The Pro Cycling Thread

Ewan gets his first win in stage one of the Tour of Oman - A well constructed leadout and solid ride by Ewan. Garcia rides into third in the Queen stage of the UAE Tour.

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Nice ride from Neve Bradbury to just be pipped by Kopecky at UAE.

Ben O’Connor gets AG2Rs first win of the season at Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia.

Bradbury has to be one target for Liv Alula Jayco in 2025, unless they can get one of the big guns from SD Worx. Garcia rode through her skin to get 3rd on GC in a race the team had to convince her to target. Only concern is that nearly the whole team was involved in a crash in the last 200 metres and Garcia is supposed to lead the team in the Setmana Cyclista in Spain on Thursday.

O’Connor rather than Hindley is the one Jayco should be chasing for 2025 - Get him to concentrate on one day races and one week stage races - Have him as a back GC rider at GT’s.

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Disappointing sprint today by Ewan in the reconfigured stage three of the Tour of Oman. Had a perfect lead out and an inform Ewan should have nailed that finish.

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Excellent effort by Da Pretto to finish 3rd in stage four of the Oman Tour - An even better effort by Durbridge in the last 6kms.

Roseman Gannon is riding A Grade Coburg crits as of three days ago.

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Gigante was a regular at Hawthorn crits at the tear drop over summer. She rode both the open (mens) B grade and then won the womens A grade last Wednesday. She just returned to Europe I understand.

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Jayco team for UAE is Groenewegen, Mezgec, O’Brien, reinders, Maas, Pena and dunbar - Unfortunately, Plapp is a last minute out as he was podium material in this race. Dunbar and Pena will lose time in the ITT and are vulnerable in cross winds. The sprint field is stacked with only Philipsen missing.

Very disappointing effort by Garcia in stage two of Femme Valenciana - Was in the leading group of 11 after the final climb and somehow her and Realini lost over a minute on the descent - And I’ll add they didn’t seem to be trying too hard.

Ruta Del Sol was a washout with only one stage because of farmer’s protest - Jayco were disappointed because they thought Berhe could do a top 10 GC.

I am interested in Ewan’s program until the Giro - I know he is riding TA and MSR - His program is complicated because the first preference of he and Groenewegen was to ride the Giro so management had to make a call. Groenwegen having the TDF means that he had a certain calendar to follow which was further complicated because Ewan does not want to ride in Belgium this year. Finally, Schmid has suffered some kind of setback and is yet to make his seasonal debut.

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Dunbar injured again.

What can you do when you safely stop behind the mass crash and then a rider hits you from behind and throws you over the handlebars - Think Jayco would do better for him to miss the Giro and help Yates at the TDF - A lazy performance by the team in stage one and it also contained questionable tactics - The team rode at the back of the peleton and moved up far too late for the sprint - At the same time they gave O’Brien the day off ( who should be at opening weekend ) to prepare for the ITT - In stage four they need to be aggressive send a rider to control the break and try to control the race in the last 3kms.

I have seen the proposed team for opening weekend and its poor. O’Brien should be the there, and why is Bling missing. Finally, think they need to use Grondahl Jansen as part of the sprint train. They’ve got him fit and he can ride well from 3kms to 1kms.

Ben O’Connor wins a top Jebel Jais, UAE stage 3.
Vine 2nd - seemed to be caught between trying to protect McNulty or go with O’Connor & AGR2’s attack. Vine does take the GC lead.
Vine will like his chances on Jebel Hafeet.

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O’Connor was my selection for stage three, although he is less suited by Jebel Hafeet. The stage two ITT was frustrating as I reckon Plapp would have won that ITT. Groenwegen was shocking in stage 4 - In perfect position and went backwards - I am yet to be convinced by Ewan, so Jayco’s sprinters have lots of work to do.

Jayco could not have named a worse team for Opening weekend - Durbridge, Jansen, Stewart, Juul-Jensen, Craddock, Quick and Foldager - Jansen has previously made the final at this race, while Foldager the Neo-pro is having his first race day - Watch Foldager this year because he is strong and tactically astute and I predict he will win two races. Walscheid will come in for KBK and he can get a good result if he makes the final. Long range prediction for Strade Bianche. Zana is good on this terrain and could do a top 10 or better.

