Giro d'Italia Giro d'Italia 2021 stage 11: Perugia – Montalcino 162 km

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Much has been said about the possibility of Bernal (ex MTBer, alongside VdP and the others at the end of the gravel sections in Strade Bianche, etc) as a real contender for tomorrow. What of Evenepoel, who was kicking a pig's bladder around at the age when he should have been riding off-road for fun? Bike handling does not seem to be a great strength of his, although his team support should be outstanding. Can he stay in contention, or is he riding for damage limitation?
He had one crash at 21 years old.. I remember Gilbert disappearing into a ravine on a descent at the Tour and smashing his kneecap a couple years ago, did people line up to say he was a bad bike handler?

I've seen nothing so far to indicate that Remco is some sort of Belgian Richie Porte.
 
This "lack of time trialing in the GTs favours the pure climbers, a true allrounder should be able to win a GT" topos is the worst of all.
Please, how many pure climbers won the Tour or the Giro in the past 15 years?
Why did Sky make such a living from looking for the best time trialers and then making them climb instead of just looking for the best climbers, if those win GTs?
What is Pogacar if not a true allrounder?
Since when is Froome, the most successful GT rider of the past 10 years, a pure climber?

Now let's imagine there were 100k of more or less flat time trialing. Guys like Bernal, decent, but not great time trialers, wouldn't stand any chance. Nibali wouldn't stand a chance. Instead Ganna might have a good chance and I wouldn't call him an allrounder. Rohan Dennis would be among the absolute top candidates anyway. Now then it's always "you need to make the mountain stages harder", but how hard exactly would you have to make them? Lasting for 8 hours?

The level of athletism and professionalism has just risen to a level, where the old physical builds don't work anymore as good comparisons.

If Evenepoel manages to only hang on to Bernal in the mountains he will win this Giro with it's ridiculous amount of time trialing. And he's for certain not a pure climber.
So with Pogacar, Roglic and Evenepoel being among the best GT riders we have at the moment, and van Aert probably able to turn into one, not even the Vuelta being won by a pure climber the last years, please stop this "the allrounders are discriminated against" for now. You can come again when Bardet wins this Giro, Landa the Tour and Ciccone the Vuelta.
Blueroads, i like you a lot, so i don't mean to offend you, but this has to be the biggest crock i've read on the forum in quite some time.

I suggest taking a map with elevation differences of France. Then look at how much of it consists of high mountains and compare that to the amount of stages that pass through there. It's the Tour de France, not Nepal, yet every year 1/4th or more of the stages are in favor of climbers while the high mountains are only a small part of France. The Tour does not represent France's topology by a long shot. And still you are making an argument for those poor climbers who wouldn't stand a chance with 100k's of TT. So? What about the poor TT'ers who don't stand a chance with more than double the km's of climbing? What about poor Tony Martin and poor Ganna. How are they ever to win the Tour? Why shouldn't classics riders like van der Poel or Van Avermaet have a chance of winning the Tour? There are many more classical routes and rolling terrain to be traveled than mountain routes in France.

But i get it, we all like watching mountain stages, and god forbid those skinny climbers lose 5 minutes in the crosswinds. How unfair. While i'm all for the amount of mountain stages in the Tour, the Tour, if anything, is far more skewed towards climbers than it is towards all-rounders and TT'ers. As it stands, van Aert doesn't stand a chance against a fit Bernal, while he is by far the more complete and all-round rider. Even when skin and bones like last year, it would be no contest. He would need to lose an additional -anorexic low- 5kg in order to stand a chance. Why is that deemed normal? And why are you saying Roglic and Evenepoel aren't climbers? Because they weren't born in Colombia? Or because they ALSO can timetrial? I'd praise the day we get an actual mountain TT. Start at the foot of Mont Ventoux, all the way up. And we'll see who the real climbers are. Or because they can't hide behind their team mates for 2/3rds of the way, this is also unfair for the climbers? Then what do they actually do better, and why should we favor or protect them so much? Why do they get a different treatment that heavy TT'ers or classic specialists don't get? How come a guy like Alaphilippe, one of the most versatile riders in the peloton, can't even get near a top spot in his best season ever, and even when he finishes outside of the podium, the clinic forum is bursting at the seams, because apparently he shouldn't even be considered to be able to compete. That's how much the poor climbers are at a disadvantage.

