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Viana do Castelo Discussion
Viana do Castelo


There's a few races in cycling that flirt with the phrase "modern classic" - one-day races with a less storied history than Sanremo or Flanders, but with epic racing and scenes that fans go wild for. Strade Bianche is one. Viana do Castelo, coming into its fifth edition this year, is trying its best to be another. A unique profile which only the best can be victorious on, brutal altitude gain matched with rough cobbles makes for an intriguing spectacle, and the Portuguese coastline isn't half bad viewing for the few quiet moments in the race.

This parcours has lent itself to the brave and the bold in years gone by, with daring solos from pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vvg.png Brynjolfsson, Summerhill and Baugnies winning the last three editions, and an upset win for Lars Boom in 2016. As you can see there it has favoured the northern classics riders who can get over the hills well, with the long climb up to the Santuario de Santa Luzia on each lap accompanied by the long cobbled descent, requiring immense technical skill, the often-decisive centrepiece of it all. Usually, the pattern is thus: you lose the race on the rolling hills and cobbles, but you win it on the way to and from Santa Luzia.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nvo.png Kasperkiewicz797375667368
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nrh.png Van Keirsbulck787173657558
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/trg.png Maes786673557861
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vvg.png Kulppi776769597370
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bia.png Kluge766773617564
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Richardson786768616866
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Orue786470507773
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/del.png Van der Haar757272667078
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rak.png Kuroeda757077637671
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/lpu.png Joseph766670607677
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Corwin776664516675
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bia.png Langeveld747067547574
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/lpu.png Verhelst747369567271
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nrh.png Kumara756770627468
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bia.png Archimandritis737373727265
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/spr.png Hugentobler697769687068
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/spr.png Ghani747368687167
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/adr.png Naesen737269577360
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fca.png Mebrahtu737067697067
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nrh.png Coronel736870677170
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/spr.png Taramarcaz736571597272
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vvg.png Brynjolfsson736865617069
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mck.png Manamalage775964517161

An interesting long list of names, none of whom should be counted out. Some may feel they are missing out - if they do, they should stop reading and go to sleep because they have a race tomorrow and they're not going to prove me wrong without their forty winks!

The favourite on paper is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nvo.png Kasperkiewicz, and the young Pole has a point to prove after a tough outing in Denmark a few days ago. The former U23 World Champion is tipped as a star of the future and after a breakthrough victory in the Chrono d'Arenberg last season is now looking to show he has the goods as a leader by setting the CT alight. In his way this season and especially today is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nrh.png Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, who has been there and done that in the CT. Both have an advantage on the rest of the field as, apart from being two of the best cobblers, they both can get over hills better than some of their rivals, such as pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/trg.png Maes and the Azteca trio of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Orue, Richardson and Corwin.

Most of the other contenders don't have that winning combination of being among the best on the cobbles but decent on hills, they either are alright at both or just good at cobbles. Three riders break the bold and are maybe the three most interesting to watch outside of the top guns. First up is the PCT duo of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/del.png Van der Haar (who was 4th last year in a PCT field) and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rak.png Kuroeda. Both are real all-rounders with a specialty in the cobbles, who can both sprint and climb reasonably well and are major threats to the big names. The other name is also from cycling's second division, the 2016 Benelux Challenge winner pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/spr.png Hugentobler, the only major puncheur with any credibility over the cobbles on the startlist tomorrow. If he can hang around until the final couple of laps with some energy left he becomes a huge threat on the Santa Luzia climb. He's part of a dangerous-looking Sauber outfit with no big favourites but three names on our list and good depth.

