Miguel Ángel Lopez Discussion Thread

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Why would he abandon if he was riding for himself? he never did it?
He has a hot head, that is a given, so in his hot head he had a rift against Mas. Whether right or wrong, I don't care. He thought in his hot head that he was being slowed down. Now we know that that was very stupid and false. I even said that. But without Mas, please tell me, why would he abandon? he never did it before and he had no reason, absolutely no reason to do it. He would have probably kept bleeding time for sure.

He was trash in 2019 Vuelta on stage 20 and was trash at the Tour on stage 20. he has some history of collapsing in some late stages. Even had a fight with a fan. He probably dodged a bullet in the Giro for hitting the fan. But soldiered on in all cases. he had no reason to quit. why would he quit? during the Tour this year he was pulled by Movistar because he was trash just riding with no form. But he wanted to make an effort to continue. But it was the right decision by Movistar. However I still fail to see why would he quit if he was riding for himself?
But why exactly should he have a rift against Mas in this specific situation? Mas just followed a move and he didn't until it was too late.

To your question "Why would he abandon if he was riding for himself? he never did it?": You can basically answer it using your remark "he has some history of collapsing in some late stages." Maybe with each such collapsing he is getting more and more frustrated, losing confidence and motivation, such that this time he simply lost his head in the heat of the moment and could no longer take it. He already mentioned that after TdF 2020 he thought about abandoning cycling altogether, so it's perfectly plausible that this new setback at the penultimate day was just too much for him.

Apart from some comments by his wife and trainer, which I take with a grain of salt as they clearly try to redeem his public reputation, we have no information what exactly caused him to stop. It may have to do with Mas, it may have to do with Movistar, but at the same time it could also have to do with himself and no-one else.
 
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tbh I just think MAL considers himself more talented than Mas. Adding to that, Mas, as a spaniard and having been at Movistar for longer might give MAL the impression that the management prefers Mas over him, especially after MAL not being better than Mas at the Vuelta.

cool novel, but MAL, whether being right or wrong in his perceptions over his team shenanigans, only made his situation worse with what he did.
 
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tbh I just think MAL considers himself more talented than Mas. Adding to that, Mas, as a spaniard and having been at Movistar for longer might give MAL the impression that the management prefers Mas over him, especially after MAL not being better than Mas at the Vuelta.

cool novel, but MAL, whether being right or wrong in his perceptions over his team shenanigans, only made his situation worse with what he did.
To be fair, I consider MAL more talented than Mas too when it comes to top level, but Mas' base level is higher. And that reflects in their win counts and the variety of races they get their top results in. But Mas is far more reliable, far less volatile, and his washout days are far, far fewer and less damaging when they happen.

If all you want is to win high profile bike races and get your sponsors coverage through hype, boom-or-bust results, entertainment and column inches, you pick Supermán every time. If you want a reliable source of strong results, guaranteed levels of prize money intake and a good working relationship between riders, coaches and management to benefit the team as a whole, you pick Mas every time. Mas won't get you many wins, but he will definitely get you results. López might not get you as many results, but those he does get are going to be big.

As a fan looking in, watching the sport for its entertainment value, I'd usually be much more excited by seeing Miguel Ángel López on a startlist than Enric Mas. But if I were a team manager, it's probably a very different story. López at Astana might have more goodwill cached to get away with some of these antics, but he's a hot-head who is hard to manage, which we all knew going in, and unfortunately for him he doesn't have the relationship with Unzué to get away with it the way José María Jiménez had with Echavarrí, which is the last time we truly had something like this with Abarcá. But since Indurain had retired (after falling out with Echavarrí on camera when he withdrew from the '96 Vuelta), Chava was Echavarrí's favourite, and was preferred over Olano who was kind of treated as a kind of poor man's Indurain. And since El Imbatido is still around, Unzué is not in the position to defend Supermán in the way Echavarrí did Chava. Valverde's his boy and has been since he took over the team.
 
I think it's quite interesting that people equal mental illness or meltdown with being unproffessional and crashing out of a race as not the same.

Ultimately they are the same. You can't force a mind in meltdown. Everything else is wishful thinking.

Ultimately it's up to the rider to decide if he can continue racing. That has to be true even if the crash is mental and not just with asphalt. (Yes she/he might loose salary etc of course.)

