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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
    8
Valv.Piti said:
Netserk said:
Valv.Piti said:
Dekker_Tifosi said:
Was just looking at the CQ ranking. Valverde 6th after only riding half the season. Not far from 3rd place even. He would have gone deep into the 3000+ territory this year. I wonder what next years bring
Dont remind me of what could have been this year. Will haunt me for quite some time.

I have really no idea what next year will bring. He says he training mates are saying he is stronger than usual, but I call bull on that. I expect a level similar to that off 12/13, but better in the Ardennes. And I expect a pretty big Vuelta from him.
I would love that. I fear it's more of the recently same.
Like 15-17 shape? That would certainly be lovely.

I think something close to 15-17 shape makes sense. He was only off his bike for a few weeks. 3 weeks after the injury they had him on a bike in the water, and it was about 1 more week after that he was on his trainer. At 6 weeks after the injury he was back out on the road riding. So even though he had a very serious injury he wasn't off his bike and out of training for that long of time. So it would make sense he can get back to where he was at when he got hurt. He may have a bit of rust to shake off in his first couple of races back, but I'd expect him to be fine by the time he gets to the end of February and definitely fine for the Ardennes. Yes look out at la Vuelta, esp if he gets the schedule he wants which is to skip the Tour.
 
Both the team and he are saying Mallorca is where he will start next season.
I think the way the 4 day Mallorca races are set up is actually a good place to come back from a series injury and see where you're at.
 
Valverde is definitely one of the best athletes that I know of, he is just sounding to incredibly confident going into next season. Just wont let the racing go and he isn't doing it the Adam Hansen-way at 37 years old. Just getting annoyed writing this guy's name, lol. No, I wouldn't be surprised if he was as good as last year which clearly would have been his best year had he not crashed in *** Dusseldorf. Damn, never was I that down due to a sporting event.

Anyways, just dropping by to casually drop a few of my favourite victories of El Don:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YczUgIbP91A&t=1s
His most meaningful win to me since I didnt watch the Vuelta in 03, only in 04 (If I had I would have added the legendary Pandera win). Outsprinting the best Tour de France rider of all time like that is amazing. Plus points for Illes Baleares outfit and Rasmussen owning the first half of this race.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgrX7D0mRqo&t=7s
Amazing strength here and really reminds me of his insane L-B-L win in 2015, controlling the break and winning the sprint. Only this time it looked so much, much more easy for El Don. One of the classics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgPKbCt1DOk
Gilbert 2011-esque explosion and grabbing yellow easily. I remember I was over the moon after some unlucky performances in the Tour, but as it turned out, this was unfortunately much of the same.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcnXcmvO9SA
This is absolute most classic Valverde it gets, maybe along with La Pandera 03. That Vuelta man.. great memories of some of the 3 greatest Spanish riders ever to duel it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhkJ19Ik2uM
One of the most impressive of all his victories. Pretty amazing stuff, Valverde was a monster that day, dropping his own teamleader and easily finishing Purito, Froome and Contador off.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRJ_AbHifxc
Incredible win and his most well earned L-B-L.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS48TUOtfr8
The only solo victory on this list. I still get goosebumps watching this, I had never thought.. he didn't breathe. Im glad I got to watch this, but it still saddens me that I will think of this stage and realise he didn't get to show it in TdF or the Vuelta.
 
The very first video you put up there is the day I picked him as my favorite rider. My husband introduced me to the sport 2 years earlier after we had gotten married. After watching for 2 years I was ready to pick my favorite and that stage and the way he beat Lance I knew he was the one I was going to cheer for going forward. You're right is sounding extremely confident going into next season. It's not in his DNA to be able to walk away from racing. It's very obvious how much he loves the sport. He can't let it go.
Thank you for posting some of your favorite victories of El Bala. Truthfully not surprising there is only 1 solo victory on your list as so many of his victories he's relied on his sprinting abilities.
 