Adastra - Hell Energy Cycling Toupalik Adam
Adastra - Hell Energy Cycling Vinther Troels
Adastra - Hell Energy Cycling Thill Tom
Adastra - Hell Energy Cycling Navardauskas Ramunas
Adastra - Hell Energy Cycling Stoenchev Valentin
Adastra - Hell Energy Cycling Amanuel Meron
Adastra - Hell Energy Cycling Ricco Riccardo
Adastra - Hell Energy Cycling Hughes Zachary
Adriatic Kontinentalna Selekcija Naesen Oliver
Adriatic Kontinentalna Selekcija Kaupas Gediminas
Adriatic Kontinentalna Selekcija Van Hoecke Gijs
Adriatic Kontinentalna Selekcija Finkst Tilen
Adriatic Kontinentalna Selekcija Boev Igor
Adriatic Kontinentalna Selekcija Pfingsten Christoph
Adriatic Kontinentalna Selekcija Mygind Rasmus
Adriatic Kontinentalna Selekcija Magnussen Davur
Azteca - NBCSN Richardson Chequan
Azteca - NBCSN Orue German Anibal
Azteca - NBCSN Corwin Dadley
Azteca - NBCSN Martins Sandoval Uri
Azteca - NBCSN Besada Felix Emilio
Azteca - NBCSN Vaquera Cesar
Azteca - NBCSN Mannion Gavin
Azteca - NBCSN Solis Oscar
Bianchi - Campagnolo Kluge Roger
Bianchi - Campagnolo Langeveld Sebastian
Bianchi - Campagnolo Archimandritis Armanto
Bianchi - Campagnolo Velasco Simone
Bianchi - Campagnolo Zaccanti Filippo
Bianchi - Campagnolo Barcelo Fernando
Bianchi - Campagnolo Storer Michael
Delvaux Van der Haar Lars
Delvaux Hofstede Lennard
Delvaux Vendrame Andrea
Delvaux Zariff Nur Aiman
Delvaux De Marchi Alessandro
Delvaux Moschella Artemio
Festina-Canal+ Mebrahtu Goton
Festina-Canal+ Konovalovas Ignas
Festina-Canal+ Mathis Marco
Festina-Canal+ Yemane Bereket
Festina-Canal+ Belmokhtar Abdelkader
Festina-Canal+ Pasqualon Andrea
Festina-Canal+ de Laat Jasper
Festina-Canal+ Bagot Yoann
Fox News - Flat Earth Society Howes Alex
Fox News - Flat Earth Society Korzh Pavel
Fox News - Flat Earth Society Mukaj Donald
Fox News - Flat Earth Society Rojas Villegas Cesar
Fox News - Flat Earth Society McCabe Travis
Fox News - Flat Earth Society Butler Christopher
Fox News - Flat Earth Society Vermeulen Alexey
Fox News - Flat Earth Society Wilson Nathan
Lierse SK - Pizza Ullo PCTeam Joseph Stijn
Lierse SK - Pizza Ullo PCTeam Verhelst Louis
Lierse SK - Pizza Ullo PCTeam Biermans Jenthe
Lierse SK - Pizza Ullo PCTeam Peeters Kevin
Lierse SK - Pizza Ullo PCTeam Dewulf Stan
Lierse SK - Pizza Ullo PCTeam Sajnok Szymon
McCormick Pro Cycling Manamalage Nipuna Shira
McCormick Pro Cycling Hoehn Alex
McCormick Pro Cycling Eisenhart Taylor
McCormick Pro Cycling Rhim Brendan
McCormick Pro Cycling Brown Connor
McCormick Pro Cycling Revard Thomas
McCormick Pro Cycling Granigan Noah
McCormick Pro Cycling Fung Ka Hoo
NENT Racing p/b Hootsuite Van Keirsbulck Guillaume
NENT Racing p/b Hootsuite Kumara Amith Udaya
NENT Racing p/b Hootsuite Coronel Samuel
NENT Racing p/b Hootsuite Villella Davide
NENT Racing p/b Hootsuite Fouche James
NENT Racing p/b Hootsuite Anderson Ryan
NENT Racing p/b Hootsuite Gaspar Joao
NENT Racing p/b Hootsuite Durasek Kristijan
Netia - Vonin Kasperkiewicz Przemyslaw
Netia - Vonin Kolev Iliyan
Netia - Vonin Malecki Kamil
Netia - Vonin Nielsen Joanis Albert
Netia - Vonin Rickaert Jonas
Netia - Vonin Sobota Kristian
Rakuten Pro Cycling Kuroeda Shiki
Rakuten Pro Cycling Arashiro Yudai
Rakuten Pro Cycling Silva Rafael
Rakuten Pro Cycling Onodera Rei
Rakuten Pro Cycling Natarov Yuriy
Rakuten Pro Cycling Cote Pier-Andre
Rakuten Pro Cycling Shirota Yamato
Rakuten Pro Cycling Hatsuyama Sho
Repsol - Honda Allonca Daniel
Repsol - Honda Horton Tobyn
Repsol - Honda Bou Company Joan
Repsol - Honda Carretero Millan Hector
Repsol - Honda Spengler Mario
Repsol - Honda Castaneda Jaime Alberto
Repsol - Honda Rienda Segura Juan Carlos
Repsol - Honda Ballesteros Miguel
Sauber Petronas Racing Ghani Muhammad Suhaimi
Sauber Petronas Racing Taramarcaz Julien
Sauber Petronas Racing Hugentobler Gregory
Sauber Petronas Racing Hirschi Marc
Sauber Petronas Racing Mano Yuttana
Sauber Petronas Racing Misbah Mushin
Sauber Petronas Racing Noia Carlo
Sauber Petronas Racing Zakaria Akmal Hakim
Signal Iduna Dupont Timothy
Signal Iduna Van Emden Jos
Signal Iduna Kal Mirac
Signal Iduna Naesen Lawrence
Signal Iduna Abelouache Essaid
Signal Iduna Mansilla Luis Miguel
Signal Iduna Nsengimana Jean Bosco
Signal Iduna Siskevicius Paulius
Tryg Insurance Cycling Team Maes Nikolas
Tryg Insurance Cycling Team Chokri El Mehdi
Tryg Insurance Cycling Team Honore Mikkel
Tryg Insurance Cycling Team Pedersen Casper
Tryg Insurance Cycling Team Norsgaard Mathias
Tryg Insurance Cycling Team Sleen Torjus
Tryg Insurance Cycling Team Abdurrahman Muhammad
Tryg Insurance Cycling Team Zimmermann Georg
Valio - Viking Genetics Kulppi Olli
Valio - Viking Genetics Brynjolfsson Kari
Valio - Viking Genetics Vainionpää Oskari
Valio - Viking Genetics Lindahl Jesper
Valio - Viking Genetics Helme Sasu
Valio - Viking Genetics Pietikäinen Sauli
Valio - Viking Genetics Larsen Trond
Valio - Viking Genetics Hänninen Jaako
And the last one of our horrible race clashes. Kasperkiewicz' race to lose, hoping for another top 10 and some minor points for my team.

