Future GT Winner (Edition 2020)

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Who will win a Grand Tour?


  • Total voters
    111
  • Poll closed .
Diego Ulissi is another. Competitive in just about any 1 week race around the calendar, but not a Top 20 finish in a GC to be found. Not quite as successful as Spilak, but all types of GC wins in week long races over his career.

There are tons of other riders who have been dominant in week long races who never won a GT, even if competitive. You’re right that Spilak is an extreme case though.

Remco looks great at the moment, but we haven’t seen him go over 2000+ over multiple climbs in a stage. Take Valverde, for example. He’s a GT winner, but never won the Tour. His biggest handicap over the years in the TDF and Giro is that he seems to have an internal altitude meter. He doesn’t ride as well above 2000 meters, which is why he is more suited for the Vuelta, where the most difficult climbs are steeper but at lower altitudes. Remco has never been tested on those stages with multiple big mountain passes.
You say Ulissi, but he and Spilak are in different galaxies as far as results in GTs go. Again, I'm not even talking GC here, but look at partial results, stage wins. Ulissi has won 8 Giro stages, Spilak doesn't have a stage top10 in any GT. Not comparable at all, not even close. Also Spilak was a much better one week stage racer than Ulissi.
 
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Diego Ulissi is another. Competitive in just about any 1 week race around the calendar, but not a Top 20 finish in a GC to be found. Not quite as successful as Spilak, but all types of GC wins in week long races over his career.

There are tons of other riders who have been dominant in week long races who never won a GT, even if competitive. You’re right that Spilak is an extreme case though.

Remco looks great at the moment, but we haven’t seen him go over 2000+ over multiple climbs in a stage. Take Valverde, for example. He’s a GT winner, but never won the Tour. His biggest handicap over the years in the TDF and Giro is that he seems to have an internal altitude meter. He doesn’t ride as well above 2000 meters, which is why he is more suited for the Vuelta, where the most difficult climbs are steeper but at lower altitudes. Remco has never been tested on those stages with multiple big mountain passes.
Rui Costa as well. Won Suisse 3 times, top 10s across multiple other one week races, but his best ever result at a GT was 18th at the 2012 Tour.

The point of all this is, nobody will be surprised if/when Remco wins a GT, but nor should anyone be surprised if his dominance at 1-day and 1-week races doesn’t quite translate to 3 weeks.

And that’s if he comes back from his injury as strong as he was before.
 
You say Ulissi, but he and Spilak are in different galaxies as far as results in GTs go. Again, I'm not even talking GC here, but look at partial results, stage wins. Ulissi has won 8 Giro stages, Spilak doesn't have a stage top10 in any GT. Not comparable at all, not even close. Also Spilak was a much better one week stage racer than Ulissi.
Yes, Ulissi is a great stagehunter in gts, Spilak was on a different league compared to him in short stage races.
Given what he showed as a neopro in De Panne and the RVV I'd probably say that he actually was also more talented as a one day racer.:p
Ulissi has never been relevant in a Monument, he's a great stagehunter and good in shorter one day races that are not that hard and only around 200km long, but he's clearly not a rider that you can rely upon at a WC (that's the one problem I have with Cassani, he trusts him too much).
 
Yes, Ulissi is a great stagehunter in gts, Spilak was on a different league compared to him in short stage races.
Given what he showed as a neopro in De Panne and the RVV I'd probably say that he actually was also more talented as a one day racer.:p
Ulissi has never been relevant in a Monument, he's a great stagehunter and good in shorter one day races that are not that hard and only around 200km long, but he's clearly not a rider that you can rely upon at a WC (that's the one problem I have with Cassani, he trusts him too much).
He's close friends with Nibali though. And he's been a good teammate both in the EC and the WC this year. I think he knows what his role is at this point of his career.
 
He's close friends with Nibali though. And he's been a good teammate both in the EC and the WC this year. I think he knows what his role is at this point of his career.
I agree with you about the EC, but at the WC he was nowhere to be found on the final 2 laps. I hope that Vendrame gets to ride more of the spring classics next year, he has a good engine and could become an interesting option in a reduced sprint at the end of a long race.
Back to the topic, looking at the list I'd only be confident to pick Remco as a future gt winner.
 
Every year I look at the names in these polls and think "Well, none of these guys are particularly likely to win a GT, are they". And then some of them do go on to win a GT, but I still get the same feeling.

I voted for Evenepoel because of course I did, but it must be noted that we have literally no idea of how he performs over three weeks or on the high mountains. We assume him to do well because he does everything well, but who knows. Then again, his ability on the high mountains is completely irrelevant here because he could still win the Vuelta.

