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I swear it almost looked to me like Leif was riding for Boonen. First he semi screwed his Hincapie, who is certainly a stronger rider, by taking off without any plan between the two of them. Then he worked very hard during the entire break when it was obvious that he could not beat Boonen and that he had no plan to do so. It seems like he was happy getting second, when if he had not worked so much maybe he could have worn out Boonen and either taken it himself or have the group catch up and have George counter attack. I bet we will hear about some discourd in the Disco camp this week.
 

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After watching the race and hearing Hincapie's comments, I was definitely wondering if any internal politics will result from the outcome.

Anyway, I think Hoste was riding for the win and didn't give Boonen an armchair ride (he didn't look happy to just be there, on the podium). It's kind of unfortunate that his great ride was overshadowed by Boonen's dominence. What can you say, though, Boonen is the real deal and a total animal.

Hopefully this will give Hincapie a little bit of motivational anger for next week...

 

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Hoste was definitely riding for the win. It wasn't obvious to him that he had no chance.

Near the end of the race, he just sat on Boonen's wheel so he could jump him in the end. Boonen had plenty of words with him and they almost came to a standstill. Basically, Boonen said I'm not pulling you to the 200m so you can jump me.

So Hoste gives it his best shot and he gets schooled. Boonen has perfect tactics and perfect form.

In the end, the Belgians (Hoste and Bruyneel) screwed Hincapie. Hincapie had great form and was taken out of the running so easily. I'm happy to see Hincapie pissed. You have to be angry when you lose, specially when you don't even get a chance. Once Hoste was out in front, he could not even give chase.

The race played into Boonens hands perfectly. He found himself one on one with Hoste. He's going to win that every time. The only chance to beat him today was to have different guys from different teams take shots at him, one after the other on the last 30k.

Great race!

francois
 

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Politics, more like stern words

mquetel said:
After watching the race and hearing Hincapie's comments, I was definitely wondering if any internal politics will result from the outcome.
Yeah, I'm sure there will be a few words exchanged. P-R is gonna be interesting.
 

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Was JB the sportif I thought it was Demol?
I sensed GH was pissed with Hoste. The "I shouldve been in the final sprint" clued me in.
 

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Somebody school me

Okay I understand racing to some degree, but is what Hoste did inappropriate from a team tactics stand point? He obviouslly felt strong and thought he could go till the finish, being in Belgium probably fueled his ambitions.

Was he supposed to get permission from the boss in the car?

Or was he supposed to talk to Hincapie and clear an attack through the team leader?

As I watched the interview with Hincapie at the end he clearly conveyed that he felt great but was trapped by Hoste's breakaway. My interpretation of the interview was that George felt he could have contested the win and perhaps won?

I won't say George would have beat Boonen but I think he would have made it alot more interesting at the sprint finish.

Thoughts, Jaime
 

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francois said:
Hoste was definitely riding for the win.

The race played into Boonens hands perfectly.
If these statements are true then Hoste didn't use good tactics. If Hoste is riding for the win shouldn’t he ride differently than the way that gives him, and his teammate, a zero percent chance of winning?

How many people would think that Hoste has a good chance beating Boonen to the line if they are still together with 1 km to go? Perhaps if Boonen had done all the work from the point they both broke away. Hoste didn't seem to use any tactics until less than 1km to go. By then it was too late. Why not try and drop Boonen on the climb or somewhere well before the finish? That would seem to be Hoste's only chance for a win. If Hoste gets burned out in the process it would give GH a better chance because Boonen would have used energy chasing and would not have someone to paceline with all the way to the line. Perhaps all Hoste wanted was a podium spot.
 

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yeah, DD does lots of the classics team, right?

Hoste clearly was going for the win -- that attack was vicious -- but, yeah, he wasn't going to outsprint Boonen. Hincapie was as pissed as I've seen Georgie get.

The you go / no you go track stand game in the last K was funny, but, Boonen, what do you expect? No one's gonna lead YOU out...
 

