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Ronde van Vlaanderen Discussion
Ronde van Vlaanderen

Welcome to the second monument of the year, Flanders' Most Beautiful, a race that needs no introduction: the Ronde van Vlaanderen.


No changes to the profile from last year. Lots of short, steep hills, lots of cobbles, especially concentrated in the final third of the race. It’s De Ronde - you know the drill.

Top Favorites
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/amc.png Summerhill78837372767073
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/grm.png Wisniowski80837176757376
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/hsk.png Gerts77817880767270
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/grm.png Pedersen77816980787877
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/kng.png Kasperkiewicz76817477755966
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/ubs.png Spengler74836673726170
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/tti.png Senechal75826774796974
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/tti.png Kamyshev77826575816660
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/cdb.png Trentin74817471767576
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/map.png Bewley76816973758180
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/mol.png Theuns72807473767776
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/gzl.png Teunissen76816773776769

Last year, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/amc.png Danny Summerhill won the race ahead of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/grm.png Lukasz Wisniowski, and the two top the list of favorites again this year. They are two of the very best pure cobblestone riders and have decent hill and all around backup stats - although there are riders who are stronger in those aspects.

Chief among them is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/hsk.png Floris Gerts. The Dutch finished 6th last year but has since improved on his cobbles skills, and he is already easily the best puncheur in this group, in addition to elite resistance. Similar resistance is only found with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/grm.png Mads Pedersen, who also has elite stamina and is an excellent sprinter - but he’s not the greatest on hills.

Hills are better terrain for pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/kng.png Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz, who’s just a really well-rounded rider, his only weakness being that he couldn’t win a sprint if his life depended on it. He’ll need to hope for or cause as much selectiveness as possible. The same is also true for pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/tti.png Arman Kamyshev, one of two Tinkoff leaders here. With barely any acceleration to speak of, he might have a tough time following attacks, but in terms of just grinding it out, especially late in the day, he’s up there with the best of them.

Both he and his teammate pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/tti.png Florian Senechal, who is a good bit more explosive but slightly less durable, aren’t great on hills though, and neither is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/ubs.png Lukas Spengler. The Swiss, representing the first of two wild card teams (UBS), is among the very best as a pure cobblestone rider, but his lackluster secondary stats across the board have often prevented him from achieving absolute top results.

Speaking of absolute top results: Have you heard of our cobbles lord and savior, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/map.png Sam Bewley? As we’ll see below, there’s no one who compares to him over the last decade in terms of dominating this as well as most cobblestone races. But age continues to catch up with him. He’s still a force to be reckoned with and would be the far and away favorite in any group sprint, but he’s not quite the steam engine he used to be.

Rounding out the tier of main contenders are second wild card team hopeful pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/cdb.png Matteo Trentin, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/mol.png Edward Theuns and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/gzl.png Mike Teunissen. The former two are very similar types of riders: decent puncheurs, very quick finishers, but not among the very best in terms of either cobbles, stamina or resistance. The MOL leader is in fact the worst pure cobbler in this pack, but he’s got his other strengths to compensate. Teunissen cannot count on any such distinction in hills or sprints, but still has an engine big enough to warrant a mention here.

Given the historic importance of this race, let’s actually have a look at the history of our top favorites:

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/amc.png Summerhill1.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/grm.png Wisniowski2.5.14.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/hsk.png Gerts6.15.15.18.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/grm.png Pedersen26.16.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/kng.png Kasperkiewicz20.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/ubs.png Spengler12.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/tti.png Senechal10.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/tti.png Kamyshev9.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/cdb.png Trentin10.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/map.png Bewley3.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/mol.png Theuns8.6.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/gzl.png Teunissen11.

