Future GT Winner (Edition 2020)

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Who will win a Grand Tour?


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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.
I think I was comparing Van Aert's third place on a mountain stage (which had two surviving attackers) to Cancellara's 20th place. And I think that is perfectly fair.
 
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.
Well, basically i'm saying "babysteps". We'll know more then. If he blows away the competition in TA, or barely makes the top 10 without ever being in contention, surely you'd look at how likely it is for him to transition, differently. Doing well is no guarantee to do well in a GT, doing badly basically trashes the entire idea.

Biggest hurdle remains him going for it, and wanting it.

Yep, that's not unlikely.
Still, some more names... Powless... Arensman, Kämna...
Then you could also include Leknessund, Van Wilder, Pidcock...

I was impressed by Arensman in the Vuelta, but i've not yet seen anything that indicates he'd be a GT winner at this point. The main result of his would still be the 2nd place in 2018 Tour de l'Avenir. But that also doesn't mean that much. Remember that Gaudu and Soler won that race as well and are both a long way from winning a GT. It's clear already Arensman will have a good career, but whether that will be as a GC for the grand tours, i don't know. Could turn into a super dom like Kuss, or a stagehunter or 1 week GC guy like Wellens just as well.
Not sure what exactly Powless did to bring him into the discussion as a possible GT winner. Then we could drop all sorts of names like McNulty, O'Connor...
 
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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.
I'd be actually very surprised if that happens. There are too many riders on the radar right now. One can count 30 or 40 podium contenders for next year's GTs. Hart is a big outlier in this regard. He won a strange Giro in a strange season and he is now on the radar big time. But before him there weren't many surprising GT winners since probably Horner in 2013 Vuelta. Ok, one can see Carapaz as the surprise winner of Giro 2019, but he was 4th the year before and had a strong team, so hardly a big surprise.

I'm talking about next season, of course. If we are talking 3,4 or 5 years from now, yes, someone could come out of the blue and win a GT. But for next year we have so many strong contenders and pretenders, that I just don't see it happen. If it does happen, I'll buy you a beer. And I'm not talking about the Hindleys, Martinezes , Kusses, Almeidas, Vlasovs of this World. I'm talking about the Bagiolis, Barguils, Kämnas, De Pluses (he is a tricky choice tho), Simmonses...
 
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And I'm not talking about the Hindleys, Martinezes , Kusses, Almeidas, Vlasovs of this World. I'm talking about the Bagiolis, Barguils, Kämnas, De Pluses (he is a tricky choice tho), Simmonses...
I'm confused by this. What exactly are you saying? That the first string of names is more impressive/talented than the second string of names? Simmons will likely never be a GC guy for GT's. Bagioli, i'm also not sure if he's a 3 week guy, but he's insanely talented nevertheless. De Plus and Kämna could easily be better GC riders than Hindley, Kuss or Vlasov. Martinez hasn't been succesful in a GT GC either, which only further confuses me.
 
:confused:

Dekker, Spilak, Costa, Dennis and Woods all say hello.
He said "...like he did..." though.

Woods is 34 and hasn't won a single one week stage race in his life iirc. Evenepoel is 20 and has won 5. Imho even Wellens would be a better example than Woods.

Dennis is a fair shout be he only decided to go for GT classification rather late, and decided not to pursue that any longer quite quickly.
I feel like Spilak and Costa are the main examples of great 1 week stageracers the past generation that people expected big things from, which didn't materialize in GT classifications. Dekker had other demons.

So far Evenepoel started 12 one week stage races, finished 11 of those, finished top ten in 7 of those, and won 5 of those. Smallest gap, 30 seconds, in Burgos without a TT.
 
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).
Interesting tweet about that:
View: https://twitter.com/friebos/status/1317379293840855040
 
:confused:

Dekker, Spilak, Costa, Dennis and Woods all say hello.
Well, Evenepoel did not just do really good in the stage races he did this year - he simply won each of those four. He's unbeaten this (his second) year.

I'm confused by this. What exactly are you saying? That the first string of names is more impressive/talented than the second string of names? Simmons will likely never be a GC guy for GT's. Bagioli, i'm also not sure if he's a 3 week guy, but he's insanely talented nevertheless. De Plus and Kämna could easily be better GC riders than Hindley, Kuss or Vlasov. Martinez hasn't been succesful in a GT GC either, which only further confuses me.
Martinez obviously has a real tendency to crash. Whether that could be helped with better team support (#madsfordani) I don't know. I have not watched him too closely, but I think he fell every stage race I saw him in this year, except for the Dauphiné, starting with Colombia. I hope Ineos work on his bike handling and his positioning. Then he should be a real contender for a GT win.
 