Also the first time we meet Fox News, making the botd should be their only goal.
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
After van der Haar's performance last season, I had to come back here. With his great downhill skills in addition to being good on cobbles and in the hills, there's barely a race that suits him better. Would be great if he could match his result from last year, although he'll have no help from Breen and Verbist this time.
Hoping to get a good result from GVK here, sent out a few mixed bags here with Gaspar and Villella as well, going to be interesting to see how this race unfolds, one of the most interesting parcours in the season.
Non-Pcmgraphical request center:https://pcmdaily.c...ost_471564

NENT Racing p/b Hootsuite Manager
This is easily one of my favorite races, with an incredibly unique style to it. Obviously I don't come in with Summerhill anymore but hopefully can still get a result. My trio doesn't climb that well, so we will have to push for more selective cobbles.
Mainly picked this race for the youngsters and to give Ghani and Taramarcaz a chance to show what they can do.

Then looking at the profile I couldn't resist bringing Greggy as a wildcard option to try and throw a spanner in the works with him having a unique skillset for this race compared tot eh rest of the field. I don't really expect there to be anyone else wanting to press on when he does though so am less confident now then I was at the start of the season.
Hmm main concern is that after two of those climbs, 70% of the rider will crack.

Picked this race especially for Kuroeda, as Im hoping he can be a solid point scorer here, not something I can say about most of my riders in a CT race with the limitations in place.
With Maes mediocre at best on the climbs and not much better at descending he'll need to be at his best to score here. Minimal support, and a long list of favourites, doesn't get my hopes too high, but we will hope for the best.
This race is perfect for Naesen, go go go!!
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Congratulations to whitejersey, and the entire NENT team for a really impressive result, and a thrilling read provided by the reporting of jandal7. Talk about an epic. Really proud of the boys for their work in chasing down the breakaway, a strong performance from a very young team, especially Chokri and Pedersen. The end result feels like a poor reflection on the hardwork that we did today, but we knew this coming in to the season. The support around our leaders is young, developing, and therefore weak, so in situations like these, where that support is called upon, we will suffer. Nonetheless, a rather disappointing result from Maes, who probably should have settled for a mediocre result earlier rather than continuing to push to the detriment of his final position, a forgivable mistake given the conditions he was placed under. After the disappointment in Herning it was probably not a result we were hoping for, but we can still take some good things away from this race.
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A bit disappointing to see Joseph and Verhelst drop so far back in the end. GVK starting to look like his ICL counterpart Wink

Thanks for the excellent report!
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
GVK IS BACK BABY! Finally manage to win this absolute beaut of a classic! Three riders in the top 6 as well, great rides from Coronel and Kumara as well as GVK. The report had me on the edge of my seat throughout great race! Got to admit I was scared that Kaspa had it with initial move he distanced GVK.
Non-Pcmgraphical request center:https://pcmdaily.c...ost_471564

NENT Racing p/b Hootsuite Manager
Report of the year already? Awesome race, awesome coverage, and awesome AI!

Adriatic with a great ride as well, and eventhough it doesn't provide a lot of points the team did a fantastic job with 5 in the Top 25!
Well a decent result for us. Silva tried in his home race, a great effort by him. Too bad he waited up a bit, he may have had a better result, but Kuroeda cracking too was unfortunate, he may have done better as well.

Obviously neither were strong enough to win though, so cant be too upset. Congrats to NENT.

Thanks for the report, that was awesome to follow.
Not in this race so just here to say congrats to the winner(s), and thanks for an exceptionally beautiful report.
Incredible race, and a fitting report with it! I second Croatia, we already have a very strong award contender in February.
Ulrich Ulriksen
Manamalage proving he is truly one-dimensional. Literally a flat track bully.

Thanks to Jandal for a great report.
Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
Ulrich Ulriksen wrote:
Manamalage proving he is truly one-dimensional. Literally a flat track bully.

A real David Warner Pfft
30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing
[CX] Listerijns & Kiwis

3x i.imgur.com/wM6Wok5.png x3
Fantastic report!

It was always going to be tough to catch a duo as strong as Kasperkiewicz and Van Keirsbulck alone, but van der Haar gave it a good try and that is all I can ask. Good race from him!
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