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Enric Mas Rising Star

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Jack Haig has 1 podium, 1 Top 5, 1 Top 10 in GTs- all from this Vuelta.

Mas has 2 podiums, 4 Top 5s, and 5 Top 10s in GTs and is a year younger. I like Haig, but come on...

Alright, let's make it a four-tier system of riders. Mas is above Haig but still below Bernal. Finishing Top 5 in GCs is not a sure-fire predictor of reaching the top step of the Podium. His best shot at GC was the Vuelta that Simon Yates won. I'm sure Mas will have many more Top 5s to come.
 
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Okay, since you aren't reacting to me I don't know if you have me on ignore, but I honestly wonder what do you consider incessant repetitive posting? I mean, after all I've read quite many posts of you this Vuelta writing about BikeExchange letting Mezgec work for Matthews. And how are we supposed to discuss a rider when we can't say what we think and feel about him?
I don’t care about whether someone likes a rider or not, as long as they respect them or their abilities. My beef with your Mas criticism stems from the fact that you started the pinned Vuelta thread with a poll that included Bardet, Aru, and Padun- none of whom seen a Top 3 GT result in 5 years or Padun who was racing his first GT- as well as Yates who hasn’t had a GT Top 5 since 2016- but has numerous implosions while riding for GC.

And yet where were Mas and Lopez? That’s the difference between liking the style of a certain rider and respecting their abilities. For example, I found Tao’s Giro win a total fluke because of the lack of competition and he doesn’t hold my interest as a rider. However, if he’s named as a co-leader for a GT, I’d include him on any list of favorites because I respect the fact that he has GT success and if Ineos is backing him, his opponents take him seriously.
 
I don’t care about whether someone likes a rider or not, as long as they respect them or their abilities. My beef with your Mas criticism stems from the fact that you started the pinned Vuelta thread with a poll that included Bardet, Aru, and Padun- none of whom seen a Top 3 GT result in 5 years or Padun who was racing his first GT- as well as Yates who hasn’t had a GT Top 5 since 2016- but has numerous implosions while riding for GC.

And yet where were Mas and Lopez? That’s the difference between liking the style of a certain rider and respecting their abilities. For example, I found Tao’s Giro win a total fluke because of the lack of competition and he doesn’t hold my interest as a rider. However, if he’s named as a co-leader for a GT, I’d include him on any list of favorites because I respect the fact that he has GT success and if Ineos is backing him, his opponents take him seriously.

Okay, I can see that, and I'm sorry. It's not like I don't have any respect for Mas. I accept him as part of the GT landscape, albeit one I don't care much about.
In the prediction game I actually had Lopez on third place - still I didn't include him in the poll. I just took Valverde as Movistar's spearhead in the poll. Like I said before, Aru was part of the fun option. Padun - well, I didn't expect him to podium, I took him because he's quite the talk of the town since-you-know-when. So there wasn't really much behind this poll, I just went through the startlist, took a few names, already had a Movistar-option, and thought it didn't matter much because it's just a fun poll and everyone will say Roglic anyway.

To me Mas is still boring (okay, maybe that would be different if I had seen the first week, when some of you say he was more attacking then) and maybe it's true that with that view I don't see his full potential. So you could say I'm underestimating him. But I think disrespectful is something else, disrespectful to me would be if I said something like "he's weak, he will never win anything important, he doesn't deserve a podium, what a disgrace of a rider"... something like that.
 
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Alright, let's make it a four-tier system of riders. Mas is above Haig but still below Bernal. Finishing Top 5 in GCs is not a sure-fire predictor of reaching the top step of the Podium. His best shot at GC was the Vuelta that Simon Yates won. I'm sure Mas will have many more Top 5s to come.

I think the gap between Bernal and the Slovenians is much larger than the gap between him and the rest of the riders. I think he’s a better rider, but look at his Giro win. He beat a 33 year old career domestique by less than 2 minutes . Granted, Caruso is a very talented guy who was toiling, but riders develop at different rates. Bernal is the likeliest winner out of a field minus the Slovenians, but I wouldn’t consider him a lock either.

