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Interestingly, EF have only confirmed 4 transfers so far, but CQ already assumed there are 10 done deals about new riders:
Though every single of those names has already been mentioned on this forum, I think.
 
I really don't know who that guy is to be any more or any less excited. Maybe we will know in 5 years time!! :)
3 to 5 years sounds about right, realistic expectations.

The meteoric rise of young Colombians dominating right from the get-go is a tendency which has been diminishing for years, already pre Covid!

Alejandro Osorio for example, we know he has a huge engine, we have seen it on the Colombian domestic scene many times. He is stocky build for a climber theoretically perfect for racing in Europe. Fondriest has been hyping him for years as the future, however, his progression has been slow more linear, Anyway!

Merchan is a good prospect. Without a doubt.

Yes, he is a diminutive climber, no he cant TT well or maneuver himself into position in echelons. However, based strictly on how I would judge his potential - I see him as a future world tour rider (maybe not upper echelon) but he defiantly possesses some skills uphill which makes him ¨¨intresting¨¨ to follow.

First of all he is one of the few Colombians who actually won a race in Europe U23 wise this season. Medio Brenta, I think he rode the last 15 kilometers solo, more or less anyway!
He crashed in Valle d'Aosta and had to abandon the race . Granted this years Giro-Bio was poor by his standards (We have to remember he was sick with the cold in the Giro-Bio 2020) even though he tried to fight on and on stage-7 was in the break, but you could clearly see he wasn't himself when Pidcock flew past and showed there leavels to this sh!!.

In Colombia, he has been a beast of a climber for years (junior/U23). In 2017 he was seconded on GC at Novato de Oro (behind Camilo Ardila). He took his revenge at Clásica Rubén Dario Gomez where he won GC and the mountian-TT on stage-two. The TT finished on Parque de Santuario (7.4km uphill) Merchan recorded a time of 19.12. 2). Camilo Ardila 19.34. 3). Santiago Buitrago 19.49 and 4). Daniel Mendez also 19.49 so it was top-top prospects he beat. Merchan´s time btw was so fast he would have won the U23 category as well.

This performance made Luis Cely notice him and offer him a spot on Strongman for 2018. Cely among other guided Carapaz when he won Vuelta Juventud in Strongman colores back in 2015.

As a newly turned 20-year-old, he won the mountain TT in Clasico RCN up Cristo-Rey. Last year he won a stage and finished 2nd on GC at Vuelta Tolima - he finished 3rd and won the youth jersey at Clasico RCN . This year (2021) he finished 2nd on GC at Vuelta Juventud plus winning the climbers jersey as well. As mentioned above he just won Vuelta a Antioquia some days ago, become the second-youngest winner in history only topped by Oliverio Rincon who in 1989 won the race at age 20!

Merchan also almost won the junior edition btw but in the end, finished 4th in 2017!
 
A GT podium finish raises expectations, realistically.
Only if you ignore the context.

Carthy's season was more or less what you should expect from him. He rode his 2nd best season ever this year with his 2nd best ever GT performance. He's had the best spring of his career and if you make him crash out of the 2020 Vuelta, this season would've ended up being his best ever by a margin.

He is a rider that has eternally struggled with recovery- no surprise his best GT ever was the shortened Vuelta. Also there are two more caveats. First, the history of Vuelta is full of one hit wonders. It's late in the season and it's not a season goal for any top rider. It's a bit of a lottery who has enough legs left from the season to be competitive there. Secondly, it was the pandemic season which has complicated things even further. Just like I totally expected Geoghegan Hart and Hindley to not look as impressive this year as they looked in last year's Giro, I also didn't expect Carthy to become a regular GT podium finisher from now on. He didn't have any results or performances prior to the Vuelta that would suggest he's just stepped up as a rider big time and that's his actual new level. It looked much more like one of those circumstancial results that's not likely to be repeated any time soon.

His season had been very solid initially but then he ran out of steam by late season, which is not a surprise given his past recovery struggles.
 
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Any word on if EF have managed to retain Rutsch? Very impressive today, and I thought he was great in the TDF. May not be a big winner (not saying he couldn’t be), but if nothing else, he’s shown that he can be a very handy domestique.
 
At one point I simply thought that Rutsch to Bora was a done deal but then apparently it turned out not to be the case. I have no idea if they'll be able to keep him, though. If he hasn't signed already, a performance like today will only make him more attractive for other teams. Definetely someone I would want to keep in the team which I already told about in August, when the Bora rumours first appeared.
 
Only if you ignore the context.

Carthy's season was more or less what you should expect from him. He rode his 2nd best season ever this year with his 2nd best ever GT performance. He's had the best spring of his career and if you make him crash out of the 2020 Vuelta, this season would've ended up being his best ever by a margin.

He is a rider that has eternally struggled with recovery- no surprise his best GT ever was the shortened Vuelta. Also there are two more caveats. First, the history of Vuelta is full of one hit wonders. It's late in the season and it's not a season goal for any top rider. It's a bit of a lottery who has enough legs left from the season to be competitive there. Secondly, it was the pandemic season which has complicated things even further. Just like I totally expected Geoghegan Hart and Hindley to not look as impressive this year as they looked in last year's Giro, I also didn't expect Carthy to become a regular GT podium finisher from now on. He didn't have any results or performances prior to the Vuelta that would suggest he's just stepped up as a rider big time and that's his actual new level. It looked much more like one of those circumstancial results that's not likely to be repeated any time soon.