Above all else, this is a demonstration of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/map.png Bewley’s greatness: 8 consecutive podium finishes, including 4 wins. But it also shows the longevity of someone like pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/amc.png Summerhill, who managed to finish in the Top 10 as far back as 2011. Other notable results include 3 Top 5 finishes from pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/tti.png Senechal and 2 from both pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/grm.png Wisniowski and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/gzl.png Teunissen, as well as an impressive 5 Top 10 finishes from pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/cdb.png Trentin.

On the other side of the spectrum, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/grm.png Pedersen, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/kng.png Kasperkiewicz and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/ubs.png Spengler are the guys still missing a Top 10 on their palmares. But it could very well be the year for them to add it.

Outsiders and Top Domestiques
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/iso.png Per79797075747474
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/aeg.png Van Hooydonck73807174756172
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/gen.png Debesay75797479756978
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/gen.png Gaday71787572757173
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/fpc.png Tiller74787075767473
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/evo.png Polanc72787373786775
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/evo.png Neilands77786973747167
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/tti.png Sulimov73797071776571
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/tti.png Zubov68796369706169
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/kng.png Ferreira73796870747169
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/map.png van den Berg77776477777170
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/grm.png Ringheim72786771757375
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/cdb.png Sinkeldam74777570746868
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/hsk.png Benoot71767974756971

We still have a bunch of other riders eyeing a Top 10 finish themselves, though, even if they may not be able to compete for the win. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/iso.png Per might have the biggest gripes with not being in the top tier, given he finished 7th last year and is just a really good all-around rider, but he lacks the top end cobbles skills compared to the tier one riders. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/aeg.png Van Hooydonck is a slightly better pure cobbler, but lags behind in other categories, specifically speed.

A few teams might try to go with dual leadership. Those include (in addition to Tinkoff, of course) Generali with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/gen.png Debesay and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/gen.png Gaday, both of which will hope to rely on their solid puncheur skills. The former is probably the leader if it comes down to it, with his stronger flat, resistance and acceleration stats.

Evonik – ELKO also has two potential captains here with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/evo.png Polanc and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/evo.png Neilands. The former is the guy if hills come into play more decisively, while the latter is the better rider on flat roads. On cobbles, they’re very similar, and also similar to pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/fpc.png Tiller. The Farfetch man is one of the best sprinters in this tier and will hope for a good result from a big-ish group at the line.

The rest of this tier is filled by the top domestiques. Tinkoff has very impressive depth with not only two guys in tier one, but also pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/tti.png Sulimov and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/tti.png Zubov in here. Similarly, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/grm.png Ringheim is the third Grieg rider mentioned so far. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/kng.png Ferreira, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/map.png van den Berg, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/cdb.png Sinkeldam and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/hsk.png Benoot also complement top tier leaders, giving them a good lieutenant and their team another scoring option.

Lower Tier Leaders
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/fes.png Karatzios77777171756365
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/mos.png Boros73777369736466
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/isa.png Sanogo73767172716970
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/eav.png Centrone74767167725358
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/xr0.png Rowe78756670767980
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/zpc.png Young74756970747877
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/pum.png Meiler73757369716371

A few teams come to the race with more limited options. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/fes.png Karatzios and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/mos.png Boros are certainly the best riders in this tier and give their teams the best hope for solid scoring, but a backend Top 20 might be the most they can hope for. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/xr0.png Rowe and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/zpc.png Young stand out with their sprinting capabilities; they might have a shot at a good result if the race turns out really unselective. The paths to success are less clear for the likes of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/isa.png Sanogo, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/eav.png Centrone and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2021/Micros/pum.png Meiler, who perhaps have to try and get away early to get something out of this, and be it only time in the spotlight.

A lot can happen in this race – will we see a last hurrah from one of the veterans? A new face atop the podium, trying to start a big run themselves? Or will an outsider have the legs of his life and catch everyone off-guard? Tune in to find out!

Karatzios for the win. Anything less will be dissapointing.

Come on Per, this is your time to shine!
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After a fantastic start in Luxembourg, Gerts disappointed in his next races. Hopefully he'll turn things around here.