You have the Slovenians at the top

Then you have Bernal and Carapaz. I don’t rate these guys as unlikely to be beaten, but more likely to win because of their style and nature. They would enter the race as the favorite, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they finished off the podium either. Thomas would be here if he wasn’t old and likely at the end of his GC days (at least at the TDF).


After that you have guys like Mas, Almeida, Vingegaard (who could be rated higher if he had more to go on than one fabulous Tour), Landa, Lopez, Pinot, Tao, etc... Guys I expect to fight over the podium against the Slovenians but I wouldn’t be surprised if they won against the 2nd group.

Below them are the 1 hit wonders or teases- Buchmann, Haig, even Vlasov. Looked great at times but don’t haven’t shown to consistently be at the highest level yet.

Nibali I purposefully left out because he’s a former Tier 1 rider who is probably too old to be in tier 3, but if he came out and won the Giro in 2022, I wouldn’t be shocked, but I feel it disrespectful to rate a champion of his caliber anywhere beneath his stature even though his best days are behind him. Valverde would be the same were he not like 43 years old.
I left Froome out because he’s clearly not on the same level since his accident and I don’t think he’ll ever contend for a Top 15 at a GT.

Then you have Dumoulin- a clear Tier 1 rider not out of his prime age wise when his head is in the right place, who might be below tier 3 at this stage of his career because he doesn’t want to ride for GC anymore.

To be honest, I might even rate Carapaz above Bernal. I think Bernal has more potential to win any race, but I wouldn’t say he was any more of a favorite than the other if they were both targeting the race as co-leaders. Bernal might be more likely to win, but I am more surprised if Carapaz finishes off the podium than I would be for Bernal.
 
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Okay, since you aren't reacting to me I don't know if you have me on ignore, but I honestly wonder what do you consider incessant repetitive posting? I mean, after all I've read quite many posts of you this Vuelta writing about BikeExchange letting Mezgec work for Matthews. And how are we supposed to discuss a rider when we can't say what we think and feel about him?

These posts are in race day threads and relate to the ongoing discussion - More importantly, I am discussing tactics and the like - I am not saying I like Mezgec or dislike Matthews.

I'll also add that if you missed key parts of the Vuelta it can be difficult to have an informed opinion - Even today in the TOB thread, you were commenting/speculating on how hard the peleton was chasing the break, even though you stated you were not watching the stage at that time.

Finally, I wish Mas who is developing well the best of luck in his career.
 
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I think the gap between Bernal and the Slovenians is much larger than the gap between him and the rest of the riders. I think he’s a better rider, but look at his Giro win. He beat a 33 year old career domestique by less than 2 minutes . Granted, Caruso is a very talented guy who was toiling, but riders develop at different rates. Bernal is the likeliest winner out of a field minus the Slovenians, but I wouldn’t consider him a lock either.

You have the Slovenians at the top

Then you have Bernal and Carapaz. I don’t rate these guys as unlikely to be beaten, but more likely to win because of their style and nature. They would enter the race as the favorite, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they finished off the podium either. Thomas would be here if he wasn’t old and likely at the end of his GC days (at least at the TDF).


After that you have guys like Mas, Almeida, Vingegaard (who could be rated higher if he had more to go on than one fabulous Tour), Landa, Lopez, Pinot, Tao, etc... Guys I expect to fight over the podium against the Slovenians but I wouldn’t be surprised if they won against the 2nd group.

Below them are the 1 hit wonders or teases- Buchmann, Haig, even Vlasov. Looked great at times but don’t haven’t shown to consistently be at the highest level yet.

Nibali I purposefully left out because he’s a former Tier 1 rider who is probably too old to be in tier 3, but if he came out and won the Giro in 2022, I wouldn’t be shocked, but I feel it disrespectful to rate a champion of his caliber anywhere beneath his stature even though his best days are behind him. Valverde would be the same were he not like 43 years old.
I left Froome out because he’s clearly not on the same level since his accident and I don’t think he’ll ever contend for a Top 15 at a GT.

Then you have Dumoulin- a clear Tier 1 rider not out of his prime age wise when his head is in the right place, who might be below tier 3 at this stage of his career because he doesn’t want to ride for GC anymore.

