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PCM.daily » PCM.daily's Management Game » [Man-Game] General
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Rheden GP Discussion

The late September air has begun to hold the chill of autumn here in the Netherlands, and thus it is once again time for the Rheden GP, a PTHC cobbled race held on that same day as its competitor, the Tour of the Battenkill.

The profile remains largely similar to years prior. There are cobbles throughout, and while the route is classified as flat, there are some minor bumps along the way. The finale takes place itself on cobblestones, which will hopefully add some interest to any final sprint. At only 185 km, the length shouldn't really have an effect on anyone by itself.

Unfortunately, in the past few years, the race has been fairly boring and unselective. Sep Vanmarcke won from a bunch sprint last year, and that pattern has persisted with groups of various sizes in every edition except 2017, when Sam Bewley won from a solo move. There have been some storms which have decreased the quality of the cobbled roads though coming into this year. perhaps this will make the race more interesting!

The clash with the Tour of the Battenkill, also a PTHC race, has made the field here much weaker than it would be otherwise. Seeing results from previous years, some managers decided to instead focus on strong sprinters as their leaders here. Will that payoff, or will the cobblers be able to capitalize on a small field? Let's take a look at them first. You may see some repeats with the sprinters later.

Cobbles Leaders

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Blythe82767371
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Senechal82697474
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ubs.png Spengler82617073
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Trentin81757671
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Daniel80767276
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/lpu.png Vanbilsen80727174
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Kristoff78837971
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/del.png Breen78737272
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/isa.png Bush78717373
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Polanc78677573
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Pedersen77767579
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Per77727474

The first thing that you notice are the names that aren't here. With so many PT and PCT cobblers missing, including Sam Bewley, the contenders are a lot smaller and number and have bigger differences between them.

The biggest benefactor of this startlist on paper should be last year's runner up, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Adam Blythe. Blythe is backed up by a strong Evonik team and has perhaps the best strength on cobbles in the race as well. Plus, he is a good sprinter, which as he and and the rest of us have learned over the years, is very important here. He could even get a leadout here in a reduced bunch, who knows.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Trentin is a very similar rider - strong on the pave and packing a good kick to back it up. His team isn't quite as deep, but he's got pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Burghardt as a strong, experienced lieutenant. He's also the best puncheur of the favorites, though the relevance of such a distinction with these parcours is questionable.

While we're on this string of similar riders, it probably makes sense to mention pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Maxime Daniel as well. He has had a pretty lackluster season this year, but this race should suit him as well as any. He can make selections and outsprint people on his good days. He's been waiting for one of those for a while, however. In the case the race is mundane, he could also be a good leadout for pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Weber, who is a stronger sprinter and could survive in his own right.

For a rider like pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Senechal, these hypothetical group sprint situations are not ideal. He's not super slow or anything, but his strength is on the cobblestones, and that's where he'll hope to make the difference. With the Battenkill clash, his team is slightly weaker then usual, with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Zubov as his only real helper. That being said, since his success will likely rely on aggression, that might be all he needs.

Young pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ubs.png Lukas Spengler will likely have a similar plan of attack, although he actually is super slow. For the 25 year old, he will need to force selection as much as possible. If he doesn't, he will likely finish near the back of whatever size group he's in, unless he is significantly fresher. I'd be surprised is UBS wasn't pushing the tempo with their superdomestiques throughout.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/lpu.png Kenneth Vanbilsen will be looking to take a placing that secures his team can avoid the relegation zone in PCT this year. He certainly has the skills to do it, with strength on the cobblestones and a decent, if not great, finishing kick. He probably wishes the race was a bit longer though, as that's where he really makes his money. Besides ol' reliable pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/lpu.png Joseph, he won't have much help here.

While the clash has hurt some teams, it has also helped some teams with multiple leaders. Looking at the past editions, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Alexander Kristoff should be the ideal rider for this race. With his teammate GVA in New York, the Norwegian assumes leadership. He is both perhaps the strongest sprinter in the race and one of the best on stones. He is certainly the best combination. One downfall of the leader split strategy, however, is that it leaves him with little support.

Those who like to see the young guns succeed should keep an eye on pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Mads Pedersen. This could be a breakout race for someone with his skillset. He's got a unique chance to lead here because of the clash, and has shown the capability to attack on cobbles and sprint recently, at only 24.

Of course, the list of guys who are strong in classics and decent in sprints here is long. ISA will bring pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/isa.png Bush, also carrying sprinter pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/isa.png Harrison if the race is less selective - a formula that has worked well for years. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/del.png Breen will hope to use his versatility in a unique opportunity. The same can be said for the always improving pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Per, who comes here in tandem with climber/classics hybrid pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Polanc.


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eur.png Lo Cicero69847863
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Kristoff78837971
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/phi.png Saber76817972
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Van Heerden70817266
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Petit72807872
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/phi.png Havik76797668
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/xr0.png Rowe75798070
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Lander73797772
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/lpu.png Peeters68797768
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/yor.png Thwaites76787670
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/isa.png Harrison73788170
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eur.png Modolo68788172
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Weber75777769
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/emo.png Lovassy73777768

There are a LOT of sprinters here. And I mean a LOT. A lot of random leadout men are here that didn't know unpaved roads even existed. So, for the sake of the preview, I have condensed this list by including only those who are at least serviceable on cobblestones. While it's technically possible that those like pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Goss, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/emo.png Vanoverschelde, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/yor.png Rowe, and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Serebriakov could win a group sprint here, history has told us it's very unlikely. We expect the cobbles to at least do something. Even when large groups come in together, these guys will likely be too tired to fight it out. But it's not impossible.

