Bernal vs. Pogacar vs. Evenepoel

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There is also the factor of Jumbo Visma still having a couple of riders well capable of winning GTs, even if they are the wrong side of 30. If they have any sort of succession planning, and can find a young talent of their own, there could be some interesting races in the next 5 years.
I'm gonna proudly put on my red and white (with a hint of blue) glasses, and say Vingegaard and Foss.
 
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When Froome won his first Tour he was 28, when Armstrong won his first Tour he was 27 and so was Indurain when he won his first Tour. Remco has time.
Those guys have had a completely different carrer arch though, Evenepol was/is clearly much closer to his max. ability already at young age. If hasnt won a GT until he is 27 Im sure he never will. With those kind of early bloomers the usual best GT rider age from maybe 27-32 doesnt apply imo. I expect the likes of Pogacar, Bernal or Evenepol to start to (slightly) decline in their late 20ties.
 
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Those guys have had a completely different carrer arch though, Evenepol was/is clearly much closer to his max. ability already at young age. If hasnt won a GT until he is 27 Im sure he never will. With those kind of early bloomers the usual best GT rider age from maybe 27-32 doesnt apply imo. I expect the likes of Pogacar, Bernal or Evenepol to start to (slightly) decline in their late 20ties.
Declining is a big word. But they stop improving fast rather quickly. I'd be more inclined to measure in #GTs races more so than years. Guys with a fast trajectory are up there from their 2nd GT roughly. Based on the first week of Evenepoel, I expect his main GT of 2022 to give a pretty good picture of where he'll be at.
 
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Those guys have had a completely different carrer arch though, Evenepol was/is clearly much closer to his max. ability already at young age. If hasnt won a GT until he is 27 Im sure he never will. With those kind of early bloomers the usual best GT rider age from maybe 27-32 doesnt apply imo. I expect the likes of Pogacar, Bernal or Evenepol to start to (slightly) decline in their late 20ties.
Clearly? I don't see how you can draw that conclusion? Clearly in his Lab results maybe but not clearly in his peak as a grand tour rider.

We are all guessing. All riders are different. For example, Valverde turned pro in 2002 at the age of 22. Won the world's on the hardest course in recent history at the age of 38. The jury is still out with Evenepoel.
 
Clearly? I don't see how you can draw that conclusion? Clearly in his Lab results maybe but not clearly in his peak as a grand tour rider.

We are all guessing. All riders are different. For example, Valverde turned pro in 2002 at the age of 22. Won the world's on the hardest course in recent history at the age of 38. The jury is still out with Evenepoel.
One day races aren't GTs. And while Valverde broke trhough early, he made the podium of his first GT IIRC, and he also never broke through to a Tour winning level.
 
One day races aren't GTs. And while Valverde broke trhough early, he made the podium of his first GT IIRC, and he also never broke through to a Tour winning level.
Of course. But 1. Valverde was highly competitive in grand tours until very recently and 2. its simply too early to say Evenepoel has peaked which is my point. Nobody can say he has clearly peaked. Peaked for what, VO2 max lab tests? Most peak in their early 20s for that KPI.
 
No one did.
This is the comment I was responding to. Sounds like peaked to me. If not I apologize :)
Those guys have had a completely different carrer arch though, Evenepol was/is clearly much closer to his max. ability already at young age. If hasnt won a GT until he is 27 Im sure he never will. With those kind of early bloomers the usual best GT rider age from maybe 27-32 doesnt apply imo. I expect the likes of Pogacar, Bernal or Evenepol to start to (slightly) decline in their late 20ties.
 
Clearly? I don't see how you can draw that conclusion? Clearly in his Lab results maybe but not clearly in his peak as a grand tour rider.

We are all guessing. All riders are different. For example, Valverde turned pro in 2002 at the age of 22. Won the world's on the hardest course in recent history at the age of 38. The jury is still out with Evenepoel.
Yea, Evenepoel is clearly much closer to his peak at 21 than Armstrong, Froome or Indurain were at that age.
 
I don't think you can say Remco is closer to his limits than others. Need to take into account that he is not a well trained cyclist. (at least not a pro-norms). He can gain a lot by losing less (placing/cornering/descending/...)
He doesn't need to improve physically in order to improve in the long term. So define peak? max power on straight piece of road? or sustainable power over multiple days/weeks?
 
This is the comment I was responding to. Sounds like peaked to me. If not I apologize :)
Closer to his peak compared to (certain) other riders is what I read.

His level in TTs was already insane at age nineteen and a half, for example. Almost going toe to toe with Dennis at or close to his career best.

Imagine Remco being miles better at age 23 or so. He'd be the best time trialist of all time, by a huge margin.
 
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I know it should be obvious but since for some here it seems not to be...

I don't think that him being close to his peak because he's already so good, is a valid argument. Irrespectable of how good he already is, there's still a chance of him getting much better. Not saying he will, just saying you can't deduce that one is near his peak based on his current performance. Peak is something that can only be determined after it is gone :)
 
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I think Evenepoel may be closer to his peak in some regards and further in others. It looks, like 18-Valve.(pithy) said, unlikely that his time trial is going to drastically improve. But I can believe that his climbing level still might show serious improvement.

Or is it impossible to be close to your peak in one skill but not in the other? (serious question)

All that being said when I look at Bernal and Pogacar I can't help but think they must be as close to their peak as Evenepoel is.
 
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Clearly? I don't see how you can draw that conclusion? Clearly in his Lab results maybe but not clearly in his peak as a grand tour rider.