I didn't want that to be my only vote, so I also voted for Mas. He's boring, and he's stagnated. Even worse, he's bald. But I could see him maybe winning a Vuelta if the field is a bit weak. Especially if this was the 2000s.

"But Hroða, the poll is already over". Well how do you explain the fact that my vote was counted then, huh?
Well, I agree with you on this. But nowadays you have to take into account that almost anybody with some decent talent can win a GT if he can put it together. Or did you think that Thomas and Froome had any change before they won their GT's? I didn't.
 
I didn't vote, i thought the 2020 edition was for this season but apparently it's an end-of-season thing.

There are a lot of guys that could win a GT. If Hesjedal and Hart can win the Giro, than so can Mas or Buchmann, for instance. Could easily see Carthy do the same circumstances willing. A lot of luck is involved anyway. Especially in the Giro or Vuelta, there are often only one or two real contenders, so if they crash out, it's up for grabs.

I would also have expected some of Sivakov, Vlasov, Martinez, De Plus... get a mention in the list. I think all of them have as much chance, if not more, to win a GT in the future than Hindley for instance.

The premise that Evenepol would beat the world record holder in an 8km flat ITT in Tirreno after making a huge leap in performance shattering the course record by like 20s is ridiculous.
There were no favorable wind conditions? Ganna actually beat the course record (pound for pound) by 3s per km? Because if there were favorable wind conditions, how can you even compare? The interesting thing, is that in that case Campenaerts also beat the previous course record by 8s. Suddenly it doesn't have the same ring to it. Campenaerts won the same ITT last year, while he was 23s slower than he was this year. Talk about a ridiculous premise, Rick. If you want to compare numbers, consider the context or don't even bother.

All these guys you mentioned weren't exactly in great shape in the early races. Like, saying just because he beat Ganna in January in an ITT doesn't mean he'd beat him later in the season after Ganna makes a gigantic leap in performance.

Pogacar got Roglstomped around in the Dauphine. Then the Tour happened. Evenepoel could win his first GT next year, but I don't support the blind insistence he'd just casually dominate because he won some prep races
Yeah, because Evenepoel was already peaking in San Juan obviously, and unlike Ganna, Evenepoel being 4 years younger would not make any progress anymore. Makes sense.
Early races. What does that mean by the way? Poland ended less than 3 weeks before the start of the TDF. Burgos was a week before that. Evenepoel was peaking for the Giro which started a month after the TDF. But i assume DQT are all idiots who don't know how to get someone in form, and they must have grossly misstimed his peak if we are to follow your train of thought.

Ganna won the WCC by less than 1s/km. That's a lot less than it has been in previous editions. He beat van Aert, who came out of the TDF where he had to dig deep every day, had already been performing since Strade and didn't get a specific prep towards the WCC ITT. He had barely touched his ITT bike this year. In fact, before he won the nationals ITT, he said he had only been on his ITT bike once. While Ganna was able to prep for the WCC and it was a goal in itself. To think a rested, well prepared and on form Evenepoel wouldn't have been a contender (and i'm being polite here) in the WCC ITT (and RR) would indeed be a ridiculous premise.
 
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I didnt get in to vote in the poll but I guess i would have to go for Remco, eventhough its a wait to see how he recovers from his injury.

As for the others, its just so hard to say, especially not knowing any of the routes next year outside of the Tour. Also, with the Ineos/Jumbo rivalry and each team having billions of options, its so hard to envision anyone outside of those 2 teams and Pogacar to win a GT.

I also warn as a precaution that using this years results may not be the best gauge for years to come. The way the schedule work, and the abilities of certain riders being able to ride outdoors, training camps. IN past years, when you saw the usually contenders had a blueprint they could follow for training and peaks, and could figure it out that way. This year it was so far to evaluate and plan when you didn't know day to day your limitations, your schedule etc. I mean Ben Swift officially finished 18th in the Giro.......

Depending the route and program, I could see maybe Bardet have a shot at a Giro, a la Kelderman. Kelderman may do the Tour, I am not sure, and Bardet maybe can do the Giro, and be refreshed.

From that List I would Lopez be my next bet. I think I could see him win a Vuelta in the next 2 years.

The rest of the list, for the majority it would have to be the perfect assembly of circumstances to allow them to win.



I think Kelderman can win a Giro with heavy TT mileag
 
Ok, a couple of weeks ago, I angrily asked where Fuglsang was in this poll.

