Ninja of the Tour (simplified version)

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Guillaume Martin is the most Zubeldia-esque rider in the peloton. Guy is just a pure GC rider and when he goes in the breaks, he sits in the back and has no intentions whatsoever about the stage, just gaining a few minutes or getting a nice headstart. Honestly, he doesnt really climb that well, he is just incredibly consistent and seems to be well aware of that.
 
Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Guillaume Martin is the most Zubeldia-esque rider in the peloton. Guy is just a pure GC rider and when he goes in the breaks, he sits in the back and has no intentions whatsoever about the stage, just gaining a few minutes or getting a nice headstart. Honestly, he doesnt really climb that well, he is just incredibly consistent and seems to be well aware of that.
His riding style is definitely ninja worthy but being French in Le Tour means the cameras find him more often than similar riders of recent vintage such as Maxime Monfort.

When I think about your comments its incredible how G Martin never ever seems to manage to be among the final selection in the breakaways he gets in. Obviously a moderate talent but gets every bit of potential from himself and is a pure endurance athlete.
 
shalgo said:
deneb said:
I'm wondering if someone ever managed to finish a GT in the top 10 without any stage top 10
Another near miss was Meintjes in the 2015 Vuelta: 10th overall with only two top tens in stages, a 9th and a 10th.
Yet another near miss, of a different type: Monfort at the 2015 Giro: 11th overall without a single top ten in a stage.
 
Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Guillaume Martin is the most Zubeldia-esque rider in the peloton. Guy is just a pure GC rider and when he goes in the breaks, he sits in the back and has no intentions whatsoever about the stage, just gaining a few minutes or getting a nice headstart. Honestly, he doesnt really climb that well, he is just incredibly consistent and seems to be well aware of that.
Perhaps in this tour, but his last ones? No. Also his french road race and plenty of other examples, illustrate that he does ride aggresively on different occasions.
 
...on different occasions :) .

Very Monfort, doing what he can with what he has. To his credit his TdF placing is improving: 23, 21, 12. So is he mastering the Ninja-do or improving? Hard to tell. I'll have him at 10th on next year's prediction challenge... probably :) .
 
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Red Rick said:
I don't think it's fair to include domestiques in this.
To be fair if you are a dom doing your job you were likely seen and mentioned
For me it would be between Kreuziger and Kangert but will give it to Roman because he ended up higher on GC
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Depends on commentator(s). If they don't mention someone, then he's more likely to be invisible; he can be part of he same group or attack as others yet if commentators don't pick him out and do pick others... Then it depends heavily on who you do do follow or do not. Then it depends on whether one has some problem, i.e. being caught back on the wind or crashing or sometinh.

For me Kreuziger surely was not ninja, he was part of at least two attacks and he was puling front quite a lot there so he was pretty visible, then was was falling back or being overrun by favourites. And he was only one of his team in any group, so pretty easily distinguishable. Quite surprisingly he has quite a lot of air time on TV. Then again, I realize that's my point of view.

Someone is argumeting by Aru dangling metres from the leaders group - well with Kreuziger that was similar.

So more or less this is pointless question because it mostly depends on the spectator.
 
Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Guillaume Martin is the most Zubeldia-esque rider in the peloton. Guy is just a pure GC rider and when he goes in the breaks, he sits in the back and has no intentions whatsoever about the stage, just gaining a few minutes or getting a nice headstart. Honestly, he doesnt really climb that well, he is just incredibly consistent and seems to be well aware of that.
Yes, true. But if screen time is a criteria, he is out. I saw him every stage when he was dropped. Most of the times even with underlay.
 
shalgo said:
shalgo said:
deneb said:
I'm wondering if someone ever managed to finish a GT in the top 10 without any stage top 10
Another near miss was Meintjes in the 2015 Vuelta: 10th overall with only two top tens in stages, a 9th and a 10th.
Yet another near miss, of a different type: Monfort at the 2015 Giro: 11th overall without a single top ten in a stage.
I have found an example: Andy Hampsten in the 1994 Giro: he finished 10th overall without making the top ten in any stage: https://www.bikeraceinfo.com/giro/giro1994.html
 
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The best placed riders with no stage top 10 in 2020

16​
62​
PELLO BILBAO+ 00h 55' 56''
22​
144​
GORKA IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI+ 01h 36' 12''
23​
164​
ESTEBAN CHAVES+ 01h 38' 45''
26​
32​
MIKAEL CHEREL+ 01h 40' 51''
31​
186​
ROMAIN SICARD+ 02h 13' 02''
32​
147​
LUIS LEÓN SANCHEZ+ 02h 13' 47''
34​
12​
GEORGE BENNETT+ 02h 15' 49''
35​
38​
ALEXIS VUILLERMOZ+ 02h 16' 19''
38​
22​
EMANUEL BUCHMANN+ 02h 21' 57''
39​
57​
RUDY MOLARD+ 02h 26' 53''
 
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Uran had two 9th and two 10th, finished 8th overall. Not the truest example of a ninja, because his name was mentioned several times, but really, apart from being a pink blur in the background, his only air time was when he was getting dropped. He deserves at least a mention.
Yes, not the ninja under the rules of this threat, but very much the best ninja in the spirit of Zubeldia.
 
Guillaume Martin may have the numbers, but he got lots of attention for being the best Frenchman. I think the title should be for the least noticable rider in the top 10.

I say Damiano Caruso. I didn't notice his presence until yesterday evening, while checking the results. He used the camouflage technique: pretending to be just another helper of Landa, while secretly preparing to jump into the top 10 at the very last minute.
 
Guillaume Martin may have the numbers, but he got lots of attention for being the best Frenchman. I think the title should be for the least noticable rider in the top 10.

I say Damiano Caruso. I didn't notice his presence until yesterday evening, while checking the results. He used the camouflage technique: pretending to be just another helper of Landa, while secretly preparing to jump into the top 10 at the very last minute.
Yup. Hard to be a total ninja with a -1 on your back like Uran, when you’re usually on camera as you get dropped. But Caruso just stayed in there, kept in touch, and got his reward.
 
Enric Mas is the ninja of the Tour for me, although he got quite a lot of good stage placings. But I never saw him make one move. Urán would be my second place, he also did not do anything himself, but he was magenta. The Bahrain guys did a little bit at the end of the race and Guillaume Martin attacked quite a few times! Unsuccessfully.
 
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I've said it before and I'll say it again.
Ninja of this Tour was Alejandro Valverde. He was 10th twice. You never knew who was Mas and who was Bala from the heli shot. He never contested even a reduced sprint uphill. Even during the TT he got no TV time.
Finished 11th in GC.

Caruso spent the last couple of mountain stages either pulling for Landa or in the break. He was very visible in the third week.
 
Valverde did wear a cloak of invisibility throughout. However, every time I clocked a Movistar in the rear of the lead group I kept thinking it was Valverde because I kept forgetting Mas was in the race. That is a true Ninja characteristic.
 
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