Il Lombardia 2021 (October 9th)

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Could just be a case of Masnada giving his all on the descent and Pog riding more calculated and with safety on the descent.

In the end Masnada didnt have much more to give, understandably.
Sure.
Pogačar knew he can beat Masnada and stepped off downhill.
On the other hand, if Masnada managed to bridge a few of them behind could also... fatiguing less. They've just marked each other out imo.
 
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Di Luca, Cunego, and Valverde were all one-time GT winners (though the latter at least was close again, probably 2012 was his best chance). Both Nibali and Pogi have multiple wins in both departments.
Valverde has 26 (plus 1 stripped) podiums across Grand Tours (9), monuments (10) and World Championships (7) and 47 top 10 placings, so I guess you could say that he belongs in the conversation, even if he only has one GT win.
 
Valverde has 26 (plus 1 stripped) podiums across Grand Tours (9), monuments (10) and World Championships (7) and 47 top 10 placings, so I guess you could say that he belongs in the conversation, even if he only has one GT win.
Sure, but unlike the two others, he has never dominated a GT. He clearly has a better classics record than both (where he truly has been dominant), but I think the two others have a better balance, or should we say higher floor between the two departments.
 
Tbh I don't think Masnada really pulls if everyone is on his wheel?
I think if Masnada gets to the top with everyone on his wheel, he still descends as fast as possible in the hopes of a) catching Pog for Alaf and b) dropping some less-fearless descenders on the way (Vingo, maybe Gaudu; Valverde didn’t look so hot chasing Kuus in the Tour) and who knows, maybe suckering Rogla into crashing.

It’s clear he still had good legs over the top, so why would he choose not to pull?
 
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I think if Masnada gets to the top with everyone on his wheel, he still descends as fast as possible in the hopes of a) catching Pog for Alaf and b) dropping some less-fearless descenders on the way (Vingo, maybe Gaudu; Valverde didn’t look so hot chasing Kuus in the Tour) and who knows, maybe suckering Rogla into crashing.

It’s clear he still had good legs over the top, so why would he choose not to pull?
Masnada grew up in Bergamo and probably knew every dented guardrail lining that descent. It's still exhausting and stressful to chase like that and he may have just been gassed. DSQ's staff would know Pogi and his Countryman were the best sprinters so maybe they suggested he sit on until Ala show up, if possible.
Another note to the crowd: Pogacar rode rim brakes. Again.
 
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Very nice race. Chapeau to Pogacar. Not a rider I like too much but you have to give it to him. A great rider.

It was very fun last kilometers. Watching how DQS did everything right until the group stopped working. LOL!!!! I mean, they sent Masnada in search of Pogacar to neutralize him. Check. Now Ala can sit on and not work. Check. Everyone else working in cohesion in pursue of Pogacar and Masnada. Check. And all of a sudden they stopped!!!. That's it. They made a collective decision to not to give it to Ala. Oh well.

What is going on with Spain? Still relying in the old rider. Valverde at 41!!! come on!!
 
I think if Masnada gets to the top with everyone on his wheel, he still descends as fast as possible in the hopes of a) catching Pog for Alaf and b) dropping some less-fearless descenders on the way (Vingo, maybe Gaudu; Valverde didn’t look so hot chasing Kuus in the Tour) and who knows, maybe suckering Rogla into crashing.

It’s clear he still had good legs over the top, so why would he choose not to pull?
Agreed. Especially if they were going to go all in for Ala. Might have dropped Woods as well.

In any case we would have had a completely different race. I honestly have no idea who would have won in that case. Pog would have been tired, Roglic wasn't great...probably would have come down to tactics. I probably would have put my money on Ala but I could see 5-6 guys winning.
 
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