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Bad communication at best

goose127 said:
I swear it almost looked to me like Leif was riding for Boonen. First he semi screwed his Hincapie, who is certainly a stronger rider, by taking off without any plan between the two of them. Then he worked very hard during the entire break when it was obvious that he could not beat Boonen and that he had no plan to do so. It seems like he was happy getting second, when if he had not worked so much maybe he could have worn out Boonen and either taken it himself or have the group catch up and have George counter attack. I bet we will hear about some discourd in the Disco camp this week.
I believe GH said in so many words that he didn't know that Hoste was going to attack at that point (30-some km to go) in his interview after the race. This is silly. Here's my logic. If GH knew Hoste was going to attack, he'd be on Boonen's wheel and let Boonen drag him across to Hoste. The replays show that GH was back in about 7th position. The only way Hoste is going to win is to have GH, Boonen, and Hincapie in the breakaway. Then they could take turns attacking. Bettini probably would have jumped across too in this situation or things would get more tactical. Maybe Boonen sits up. Nevertheless 1-1 with Boonen is a no win scenario for Hoste.

Think about it another way, if a non-disco rider attacks at that point, GH goes across and joins the break. Hoste was the only guy that GH would not bridge up to. That's racing, but it still sucks for GH.

Anyways Boonen is a monster. He deserved the win, and is a real superstar!

Perhaps GH will be pissed and will make a good show in PR.

Go George!

C72
 

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Something stinks!

I just finished watching a taped Flanders and two things really stood out to me. First of all, Hoste went at about the 300 meter sign..that seems pretty far out when your'e up against Boonen . The other thing was, and this really struck me, Boonen was on the front and looked over his shoulder and when he did, Hoste went. Arent you supposed to kinda, sorta, maybe get the jump on them when they arent looking right at you? Like maybe surprise them a little? Go on the right perhaps? Leap over their shoulders? I mean anything but when they look right at you. I agree with the starter of this thread but I'll go one further and say...(uh-oh) I'll bet Hoste has some extra cash in his pocket tonight.
Make it look good, make it exciting but Tom must win at all costs! I know that's a stretch but.... Belgian wins no matter what. We will never know for sure but I'll bet when they watched the replay tonight, George hit the roof at Hoste's totally botched finale!
Anyway, that's my controversial and humble opinion. Honest!
 

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cheddarlove said:
I just finished watching a taped Flanders and two things really stood out to me. First of all, Hoste went at about the 300 meter sign..that seems pretty far out when your'e up against Boonen . The other thing was, and this really struck me, Boonen was on the front and looked over his shoulder and when he did, Hoste went. Arent you supposed to kinda, sorta, maybe get the jump on them when they arent looking right at you? Like maybe surprise them a little? Go on the right perhaps? Leap over their shoulders? I mean anything but when they look right at you. I agree with the starter of this thread but I'll go one further and say...(uh-oh) I'll bet Hoste has some extra cash in his pocket tonight.
Make it look good, make it exciting but Tom must win at all costs! I know that's a stretch but.... Belgian wins no matter what. We will never know for sure but I'll bet when they watched the replay tonight, George hit the roof at Hoste's totally botched finale!
Anyway, that's my controversial and humble opinion. Honest!
No need for conspiracy theories. Inside 500m, Hoste had NO CHANCE. No Chance. no chance.

No need to over-analyze since there's no issue.

francois
 

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francois said:
No need for conspiracy theories. Inside 500m, Hoste had NO CHANCE. No Chance. no chance.

No need to over-analyze since there's no issue.

francois
You must admit that these type of conspiracy theories are way more fun than really, old, tired, sick of hearing about it doping theories!:rolleyes:
 

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According to Eurosport, Hincapie was 'thinking' of attacking when Hoste did - but that's Hincapie's problem all over - he never actually makes the decisive move but only ever follows and I think that's why Hoste was frustrated and made his remarks about preferring to be an attacking rider, not one who waits. I'm sure Lotto will take back Hoste with open arms - thye could use some Classics firepower.

But if Disco had waited for Hincapie to make a decisive attack, I'm afraid they'd have waited until long after Boonen had crossed the finish line as the winner. Tha fact that Hincapie won the sprint for 3rd relatively easily (when Bettini had done the majority of the work to control the pursuit) means, I'm afraid, b****r all
 

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cheddarlove said:
You must admit that these type of conspiracy theories are way more fun than really, old, tired, sick of hearing about it doping theories!:rolleyes:
I was watching the race finale in a beer tent on the Koppenburg -- here was the received wisdom that was circulating along with the leffes, Jupiters and other hops-based sudsy beverages:

a. Leif Hoste will be racing w/ Quickstep next year ... you mark my words (#1 most popular explanation)

b. The phone calls were going fast and furious between Demol and Lefevre once the break got established. Don't be surprised to see QS lend a "helping" hand to Discovery in July (#2 most popular explanantion)

c. Hoste almost won the Ronde before and his attack just shows how strong we Belgians are (actually, this was the #1 response but I have discounted it 2 notches since it was invariably proffered by those fans that were the most falling-downedly drunk!)

