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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: 8 100.0%

  • Total voters
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Aug 16, 2013
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Re:

Scarponi said:
How come he didn't win it more in the 2000s?
Better rivals, better rivals and better rivals.

And if you look back at the editions of 2007 till 2013, the years he didn't won, some of his biggest rivals did attack from afar. Somewhere between 600 - 400 meters. Now, his 'rivals' just wait till the moment he start his sprint. At 200 meters to go. Unbelievable.

2007 edition: Kessler attacks with more then 500 m to go.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJ8_yq3C9Mo

2008 edition: Evans attacks with more then 500 m to go

2009 edition: Evans attacks with more then 500 m to go

2010 edition: Anton attacks with more then 600 m to go

2012 edition: Purito attacks with more then 400 m to go

2013 edition: Henao attacks with more then 400 m to go

2015 (Tour) edition: Froome attacks with more then 500 m to go

However, from 2014 on, all the riders wait till the last 200 meters. And from there on, it's Bala who opens up the sprint at his favorite distance.

Coincidence? ;)
 
Jun 18, 2015
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Because he is now much more tactically sound than when he was young and knows perfectly the climb, he is equally strong (even stronger than some 2000's years), his rivals are tactically worse and let him control pace up Huy until he has his killer distance.
 
Apr 27, 2014
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Dont agree, Valverde just has learned how to ride the Muur. He just places at the head of the group and matches whoever set the tempo or attack. And when he believes he can launch his sprint without risk of getting short, he just goes for it.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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For those who think the competition has significantly declined, go through the top 3 of the last 15 or so years and point out who would challenge Valverde given the form he's had there in the last few years.

I think peak Purito, 2011 Gilbert (not sure about the 2017 version), Rebellin and Froome are the only ones.

The only reasonable argument that the field at the Ardennes is on average any worse than that of the cobbled classics is that Froome doesn't target Fleche.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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SeriousSam said:
For those who think the competition has significantly declined, go through the top 3 of the last 15 or so years and point out who would challenge Valverde given the form he's had there in the last few years.

I think peak Purito, 2011 Gilbert (not sure about the 2017 version), Rebellin and Froome are the only ones.

The only reasonable argument that the field at the Ardennes is on average any worse than that of the cobbled classics is that Froome doesn't target Fleche.
The Ardennes classics don't have riders like Greg Van Avermaet, Peter Sagan, Philippe Gilbert, Alexander Kristoff, John Degenkolb, etc.

Not to mention recently retired legends like Cancellara and Boonen.

Besides Valverde and Gilbert the only other rider that won more than one hilly classic is Dan freaking Martin.
 
Apr 20, 2012
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FFS even Cadel Evans would give Bala a better run for his money than those frauds.

Still, he's incredibly strong and super confident in his abilities. He knows that no one can match his sprint.
Chaves and Nibali can't beat him. Don will beat the s**t out of them 10 times of 10. Only Froome has a slim chance from the GC riders.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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pink_jersey said:
FFS even Cadel Evans would give Bala a better run for his money than those frauds.

Still, he's incredibly strong and super confident in his abilities. He knows that no one can match his sprint.
Chaves and Nibali can't beat him. Don will beat the s**t out of them 10 times of 10. Only Froome has a slim chance from the GC riders.
Nibali beat him in 2015. And that was with crappy shape.
 
Jun 18, 2015
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There can be no doubt that the disapparition of the great Italian puncheurs has lowered the level of the classics.

However that process didn't start in 2014-2015 when Valverde re-stablished absolute dominance. It started before, in the late 2000's, so it isn't correct to stablish a relationship between both circumstances.
 
Mar 13, 2015
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El Pistolero said:
SeriousSam said:
For those who think the competition has significantly declined, go through the top 3 of the last 15 or so years and point out who would challenge Valverde given the form he's had there in the last few years.

I think peak Purito, 2011 Gilbert (not sure about the 2017 version), Rebellin and Froome are the only ones.

The only reasonable argument that the field at the Ardennes is on average any worse than that of the cobbled classics is that Froome doesn't target Fleche.
The Ardennes classics don't have riders like Greg Van Avermaet, Peter Sagan, Philippe Gilbert, Alexander Kristoff, John Degenkolb, etc.

Not to mention recently retired legends like Cancellara and Boonen.

Besides Valverde and Gilbert the only other rider that won more than one hilly classic is Dan freaking Martin.
Of course they have, 3 of 4 best riders of the season are Ardennes classics riders, Valverde, Kwiatkowski and Gilbert (who is not a cobbled classics specialist, although he beat them all this year)
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Mr.White said:
El Pistolero said:
SeriousSam said:
For those who think the competition has significantly declined, go through the top 3 of the last 15 or so years and point out who would challenge Valverde given the form he's had there in the last few years.