To be honest, I might even rate Carapaz above Bernal. I think Bernal has more potential to win any race, but I wouldn’t say he was any more of a favorite than the other if they were both targeting the race as co-leaders. Bernal might be more likely to win, but I am more surprised if Carapaz finishes off the podium than I would be for Bernal.
I agree with the top tiers here. Roglic and Pogacar are in a league of their own, Bernal and Carapaz are probably tier 2 with Mas and Vingegaard are tier 3. After those six, it becomes a lot more blurry and dependent on how and what you rate.
 
I agree with the top tiers here. Roglic and Pogacar are in a league of their own, Bernal and Carapaz are probably tier 2 with Mas and Vingegaard are tier 3. After those six, it becomes a lot more blurry and dependent on how and what you rate.

Vingegaard finished ahead of Carapaz in the Tour de France. Now, the fact there were two individual TT's helped a little, but he still had Carapaz beat on the Ventoux & he never lost time against him in the mountains.

The way I see it is this: Pogacar & Roglic are the total Grand Tour stage race fuoriclasse stars of the peloton who will take the fight to everyone & anyone, beating the rest on whichever terrain & in whatever form.

Beneath them there's the interchangeable top 5 riders of each GT during the season who have various strengths (including often being able to ride up hard cols with the Slovenians), but they aren't as complete (most don't have a good mountain sprint aka punch or a top TT) & aren't capable of maintaining a top base level for as long (in that category I place Roglic as best).

Enric Mas has the endurance & he has the climbing ability. But he doesn't have a sprint & he even got beaten in yesterday's TT by Bernal. All these riders (Carapaz, Bernal, Mas etc.) need to be in top form to compete against Pog & Rog, but even then they'll lose due to their deficiency in TT & inability to grab sprint bonuses. They need other stuff to win (echelons, crashes, crazy tactical scenarios).

But that doesn't mean Mas won't ever win a GT. There have been plenty of past GT winners who even in their prime would have been clobbered by Roglic & Pogacar if they'd faced them in their era. If Mas goes into a GT next season without Rog & Pog on the start list, I'd say he has every reason to be viewed as one of the favorites.
 
As it appears Movistar has a grand total of 2 Grand Tour GC riders next year Mas will be racing the Tour/Vuelta double and likely racing that double for the foreseeable future. Movistar having 2 GT GC riders is if you are counting Valverde, who said he's racing next year. Otherwise they have Mas and that's it. We've seen many times over the years that the Giro is the GT they don't put as much into.
 
These posts are in race day threads and relate to the ongoing discussion - More importantly, I am discussing tactics and the like - I am not saying I like Mezgec or dislike Matthews.

I'll also add that if you missed key parts of the Vuelta it can be difficult to have an informed opinion - Even today in the TOB thread, you were commenting/speculating on how hard the peleton was chasing the break, even though you stated you were not watching the stage at that time.

Finally, I wish Mas who is developing well the best of luck in his career.

What's bad about saying you like someone more or less? Why should we all stick to tactics and objective facts here? After all this is a public forum for cycling fans, not a symposium. If I really cross a line by being impolite - I'm not saying that can never happen, it might, but I'm really not keen on doing that - then tell me and I will try to think about it. But I think emotions, and not just enthusiasm, is not in the wrong place in this forum.

About your second point; I might just have a very different communication style than you - when I say I like someone it's either because I want to express my emotion, or, if I mention it by the way, it's usually to make my opinion more "transparent", to seperate my liking/nonliking from the achievement of a rider - for myself and also for others.
If I don't watch a race or don't watch it in full I specifically mention this so that people know what I know and what I don't know - if I then speculate I think everybody can see that I'm speculating (and I think I often mark this specifically as speculation) it's an offer to communicate: This is what I think, what do you think about it/ can someone confirm/ change my view/ explain.
 
What's bad about saying you like someone more or less? Why should we all stick to tactics and objective facts here? After all this is a public forum for cycling fans, not a symposium. If I really cross a line by being impolite - I'm not saying that can never happen, it might, but I'm really not keen on doing that - then tell me and I will try to think about it. But I think emotions, and not just enthusiasm, is not in the wrong place in this forum.