A+

Philippe
 

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francois said:
No need for conspiracy theories. Inside 500m, Hoste had NO CHANCE. No Chance. no chance.

No need to over-analyze since there's no issue.

francois
I totally agree.To second guess Hoste is retarded at best.Imagine,here you are with less than 500m to go, and it is just you and Tom Boonen.........Really,what did you expect him to do?


Also,I agree with BianchiGirl.GH is a great guy and a great rider.However,he is no where near agressive enough.Some people are also giving him too much credit.Had he been with Boonen instead of Hoste the outcome would have been the same as last years PR.Boonen would have schooled him in a sprint.
 

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Hincapie Strong, Hoste Stronger...

Bianchigirl said:
According to Eurosport, Hincapie was 'thinking' of attacking when Hoste did - but that's Hincapie's problem all over - he never actually makes the decisive move but only ever follows and I think that's why Hoste was frustrated and made his remarks about preferring to be an attacking rider, not one who waits. I'm sure Lotto will take back Hoste with open arms - thye could use some Classics firepower.

But if Disco had waited for Hincapie to make a decisive attack, I'm afraid they'd have waited until long after Boonen had crossed the finish line as the winner. Tha fact that Hincapie won the sprint for 3rd relatively easily (when Bettini had done the majority of the work to control the pursuit) means, I'm afraid, b****r all
George was strong yesterday, but Hoste was simply stronger, and rode away with the strongest man in the break. George, to his credit, had great legs, so he said, and you could tell in the group sprint for 3rd, as he took it easily from the others. Also, he played the perfect teammate. He of course had his own ambitions for this race, but once Boonen went away with Hoste, and Bettini started riding herd, that was all she wrote, and George put in some help as well making sure nobody started to bridge up to the leaders. They way I read his interview post race is that he was angry that he had such good form, and didn't have a chance to use it. If Hincapie had gone with Boonen and Hoste though, I think there would have been a Disco rider standing on the top step yesterday, because when and if you can 2 on 1 someone, well, there is no way that you shouldn't win, but then again, Boonen, never know what he's capable of so far this year. What I think is surprising is that everyone is saying on here at least, how Hoste wasn't as strong as Hincapie. Did I miss something in the races leading up to Flanders where Hoste has proven himself the strongest Disco rider in the Spring thus far? I'm just wondering. George looked good, and I think it bodes well for him this coming weekend of PR, and also for maybe a repeat of GW during the mid-week? Then again, he might not burn the matches to win GW and save it all for a Sunday in Hell of next weekend.

Some are wondering why Hoste didn't try to attack Boonen before the finale. Well, if you've never been in a breakaway in a bike race, and have not been riding on the limit for kilometer after kilometer, you'd know that it is almost impossible to throw in an attack that would split the break. Also, you have to read your breakaway companion, see how he's feeling, throw it down a little bit, see how he reacts, and I think I read somewhere where Hoste did a little larger effort, and Boonen was matching him easily. If Hoste attacks, at the worst, he gets shelled from the breakaway, falls back through the chasers and finishes a disappointing 20th or something like that. At best, of course, he cracks Boonen, and wins the race, but looking at Boonen's exploits on the bike leading up to Flanders, who in the world would think that you could crack him. It just didn't, and still doesn't, seem very likely or possible. And when you get into a break like that, you don't start attacking immediately, first you've got to establish a good sized gap between you and the chase group, once this is done, then you can start attacking one another. If you attack each other too early, you will both get caught by the chase, and therefore ruin your chances of winning no doubt. So you work with one another, establish a good sized gap, try a few things, if they don't work, you back off, and keep working, and wait for the sprint. Hoste, had a good sprint win last week, so I'm sure he was thinking it is possible to take Boonen in the finale, mostly because they were both going to be tired as all get out, but as we know now, Boonen made it look easy.