A 100km of ITT is deemed unfair, but 250km of climbing isn't. Not that i'm expecting 100k of TT anytime soon, but it would be a good thing. Maybe the "climbers" would learn to practice riding crosswinds and get on their TT bikes once in a while, instead of assuming they can get away with focusing only on what they do best. Maybe they would also get better at solo efforts in the valley. Last year, one of the smallest guys in the peloton was one of the most impressive riders in the crosswinds, even in heavy rain, so if Higuita can, why can't others? He's not half bad at TT'ing either by the way.

To be clear, i'm not advocating of doing away with mountain stages, i'm simply saying a race like the TDF is in fact already skewed towards climbers. And if you don't want to see Pogacar, Roglic and Evenepoel as climbers, than at least they are TT'ers who learned/invested in how to climb. In doing so, they also lose part of their TT capacities. But that's normal... so why can't we expect climbers to learn how to TT at the cost of their top-end climbing skills? You can't have it both ways. Either they're all climbers, and Roglic, Evenepoel, Thomas... are just better riders since they can also TT. Or you see them as TT'ers who learned to climb, and in that case i don't see why they should learn to climb at the expense of their main skill while "climbers" shouldn't learn to TT.

I'll take one short flat TT (13k), one long rolling terrain TT (40k) and a mountain TT (20k).

PS: TTTs should only count for team classification, not for individual GC.

Love and kisses regardless.
 
Throwing my dumb two cents in the climbey boys vs TT boys battle of wills.

It's not always bad that 'pure climbers' have a shot at winning the whole thing, because in order to do so they need some cushion time for the final TTs and thus to ride more aggressively in the mountains. I'm thinking of someone like Landa, who in my opinion rides very entertainingly, or Ciccone. Obviously there is no 1:1 correspondence between pure climbers and entertainment (Pogacar and Evenepoel are both very entertaining riders and top TT'ers) but I think this point has some historical merit.

One could counter that by adding a lot more ITT kilometres the pure climbers would still be forced to be aggressive because they can now only go for stage victories, while no real GC contender would be content with just sticking around and not losing too much in the climbs as they now wouldn't have a clear way to make up for those seconds... and maybe they would be right. I don't think that far ahead.

But I am also in favour of adding more ITT kms to the GTs, if anything because they are the cleanest, best pleasure way to let individual talents shine regardless of the strength of their team (f*** TTTs). Of course the biggest problem with TTs is that many consider them to be utterly boring. Ultimately races aim to reach a big audience and entertain it as much as possible, and a well designed mountain stage is still the best (and probably easiest) way to achieve that.

At the risk of going off-topic, in my next few posts I'll maybe talk a little about tomorrow's stage.
 
Reactions: gregrowlerson
Throwing my dumb two cents in the climbey boys vs TT boys battle of wills.

It's not always bad that 'pure climbers' have a shot at winning the whole thing, because in order to do so they need some cushion time for the final TTs and thus to ride more aggressively in the mountains. I'm thinking of someone like Landa, who in my opinion rides very entertainingly, or Ciccone. Obviously there is no 1:1 correspondence between pure climbers and entertainment (Pogacar and Evenepoel are both very entertaining riders and top TT'ers) but I think this point has some historical merit.

One could counter that by adding a lot more ITT kilometres the pure climbers would still be forced to be aggressive because they can now only go for stage victories, while no real GC contender would be content with just sticking around and not losing too much in the climbs as they now wouldn't have a clear way to make up for those seconds... and maybe they would be right. I don't think that far ahead.