With meltdown it comes to a tipping point when it's just impossible to stop it. Before that tipping point there is a chance. So maybe he sould have quit sooner. That would have been the only option.

But... maybe even that's why he quit. Maybe if he didn't quit he would hit yet another spectator, or ride off a cliff or whatever. Quitting was maybe what he had to do to cool down. Maybe it was the best thing he could do with the mental resources he had at hand. It doesn't make it right, no. But that's not what this is about to me.

The only thing I am saying is we are not in his head with his demons, and it's so easy to judge from afar.

To my eyes this is the cost of not taking mental health seriously. These are the things that happens. :(
 
I think it's quite interesting that people equal mental illness or meltdown with being unproffessional and crashing out of a race as not the same.

Ultimately they are the same. You can't force a mind in meltdown. Everything else is wishful thinking.

Ultimately it's up to the rider to decide if he can continue racing. That has to be true even if the crash is mental and not just with asphalt. (Yes she/he might loose salary etc of course.)

With meltdown it comes to a tipping point when it's just impossible to stop it. Before that tipping point there is a chance. So maybe he sould have quit sooner. That would have been the only option.

But... maybe even that's why he quit. Maybe if he didn't quit he would hit yet another spectator, or ride off a cliff or whatever. Quitting was maybe what he had to do to cool down. Maybe it was the best thing he could do with the mental resources he had at hand. It doesn't make it right, no. But that's not what this is about to me.

The only thing I am saying is we are not in his head with his demons, and it's so easy to judge from afar.

To my eyes this is the cost of not taking mental health seriously. These are the things that happens. :(
I agree with most of your post, but what we don't know is that maybe Lopez has been taking mental health issues serious, but that still didn't keep him being able to honk as clearly immense strain. Because someone is addressing it, doesn't mean they've fixed it?
 
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I mean what to do as an employer: You condition the contract with therapy. "For your cntract you need to see a therapist these amount of hours, and if you get in a situation where you'll have a meltdown these are the consequenses"(stipulate rules in beforehand, not stand as a fool when it happens).
 
I agree with most of your post, but what we don't know is that maybe Lopez has been taking mental health issues serious, but that still didn't keep him being able to honk as clearly immense strain. Because someone is addressing it, doesn't mean they've fixed it?
I agree completely. I just feel they would have better stipulated the rules before a meltdown happened than after it did. <3
 
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But why exactly should he have a rift against Mas in this specific situation? Mas just followed a move and he didn't until it was too late.

To your question "Why would he abandon if he was riding for himself? he never did it?": You can basically answer it using your remark "he has some history of collapsing in some late stages." Maybe with each such collapsing he is getting more and more frustrated, losing confidence and motivation, such that this time he simply lost his head in the heat of the moment and could no longer take it. He already mentioned that after TdF 2020 he thought about abandoning cycling altogether, so it's perfectly plausible that this new setback at the penultimate day was just too much for him.

Apart from some comments by his wife and trainer, which I take with a grain of salt as they clearly try to redeem his public reputation, we have no information what exactly caused him to stop. It may have to do with Mas, it may have to do with Movistar, but at the same time it could also have to do with himself and no-one else.
Fantastico. IMHO, had he been riding alone for himself, without any other leader, he would not have quit. That's my opinion. He never did it in the past. Whatever happened behind doors, or on his head, whether justified or not I don't care. Again, it is what he believes in his head at that moment. Not about the reality. That was the problem. I don't agree with what he did that's for sure an he should be fired for that.
I hate when family members come in into the fight. And only put fuel to the stupid speculation. I think that is really bad and looks horrible on Lopez, to make matters worse. Whatever she said, I don't care. That is not what I am arguing here.
 
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I think it's quite interesting that people equal mental illness or meltdown with being unproffessional and crashing out of a race as not the same.

Ultimately they are the same. You can't force a mind in meltdown. Everything else is wishful thinking.

Ultimately it's up to the rider to decide if he can continue racing. That has to be true even if the crash is mental and not just with asphalt. (Yes she/he might loose salary etc of course.)

With meltdown it comes to a tipping point when it's just impossible to stop it. Before that tipping point there is a chance. So maybe he sould have quit sooner. That would have been the only option.

