Bernal vs. Pogacar vs. Evenepoel

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The only experience for Sivakov as a GT leader was Giro 2019 and the results were far from great...

But I buy your point saying that Evenepoel is a big question mark on a 3 weeks race, while Pogacar and Bernal are well proven.

Tour 2020 is gonna be exciting (If there are no second wave of virus in France...)
I wouldn't exactly say they were far from great. Obviously they weren't on par with Bernal winning the TDF, but a top 10 in the Giro isn't exactly bad either, at his age. That's actually a superb result for a first GT going for GC. It's just that the other guys in this thread make it seem subpar.
 
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HLN (Belgian newspaper) listed twelve young riders they see as the most likely (future) rivals for Evenepoel in GT's:

Certainties: Bernal and Pogacar
High probability: Higuita, Sivakov, Sosa and Gaudu
Possible future rivals: Foss, Ardila, Rubio, McNulty, Leknessund and Van Wilder
 
HLN (Belgian newspaper) listed twelve young riders they see as the most likely (future) rivals for Evenepoel in GT's:

Certainties: Bernal and Pogacar
High probability: Higuita, Sivakov, Sosa and Gaudu
Possible future rivals: Foss, Ardila, Rubio, McNulty, Leknessund and Van Wilder
Sosa will never challenge for a GT victory. He is terrible in anything that's not a climb. Sosa makes Purito look like Indurain. Foss will never amount to a winner either, me thinks. Compared to him, Benoot has the most punch ever seen. With a severe, huge, incredible lack of punch you either have to be by far the best rider in the race (highly, highly unlikely) or be able to profit from a strong team (more likely, but I'd doubt he would ever be put on a TDF squad to co-lead with a Dumo or Roglic. Foss has 1 victory in 4 years of being U23. That's 1 more than me in 0. The problem with my former scenario is that the competition on pro level is higher than non-climber Aleotti and 1st year Van Wilder. I would drop Einer from the equation as well.

Names like Brenner, Ayuso, Tiberi and Uijtdebroeks are far more likely, imo.
 
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How so? Because I strongly disagree. Sivakov is a lot like a young Kwiatkowski, a rouleur of the highest level. He does everything oh so well, but doesn't excel at anything in regards to GT riding. He isn't on Remco's level in TT's, and he isn't on Bernal's level on the high, long climbs.
We haven't seen current Sivakov nearly enough to make any assessment.
 
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HLN (Belgian newspaper) listed twelve young riders they see as the most likely (future) rivals for Evenepoel in GT's:

Certainties: Bernal and Pogacar
High probability: Higuita, Sivakov, Sosa and Gaudu
Possible future rivals: Foss, Ardila, Rubio, McNulty, Leknessund and Van Wilder
Foss is part of the Sivakov, Bernal, Lambrecht generation, in which he was a distant dot. The only reason why he finally won Tour de l'Avenir, was because A/ he had the best domestique (who was actually much more impressive than him): Sleen. B/ he waited as long as he could, so he could compete with riders 2 to 3 years younger than him, while Pogacar, Bernal, Sivakov & Evenepoel all moved on from U23 and C/ he was lucky enough half the field of (younger) favorites crashed out or lost a lot of time. I would be very surprised if he turns out to be anything more than a domestique. Sosa can win a Vuelta, in the same way Hesjedahl could win a Giro. In his case, that means a tailored route without an ITT and nobody else competing. Gaudu: jury's still out on this one, I expected more from him by now. Also seems to have to peak for his top results, but considering he's been riding as a domestique mostly, hard to say. Leknessund is a great rider, but i'm not convinced he's going to be a GT/GC rider. I know he's been doing great at GC's in the youth ranks, but i could easily see him turn out to be more of a Cancellara type of guy. When i compare him in terms of power, with a guy like Van Wilder (who was nearly his equal last year as a first year U23), not only is Leknessund a year older, but he's also much more of a slim trained athlete who has less margin to lose weight without losing power, while a guy like Van Wilder can drop 4 kilo without it making a dent in his power output. Haven't seen enough of Rubio. Ardila seems like a top talent, if he doesn't wreck his own body. I hear he's already had knee problems, and the way he climbs he's bound to have more.

