Bernal vs. Pogacar vs. Evenepoel

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Yeah, it was an intelligent and reasonable choice, the "right" one, just not one I'm a fan of. I want to see the best riders at the Tour, until the teams are like **** the Tour and send their best riders to the Giro instead. Usually only a few teams do so.
If it makes you feel any better, nobody is close to Pogacar ATM. Nobody. If you take him out of the equation Roglic, Bernal and Carapaz are in very good position.
 
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If he could stay on his bike, Rogla would be as strong as Pogi. Then you have the second tier of stage racers after them.
Correct.

And in this sport, it would seem "you're only good as your last race" in terms of public perception is a very real phenomenon.

Carapaz might have a high peak but it's very short & doesn't extend to most of the race calendar. Take Basque Country Itzulia in April for example: Pogacar & Roglic were dancing around on the climbs... whilst Carapaz was struggling in the pack & non-existent. He was also non-existent in Catalonia & didn't really show up as a real force until the Tour de Suisse.

Until his injury, Roglic dominated Paris-Nice, then he dominated (with equal strength) Pogacar in Itzulia, then almost won Flèche Wallone, then in the first two "wall" stages of the 2021 Tour last month, he was equal with Pogacar whilst Carapaz was behind.

All things equal & without injuries, I'd say it's Pogacar = Roglic > Bernal > everyone else. I saw Roglic dominate Bernal enough last year to know there's a hierarchy there (& yes, I know about Bernal's own back problems, but his limitations in TT versus Roglic & his inability to drop him on the climbs would be a determining factor in an "injury free" mano a mano).
 
The biggest problem i see with cyclist such as Carapaz is the lack of good TT. You need to be good enough in all disciplines. If you are not good in just one of them you have a real issue.

Still, as Carapaz already proved, you can win GTs and gold Olympic medals. Hence hard to complain in the end.
 
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The biggest problem i see with cyclist such as Carapaz is the lack of good TT. You need to be good enough in all disciplines. If you are not good in just one of them you have a real issue.

Still, as Carapaz already proved, you can win GTs and gold Olympic medals. Hence hard to complain in the end.
Carapaz didn't put on any pressure on the climbs in the Tour either. IMO I think many overreacted to Bernal breaking down in the Tour and Carapaz getting 2nd in the Vuelta. Yeah he got close to Roglic, but it's not like Roglic was in Tour form there.
 
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It's a shame that Bernal and Remco have such different skill sets, it's impossible to make a GT route that allows them both to compete with Pog.
100km of TT and Bernal is done. Similarly long, high multi mountain stages (probably) limit Remco's chances of success.
 
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Carapaz didn't put on any pressure on the climbs in the Tour either. IMO I think many overreacted to Bernal breaking down in the Tour and Carapaz getting 2nd in the Vuelta. Yeah he got close to Roglic, but it's not like Roglic was in Tour form there.
I don't rate Carapaz overall ability as high as Roglič or Pogačar. I just don't hold that against him. Especially after he wins a GT against one and gold Olympic medal against the other.
 
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As for the Pogačar. Too bad we didn't get to see the spat with Roglič. Currently Pogačar is above the rest. Merckx somehow already passed the realm to him. If i read his interviews correctly. Pogačar won the Tour in first week and didn't need his team to achieve that. I just don't see on how Bernal or Evenepoel could match that anytime soon.
 
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What might do is healthy and motivated Roglič. He is a champion of such calibre. I don't worry about that part. But he will need to get a bit of the stomp back and his team will need to do a better job. Neutralising the attacks will likely frustrate Pogačar. Then mistakes will come.

P.S. Like Hamilton in F1. Once he got properly challenged he started making mistakes. We'll see.
 
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Carapaz didn't put on any pressure on the climbs in the Tour either. IMO I think many overreacted to Bernal breaking down in the Tour and Carapaz getting 2nd in the Vuelta. Yeah he got close to Roglic, but it's not like Roglic was in Tour form there.
More like Bernal underperforming pretty much ever since he won the Tour. I don't buy that his overall level in the Giro was of the same level as his Tour win. Maybe his good days. But he was pretty weak in the last three mountain stages, which was not a good look IMO, considering the level of competition.

Of course, being in the lead for so long takes something out of you, but he had Martinez, Castroviejo, Ganna in his team. Had by far the strongest team support. It just didn't wow me like it did some of you all.

Carapaz OTOH put in a consistent performance at the Tour. Reached a high level throughout, except in the TTs. Yes, I'll give him a pass for the Le Grand Bornand stage, as he was the only GC rider who put in an attack the day before.

Now he'll probably support Bernal's Vuelta assault. Wouldn't mind seeing the two of them as co-leaders in the same GT, with the same prep, but doubt it will ever happen. Bernal was already talking about retiring from cycling not too long ago.

I vivdly remember Bernal's 2018 Catalunya ride. Epic. Valverde was like WTF... this ain't normal. A cycling legend in the making, it looked like. Then he won the Tour the year after. Seemed to be on track. Since 2020 he seems to have lost some of the spark, which is normal considering his young age and the impact his Tour win had in Colombia.
 
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Basically what we need in the next couple of years is a handful of GT races where firstly organisers are up to the task and secondly motivated and healthy Roglič, Pogačar, Bernal, Evenepoel, Carapaz ... go bananas all against each other. Two or three editions.

Otherwise it's just speculation.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Basically what we need in the next couple of years is a handful of GT races where firstly organisers are up to the task and secondly motivated and healthy Roglič, Pogačar, Bernal, Evenepoel, Carapaz ... go bananas all against each other. Two or three editions.

Otherwise it's just speculation.
While he has not proven it consisstently yet, vinegegaard can climb and TT at an elite level as well.
 
I see the Giro and Tour both had weak fields again when it suits the narrative and undoubtedly when Roglic or anyone else really wins the Vuelta it will also be against a suitably weak field.
Vuelta having a weak field is pretty much a given right now. Talking about the level I expect. Of course some/many of the big names will be lining up, but how many of them will be on some decent form?

Can't imagine riders like Lopez etc. will be at their best. Not to mention Roglic, if he even shows up. It is what it is.
 
Vuelta having a weak field is pretty much a given right now. Talking about the level I expect. Of course some/many of the big names will be lining up, but how many of them will be on some decent form?

Can't imagine riders like Lopez etc. will be at their best. Not to mention Roglic, if he even shows up. It is what it is.
Got to be half decent for Landa to finish 4th.
 

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