Teams & Riders He's coming home!!!! Alejandro Valverde comeback thread.

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What will Valverde's impact be the cycling world in 2012

  • Nuclear Holocoust

    Votes: 21 100.0%

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It really is amazing how he is at his best ever at this point in his career. I thought for sure that he messed up his last chance to win the worlds after the Bergen route was announced, but he just doesn't seem to slow down one bit. He could very well be the favorite for more than one of the upcoming editions. Given his 2015, and how he seems even stronger now, I think he'll have quite a bit more to add to his palmares than 'just' Itzulia this year. :O
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Re: Re:

Hey, Kwiat become the first rider to win Amstel, E3, WC, and Milan-San Remo since 1873 or something like that, he is having the best season.
AGR has only existed since 1966 and E3 Harelbeke wasn't very prestigious for much of its existence. Obviously the more races you throw in the mix the harder it will become to find someone who did the same.

Winning the WC and MSR however has been done a lot of times already. Cipo, Freire (3 times each), Eddy Merckx, Bettini, Cavendish, Francesco Moser, Gimondi, Jan Raas, Fondriest, Moreno Argentin, Saronni, Hennie Kuiper, etc.

Many also came close: Goss, Zabel, Sean Kelly, Petacchi, etc.

I'll quote Kwiatkowski:

“I think if I was aiming for Lombardia or Liège, I think I could win them, but Roubaix and Flanders are something different. You need to put all those ambitions apart. I have to specialize."

Doesn't seem to bother Gilbert. :)
 
Re:

Netserk said:
It really is amazing how he is at his best ever at this point in his career. I thought for sure that he messed up his last chance to win the worlds after the Bergen route was announced, but he just doesn't seem to slow down one bit. He could very well be the favorite for more than one of the upcoming editions. Given his 2015, and how he seems even stronger now, I think he'll have quite a bit more to add to his palmares than 'just' Itzulia this year. :O
Ii think we may be a tiny bit hasty in proclaiming this yet. Sure, it looks like he's stepped up a level based on results. But, basically all he's done is beaten Contador three times and a below-par Froome once. He would have beaten everyone else in the fields he has raced last season as well. It could just be that Contador has declined significantly - in which case Valverde has moved up by just maintaining his level. Proof will be in the Ardennes I guess - becaue Alaphilippe, Kwiatkowski, Gilbert etc.. all look on very good form and will provide a sterner test.

What a start to the season though. Pais Vasco was pretty close to the top of his list of races to win I think.
 
His stage win at Lo Port was basically the only 'surprising' thing he has done this year, he isn't much better than he always it, but somehow it has all just clicked in 17 for whatever reason. But he has obviously progressed a bit as a climber while he has lost a bit explosiveness.

His time trial today was obviously also a super good effort, but again nothing out of the ordinary really.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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DFA123 said:
El Pistolero said:
Strade Bianche isn't a big race, let alone a classic.

And even on this forum it's clear which race people gravitate towards the most:

Milan- San Remo thread: 34 pages of discussion
Ronde van Vlaanderen thread: 60 pages of discussion

The monuments aren't equally prestigious.

1. Roubaix
2. Ronde
3. LBL
4. MSR
5. Lombardia (I personally rate it higher than MSR though, but I'm being objective here)
Let's analyze this the right way. I remember a wise man on here once said that Google hits was the best way to compare status.

Ronde Van Vlaanderen - about 1 million
Milano Sanremo - well over 3 million
Strade Bianche - about 3 million

Sorry, Phil. Looks like you just won a parrochial race around some farm tracks, compared with Michal's global blockbusters.
I only get 440k results for Milan-San Remo. Ronde van Vlaanderen gives 563k results. Again my method prevails. :)

Based on google hits:

1. Paris-Roubaix: 688k hits (+ Parijs-Roubaix gives an additional 346k hits)
2. Ronde van Vlaanderen: 563k hits (+ Tour of Flanders gives an additional 452k hits)
3. Milan-San Remo: 443k hits (+ Milano-San Remo gives an additional 119k hits)
4. Liege-Bastogne-Liege: 389k hits (+ Luik-Bastenaken-Luik gives another 110k hits)
5. Giro di Lombardia: 251k hits (+ Tour of Lombardy gives another 119k hits)

It seems like I only underestimated Milan-San Remo a little.