Personally, i'm also not convinced Higuita is going to be a top contender for GC. I can see him get a lot of top 10's and stage wins, but few podiums.

With some of the names listed, it's strange that Vlasov isn't, and also Almeida and Bagioli. Who says they will stay in Evenepoel's team until the end of times?
Imho, it's too early to say anything about the Brenners and the Uijtdebroeks, though especially these two seem like the real deal.
 
Foss is part of the Sivakov, Bernal, Lambrecht generation, in which he was a distant dot. The only reason why he finally won Tour de l'Avenir, was because A/ he had the best domestique (who was actually much more impressive than him): Sleen. B/ he waited as long as he could, so he could compete with riders 2 to 3 years younger than him, while Pogacar, Bernal, Sivakov & Evenepoel all moved on from U23 and C/ he was lucky enough half the field of (younger) favorites crashed out or lost a lot of time. I would be very surprised if he turns out to be anything more than a domestique. Sosa can win a Vuelta, in the same way Hesjedahl could win a Giro. In his case, that means a tailored route without an ITT and nobody else competing. Gaudu: jury's still out on this one, I expected more from him by now. Also seems to have to peak for his top results, but considering he's been riding as a domestique mostly, hard to say. Leknessund is a great rider, but i'm not convinced he's going to be a GT/GC rider. I know he's been doing great at GC's in the youth ranks, but i could easily see him turn out to be more of a Cancellara type of guy. When i compare him in terms of power, with a guy like Van Wilder (who was nearly his equal last year as a first year U23), not only is Leknessund a year older, but he's also much more of a slim trained athlete who has less margin to lose weight without losing power, while a guy like Van Wilder can drop 4 kilo without it making a dent in his power output. Haven't seen enough of Rubio. Ardila seems like a top talent, if he doesn't wreck his own body. I hear he's already had knee problems, and the way he climbs he's bound to have more.

Personally, i'm also not convinced Higuita is going to be a top contender for GC. I can see him get a lot of top 10's and stage wins, but few podiums.

With some of the names listed, it's strange that Vlasov isn't, and also Almeida and Bagioli. Who says they will stay in Evenepoel's team until the end of times?
Imho, it's too early to say anything about the Brenners and the Uijtdebroeks, though especially these two seem like the real deal.
I think there's a tendency to take a cohort of like 3 years and put in too many "potential GT winners" as in the majority of them are gonna disappoint by that expectation. This generation is already really stuffed with Bernal, Pog, Evenepoel and to a lesser extent Sivakov and maybe Gaudu. Gaudu is a bit of an unknown for me cause he's mainly been Pinot's domestique, so perhaps he could've gotten a top 10 in the Tour last year if not for that.
 
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I think there's a tendency to take a cohort of like 3 years and put in too many "potential GT winners" as in the majority of them are gonna disappoint by that expectation. This generation is already really stuffed with Bernal, Pog, Evenepoel and to a lesser extent Sivakov and maybe Gaudu. Gaudu is a bit of an unknown for me cause he's mainly been Pinot's domestique, so perhaps he could've gotten a top 10 in the Tour last year if not for that.
Yes, that's what i meant regarding Gaudu. Expected more so far, but he's working for Pinot. I would have expected him to shine in a Dauphiné or so by now, but either he isn't allowed or he has a very tight peaking schedule.
 
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How so? Because I strongly disagree. Sivakov is a lot like a young Kwiatkowski, a rouleur of the highest level. He does everything oh so well, but doesn't excel at anything in regards to GT riding. He isn't on Remco's level in TT's, and he isn't on Bernal's level on the high, long climbs.
Bernal may be close to peaking right now, as sometimes happens with Colombian riders, I think Sivakov will be a longer maturing rider
 
He was a domestique at work, team took yellow in Paris, he got second in white jersey classification? In comparison could be decent entry for Evenepoel to take white and with Knox and others help Alaphilippe to podium in Paris :D
I think Bernal finished 22nd in the one and only ITT last year (not the year before). So he was going all out as were all the GT riders, plus people like Van Aert who was going for the stage win. However, in a GT ITT, not too many riders go all out. So he kinda finished 22nd of maybe 40 or so who were trying full out. That is not the sign of excellence (he is not bad though!). Point is, you add another (flat) ITT of about 25-30kms and Bernal likely doesn't win. And, still, that would be a very small amount of TT kms...

