Critérium du Dauphiné 08/12 > 08/16/20

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Which rider will surprise the most?

  • Sepp Kuss

    Votes: 3 4.7%
  • Enric Mas

    Votes: 8 12.5%
  • Chris Froome

    Votes: 12 18.8%
  • Sergio Higuita

    Votes: 13 20.3%
  • Adam Yates

    Votes: 3 4.7%
  • Dylan Teuns

    Votes: 2 3.1%
  • Benoît Cosnefroy

    Votes: 3 4.7%
  • Guillaume Martin

    Votes: 10 15.6%
  • other, French

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • other, non-French

    Votes: 11 17.2%

  • Total voters
    64
  • Poll closed .
Yeah, it's almost as if it wasn't just obvious that this post of yours would age rather poorly - it was already rotten before you hit submit :p

(And it definitely has signature quality)
You know, I saw I got a reply in the Dauphine thread and I already knew this was coming.

That said, I think even I myself mentioned that it was quite likely some of my own posts would age poorly
 
The one about Dumoulin?
Should have written "at least one opinion doesn't turn to absolute dogshit"

Edit: Just realized I wrote "root for Roglic" when I wanted to write Pogacar. I meant that if Pogacar wins my Pogacar prediction will sound pretty bad but at least I can still run around calling Roglic overrated ^^
 
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I feel like hottakes right now so here we go.

Based on the previous history of their riders JV should right now probably realize that they have one obvious horse to back for the tour, that being Dumoulin. I'll keep saying the thing I've regularly said last year, Roglic is insanely overrated. He keeps doing his last kilometer efforts in preperation races which impress people so much that they decide to ignore his actual gt performances.
He won the Vuelta, sure, and you have to be a very strong rider to do that, but it doesn't automatically make you the top favorite for the tour. And then what gt performance is supposed to convince me that he is the current gc top guy? Him climbing on par with a 21 year old in the Vuelta? Him getting dropped by Carapaz and Nibali at will in the last week of the giro? I genuinely believe his most impressive gt climbing performances came in the 3rd week of the 2018 Tour where he still wasn't climbing better than a number of guys who will be his rivals this year.
Sure his preperation race results so far look great but so they did before last years giro. I don't buy it.

Meanwhile Dumoulin is slowly building up his form just like he always did. The lack of TT's might become a problem for him, but if it's just about his shape I'd argue he looks just like his former self again. And I know it's easy to forget but that former self was labeled as the one to derail Ineos less than two years ago. If it's about peak performance I absolutely think Dumoulin is still a level above Roglic and I'm inclined to think he'll hit that peak in France this year.

I guess the favorite for me is still Bernal though, but I'm starting to think he'll be just a slightly better (not even sure about that bit) version of Quintana. He got the tour win Quintana never achieved but was 2019 Bernal actually any better than 2013 Quintana? 2013 Quintana didn't win because 2013 Froome was around and neither would Bernal with peak Froome as his opponent. A year gone and I don't feel like Bernal improved. Now that's not catastrophic because there is still no 2013 Froome in sight, so he could still very well win. But he's not gonna become the next tour dominator and he'll have to take his wins before the next one arises.

Then of course there is Pogacar, the other young and upcoming star. He's not gonna be the next big thing either and I'd bet quite a bit that the hype surrounding him will largely disappear after this tour. He will without a doubt become a great rider, he might very well win a gt one day, but I get serious Enric Mas vibes by him who basically did the exact same thing as him at the Vuelta, just a year earlier and nobody is hyping him now. Of course Pogacar was even younger but still. There is something about him that makes me think he just peaked very early and got lucky with a super weak Vuelta field.

Meanwhile I wholeheartedly think this could be Pinot's year. Just like it could have been last year. There are so many big names lining up for the tour (argubly much bigger than Pinot's) but to me it feels like the field isn't actually much stronger than it was a year ago. If he is as good again and I have the feeling he will be, I genuinely think he has a decent chance to win.