But... maybe even that's why he quit. Maybe if he didn't quit he would hit yet another spectator, or ride off a cliff or whatever. Quitting was maybe what he had to do to cool down. Maybe it was the best thing he could do with the mental resources he had at hand. It doesn't make it right, no. But that's not what this is about to me.

The only thing I am saying is we are not in his head with his demons, and it's so easy to judge from afar.

To my eyes this is the cost of not taking mental health seriously. These are the things that happens. :(
I am not an expert in the matter but I like your assessment, but I would take crashing out as different issue. It is difficult to tell the extent of the physical damages with crashing out.
 
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Fantastico. IMHO, had he been riding alone for himself, without any other leader, he would not have quit. That's my opinion. He never did it in the past.
I'm totally okay with that, you are entitled to your personal opinion. Even if I do not necessarily agree with you, I can understand where you are coming from. But early on you stated it as an objective fact that he would have not abandoned the race without Mas being there ("it's plain and simple") instead of just your personal opinion, which is of course a false statement, and that's what I am arguing here.
 
How? Explain please!
What could Movistar do to prevent him losing time yesterday? Only thing that comes to my mind is that Unzue comes with the car to do a Nibali/Sheffer move...
I guess I see it from how they managed Lopez knowing what happened in the 2020 TdF and not simply by what happened on this stage.

No question that Lopez's behavior was unforgivable but Unzue failed too but he isn't being held to account for his role in what eventuated.

The team should have known Lopez had a potential recovery problem after putting in huge efforts to win MTFs. On stage 20 Lopez had no legs, was distraught knowing that he was losing another podium, then the manager yells at him. Its called kicking a man while he's down. Did Unzue think yelling at the rider would lift his effort? Pathetic management, zero people skills.

Lopez's physical problems seem very similar to what happened after his 2020 TdF win atop Col de la Loze . On that occasion he collapsed in the time trial three days later. This time he collapsed two days later - he simply didn't have the legs to do as asked, gets yelled at whilst seeing another grand tour podium slip away, then throws a tantrum and exits the race.

There is definitely a mental factor. But mental factors should have been known and managed. I think Unzue yelled at him knowing it exposed his poor management. It was regrettable but avoidable if he was managed well. Sharing leadership with Mas added pressure but Unzue knows all about shared leadership - ask Quintana. Unzue is lost without Valverde when will someone point out that the emperor wears no clothes?
 
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I'm totally okay with that, you are entitled to your personal opinion. Even if I do not necessarily agree with you, I can understand where you are coming from. But early on you stated it as an objective fact that he would have not abandoned the race without Mas being there ("it's plain and simple") instead of just your personal opinion, which is of course a false statement, and that's what I am arguing here.
Ok. IMHO then. Sorry, I didn't think it was a big deal.
I have a question for you, if Mas had crashed out a week earlier for whatever reason, do you think that Lopez would have still quit the race?
 
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I am not an expert in the matter but I like your assessment, but I would take crashing out as different issue. It is difficult to tell the extent of the physical damages with crashing out.
I agree. I just think we cannot assess the psychiatric damages directly either. The only solution I see is being really clear in advance about what's to be expected and what will be the consequenses. Now I understand Eusebio couldn't possibly imagine this could happen. But it seems many other could? <3

I hope they booth learn from it. I think Eusebio might also need some mental help to be honest, as much as I love what I see of him he seems to be a hothead too <3

(Also I am sorry I am the worst editer of my posts in history)
 
I guess I see it from how they managed Lopez knowing what happened in the 2020 TdF and not simply by what happened on this stage.

No question that Lopez's behavior was unforgivable but Unzue failed too but he isn't being held to account for his role in what eventuated.

The team should have known Lopez had a potential recovery problem after putting in huge efforts to win MTFs. On stage 20 Lopez had no legs, was distraught knowing that he was losing another podium, then the manager yells at him. Its called kicking a man while he's down. Did Unzue think yelling at the rider would lift his effort? Pathetic management, zero people skills.

Lopez's physical problems seem very similar to what happened after his 2020 TdF win atop Col de la Loze . On that occasion he collapsed in the time trial three days later. This time he collapsed two days later - he simply didn't have the legs to do as asked, gets yelled at whilst seeing another grand tour podium slip away, then throws a tantrum and exits the race.