As for Strade Bianche, it means white roads in Italian, so a google search won't be very accurate for this particular race.
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
DFA123 said:
El Pistolero said:
Strade Bianche isn't a big race, let alone a classic.

And even on this forum it's clear which race people gravitate towards the most:

Milan- San Remo thread: 34 pages of discussion
Ronde van Vlaanderen thread: 60 pages of discussion

The monuments aren't equally prestigious.

1. Roubaix
2. Ronde
3. LBL
4. MSR
5. Lombardia (I personally rate it higher than MSR though, but I'm being objective here)
Let's analyze this the right way. I remember a wise man on here once said that Google hits was the best way to compare status.

Ronde Van Vlaanderen - about 1 million
Milano Sanremo - well over 3 million
Strade Bianche - about 3 million

Sorry, Phil. Looks like you just won a parrochial race around some farm tracks, compared with Michal's global blockbusters.
I only get 440k results for Milan-San Remo. Ronde van Vlaanderen gives 563k results. Again my method prevails. :)

Based on google hits:

1. Paris-Roubaix: 688k hits (+ Parijs-Roubaix gives an additional 346k hits)
2. Ronde van Vlaanderen: 563k hits (+ Tour of Flanders gives an additional 452k hits)
3. Milan-San Remo: 443k hits (+ Milano-San Remo gives an additional 119k hits)
4. Liege-Bastogne-Liege: 389k hits (+ Luik-Bastenaken-Luik gives another 110k hits)
5. Giro di Lombardia: 251k hits (+ Tour of Lombardy gives another 119k hits)

It seems like I only underestimated Milan-San Remo a little.
You still haven't answered my question. What's the 6th most prestigious race? Which race gets the closest to a monument?
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Velolover2 said:
El Pistolero said:
DFA123 said:
El Pistolero said:
Strade Bianche isn't a big race, let alone a classic.

And even on this forum it's clear which race people gravitate towards the most:

Milan- San Remo thread: 34 pages of discussion
Ronde van Vlaanderen thread: 60 pages of discussion

The monuments aren't equally prestigious.

1. Roubaix
2. Ronde
3. LBL
4. MSR
5. Lombardia (I personally rate it higher than MSR though, but I'm being objective here)
Let's analyze this the right way. I remember a wise man on here once said that Google hits was the best way to compare status.

Ronde Van Vlaanderen - about 1 million
Milano Sanremo - well over 3 million
Strade Bianche - about 3 million

Sorry, Phil. Looks like you just won a parrochial race around some farm tracks, compared with Michal's global blockbusters.
I only get 440k results for Milan-San Remo. Ronde van Vlaanderen gives 563k results. Again my method prevails. :)

Based on google hits:

1. Paris-Roubaix: 688k hits (+ Parijs-Roubaix gives an additional 346k hits)
2. Ronde van Vlaanderen: 563k hits (+ Tour of Flanders gives an additional 452k hits)
3. Milan-San Remo: 443k hits (+ Milano-San Remo gives an additional 119k hits)
4. Liege-Bastogne-Liege: 389k hits (+ Luik-Bastenaken-Luik gives another 110k hits)
5. Giro di Lombardia: 251k hits (+ Tour of Lombardy gives another 119k hits)

It seems like I only underestimated Milan-San Remo a little.
You still haven't answered my question. What's the 6th most prestigious race? Which race gets the closest to a monument?
Look at my edit, it answers your question.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Valv.Piti said:
Holy, thats literally some of the dumbest **** I've ever read on an Internet forum Pisto. :D
It's accurate though.

You're just mad your man only won the least prestigious races of the big ones. :)
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Valv.Piti said:
Holy, thats literally some of the dumbest **** I've ever read on an Internet forum Pisto. :D
It's accurate though.

