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Ronde Van Vlaanderen - Discussion
Ulrich Ulriksen
Ronde van Vlaanderen



The Ronde van Vlaanderen remains one of the biggest races on the calendar. This year the course is identical to last year, 265.5km of tough cobbles and hills.

The history of De Ronde can be viewed as a tale of two eras, 2007 to 2013, the Tom Boonen era as he won 5 out of 7 editions and 2014 to 2019, the Sam Bewley era (4 out of 6). But the last two years have brought 2 first-time winners and a new king of the Ronde has yet to emerge.

All the prior winners:
2021: Edward Theuns (MOL)
2020: Danny Summerhill (Andorra Cycling Project)
2019: Sam Bewley (Moser - Sygic)
2018: Greg Van Avermaet (Evonik - ELKO)
2017: Sam Bewley (Moser - Sygic)
2016: Sam Bewley (Becherovka - Petrof)
2015: Sam Bewley (Becherovka - Petrof)
2014: Fabian Cancellara (Simply Red Bull)
2013: Tom Boonen (Pokerstars.com)
2012: Tom Boonen (Nestlé Cycling Team)
2011: Alessandro Ballan (Sony Ericsson)
2010: Tom Boonen (Warner Brothers)
2009: Tom Boonen (Warner Brothers)
2008: George Hincapie (AG2R Prevoyance - Renault)
2007: Tom Boonen (Quick Step - Innergetic)

The top candidate to emerge as the new dominant rider is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/akm.png Wisniowski. But last year he just missed out on starting his era when he was beaten by pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/mol.png Theuns in a two-up sprint. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/hsk.png Gerts instituted the winning move with 7k to go but had to settle for 3rd in the race.

Those 3 are all near the top of the favorites list this year:

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/akm.png Wisniowski807176837376
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ubs.png Spengler746673836170
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/hsk.png Gerts777880827270
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/yor.png Summerhill777271826972
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/pol.png Altur757070827268
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/grm.png Pedersen776980827877
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/lph.png Zepuntke726972827265
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tti.png Senechal756774826974
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tti.png Kamyshev776575826660
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/kng.png Kasperkiewicz767477815967
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/iso.png Per797075817474
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/gzl.png Teunissen766773816769
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/mol.png Theuns727473807776
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/aeg.png Van Hooydonck737174806172
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tlt.png Vanbilsen786974807271

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/akm.png Wisniowski and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/hsk.png Gerts are near the top of the list again with the latter being by far the best puncheur among the top contenders. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ubs.png Spengler is 2nd on the list but his low hill and sprint make a path to victory seem more challenging. Defending champion pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/mol.png Theuns is not one of the stronger cobblers but he is strong in the hills and one of the best sprinters. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/kng.png Kasperkiewicz is also strong in the hills but isn’t as good at the finish.

Last year pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/grm.png Pedersen was working for Wisniowski but this year he rides for himself and in a sprint finish he will be one of the favorites.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/yor.png Summerhill is the only former winner in the race other than Theuns and is also strong in all the relevant characteristics.

Tinkoff are the only team with two in the top tier this year but neither pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tti.png Senechal or pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tti.png Kamyshev are great in the hills, it seems like Paris-Roubaix will be a better target for them.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tlt.png Vanbilsen leads Trans Looney Tunes and is the top wildcard contender.

Looking at the next tier of riders identifies more teams with strong support riders.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/duo.png Debesay757479796978
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tti.png Sulimov737071796571
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/kng.png Ferreira736870797169
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tti.png Zubov686369796169
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/pol.png Sibilla696165796461
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/evo.png Polanc727373786775
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/dsc.png Tiller747075787473
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/akm.png Anderberg786976786073
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/evo.png Neilands776973787167
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/grm.png Ringheim726771787375
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tlt.png Vanspeybrouck726765786363
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/lpu.png Gamper776677786371

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/akm.png Anderberg will be key support for pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/akm.png Wisniowski while pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/grm.png Pedersen can count on pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/grm.png Ringheim and Tinkoff are clearly the deepest team with two more strong cobblers in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tti.png Zubov and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tti.png Sulimov, although they are the only team starting with less than 8 riders.

In terms of leaders the rider who stands out is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/duo.png Debesay who isn’t as strong as the first tier in terms of cobbles but has great all-round characteristics. He is the highest paid rider in the race so a win might justify a little of that.

