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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
Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
DFA123 said:
Red Rick said:
Let's talk wide variety.

1 unique monument
1 unique Grand Tour.
2 unique classics.

Then we're down to stage races and semiclassics.

In terms of big wins, it's not much more diverse than a guy like Contador.

The range where he competes is very large. The range where he wins big, is very narrow.
What a laughable post. Contador was a great rider, but his entire palmares consists of winning mountainous or very hilly stage races - with one minor semi-classic which also finished on a mountain. There is no variety - he was about as specialized as it gets. Ultimately he was a guy with incredible w/kg at aerobic threshold - but poor anaerobic power and a terrible sprint.

Valverde wins hilly stage races, rolling stage races, high mountain stage races, monuments, classics, reduced bunch sprints, technical descents, TTs. He's probably the least specialized, most versatile rider in the peloton.
Lately I have been compiling a list of "highlights" of Contador's career to include in a fantasy GT tribute - a Giro, TDF and Vuelta tribute. And I can only say, he was not as specialized as you seem to think. He didn't have much of a sprint which I think is the only thing you can fault him - it cost him a great many victories. But he could be competitive in ITTs ranging from pan-flat to mountainous, punchy finishes, downhill finishes, and uphill finishes, and could drop everyone on gradients ranging from 4-5% to insanely steep, regardless of the length of the climb. On his palmares you'll find many different types of wins. Obviously with him being a climber without a sprint he'd need some form of hilly terrain to be competitive, but saying he is "as specialized as it gets", that's a great many bridges too far.

Yes, Valverde is more versatile, his sprint is deadly and he was very impressive yesterday, but please don't detract from Contador's achievements. I don't see why that's necessary.
No-one is detracting from Contador's achievements. He's won seven (or nine) GTs and loads of stage races and pre-ban was the best stage racer in the world for a period. But he wasn't versatile. He exclusively won races with lots of climbing, and did well occasionally in flattish TTs, solely thanks to his insane aerobic power and excellent recovery. It's not a slight on Contador, it's just how it is.

A great stage racer and a good cyclist.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
LaFlorecita said:
DFA123 said:
Red Rick said:
Let's talk wide variety.

1 unique monument
1 unique Grand Tour.
2 unique classics.

Then we're down to stage races and semiclassics.

In terms of big wins, it's not much more diverse than a guy like Contador.

The range where he competes is very large. The range where he wins big, is very narrow.
What a laughable post. Contador was a great rider, but his entire palmares consists of winning mountainous or very hilly stage races - with one minor semi-classic which also finished on a mountain. There is no variety - he was about as specialized as it gets. Ultimately he was a guy with incredible w/kg at aerobic threshold - but poor anaerobic power and a terrible sprint.

Valverde wins hilly stage races, rolling stage races, high mountain stage races, monuments, classics, reduced bunch sprints, technical descents, TTs. He's probably the least specialized, most versatile rider in the peloton.
Lately I have been compiling a list of "highlights" of Contador's career to include in a fantasy GT tribute - a Giro, TDF and Vuelta tribute. And I can only say, he was not as specialized as you seem to think. He didn't have much of a sprint which I think is the only thing you can fault him - it cost him a great many victories. But he could be competitive in ITTs ranging from pan-flat to mountainous, punchy finishes, downhill finishes, and uphill finishes, and could drop everyone on gradients ranging from 4-5% to insanely steep, regardless of the length of the climb. On his palmares you'll find many different types of wins. Obviously with him being a climber without a sprint he'd need some form of hilly terrain to be competitive, but saying he is "as specialized as it gets", that's a great many bridges too far.

Yes, Valverde is more versatile, his sprint is deadly and he was very impressive yesterday, but please don't detract from Contador's achievements. I don't see why that's necessary.
No-one is detracting from Contador's achievements. He's won seven (or nine) GTs and loads of stage races and pre-ban was the best stage racer in the world for a period. But he wasn't versatile. He exclusively won races with lots of climbing, and did well occasionally in flattish TTs, solely thanks to his insane aerobic power and excellent recovery. It's not a slight on Contador, it's just how it is.