First, we have the pure sprinters, of which pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eur.png Lo Cicero has the fastest top speed. Like the names above, I'm not sure he has the cobbles strength or resistance to actually succeed here, but he's not horrendous enough to exclude him. His team is certainly going all in on him, having sent 4 strong leadout sprinters along, I suppose with the hopes that one of them can survive too.

The rest of the pure sprinters are mostly teammates of strong classics guys who are here as a foil in case the race is uneventful. That includes pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Petit, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Van Heerden, and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/lpu.png Peeters. It could also include pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Lander if you say pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Zhupa is a legitimate option, but Farfetch are probably better off trying to keep the race together for the Dane.

Alright, on to the true hybrids who could contend from a reduced group. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Kristoff is best of them, but we've always talked about him. But yeah, he's the best.

Right behind him is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/phi.png Saber. Saber is very quick and has been known to do very well in less selective cobbled races. This is basically his niche that he has managed to carve out a value of 375k wages on, and he's very good at it. Plus, he has the perfect sidekick in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/phi.png Havik, who is the same rider type, but just a slightly worse sprinter. If the pack is reduced, but not broken up by the end, they could have a legitimate leadout that no other team can match.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/xr0.png Rowe fills a similar niche for Zero, with more emphasis on how fast he can get to top speed. Nobody's really going to help him with that, but his acceleration means he could pip whoever's wheel he gets by launching pretty late and still being able to come around.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/yor.png Thwaites comes from the same mold as a guy like Havik, but he's a slightly worse sprinter. After a cobbled race, those minute difference might not matter much, and he'll definitely be in the mix.

Finally, you have the guys mentioned previously as foils for their leaders. The aforementioned pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Weber and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/isa.png Harrison could excel, and we'll give pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/emo.png Lovassy a mention too, although it's up for debate whether he has the intangibles for a race like this.

Besides all of this, it is vitally important to remember that this race finishes ON the cobblestones. How top sprinters will adapt to this, if they are present, is uncertain. We'll just have to find out tomorrow when one of the possible scenarios will come to fruition!

A rare chance for Pedersen to shine. He won't have much help, but hopefully he can fight for a top 10. He did well in ToNE and the startlist isn't super strong, so I think he has a good chance here. Looking forward to seeing a race on the cobbles without Bewley!
This could be a good opportunity for Breen to score a nice result. Hopefully we'll have a hard enough race to shake off some of the better sprinters.
This could be a really important race for us, really need trentin to deliver here!
Really curious to see this race. The startlist promised to be easier and it certainly delivered on that aspect.

Based on past years Kristoff is probably the favourite but i also see good odds for Blythe. Fingers crossed.
A Big Thank You To All MG Reporters!
And To All Who Organize Something On Daily As Well!

This looks like a Per-race to me. Go David!
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Why on earth did I use Lo Ciceros racedays here....Pfft
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All the (main) eggs in the Rheden basket, lets hope we get a decent points return from Bush/Bolivar/Harrison. Our staigiares also get a rare outing outside of C2 events as the clash means bodies required to complete roster. Hope this seasons event is a little more selective than in recent times, just not too much!
Manager of ISA - Hexacta in the MG
Still a harder startlist than I was hoping for. Expectations thus are lower. This is our last goal race of the season and a last chance to get a goal! Let's see if Saber can do something, with Havik for support.
Good racing from our team, slightly underwhelming result. Polanc very passive, Per however showing what he's capable of. Can't wait for him next year!
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Admittedly I missed we were in this race, but wow, what a report. Thank you for that, bbl!

Also great to see us make a race of it and put riders up front when we don't have a team to compete at the very end. Must say I thought we were running away with it together with Van Der Sande, which would have been quite something Pfft Though, having Pruus and Gjolberg finish 17th and 18th here is a bonus. And then there's Hampus, showing that he'll be one to count on moving forward considering the cobbles. Great to see!

Also congratulations to Indosat. Kristoff is a great, great rider in PCM 18! Smile
Wow, I forgot we were here until I saw Hirschi popping up with a 24th place finish, I didn't think we'd get anything out of the cobbles all year so it's a very welcome surprise.
Needed both Saber and Havik to be 10 places higher up each. So although this is an expected result, for PCM 18, it is not enough for us.

Congrats to Eden and thanks for the report bbl Smile
Another quite unselective Rheden GP, so happy we went with Pedersen here. The boy did a great job and nice to have him finishing in the top 10. Brilliant win by Kristoff!
Kristoff has had a wonderful season, a great way to cap it off here with a win in Rheden! Was hoping for an unselective race and a large group contesting the sprint together at the end and luckily it payed off.

Thanks for the report, too!
Indosat - ANZ HQ

"This Schleck sandwich is going to cause serious indigestion for Evans" - Phil Liggett
Vanbilsen with a solid defensive ride, probably what we need at this point in the season.
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
Awesome performance from Bush to secure 2nd, exactly what we needed to boost morale after a poor showing at ToA. Bolivar backs up also in the points, but Bush the real star of the show here for us given the way he raced and finished things off.

Congrats to Eden on the victory (not overly surprising, as a race that Kristoff suits exactly), and thanks to BBL for the in-depth report.
Manager of ISA - Hexacta in the MG
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