But I am also in favour of adding more ITT kms to the GTs, if anything because they are the cleanest, best pleasure way to let individual talents shine regardless of the strength of their team (f*** TTTs). Of course the biggest problem with TTs is that many consider them to be utterly boring. Ultimately races aim to reach a big audience and entertain it as much as possible, and a well designed mountain stage is still the best (and probably easiest) way to achieve that.

At the risk of going off-topic, in my next few posts I'll maybe talk a little about tomorrow's stage.
Indeed. I still have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that there are still people expecting a rider who is the best climber and a bad TT'er, to win a GC from a guy who is marginally worse at climbing yet much better at TT'ing (and classic stages). And when that doesn't happen, they claim the climbers aren't at an advantage. Maybe we should give the climbers a 5 minute headstart. Somehow being the best at only climbing should enable you to win a GT, but being the best at only classics/cobbles, TT's etc, not.

In a balanced GT, riders who excel at only one thing, and suck/are mediocre at pretty much everything else, shouldn't even finish within 20 minutes of the winner.
 
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Simon Yates on the cycling podcast not very happy with this stage that he would prefer was not included in the Giro

Bernal saying it all about positioning ...well I guess he will have that with Moscon and Ganna
TBE is very concerned that Yates will lose lots of time in this stage - Juul-Jensen will need the ride of his life to get Simon through this stage ( assuming no bad luck ) and then its still comes down to 70% JJ and 30% Simon - Ideally TBE would have another rider in their team who could do this specific job.
 
Reactions: claude cat
Yep, a GT winner needs to be able to do everything.

This does not mean climbers should never win a GT. It's just that if they do, they need to earn it like Pantani in 1998 via multiple long range attacks that stuck.

The other choice the climbers have is to learn how to TT. Lance and Alberto were the best climbers in their eras. They also were outstanding against the clock. Contador's TT ability played a huge role in the ADH stage. Evans had to respond to Contador's long range attacks, due to the threat of the TT the next day. Made for a great stage

And being able to do everything means gravel and or pave. Yates is already defeated going into tomorrow's stage, giving how he is whining about it. I could see him losing 3 to 5 minutes on the gravel

As for the stage win tomorrow, the final .5km at 12% may play a role. It is a summit finish
 
Indeed. I still have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that there are still people expecting a rider who is the best climber and a bad TT'er, to win a GC from a guy who is marginally worse at climbing yet much better at TT'ing (and classic stages). And when that doesn't happen, they claim the climbers aren't at an advantage. Maybe we should give the climbers a 5 minute headstart. Somehow being the best at only climbing should enable you to win a GT, but being the best at only classics/cobbles, TT's etc, not.

In a balanced GT, riders who excel at only one thing, and suck/are mediocre at pretty much everything else, shouldn't even finish within 20 minutes of the winner.
Sorry, but I don't buy part of that pespective. Agreed, GT's should be somewhat balanced, but the things they offer compared to most one-day races and shorter stage races are long climbs. Personally I love the classics (especially the cobbles) much more than stage racing, but I still don't think we should neglect, that the Grand Tours (and some other weeklong races) are, for various reasons, one of the few races, where a pure climber actually can compete for overall glory.
 
Sorry, but I don't buy part of that pespective. Agreed, GT's should be somewhat balanced, but the things they offer compared to most one-day races and shorter stage races are long climbs. Personally I love the classics (especially the cobbles) much more than stage racing, but I still don't think we should neglect, that the Grand Tours (and some other weeklong races) are, for various reasons, one of the few races, where a pure climber actually can compete for overall glory.
Or is that what you want a GT to be? It used to be nearly impossible to win the TDF for example without being at least decent at TTs. If we're just going to make statements about what a GT should be I would rather have a well balanced GT where a complete rider gets to win rather than someone who can only climb or only TT.
 