A great stage racer and a good cyclist.
So if I'm reading your post correctly, a rider can only be versatile if they have insane aerobic and anaerobic power? Insane aerobic and regular anaerobic power, with a palmares that shows versatility in terms of wins, makes a rider "as specialized as it gets"?
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Valverde's palmares is very one-sided and not varied at all. 95% of his wins are from uphill sprints after the peloton did jack *** all day (ranging from his victories in FW, LBL to the Vuelta).

It's no coincidence that the only GT he won is known for its muritos.

Compare this to Nibali:

- He won all three Grand Tours: he's a great climber, amazing descender, he excels at high altitudes above 2000 meters and multi-mountain stages (which we frequently see in the Giro) and he's a decent time trial specialist. He also took a lot of time on all GC contenders, including Valverde, on the cobbled stage in the Tour of 2014, finishing third on the stage, ahead of even Sagan and Cancellara.

- He has won two different Monuments with Milan-San Remo (arguably the classic that is least suited to him) and the Giro di Lombardia (twice). He was also second once in LBL. This year he will ride the Ronde van Vlaanderen for the first time, so hopefully he can do something special there as well. He also won a bunch of Italian semi-classics and the GP Quest France (2006).

- He rarely focuses on one-week stage races, but he still won Tirreno-Adriatico (twice), Tour of Oman, Giro del Trentino (twice), Giro di Padania, Tour of Croatia, Tour de San Luis and the Tour of Slovenia. You can tell he doesn't really care besides T-A though.
 
Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
DFA123 said:
LaFlorecita said:
DFA123 said:
Red Rick said:
Let's talk wide variety.

1 unique monument
1 unique Grand Tour.
2 unique classics.

Then we're down to stage races and semiclassics.

In terms of big wins, it's not much more diverse than a guy like Contador.

The range where he competes is very large. The range where he wins big, is very narrow.
What a laughable post. Contador was a great rider, but his entire palmares consists of winning mountainous or very hilly stage races - with one minor semi-classic which also finished on a mountain. There is no variety - he was about as specialized as it gets. Ultimately he was a guy with incredible w/kg at aerobic threshold - but poor anaerobic power and a terrible sprint.

Valverde wins hilly stage races, rolling stage races, high mountain stage races, monuments, classics, reduced bunch sprints, technical descents, TTs. He's probably the least specialized, most versatile rider in the peloton.
Lately I have been compiling a list of "highlights" of Contador's career to include in a fantasy GT tribute - a Giro, TDF and Vuelta tribute. And I can only say, he was not as specialized as you seem to think. He didn't have much of a sprint which I think is the only thing you can fault him - it cost him a great many victories. But he could be competitive in ITTs ranging from pan-flat to mountainous, punchy finishes, downhill finishes, and uphill finishes, and could drop everyone on gradients ranging from 4-5% to insanely steep, regardless of the length of the climb. On his palmares you'll find many different types of wins. Obviously with him being a climber without a sprint he'd need some form of hilly terrain to be competitive, but saying he is "as specialized as it gets", that's a great many bridges too far.

Yes, Valverde is more versatile, his sprint is deadly and he was very impressive yesterday, but please don't detract from Contador's achievements. I don't see why that's necessary.
No-one is detracting from Contador's achievements. He's won seven (or nine) GTs and loads of stage races and pre-ban was the best stage racer in the world for a period. But he wasn't versatile. He exclusively won races with lots of climbing, and did well occasionally in flattish TTs, solely thanks to his insane aerobic power and excellent recovery. It's not a slight on Contador, it's just how it is.

A great stage racer and a good cyclist.
So if I'm reading your post correctly, a rider can only be versatile if they have insane aerobic and anaerobic power? Insane aerobic and regular anaerobic power, with a palmares that shows versatility in terms of wins, makes a rider "as specialized as it gets"?
I'm not sure why you're spinning this into an anti-Contador post. He has a great palmares and was one of the best stage racers of his generation. But he wasn't versatile - he was a stage race specialist. In the same way as saying that Kittel is a sprint specialist, it's not a slight - it's a fact taken from their performances.