There is definitely a mental factor. But mental factors should have been known and managed. I think Unzue yelled at him knowing it exposed his poor management. It was regrettable but avoidable if he was managed well. Sharing leadership with Mas added pressure but Unzue knows all about shared leadership - ask Quintana. Unzue is lost without Valverde when will someone point out that the emperor wears no clothes?
Honestly I am not sure Usebio yelling at him has actually happened. That might just be the wife and father in law that misunderstood something. We don't know. I maybe wouldn't judge Eusebio for having done that (if it actually happened) either. They are both imo hotheads <3 As far as I can tell Lopez hasn't said it happened?
 
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Nah he doesn't have recovery issues. He is just really bad on the flat so if they pace flats hard enough it affects climbing performances MAL is the worst affected.
Erm, I don't think you know he has no recovery issues. He does seem to experience challenges with consistency, so perhaps he does and it is a reasonable speculation.

That does not discount your second statement, which very well could be true and is often the case with the more very lightweight climbers.
 
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Why would he abandon if he was riding for himself? he never did it?
He has a hot head, that is a given, so in his hot head he had a rift against Mas. Whether right or wrong, I don't care. He thought in his hot head that he was being slowed down. Now we know that that was very stupid and false. I even said that. But without Mas, please tell me, why would he abandon? he never did it before and he had no reason, absolutely no reason to do it. He would have probably kept bleeding time for sure.

He was trash in 2019 Vuelta on stage 20 and was trash at the Tour on stage 20. he has some history of collapsing in some late stages. Even had a fight with a fan. He probably dodged a bullet in the Giro for hitting the fan. But soldiered on in all cases. he had no reason to quit. why would he quit? during the Tour this year he was pulled by Movistar because he was trash just riding with no form. But he wanted to make an effort to continue. But it was the right decision by Movistar. However I still fail to see why would he quit if he was riding for himself?
He never did abandon when he rode for himself. So my answer (even if not asked) would be no. Without Mas he wouldn't abandon. But did he ever abandon in a situation like this before? Would you have expected him to abandon in a situation like this before the stage? With Mas there? For me the answer is an equally convinced no. In both cases a 100% no, he doesn't give up. Giving up in this situation just seemed unimaginable, that's why you guys are still talking about it now after all.
Well, now we know he did in this situation. But we don't know what he would have done without Mas there, and just because my prediction is "no" there, doesn't mean I'm right, since I'm wrong with my belated prediction on what actually happened.

I don't see how Mas or no Mas has any influence on his decision. We don't know why his head basically exploded. But I think we can be pretty sure that it won't happen again. He will have learned from that, if you're losing the podium on the second last day, keep riding till the end! Superman will be back.
 
I guess I see it from how they managed Lopez knowing what happened in the 2020 TdF and not simply by what happened on this stage.

No question that Lopez's behavior was unforgivable but Unzue failed too but he isn't being held to account for his role in what eventuated.

The team should have known Lopez had a potential recovery problem after putting in huge efforts to win MTFs. On stage 20 Lopez had no legs, was distraught knowing that he was losing another podium, then the manager yells at him. Its called kicking a man while he's down. Did Unzue think yelling at the rider would lift his effort? Pathetic management, zero people skills.

Lopez's physical problems seem very similar to what happened after his 2020 TdF win atop Col de la Loze . On that occasion he collapsed in the time trial three days later. This time he collapsed two days later - he simply didn't have the legs to do as asked, gets yelled at whilst seeing another grand tour podium slip away, then throws a tantrum and exits the race.

There is definitely a mental factor. But mental factors should have been known and managed. I think Unzue yelled at him knowing it exposed his poor management. It was regrettable but avoidable if he was managed well. Sharing leadership with Mas added pressure but Unzue knows all about shared leadership - ask Quintana. Unzue is lost without Valverde when will someone point out that the emperor wears no clothes?
So, you're basically saying that he quit the race (left his job), because boss yelled at him (which by the way we really don't even know if it's true).
Interesting... I wonder how much people on the planet will leave their jobs in one single day, if they do the same thing Lopez did.
 
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