24 teams and 191 riders take to the start line, let the fireworks begin.



Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
Go Per! Nice preview Smile
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Radsim'05: Quick-Step (since 2022) Astana (2018-2021)
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Great preview indeed. Zepuntke showed in E3 he doesn't love this kind of race, bit on a good day he could still go for that top-10 I hope. Good luck to all.
One monument in the bag, can we go for a second? Pedersen have had a couple of very good races on the cobbles and some not so good, so hopefully he'll have good day here. Also hope we'll use our team to let the others chase a bit. Looking forward to it!
Not the most suited race for Van Hooydonck with all the hills but he should do better than in E3 surely. A top10 as usual is the goal with some top25-50 depth scoring.
Always hope for results from Polanc here. As so often, a top 10 would be nice. Let's bring it on!

Great preview!
A Big Thank You To All MG Reporters!

Some tv time please!
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
We're desperate for a good result. Come on Debesay, give us some hope!
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Hope Teunissen can deliver a top 10
Nice preview! Enjoyed it with flags and historical data.

Fingers crossed for Wisniowski Grin
Kulppi :lol:
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy
Damn Pedersen is scary, congrats. Per rode a smart race, I really like what I saw from him. We could or should probably get 1-2 more good lieutenants for him to receive a shot at winning, but I like what we are doing on the cobbles lately.

Great report, thank you for that!
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Radsim'05: Quick-Step (since 2022) Astana (2018-2021)
Most Improved Team 2018 & 2019 // Manager of the Year 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021 // Team of the Year 2021
This was a big one for us. Wow! I was fairly confident once the race opened up and Pedersen was with the top guys, just as long as he would stay with them till the finish. And then to go off and win solo, that was just amazing.

As I mentioned earlier, Pedersen seems to be a kind of rider who either does very well or end up going a bit empty. Today he rode perfect, and it seems like he really enjoys these big races! Also a great job from the team to set him up for the win, from the early chasers to Ringheim and Jansen creating a race situation where he could sit back and take it easy.

We've of course been hopeful that Pedersen would be able to really step it up once he was left as a sole leader following the departure of Wisniowski (and Kragh), but to go ahead and win two monuments was way above our expectations. I won't get my hopes up for Roubaix too early, but that should be a great fit for him, so I've to say I'm really excited.

Thanks for a great report, Ulrich, and congrats to all the others who did well here.
Great win from Pedersen. The new Bewley surely.

If it wasn't for the fact that I know Karatzios is only 32, I would have guessed he already took a stat decline. He has ridden 5 cobbled one day races this season. Not ONCE did he finish inside top 50. Not once even close to that even.

Kortsidakis takes a couple of points more than the minimum, but otherwise we fail at every single level in the cobbles this season. Quite interested development, as we were no way near this bad last season - but our team has gotten significantly stronger.
Thank you for the report, UU! Enjoyed the read, definitely worthy a monument Grin

What a rider Pedersen is. Congratulations on another monument, tastasol!

Wisniowski seems to struggle this season. Here, he was simply outclassed by the top three riders, which isn’t something I thought I would see much this season. We need to ask tastasol for some Grieg magic to make his legs work like they did last year’s classics campaign Pfft
A bit below expectations but then again it`s the hilly Northern Classics. Van Hooydonck really made a step backwards in comparison to some other riders. A top10 is really hard to reach now, which is missing a few important points on a regular base unfortunately. Will see how to improve this terrain a bit.

Congrats tastasol. Your decision for Pedersen really works well so far.

Thanks for the report, it was a nice read even though my team was barely giving a reason to mention a lot. Pfft
Gamper doing really well on those tougher races, too bad there's no points. Pedersen on fire!
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
Very similar vibes to E3 for us. Zepuntke holding on quite long, until the final 15 riders, but once he cracks he starts losing places again. 21st is not the worst in his first out of two monuments, hope he can do better in Roubaix though. Nice to see Ruiz finally got some freedom (although it didn't last very long because he's really not suited to this race), and Nareklishvili did quite alright in the botd and then finishing top-50 as well.

Thanks for an amazing report, Ulrich, and congratulations to Grieg on a beautiful win Smile
More of this please. 5th is stupendous.

Great race to witness. Congrats on another brilliant victory tastasol!

Also thanks for the outstanding report UU!
Manager of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/duo.png Duolingopcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/duo.png
Not the result we were hoping for, but we'll take it.
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