Anyway, this is straying a bit off topic now. But not every post is a slight against Contador. He was a great rider, but he wasn't the most rounded in the peloton. In some ways, that makes his pre-ban level even more impressive.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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To win Grand Tours you need to be very versatile, especially if you are gonna win nine of them.

There is no need to compare versatility between riders, but to compare him with a one-trick pony like Kittel is just stupid.
 
I never said he was the most well rounded. I was just disagreeing with your statement that he was "as specialized as it gets" which looking at the variety of races he performed in is hard to support. A rider that only ever performs in multi mountain stages is "as specialized as it gets". Not one that wins flat TTs, HC MTFs, hilly stages and downhill finishes.
Stage race specialists, especially the extremely successful ones, have to possess a high level of allround ability. That's what stage racing is about.
 
Re:

Bardamu said:
To win Grand Tours you need to be very versatile
That's just not true. You simply need to have a huge aerobic engine, good team mates and be heavy enough not to suck at time trialling.

In the 1970s and early 80s it was certainly the case. Not any more though.
 
Re:

LaFlorecita said:
Why is he not defending his Pais Vasco title if he's skipping Ronde? GP Indurain and Pais Vasco should be easy enough to combine, right? The parcours is good for him although the GC battle might be more interesting without him.
He wants to cut his racing days as much as possible to be fresher at the end of the season (Vuelta, Worlds). He also doesn't like Catalunya/Itzulia combo before Ardennes (although he did it more than successfully last year).
 
Ok, my post wasn't intended to be a slight on Contador ... I mentioned him because I used to root for him over Valverde. I know now that I under estimated Valverde. I now appreciate his willingness to race. His versatility. His flair. And his guts ... that was a gutsy ride on Wednesday in weather he hates .... ditto Strade Bianchi. I am a fan of riders like Bardet, Kwiat, Nibali, Alaphilippe and now Soler. I enjoy watching them more than I do Froome, or did Contador ... who generally attacked the same way .... on climbs ...and defended in TTs. Very occasionally, he would improvise ... but not often. He didn't need to. It is funny though that there are two people getting irate on a thread about Valverde who are Contador fans ... and one of whom only contributes to heap scorn upon the subject of the thread ... Valverde.
 
Re: Re:

Blanco said:
LaFlorecita said:
Why is he not defending his Pais Vasco title if he's skipping Ronde? GP Indurain and Pais Vasco should be easy enough to combine, right? The parcours is good for him although the GC battle might be more interesting without him.
He wants to cut his racing days as much as possible to be fresher at the end of the season (Vuelta, Worlds). He also doesn't like Catalunya/Itzulia combo before Ardennes (although he did it more than successfully last year).
What Blanco said. I'm not sure he actually likes racing Itzulia (with or without Catalunya) before the Ardennes anyway. Plus he really needs to figure out how to cut his race days before we get to la Vuelta/Worlds/Lombardia at the end of this year as well. Also the biggest reason it appears that he's not racing Flanders is that it could effect the Ardennes, and he prefers not to do anything that could have the slightest negative effect on his racing in the Ardennes.
 
Now to address the Contador/Valverde comparison. Contador is a Grand Tour specialist and did very well in other mountainous stage races, not as well in hilly stage races or one day races. Valverde is a classics specialist, who has done extremely well in one week races of any type and done well in Grand Tours (8 podiums is proof of that along with only two completed GTs that he finished outside the top 10 in GC). They are completely different types of riders.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Re:

Koronin said:
Now to address the Contador/Valverde comparison. Contador is a Grand Tour specialist and did very well in other mountainous stage races, not as well in hilly stage races or one day races. Valverde is a classics specialist, who has done extremely well in one week races of any type and done well in Grand Tours (8 podiums is proof of that along with only two completed GTs that he finished outside the top 10 in GC). They are completely different types of riders.
Contador won the Vuelta al Pais Vasco four times, Paris-Nice twice, Tirreno-Adriatico and Volta y Catalunya once.
 