May 13, 2015
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Valverde already won Pais Vasco, job done. Let Landa target the race. He is the local boy after all.

I'd like to see Paris-Nice again. And I wonder if he could get away with a small group like last year on Poggio. The climb is on paper not hard enough but Alaphilippe was able to jump away with Kwai and Sagan after all.
 
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WheelofGear said:
Valverde already won Pais Vasco, job done. Let Landa target the race. He is the local boy after all.

I'd like to see Paris-Nice again. And I wonder if he could get away with a small group like last year on Poggio. The climb is on paper not hard enough but Alaphilippe was able to jump away with Kwai and Sagan after all.
Yes he did, and I agree that Landa being the local boy should get to target that race. However, I also remember Valverde saying that as the team leader you must race for your teammates once in awhile if you expect them to race for you and give you everything they have. He was supposed to go to Paris-Nice last year and didn't because he'd gotten sick. So maybe go this year and then Catalonia and let Landa have Pais Vasco to himself, which would be fair.
 
I'd rather see him try Flanders than Sanremo. On paper, the steep, short hills of Flanders suit him well but cobbles might be a problem. In order to be one of the greatest versatile legends, he has to at least try his luck on the cobbles.

When you can podium a hardman race like Strade Bianche twice, you should be able to do well in Flanders. A climber riding with GVA/Stybar and dropping Vanmacke in a classics-like race is pretty convincing. A top 10 would be enough. He can't win it but he is such a good rider that I think he is one of the few riders who could top 10 it without having any experience in riding on the cobbles.
 
Where there were riders faster than him in a flat sprint.
He should go with a rider like Nibali to win or solo, he's pretty fast compared to GT riders but in a flat sprint with fast classics guys he can't win, and the stronger in MSR are all fast men.
 
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Nirvana said:
Where there were riders faster than him in a flat sprint.
He should go with a rider like Nibali to win or solo, he's pretty fast compared to GT riders but in a flat sprint with fast classics guys he can't win, and the stronger in MSR are all fast men.
He is faster than Alaphilippe and occasionally faster than Kwiatkowski. And like GVA and Kwai, he could outsprint a spent Sagan. In fact, he has done it before in the Vuelta.

The problem isn't his sprint against those guys but his ability to jump away with them on a relatively flat climb like Poggio. You need more raw power than climbing skills to do that. The likes of Kwai and Gilbert can do it, but I think Valverde is too light weight.
 
May 31, 2015
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Valverde doesn't like the final of MSR, he finds the descent of the Poggio too dangerous with all the tension around. He said it in multiple interviews some time ago.
 
Velolover2 said:
Nirvana said:
Where there were riders faster than him in a flat sprint.
He should go with a rider like Nibali to win or solo, he's pretty fast compared to GT riders but in a flat sprint with fast classics guys he can't win, and the stronger in MSR are all fast men.
He is faster than Alaphilippe and occasionally faster than Kwiatkowski. And like GVA and Kwai, he could outsprint a spent Sagan. In fact, he has done it before in the Vuelta.

The problem isn't his sprint against those guys but his ability to jump away with them on a relatively flat climb like Poggio. You need more raw power than climbing skills to do that. The likes of Kwai and Gilbert can do it, but I think Valverde is too light weight.
The stage of the Vuelta where he outsprinted Sagan had the last 500 metres uphill and an hard ramp in the last kilometres, it's completely different to a flat sprint. I remember Sagan in the post race interview saying that if he knew it was so hard the finale he didn't even try.
He can outsprint Sagan, Alaphilippe, Kwiatkowski, Van Avermaet if is uphill not on the flat.

For this reason i think he should ride Strade Bianche, in a uphill finish like Siena he can win against fast classics riders and he doesn't have any problem in following them on the sterrato.
 
