Kevin Rivera discussion thread

F it. Why not? We like to get the hype started early, and this kid is all hype. Bernal gone off to Sky? No problem for Savio! Kevin Manuel Rivera Serrano is here.



Kevin Rivera is only 19 years old, but already has a year of professional cycling under his belt. He has a story that is similar to the great Egan Bernal: the mountain bike. Growing up in Cartago, Costa Rica, it's about the only thing he did. Rivera rode his races for a team led by Piero Ravaglia, obviously an Italian. On one day, Ravaglia gave Paolo Alberati a call, informing him about Rivera, who took him on a plane to Italy. In Italy, he rode three junior races: Rivera immediately won and the rest didn't stand much of a chance.

What Rivera didn't know, was that a certain someone was hiding in the bushes, watching him throw his arms in the air of joy. That person was no other than Gianni Savio. Savio didn't waste any time and took Rivera to the Centro Studi, a lab on the name of Michele Bartoli, where he would follow some tests. A few years earlier, Egan Bernal followed the same path in the same lab, where he would post a VO2 max of 88,8. One hour later, Bartoli's mind was blown. ''After Egan Bernal, Gianni Savio brought me another rider. I have never seen anyone with a VO2 max that high. His name? Kevin Rivera.'' He had found himself another gem.



After that test, Savio didn't waste a second and penned Rivera down to a 4-year deal, which would start in 2017. It took a while for Rivera to get his motor starting, but slowly but surely he grew in quality and in confidence. By June, he was ready to play his part. Not only did he play his fair share in Rodolfo Torres' Tour of Bihor win, he also got himself a nice 13th place as well. The cherry on the cake was yet to come. That cherry didn't take long, as Rivera won the Tour of China II, yelling victory in one stage in the process. It was only the beginning.

Kevin Rivera is in for some big things.

2016
3º in Cartago, Mountainbike, Juniors, Cartago (Cartago), Costa Rica
3º in National Championship, Road, ITT, Juniors, Costa Rica, General Viejo (San Jose), Costa Rica
1º in Prologue Stage 1 Vuelta de la Juventud Costa Rica, General Viejo (San Jose), Costa Rica
1º in Stage 3 Vuelta de la Juventud Costa Rica, Santa Teresa (San Jose), Costa Rica

2º in Stage 4 Vuelta de la Juventud Costa Rica, Costa Rica
3º in General Classification Vuelta de la Juventud Costa Rica, Costa Rica

2017
14º in Stage 2A Tour of Bihor - Bellotto, Stana de Vale, Romania
13º in General Classification Tour of Bihor - Bellotto, Romania
1º in Stage 1 Tour of China II, Xima (Jiangxi), China
1º in General Classification Tour of China II, China


2018
3º in Vuelta al Tachira en Bicicleta, San Simón, Venezuela

 
How much bigger of a talent is he than Sosa since you chose to make a thread about Rivera over him? Just a personal preference, or is Rivera more talented in your opinion?

Anyways, Im following these 2 guys. Pretty incredible that Savio is able to snatch Bernal, Sosa and Rivera like that when they obviously are incredibly talented..
 
Re:

Valv.Piti said:
How much bigger of a talent is he than Sosa since you chose to make a thread about Rivera over him? Just a personal preference, or is Rivera more talented in your opinion?

Anyways, Im following these 2 guys. Pretty incredible that Savio is able to snatch Bernal, Sosa and Rivera like that when they obviously are incredibly talented..
I'm a fan of Sosa, but he never struck me as a rider who oozed with potential. Even back in Colombia, his results never spoke volumes. I could think of some names that are from his generation which I would rate higher, Adrian Bustamante or Julian Cardona for instance. Kevin Rivera on the other hand might not be as good as Sosa as of right now, but it is obvious he has all the talent - and the tools - in the world.
 
Re:

Valv.Piti said:
How much bigger of a talent is he than Sosa since you chose to make a thread about Rivera over him? Just a personal preference, or is Rivera more talented in your opinion?