We are all guessing. All riders are different. For example, Valverde turned pro in 2002 at the age of 22. Won the world's on the hardest course in recent history at the age of 38. The jury is still out with Evenepoel.
You do have to take into account that in recent years the real youngsters are already training like almost proffesionals.

Where guys like Armstrong, Valverde etc. Really got introduced to new things when they became a proffesional. The youngsters of the current generation are already training based on set outputs, are already eating based on well established optimal schema's and are already working with the best materials and trainers.

So in that sense i dont expect most of the very well performing youngsters to increase dramatically like we have seen in the past.

As for the Bernal, Evenepoel, Pogacar comparison. I Will stay out of that for now. It does not make much sense to me to compare Evenepoel, who had everything to prove with Pogacar, who has already won some of the world biggest races.

I just hope that Remco (amongst others) can grow to a level where he will be a good challenger for Pogacar. Because i surely do not hope we will go into another era where is certain rider is super dominant.
 
Climbing could be possible if he starts taking it (even) more seriously (like Alaphilippe did, for example). A training base (home) in Andorra would be a very good move. I don't really know what stopped him ...as it was in the cards at one point.
I think it's just because Covid messed up everyone's plans and lives. Mid september 2019 it was decided he wouldn't go to Monaco but that they might visit Alaphilippe in Andorra and check that out. Covid came too soon after that I think. He also wouldn't normally have ridden a GT in 2020 I think (not entirely sure) until the whole season got pushed back. And then ofc his crash happened.

But yeah you would expect that eventually they do consider moving there.
 
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Didn’t LA win worlds at 21? (Assume you’re being facetious)
Yea, well Armstrong had cancer and a spectacular doping history. He doesn't really fit anywhere.

I stick with what I said though. Those guys are reaching their peak much earlier than your average champion of the past. Even with the common wisdom that endurance athletes usually peak quite late, I'm not certain this applies, those guys have have lived and trained on pro level already in their junior years.

A lot of studies supporting the late peak in endurance athletes are also based on looking the age when past top performances have occurred. Most athletes taken in consideration here have not trained on the same top level in their teen years as they did later.

I would assume that the actual (potential) peak of also endurance athelets is around the age of 25.
 
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So Pogacar responded to Bernal's Giro victory in a spectacular fashion by defending his TdF title. Thus he reinforced his position as the best stage racer on the planet. These young guys are not just the future, they are the present. Also keep in mind the rise of Vingegaard. From older guys only Roglic has won GTs in last couple of years and he's the youngsters' most serious competition at GTs nowadays.
 
Who’s going to be the first one to feather out at 28-30 though is the question, this is including WVA and MVDP. Unless they got start strong young and keep it into their age. It would be good to have the 3 against each other in a GT that features 2006 Tour level TT, 2011 Giro level mountain stages, and 2012 Vuelta hilly stages. Through in Roglic/Vingegaard and whatever other breakout star is about to come out and we’re going to be in shape.
 
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Not sure why Valverde is being mentioning along with Bernal and Pogacar. His one and only grand tour win was in 2009 and he had one podium in the Tour in 14 attempts. like many other great riders who were not at their very best in grand tours, most of his GT results came in the Vuelta. He never looked like winning a Tour while Pogacar and Bernal won one at 21 and 22. Contador also won his first at 24. and never won another Tour after the age of 27 which he lost on a DQ anyway. Quintana won his last grand tour at the age of 26 . Even though Contador later won the Giro and Vuelta again later he never got close in the Tour again after 2010 either did Quintana after his second in 2015. Looking at history I would be surprised to see Pogacar and Bernal winning Tours after 32 or maybe earlier. Quintana hasn't made a podium since he was 27. As for Evenepoel its too early to say. First he has to ride the Tour on a full prep but looking at his other results he could be another rider who peaks early. Valverde is in another category completely and probably the most versatile road rider of his era and the most competitive over such a long period in the 21st century.
 
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Too be fair Contador could have won 2011 and 2014 Tour with better luck. Maybe even 2015 without the Giro and Froome. Crashes started hampering his success. Heck Schleck was what, 26 his last podium and he was supposed to be the Quintana.

Good for the youngsters to win as much and as frequently as they can because they might not get another chance.
 
Too be fair Contador could have won 2011 and 2014 Tour with better luck. Maybe even 2015 without the Giro and Froome. Crashes started hampering his success. Heck Schleck was what, 26 his last podium and he was supposed to be the Quintana.

Good for the youngsters to win as much and as frequently as they can because they might not get another chance.
No doubt Contador was crash happy after 2010 in the Tour especially. Didn't really see him doing the double in 2011. He won the Giro and then had to beat both Schleck and Evans in good form. 2014 we will never know as when he crashed out he was already two minutes behind a flying Nibali and Froome crashed out as well. To me Contador was at his very best between 2007 and 2012.
 
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No doubt Contador was crash happy after 2010 in the Tour especially. Didn't really see him doing the double in 2011. He won the Giro and then had to beat both Schleck and Evans in good form. 2014 we will never know as when he crashed out he was already two minutes behind a flying Nibali and Froome crashed out as well. To me Contador was at his very best between 2007 and 2012.
I think without those crashes he would have been a lot closer with how it was raced and less suicide attacks. Definitely without the Giro he would have been the heavy favorite. 2013 was bad for whatever reason. 2014 was a monster and 2015 got the job done.
 
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