I think peak Purito, 2011 Gilbert (not sure about the 2017 version), Rebellin and Froome are the only ones.

The only reasonable argument that the field at the Ardennes is on average any worse than that of the cobbled classics is that Froome doesn't target Fleche.
The Ardennes classics don't have riders like Greg Van Avermaet, Peter Sagan, Philippe Gilbert, Alexander Kristoff, John Degenkolb, etc.

Not to mention recently retired legends like Cancellara and Boonen.

Besides Valverde and Gilbert the only other rider that won more than one hilly classic is Dan freaking Martin.
Of course they have, 3 of 4 best riders of the season are Ardennes classics riders, Valverde, Kwiatkowski and Gilbert (who is not a cobbled classics specialist, although he beat them all this year)
Yeah, I'm going with Gilbert's words over yours. He's not an Ardennes classics rider or a cobbled classic specialist, but a true classic specialist that can win on all terrain. He has always ridden the Flemish classics, except in 2013-2016 because BMC wouldn't let him (which is why he joined QS as he wanted to ride the Flemish classics). Gilbert has won many classics that weren't in the Ardennes. In fact, he has only won 2 Ardennes classics. AGR is more similar to the Ronde van Vlaanderen than LBL.

Kwiatkowski's best performances lie outside the Ardennes as well, food for thought. He should follow Gilbert's example.
 
Re:

Jspear said:
He's the Kittel of Mur's. Boring. Don't stone me, I enjoy him in some races.
Is it he or the others who are boring? ;) Valverde does like he always does, his rivals know that, yet they don't do anything about it and are playing it right into his hands. If anything Valverde being 'boring' should force the others to actually do something, but its like everyone are scared and seem beaten beforehand. Gaudu being the exception. Pathetic riding by the other 'favourites'.

Valverde was the overwhelming favourite going into Liege last year as well, but he disappointed, probably due to the weather. It can happen again.. but its hard to see anyone else than Kwito beat him here. Will be a good duel, I think.
 
Re: Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Jspear said:
He's the Kittel of Mur's. Boring. Don't stone me, I enjoy him in some races.
Is it he or the others who are boring? ;) Valverde does like he always does, his rivals know that, yet they don't do anything about it and are playing it right into his hands. If anything Valverde being 'boring' should force the others to actually do something, but its like everyone are scared and seem beaten beforehand. Gaudu being the exception. Pathetic riding by the other 'favourites'.

Valverde was the overwhelming favourite going into Liege last year as well, but he disappointed, probably due to the weather. It can happen again.. but its hard to see anyone else than Kwito beat him here. Will be a good duel, I think.
Fair point. Others should try more.

In LBL he will be the strongest. Thing is, the strongest doesn't always win in LBL. It's more open. I like that.
 
Jun 24, 2013
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In the Tour stage in 2015 there was an echelon with about 20 kms to go and Valverde missed out. Him and GVA closed down the 20 second gap together right as the pace was very high cause the sprinter teams were doing the run-in to the intermediate sprint. Lost a lot of energy there
 
Jan 31, 2017
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Fernandez said:
Dont agree, Valverde just has learned how to ride the Muur. He just places at the head of the group and matches whoever set the tempo or attack. And when he believes he can launch his sprint without risk of getting short, he just goes for it.
I think this is the point.
To conquist Huy, being very well placed is almost as important as have good legs.
For example, you can see in youtube the 2010 edition. Valverde is around the 30th position at 1 km to go. He finished 8º.

But I think that another important point is that Valverde now appreciates this classics much more than when he was young. In the 2000's, he was obsesionated with the GV - with the Tour de France indeed. I can remember that, in the editions after Armstrong retirement, he was one of the top conteders, and due to bad luck he couldn't compete. So his obsession was Le Tour. Now he is free.
 
Mar 13, 2015
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El Pistolero said:
Mr.White said:
El Pistolero said:
SeriousSam said:
For those who think the competition has significantly declined, go through the top 3 of the last 15 or so years and point out who would challenge Valverde given the form he's had there in the last few years.

I think peak Purito, 2011 Gilbert (not sure about the 2017 version), Rebellin and Froome are the only ones.

The only reasonable argument that the field at the Ardennes is on average any worse than that of the cobbled classics is that Froome doesn't target Fleche.
The Ardennes classics don't have riders like Greg Van Avermaet, Peter Sagan, Philippe Gilbert, Alexander Kristoff, John Degenkolb, etc.

Not to mention recently retired legends like Cancellara and Boonen.

