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Miguel Ángel Lopez Discussion Thread

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I still think the problem is inconsistency. When he is consistent, he gets the podiums. But maybe this Tour will be different in this regard and he will podium despite being only in the 3rd group in Laruns.
Yes the days of pure climbers winning the race with one big attack are long over. You have to be a consistent all rounder now to win a grand tour which is why riders like Porte and Pinot have struggled to make the podium. It's not just luck, you have to be able to descend well also and do a pretty good TT to stay in contact with the best riders. Bike handling and tactical sense is also underrated in time trials and in crosswinds and on descents. As good as Valverde has been, his lack of consistency in the mountains always cost him in grand tours and the high altitude climbs were often too much for him. He has an incredible record of top 10 results but I guess he can't be good at everything all the time.

Riders like Lopez and Pinot have the ability to win a grand tour but whether they will is another thing. Regular podiums would be a first step but Yates managed to win one without even doing that. The new generation has already arrived : Pogacar, Bernal, Carapaz etc so it doesn't get any easier for the second tier grand tour riders who are still yet to win one. Riders like Stephen K and Rodriguez looked almost certain to win a grand tour but couldn't manage it, Pinot looked well on track in the Tour last year until another DNF. He looked headed for the podium at least. Porte is showing this year at age 35 what might have been but still couldn't avoid trouble on one vital stage which cost him a podium unless he can do something special in the TT.
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Inconsistency. Hmmm, I've read elsewhere that Lopez can sometimes have shocker TTs. There is still hope for LRP to pull it off albeit a small hope. This time I am confident Porte will get a near maximum performance. So it depends how well MAL performs.
I think he will be the most interesting to watch tomorrow since there are a wide range of possibilities for his result will be. This isn’t news to anyone here, but riders who are strong at the tail end of a GT often perform above their usual level in a final TT, compared to where their performance would be during the first week. Not expecting López to get any closer to the two top spots, but I think he will be able to defend his podium spot. Barring him riding straight into a roadway sign!
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He clearly had a bad day. He wasn't even close.

I am trying hard to like Lopez because he is Colombian. But he is not the savviest rider in the peloton. He needs better guidance. In the past he seemed to attack when he didn't need to and didn't attack when he needed to. And looked stronger than the rest in those times. He needs to take advantage of his strengths better. A single good day in a GT is not good enough for podium. Anyway, good luck in the future but need to adjust his tactics if he wants to win a GT.
No. He is just inconsistent and does bad TTs sometimes. I think his effort on stage 17 really cost him. I don't know why some seem to have this tendency to overrate Colombian climbers.
He'd been working on his ITT and did very well in Algarve, finishing in the same second as Schachmann, not far behind Küng. Only Dennis and especially Evenepoel were in another league. So without overrating, it was fair to expect more from him in this ITT.
There's probably something about the position and mechanics of TTing that makes riders more prone to cramping up when bad that just blows up the differences. Lopez might just struggle more in ITT position due to stuff like flexibility like Purito did. He can be passable on a good day, but on bad ones he just blows up. Then there was a big mental aspect as well today.

It's also really weird to see people say he payed for 3km uphill attack 3 days ago by losing let's say 3 minutes extra today. All the while Roglic should've just been more aggressive all race.

As for why people like Colombians, they peak early so their potential can get overrated, but mainly it's that they produce so many climbers there's always a few in every climbing race and they simply drown out the ones that disappoint. They produce that much talent.
That was an epic fail. He can never be GT winner material if he doesn't improve his TTs at once, but I suspect it will always be a weakness. A shame, because his peak climbing is pretty much unrivalled, as we witnessed on top of la Loze and in the second week of the 2017 Vuelta.

That sums it up.

TT'ing is a mysterious discipline. I have no idea how someone like MAL can be so horrible at it yet so strong on a stage like Loze.

What I'd like to see are more WT one-day races like the Mt. Ventoux Denivele Challenge, where great climbers can just go mano a mano. Purists would say climbers have their day in the GT stages, just like rouleurs have the spring classics, but why not let climbers have their own chance to shine?