- Aug 12, 2009
I didn't miss your point. I was alluding to the idea of what constitutes a "proper climber." We can argue semantics all day long. Fact is all the top GC guys are "proper climbers." In terms of authentic climbing style and form, without a doubt AC and AS are the best exponents in the pro scene. Sastre has a rep as another strong climber, so to Rasmussen. But like most things that can be categorised, there are many types of climbers. Contador is famous for his accelerations. Andy Schleck also has a strong acceleration, but we can differentiate the strength both have in that aspect of climbing.Winterfold said:Not at all, my point was when has Menchov put real time into a proper climber who was contending the GC on a big climb in a GT?
He hasn't, he hung in there with some good riders, and nicked seconds off the likes off Sastre and Di Luca on the less mental stages, but, like pretty mcuh everyone else, he has no chance of sticking with Contador and A Schleck when they go at it. Yet he has still won two GTs.
But like Evans, Valverde and Samu, Menchov is more than just a guy who can go up hills. He is a proper climber. As for matching the Schlecks and Contador. When was the last chance Dennis had? This year after winning the Giro is it. He worked for the Chicken in 2007, quit after that shambles and won the Vuelta two months later. Dennis after that only competed against AS in 2008 and was ahead of him. We don't know by comparison how he will handle a Tour shot against AS and AC. One can only speculate and use experience for a guess, hence I agree with you. He will have trouble if those two really fire, but no more than the riders I mentioned above.
Smart play. Plus the Giro was more exciting as a whole, than the Tour. Dennis did well. He surprised me with his win. I thought Levi would win. Won't make that error again.(I admit wheelsucking was a bit unfair - he knew he didnt really have to take the initiative cos he would take Di Luca in the TTs, and he chose to mark Di Luca rather than follow Sastre when he really went on the attack, I guess he calculated Sastre would not make enough of a gap and he was correct.)
Good question. I am theorising for a large population base here who hold the view you're questioning and believe it comes down to experience. Evans, Menchov, Sastre, Valverde and Armstrong have experience. They've backed up. Wiggins has one solid performance. Also to his detriment was the weaknesses of the course in 2009 and the failures and lack of absence of those riders I listed. At this moment in time, I believe they are better riders. Time will tell how Wiggins and Sky go.Why can't Wiggins get on the podium with more focus and belief (and other things, depending on your ivew on that)? He is a similar kind of rider, he is at least as powerful, and he falls off quite a bit less.
Numbers person myself and history nut. They are against Brad. Also relating to my above points on "proper climber." The guys listed are all proven climbers, or men who can hold on and give a great ITT. Bro Deal said Wiggins will loose 20 minutes. I don't think he will be that bad, but given it is a climbers tour, Wiggins style (he rides his own tempo and doesn't really accelerate) and the depth of Sky (lack of) he will suffer more in 2010, without CVV and Garmin there to help him when the accelerations come. It is not about his ability, it is about increasing his benchmark level in climbing. To make the podium he needs to and I just don't see him doing it, just as I do not see Armstrong doing likewise. I think Wiggins, Basso and Armstrong will be close to each other, but not near the guys listed above with an addition made to that list for Samu.