I feel like many people will disagree with some of these things so I just want to say that I did not intend to offend anyone. We'll see soon enough about which things I'm right and about which I'm wrong soon enough (and I'm very well aware some of the things I wrote might reeeeally not age well ^^). So yeah, I'm just really looking forward to the tour really curious how things will go.
So...well over a month has passed since I wrote this and I feel like I should take a look back. It's very well possible you don't care about what some armchair fan wrote a few weeks ago, in that case just ignore this. Anyway, point by point:

The Roglic prediction is possibly the one that looked worst a week ago and best now. Turns out he was pretty good, but it also turns out he just isn't the sort of guy who can dominate gt racing. He can win gt's like he did last year, he very well could have won this Tour (realistically he was just unlucky this was the first time in ages the Tour had such a tough TT so late. Pretty certain if this race takes place on last years route Roglic would have won), but he's not the sort of guy that can regularly drop everyone in the mountains, his recovery still looks like a question mark and his TT gets way worse in the 3rd week. He is probably the best in the world when it comes to sprints on the top of mtf's but if that's your main strength as a gc rider there is an issue.

Now the Dumoulin prediction doesn't look as good but I have to say my main point was that Dumoulin in top shape could have won this Tour and he didn't hit top shape. Now that is where I was wrong, I liked where his trajectory was going in the Dauphine but he hasn't improved much since. I'm still really curious how he'll do in the Vuelta.

Pogacar, yeah...well...should not have written this. I'll write a bit about the whole "Vuelta field strength" stuff later but even then I think he has improved quite a lot since then. Looking back it's still quite obvious that prediction was stupid in the first place. The whole thought process was basically a "my gut feeling is telling me this, I have no arguments to back it up, but I might be right anyway". I was not right. Turns out Pogacar might be a generational talent, he is already a Tour de France winner, he could never sit on a bike again and would still forever be a legend of his country and that TT was historically great. I actually disagree about the whole "greatest TT performance in Tour history, yada yada" stuff, but that's because I think most great TT performances like this get more or less predicted. Like, Indurain's TT winning margins were insane, but he won by that much so often that at some point it became the new normal. Nobody predicted this. And in terms of how far apart expectation and actual performance lie this might indeed be one of the the greatest TT performances in the Tour history.
I do want to add though, if Pogacar wants to become a gt dominator and multiple tdf winner this still must not be the end of his evolution. After this ITT it's easy to forget, but Pogacar got dropped not only by Roglic but also Lopez on the Col de la Loze and lost quite a bit of time. Now if he starts winning every TT by minutes climbing like he did in this Tour would be enough to become a cycling great, but if he doesn't his climbing has to become even better. One opinion of mine hasn't changed, if we have already seen the next guy to dominate the Tour for multiple years then we haven't seen his ceiling yet.

The Bernal and Pinot predictions are kinda hard to judge. Both were obviously pretty horrendous but both were actually so horrendous that there was obviously a deeper lying issue. What peak Pinot and peak Bernal could have done, we still don't know.

