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Juan Ayuso discussion thread

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I'm really excited by what the future will hold for him. He is still really inconsistent but man, the peaks are so incredibly high. It's so hard to evaluate the performances of young gc riders nowadays with riders seemingly hitting their peak earlier every single year, but it's just hard to imagine a 20 y.o. who can have these kind of performances, not becoming extremely successful.
 
I think it depends heavily on the riders themselves and the race situation whether co-leadership works out or not. I also think it's more likely that tensions will eventually rise when the contract situation forces said co-leadership to be repeated for possibly as many as 4 Tours.
If Ayuso wins the Vuelta this year, I'd imagine a Giro/Vuelta double next year would make more sense than the tour anyway. In 2025 I can easily see Pog wanting to try his hands on the giro so I don't think they'll have to race too many tours together even if they're on the same team for the foreseeable future.
 
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My Vuelta-favorite.

Remco is really having his work cut out. This is a very different Vuelta to last year, Ayuso is one year older (and obviously stronger), Roglic will come better prepared, so Remco has to bring his absolute A-game to win that race.
Also a significantly more mountainous route. Last year had a whopping one HC climb and nothing remotely resembling a queen stage. This year we have two proper mountain stages in a row with Tourmalet after Aubisque and Spandelles on one day and Hourcère and Larrau on the next, and the final week isn't easy either with Angliru and double Cruz de Linares. And it isn't compensated by more TT either. Last year, Evenepoel was dealt a favourable hand, this year the deck is stacked against him if anything. He will definitely be up there with last year's form but as good as he was then, I could see him needing to be a little bit better than that now. It's set up to be a great Vuelta, more hyped than I am for the Tour tbh.
 
Serious question. What the hell are UAE going to do if this kid is this good and keeps it up? Teddy is their leader for the next 5 or so years and I don’t think Almeida has reached his peak yet. I don’t see this kid on dom duties until Pogacar retires, nor do I see either of them satisfied winning the Vuelta or Giro every single year. If Ayuso wins La Vuelta this year, it’s going to be very crowded.
It's very simple what UAE will do. The strongest will lead in the tour. If ayuso turns to be better GC rider than pogacar, he will be the main leader in the tour france.
Almeida is out of this conversation. He will never be better than pogacar and ayuso. He will be a backup for them. If he wants solo leadership, he will need to move to other team.
 
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Also a significantly more mountainous route. Last year had a whopping one HC climb and nothing remotely resembling a queen stage. This year we have two proper mountain stages in a row with Tourmalet after Aubisque and Spandelles on one day and Hourcère and Larrau on the next, and the final week isn't easy either with Angliru and double Cruz de Linares. And it isn't compensated by more TT either. Last year, Evenepoel was dealt a favourable hand, this year the deck is stacked against him if anything. He will definitely be up there with last year's form but as good as he was then, I could see him needing to be a little bit better than that now. It's set up to be a great Vuelta, more hyped than I am for the Tour tbh.
Remco will definitely need to be better this year if he goes. Ayuso may end up being better than Pogacar in GTs, but of course it's to soon to tell.
 
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If Ayuso wins the Vuelta this year, I'd imagine a Giro/Vuelta double next year would make more sense than the tour anyway. In 2025 I can easily see Pog wanting to try his hands on the giro so I don't think they'll have to race too many tours together even if they're on the same team for the foreseeable future.

I disagree here. Ayuso will be 21 years old next year so I can't see him doing two Grand Tours in the same season. If he wins the Vuelta this year, he will likely want to be the Tour leader or at least co-leader with Pogačar in 2024 and if the latter doesn't win the Tour this year, UAE could really send Ayuso to the Tour as their chances against Vingegård would increase even if Pogačar is still the strongest of the two. In this scenario, Almeida would be the one left out of the team, which would go against his wish of riding the Tour next year but given that he would be a leader in the Giro and in the Vuelta, I don't think he should be unhappy.

I am curious to see Ayuso in one day races as well, Pogačar is one of the best classics rider in the world right now, so Ayuso could remain more of a stage racer, but if there is a major classic where I think Ayuso could actually be better suited than Pogacar is Milan San Remo as he is a better descender than his Slovenian teammate, so I hope he rides that one next year.
 
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A couple more months of injury-free training and we might get ourselves a Spanish winner of the Vuelta :)

Yes Roglic might have a tough job on his hands with Ayuso riding this well.

My Vuelta-favorite.

Remco is really having his work cut out. This is a very different Vuelta to last year, Ayuso is one year older (and obviously stronger), Roglic will come better prepared, so Remco has to bring his absolute A-game to win that race.

Wait so Remco is going to the Vuelta confirmed?
 
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Pog.

That said, I agree that peak Ayuso has TdF winning potential. But he's also been inconsistent, as you'd expect from a 20 year old (!!). His Suisse performance was very, very good against a high-quality field. But Skejlmose, at 22, was just as impressive.

The amount of young talent right now is off the charts.
High quality field? For GC?

This is probably the weakest of the WT big 1 week fields together with Romandie
 
Is there room for Pogacar and Ayuso at UAE? I think next year we'll find out.

Forsure there is. Ayuso is 20 he can ride the Vuelta or Giro few more years. And I don't think Pogacar wants to ride the Tour over and over every year.

But good position UAE is in. The have the best rider in world and the biggest talent.

I think Ayuso goes to the Giro next year. We won the U23, he want to win the real version too.

Btw crazy to think about Staune-Mittet is 9 months older than Ayuso!!!
 
I think the Pogacar and Ayuso quandary will work itself out on its own for the most part. There will be situations that arise, illness/injury/bad luck as well as Giro-Tour or Giro/Vuelta double attempts, and co-leader race dynamics that give them both room to do their thing. If Ayuso really does become a world beater maybe another team will try to buy one of them out but not sure how easy that is.
 
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He might have finished 2nd in his first GT in a weak La vuelta....i do not rate him highly against other gc riders. Some seems to think he is the 2nd Contador. I would be very happy to be proven wrong though.
He might also not have finished 2nd in his first GT. Still, there aren‘t a lot of riders who can claim his results at age 20. I don‘t think he has the consistency to win the Vuelta this year, but his peak performances are matched by few in both the Time trial and the mountains. He looks like he could be a Grand Tour candidate as soon as next year.
 
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ayuso/pogacar can just alternate GTs.

Tour 23 - pog
Vuelta 23 - ayuso
Giro 24 - pog
Tour 24 - ayuso
Vuelta 24 - pog

etc.

Put a bag over their faces and we might forget who we're watching.

More realistically, why not bring them both to the tour rather than leaving one leader isolated against the JV horde?
 
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The way Ayuso rode in the Tour de Suisse, I'd bet next month's rent money on Sir Jim looking him up. Dropping everyone on a climb, then wining a TT, I bet Sir Dave was salivating in his caravan in Nice.
Ayuso IIRC has the longest contract in cycling, he's not getting bought out.

Meanwhile I think speculation about clashing with Pog over leadership way premature.
 
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Great last half of TdS by Ayuso. The climb over Albulapass was a really convincing climbing effort.

I must say I look forward to the Vuelta this year. Ayuso vs Roglic, Thomas and Mas sounds great. Hope that both the spaniards will enter in top shape and challenge Roglic by aggressive racing. The Vuelta is also a lot better balanced than the Giro in terms of distribution of the important GC stages.
 
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