Anyways, Im following these 2 guys. Pretty incredible that Savio is able to snatch Bernal, Sosa and Rivera like that when they obviously are incredibly talented..
Don't be silly. ;) Barely anyone has ever heard of these guys before they signed for Savio. Signing unknown young South Americans is a hit-and-miss business. For every Bernal or Gaviria there's also a Carlos Gimenez or Argiro Ospina.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Bernal had a solid MTB background and Sosa already had results in Italian U23 (won Schio - Ossario del Pasubio, a climber's race, when he was still 18 years old) races when he signed, them, he's good at finding talents/knows the right guys who tell him about them.
They all have long term contracts like Bernal and from what I've heard they also have a buyout clause that allows WT teams to buy and sign them (for a decent amount of money) when they are still under contract with Savio.
To sum things up, Savio has found a way to make money off singing young climbers and with him working with the Bolivian goverment to create a developmental team it's just a matter of time until he signs the first big climbing talent from Bolivia.
 
Re: Re:

DNP-Old said:
Valv.Piti said:
How much bigger of a talent is he than Sosa since you chose to make a thread about Rivera over him? Just a personal preference, or is Rivera more talented in your opinion?

Anyways, Im following these 2 guys. Pretty incredible that Savio is able to snatch Bernal, Sosa and Rivera like that when they obviously are incredibly talented..
I'm a fan of Sosa, but he never struck me as a rider who oozed with potential. Even back in Colombia, his results never spoke volumes. I could think of some names that are from his generation which I would rate higher, Adrian Bustamante or Julian Cardona for instance. Kevin Rivera on the other hand might not be as good as Sosa as of right now, but it is obvious he has all the talent - and the tools - in the world.
Sosa was the best climber in the junior ranks in 2015 (except when Bernal was participating, but if I remember correctly Bernal only raced Clasica Juventudes Cajica in Colombia in which he won the GC + Queenstage). Sosa won the queenstage in Vuelta Porvenir, and he also won both the queenstage + GC in both the Gran Clasica Ganapro and the Clasica ciudad de Soacha. He showed himself as a real climber in 2015 but lacked a bit of all round abilities, this makes him very different then Adrian Bustamante and Julian Cardona (who is basically a time trialing climber). Judging from the junior years I also rate Bustamante higher then Sosa, Cardona not really (I think he will struggle in the WT, didnt really understand that transfer tbh). Judging from their first year as an U23 advantage is for Sosa for me, and Sosa is obv one year further as he is 1 year older, but I would bet my money on Sosa over Bustamante and especially over Cardona.

However I still like Kevin Rivera much better than Sosa ;). He had a tumor removed in 2017 which made him lose a big part of the first half of the season. I am really looking forward to see how he will go in the next years, while he is on the good path and I really believe in him, he still has a lot to learn I think and I think he isnt at the place where Bernal was at this point in time (not that that is something to be ashamed about :p).
 
Re: Re:

Ruudz0r said:
DNP-Old said:
Valv.Piti said:
How much bigger of a talent is he than Sosa since you chose to make a thread about Rivera over him? Just a personal preference, or is Rivera more talented in your opinion?

Anyways, Im following these 2 guys. Pretty incredible that Savio is able to snatch Bernal, Sosa and Rivera like that when they obviously are incredibly talented..
I'm a fan of Sosa, but he never struck me as a rider who oozed with potential. Even back in Colombia, his results never spoke volumes. I could think of some names that are from his generation which I would rate higher, Adrian Bustamante or Julian Cardona for instance. Kevin Rivera on the other hand might not be as good as Sosa as of right now, but it is obvious he has all the talent - and the tools - in the world.
Sosa was the best climber in the junior ranks in 2015 (except when Bernal was participating, but if I remember correctly Bernal only raced Clasica Juventudes Cajica in Colombia in which he won the GC + Queenstage). Sosa won the queenstage in Vuelta Porvenir, and he also won both the queenstage + GC in both the Gran Clasica Ganapro and the Clasica ciudad de Soacha. He showed himself as a real climber in 2015 but lacked a bit of all round abilities, this makes him very different then Adrian Bustamante and Julian Cardona (who is basically a time trialing climber). Judging from the junior years I also rate Bustamante higher then Sosa, Cardona not really (I think he will struggle in the WT, didnt really understand that transfer tbh). Judging from their first year as an U23 advantage is for Sosa for me, and Sosa is obv one year further as he is 1 year older, but I would bet my money on Sosa over Bustamante and especially over Cardona.