Apr 24, 2016
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Maybe we shouldnt even just rate rider for only their achievements, Contador did maybe win races/stages in a smaller variety of ways than bala, but i for one think that during his carreer díd make use a wider variety of attacks (Echelons, last effort attacks, mountains, timetrials, downhills, picking himself up faster after crashes, TTs, duo-breakouts hours before finish)
And contador had a way of creeping out Froome in every GT, he was never allowed to gain minutes, even when being setback 13,14 or 18 mins.
None of those lead to results.. but do colour races and rider.
as for my pref. they both rock and so does Nibs

Im just rooting that Bala will make the TDF fun to watch again this year, like he does everywhere
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Koronin said:
Now to address the Contador/Valverde comparison. Contador is a Grand Tour specialist and did very well in other mountainous stage races, not as well in hilly stage races or one day races. Valverde is a classics specialist, who has done extremely well in one week races of any type and done well in Grand Tours (8 podiums is proof of that along with only two completed GTs that he finished outside the top 10 in GC). They are completely different types of riders.
Contador won the Vuelta al Pais Vasco four times, Paris-Nice twice, Tirreno-Adriatico and Volta y Catalunya once.

Didn't say he didn't win some.
 
Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Yeah, him not competing in Flanders is a huge downer. I really looked forward to it - oh well, maybe next year...
This is not a dig, but what was the attraction of the possibility of Valverde riding Flanders? Just the novelty of it? Do you think he really could've contended for a podium there, or would top-10 have been a more plausible goal? If he struggled to even manage to eat during Wednesday's race, does that mean he was at the limit of his skills/fitness/concentration/blah,blah and would've had an even harder time at Flanders if the weather was same or worse?

All speculation, I know, but I can't say I'm heartbroken he won't ride it. I mean, I know he's not fragile, but...idk
 
Aug 20, 2017
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Re:

Koronin said:
Now to address the Contador/Valverde comparison. Contador is a Grand Tour specialist and did very well in other mountainous stage races, not as well in hilly stage races or one day races. Valverde is a classics specialist, who has done extremely well in one week races of any type and done well in Grand Tours (8 podiums is proof of that along with only two completed GTs that he finished outside the top 10 in GC). They are completely different types of riders.
Whose palmares are much more fantastic:
- Contador's in GT, or
- Valverde in one week races?
 
Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Koronin said:
Now to address the Contador/Valverde comparison. Contador is a Grand Tour specialist and did very well in other mountainous stage races, not as well in hilly stage races or one day races. Valverde is a classics specialist, who has done extremely well in one week races of any type and done well in Grand Tours (8 podiums is proof of that along with only two completed GTs that he finished outside the top 10 in GC). They are completely different types of riders.
Contador won the Vuelta al Pais Vasco four times, Paris-Nice twice, Tirreno-Adriatico and Volta y Catalunya once.
So Contador won Volta a Catalunya, but Valverde didn't won Tour de Romandie :confused: Some strange criteria applied here :rolleyes:
 
Re: Re:

joe_papp said:
Valv.Piti said:
Yeah, him not competing in Flanders is a huge downer. I really looked forward to it - oh well, maybe next year...
This is not a dig, but what was the attraction of the possibility of Valverde riding Flanders? Just the novelty of it? Do you think he really could've contended for a podium there, or would top-10 have been a more plausible goal? If he struggled to even manage to eat during Wednesday's race, does that mean he was at the limit of his skills/fitness/concentration/blah,blah and would've had an even harder time at Flanders if the weather was same or worse?

All speculation, I know, but I can't say I'm heartbroken he won't ride it. I mean, I know he's not fragile, but...idk
Flanders is my favourite race and I legitimately think he could do well and top-10. Races are generally also more entertaining when your favourite rider takes part, unless he snaps his collarbone!
But yeah, there's something about the novelty also. Its a good story and I also think it could silence some hater had he done well.
 