Re:

Nirvana said:
Velolover2 said:
Nirvana said:
Where there were riders faster than him in a flat sprint.
He should go with a rider like Nibali to win or solo, he's pretty fast compared to GT riders but in a flat sprint with fast classics guys he can't win, and the stronger in MSR are all fast men.
He is faster than Alaphilippe and occasionally faster than Kwiatkowski. And like GVA and Kwai, he could outsprint a spent Sagan. In fact, he has done it before in the Vuelta.

The problem isn't his sprint against those guys but his ability to jump away with them on a relatively flat climb like Poggio. You need more raw power than climbing skills to do that. The likes of Kwai and Gilbert can do it, but I think Valverde is too light weight.
The stage of the Vuelta where he outsprinted Sagan had the last 500 metres uphill and an hard ramp in the last kilometres, it's completely different to a flat sprint. I remember Sagan in the post race interview saying that if he knew it was so hard the finale he didn't even try.
He can outsprint Sagan, Alaphilippe, Kwiatkowski, Van Avermaet if is uphill not on the flat.

For this reason i think he should ride Strade Bianche, in a uphill finish like Siena he can win against fast classics riders and he doesn't have any problem in following them on the sterrato.
He out sprinted Kwiatkowski, Alaphilippe and Van Avermaet numerous times on the flat, so I don't know what you're talking about.
 
I'd love to see him attempt Flanders and I also believe he can easily get a top 10 if not a podium. The question is rather he's willing to risk riding on the cobbles. He's not fond of the cobbles.
He has out-sprinted all of those guys on flats or false flats at different times. He out-sprinted Van Avermaet and Kwiatkowski at the Richmond Worlds (2015) when he finished 5th. There have been plenty of other times as well, although not always for wins. He also out-sprinted Sagan for a top 5 spot on a Tour stage that had a flat finish. But for him to be able to out-sprint these guys in a flat finish or a false flat finish he still needs to to be a hard race as it takes more out of those guys than it does him.
As for MSR he's had several top 20 and a top 10 finish there. Strade Bianche he can win, and I really would rather see him go there instead of Paris-Nice. He's been so close to winning it.
 
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Netserk said:
When?

I don't recall so, and when I check his wins since his ban, none of them (I'm 99% sure) were in a flat sprint against any of those three riders.
Well, if Liege is a flat sprint he beat Alaphilippe there in 2015. He was faster then Van Avermaet in Ponferrada 2014 and in Amstel 2015 for example. And he beat Kwiat numerous times, couple of times at Liege, twice at Amstel (although he lost the most important one in 2015) and once in Pais Vasco if I remember correctly.

Bottom line is I don't claim he's faster then those guys on the flat, but he can certainly beat them.
 
Re: Re:

Blanco said:
Netserk said:
When?

I don't recall so, and when I check his wins since his ban, none of them (I'm 99% sure) were in a flat sprint against any of those three riders.
Well, if Liege is a flat sprint he beat Alaphilippe there in 2015. He was faster then Van Avermaet in Ponferrada 2014 and in Amstel 2015 for example. And he beat Kwiat numerous times, couple of times at Liege, twice at Amstel (although he lost the most important one in 2015) and once in Pais Vasco if I remember correctly.

Bottom line is I don't claim he's faster then those guys on the flat, but he can certainly beat them.
He is definitely a better sprinter than Alaphilippe who is more Albasini-tier on the flat.

I'd rank him as equal to GVA and Kwiat in a flat sprint but below Sagan with Alaphilippe being the "slowest".

http://www.procyclingstats.com/race/Liege_Bastogne_Liege_2014
http://www.procyclingstats.com/race/Vuelta_Ciclista_al_Pais_Vasco_2014_Stage_5_Markina_Xemein

Even able to beat Coquard in a flat sprint.

http://www.procyclingstats.com/race/Volta_Ciclista_a_Catalunya_2015_Stage_7

If these guys can beat a tired Sagan (who of course is the best sprinter of the above-mentioned) in a flat sprint, there is no reason to think that Valverde wouldn't be able to do so.

But I think he lacks the raw power on Poggio. It's too much of a power climb for him to make it to the top with a small group.
 
