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

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He should have been racing this one as part of his spring for awhile. If he had been he very likely would have had at least a podium by now. Hopefully he goes back when he's not racing the Giro and has a bit better form for it.
He did say he really enjoyed it and it makes him want to come back.
 
Typically pure hilly riders can do well here but they don't really win. I would've given him more chance on the old route, which I think was a little bit less selective and less predictable.

I think on a route like this he needs to be gone on the Hotond, but everybody and their mother is attacking there these days.
 
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Red Rick said:
Typically pure hilly riders can do well here but they don't really win. I would've given him more chance on the old route, which I think was a little bit less selective and less predictable.

I think on a route like this he needs to be gone on the Hotond, but everybody and their mother is attacking there these days.
Calling Valverde a 'pure hilly rider' is like calling a smartphone 'a clock'.
 
Sep 12, 2017
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He looked great and he looks like he is enjoying himself. Compare that to Sagan who looks miserable all the time. Bala is in a good place right now. The victories will come this year.
 
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DFA123 said:
Red Rick said:
Typically pure hilly riders can do well here but they don't really win. I would've given him more chance on the old route, which I think was a little bit less selective and less predictable.

I think on a route like this he needs to be gone on the Hotond, but everybody and their mother is attacking there these days.
Calling Valverde a 'pure hilly rider' is like calling a smartphone 'a clock'.
In de Ronde van Vlaanderen, he might as well be.
 
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tobydawq said:
He may do 4 top 10s in monuments this year. That doesn't happen a lot.
He very well could. Not only doesn't that happen very often, it's not very often a rider even races 4 monuments in one season to begin with. If he does it (which is very possible), it will be another interesting stat on his palmares.


Again Alejandro shows his great versatility.

Also great to see him still having so much fun. You can just see how much he's enjoying himself.
 
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Red Rick said:
Because in a cobbles field his sprint is nothing special?
Well, had that group escaped after Pater (Van Avermaet, Naesen, Van Der Poel and him), I guess that sprint could've bring him a podium.

Masterclass from him today, he was certainly among the 5-6 strongest guys, a 61 kg Grand Tour and hilly classic specialist. We don't see that much often.

Oh, and by the way, I'm curious, which pure hilly riders do well here?
 
We don't see 61kg or lighter riders in these cobbled races very often to begin with. He did a fantastic job in his first attempt at Flanders. His teammates who have raced Flanders before said they can over different areas with him and tell him where to pay particular attention, but that doesn't make up for experience. They also said it's a very good thing he's a fast learner.
 
That was really a thing of beauty. I know an 8th place isn't something totally special, but I know for a fact many poster laughed at the notion he could even top-10. Just watching him closely throughout the race, a race which he raced for the first time at 38 years of age, and you know the man is a special talent. I understand why he hasn't raced it so far, but this race shows he definitely could be a perennial contender for the race and even won with some luck (would be super complicated tho, but imagine a situation like 2015 with Terpstra, for example).

Great race by Alejandro. Father time still hasn't caught him and he will be one of the favorites for the Ardennes for sure once again.

tobydawq said:
At least he proved to be much better than Nibali as one would have expected. Like a fish in the water, really. His position for the sprint was horrible, though. That cost him a few places.
Oh yeah, of course.
 
He looked smooth on the cobbles. On the Paterberg especially. Closed down a MVDP attack. And he'll be back in 2020 and 2021.

Too late? Properly. But it's a race that actually suits him. A peak Valverde could have won a stage with a Koppenberg HTF.

He needs to get way with another rider in order to podium. As Rick Rick mentioned, his sprint is impressive against climbers but not among the heavier classics riders.
 
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Blanco said:
Red Rick said:
Because in a cobbles field his sprint is nothing special?
Well, had that group escaped after Pater (Van Avermaet, Naesen, Van Der Poel and him), I guess that sprint could've bring him a podium.

Masterclass from him today, he was certainly among the 5-6 strongest guys, a 61 kg Grand Tour and hilly classic specialist. We don't see that much often.

Oh, and by the way, I'm curious, which pure hilly riders do well here?
For Valverde the difference between the Pater and Oude Kwaremont seemed huge, and that's reasonable cause he's so much lighter.

And when I'm talking hilly riders I'm talking old school dudes like Bettini and Boogerd who both got top 10s in Vlaanderen while primarily focusing on the Ardennes.
 
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Valv.Piti said:
He looked horrible to me on Paterberg the first time with about 50 to go, but on all other climbs, he seemed the naturaleza that he is.
Yeah, I was thinking about the last Paterberg. :cool:

I would have to have seen him here in 2015 or 2017 shape. Would have been on the podium by now, if he had targeted it in the past.
 
