How The Race Was Won – Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2014

Apr 28 2014

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The action was back-loaded into this year’s event, but the sudden swings of fortune and what-if moments were all still there in abundance. In many ways, the riders were one, but they were not the same…


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13 Responses to “How The Race Was Won – Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2014”

  1. RayG 28 April 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    So, Simon Gerrans is in a “nice cozy armchair” and “still not working that hard”. But Dan Martin is “cool”, “chilling” and “not hinting at an attack” when he’s doing the same sitting on.


    • Cosmo Catalano 28 April 2014 at 10:57 pm #

      It’s definitely similar—but I’m getting the sense you think getting an armchair ride somehow makes Gerro’ less worthy? Lemme see if I can spell out what I mean a little better:

      The difference in the terms I used stems mostly from the fact that Gerrans had a little more team support in the final 10K, helping him keep near the front, and controlling the pace. It meant he only had to make big efforts on his own 1) marking Valverde/Gilbert at 5k to go (and it might not have been that big an effort) 2) following Gilbert/Valverde’s surge right before the final corner, and 3) launching the final sprint. As a racer, that’s what you want: to expend as little energy as possible until the moment you make your move.

      Martin, who can’t count on the sprint like Gerrans, could have burned a lot of matches playing surge-and-look-back with the other hilly classics specialists in a desperate attempt to escape before the end. Instead, he saved it all for one huge move at the last possible moment—”cool” in this case refers to being relaxed; refraining from panic or overeagerness. Even in a fantasy world where I’ve got pro watts/handling skills, I could never have the confidence to sit dead last in a bunch that big, 3k from the end, knowing that at some point, I had to break away from at least some of the group to win.

      Both of them rode awesome races up to the final corner, and both of their teams rode awesome races getting them through the previous 260km. They each just did it in different ways, which I attempt (in a scant 4 minutes) to explain in the video. I don’t think either one of them “deserved” it more than the other, though it would have been great see how it play out without Martin going down.

      • Carn Soaks 29 April 2014 at 2:24 pm #

        I was a little upset to see Slatger didn’t give a hand to Martin in a similar manner to Weening for Gerrans, but it may have just been coverage. I know JV would have told them to let others do the work and trust the group (too may big names to let those small guys steal the show), as happened.
        As per last year, the winner came from the organisation that had that one other rider happy to lay it all on the line somewhere in that final 5 k.
        Last year, Ryder, this year Pieter(!#@$ race), just to be there.

        I saw lots of blogentators saying it was BORING but Fme, it was a nail biter. 20 guys had a chance at 3k to go.
        From the Forges on, every time someone moved off the front, I was stretched out on couch reaching for another comfort pringle.
        People also forget there was an extra “hill” in between Redoute and SaNicola. Usually its either Forges or Falcons, not both.

        I Missed the Arrow of Walloon, but I know you’d only have a 30 second article and lose they day job. BUT it’d be worth it. Catalano’s could move to Oz, go on welfare (love socialism) and just do HTRWW day in day out.

  2. Nibbles 29 April 2014 at 2:22 am #

    Excellent analysis, as usual. Thanks.

  3. stijn 30 April 2014 at 1:16 am #

    not that it matters, but was he (Dan Martin) on Mavic tires? Maybe he slid on the blacked out labels? 🙂
    Crazy thin (too new?) 19mm tubs + 7.5Bar (dedicated to climb) + pro wattage = looks like a classic whipeout to me.
    Too bad for the man with the classic handlebars…

  4. John Seymour 30 April 2014 at 5:33 am #

    To my view, Martin grounded his inside pedal on that corner as the cause for his fall. If so, he would have been aware of this, and have not heard him acknowledge such in the press … ? consequence of longer crank length given his tall build

    • CarnSoaks 5 May 2014 at 2:54 pm #

      Martin skipped his pedal on pavement in the corner. Thats what caused him to slide out.
      For UKe’s, > listen to “The Cycling Podcast” where they discuss.
      I zoomed it up to 300% and it is pretty clear this Fatigue Mistake is the cause. “Luck of the irish?”

  5. kosmik osmo 30 April 2014 at 6:06 am #

    bono. bono. i see what you did there.

    • stijn 30 April 2014 at 12:21 pm #

      Try grounding a pedal, then confirm it wouldn’t cause you to crash…

      • Richard 30 April 2014 at 12:27 pm #

        Definitely a possibility. A grounded pedal doesn’t always allow for more forward momentum by scraping over the corner. Unfortunately, sometimes the body of the pedal catches and causes a fall.

      • kosmik osmo 30 April 2014 at 11:23 pm #

        schwat? i was talking about the u2 jokes. subtle and intelligent. like bono.

        …oh but i have def had a few pedal strikes in my day. none of them caused me to crash but i can certainly see why they would… i think you maybe just responded to the wrong person?

  6. John Semmelhack 1 May 2014 at 12:51 am #

    He definitely didn’t ground his pedal. Grounding a pedal would have caused his rear to skip, and then (perhaps) slide.

    • CarnSoaks 5 May 2014 at 2:57 pm #

      His back does skip and slides out, to bad though, as now every aussie Sports commentator thinks Gerro is the Best ever Ozzie,,, mmm? Cadel?

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