About your second point; I might just have a very different communication style than you - when I say I like someone it's either because I want to express my emotion, or, if I mention it by the way, it's usually to make my opinion more "transparent", to seperate my liking/nonliking from the achievement of a rider - for myself and also for others.
If I don't watch a race or don't watch it in full I specifically mention this so that people know what I know and what I don't know - if I then speculate I think everybody can see that I'm speculating (and I think I often mark this specifically as speculation) it's an offer to communicate: This is what I think, what do you think about it/ can someone confirm/ change my view/ explain.

I also don't remember you saying you dislike Mas more that you are just indifferent to him.

I like him, but some of that is I appreciate his consistency.
 
Now about the tiers of riders, I think that's a very difficult undertaking, because it changes constantly - a year later and the development of A might have gone up whereas B is declining. Then there's also always form. Plus the fact that there might be a rider like Pogacar with an incredibly high high, and a rider like Roglic who beats him in consistency. Plus, there are so many factors to consider: pure strength watts per kilos first, but then also time trialing ability of course. In addition bike handling, weather resistance, positioning skills, crosswind-skills, sustaining an effort, sprinting, recovery, mental strength... Some are of course way more important than others in percentages, but one weakness can "break your neck" during a GT.

All that being said there's no doubt Roglic and Pogacar are ahead of the others at the moment. The more I see of them the more clearly I see the differences though between two riders who seemed very similar to me in the beginning.
Whether Carapaz or Bernal is better - I think Bernal, all in all considered, but Bernal's back issue is not such a minor thing to me as it does now seem to some. It can hold him back very, very significantly; hopefully it's handled in a way so that it doesn't much in the future.

Behind these riders personally, I couldn't make a ranking. From guys like Almeida, Vingegaard, also Haig, Caruso and Mäder, and still also Mas, I simply have to see more. The Bahrain guys could just have one great season at the moment. The others still seem to be in development.
 
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Surely the hierarchy of GC riders is the strictest it's been in a long time now? Pogacar is clearly top, Roglic is clearly second, Bernal is clearly third, Carapaz is clearly fourth (or at least was before Vingegaard beat him at the Tour). The Froome era had no clear hierarchy between Contador, Nibali and Quintana, and before that the Giro, Tour and Vuelta fields were much more separated from each other than they are now, making it hard to find a hierarchy across all three. This suggests the current kind of structure is unusual and therefore unlikely to hold in the long term, but that doesn't change the fact that Bernal is currently easy to rank.
 
I wonder about people who incessantly post about riders they dislike - There is no purpose behind these posts, unless you are seeking attention.
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Cort has limited form on this kind of course and he could be down the pecking order in the Danish team - In my eyes, he'd be a surprise winner.
Matthews is currently climbing at a good level and no worse than Cort - Matthews has finished 5th in LBL which i doubt Cort could achieve.
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He has massively improved his climbing since leaving Green Edge, though his sprinting has gone down a touch and his classics riding has not developed - He struggled to get over cat 3 climbs at Green Edge.
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What ? Cort dropped before Matthews on the final climb in the stage.
You can actually put riders in the break which makes it easier for the team and sets up other opportunities in 21 stage - For example if Matthews was in the break with Cort in stage 7 he would be the favorite to win
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Mas actually rode a decent time trial to finish the Vuelta (9th place, which is very good for a guy who is not normally a TT powerhouse), and he was consistently the closest challenger to Roglic (even though Bernal looked stronger on stage 17). He seems to have been in his strongest form ever for a grand tour, and it's likely he'll continue to improve, as he's still just in his mid-20s. I wouldn't be surprised if he won a grand tour in the next year or two.
 

So you copy posts that span a two or three-week period over different threads which are not about Enric Mas. And the posts you copy are discussing the characteristics of riders comparing riders and discussing team tactics - My advice is to stop derailing this thread, give the Mas thread the respect deserves, and more importantly to ponder before you upload irrelevant and off-topic posts.
 