Besides Valverde and Gilbert the only other rider that won more than one hilly classic is Dan freaking Martin.
Of course they have, 3 of 4 best riders of the season are Ardennes classics riders, Valverde, Kwiatkowski and Gilbert (who is not a cobbled classics specialist, although he beat them all this year)
Yeah, I'm going with Gilbert's words over yours. He's not an Ardennes classics rider or a cobbled classic specialist, but a true classic specialist that can win on all terrain. He has always ridden the Flemish classics, except in 2013-2016 because BMC wouldn't let him (which is why he joined QS as he wanted to ride the Flemish classics). Gilbert has won many classics that weren't in the Ardennes. In fact, he has only won 2 Ardennes classics. AGR is more similar to the Ronde van Vlaanderen than LBL.

Kwiatkowski's best performances lie outside the Ardennes as well, food for thought. He should follow Gilbert's example.
Yeah, and Fleche is not really a classic cause it's only 200km, and on Wednesday, and it's boring on top of that, and most importantly only Valverde wins. Definitely not a classic. So Gilbert won only one Ardennes classic (cause there is only one), so you're right, he's a cobble specialist and they're all awesome.

Oh, and I almost forgot, Valverde only wins because Froome is not riding, cause he smoked him back then in the Tour, which is of course the top stage. And Nibali also, when in shape, who also beat him at the Tour, which of course proves all this things.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Re: Re:

Mr.White said:
El Pistolero said:
Mr.White said:
El Pistolero said:
SeriousSam said:
For those who think the competition has significantly declined, go through the top 3 of the last 15 or so years and point out who would challenge Valverde given the form he's had there in the last few years.

I think peak Purito, 2011 Gilbert (not sure about the 2017 version), Rebellin and Froome are the only ones.

The only reasonable argument that the field at the Ardennes is on average any worse than that of the cobbled classics is that Froome doesn't target Fleche.
The Ardennes classics don't have riders like Greg Van Avermaet, Peter Sagan, Philippe Gilbert, Alexander Kristoff, John Degenkolb, etc.

Not to mention recently retired legends like Cancellara and Boonen.

Besides Valverde and Gilbert the only other rider that won more than one hilly classic is Dan freaking Martin.
Of course they have, 3 of 4 best riders of the season are Ardennes classics riders, Valverde, Kwiatkowski and Gilbert (who is not a cobbled classics specialist, although he beat them all this year)
Yeah, I'm going with Gilbert's words over yours. He's not an Ardennes classics rider or a cobbled classic specialist, but a true classic specialist that can win on all terrain. He has always ridden the Flemish classics, except in 2013-2016 because BMC wouldn't let him (which is why he joined QS as he wanted to ride the Flemish classics). Gilbert has won many classics that weren't in the Ardennes. In fact, he has only won 2 Ardennes classics. AGR is more similar to the Ronde van Vlaanderen than LBL.

Kwiatkowski's best performances lie outside the Ardennes as well, food for thought. He should follow Gilbert's example.
Yeah, and Fleche is not really a classic cause it's only 200km, and on Wednesday, and it's boring on top of that, and most importantly only Valverde wins. Definitely not a classic. So Gilbert won only one Ardennes classic (cause there is only one), so you're right, he's a cobble specialist and they're all awesome.

Oh, and I almost forgot, Valverde only wins because Froome is not riding, cause he smoked him back then in the Tour, which is of course the top stage. And Nibali also, when in shape, who also beat him at the Tour, which of course proves all this things.
Only fanboys like you consider it a classic. :)

Or are you disputing that length matters when talking about classics? Why not make the Ronde van Vlaanderen 150 km long then. :eek:

And no, Gilbert rides all the classics, so he's just that: a classics specialist. The same can be said about Van Avermaet. He doesn't specialize in cobbles, he can ride well in all the classics. This is evidenced by the fact that he won the Olympic Road Race on a semi-mountainous route, beating Valverde, Rodriguez, Alaphilippe, etc.
 
Apr 20, 2012
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lenric said:
Not many GC riders have the explosiveness of Valverde. I can only think of Froome nowadays.
Anyway, today he looked like he was having a sunday ride:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Hkq6uwXOH8

Oh by the way, I enjoyed 2010's edition. Last 20 minutes (Evans won against Purito and Contador):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIuWhc0RtZY
That was the best Fleche Wallone I ever watched live.
Garzelli attacking right from the base, Kloden absolutely flying for 200m on Huy :lol: , then Igor Anton going ballistic from 600m to the finish with Contador on his wheel and finally with Cadel overtaking Contador in the last 100m. Great race that was...
 
