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

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Who are the top GC riders presently? Roglic and Pogacar. Who is the most hyped GC talent? Evenepoel. Who was the dominant GC rider of the last period? Froome. The pinnacle of GC riding is still continuously occupied by extremely strong ITT riders, not one sided climbing specialists.

There are excellent ITT specialists who can’t compete for GC or at least haven’t done so, so far, like Ganna, Dennis, Kung. But excellent climbing specialists who ITT as well as Kung climbs also struggle as GC men. I don’t see why it would be more balanced if a Kung or Ganna was winning GTs. Simon Yates is probably the worst TTist to win a GT in the recent period. Despite being probably one of the three best climbers in the world he has won precisely one Vuelta and he’s not that bad a TTist.
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).

There has been a shift from TTing to climbing, I absolutely agree. But I don’t think the current mixture is as unbalanced as you are making out when you look at the riders who actually win.
Fair point. However...

top 15 of the giro.

only remco is a top 5 TTer.

it is out of balance.

period.
 
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the riders you mention all have to lose drastic weight to contend. The climbers just wait for a convenient route to be provided.

the riders you mention only once competed against each other in a GT. Usually just one or two are at the start.

All three GTs were held by Carapaz, Yates and Bernal at one time. Tiny climbers. Unheard of in the history of cycling.

“competent” should not cut it when discussing a test of all-rounders. Bernal is super talented and exciting but just like Van Impe (who was actually more than competent at TT) he should only win a GT very rarely if things were balanced.

if Froome, Dumoulin, Thomas or Roglic regularly finished between 30th and 50th in mountain stages, would they be considered GC contenders?

In 1975, the main contenders at the start were Merckx, Gimondi, Thevenet, Ocana and Zoetemelk. Each of those riders could win a TT as well as a mountain stage. Van Impe was considered too much of a climber but reached his first podium. Why? Because he actually could TT pretty well. He finished third in the flat prologue behind Moser and Merckx. And won a long TT, albeit a very hilly one. I mean, seriously, can you imagine Bernal finishing third in a flat prologue, or Herrera, or Fuente?

top three in 84 and 85? Hinault, Roche, Fignon, Lemond. All riders who won mountain stages and ITTs. Herrera wasn’t even considered a threat. Delgado only became a threat once he started to top five in ITTs.
Apart from maybe Dumoulin, and probably Wiggins, I don't think any GT winner who came from a TT background in recent years has lost "drastic weight" any more than other GC contenders. Evans won the year before Wiggins, on a route with less ITT, more mountains, and looking no more or less trim than he ever has.

I think you do Bernal's TT a disservice. He can compete in the discipline, and has multiple top 10s in his career, not always on stages with steep uphills.

Carapaz, Yates, and Bernal did hold all 3 GT titles between them at one stage, but it's debatable whether or not that's a trend; they're (so far) one-off winners bookended by British and Slovenian TT/all-rounders (Froome, Thomas, TGH, Pog and Rog). The only "climbers" with multiple GC wins in the past decade (Contador and Nibali) were/are both also very capable on a TT bike; Nibs has 44 top 10s in ITT, Bertie 53.
 
last year there were some peculiar ITT courses, but in the Tour final top 3 finished 1-5-3 in the ITT, in the Vuelta 1-7-4 and in the Giro 13-34-9 and 13-38-11.

in 2019

Giro: 36-9-10 (taking the last TT as it had the fastest average speed)
Tour: 22-2-6
Vuelta: 1-13-11

in 2018

Giro: 5-3-50
Tour: 3-1-2
Vuelta: 13-6-31

with the exception of Lopez and Hindley, the rest of the podium finishers mostly did top-15 or better, so calling them one-trick ponies is a bit of a disservice
 
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Also, ultra steep climbs are killing cycling. Climbing Rocca di Cambio with a steep 1KM ramp with gravel and 15% gradient is just stupid fireworks, but not real climbing. Stelvio, Madeleine, Croix de Fer... Those are real mountain passes for real climbers.
Yes, we saw last year. Rohan Dennis aka the goat climber.
 
Apart from maybe Dumoulin, and probably Wiggins, I don't think any GT winner who came from a TT background in recent years has lost "drastic weight" any more than other GC contenders. Evans won the year before Wiggins, on a route with less ITT, more mountains, and looking no more or less trim than he ever has.

I think you do Bernal's TT a disservice. He can compete in the discipline, and has multiple top 10s in his career, not always on stages with steep uphills.

Carapaz, Yates, and Bernal did hold all 3 GT titles between them at one stage, but it's debatable whether or not that's a trend; they're (so far) one-off winners bookended by British and Slovenian TT/all-rounders (Froome, Thomas, TGH, Pog and Rog). The only "climbers" with multiple GC wins in the past decade (Contador and Nibali) were/are both also very capable on a TT bike; Nibs has 44 top 10s in ITT, Bertie 53.
Nibali has world ITT medals as a junior and U23. I don't get why he would be in a climber category and not an all-rounder.

At least to me he is no less of an all-rounder than TGH
 
Nibali has world ITT medals as a junior and U23. I don't get why he would be in a climber category and not an all-rounder.

At least to me he is no less of an all-rounder than TGH
I think Kittel had a World junior TT title. I'm not sure age grade races reflect what a rider will go on to do in senior ranks.

I included Nibali there as someone who would be considered more likely to win a race in the mountains, than against the clock.
 
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Interesting debate on TT'ers doing GC.

I think many are missing the point, that a lot of GC guys are good TTers, simply because GC guys train TTing a lot more.

For a GC rider, it is an area you must maximise, for most other riders (except for the TT specialists), it's something you train sporadically, and don't particularly care for.

I think the current balance in GTs is fine, it's just that we have a generation of youngsters that BOTH climb and TT with the best, especially in a 3 week race, where the pure TT have been acting as workhorses non-stop.
 
Gosh Bernal looks like one of those US goth kids in a Hollywood high school slasher movie in that pic above . The one who gets it in the changing rooms at the end of the first act

Anyway tomorrow seems like a shoe in for Sagan . Its his bread and butter

As for GC guys the old cliche comes to mind. You cant win the Giro tomorrow but you can lose it
Alot GC guys more worried about tomorrow than Zoncolon and all of next week high mountains

Strong team and good equipment are key . A few GC guys will lose time there is no doubt

Bernal and Evenepoel should be up there though

Hope i am wrong but these stages are nearly always an anti climax . Remember the Roubaix stage at the 2014 Tour
The thing was so hyped and riders so skittish that crashes happened long before the cobbles
 
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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.
Dennis and Van Aert are clearly top 5 TTers and had they been here and riding for GC I reckon they would be top 15 at the rest day as well.
 

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