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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I think Nibali has liked targeted Lombardia and Pinot may.

In an earlier interview Valverde specifically said that the Olympics are his top goal only because he finally has his Worlds title, otherwise the Worlds would be his number one goal this year.
Now in Valverde's case the Olympics are the one race he should have had some success in, yet doesn't even have a top 10 let alone a podium. As he is going to be 40 the Olympics with his course makes more sense for him to target than the Tour which has rarely really suited his abilities. Plus remember in 2015 when he got his Tour podium, he was crying because he finally got that podium he badly wanted and at that point didn't think he was ever going to get. I suspect in his mind if he can win (or maybe even podium) the Olympics it would be bigger than another Tour podium and certainly than another Tour top 5.
 
Zakharin is desperate to ride the Olympics as reported by CN - For riders it's an important race - To dispute this is silly.
Exactly and most likely compounded by the fact pros couldn't race it until 1996 even though it has been part of the event since 1896. You don't need it on your resume to make or break your career but it adds a lot with it on there. It's not like bad riders have won it: Pascal Richard, Jan Ullrich, Paolo Bettini, Samuel Sanchez, Alexander Vinokourov, Greg Van Avermaet in the road and Miguel Indurain, Viatcheslav Ekimov, Tyler Hamilton/Viatcheslav Ekimov, Faboan Cancellara, Bradley Wiggins, and Fabian Cancellara in the time trial.

Just getting Bronze or Silver is a big deal. Even riders who are just there can see benefits from just being selected to race by being the best of their country. That isn't even counting the whole atmosphere of being at the games as an athlete.
 
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I think “not far off winning the WC” is a fair assessment. Most years there are nine “tier one races”, ranging from the Tour de France way out in first place to Lombardia or MSR in ninth. In an Olympic year, there are ten, but the ORR is marginally the least of them, just behind the Monuments and WCRR. It’s clearly better than winning Amstel or Flèche or GW or Strade.

That said I don’t like the Olympic money/hype machine’s tendency to artificially drag its importance upwards. It’s a one day race that has only ever been won by one great one day racer. I don’t really want a Valverde or Gilbert to double that number.
ORR is not behind Monuments...
 
The sponsors and teams seem to place value on them excluding stages and some semi classics. At least more value than you are giving them.
Sure, particularly with the ever greater growth of the TdeF, placings at least in that race have become more valuable. Which is unreservedly a bad thing, encouraging negative racing, and should be treated with hostility by anyone who cares about the sport.
 
Sure, particularly with the ever greater growth of the TdeF, placings at least in that race have become more valuable. Which is unreservedly a bad thing, encouraging negative racing, and should be treated with hostility by anyone who cares about the sport.
I agree, the riders that are actually able to win for the most part are fine with their placement (whether that is from their own, team's, and/or sponsor's choosing) and ride to preserve that instead of win deserves criticism. Especially since you never know what could happen. Than sometimes that placement is all they're able to achieve with their ability and you can't fault them with that.
 
This is not a sport that places huge value on being first or second loser.
You realize that the rider who's thread this is would disagree with you about that. The interview that he just gave that is posted here he was specifically asked about this. Here is the question and answer in Spanish:

¿Lleva la cuenta de los segundos puestos que ha hecho en 2019?
Sí, sobre catorce o quince. Eso quiere decir que no he conseguido tantas victorias como el año anterior, pero hacer un segundo puesto significa que estás cerca y estás bien de forma. No han sido tantas victorias como en 2018, pero he acabado con cinco o seis y catorce o quince segundos puestos. Quiere decir que no ha sido un año con tantos éxitos de victorias, pero igualmente bueno.

With Google translates help the question and answer in English:


Do you keep track of the second positions you have done in 2019?
Yes, about fourteen or fifteen. That means that I have not achieved as many victories as the previous year, but making a second place means that you are close and well fit. There have not been as many victories as in 2018, but I have finished with five or six and fourteen or fifteen second places. It means that it has not been a year with so many successes of victories, but equally good.


You also realize that he said after la Vuelta when he was able to be on the final podium in the rainbow jersey that he desperately wanted that, but said he dared not dream of a overall podium in the rainbow jersey. Before he won the Worlds he was asked if he would give up his record 6 Worlds podiums for one rainbow jersey and he said no. That the Worlds podium record meant too much to him because it showed his consistency over his career and he was extremely proud of that record. He also very proud of his Vuelta podium record.
 
Sure, particularly with the ever greater growth of the TdeF, placings at least in that race have become more valuable. Which is unreservedly a bad thing, encouraging negative racing, and should be treated with hostility by anyone who cares about the sport.
On the contrary, I see growth of the other two Grand Tours in the recent decade, which is a really good thing for cycling.
And about placings, of course they matter, and they always did. Bigger the race, more important the placings are. Another matter is that us fans doesn't always like that, we of course like do or die attitude, but the truth are riders needs to make a living, teams and sponsors value placings, and that's about it, like it or not.
 
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