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Lisbon Classic Discussion

It's been a long few months since MG hosted the Tour of Portugal, but the peloton is back for the HC Lisbon Classic. Or, at least some of the peloton is. The clash with Veenendaal - Veenendaal, another flat classic that is PTHC rated, means that teams participating in both have been forced to place their leaders selectively. The favorites list is thus a little weaker.

Lisbon is a long, flat classic on paper, but it's much bumpier than your average sprinter's race. The degree these bumps have on the race outcome has varied dramatically over the years. Last year, Roman Maksimov won, and that alone tells you how selective the race was. In other instances, puncheurs have won, like when Travis Meyer attacked solo to take a memorable victory in 2020. Generally puncheurs have won by attacking away from a full peloton - there's usually not enough on the course for real attrition. But it all depends on how strong teams try to control the pack.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/vlf.png Ahlstrand746774738382
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/gct.png Enger736671738178
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/lpu.png Bonifazio796668758080
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/voy.png Liu746776698080
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/kmm.png Haller726572718079
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/brs.png Stallaert776776687976
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/hla.png Rowe786676707980
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/amc.png Bewley746772707977
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/xr0.png Houle787576717978
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/cdb.png Lander776977727977
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/afr.png Afewerki736477707980
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/p4e.png Riabushenko766871747977
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/bnb.png Kennett756573767978
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/aab.png Coutinho726575747980
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/rbz.png Hayakawa736575687979
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/taf.png Bertilsson736972717977
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/oph.png Wippert706775707882

The most likely scenario is a mass sprint, and the most likely mass sprint winner is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/vlf.png Jonas Ahlstrand. He's by far the best sprinter in PCT, and the startlist narrowing from the clash only makes that more apparent. He's easily the fastest and has a good leadout man in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/vlf.png Marin. But as we've learned, the fastest does not always win. He will have to be perfectly positioned and time his launch right to capitalize on his strength.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/gct.png Enger has the next best top speed, and finds himself in the position to challenge for a win here. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/gct.png Pedersen should guide him well enough, but he'll probably needs to launch earlier and hope he has the legs to hold on since his acceleration lags behind a bit.

On the other hand pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/lpu.png Bonifazio has the speed, kick, and diesel engine to overpower the best competition on a good day. However, he's held back by his climbing, which is poor even among sprinters, and his stamina, which may bite him in a classic over 200 km's long. He'll be hoping for an easy race that concludes with a hard, fast finish.

Opposite for pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/voy.png Liu, who loves long races but won't want a super long sprint or too much wind throughout. And pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/kmm.png Haller will want an easy race too. He will trust Kraftwerk to put him in a good spot if he's still fresh at the end.

A special shoutout should go to pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/xr0.png Hugo Houle. He's not the fastest sprinter here, but among them, he is the best puncheur by a significant margin. He's in an interesting situation where he doesn't want the top puncheurs to leave him behind, but he doesn't want to bring pure sprinters to the line either. Unfortunately, Xero don't have a team that can really put on pressure during the climbing, so he'll have to hope his energy surplus is enough to give him an advantage in the final sprint.

Beyond those named, there are at least a dozen other sprinters who could surprise on a good day - see the list above. They are all slightly different in their secondary strengths, but they fill similar roles for their teams as outsiders looking to score.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ino.png Borges708075737181
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/p4e.png Prevar728077706773
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/cdb.png Jensen718077736676
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tlt.png Waeytens708072706673
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/kmm.png Bilbao717977717175
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/lpu.png De Plus727974736172
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/kmm.png Boily677872726874
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ced.png Eriksson727878746576

As noted earlier, several puncheurs have won from long range attacks here in the past. They have the luxury of going for broke without worrying about cracking and losing time. Of course, these race days are pretty risky for them too. If they fail and the sprinters take the day, they're probably not scoring at all.

There's no clear top puncheur here, but pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ino.png Bruno Borges is the best bet among them. He has a pretty good sprint from a small group, and his acceleration is super explosive uphill. Attackers will need to strike at the perfect moment and get a clean break from the peloton, and Borges is definitely capable.

Behind him are a selection of riders that aren't quite as strong. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/cdb.png Haugaard Jensen loves long races and loves to attack, but his sprint is underwhelming if he comes to the lined accompanied. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/p4e.png Prevar is powerful uphill, but he really doesn't like to attack, which is something he has to overcome to succeed here. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tlt.png Waeytens will need to pick his spot and hope for an otherwise easy race, given his energy attributes.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/kmm.png Bilbao is a good sprinter and has the benefit of being complemented by pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/kmm.png Boily. Lierse will be hoping for literally anything from pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/lpu.png De Plus, and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ced.png Eriksson wishes this race was even longer. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/sva.png Felline and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tlt.png Calmejane could be dangerous in a reduced field, although it will be hard for them to survive whilst dispensing of a guy like Houle.

We shouldn't forget about the fighters either. Even if the hills are indecisive, that doesn't mean a late attack can't take the day. It's happened before. In 2017, Lukasz Wisniowski went from decent range and managed to hold off the sprinters. Marcus Burghardt had similar success way back in 2013.

