Bernal vs. Pogacar vs. Evenepoel

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Other examples that just corssed my mind are Andy Schleck and Jaroslav Popovich, Andy came in 2nd at the Giro with 21, Popovich was 3rd with 23. Andy Schlecks career was cut short by an injury and won the Tour once after that and was a contender in a few but he never dominated any Grand Tours. Popovich faded away slowly and his career arch more resembled a ride who was actually 30 when he when he achieved that Giro podium much rather than 23.
 
I remember when Cunego and Valverde just broke the scene around 2003/2004 and public expected them to dominate hilly classics and GTs in the decade to come. It didn't exactly end up that way, Cunego never won a GT again after 2004 a Valverde got only one Vuelta victory in 2008. Cunego had a decent career and Valverde an outstanding one, a lot of which comes from it's longlivety but none of them ever really dominated the sport and we didn't really get any battles btwn them. Also those two guys didn't really improve anymore much despite their young age, Cunego struggled to reach that level of his early year(s) again and Valverde remained(s) consistent. I wouldn't be surprised if some of those young superrides take a similar path.
Interesting. To me I'm not sure when I've seen anyone with talent like Evenepoel. I mean I saw Hinault and Lemond and Fignon, but after they'd been established. I saw the very end of Merckx when I was very small. Valverde is a major talent, but I didn't see the same level from Cunego as we're talking about with these three. I think it's different. I'd be shocked if Evenepoel has a career anything like Cunego. Pogacar I need to see more of. Bernal has already eclipsed him if you believe a Tour victory is worth more than a Giro.
 
Interesting. To me I'm not sure when I've seen anyone with talent like Evenepoel. I mean I saw Hinault and Lemond and Fignon, but after they'd been established. I saw the very end of Merckx when I was very small. Valverde is a major talent, but I didn't see the same level from Cunego as we're talking about with these three. I think it's different. I'd be shocked if Evenepoel has a career anything like Cunego. Pogacar I need to see more of. Bernal has already eclipsed him if you believe a Tour victory is worth more than a Giro.
Nah Cunego also won Il Lombardia 3 times along with a fair amount of other one day races. I claimed Cunego>Valverde in big wins for years lol

I don't expect any of the 3 to keep improving leaps all the way until they're 26. Evenepoel is the biggest unknown though.
 
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Nah Cunego also won Il Lombardia 3 times along with a fair amount of other one day races. I claimed Cunego>Valverde in big wins for years lol

I don't expect any of the 3 to keep improving leaps all the way until they're 26. Evenepoel is the biggest unknown though.
Yea Cunego had a pretty good start to his career, I believe the hype was huuge as well, I mean back then social media wasnt around and I wasnt on forums so cant really compare it to today.

In that Giro he had shown he could ride for the GC and won hilly stages where it was obvious that he could also sprint quite a bit as well. It was also the Time when LA neared the end of his career, Jan Ullrich wasn't the youngest anymore etc. So it was suggesting itself that he (and Valverde) could be smth like the successor of the big stars of cycling back then and maybe even more than that. Cunego actually won a GT and a Monument in his break through year you could argue he has been more succesful than either Bernal and Pogacar. I mean how many riders have achieved that at all lately?

I would also say he has won more prestigious races early in his career than Valverde, he was first to win a GT, first to win a monument, first to win his 2nd Monument victory.

As I said here before, the age of those guys might be misleading, they are peaking early. Some guys break though with 20, others with 27, in the end the 27 year old might have more potential to improve in the future and have the longer and more succesful career, its not that unlikely.
 
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Not necessarily. His results on high altitude aren't better than on low altitude, except if you only look at the Tour he won, in which case I call selection bias.
I disagree. The Tour is the best example because we know Ineos had him fully prepared unlike other races. If there was any selection bias at the Tour than that would have favoured Thomas. But Thomas simply couldn't follow any more the higher the roads went. Col de l'Iseran made it obvious.

You should also consider age. However strong Bernal was in 2019 natural progression suggests he should be a little stronger this year all else being equal. So I don't think he's the favourite because he won the Tour he's the favourite because he will be one year older and a little stronger not to mention more confident at 23. Having stated this I also think Roglic is a big threat.
 
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Yea Cunego had a pretty good start to his career, I believe the hype was huuge as well, I mean back then social media wasnt around and I wasnt on forums so cant really compare it to today.

In that Giro he had shown he could ride for the GC and won hilly stages where it was obvious that he could also sprint quite a bit as well. It was also the Time when LA neared the end of his career, Jan Ullrich wasn't the youngest anymore etc. So it was suggesting itself that he (and Valverde) could be smth like the successor of the big stars of cycling back then and maybe even more than that. Cunego actually won a GT and a Monument in his break through year you could argue he has been more succesful than either Bernal and Pogacar. I mean how many riders have achieved that at all lately?

I would also say he has won more prestigious races early in his career than Valverde, he was first to win a GT, first to win a monument, first to win his 2nd Monument victory.

As I said here before, the age of those guys might be misleading, they are peaking early. Some guys break though with 20, others with 27, in the end the 27 year old might have more potential to improve in the future and have the longer and more succesful career, its not that unlikely.
Without the team coup on the stage to Falzes, Cunego would have had his work cut out to beat old man Honchar.

And because of team strength and GC position he could ride defensively in the last 2 mountain stages which left unanswered the question whether he can gain time in the high mountains through his own strength.