You're just mad your man only won the least prestigious races of the big ones. :)
I couldn't care less whats on the top and in the bottom, the methodology is just so god damn funny. I mean, I legitimately starting laughing when you were about to rank what monuments where worth the most based on such a thing as google hits.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Valv.Piti said:
El Pistolero said:
Valv.Piti said:
Holy, thats literally some of the dumbest **** I've ever read on an Internet forum Pisto. :D
It's accurate though.

You're just mad your man only won the least prestigious races of the big ones. :)
I couldn't care less whats on the top and in the bottom, the methodology is just so god damn funny. I mean, I legitimately starting laughing when you were about to rank what monuments where worth the most based on such a thing as google hits.
I'm only being half-serious when I use that argument. I remember an inquiry among pro-cyclists a couple of years ago and Paris-Roubaix was number #1. It's also nicknamed "La Reine" or "The Queen of the Classics" for a reason.

I can use any argument I want, Paris-Roubaix is on top every single time.

As a Belgian I'm also in the ideal position to determine what the biggest Belgian classic is. There's much more media attention towards the Ronde van Vlaanderen. The crowds are also bigger. The race is simply more beautiful.
 
Mar 13, 2015
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So, 9 wins, Catalunya + Pais Vasco, 6 WT wins, won every stage race he entered (3 out of 3), won on every terrain and in every manner possible. For me he's the No.1 rider of this season so far. Behind are Van Avermaet, Gilbert and Kwiatkowski. Expecting some great things in Ardennes too...
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Mr.White said:
El Pistolero said:
Mr.White said:
Van Avermaet has the best season so far, then Valverde, and then Gilbert. And that could easily turn in Valverde's favor if he wins Pais Vasco. 8 wins, 5 WT, easily tops what Gilbert did, no matter how epic his Ronde win is. It's still a Monument, not freaking Tour de France! Kwiatkowski won one, and won Strade Bianche in pretty dominant fashion, by that logic he would be equal to Gilbert. But he isn't. Every result matter. His 2nd places in E3 and DDV also matters. Dwars door Vlaanderen was won by his teammate because of his presence, that counts too. Counting only wins is a little bit childish I think, this sport is much more than that.
Only losers are satisfied with second or third places.

Kwiatkowski has had the second best season so far.

A Monument is much more prestigious than a one-week stage race. Otherwise someone like Richie Porte would have a comparable palmares to Philippe Gilbert.
That's what I meant when I said a bit childish
It's what big champions like Gilbert, Boonen, Cancellara and Contador think.

What's really childish is cheering for a second or third place.
So sad if you actually think that. Please, never have children. I'd hate to see your response when your child walks in the door with a 2nd place ribbon.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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jaylew said:
El Pistolero said:
Mr.White said:
El Pistolero said:
Mr.White said:
Van Avermaet has the best season so far, then Valverde, and then Gilbert. And that could easily turn in Valverde's favor if he wins Pais Vasco. 8 wins, 5 WT, easily tops what Gilbert did, no matter how epic his Ronde win is. It's still a Monument, not freaking Tour de France! Kwiatkowski won one, and won Strade Bianche in pretty dominant fashion, by that logic he would be equal to Gilbert. But he isn't. Every result matter. His 2nd places in E3 and DDV also matters. Dwars door Vlaanderen was won by his teammate because of his presence, that counts too. Counting only wins is a little bit childish I think, this sport is much more than that.
Only losers are satisfied with second or third places.

Kwiatkowski has had the second best season so far.

A Monument is much more prestigious than a one-week stage race. Otherwise someone like Richie Porte would have a comparable palmares to Philippe Gilbert.
That's what I meant when I said a bit childish
It's what big champions like Gilbert, Boonen, Cancellara and Contador think.

What's really childish is cheering for a second or third place.
So sad if you actually think that. Please, never have children. I'd hate to see your response when your child walks in the door with a 2nd place ribbon.
There's a difference between a hobby and a professional sport.

The way Degenkolb cheered for getting second in Roubaix in 2014 was just pathetic lol. The same goes for Vanmarcke the year before.
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
jaylew said:
El Pistolero said:
Mr.White said:
El Pistolero said:
Only losers are satisfied with second or third places.