Or is that what you want a GT to be? It used to be nearly impossible to win the TDF for example without being at least decent at TTs. If we're just going to make statements about what a GT should be I would rather have a well balanced GT where a complete rider gets to win rather than someone who can only climb or only TT.
That's exactly what I said, a balanced GT. Personally I don't think a GT with 100+ km TT is balanced, but obviously 30-40k isn't either.

My main quarrel was with the perspective that a GT should be winnable by fx a cobble rider, a puncheur or a pure time trialists. If a specialist should be able to win a GT, I think it's only fair to be a climber, considering the lack of other targets.

But overall, since TT's and MTF's tend to give us the biggest time differences, these two disciplines will almost always be the deciding factors, hence the big discussion.
 
That's exactly what I said, a balanced GT. Personally I don't think a GT with 100+ km TT is balanced, but obviously 30-40k isn't either.

My main quarrel was with the perspective that a GT should be winnable by fx a cobble rider, a puncheur or a pure time trialists. If a specialist should be able to win a GT, I think it's only fair to be a climber, considering the lack of other targets.

But overall, since TT's and MTF's tend to give us the biggest time differences, these two disciplines will almost always be the deciding factors, hence the big discussion.
Why should a GT be winnable for a pure climber but not a pure time trialist? A pure climber is not a complete rider.
 
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I agree that a lot of recent GTs were too light on TTs and that the Bernals and Dumoulins of the world should have more or less the same chances of winning. I don't understand the argument that classics racers like VDP should be able to win GTs every now and then, though. It would be like saying that every few years they should design a Paris-Roubaix with a couple of HC climbs so that Bernal, Carapaz & co. can win that race too. Classics riders have the classics, GT riders have GTs. That's also what makes guys like Nibali, Roglic, Pogacar and others, the very few who are able to win both, so special.
 
He had one crash at 21 years old.. I remember Gilbert disappearing into a ravine on a descent at the Tour and smashing his kneecap a couple years ago, did people line up to say he was a bad bike handler?

I've seen nothing so far to indicate that Remco is some sort of Belgian Richie Porte.
I'm surprised that you don't remember his world championship rides, and you can't dismiss "at 21 years old" as though it were half a lifetime ago: it was his last race.

I'm not wishing the guy any ill, I just think it is a potential weakness that hasn't been discussed in a thread to which (unlike most of the last few pages) it is very relevant, and wondered what others thought.
 
i think you know i am not talking about Ganna and Kung competing for the GC...

nor is it about finding the one or two individual riders that manage to still beat the pure climbers by seconds.

it is about the make-up of the consensus contenders.

they are dominated by one-trick ponies -- diminutive climbers who finish 30-100th in the 30 KMs of TT that they are still forced to complete (and by the way that is with many, many riders taking it easy).



Fair point. However...

top 15 of the giro.

only remco is a top 5 TTer.

it is out of balance.

period.
You are making too much sense for this forum!

In short, I think that ITT fans like us are not expecting what Bavarianrider might; we don't necessarily think that ITT should be AS important as climbing. However, given that a GC hopeful must be a top 5 climber (or more likely top 3) to have any chance of winning, then he should also be at least a top 15 in the ITT. At the moment it's like climbing 80%, ITT 15%, other 5%. It should be more like 60%, 35% and 5%.
 
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The 2010 stage win was probably the best of Evans career but the bad weather definitely contributed to the quality of that stage. Most of the riders looked completely exhausted when they crossed the line. Epic stage, hopefully another good one on the way. Doesn't sound like Yates is looking forward to it !
Yeh, I still remember the CN headline when I woke up that morning - “Evans magnificent in the mud at Montalcino”. It was definitely his best stage win.
 
For me "GTs being balanced" doesn't mean that every GT should have the same formula, but that sometimes there should be GTs with a lot of TTing, sometimes GTs with a lot of climbing, sometimes GTs with climbing TTs. Every now and then GTs should include a type of road that is special for that particular country - for example the kinds of roads we're having for this stage - sometimes there should be TTTs, but not every year.
 

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