Re: Re:

pink_jersey said:
lenric said:
Not many GC riders have the explosiveness of Valverde. I can only think of Froome nowadays.
Anyway, today he looked like he was having a sunday ride:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Hkq6uwXOH8

Oh by the way, I enjoyed 2010's edition. Last 20 minutes (Evans won against Purito and Contador):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIuWhc0RtZY
That was the best Fleche Wallone I ever watched live.
Garzelli attacking right from the base, Kloden absolutely flying for 200m on Huy :lol: , then Igor Anton going ballistic from 600m to the finish with Contador on his wheel and finally with Cadel overtaking Contador in the last 100m. Great race that was...
Interesting thing is how incredibly far back Evans is on the penultimate ascent of the Mur de Huy, whereas Schleck and Contador are basically wasting energy going a good 20s or so faster.
 
There's also a need to distinguish between important and prestigious races and exciting races.

While you'd want every important race to be a good race, diversity automatically makes for a few boring ones as well and prestige brings in riding for places and team control.

FW is no doubt a *** race
It's also no doubt very prestigious.

But it can never be more prestigious than it is now if it's ridden like this.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Re: Re:

Red Rick said:
pink_jersey said:
lenric said:
Not many GC riders have the explosiveness of Valverde. I can only think of Froome nowadays.
Anyway, today he looked like he was having a sunday ride:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Hkq6uwXOH8

Oh by the way, I enjoyed 2010's edition. Last 20 minutes (Evans won against Purito and Contador):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIuWhc0RtZY
That was the best Fleche Wallone I ever watched live.
Garzelli attacking right from the base, Kloden absolutely flying for 200m on Huy :lol: , then Igor Anton going ballistic from 600m to the finish with Contador on his wheel and finally with Cadel overtaking Contador in the last 100m. Great race that was...
Interesting thing is how incredibly far back Evans is on the penultimate ascent of the Mur de Huy, whereas Schleck and Contador are basically wasting energy going a good 20s or so faster.
Positioning doesn't matter much in the Ardennes classics, the roads aren't narrow enough. The races are less nervous because of it. That's the main reason why everything almost always comes back together before the final hill.

That's also one of the reasons why Valverde has never won the Amstel Gold Race (and why he wouldn't stand a chance in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix, Gent-Wevelgem, E3 Harelbeke or Omloop het Nieuwsblad).

The Ronde van Vlaanderen already started 100 km from the finish-line because Sagan and Van Avermaet were poorly positioned at the base of the Muur van Geraardsbergen. You can't pass other riders as easily because the roads are too narrow and you're held up by the riders in front of you. In the Flemish classics they basically sprint towards the base of every hill and it makes the races very nervous and unpredictable. You need experience, strength, big balls and a bit of luck to do well in a Flemish classic.
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Red Rick said:
pink_jersey said:
lenric said:
Not many GC riders have the explosiveness of Valverde. I can only think of Froome nowadays.
Anyway, today he looked like he was having a sunday ride:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Hkq6uwXOH8

Oh by the way, I enjoyed 2010's edition. Last 20 minutes (Evans won against Purito and Contador):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIuWhc0RtZY
That was the best Fleche Wallone I ever watched live.
Garzelli attacking right from the base, Kloden absolutely flying for 200m on Huy :lol: , then Igor Anton going ballistic from 600m to the finish with Contador on his wheel and finally with Cadel overtaking Contador in the last 100m. Great race that was...
Interesting thing is how incredibly far back Evans is on the penultimate ascent of the Mur de Huy, whereas Schleck and Contador are basically wasting energy going a good 20s or so faster.
Positioning doesn't matter much in the Ardennes classics, the roads aren't narrow enough. The races are less nervous because of it. That's the main reason why everything almost always comes back together before the final hill.

That's also one of the reasons why Valverde has never won the Amstel Gold Race (and why he wouldn't stand a chance in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix, Gent-Wevelgem, E3 Harelbeke or Omloop het Nieuwsblad).

The Ronde van Vlaanderen already started 100 km from the finish-line because Sagan and Van Avermaet were poorly positioned at the base of the Muur van Geraardsbergen. You can't pass other riders as easily because the roads are too narrow and you're held up by the riders in front of you. In the Flemish classics they basically sprint towards the base of every hill and it makes the races very nervous and unpredictable. You need experience, strength, big balls and a bit of luck to do well in a Flemish classic.
I agree.

I also think that it matters that the hills in the Flemish classics are so short that riders can afford to go on the hill without being dead for the rest of the race. They're a lot more anaerobic, and the strength component of cobbled hills makes lesser riders fatigue at a quicker rate than asphalted hills.
 

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