Teams & Riders Nairo Quintana discussion thread

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So it's hard to find good comparables because most riders were specializing a bit more on either one or two GTs. But this would be my five post-war, pre-eighties riders that are similar to Quintana:

Rider | Span Between Podiums (Span Between Top 10s)

Joop Zoetemelk | 12 (12)
Charly Gaul | 6 (7)
Lucien Van Impe | 10 (14)
Luis Ocaña | 7 (7)
Raymond Poulidor | 14 (14)

As you can see, the spans are volatile, but the average is 10 (11). So I guess the takeaway for me is that the average would be around a decade, and that they didn't seem to lose the ability to podium until they lost the ability to contend altogether.
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Koronin said:
Fergoose said:
Amazinmets87 said:
Fergoose said:
There is nothing unusual about a human losing some physical shape aged 29. Horner, Valverde, Vinokourov and Longo all enjoyed a lot of success in their late 30s and beyond, but that shouldn't make anyone think that that is the norm.
No, at 29 a road cyclist should be at their peak.
I don't believe you can conclude that with any confidence at all given the sports clinic related periods (where other factors may have offset the ageing process - if I'm allowed to say that). In my opinion retaining peak performance as you approach your thirties isn't consistently replicated in endurance athletics or endurance swimming (from what I've historically seen) and I personally consider it a bit of a myth.

Take some recent GC examples (which admittedly may be proven wrong in the coming years if form improves, but I dont think so):

Bardet's results have gone downhill since he was 27
Adam Yates since 24
Esteban Chavez since 26
Fabio Aru since he was 25 (or 27)
Bauke Mollema since he was 28

Bernal is competing for TdF victory aged 22 and guys like Bardet and Pinot were competing at the top level at a similar age. Within reason, age is no barrier to excellence in endurance and entropy can slowly have an impact on all of us at any point after our physiological peak in our early 20s. Some will thrive even as they turn 30, others like Quintana appear less fortunate.

Well Esteban Chavez has been injury prone.
And illness. Had one very good season with two podiums in the Giro and Vuelta but disappointing since. Talking of comeback riders, Aru's ride in the Tour hasn't been too bad after his surgery. Be interesting to see how he goes next season.

Escarabajo said:
Great win for Quintana after all the pressure he had last week. Alps fit him better.
I thought that too, until I remembered he won a Pyrenees stage last year. Third week suits him better seems to be the rule. Just like last year he had a good first week, a bad second week and a stage win in the third week. Quintana saves the Tour for Movistar. That was one impressive 22 km solo!
Jan 8, 2013
LiquidCrystalDynamic said:
There’s quite a bit of climbing at altitude over the next two days. How big can Quintana dream? Has he been watching tapes from the 2018 Giro?
They won't let him get away again, though, so he won't be able to make up too much time in the next two stages. His current GC standings is safe, Landa is 1 minute back, Uran 130, Velverde 2 minutes.
The golden core group (Bernal, Thomas, Kruijswijk, Pinot, Buchmann) all have about two minutes on Nairo.
I will assume that at least one in that group will drop heavily, Pinot only due to number of matches spent in the first 2 weeks. I also assume that JA will drop out of podium but will it be 4 minutes worth? I believe Nairo can win another stage still and make up some time, but just not enough to change his GC position.
May 22, 2014
A truly supreme performance. What a ride.

Might as well say screw it and go for broke now, he's got a big statement win in the bag and there's nothing to lose. I hope he keeps attacking (though I would understand if he's spent)
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carton said:
Escarabajo said:
The 29 yrs peak sounds more in line with the modern era of cycling post 90's. Before if I can remember correctly the peak was before that.
I think it has always been all over the place, but, in general, most riders seem to have peaked between their early-to-mid-twenties up to their late twenties to very early thirties and faded fast afterward.

Merckx's had just turned 29 at what was to be his last GT win. His only win of note after turning 30 was his last Milan-San Remo (at 30), though he did place 6th at the 1977 Tour shortly after turning 32. Bartali won his last Milan San Remo at 35, and he almost podiumed at both the Tour and the Giro at 38. Anquetil won his last Tour at 30 and had his last major results at 33. Indurain and Hinault, 31 and 32 for their both last GTs and major results. Among the more notable but less dominant riders, Joop Zoetemelk won his rainbow bands shortly before turning 39. Charly Gaul's last major results were at 28. The Delgado/Hinault/LeMond/Herrera generation seemed to fade particularly early.
The riders of the earlier eras also raced significantly more races than today's riders which certainly had to have an effect on the longevity of their careers. Today's riders of course tend to be more specialized in their focus and with the rare rider that seriously competes in grand tours and classics with a reasonable expectation of success. Merckx and his contemporaries had a ton of race mileage on their bodies by the time they reached their 30's. Still, as you said, there was the rare rider that still found some degree of success well into his thirties.
That's the way to silence the critics: Winning big while coming back to the fight!

I have to acknowledge having lost faith in Nairito's abilities, based on his last appearances in the Tour, but he always gets something out of them- whether is a stage win, or a high place in the top 10, etc- so It is quite delightful to have him back, winning with panache, and perhaps leading a way to grand surprise in the GC :)

BTW - I bet his market value just went back up greatly, so whatever team he's riding for next season better raise the bar ;)

Escarabajo said:
With the way Ineos is controlling Egan, the race could be up for grabs. Or in other words I don't see the dominant team that can control the race.
Exactly - Egan should be unleashed - but I'd say Movistar have the upper hand with 3 possible cards to play- IF they play them right :D

If Nairito is feeling strong - then he's got a chance to reach podium :)

Escarabajo said:
With the way Ineos is controlling Egan, the race could be up for grabs. Or in other words I don't see the dominant team that can control the race.
There has been no dominant team. Groupama looked weak yesterday. Ineos is all over the place. If Movistar rode the Tour they way the rode the Giro they might have won it.
Happy for Quintana today. Apparently he climbed the Galibier faster than the GC group.

But he isn't Spanish. I have always been of the opinion Quintana has been badly treated at Movistar since he won the 2016 Vuelta defeating Froome. I assume there was pressure then? For this he was "rewarded" by being asked to share leadership with an ageing Valverde who hasn't podiumed a Grand Tour since 2009 then to rub salt into the wound bring in the inconsistent and unpredictable Landa who continues to promise but still hasn't delivered.

Quintana has two recent Grand Tour wins for Movistar in his back pocket. He has fulfilled his side of the bargain and now they complain he under-performs. Yes they are professionals but they are also human beings I can understand NQs problems with motivation but today he showed he still has a high level and that his training in Colombia hasn't slowed him. Kudos.

Quintana's biggest career mistake was not to leave Movistar after 2016.
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movingtarget said:
Escarabajo said:
With the way Ineos is controlling Egan, the race could be up for grabs. Or in other words I don't see the dominant team that can control the race.
There has been no dominant team. Groupama looked weak yesterday. Ineos is all over the place. If Movistar rode the Tour they way the rode the Giro they might have won it.
Ineous is much weaker than in 2018. This is why Bernal and not Thomas will win if it is an Ineous rider. Bernal not dependant upon the train. A train also now further weakened with the removal of Rowe.
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