Re:

Jvotec said:
Maybe we shouldnt even just rate rider for only their achievements, Contador did maybe win races/stages in a smaller variety of ways than bala, but i for one think that during his carreer díd make use a wider variety of attacks (Echelons, last effort attacks, mountains, timetrials, downhills, picking himself up faster after crashes, TTs, duo-breakouts hours before finish)
And contador had a way of creeping out Froome in every GT, he was never allowed to gain minutes, even when being setback 13,14 or 18 mins.
None of those lead to results.. but do colour races and rider.
as for my pref. they both rock and so does Nibs

Im just rooting that Bala will make the TDF fun to watch again this year, like he does everywhere
Welcome, excellent first post! :)
 
Jul 13, 2016
792
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0
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Bardamu said:
To win Grand Tours you need to be very versatile
That's just not true. You simply need to have a huge aerobic engine, good team mates and be heavy enough not to suck at time trialling.

In the 1970s and early 80s it was certainly the case. Not any more though.
I would consider Contador, Nibali, Dumoulin, Froome, Valverde all-rounders who are good in GT's because of their all-round skills.

But in a way the discussion doesn't lead anywhere. In a way Nibali and Valverde are the only two all-rounders left in the current peloton. Riders who both excel in GT's and one-day races. Even riders like Gilbert and van Avermaet are purely specialized in one-day races and don't even consider riding stage races for the GC.
 
Re: Re:

Valv.Piti said:
joe_papp said:
Valv.Piti said:
Yeah, him not competing in Flanders is a huge downer. I really looked forward to it - oh well, maybe next year...
This is not a dig, but what was the attraction of the possibility of Valverde riding Flanders? Just the novelty of it? Do you think he really could've contended for a podium there, or would top-10 have been a more plausible goal? If he struggled to even manage to eat during Wednesday's race, does that mean he was at the limit of his skills/fitness/concentration/blah,blah and would've had an even harder time at Flanders if the weather was same or worse?

All speculation, I know, but I can't say I'm heartbroken he won't ride it. I mean, I know he's not fragile, but...idk
Flanders is my favourite race and I legitimately think he could do well and top-10. Races are generally also more entertaining when your favourite rider takes part, unless he snaps his collarbone!
But yeah, there's something about the novelty also. Its a good story and I also think it could silence some hater had he done well.
If he'd better prepared for it, then he could, but not this year. I think he struggled hard in Dwars and that's why he decided to skip de Ronde.
 
Re: Re:

joe_papp said:
Valv.Piti said:
Yeah, him not competing in Flanders is a huge downer. I really looked forward to it - oh well, maybe next year...
This is not a dig, but what was the attraction of the possibility of Valverde riding Flanders? Just the novelty of it? Do you think he really could've contended for a podium there, or would top-10 have been a more plausible goal? If he struggled to even manage to eat during Wednesday's race, does that mean he was at the limit of his skills/fitness/concentration/blah,blah and would've had an even harder time at Flanders if the weather was same or worse?

All speculation, I know, but I can't say I'm heartbroken he won't ride it. I mean, I know he's not fragile, but...idk
He said he struggled to eat because he was frozen. I do think that is a legitimate reason for having issues eating that has nothing to do with skills/fitness/concentration/etc. He was frozen, and it's a well know fact he hates the cold and struggles with it.
 
Re:

Koronin said:
Now to address the Contador/Valverde comparison. Contador [...] did [...] not as well in hilly stage races or one day races. Valverde [...] has done extremely well in one week races of any type and done well in Grand Tours (8 podiums is proof of that along with only two completed GTs that he finished outside the top 10 in GC). They are completely different types of riders.
What (larger) stage races do you consider hilly? What non-hilly stage races has Valverde done well in that Contador hasn't? Anything better than Eneco '12?
 

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