Even though he basically looks like a cramp, doesn't Pello Bilbao deserve a thread?

Aesthetically, there is nobody quite like him. How he rides with his shoulders drawn up and constantly makes his front wheel swerve from side to side while simultaneously grinding a huge gear is quite unique.

Yet somehow, Pello Bilbao makes it work. 6th in the Giro in 2018, two stage wins in 2019 and now he seems to be going for another high GC placing in the Giro. After having ridden the Tour. And the WCRR. And the WCITT. And become Spanish National ITT champion before the Tour. After having ridden the Dauphiné.

He probably has the most ambitious schedule of the pro peloton post-lockdown and I don't see him not cracking. Yet, that probably wouldn't hinder a top 10 as a lot of riders are looking like cracking or have question marks over them.

In 2018 he carried the good form from the Giro (where he had ridden for GC) into the Dauphiné and managed to win a stage where he somehow held off the favourites even if it was looking like he would be caught any second since the bottom of the final climb. He didn't go for GC in the Tour and should thus be less fatigued than back then but well, it's still a tough ask.
Sep 27, 2020
Would be cool if he was a bit younger, so that fans of Spanish riders could root for him for a few years. Between Landa and Mas, there is not too much around anymore and as a 30year old Bilbao may decline before not too long.

With the Euskaltel heritage behind him, I am of course very happy seeing Bilbao maturing and doing so well for himself. Podium and maybe a stage win would be very exciting. Aupa!
It was his summit win at the end of last year's Giro that I thought marked him out as a bit special. He'd been in the break of the day that was swept up by the Carapaz express before the top. Movistar, with the pink jersey virtually secured, were trying to set up Landa for the win but somehow Bilbao still had enough left to beat him and Nibali anyway, even with the stage bonus seconds on the line
Really slow and steady progress, the youngest of the true carrots is 30 now and getting ever so near GT podium, something only Landa managed to do, and not even Mayo and Zubeldia ever could, before him.

Totally forgot Samu did podium some.
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Totally forgot Samu did podium some.
I'm disappointed in you ;)

His three stages and third place in the 2007 Vuelta are legendary (IMHO). The second place in 2009 was a bit boring, because he mostly sucked wheels for three weeks, but he did manage to put two good ITT's together in the same GT. And finally he has the later gifted podium finish in the 2010 Tour, where he possibly could had beaten Menchov on the road, if he hadn't crashed in the beginning of the Tourmalet stage (and he also should had beaten Schleck in the Morzine-Avoriaz sprint).
If Bilbao pulls it off and gets a podium here, that's an amazing result, weak field or not. His performance yesterday was incredible.
He has a solid team to back him, so it'll be interesting to see, if they want to really go for it on Sestriere, or if they're content with a fourth place.
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In the last couple of weeks when I see him, it always reminds me of this thread and I'm trying hard to see the resemblance to a cramp. But I can't see it. Help me. How does a cramp look like? It's been boggling my mind.

Anyway, yesterday (Stelvio) he was the biggest positive surprise of the GC riders for me. Impressive ride this Giro, especially after doing the Tour.