His season had been very solid initially but then he ran out of steam by late season, which is not a surprise given his past recovery struggles.
Carthy’s 2021 was a dip from 2020, but yes, it looks like it wasn’t as big a dip.
Comparisons with TGH and Hindley are fair, but at the same time, neither of them are capable of a ride like Carthy’s TdS queen stage in 2019. Also, Carthy’s Vuelta podium was against proven, in-form GC riders like Roglic, Carapaz, Martin etc and he went toe-to-toe with them; while Tao and Jai followed Rohan Dennis up a couple of passes better than Wilco Kelderman could.

It’s completely reasonable to have expected Carthy to progress in the year he turned 27. He might have hit his ceiling already, but it’s also possible he has just learned more about whether he can ride 2 GTs in a season. Maybe the Giro just doesn’t suit him. Maybe he’ll do better with a clear run at just one GT next year. Hopefully Slipstream have a good idea of what went right and what went wrong, and how to approach 2022.
 
Say what you want about Carthy but I could totally see a year like that coming.

Outside of that Vuelta, he's never finished any WT race on a position higher than 8th (!) and he's 27 so it's not like he was some youngster about to get an expected breakthrough. We've had years to assess where he stands at and what are his limitations. As I said, that Vuelta has always looked like an outlier, not a natural progression and Vuelta has always been full of one hit wonders. If he's shown the same level at TdF, then I would have taken it more seriously but sometimes you have to take a look at what's part of a trend and what's an outlier. A rider who at 27 has only finished one WT race inside top7 overall is rarely a material for consistent fight with the best.

Certainly he doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same "disappointment" category as Higuita, who, at 24, barely scored a third of the PCS points he had done at 22.

Carthy's problem is that he is a very limited rider. He lacks explosiveness to fight in shorter stage races but at the same time he lacks endurance and recovery to consistently excel in GTs, so his moments of glory were always going to be few and far between.
 
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He has been top 10 in two consecutive GTs. One podium.

He has definitely stepped up and improved. He is a late bloomer and about to be in his peak years for a cyclist. Which has normally been 27-32 even though we have seen younger guys dominating in the past few years. All of them I would say is exceptions to the rule (Evenepoel, Bernal and Pog).

He could end up achieving some great results, while being limited as a rider. Sort of like a Bauke Mollema, who has had a good career while not being a world beater.
 
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He could end up achieving some great results, while being limited as a rider. Sort of like a Bauke Mollema, who has had a good career while not being a world beater.
I don't really see Mollema as a limited rider in the same sense as Carthy. He was decently good at pretty much everything- long climbs, short climbs, explosiveness, small group finishes (as for a climber), classics, TT etc. He even once gained time in the crosswinds during TdF. He's also finished his first ever GT on 12th place in GC, so if you ever had the impression that he experienced any recovery struggles, they were nowhere near as severe as Carthy's who didn't even get a top20 on a single stage for his first 3 GTs.

Carthy's expected performance in his target races is definetely more like 6-10 places than top5 (and he did it this year with Catalunya and the Giro). As I mentioned earlier, he's only finished in the top5 overall of a WT race once in his career. He does seem to have that "extra" factor that he could match the best climbers on a day every now and then but he still has a long way to go to match the consistency of someone like Mollema. I see him as someone who could do something great at some point in the future but I totally wouldn't be surprised to never see him again in the top3 overall of a WT race and I won't raise my expectations until I see him delivering more consistently

If you forced me to bet all of my money after the Vuelta last year and I only had two choices:
  • Carthy will finish on a GT podium in the future again
  • Carthy will never finish on a GT podium in the future again
I would have leant towards the latter option. And I say that as someone who would have loved to see him on the podium of every GT he rides.
 
I don't really see Mollema as a limited rider in the same sense as Carthy. He was decently good at pretty much everything- long climbs, short climbs, explosiveness, small group finishes (as for a climber), classics, TT etc. He even once gained time in the crosswinds during TdF. He's also finished his first ever GT on 12th place in GC, so if you ever had the impression that he experienced any recovery struggles, they were nowhere near as severe as Carthy's who didn't even get a top20 on a single stage for his first 3 GTs.

Carthy's expected performance in his target races is definetely more like 6-10 places than top5 (and he did it this year with Catalunya and the Giro). As I mentioned earlier, he's only finished in the top5 overall of a WT race once in his career. He does seem to have that "extra" factor that he could match the best climbers on a day every now and then but he still has a long way to go to match the consistency of someone like Mollema. I see him as someone who could do something great at some point in the future but I totally wouldn't be surprised to never see him again in the top3 overall of a WT race and I won't raise my expectations until I see him delivering more consistently

If you forced me to bet all of my money after the Vuelta last year and I only had two choices:
  • Carthy will finish on a GT podium in the future again
  • Carthy will never finish on a GT podium in the future again
I would have leant towards the latter option. And I say that as someone who would have loved to see him on the podium of every GT he rides.
I didnt say they were the same . I think you misunderstood.

Just that it is possible to not have a winning weapon so to speak, be the best or most spectacular type of rider to achieve great results.

We will see what the future holds for him.
 
I didnt say they were the same . I think you misunderstood.

Just that it is possible to not have a winning weapon so to speak, be the best or most spectacular type of rider to achieve great results.

We will see what the future holds for him.
Conversely, there are some great riders who just are not winners. I always pointed to Bardet, who could (and sometimes still can) climb with the very best and hang tough in hard classics, something like 9 victories in 10 years as a pro.

Or to keep this EF, Uran, a GT podium finisher, who has 12 wins in 15 years. I'm sure there are more extreme examples. Carthy could be that kind of rider in the long run.

Interested to see how EF does today. Would love to see Powless in the final selection (or wheelsucking Remco to the line...:))
 

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