The other thing is, again I point out that should a rider (let's say someone like Jungels) finish 22nd on the main mountain stage (no break remnants in front of him, of course -- just GT riders and climbers going for the stage) of a GT, no one, not a single person here would call him an "excellent" climber. And should he actually triumph in the GT after such a performance in the mountains, no one here would be particularly happy about it, or think that he was deserving...

Bernal is an excellent (spectacular even) rider, but he is not an all-rounder.

And the ITT has always had the reputation of being the race of truth.

Why are good TTers required to become excellent climbers (top five even) to now win a GT, but climbers now can expect one very short ITT (that can often include a climb). Why does the GT now reward only the best climber (and isn't there a separate award for that anyway)...? At one time just recently, all three GTs were held by climbers who are notoriously abysmal (Carapaz), weak (Simon Yates) or average (Bernal) TTers.

I just think that is a shame. It defeats the purpose of what a GT overall is supposed to be testing...

And frankly, I do not care about making it "close" artificially. I want the GTs to reward the best all-rounder. They rarely do these days. That's all.
 
I fully understand this thread but I think Sivakov should also feature. He has been a bit smothered, riding for Ineos (and of course didn't outright win the Giro as a 21-year-old) but seems to be really good too (just 10 seconds slower than Bernal today).
Indeed. However, he has only hit this particular level now... after the thread was started. He was good and had obvious potential before, but he had not entered the pros with quite the splash the other three had.
 
I would not necessarily call Simon Yates a weak TTer after all he once won a Paris-Nice TT by a big margin from the entire field.

He is inconsistent and it can weaken him for the days after so it’s hardly a strength of his but he is no purito.
Two great points.

However, the TT he won ended up a severe climb if I remember correctly (could be wrong).

But your second point is excellent. It is precisely the longer TTs and the also those long boring flat stages that have always been part of the test of a GT rider/winner. And -- while a small climber might do well on a long ITT or even in a Roubaix type stage -- the accumulation of those efforts most often wore those types of riders down (as I believe it did Simon Yates at the 2018 Giro). And riders like Merckx and Hinault would use the flat stages and ITTs to wear the better climbers out.
 
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Why are good TTers required to become excellent climbers (top five even) to now win a GT, but climbers now can expect one very short ITT (that can often include a climb). Why does the GT now reward only the best climber (and isn't there a separate award for that anyway)...? At one time just recently, all three GTs were held by climbers who are notoriously abysmal (Carapaz), weak (Simon Yates) or average (Bernal) TTers.
Marketing would be your answer. A regular viewer with not much cyccling knowledge finds a time trial boring and doesn't understand that someone who is beaten up the climb can win a race. Climbing is exciting because you can show a 5 minute highlights of attacking up a legendary climb...

I do admit that races when one guy (or one team) is so much better at TTs than everyone else in the GC picture is rather boring. Wiggins in 2012 or Froome the next couple of years was... not great to watch. But the trend of basically no TTs is getting ridiculous. We currently have a lot of good TT riders who could compete for a GT win (Thomas, Roglič, Dumoulin, Froome....), yet for some reason people like Quintana, Bardet, Lopez, Landa and to some extent Bernal, who are great climbers but not very good TT-ers have a big advantage. They do not have to adapt their style of riding to win. The other group do.
 
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Marketing would be your answer. A regular viewer with not much cyccling knowledge finds a time trial boring and doesn't understand that someone who is beaten up the climb can win a race. Climbing is exciting because you can show a 5 minute highlights of attacking up a legendary climb...

I do admit that races when one guy (or one team) is so much better at TTs than everyone else in the GC picture is rather boring. Wiggins in 2012 or Froome the next couple of years was... not great to watch. But the trend of basically no TTs is getting ridiculous. We currently have a lot of good TT riders who could compete for a GT win (Thomas, Roglič, Dumoulin, Froome....), yet for some reason people like Quintana, Bardet, Lopez, Landa and to some extent Bernal, who are great climbers but not very good TT-ers have a big advantage. They do not have to adapt their style of riding to win. The other group do.
Not just marketing.