I'm confused by this. What exactly are you saying? That the first string of names is more impressive/talented than the second string of names? Simmons will likely never be a GC guy for GT's. Bagioli, i'm also not sure if he's a 3 week guy, but he's insanely talented nevertheless. De Plus and Kämna could easily be better GC riders than Hindley, Kuss or Vlasov. Martinez hasn't been succesful in a GT GC either, which only further confuses me.
I can see why this is confusing lol:D
Let me try to explain.

In the first group of riders I mentioned those, who in the past season have showed me enough, for me to not be hugely surprised, if they top3 a GT next year. For example, Hindley, he was 2nd in the Giro. So if he podiums again next year I won't be surprised anymore. Next, Kuss. He has shown amazing climbing ability in the past two seasons. So if he podiums the Vuelta next year, if he gets the chance to ride for himself (or if the supposed GC team leader gets in difficulty), I wouldn't be that surprised. Much the same for Vlasov. Almeida had a tremendous Giro. As I expect him to improve even more next season, I don't find a top 3 result in a GT that far fetched if the stars align. Martinez is a different case. He hasn't shown the same GT performances like the other riders in this group. But he has won a Dauphine with a very strong field. Because he hasn't had his chances/luck in a GT yet and because he is still young, I give him the benefit of the doubt. If he gets the chance next year, he might have a strong GC showing. Let's say the jury is still out on him.

Those are 5 examples I gave you, but there are more riders I could add to this group. Another of those would be Remco. He has definitely shown me enough, for me to think he can podium or even win the Giro next year and I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest. But he was such an obvious choice, I wanted to skip him. Another great example would be Carthy.

The second group of riders in my OP consists of riders, who are yes talented (some of them extremely talented as you mentioned), but there are a lot more questions surrounding them. They'd have to make a huge leap in performance for next season, for them to be considered podium contenders in a GT. Bagioli and Simmons are obviously too young and haven't shown anything in a GT for us to think they can contend. We don't even know if they'll become GC riders. Next, Kämna. A very strong rider who had a very strong Tour, but as a stage hunter. To be in contention for GC for three weeks in a GT is another story. He also hasn't been among the best in short stage races. His 8th place in CdD 2020 is probably his best GC result so far. Maybe he should be somewhere in between the two groups, because I think he can become a good GT rider in the future, maybe in 3, 4 years, but not yet next year.
Burguil is probably an odd name on my list. I wanted to name a rider who represents those, who showed a lot of promise in their early years but lately haven't improved as much, and seem to be at, or close to their peak, but their peak is just not good enough to win or even podium a GT. While Barguil didn't have a bad season at all, especially in the one day races after the Tour, I would be very surprised if he suddenly has a jump in performance and podiums a GT. Although, after thinking about it some more, if he gets the chance to focus on the Giro or the Vuelta, a top 3 wouldn't be impossible. But then again it becomes almost impossible when you are on a PRT French team.
De Plus is a complicated case right now. His year was completely lost. It was supposed to be his breakthrough season yet he hardly even raced for different reasons, mainly because of illness (officially). Because he is still relatively young, I expect (and hope) him to bounce back. But because he was almost a year away of competitive racing and because of GC hierarchy in team INEOS (he is like the 8th GC rider in line), I don't expect it to be next year.

I hope it's understandable and a little less confusing now:)
 
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I can see why this is confusing lol:D
Let me try to explain.

In the first group of riders I mentioned those, who in the past season have showed me enough, for me to not be hugely surprised, if they top3 a GT next year. For example, Hindley, he was 2nd in the Giro. So if he podiums again next year I won't be surprised anymore. Next, Kuss. He has shown amazing climbing ability in the past two seasons. So if he podiums the Vuelta next year, if he gets the chance to ride for himself (or if the supposed GC team leader gets in difficulty), I wouldn't be that surprised. Much the same for Vlasov. Almeida had a tremendous Giro. As I expect him to improve even more next season, I don't find a top 3 result in a GT that far fetched if the stars align. Martinez is a different case. He hasn't shown the same GT performances like the other riders in this group. But he has won a Dauphine with a very strong field. Because he hasn't had his chances/luck in a GT yet and because he is still young, I give him the benefit of the doubt. If he gets the chance next year, he might have a strong GC showing. Let's say the jury is still out on him.