It's always hard to judge who might be the one with good enough legs to try such an attack on a given day, but never doubt the will of a guy like pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ced.png Katrasnik to have a go.

Don't think that Bewley can continue our run of big scoring here, but who knows? I rather fancy a roleur attacking late, we may have a candidate or two, who would try.

Thanks for the detailed preview!
Last time we went racing in Portugal it went well with a win at Viana. For this race we have brought what can be described as one of Jandal's wet dreams in Rowe supported by Dzama, we have already seen Dzama go for a late attack and sticking it in Berlin so this race might as well go the same way. I am a big fan of Houle for this type of parcours but it is going to be interesting to see if Ahlstrand and Vocanica keeps the race under control since he is the strongest sprinter here.

There is a slight chance that a breakaway could take it here, but I do envision a sprint, but you could argue that we should have brought Meurisse here to have an addtional string to play on.

Thanks for a great preview, can't wait for the report!
It's a head to head for disappointment of the season here, De Plus vs. Bonifazio. Bonifazio definitely has the disappointing experience, but never underestimate the up and coming disappointment that De Plus brings.
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
Go Houle! One of those where it could be a podium, 7-10th or well outside the top 15 and all would be equally expected (maybe the lower top 10 a bit more likely) based on past experience. Also is this the first Rowe vs Houle of the season? Interesting Pfft

Thanks for the preview bbl, very nice writeup Smile
24/02/21 - kandesbunzler said “I don't drink famous people."
22/07/21 - quadsas said "I admire you [jandal] so much as a manager, squad builder and a person"
15/08/22 - SotD said "Your [jandal's] humour is overrated"

[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing

4x i.imgur.com/wM6Wok5.png x4
I forgot that I'm also in this one!

We went with Lander/Jensen combo here and sent AKA to Veenendaal. We'll see if that works out. I'm rooting for an abnormally selective race because Jensen is a better puncheur than Lander is a sprinter, but hopefully we can score either way. Call Jensen what you will, he's usually aggressive, so that could play to our advantage in a race like this. Small group sprint is probably the worst scenario for us since Lander wouldn't survive and Jensen wouldn't be near the front.
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy
Gambled big on bringing Borges here. 2rd ultimately so it isn’t much, but still pressure on his shoulders to try and animate the race. The final hill crests ~10km from the finish, if he can attack over the top of it and force a selection of the first 20-30 riders he has a good chance of a decent result. Otherwise we’re banking on Page having a +5 day, if other teams can maybe it’s our turn?

Thanks for the preview
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No real expectations here, so we can't do worse than on the hills.


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
Oof. Exciting race with all the splits and attacking late, but definitely not in our favor. Most of the sprinters survived, but not Lander, who ends up outside the top 50. However, it also wasn't the climbs that were forcing the selection. Hard to say what was. So KHJ didn't really have a chance to show much either. In fact, I'm pretty sure he missed several splits entirely too, and only barely made it back to even finish in the front group.

Jensen's 19th and Asgreen's 22nd after his thrilling escape prevent this from being a zero pointer, but yeah. 11 PpRD in PTHC is not how you promote.

Thanks for the report and congrats fjhoekie!

Edit: I literally wrote the preview, but this is HC, not PTHC.
Edited by baseballlover312 on 30-12-2022 14:25
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy
That's rather awesome! Forget about Prevar, Padun or Pluchkin, Varga is the real deal this season with his late attacks! Now rewarded in the best way possible Smile

What a 50k steal, and what a massive boost for our totally ridiculously low points total so far lol
Manager of Team Popo4Ever p/b Morshynska in the PCM.Daily Man-Game
Alright, we'll call it a draw.
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
We got caught in too many splits here, very exciting race to follow tho! Rowe 6th is not bad and Dzama also gets on some depth points which gives us something to take away from this! Thanks for the report and congrats to Fj on a win that the fewest had seen coming!
Solid result for Bewley, I guess. Our roleurs add minor points, but obviously you always hope for an attack rather than working for an aging sprinter. Can't complain though.

Congratulations to the winner and thanks for the report!
I had small hopes that Stallaert could do something here, but honestly, it's fair that the game treated him as a minor sprinter and he got caught behind all those splits. I'm super happy that Uhiriwe somehow managed to hold on to finish in the Top 30 and collects his first ever ranking points, and combined with the big presence in the breakaway, I'd call this a success for us.

Also congrats to fj, a really nice boost when it is needed! And Ahlstrand at least partly delivers, too. Thank you for the report UU!
Seems like my team did most of the work in the race, you're welcome Pfft

Not a bad result, still exceeding my preseason expectations for the few flat classics we have on the calendar. But with the epic failures at other races I can't miss the fact that we seemed to be in position to do a lot better here. We had so many capable high flat, solid sprint riders in that group. Just the fact that McCormick and Siric are outside of points in 31st and 32nd is a kick in the teeth Frown

Thanks for the report.


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
Another solid result for us. Liu with a podium, and Arashiro with a great pull at the end.
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