GTs would be very uncompetitive if they hadn't scaled back on the TT mileage. It was either that or go uber crazy on mountain stages and sadly that wasn't considered the solution.

Also let's not pretend Carapaz didn't win on a route with a healthy amount of ITTage against one of the best TTing GC riders of the world.

Also, between 2017-2018 you had Dumoulin, Froome x3, and Geraint Thomas winning 5 GTs in a row.

Overall I'm not sure it's that much of a scandal TTs were scaled back. I'm honestly sadder that climbers have all become 30 minute W/kg monkeys and climbing domestiques feature so utterly dominantly now. Without Contador retiring on an absolute yolo streak the 2017 Vuelta would have been the most unwatchable GT in recent memory for that.
 
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Leknessund is a great rider, but i'm not convinced he's going to be a GT/GC rider. I know he's been doing great at GC's in the youth ranks, but i could easily see him turn out to be more of a Cancellara type of guy. When i compare him in terms of power, with a guy like Van Wilder (who was nearly his equal last year as a first year U23), not only is Leknessund a year older, but he's also much more of a slim trained athlete who has less margin to lose weight without losing power, while a guy like Van Wilder can drop 4 kilo without it making a dent in his power output.
Leknessund has never focused on losing weight and is about 72-73 kg at 185 cm. I think there is potential there. We'll probably see some monstrous efforts in Tour de l'Avenir.
 
Leknessund has never focused on losing weight and is about 72-73 kg at 185 cm. I think there is potential there. We'll probably see some monstrous efforts in Tour de l'Avenir.
I doubt he'll be riding Tour de l'Avenir next year. And i'm solely going by how he looks. I'm not saying he can't lose weight, but he looks skinny. Meaning, if he wants to further lose weight, it is very possible it will affect his output.
 
As a Norwegian I agree about what was said about Foss. Guy can potentially be a great, great mountain-train guy, but there is no way I can see him fight for a GT victory or podium.

Leknessund I’m way more excited about. He had a bad crash last year which held him out of Avenir, otherwise I suspect he would’ve won and not Foss. During the competition break this spring/summer Leknessund have showed great progress both in TT tests and he crushed a very prestigious climbing KOM which was previously held by Carl Fredrik Hagen. Guy can climb, and even if he looks pretty skinny he is quite tall so there are weight to lose if he wants to.

Honestly, it’s hard to imagine anyone challenge Bernal, Pogacar and Evenepoel. But I will not be surprised if Leknessund in 5-6 years are one of those very close behind these 3 super talents.
 
As a Norwegian I agree about what was said about Foss. Guy can potentially be a great, great mountain-train guy, but there is no way I can see him fight for a GT victory or podium.

Leknessund I’m way more excited about. He had a bad crash last year which held him out of Avenir, otherwise I suspect he would’ve won and not Foss. During the competition break this spring/summer Leknessund have showed great progress both in TT tests and he crushed a very prestigious climbing KOM which was previously held by Carl Fredrik Hagen. Guy can climb, and even if he looks pretty skinny he is quite tall so there are weight to lose if he wants to.

Honestly, it’s hard to imagine anyone challenge Bernal, Pogacar and Evenepoel. But I will not be surprised if Leknessund in 5-6 years are one of those very close behind these 3 super talents.
He can definitely climb, but he was only marginally faster than Foss in that "unofficial Norwegian climbing ITT" 2 months ago. CF Hagen also isn't exactly the biggest talent in the world and you never know in which kind of form those guys were to begin with. In Algarve he was bested by Van Wilder uphill, and only took 6 seconds in the ITT (which should have been his biggest strength). I like to compare him to Van Wilder, because he was a bit better than him early last year, but not that much, while Van Wilder is a full year younger and we have a lot of references between Van Wilder and Evenepoel in the juniors. Also in the Euro champs ITT, he was only a bit faster than Van Wilder. So i think both of them are roughly the same level, but i think Van Wilder, again being younger and chubbier, also has more margin to lose weight without it hampering his power output. Google some images of both and you will see what i mean. Leknessund looks like an athlete, Van Wilder looks like a chubby schoolboy. I think the latter has more room to grow. And knowing how big the gap was between Evenepoel and Van Wilder, well... Anyway, i like Leknessund, i wish him the best and i'd definitely want to see him successful, i'm just not convinced it will be at GT/GC's, but i wish him all the best.