OF COURSE THE REALLY ANGRY QUESTION SHOULD BE WHERE THE HELL IS WOUT VAN AERT, ARE YOU KIDDING ME, DIDN'T YOU WATCH A SECOND OF CYCLING IN 2020??!?!??!??!
 
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I didnt get in to vote in the poll but I guess i would have to go for Remco, eventhough its a wait to see how he recovers from his injury.

As for the others, its just so hard to say, especially not knowing any of the routes next year outside of the Tour. Also, with the Ineos/Jumbo rivalry and each team having billions of options, its so hard to envision anyone outside of those 2 teams and Pogacar to win a GT.

I also warn as a precaution that using this years results may not be the best gauge for years to come. The way the schedule work, and the abilities of certain riders being able to ride outdoors, training camps. IN past years, when you saw the usually contenders had a blueprint they could follow for training and peaks, and could figure it out that way. This year it was so far to evaluate and plan when you didn't know day to day your limitations, your schedule etc. I mean Ben Swift officially finished 18th in the Giro.......

Depending the route and program, I could see maybe Bardet have a shot at a Giro, a la Kelderman. Kelderman may do the Tour, I am not sure, and Bardet maybe can do the Giro, and be refreshed.

From that List I would Lopez be my next bet. I think I could see him win a Vuelta in the next 2 years.

The rest of the list, for the majority it would have to be the perfect assembly of circumstances to allow them to win.



I think Kelderman can win a Giro with heavy TT mileag
There were 60+ kms of TT in this year's Giro, and Kelderman still finished 3rd behind 2 young climbers.

Swift finished 18th because he got in a lot of breaks. There's always a couple of odd-one-outs like that, especially in these days when a GT top-20 is not really a sought-after prize.

Ineos/Jumbo have a rivalry going for a couple of years now, but in that time they've won 1 GT each per year, with someone else always getting in on the other. The question for 2021 is who can pick who that other team will be?
 
Seriously, I think Van Aert could have been a nice option that would appear to be a bit off, yet not be totally ridiculous.
He needs to want it himself. Then he needs to drop 5kg. Then we can talk. But under those circumstances, yeah, i think he could possibly do it. Let's see how he performs at TA next year, where he does want to go for GC:

"In Tirreno-Adriatico 2021 I want to go for a classification"
The performance of the Lillenaar in the Tour de France made him think. Although that does not mean that he will focus on stage races from now on. “Expanding my classic record remains a priority. I am not going to change that plan to aim for a classification in the Tour. Yes, I went for a long time in the high mountains, but there is a big difference between leading up to five kilometers from the top and going to the finish. And to be there every day for three weeks ”, explains Van Aert.

“That, certainly winning the Tour, is unrealistic and I don't want to pursue that for the time being. Also because you have to train in a completely different way than for the classics ”, he says. “Maybe one day I will change course, but that is still far away. Then I would first have to shine in Tirreno-Adriatico, the Dauphiné or the Tour of Switzerland. This is possible in the short term, especially in stage races with a time trial, such as Tirreno-Adriatico. I want to go for a classification there in 2021. And later also in climbing classics such as Liège and the Tour of Lombardy. ”
 
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He needs to want it himself. Then he needs to drop 5kg. Then we can talk. But under those circumstances, yeah, i think he could possibly do it. Let's see how he performs at TA next year, where he does want to go for GC:

"In Tirreno-Adriatico 2021 I want to go for a classification"
The performance of the Lillenaar in the Tour de France made him think. Although that does not mean that he will focus on stage races from now on. “Expanding my classic record remains a priority. I am not going to change that plan to aim for a classification in the Tour. Yes, I went for a long time in the high mountains, but there is a big difference between leading up to five kilometers from the top and going to the finish. And to be there every day for three weeks ”, explains Van Aert.

“That, certainly winning the Tour, is unrealistic and I don't want to pursue that for the time being. Also because you have to train in a completely different way than for the classics ”, he says. “Maybe one day I will change course, but that is still far away. Then I would first have to shine in Tirreno-Adriatico, the Dauphiné or the Tour of Switzerland. This is possible in the short term, especially in stage races with a time trial, such as Tirreno-Adriatico. I want to go for a classification there in 2021. And later also in climbing classics such as Liège and the Tour of Lombardy. ”
I think people will probably try to play the Cancellara story against Van Aert as a realistic GT winner. Cancellara won TA and the Tour de Suisse and had a dream that came nowhere near to fruition of being a GC contender but both those victories were on ridiculously easy routes (albeit not as easy as the altered 2016 TA route were GVA ended as the winner over Sagan), while Van Aert was third on a mountain stage in this year's Tour.