Liege is an uphill finish.

I'll give you Ponferrada. Amstel is a bit more complicated and heavily influenced by Cauberg, so while the sprint is flat, granted, I wouldn't compare it to Via Roma. He only outright won the sprint in Amstel in '13, mind.

The biggest difference is of course the vertical gain in races. A hard hilly race favors Valverde in the sprint, obviously. That can't be said of MSR (nor Flanders).
 
Maybe one time out ten he can beat one of them on the flat but it's very hard to happen and for sure he can't beat three of them like if he would have been with them in this year MSR.
And a small group breaking away on the Poggio is less likely than a bigger sprint with more fast (and faster) guys.

I think if in some way he'll manage to win MSR will be something exceptional in race difficult to win even for riders better suited than him, think for example at the two greatest classics riders of 21st century, a lot faster rider and with more raw power like Boonen that never win it and a faster rider with a lot more raw power like Cancellara that managed to win it only one time sneaking away in the last km.
 
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Netserk said:
Liege is an uphill finish.

I'll give you Ponferrada. Amstel is a bit more complicated and heavily influenced by Cauberg, so while the sprint is flat, granted, I wouldn't compare it to Via Roma. He only outright won the sprint in Amstel in '13, mind.

The biggest difference is of course the vertical gain in races. A hard hilly race favors Valverde in the sprint, obviously. That can't be said of MSR (nor Flanders).
You asked for a flat sprint and you got it tho. You can also add a bunch of Catalunya stages to that list.
 
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Nirvana said:
Maybe one time out ten he can beat one of them on the flat but it's very hard to happen and for sure he can't beat three of them like if he would have been with them in this year MSR.
And a small group breaking away on the Poggio is less likely than a bigger sprint with more fast (and faster) guys.

I think if in some way he'll manage to win MSR will be something exceptional in race difficult to win even for riders better suited than him, think for example at the two greatest classics riders of 21st century, a lot faster rider and with more raw power like Boonen that never win it and a faster rider with a lot more raw power like Cancellara that managed to win it only one time sneaking away in the last km.
Dude, Valverde won couple of 30-40 men bunch sprints in his career, he beat the likes of Freire, Hushovd, Gerrans and Coquard, something Cancellara never did. So I highly doubt that Cancellara was faster then Valverde at any point in their respective careers.
 
May 13, 2015
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Uphill sprint (depending on the gradient):
1. Valverde
2. Alaphilippe
3. Kwiatkowski/Sagan
4. GVA

Flat sprint (including 1-2% gradients):
1. Sagan
2. GVA
3. Kwiatkowski/Valverde
4. Alaphilippe

But I'd like to see them all five in a close match next year. Make them to ride at least 4 out of 5 of the classics like the Grand Tour challenge a couple of years ago.
 
Re:

WheelofGear said:
Uphill sprint (depending on the gradient):
1. Valverde
2. Alaphilippe
3. Kwiatkowski/Sagan
4. GVA

Flat sprint (including 1-2% gradients):
1. Sagan
2. GVA
3. Kwiatkowski/Valverde
4. Alaphilippe

But I'd like to see them all five in a close match next year. Make them to ride at least 4 out of 5 of the classics like the Grand Tour challenge a couple of years ago.
It probably has to be steeper than 10-15 % for Sagan to not be the fastest if the final climb is shorter than a kilometer. Just think back at the European Championships last year, when Alaphilippe was completely destroyed. And in the Tour last year, the same happened with Valverde and van Avermaet also in the mix. The same would have happened in Rodez 2015 if Sagan's brain had worked and not told him to sit down when he reached Greg's wheel and instead just keep the momentum to go past him.

I also think that Valverde is the slowest of the five in a flat sprint.

What I don't understand is the claims from some people that he is as fast as some of the others in a sprint but not powerful enough to go away with them on the Poggio. It makes no sense to claim that he should be able to sprint better than them on the flat but not as well when it's rising....
 

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