Basically, there are a lot of guys that climb well in the youth ranks, but when they turn into pros, that often fades away. Some of them were physically early compared to others in their age bracket. Others would find they couldn't lose weight easily without losing power, or couldn't gain power without adding weight. Look at van der Poel, look at Boason Hagen, guys like that were among the better climbers in the youth ranks. But i'm not afraid for Leknessund. If he doesn't turn out to be a GC contender, he will surely be successful at something else.
 
I just think that is a shame. It defeats the purpose of what a GT overall is supposed to be testing...
See, this is an example of how the ITT "purists" completely miss the point. All sporting events, including GTs, are supposed to test anything. They existing for one reason only. To entertain the viewer. If there is no viewer, there's no money in the sport and it ceases to exist.

ITTs are boring because it's not racing. It's just people riding a bike, one-by-one. Why would I waste my time watching that? I know it takes talent and a lot of hard work to be elite but I don't care. Just like I know that every Olympic sport is difficult to do well but it's boring to watch so I don't. ITTs are like watching a football match decided by penalty kicks. I know there's skill involved but it's boring so I won't watch it.

Race organizers know this so they've changed the routes to generate more interest. And the ASO is best there is. Minimal TTs and minimal flat stages are the way to go. And the Dauphine course this year is perfect. 5 stages, all medium or high mountains. I'll watch that!

Also, I'll add that Froome isn't an all-rounder. A great climber, a great TT'er but not much of a sprinter and isn't even competitive in one-day races. He's still the best GC rider of his generation.
 
See, this is an example of how the ITT "purists" completely miss the point. All sporting events, including GTs, are supposed to test anything. They existing for one reason only. To entertain the viewer. If there is no viewer, there's no money in the sport and it ceases to exist.

ITTs are boring because it's not racing. It's just people riding a bike, one-by-one. Why would I waste my time watching that? I know it takes talent and a lot of hard work to be elite but I don't care. Just like I know that every Olympic sport is difficult to do well but it's boring to watch so I don't. ITTs are like watching a football match decided by penalty kicks. I know there's skill involved but it's boring so I won't watch it.

Race organizers know this so they've changed the routes to generate more interest. And the ASO is best there is. Minimal TTs and minimal flat stages are the way to go. And the Dauphine course this year is perfect. 5 stages, all medium or high mountains. I'll watch that!

Also, I'll add that Froome isn't an all-rounder. A great climber, a great TT'er but not much of a sprinter and isn't even competitive in one-day races. He's still the best GC rider of his generation.
A sport is about athletes testing their abilities in order to win a contest, and determine who is the best. A sport should not cater to what certain people find entertaining, because if you go by that standard, then why not allow "funny/entertaining" result altering gimmicks? Obviously in order to survive a sport needs viewers but your line of thinking opens up the gates to dangerous precedents. Football (soccer) would also be more entertaining if players were allowed to wrestle each other. Probably. So while i can agree to have more mountain stages for "amusement purposes" than ITT's, the balance is completely tilted. An ITT is the most pure form of cycling, man vs man. No hiding behind teammates. I've said this before in another topic, but i'm completely fine with mountain ITT's as well by the way, so that even the small skinny guys can win, and not only the big 78kg bulldozers. If you don't like it or can't appreciate that, then maybe cycling isn't the sport for you? I don't know. I for one find them exciting and strangely relaxing at the same time. I love watching ITT's, because every timecheck can be exciting and i love knowing that the guy who wins, is usually (punctures, crashes or extreme changes in weather* not withstanding) the strongest rider on that day. Not the most lucky, or the one with the best team, or the smartest. They can put those qualities to good use in every other stage on every other day during those 3 weeks. (*)GC riders usually start close to each other so they more or less ride under the same circumstances anyway.

And if viewers/entertainment is the concern here, i'm still waiting for a good explanation for those dozens of godawfull sprinting stages every year.
 
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