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As it appears Movistar has a grand total of 2 Grand Tour GC riders next year Mas will be racing the Tour/Vuelta double and likely racing that double for the foreseeable future. Movistar having 2 GT GC riders is if you are counting Valverde, who said he's racing next year. Otherwise they have Mas and that's it. We've seen many times over the years that the Giro is the GT they don't put as much into.
López is under contract until 2023 as things stand. Obviously things may change on that front as the dust will settle and the plan going forward will be formulated, but as it presently appears they have 2 Grand Tour GC riders, 3 if you count Valverde.
 
Vingegaard finished ahead of Carapaz in the Tour de France. Now, the fact there were two individual TT's helped a little, but he still had Carapaz beat on the Ventoux & he never lost time against him in the mountains.

The way I see it is this: Pogacar & Roglic are the total Grand Tour stage race fuoriclasse stars of the peloton who will take the fight to everyone & anyone, beating the rest on whichever terrain & in whatever form.

Beneath them there's the interchangeable top 5 riders of each GT during the season who have various strengths (including often being able to ride up hard cols with the Slovenians), but they aren't as complete (most don't have a good mountain sprint aka punch or a top TT) & aren't capable of maintaining a top base level for as long (in that category I place Roglic as best).

Enric Mas has the endurance & he has the climbing ability. But he doesn't have a sprint & he even got beaten in yesterday's TT by Bernal. All these riders (Carapaz, Bernal, Mas etc.) need to be in top form to compete against Pog & Rog, but even then they'll lose due to their deficiency in TT & inability to grab sprint bonuses. They need other stuff to win (echelons, crashes, crazy tactical scenarios).

But that doesn't mean Mas won't ever win a GT. There have been plenty of past GT winners who even in their prime would have been clobbered by Roglic & Pogacar if they'd faced them in their era. If Mas goes into a GT next season without Rog & Pog on the start list, I'd say he has every reason to be viewed as one of the favorites.
Yeah, I'm aware of that, but within the last three years, Carapaz has a Giro victory, a second place in the Vuelta and a third place in the Tour. I would rate that quite a bit higher than a second place in the Tour.

Other than that, I agree with your post. I don't think Mas is a odds on favorite to win a Grand Tour, but I would definitely not be surprised at all if he did. He should focus on the Giro and the Vuelta if he wants to though, as I don't see him winning the Tour. That said, I don't mind him focusing on the Tour, as I think the very best GT-riders should do that, and I rate him among those. He also doesn't seem to have a problem with the Tour-Vuelta double, so he still has a chance in the Vuelta although it's gonna be hard as well.
 
I ask myself "If Roglic hadn't started the Vuelta would Mas have won?"

Not impossible, but my guess is no.
“If Roglic hadn’t started, and all Movistar riders finished, would Mas have won?”

I think he was the next strongest rider in the race, and with good support he would have been able to get a lead, extend it when necessary, and defend it in the TT (9th on stage 21, 15s behind Bernal, 12s behind Grosschartner, and ahead of all other non-Roglic GC riders).
 
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Mas actually rode a decent time trial to finish the Vuelta (9th place, which is very good for a guy who is not normally a TT powerhouse), and he was consistently the closest challenger to Roglic (even though Bernal looked stronger on stage 17). He seems to have been in his strongest form ever for a grand tour, and it's likely he'll continue to improve, as he's still just in his mid-20s. I wouldn't be surprised if he won a grand tour in the next year or two.
Mas’ GT ITT results are actually pretty good. Not enough to beat Rog/Pog in any GT with an hour+ of ITT, but enough to not lose significant time to most other modern GC contenders, and good enough to put time into a lot of them.
 
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I would really like to know how much material and tt training play a role for some of these guys. One just can't ignore how good the Jumbos are at time trialing. Part of that is scouting, but if someone like Kuss can produce decent time trials and Vingegaard can be up there with the best, they must be doing something immensly right in that regard.
In my eyes the Astana riders also over-perform in time trials, meaning they are better there than I would expect them based on power on other stages and stature. Same goes for EF.
Movistar seem to be at the opposite end of that. I wonder what would change if Vingegaard went to Movistar and Mas to Jumbo.
 
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