Those are 5 examples I gave you, but there are more riders I could add to this group. Another of those would be Remco. He has definitely shown me enough, for me to think he can podium or even win the Giro next year and I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest. But he was such an obvious choice, I wanted to skip him. Another great example would be Carthy.

The second group of riders in my OP consists of riders, who are yes talented (some of them extremely talented as you mentioned), but there are a lot more questions surrounding them. They'd have to make a huge leap in performance for next season, for them to be considered podium contenders in a GT. Bagioli and Simmons are obviously too young and haven't shown anything in a GT for us to think they can contend. We don't even know if they'll become GC riders. Next, Kämna. A very strong rider who had a very strong Tour, but as a stage hunter. To be in contention for GC for three weeks in a GT is another story. He also hasn't been among the best in short stage races. His 8th place in CdD 2020 is probably his best GC result so far. Maybe he should be somewhere in between the two groups, because I think he can become a good GT rider in the future, maybe in 3, 4 years, but not yet next year.
Burguil is probably an odd name on my list. I wanted to name a rider who represents those, who showed a lot of promise in their early years but lately haven't improved as much, and seem to be at, or close to their peak, but their peak is just not good enough to win or even podium a GT. While Barguil didn't have a bad season at all, especially in the one day races after the Tour, I would be very surprised if he suddenly has a jump in performance and podiums a GT. Although, after thinking about it some more, if he gets the chance to focus on the Giro or the Vuelta, a top 3 wouldn't be impossible. But then again it becomes almost impossible when you are on a PRT French team.
De Plus is a complicated case right now. His year was completely lost. It was supposed to be his breakthrough season yet he hardly even raced for different reasons, mainly because of illness (officially). Because he is still relatively young, I expect (and hope) him to bounce back. But because he was almost a year away of competitive racing and because of GC hierarchy in team INEOS (he is like the 8th GC rider in line), I don't expect it to be next year.

I hope it's understandable and a little less confusing now:)
I see what you mean, and understand, but i don't really agree on some of those examples. Kuss has shown tremendous climbing ability, but has mainly remained inconsistent. Upping your level is easier (imho) than retaining your level and becoming consistent and i'm not convinced we're going to see that from him in such a way that he could go for a podium. This year's Vuelta would have been great for him to prove the opposite, since Roglic could have used a decoy, a 2nd Jumbo high in GC. Kuss is also a "last few miles" kind of guy. You don't see him working 50k from the finish and only let go 5k from the finish. In that sense, i hold De Plus in higher regard. He's able to be more consistent (when not injured or sick, obv) and has the engine to go deep for a longer time, carry a bigger workload. I haven't seen Kuss do that, even though i think Kuss is the most natural climber in the entire peloton atm. In fact, the times we've seen Kuss really drilling it for miles in the front of the peloton, i can't really recall. He's usually looking all cool and collected for a few miles as if he's going to blast off, but rarely doing the actual drilling. And then when you expect him to drop everyone, he often gets dropped himself. Also his TT stinks. Kuss, along with Sosa, Gaudu, Yates and some other light climbers, got completely blown away in Burgos on Picon Blanco, after hard crosswind racing. Imho, that was also telling. Two days later, there was no hard racing, and Kuss, Gaudu and Sosa were among the best climbers, Sosa even won.

What i'm saying is i wouldn't be surprised if Kämna & De Plus finish top 5 before Martinez & Kuss do. Not saying i would take that bet, but i find it strange that you would split them up like that, as if Kuss and Martinez are so likely to end up on a podium any time soon, and for Kämna and De Plus that would be inconceivable. Kämna is probably the one (from that bunch) who had been predicted having the brightest future a few years ago.
 
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Bennett is a champion thumb twiddler, second only to Kuss on TJV.

De Plus is a very interesting rider, will he be an Oomen or a Hart? I think we haven't seen the best of him yet.
I think he has more potential than both Oomen and Hart, and yet Hart showed that (bad) luck plays its part. In that sense De Plus might face an uphill battle, because when it comes to injuries and health, luck doesn't often shine down on him. Something in the water in de lage landen, at least when it comes to GC guys.

The thumb twiddling was just a joke, since i didn't see Bennett do all that much in the TDF.
 
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But there is a big difference to how hard a classic and a predominantly flat Giro stage in week one is ridden, so I don't think that this debunks the theory.
It wasn't that flat...


Average speed for the day was under 36 kmh, so it doesn't completely debunk the theory, but he still won a sprint contested by Gerrans, Colbrelli, Battaglin and Gilbert after 7+ hours in the saddle.
 

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