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SwingingPick
24 Mar 17 10:11
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Date Joined: 11 Jul 11
| Topic/replies: 5,587 | Blogger: SwingingPick's blog
Prices are few and far between and it's difficult to look past Sagan, but not at 2/1. Will wait to maybe get 5/2, W/O. No market on the exchange, presently.

I think Terpstra is coming along, but might just require this to reach his his winning level, so will take a wait-and-watch approach with him at this point.

* Oliver Naesen (53.) 26yo Belgian riding for ALM, who looks to be in peak condition for this race. He rode very well last start in DDV a couple of days ago for 6th, after suffering a mechanical at a critical time and still getting into the thick of things on his own. Has shown very consistent form on the cobbles earlier in the season too, when going 7th at OHN and 8th in KBK.

He showed his top level potential last season when finishing 2nd to Terpstra on GC and ahead of Sagan and GVA in the Eneco Tour, whilst earlier winning the monument-level Bretagne Classic over 247kms against a top class field. Opened at 25/1, and I think the Books have overlooked him on an E/W basis -- he holds good appeal.

One of the main contenders. Expect a bold showing.
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Report SwingingPick March 24, 2017 9:16 AM GMT
Market on the exchange being compiled now...
Report CJ70 March 24, 2017 5:12 PM GMT
Excellent shout on Naesen, SP.

I watched it from a local hostelry so didn't get in on the action myself. Great race.
Report SwingingPick March 24, 2017 5:15 PM GMT
Very good race, happy to get a Naesen return from place terms, although I think he was in with a big shout for the win, and reject any (comms and online) suggestions he was the weakest of the three. He might require some work on the hellingen in order to be a more complete rider over these (home) courses, however he never gave up to bridge back across after losing contact to Gilbert and GVA, from the former rider's attack and added motorbike assistance. It was a very fine ride to suck-up the lactic on the descent and rejoin so swiftly. Later, I think he was bossed a bit by Gilbert when GVA missed a turn to take a gel, and that might have had a psychological effect on him in terms of thinking he would have to go first in the sprint, perhaps. Hard to tell, but clearly he had the wrong gear for leading out the sprint first and was easily covered by GVA who took his customary two bites, and Gilbert coming even harder.

In relation to the race on the whole, I was thinking how smart Sagan was riding again, when the push came on the wide road ahead of the Taaienberg by sensing the imminent fight for position and coming into the head of the race. Terpstra and Vanmarcke did the same and upon reaching the climb the latter two were in perfect position, but came off their bikes because of Bauer's crash. Sagan looked like he was toying with the other riders when sitting on Boonen driving the pace on this "staging ground" hellingen, but he must not have felt that strong since he didn't want to work to get back on with the race-winning group soon after, which he could easily have if felt inclined. Even when the Panzerwagon had the peloton stretched out soon after, Sagan was slow to respond to what was happening, almost like he didn't want to work for 56kms and purposefully resisted any co-operation for a hard ride. My assessment is that he was on the lazy side today, and might have needed that ride ahead of Flanders next week or has his mind set on Flanders, and even his defence of GWinFF, this Sunday. I don't want him to become difficult, but he looked like he needed that ride.

There were a few interesting rides, but it might be a challenge to align them across the length of Flanders week and into Roubaix, so will look at them in isolation and see what comes up strongest using my timeform ratings approach.
Report SwingingPick March 24, 2017 5:21 PM GMT
Cheers CJ, would've been a nice collect if he had selected gears more shrewdly and kept the gap he opened-up.

Very good crowds along the race route as is expected -- hope you had a great time mate. Would really enjoy being roadside one day during Flanders week, although I'm not sure I would be doing much betting -- hear the beer is pretty good over there;-) Will you be staying on to watch Flanders, next week?
Report bigH March 24, 2017 10:57 PM GMT
I love the spring classics - it is going to be a great few weeks.
Report CJ70 March 25, 2017 1:02 PM GMT

Mar 24, 2017 -- 6:21PM, SwingingPick wrote:


Cheers CJ, would've been a nice collect if he had selected gears more shrewdly and kept the gap he opened-up. Very good crowds along the race route as is expected -- hope you had a great time mate. Would really enjoy being roadside one day during Flanders week, although I'm not sure I would be doing much betting -- hear the beer is pretty good over there;-) Will you be staying on to watch Flanders, next week?


Hoping to be able to be in the office and participate in any midweek races. Will sit out GW as I'm due at an event.

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