However I still like Kevin Rivera much better than Sosa ;). He had a tumor removed in 2017 which made him lose a big part of the first half of the season. I am really looking forward to see how he will go in the next years, while he is on the good path and I really believe in him, he still has a lot to learn I think and I think he isnt at the place where Bernal was at this point in time (not that that is something to be ashamed about :p).
Maybe I'm lowballing Sosa a bit, but he never screamed elite to me. I mean, his game is pretty one dimensional and I just don't see him as someone who can make up for his shortcomings by simply out-climbing everyone. He doesn't exactly scream mediocrity either, but don't count me in for the Ivan Sosa hypetrain.

Julian Cardona and Bustamante I both like. Cardona because he was something different. I think he just needed a change of scenery and a team that knows to get the most out of his qualities. Although I really don't think team Vaughters is the right change of scenery. They're not exactly profound on riders like him. I've always been a big believer in Bustamante, but I can agree it's maybe taking a little too long for him to really get to the next level. But he's still only 19, there is time.

It's really hard to judge though. For some it's taking a while to get there, and at the same time there's riders like Kevin Rios who have peaked at age 18.
 
So he wins 2 stages in Vuelta al Tachira, but with only 1 (flat) stage remaining will likely not win the overall.

In the mountain stage with 3 climbs, he lost too much time and couldn't make up for that. I remember in last year's Adriatica Ionica Race, he also finished 15 minutes down from the group with Padun, Hermans, Knox etc. and this was also a stage with multiple climbs. Most of the stages he excels at, seem to be single mountain stages that finish uphill. For the people who follow him more closely, does that indeed seem to be the case?
 
So he wins 2 stages in Vuelta al Tachira, but with only 1 (flat) stage remaining will likely not win the overall.

In the mountain stage with 3 climbs, he lost too much time and couldn't make up for that. I remember in last year's Adriatica Ionica Race, he also finished 15 minutes down from the group with Padun, Hermans, Knox etc. and this was also a stage with multiple climbs. Most of the stages he excels at, seem to be single mountain stages that finish uphill. For the people who follow him more closely, does that indeed seem to be the case?
From what I've seen it's a bit like that, but the main things seems to be the fact that he's really inconsistent.
His engine seems to be pretty decent, but you're right, he seems to be better on easier stages with a single big climb near the end.
I don't know about the A-I stage that finished in Misurina, he had already finished far behind on the sterrato stage, maybe he crashed on that stage?
 
I don't know about the A-I stage that finished in Misurina, he had already finished far behind on the sterrato stage, maybe he crashed on that stage?
That's possible, i don't know. I remember looking for him in the post-race broadcast (but don't speak Italian other than what i can deduct from latin, french etc), and the stage classification and he was way back. On the other hand, the entire peloton was blown to pieces, so it wasn't like he was alone 10 minutes behind the peloton or something like that. I mean the signs didn't scream "injury", but it's possible. Actually, 15 minutes was "pretty good" compared to a lot of other riders. As reference, Aleotti, who ended 2nd in GC of l'Avenir a few weeks earlier, finished 35 minutes down.
 
That's possible, i don't know. I remember looking for him in the post-race broadcast (but don't speak Italian other than what i can deduct from latin, french etc), and the stage classification and he was way back. On the other hand, the entire peloton was blown to pieces, so it wasn't like he was alone 10 minutes behind the peloton or something like that. I mean the signs didn't scream "injury", but it's possible. Actually, 15 minutes was "pretty good" compared to a lot of other riders. As reference, Aleotti, who ended 2nd in GC of l'Avenir a few weeks earlier, finished 35 minutes down.
Yeah, but Aleotti was always more of a guy for hilly one day races, not one for the high mountains, him finishing 2nd in l'Avenir was a big surprise.
 
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