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Yet again the race program of the women’s Jayco team is baffling. They could have saved Paternoster from Omlopp and then rode either a one day race in Belgium or Spain on the Sunday and then La Samyn Dames on Tuesday - Instead the conti team is riding the one day race in Belgium on Sunday.

I do worry about Gigante’s program. her next race is Alfredo Binda in mid March which means no races for nearly two months - her big issue throughout her career is a lack of consistency in her race days. Anyway she is down to ride the Vuelta which is the most suitable GT for her in 2024.

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Anyone worked out how to watch cycling in Australia now. We used to have GCN and it suvjs it’s gone. Apparently you can vpn to discovery plus, but can you sign up to discovery plus? Has anyone worked it out?

Nothing really works unless you have a VPN.
If you have a VPN you can pretend to be in Europe or the USA, and then subscribe to Eurosport or Discovery plus (you’ll need to use a foreign payment method).

I guess Tiz cycling may work if you have a good add blocked and anti virus scheme.

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Yeah vpn I can do it’s the foreign payment that’s not ideal.

Thanks though.

Tiz cycling or Cycling Today are fine. SBS STill have ASO races.

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Opening weekend is done - Omloop was a strange race splitting up in the crosswinds with 60km. A group of six with 3 Jumbo riders seemed to have the race in control a minute up approaching the Muur with 30kms to go - All of a sudden the chasing peleton caught up after the Muur and we had around 30 riders into the final 5kms. Politt and Tratnik who both missed the split earlier in the race and were allowed to ride away with Tratnik winning. Jayco as expected got their heads kicked in with their best finisher Durbridge finishing 53rd. had more hopes for jayco at KBK - Knew Jumbo would split up the race in the hill section in the middle third of the race. It was a matter of whether they could bring back the leaders or sprint for a top ten. Unfortunately after jayco worked hard to get Walscheid into position he was caught up in a crash on the final corner. Jayco are poor at playing the numbers game in the final of these big races . When you are going for a top ten and you have Walscheid or Stewart you allow them to sprint independently. Anyway, a dominant VWA won a three man sprint from Wellens and Lazkano. No luck for the team in the final stage of the UAE Tour. Pena punctured before the hafeet climb and had to be brought back by Mezgec for the first 1km of the climb. Reckon this cost him 30 seconds on the final climb. A poor race for Jayco at the UAE Tour - Dunbar was crashed into in stage two, while Groenewegen was either too close or too far back in the final of the sprint. I know that Merlier won three stages and was fast, however, they were messy sprints in which you need good instincts and a dose of luck. I suspect sprints will be like this at GT’s unless you have dominant lead out riders like MVP or VWA.

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Big week/weekend of cycling with Strade Bianche men’s and women’s on Saturday, PN starting on Sunday and TA on Monday.

Women’s team for SB is a s good as they could select in Garcia, Wylie, Roseman-Gannon, Petersen, Pate and Manly. A top 10 is a possibility.
Men’s team is Zana, DeMarchi, DaPretto, Englehardt, Juul-Jensen, Porter and Craddock. Zana can get a good result as he was very good in the Autumn version of this race in October - For some reason Yates is a late withdrawal not that he would have featured in the final, while Schmid is a no go at the moment.

PN has a good team with Groenwegen, reinders, mezgec, Matthews, Harper, Plapp and Durbridge - Harper, Bling and Plapp have returned from altitude - Groenewgen for the two flat sprint, Bling for the two hillier finishes and lets see what Plapp can do in GC in a very suitable course.
TA will fetaure Ewan, Walscheid, Stewart, Yates, Zana, De marchi and Juul-Jensen. If Yates rides he should get a good GC result and lets see how ewan goes in the sprints.

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Plapp into the lead at Paris Nice after being 2nd to Buitrago on stage 4.
Matthews pulled out due to sickness.

Ewan isn’t having a good time of it at TA, though.

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