This also brings me to my Vuelta 2019 point, as I've repeatedly claimed the field of that race was simply very weak. This does of course look pretty stupid now as the guys who finished 1st and 3rd in that race then went to the Tour to get 1st and 2nd there, so yeah, I underrated the field. I think I underrated Valverde in particular as I kinda took him as the standard for Vuelta comparisons as he was there, fighting for the podium almost every year. And I still think that made sense, I still think that if a guy whose climbing seemed to have been on a slight decline since his crash in 2017 finishes a gt as highly as he hadn't done for 7 years the likeliest version is, he didn't have great competition. And I still think there is some merit to the idea. I think everyone will agree that even though it turned out Pogacar is pretty great, he just wasn't as good yet a year ago. Quintana was climbing pretty horribly in the Vuelta and even though people hyped MAL for a day after his incredible performance on the Col de la Loze he wasn't actually consistently great in this Tour either. He is still only a top tier climber on a very specific kind of climb.
So did I underrate last year's Vuelta field? Yeah
Did I underrate it substantially? I still don't think so
I also find it interesting to compare the Tour field from this year to the one from 2019 just because of how different they look. Just like I have repeatedly had my shots at the 2019 Vuelta many other forum members did the same to the 2019 Tour and because the biggest race of 2020 ended up being dominated from riders who rode in the former some have concluded this means the latter had a weaker field. I disagree with that. The interesting thing is that the whole podium from this year didn't participate last year or was substantially worse while the same could be said about the top 5 from last year plus Pinot. I honestly wonder if there have ever been consecutive Tours were the strongest riders were so dissimilar. All those discussions whether peak Bernal or peak Pinot could drop someone like Roglic on a big mtf were already there before the Tour and we can answer them just as well now as we did a month ago. Really, looking at guys like Landa or Uran I'd guess the field was about as good this year as it was a year ago. Still think peak Froome or even 2018 Thomas could have comfortably won this.
 
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The level of Pogacar was extremely high and one of the highest in the 21st century. ( Talking about W/Kg and numbers ). Numerous climb records were broken. So not sure peak Froome or 2018 Thomas would have won this race, let alone comfortably. Especially Thomas 2018 wouldn't beat Pogacar imo. Hell, I don't think Thomas 2018 belongs in this conversation.
 
Pogacar level was so high that his gaps on most difficult stages to the 5th best rider out of the GC group were (omitting stages 4 ,6 and 16)

40''
11''
16''
15''
31''
1''

of course it was a very specific Tour which meant that the gaps on stages among the top favorites were smaller than usual, but even then, the key points were consistency and the super ITT. It's not like he was smacking everyone around for 3 weeks,
 
I think the general level was very high this Tour ( and this season in general, but that's for another subforum ). Also, there were stages where Roglic and Pogacar were comfortably stronger than the rest but attacked very late ( they dropped everyone on Marie Blanque, Pas de Peyrol and Grand Colombier for example )
 
The comfortable was more about Froome, though I still think Thomas could have won this.

Now my question is, do you think those riders would have struggled to win against Pogacar because you think they would have struggled last year too, or because you think Pogacar's and this Tour's general level was so high. And if it's the latter, why?
 
The comfortable was more about Froome, though I still think Thomas could have won this.

Now my question is, do you think those riders would have struggled to win against Pogacar because you think they would have struggled last year too, or because you think Pogacar's and this Tour's general level was so high. And if it's the latter, why?
Can't really correct for route.

IMO Pog and Rog both beat Bernal handily. I've said previously I thought Roglic last year in the Vuelta was stronger than Bernal on any non ridiculous route. Porte I dunno but depends on crosswind action but he probably rides a really good ITT and doesn't lose in Pyrenees either. Bernal got off really lucky with how passively the Tourmalet was raced.
 
I would say it is the latter. I don't know the exact reason but the climbing times were very high in this edition. ( And generally throughout the year - the last stage of Dauphine had some amazing W/Kg for instance, add to that the performances at early season ( many climbs being climbed in a very high level for early season standards ) I think the general level has taken a step this year, and especially after the return ). Also there were many riders who said that they are at their best level or close to that and that the level in this Tour is incredibly high.
 
Can't really correct for route.

IMO Pog and Rog both beat Bernal handily. I've said previously I thought Roglic last year in the Vuelta was stronger than Bernal on any non ridiculous route. Porte I dunno but depends on crosswind action but he probably rides a really good ITT and doesn't lose in Pyrenees either. Bernal got off really lucky with how passively the Tourmalet was raced.
But would Porte have been the one guy going with Bernal the two times he attacked in the Alps? I think if everyone of the favorites went all out as soon as Bernal went most of then would have been a lot closer last year.
 
Can't really correct for route.