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Valv.Piti said:
He looked horrible to me on Paterberg the first time with about 50 to go, but on all other climbs, he seemed the naturaleza that he is.
First Pater is faster I think? Final Pater which comes a few minutes after the Kwaremont is perhaps where the pure climbing ability helps if anywhere.

I believe the final Pater wattages aren't higher than Mur de Huy despite the latter being 2.5 times longer.
 
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tobydawq said:
He may do 4 top 10s in monuments this year. That doesn't happen a lot.
Gilbert did it back in 2010 and 2011.
Sean Kelly did it in 1984, 1985, and 1986.
I'm sure there are other examples, even without going back to Merckx, but it would certainly be a rare achievement.
 
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Velolover2 said:
He looked smooth on the cobbles. On the Paterberg especially. Closed down a MVDP attack. And he'll be back in 2020 and 2021.

Too late? Properly. But it's a race that actually suits him. A peak Valverde could have won a stage with a Koppenberg HTF.

He needs to get way with another rider in order to podium. As Rick Rick mentioned, his sprint is impressive against climbers but not among the heavier classics riders.
A couple of year ago i was criticized a lot when i said that Cancellara was faster than him in a flat sprint but it's the truth, he can win sprints also against very fast riders when the finish is uphill but when it's flat, not only sprinters, also a lot of classics rider can outsprint him.

Anyway i think the form is there, his bad performances in Catalunya are more related to the fact that he suffers (probably for the age) more and more mountain stages, we already saw that in the Vuelta last year, very good in hilly, medium mountain, easy unipuerto, muritos but in the last weekend when there was a longer MTF and an harder multi mountain stage he suddenly became a lot worse, i still remember how a lot of people was fearing for the WC but on an hilly route was again his usual self.
I'm pretty sure we'll see him very competitive in the Ardennes and in the first two weeks of the Giro before eclipsing again on the mountains in the third week.
 
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shalgo said:
tobydawq said:
He may do 4 top 10s in monuments this year. That doesn't happen a lot.
Gilbert did it back in 2010 and 2011.
Sean Kelly did it in 1984, 1985, and 1986.
I'm sure there are other examples, even without going back to Merckx, but it would certainly be a rare achievement.
I don't think there are much examples without going back 40/50 years, i checked a bit and probably Gilbert is the only one in the last 15/20 years, going back to 90s there is Bartoli in 1997 and 1998 and Sorensen in 1991, then very close Tchmil in 1994 (9th, 3rd, 1st, 11th) and Museeuw in 1996 (8th, 3rd, 1st, 13th).
 
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Nirvana said:
Velolover2 said:
He looked smooth on the cobbles. On the Paterberg especially. Closed down a MVDP attack. And he'll be back in 2020 and 2021.

Too late? Properly. But it's a race that actually suits him. A peak Valverde could have won a stage with a Koppenberg HTF.

He needs to get way with another rider in order to podium. As Rick Rick mentioned, his sprint is impressive against climbers but not among the heavier classics riders.
A couple of year ago i was criticized a lot when i said that Cancellara was faster than him in a flat sprint but it's the truth, he can win sprints also against very fast riders when the finish is uphill but when it's flat, not only sprinters, also a lot of classics rider can outsprint him.

Anyway i think the form is there, his bad performances in Catalunya are more related to the fact that he suffers (probably for the age) more and more mountain stages, we already saw that in the Vuelta last year, very good in hilly, medium mountain, easy unipuerto, muritos but in the last weekend when there was a longer MTF and an harder multi mountain stage he suddenly became a lot worse, i still remember how a lot of people was fearing for the WC but on an hilly route was again his usual self.
I'm pretty sure we'll see him very competitive in the Ardennes and in the first two weeks of the Giro before eclipsing again on the mountains in the third week.

I think this might be where the debate comes in as to who the faster sprinter is between him and several other riders. A hard race and bit of an uphill finish he can outsprint most of the peloton depending on the day, his form and how much of an uphill finish it is he can be unbeatable on those type of finishes. A flat sprint is a bit different. Although he was thought to be a sprinter as a kid and through his amateur days, he's not really a sprinter. There are plenty of riders he's beaten in a bit of an uphill sprint whom he will tell you is a faster sprinter. At the 2015 Worlds, he finished 5th and said basically everyone who finished in the top 10 is a faster sprinter than he is. That finish was a slight uphill finish.

At last year's Vuelta he was asked if it was age that was getting to him in those mountain stages and his response was that he had no idea if it was or not.
 

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