The main reason for the hype was age, because at least for me the questions were still there despite the win.
 
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None of them need to improve more than one or two percent to start dominating Grand Tours for the next decade, they just need to hold their form over that time period. But as we have seen in cycling, that's easier said than done. You hate to even think about it, but one or all of them could have a bad crash on a dangerous Spanish road at a random training race in March and never ride a bike again. We can only hope it doesn't happen.
 
There has not been a rider who consistently dominated GTs over multiple years without being a great ITTer. So unless Bernal and Pog improve significantly in that department or GTs continue to poop out horrendous routes they shouldn't really dominate.

I think Evenepoel is the only one who could potentially dominate hard, but that engine gotta translate to some great climbing performances first.
 
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Without the team coup on the stage to Falzes, Cunego would have had his work cut out to beat old man Honchar.

And because of team strength and GC position he could ride defensively in the last 2 mountain stages which left unanswered the question whether he can gain time in the high mountains through his own strength.

The main reason for the hype was age, because at least for me the questions were still there despite the win.
Yea, in the ITT he lost 3mins, during that attack he got 2.40 back, in the end he was 2 mins ahead of Honchar in the GC, so about 2.20 he gained mostly with his attacks shortly before the finish line, and time bonifications. That way Honchar lost a few seconds to Cunego and nearly every mountain stage. So without Falzes he would have been about more than 20s behind Honchar in the GC, it would have been pretty close. But it's not impossible Cunego could still have made it, he was in fact very strong during Falzes stage, he could probably have attacked on the last climb and gained just enough to put him slightly ahead of Honchar if everything played out just like it did.

Overall after rewatching that Giro on youtube recently, I gotta say the field wasn't very strong, Simoni wasn't as good as the year before and probably couldn't play all his cards cos of Cunego being his teammate, a rider like Cioni came in 4th, a Garzelli far from his top shape was 6th and also for Honchar it was the only time on a GT podium.

That being said an asterisk could also be attached to Bernals tour victory, gained most of time on a shortend stage, teammate of Garraint Thomas who was very much playing Simonis role...
 
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Yea, in the ITT he lost 3mins, during that attack he got 2.40 back, in the end he was 2 mins ahead of Honchar in the GC, so about 2.20 he gained mostly with his attacks shortly before the finish line, and time bonifications. That way Honchar lost a few seconds to Cunego and nearly every mountain stage. So without Falzes he would have been about more than 20s behind Honchar in the GC, it would have been pretty close. But it's not impossible Cunego could still have made it, he was in fact very strong during Falzes stage, he could probably have attacked on the last climb and gained just enough to put him slightly ahead of Honchar if everything played out just like it did.

Overall after rewatching that Giro on youtube recently, I gotta say the field wasn't very strong, Simoni wasn't as good as the year before and probably couldn't play all his cards cos of Cunego being his teammate, a rider like Cioni came in 4th, a Garzelli far from his top shape was 6th and also for Honchar it was the only time on a GT podium.

That being said an asterisk could also be attached to Bernals tour victory, gained most of time on a shortend stage, teammate of Garraint Thomas who was very much playing Simonis role...
At least Bernal attacked on his own multiple times in last year's tour.

The 2004 Giro course was beyond easy and the field was exceptionally weak. Pantani from 2003 likely makes the podium of that race
 
Are Evenepoel and Pogacar peaking too early (in the season)?


It's in French and you'll need a VPN to watch it from outside of France.
 
Any Spanish speaking members here that can translate the quote of Bernal talking about Evenepoel's timetrialing? I have read one English and one Dutch translation, where he supposedly says "Remco was 2nd in the worldchampionships ITT, i wasn't that good in that discipline when i was 19"... Funny, because he isn't as good at it when he's 23 either :)
 
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Takes more than a ITT to win a GT.
I don't know if that was a response to my post, but nowhere did i say it doesn't. My post also wasn't a dig at Bernal, i just thought it was funny that he would say it like that, which is why i asked for somebody to translate it if it didn't correspond with the interpretation i posted. When he says he wasn't as good at ITT when he was 19, it kind of implies that he did become as good or better when he was older. Which he didn't.
 
For those who like this kind of thing. Apparantly the climb up Alto da Foia where Evenepoel won, was the fastest time recorded on the climb in the Volta ao Algarve. This was already known, i posted a tweet in the race topic last week. But now it also seems Evenepoel's final 4km as well as his final 1km was faster than Pogacar's winning time last year as well. I don't know how the wind was last year, but this year there appears to have been a strong headwind when Evenepoel attacked. Final 1k was 6 second faster than last year. Strava data was used, comparing Pogacar's data with that of Kämna, accounting for the time Kämna lost in the last 1k.

In the ITT, Evenepoel was 43 seconds faster than Pogacar's time last year. Obviously, more difficult to compare because wind etc plays a more important role. But also fitness, as last year the ITT was on the 3rd day, this year on the 5th. Lampaert said this year there was also more wind, but he was one of the only riders who rode both years, who recorded a slower time this year. Most riders recorded a faster time this year. Also Küng was 8 seconds faster this year.

I wouldn't read into it that much, as both results are circumstancial. But it's interesting nevertheless.
 
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Some doubt Evenepoel's climbing ability. It's hard too look past basic physics: the guy is great in TTs and weights only 61 kg, which means his wattage per kilogram must be outstanding. He will be a top climber in the future. These three guys will be GT contenders for a decade.
 
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