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Miguel Ángel Lopez Discussion Thread

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I agree that we need to wait for this weekend before drawing too many conclusions. He may yet prove the best climber in the race, despite how great Yates has been so far.

Although he can win on Zoncolan, it's unlikely he can take big chunks of time off the main GC guys. If he wants big time gains Stage 15 offers better opportunities. The dream scenario would be for LLS and maybe another Astana rider to get in the break and then for MAL to isolate and drop the GC guys on an earlier climb and ride up to his team mates. It's unlikely, but that's the way to gain 2 minutes plus. On a single finishing climb, even Zoncolan, it'll be very hard to gain more than a minute on Yates, Dumoulin or Pinot.
 
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Cinemaniak said:
Is it possible that this is just his level? Yates, Dumoulin, Pinot are simply better and Lopez isn't a talent like Quintana or Bernal. More like Uran or Chaves. Excellent on one day, terrible on the next.
Just two weeks ago no one would have said Yates was a more likely GT winner than Lopez, so let's not rush to think Yates is "simply better".

He's 24 years old. It would be surprising if he doesn't improve, at least in terms of his positioning and bike handling.
 
The question is in my opinion, has Astana the guts to open the race on penultimate climbs. He won't get on the podium by attacking Pinot and Pozzo 5 kilometers from the finish, but if he uses his great team properly he might be able to distance them further away from the finish.
But again, you very rarely see that in the battle for the podium. I think he is more likely to target a stage win on one of the mtf's and that's absolutely realtistic. It's also gonna be interesting how he performs in the ITT as that could make the battle for white very interesting again.
 
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AStana as a whole has been a bit... meh. Fair, Bilbao is going strong, but KAngert and Hirt should both be capable of being in the mian group until there only 10-15 guys left, yet both have been gone earlyish on every single mountain stage so I doubt "resting them" is a great answer.
 
Astana's team has been disappointing in the Giro - I wonder whether the team burnt themselves out earlier in the season - Lopez is performing in line with my expectations as he has deficiencies in his riding - Remember he is still a fourth year pro, so he is progressing well and it will be no surprise if he wins a GT in his career.
 
Apr 6, 2015
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I hadn’t realized Lopez was such a weak time-trialist. He needs to get much better if he wants to win GTs in the future. Some riders are permanently handicapped by their weight, but Lopez isn’t that light. I mean, Pozzovivo did a lot better than him... It’s a good thing he’s so young. He has probably learned as much as anyone in this Giro.
 
MAL reminds me in a way of Soler. Don't get me wrong, and I really feel horrible about what happened to him, but his bike handling and positioning in the group will handicap him for the rest of his career if he doesn't try to correct it.
 
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Escarabajo said:
MAL reminds me in a way of Soler. Don't get me wrong, and I really feel horrible about what happened to him, but his bike handling and positioning in the group will handicap him for the rest of his career if he doesn't try to correct it.
Yeah, indeed, but Superman is just a mess in general when the race or stage doesn't consist of long climbs. As of right now, he has way too many flaws to ever get serious about winning a GT. Explosive finishes, the time trial, positioning. Unless they serve him a route that is comparable to the 2011 Giro that is. How is he ever going to survive an echelon stage?

He dodged a real bullet today, there were a lot of teams with interest to kill him and Froome off today after he once again got caught behind a gap. They should have had interest at least. I didn't know why they didn't.
 
Then its a good thing that that stages that by far suits Lopez the most are on Friday and Saturday. Lets see what he got and if he is able to live up to the hype about possibly being the strongest climber in the race.
 
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He’s looking very strong right now. Too bad he had all those issues at the beginning. All things considered, if he can do a top five and keep the white jersey, he and the team should be happy. If he can add a stage win, they should be VERY happy.
 
He looked really good today. Pity he's already 5 minutes behind.

I don't agree that he's best on 6-7% climbs. It's just he hasn't been at his best until now. He's probably a bit stronger on less steep climbs but in the past, apart from the Vuelta, his best performances have come on ultra steep climbs.
 
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Brullnux said:
He looked really good today. Pity he's already 5 minutes behind.

I don't agree that he's best on 6-7% climbs. It's just he hasn't been at his best until now. He's probably a bit stronger on less steep climbs but in the past, apart from the Vuelta, his best performances have come on ultra steep climbs.
To add to this, I think people overlook the fact that this is his 2nd GT and that he's only 24. We simply don't know that much about him yet. This Giro is starting to fill up the picture, but we still need to see how he responds in the 3rd week. And after this Giro is over, we still don't know how well he responds to his weaknesses.
 
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AlexNYC said:
Brullnux said:
He looked really good today. Pity he's already 5 minutes behind.

I don't agree that he's best on 6-7% climbs. It's just he hasn't been at his best until now. He's probably a bit stronger on less steep climbs but in the past, apart from the Vuelta, his best performances have come on ultra steep climbs.
To add to this, I think people overlook the fact that this is his 2nd GT and that he's only 24. We simply don't know that much about him yet. This Giro is starting to fill up the picture, but we still need to see how he responds in the 3rd week. And after this Giro is over, we still don't know how well he responds to his weaknesses.
Really? :confused:
I can count at least 3 over the top of my head
 
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silvergrenade said:
AlexNYC said:
Brullnux said:
He looked really good today. Pity he's already 5 minutes behind.

I don't agree that he's best on 6-7% climbs. It's just he hasn't been at his best until now. He's probably a bit stronger on less steep climbs but in the past, apart from the Vuelta, his best performances have come on ultra steep climbs.
To add to this, I think people overlook the fact that this is his 2nd GT and that he's only 24. We simply don't know that much about him yet. This Giro is starting to fill up the picture, but we still need to see how he responds in the 3rd week. And after this Giro is over, we still don't know how well he responds to his weaknesses.
Really? :confused:
I can count at least 3 over the top of my head
He started the 2016 Vuelta but crashed out early.
 
Apr 6, 2015
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That really is his biggest fault right now by far. He still crashes too much. He’s also a fearless descender, which makes me a little scared for him. Hopefully he’ll get that under control.
 

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