Anyway, Sunday is another race.
 

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Hoste was strong but wrong

He rode like a complete and total moron. The smart thing to do would have been pull just enought to get a nice gap which happened pretty quickly and then sit on no matter what. Boonen could not drop him so he would have to either pull all the way upping Hoste's chances in the sprint or drop back to the group and get countered by Hincapie. Hoste rode for second and thats what he got. Hincapie sould be pissed, Hoste made sure second was the best they could get. The way George pushed up the final climbs in the second group I'm not sure Hoste was stronger as strong but not stronger.

magnolialover said:
George was strong yesterday, but Hoste was simply stronger, and rode away with the strongest man in the break. George, to his credit, had great legs, so he said, and you could tell in the group sprint for 3rd, as he took it easily from the others. Also, he played the perfect teammate. He of course had his own ambitions for this race, but once Boonen went away with Hoste, and Bettini started riding herd, that was all she wrote, and George put in some help as well making sure nobody started to bridge up to the leaders. They way I read his interview post race is that he was angry that he had such good form, and didn't have a chance to use it. If Hincapie had gone with Boonen and Hoste though, I think there would have been a Disco rider standing on the top step yesterday, because when and if you can 2 on 1 someone, well, there is no way that you shouldn't win, but then again, Boonen, never know what he's capable of so far this year. What I think is surprising is that everyone is saying on here at least, how Hoste wasn't as strong as Hincapie. Did I miss something in the races leading up to Flanders where Hoste has proven himself the strongest Disco rider in the Spring thus far? I'm just wondering. George looked good, and I think it bodes well for him this coming weekend of PR, and also for maybe a repeat of GW during the mid-week? Then again, he might not burn the matches to win GW and save it all for a Sunday in Hell of next weekend.

Some are wondering why Hoste didn't try to attack Boonen before the finale. Well, if you've never been in a breakaway in a bike race, and have not been riding on the limit for kilometer after kilometer, you'd know that it is almost impossible to throw in an attack that would split the break. Also, you have to read your breakaway companion, see how he's feeling, throw it down a little bit, see how he reacts, and I think I read somewhere where Hoste did a little larger effort, and Boonen was matching him easily. If Hoste attacks, at the worst, he gets shelled from the breakaway, falls back through the chasers and finishes a disappointing 20th or something like that. At best, of course, he cracks Boonen, and wins the race, but looking at Boonen's exploits on the bike leading up to Flanders, who in the world would think that you could crack him. It just didn't, and still doesn't, seem very likely or possible. And when you get into a break like that, you don't start attacking immediately, first you've got to establish a good sized gap between you and the chase group, once this is done, then you can start attacking one another. If you attack each other too early, you will both get caught by the chase, and therefore ruin your chances of winning no doubt. So you work with one another, establish a good sized gap, try a few things, if they don't work, you back off, and keep working, and wait for the sprint. Hoste, had a good sprint win last week, so I'm sure he was thinking it is possible to take Boonen in the finale, mostly because they were both going to be tired as all get out, but as we know now, Boonen made it look easy.

Anyway, Sunday is another race.
 

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goose127 said:
I swear it almost looked to me like Leif was riding for Boonen.
Disco tactics were certainly suspect but Hincapie should stop belly-aching. He had his chance to follow the attack of Kroon at the top of the Valkenberg when he got within about 20 meters of Boonen/Hoste. Perhaps if Hincapie was there they would have made it and had Boonen outnumbered.

However once Boonen/Hoste had a good gap established Hoste should have sat on him in the hopes of attacking him on the Muur or Bosberg, or force Boonen to let it come back and get reshuffled. Personally I didn't see Hincapie doing much covering (despite his claims), it appeared to be Bettini doing most of the defensive riding. Anyway Hincapie shouldn't have been riding defensively, he should have been looking for a move, which would have given Hoste a better excuse to sit on Boonen than simply "I'm not working with you because you'll just out sprint me".

Hoste had to know after the Muur or even Tenbosse that he wasn't strong enough to lose Boonen, so at that point you have to sit on and maybe raise his chances of beating Boonen in the sprint from none to slim or hope Hincapie got in a move that made it up to them.
 
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