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Tour of Qatar - Discussion
Bikex
Finally my team gets a mention! Grin
It really seems like the only goal my riders have is to keep Leung out of trouble. I would hope to see some attacks or for Hsu to at least give it a try in the sprint - I'm sure he could've gotten a top 10 from the position were Nielsen and Leung were. Anyways all in all I guess the strategy here is okay, as the epilogue with a combined GC result is probably the only shot at getting something countable here for us!

Nice to see Coquard having found his sprinting legs, hope he can keep it up so I can get my PCM$ back. Grin

Thanks for another great report Fabianski!
 
ember
That's our first miss regarding the breakaway, and kind of a weird one too with no one trying a move after Yzeiraj's chasing work. Didn't get that, but maybe our DS got mad and decided there were punishment to be taken for Yzeiraj for not being able to hit the right try Grin Pfft

Big win for Festina and SotD, congratulations! And the GC is really, really close. Looks like a hit and miss case, where any kind of top 10 stability on the final two sprint stages should be worthy of a very, very good GC placing for any sprinter, seeing how close it is.
 
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DubbelDekker
Nice try by Teunissen! Getting some seconds in that intermediate sprint is actually huge, as it automatically puts him in a decent GC position. Hope he tries again!
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Scorchio
Great work from the whole team again in stage 3. 3rd in a very tight sprint for the line is solid for Degenkolb; grabbing more bonus seconds to put more of a gap between himself and the non-sprinter prologue specialists is very welcome! Tight contest at this stage for yellow and green jerseys, very happy to be in the mix. Coquard redeamed himself somewhat with a timely victory for Festina. Right now looks tight between Coquard and Kemboi for the overall victory given their prologue skills and bonus seconds accumulation to date. Of course everything can/likely to change with still important sprint stages to come before the epi-prologue, as well as the constant spectre of potential crosswinds that Qatar has quite a reputation for.
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alexkr00
Two great sprints and two awful ones for Grosu. Top 3 could be in danger in the final stage with the current look of the GC, but I'm hopeful Grosu can pull something off.
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viking90
wtf! Did both Appollonio and Ahlstrand think they where Cancellara? :lol:
GC wise it does not look good now either...
 
baseballlover312
SKA deciding to prove to his brother that he's the better sprinter after all and just power his way into the top 6. Shock

Another very fun report, thanks Fabianski!
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Ulrich Ulriksen
Have refrained from posting Holloway love since I figure people are bored of me on that topic. But damn, that is 3 top 4s in 4 stages. Will lose time on the TT so not sure where he ends up but pretty sure it will be better than SN was expecting. I don't think he even made the outsiders list in the preview.

The harder the chase and the messier the sprint the better it is for the high FL/RES guys like Holloway and Kemboi so I think this race suits them. The peloton is going to be eating Kemboi's dust for seasons to come.

Thanks for the great report Fabianski, will disagree with you slightly on lack of team support hurting Holloway, I think it is just as likely they get in his way. I think he just doesn't have the top end speed to win these.
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knockout
Bewley, Holloway, Kemboi ... i love how the high flat sprinters dominated this.

4th is an okayish result by MVS but after the last two stages we need another one like that on the next stage to have a shot against time triallers because 32s certainly are not enough.

Also i feel completely screwed by that gap once again not being given. That Loch Ness sized gap was opened right behind Chavanne, Stoltz and Blythe and could be the difference between a quite mediocre race as it looks now and a possibly great race if that gap would have been given as the GC and team points could have been huge for Evonik as it would give Chavanne and Stoltz the assurance that they beat a couple of similar strong prl guys, lets Blythe pick up lots of added bonus points he wont get otherwise and gives mvs a bit of cushion by limiting the possible drop in gc places. But Qatar has always been a bitch in not giving gaps when we can profit from that - guess they went the good ol' " We dont allow any evidence to be submitted -> No evidence was submitted so we dont count a gap" way.

Thanks for a great report. Great coverage to structure a messy stage!
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tastasol
baseballlover312 wrote:
SKA deciding to prove to his brother that he's the better sprinter after all and just power his way into the top 6. Shock

Another very fun report, thanks Fabianski!


Chew-chew, jump on the train! Will need Asbjørn as his lead out to get the win Wink

Very positive surprise to have Kragh all the way up at 6th. He's been quite close to fighting for top 10 earlier, but hadn't thought he would mix it up with the best. Gives us a great position going towards the epilogue, as long as nothing major happen tomorrow. With these seconds he should have a good chance to stay ahead of the other PRL scecialists even with a bit weaker performance, so could be worth some good points.
 
valverde321
Kemboi is going to be scary.

I wasn't expecting much, but I was hoping our riders would atleast sprint at the end of the stages though.
 
tsmoha
6-6-7-7... Looks like we have to settle for an 8th place tomorrow Sad
 
ember
Another great report! Thank you for brilliant coverage so far, Fabianski!

And the GC is just heating up even more with the top 4 inside ten seconds. Should make for a very tense final sprint stage Smile Also nice to see Kragh get that top 10, which should secure him a very nice placing in the final GC taking the epilogue into consideration. He should be a great rider for such races, and good to see him make use of the chance when not having any sprinter in his team.
 
matt17br
If Laporte didn't get dropped this hard I would have been ok with him making the break. But he'd been our only point scorer thus far so it kind of hurts that his GC chances are also gone. Meh, dumb AI strikes again. Thanks Fabianski.
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jph27
I see we're now in real danger of Kemboi winning the GC here and upsetting all the PT managers. Oh well Pfft

Great reports as ever Fabianski!
 
SotD
Exactly like last year. One good sprint stage and 3 horrible ones and then possibly a GC top 5. One last shot at a good race rather than a mediocre one.

I need Coquard to be much better than this unfortunately...

Knowing my luck, Vlatos Will lose time on stage 5.

Kemboi is really interesting here”
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SportingNonsense
Another superb stage for Holloway, the best yet. A GC Top 10 is surely on the cards now, and with the same prologue stat as Bewley and Grosu, and better than Degenkolb, it's certainly still game on for the race win. I think I'd even make Bewley the slight favourite over Kemboi as it stands; so who gets the Stage 5 bonuses will of course be critical.

Surfing the wheels is definitely the way to go, he's found himself a fellow sprinter to act as leadout for three of the four stages now, with Van Stayen in that role today.

Thanks for the reports again Fabianski - the breakaway hunters served up a pretty crazy day.
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Roman
Another great report, fantastic to read them!

Somehow my train seems to work better than last year - good to see both Granjel Cabrera and Soupe being decent assets for the likely last go here for Bewley. Fantastic to see him winning a stage and taking the provisional lead. Grin
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roturn
Why trying for a sprint train with Bauhaus...this was obvious disaster...in relevant as Groenewegen had shown how good he is following others.

Basically need another top 5 now to not drop out of the top10GC in the end.

4 stages in, 2 good 2 fails. Let's hope the 5th is good again in perfect mix.
 
Fabianski
It'd actually be interesting to have a bet on the GC winner now, after stage 5 Grin
 
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