And what a fantastic preview! Great touch with the past results for the main favorites.
Another wildcard for us. Hopefully it's not like Tirreno/Eritrea where Trentin shines here and fails horribly in E3, where the points count.

As expected, the startlist is about as deep as it gets, so hopefully we can just show our colors in a positive way and come out of here with a result we can put in our press releases.
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy
Roubaix is the big one for us with the team we have, given they are a bit more suited to the flatter cobbles, but personally I have to say that I prefer RvV. Very excited for this, and it's of course a goal race for us. Wisniowski came close last year, and with Bewley declining, I certainly like our chances. That being said, we saw last year and in Sanremo that Summerhill is an extremly good rider and a rider that's really able to keep his powder dry to the finish in these tough races.

Fingers crossed for good legs on a huge race day!
No wildcard for us this year, so may the best man win!
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
Another cobbled classic that should suit Polanc well. Hoping for at least a top 10 here.

Great preview! Love the overview of the past results!
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Go Mike!
Biggest test so far for Van Hooydonck. Him leading the 2nd tier list shows that there is still some way to go.

Support is good though as also his previous cobbles performance was.

Let's see if he can best some of those tier 1 riders due to a good day and strong support.
Very happy with both our racing and result!

Teunissen was very attentive and bringing home a top 5 in this field is a great result for him.
Talking about overachieving: what the hell did Potts have for breakfast? He was doing domestique things all over the place and then continues to finish 9th?! Incredible. Also shoutout to Malecki's nice try in the BOTD.

Another great report cunego. Joy to read. Cheers
Ohh , thats a big surprise for me, but a very good one. Itt was a joy to see Theuns getting involved almost all the action and in the final sprinting a whole from the red kite until the line at the front. And the same time a quality report again. Thanks for that.
A bit of mixed feelings after seeing how it played out. Gerts looked to have a great day and this was big missed opportunity to get his hands on a big win, but on the other hand it's his first podium in a monument so I'm very happy about that.

And what a win for the newcomers Grin
Meh. Decent result but hoped for more. Great report!
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18th is better than what we could have expected. For once it seemed like the aggressive riding was the right decision. The other times it certainly haven’t been. Overall I think the best decision is to just stay in the group and survive as long as possible, but obviously it won’t give any surprise top results.

One of our former riders winning a monument, that's always nice!

Just wondering where this profile came from though. Afaik Oude Kwaremont has never been the last climb in the race.
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
Ollfardh wrote:
Just wondering where this profile came from though. Afaik Oude Kwaremont has never been the last climb in the race.

I believe it is still the variant created by Leon40 that was created for PCM15. I edited it a few years ago to remove narrow roads, but all the nice IBs should still be present.


Nice attempt by Boros, not the worst result either, although nothing special really. Congrats to jaxika and huge thanks to cunego for another nice report. Hopefully Bewley can do somehow better in probably his last Paris-Roubaix where he may have some outside chance to win it all.
Manager of Moser - Sygic
Well, I can't be unhappy about that. Another great monument by Wisniowski, and I think the team rode a great race. Great move by Ringheim and it looked like Pedersen did some very important work to keep the chase together before Wisniowski started to follow the moves. Could have hoped for a bit better from Pedersen, but three riders top 17 is the depth that we want. Roubaix should be even better for Pedersen, so I hope to see him higher up there.

I honestly thought Wisniowski would go around Theuns on the screenshot with 300 meters to go, but Theuns is the superior sprinter, so no shame losing out to him. Congrats on the win, jaxika! I really like his stats as a rider, and he's really well suited to a race like this, so a deserved winner.

Thanks for an exciting report, cunego!
Very good race by the team. 4th is excellent from Kasperkiewicz and it's nice he can win a sprint after such a long race. Ferreira in 13th is also great and again he attacked like in Strada Appia Antica. He seems to turn out as a very decent signing.
Thanks for another great report cunego and congrats jaxika!
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