giro turned into was a 3 week battle vs the weather and the racing suffered as a result in my view. A good win for Nibali but most definitely not comaprable to the 2012 vintage race.

This then lead up to the 2013 Tdf when yet again Froome looked like the man to beat. Winning just about everything he entered and then taking the Tdf by the scruff of the neck and not giving anyone any chances. In my view this was a finer and harder win than Wiggins win 12 months previous. The terrain was harder, the team he had was not as good and there were genuine threats on the start line.

Those threats didn't really amount to much but Bad Berty showed that he has the spirit but maybe a clean Berty isn't the same rider. Is this the beginning of the end for him?

Quintana then showed us he will be a force to reckon with as soon as the Tdf organisors make a Tdf with 21 summit finishes.

Sagan dominated the green jersey competition and as for Cav........... I think 2013 is the beginning of the end for him as a straight up sprinter. Kittel looked head and shoulders above him and I predict more of the same in 2014. What Cv needs to do is to adapt to become a more tactical racer. I'd also like to see him become a proper classics rider. Maybe the arrival of a proper lead out man will help him but that still only leaves him with a lead out train of 2 men. Argos Shimano have a proper lead out train so Kittel will always arrive at the line with more in his legs.

The usual lull followed the Tdf and then we arrived at the Vuelta which to be honest bored me senseless. It looked like me to race where Nibali turned up to get ready for the Worlds, realised that everyone who was there was not very good and then just ran out of juice at the end. Horner on the other hand.........well I think the fact he is struggling to find a team for 2014 speaks volumes. The result stinks for me.

Moving on to the Worlds......

Tony Martin delivers.
The British team were a joke (see previous comments re classics).
And Spain prove that everyone has their price. For Valverde......well that price means settling for 3rd place and not protecting Rodriquez.

Rodriguez then went and got a great result in Lombardia to once again finish off as the best rider of the year and pip a sky guy to the title.

So as for 2014......

Froome will win the Tdf again barring a disaster. He will have a better team around him as I think Sky will put an eeen better team around him. As well as Porte (as long as he is not targetting the Giro) there will also be Henao and Wiggins to support him.

I can't wait for the Tour to land on our shores and I'm looking forward to standing outside the Fleece on the hill up to Barkisland out of Ripponden with a pint of Taylors Landlord (if they still do it) seeing these guys go up this 'hill' in the big ring whereas mere (fat) mortals like me struggle like dogs up it.

For the classics I think we'll see some surprise winners in the hillier classics but for the flatter stuff it will yet again mainly be a battle between Cancellara, Boonen and Sagan. There may be a few surprise with the likes of Stybar and Wiggins in Roubaix but a lot depends upon his targets for the year.

The Giro I think will be won by Uran for OPQS if this is their target for him. However they may decide to keep him back to win a stage of the Tdf. If Porte makes this his target then if could be interesting. I think Evans will ride the Giro as his main race for 2014 too.

I think we might see bad Berty ride the Vuelta this year. Is Horner going to even be there to defend his title?

Thoughts? Anyone disagree?

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 Post subject: Re: Review of 2013 and a look forward to 2014
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:11 pm 
Eddie Hemmings's Wig
Eddie Hemmings's Wig

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I agree pal

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 Post subject: Re: Review of 2013 and a look forward to 2014
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:16 pm 
Free-scoring winger
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Quintana targetting the Giro in 2014 should be interesting, certainly wouldn't bet against him claiming his maiden grand tour there.

What's more the thought of a battle between Porte, Quintana & Uran will make for very interesting viewing after last year's Giro which was marred by bad weather and no serious competition for Nibali.

I'm still not convinced that Wiggins will be a faithful domestique for Froome & the TdF could be much more exciting as a result, no doubt Nibali will be hoping to isolate Froome every time the road rises & pepper him with attacks (no doubt the same will be said about Contador & Valverde). Can't wait to head over to the dark side of the pennines to see it all get underway. I just wish I had enough in the bank to head to Norn Iron for the start of the Giro

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