I think Cancellara's very best GT performance in the mountains was a 20th place on La Planche des Belles Filles in 2012 while in yellow.

And Van Aert was 4th there, this year. On the penultimate day. Ahead of his captain. Who was leading. The Tour.
 
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There were 60+ kms of TT in this year's Giro, and Kelderman still finished 3rd behind 2 young climbers.

Swift finished 18th because he got in a lot of breaks. There's always a couple of odd-one-outs like that, especially in these days when a GT top-20 is not really a sought-after prize.

Ineos/Jumbo have a rivalry going for a couple of years now, but in that time they've won 1 GT each per year, with someone else always getting in on the other. The question for 2021 is who can pick who that other team will be?
Taking a closer look at the last 3 years though for the non Ineos/Jumbo:

2020- I mentioned Pogacar when i said it was hard to see outside of Ineos/Jumbo and Pogacar as a winner. This was the only one out of these 3 where both teams sent a team with the intention and the capabilities of winning it.

2019- Richard Carapaz is now a member of Ineos. Ineos was lead by Sivakov, and I believe that team was mainly there to gain experience at a GT.

2018- Simon Yates won the Vuelta, where Jumbo leader was Krujiwick (I believed finished 5th) but Sky sent a B squad team to it with no chance to factor in the race. Jumbo wasn't the team they became after, Steven mainly had Bennett as a helper (They may have been co-team leaders).

Out of the 18 podium places the last 2 years, 11 of those spots will be on Jumbo/Ineos team next year. Then factor in Pogacar has 2 more podiums, that makes 13 of the last 18 podium places.

It be nice to see challengers, but I have a feeling it will be someone that isn't currently on the radar of us, and will come out of the blue.
 
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The only point against van Aert is the strong competition in my opinion. The Tour should shuit him best, but then he would have to beat someone like Pogacar, later Evenepoel, who knows who else... But he absolutely showed the potential to win a GT in my opinion. Whether he will ever do it is something else, of course.
 
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I think people will probably try to play the Cancellara story against Van Aert as a realistic GT winner. Cancellara won TA and the Tour de Suisse and had a dream that came nowhere near to fruition of being a GC contender but both those victories were on ridiculously easy routes (albeit not as easy as the altered 2016 TA route were GVA ended as the winner over Sagan), while Van Aert was third on a mountain stage in this year's Tour.

I think Cancellara's very best GT performance in the mountains was a 20th place on La Planche des Belles Filles in 2012 while in yellow.

And Van Aert was 4th there, this year. On the penultimate day. Ahead of his captain. Who was leading. The Tour.
Sure, but let's assume he fails miserably in TA (unlikely, but still), it would make the transition to GC rider a lot less likely. Dennis showed his potential at the TDS last year, but also seems to have given up on the idea of becoming a GC rider.
 
Sure, but let's assume he fails miserably in TA (unlikely, but still), it would make the transition to GC rider a lot less likely. Dennis showed his potential at the TDS last year, but also seems to have given up on the idea of becoming a GC rider.
Okay, but as you say, it's unlikely that he fails miserably, so I don't really get the point here?

Dennis is interesting. If he can get those climbing legs from the Giro back, he definitely will be in with a chance.
 
I think people will probably try to play the Cancellara story against Van Aert as a realistic GT winner. Cancellara won TA and the Tour de Suisse and had a dream that came nowhere near to fruition of being a GC contender but both those victories were on ridiculously easy routes (albeit not as easy as the altered 2016 TA route were GVA ended as the winner over Sagan), while Van Aert was third on a mountain stage in this year's Tour.

I think Cancellara's very best GT performance in the mountains was a 20th place on La Planche des Belles Filles in 2012 while in yellow.

And Van Aert was 4th there, this year. On the penultimate day. Ahead of his captain. Who was leading. The Tour.
Van Aert has shown a lot on the climbs this year. He has the possibility, if he wants, to try and become a GC rider in the future. Next year he can contend in T-A if the route is a classic one with an ITT and hilly stages. Maybe he can do a top 10 in some other week long stage race, but that's it for next year. And that's the way it should be IMO. He has to concentrate himself on the classics and of course that's his first priority.

Also comparing his 4th place in a ITT with Cancellara's 20th place in a road stage isn't exactly fair. You think Cancellara wouldn't beat his captain A. Schleck in a TT on the 2020 parcours if it happened 10 years ago? Probably would have also done a top 5 performance. Having said that, Van Aert has shown this year more climbing ability than Cancellara at any point of his career IMO.
 

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