Kwiatkowski has had the second best season so far.

A Monument is much more prestigious than a one-week stage race. Otherwise someone like Richie Porte would have a comparable palmares to Philippe Gilbert.
That's what I meant when I said a bit childish
It's what big champions like Gilbert, Boonen, Cancellara and Contador think.

What's really childish is cheering for a second or third place.
So sad if you actually think that. Please, never have children. I'd hate to see your response when your child walks in the door with a 2nd place ribbon.
There's a difference between a hobby and a professional sport.

The way Degenkolb cheered for getting second in Roubaix in 2014 was just pathetic lol. The same goes for Vanmarcke the year before.
Well, then I'd hate to see your response when your 20 yr old comes to you a grin on his/her face after winning a silver medal in the Olympics or after getting beat in the finals of Wimbledon.

I do agree that you shouldn't be completely satisfied with 2nd - after all if you finish 2nd you can probably get 1st one day, but that doesn't mean you or others shouldn't celebrate that achievement. Point is, 2nd is not the same as 75th and shouldn't be treated as such.
 
Re:

Valv.Piti said:
His stage win at Lo Port was basically the only 'surprising' thing he has done this year, he isn't much better than he always it, but somehow it has all just clicked in 17 for whatever reason. But he has obviously progressed a bit as a climber while he has lost a bit explosiveness.

His time trial today was obviously also a super good effort, but again nothing out of the ordinary really.
Nothing out of the ordinary? What did Valverde himself say today after this win -"yes, there can be no doubt: It's my best start ever."
He turned pro in 2002. Best start ever. So much for nothing out of the ordinary.
 
Yes, its the best start ever that theres no doubt about, my point just was the only incredible performance he has had so far was on Lo Port. You know, that really springs to mind. And I guess you can add Murcia now that I think about it. :p

Otherwise, its just his incredible base level.
 
Re: Re:

Cookster15 said:
Valv.Piti said:
His stage win at Lo Port was basically the only 'surprising' thing he has done this year, he isn't much better than he always it, but somehow it has all just clicked in 17 for whatever reason. But he has obviously progressed a bit as a climber while he has lost a bit explosiveness.

His time trial today was obviously also a super good effort, but again nothing out of the ordinary really.
Nothing out of the ordinary? What did Valverde himself say today after this win -"yes, there can be no doubt: It's my best start ever."
He turned pro in 2002. Best start ever. So much for nothing out of the ordinary.
I think there can be a distinction here between results and perfomrances. This is his best ever start in terms of results for sure; but performances is more difficult to judge because of different levels of opposition. He's basically beaten Contador three times (twice by a very small margin) and then a load of second tier GC riders (plus a below peak Froome)

Perhaps Valverde is at a new level, or perhaps Contador has dropped by 1-2% and that's the reason for the turn around in results. I think we'd have to see him up against Quintana (obviously not going to happen), or a peak Froome to really know if his climbing and overall performance has stepped up to a new level. He still lost the TT to Roglic today - even though it had a toughish climb - and he lost the one in Andalucia to Campanaerts; so it's not like he's suddenly become an amazing TTist destroying all comers. Eyebrows were raised because he beat Contador twice - but, again, there are two possible sides to that coin.
 
"I was a bit conservative into the first flat stretch after the Karabieta descent, because my team-mates departing earlier reminded me to keep some energy for the final 7km, after the Soraluze slopes, where the real difference was made. I just went on full steam from there and - well, the strategy was right."

Contador could really learn something about this. Probably what won him the race.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Valv.Piti said:
"I was a bit conservative into the first flat stretch after the Karabieta descent, because my team-mates departing earlier reminded me to keep some energy for the final 7km, after the Soraluze slopes, where the real difference was made. I just went on full steam from there and - well, the strategy was right."

Contador could really learn something about this. Probably what won him the race.
He's just in better shape at the moment, Contador has far more time trial wins in his career however, so he shouldn't learn anything from Valverde. They're completely different riders.
 

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