IMO Pog and Rog both beat Bernal handily. I've said previously I thought Roglic last year in the Vuelta was stronger than Bernal on any non ridiculous route. Porte I dunno but depends on crosswind action but he probably rides a really good ITT and doesn't lose in Pyrenees either. Bernal got off really lucky with how passively the Tourmalet was raced.
I mean, we do know where Bernal was after almost two weeks and it wasn't that far behind Roglic despite argubly being in even worse shape. The thing with Bernal last year is, once they did hit the Alps he was actually way better than everyone else, not just a little bit. When I look at Lopez outclimbing Roglic on stage 17 I just can't help but think peak Bernal would have taken a lot more time there.

Now that doesn't mean it would have been easy for Bernal. Even if he takes time on the two big mtf's and stage 18. Bernal does still have his big limitations, after all that was one of the points in my original post too, but riding against a guy who can outclimb you on the big climbs is just always super difficult. There might just be some long range or tactical shenanigans and suddenly you lose three minutes on one day. I also think that if Bernal had been in top shape and Ineos had ridden that way the style of racing would have suited Roglic much less than when his team was able to dictate the pace.
 
Porte was in the Tour last year, and he was poor. That was the main reason why most of us were not rating his chances to do very well this year I think, more so than the "he can't last for three weeks" theory. As an Aussie I was mostly hoping that he'd have the legs necessary this season, but after 2019 I wasn't confident, so for this was all a pleasant surprise.

Gigs, when you talk about the Vuelta 2019 and whether you underrated it, are you talking more about the field, or the level? I didn't take much notice of last years Vuelta, but I think that generally the level in that race is significantly lower than the Tour and more often than not the Giro. Just because it is next to nobodies major focus of the season. It wouldn't surprise me if Roglic' level at last years Giro was higher than it was at last years Vuelta. Does anyone have any 'numbers' in regards to this?

Pogacar improving from 3rd at the Vuelta to winning the Tour is not a surprise at his age. How he went about winning it, is another issue.
 
I mean, we do know where Bernal was after almost two weeks and it wasn't that far behind Roglic despite argubly being in even worse shape. The thing with Bernal last year is, once they did hit the Alps he was actually way better than everyone else, not just a little bit. When I look at Lopez outclimbing Roglic on stage 17 I just can't help but think peak Bernal would have taken a lot more time there.

Now that doesn't mean it would have been easy for Bernal. Even if he takes time on the two big mtf's and stage 18. Bernal does still have his big limitations, after all that was one of the points in my original post too, but riding against a guy who can outclimb you on the big climbs is just always super difficult. There might just be some long range or tactical shenanigans and suddenly you lose three minutes on one day. I also think that if Bernal had been in top shape and Ineos had ridden that way the style of racing would have suited Roglic much less than when his team was able to dictate the pace.
Took 30s on the Galibier on a group which were stuck together. Then a minute on Iseran when they group behind were riding to keep a domestique around. Iseran gaps were huge but that's more Ineos pace than just Bernal. I think Roglic takes 20s in the TTT (being generous assuing they don't go faster), drops Bernal on PdbF (that final suits Roglic like a glove), wins the ITT and then already has 2 minutes and probably takes more time on Prat d'Albis and Tourmalet while having Kruijswijk as a domestique. Maybe he lets Bernal have his half minute on the Galibier, maybe he sits on Kruijswijk on the Iseran (worst case scenario) then he still has at least half a minute on Val Thorens where he never gets dropped cause he's more explosive and will always be able to sit on Bernals wheel. In fact if Roglic has yellow there then Ineos have to pace the entirety of Val Thorens which makes them weaker towards the end of the climb.

And I think you're sleeping a little bit on Superman on his best days a bit. I don't think Bernal just puts 30s or more into MAL there, and Col de la Loze is huge. Maybe 2019 Ineos paces it much harder but okay. I just don't think Bernal is the best climber in the world or something like that.
 

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