Over- and underachievers durning the last 20 years

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I agree with the person who mentioned Nibali as overachiever. None of his 4 GTs were won against a top GT talent in his prime. He never beat a prime Froome, Contador, Andy Schleck, Quintana etc. To win as many GTs without beating this caliber of riders definetely can be seen as an unusual tendency to be in the right place at the right time. The same goes for his MSR win as riders of his speciality can't really win this race without hesitation in the peloton.
Thing with Nibali is that he was unlucky or made tactical mistakes just as often. Crash in the olympic road race. Gifting time to Carapaz in last years Giro because he is focused on a battle vs Roglic. Running into GOAT Horner in the Vuelta. Losing Liege to Iglinsky (clinic).
 
I find Thomas de Gendt a bit of an overachiever. It's amusing that a rider with his level of sprint and punch could've taken so many big wins from breakaways.
This is quite a strange shout, because i would rather call him an underachiever compared to his talents. If he wanted, he could have won a lot more, but he simply lacks the discipline and wants to do what he wants to do. I'm not saying he could have won GT's, but his Giro podium did show he had the talent for 1 week stageraces and top 10's in GT's even. He's a good climber, he's rather punchy, he's a good TT'er. He just gives zero fcks and does what he does.
 
This is quite a strange shout, because i would rather call him an underachiever compared to his talents. If he wanted, he could have won a lot more, but he simply lacks the discipline and wants to do what he wants to do. I'm not saying he could have won GT's, but his Giro podium did show he had the talent for 1 week stageraces and top 10's in GT's even. He's a good climber, he's rather punchy, he's a good TT'er. He just gives zero fcks and does what he does.
Maybe you're right.

I just remember him taking what seemed like unlikely stage wins quite frequently. Whether I found them unlikely because I perceived de Gendt by the matter of his underachieving results is something that can be argued for. He's had very few results over the years outside of his specific niche.
 
Maybe you're right.

I just remember him taking what seemed like unlikely stage wins quite frequently. Whether I found them unlikely because I perceived de Gendt by the matter of his underachieving results is something that can be argued for. He's had very few results over the years outside of his specific niche.
His "niche," though, is probably the hardest way to win races, but he just seems to be able to do it so consistently. He's got to have a massive engine under the hood to be able to do that, and you can't help thinking others with a different mental makeup (like ZL suggests) would be able to convert that into bigger wins (a monument or 2, a week long stage race).
 
I considered Vanmarcke but then decided that although he is outstanding particularly on flat cobbles he does not seem to have the engine to sustain the gaps he creates when it comes to the asphalt sections and he has a weak sprint so he just doesn’t have that big move that could net him a monument. Thus his talent makes him a frequent protagonist but in not winning I don’t think he is actually hugely underachieving.

Re Mick Rogers I actually think in terms of Grand Tours he was an unfulfilled talent and underachiever. The time he went out on a long raid in the Tour and was looking a million dollars only to then crash out without getting the chance to see how high his firm could have taken him was a real pity. He never really had the level after that to be team leader in the big races.
Mick Rogers is a three time World Champion and has won queen stages in two GTs. That's actually overachieving for what I value his talent level at, even taking the Clinic matters out of it (with them included, Christ only knows, I'm told he was actually a pretty promising prospect in Australia but I never saw it for myself and have always viewed him as more of a "product of his times" shall we say, but that goes for a lot of riders of his era which makes this thread a serious crapshoot). I see him as a second-tier TT rider who could be a top-tier one when he's not trying to be a climber but not World Championship level, and when he is, he's a mediocre diesel who might get the occasional bottom end top 10 or be third from last in the mountain train.

Compare Rogers' palmarès to Vladimir Karpets. I think they're very similar riders.
 
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For overachiever, I'd go with Carlos Sastre. I don't think he was considered a future Tour winner early in his career. I mean, it was so surprising that it confused Lance Armstrong out of retirement, which was a necessary development for Armstrong's eventual ban.
So, not only did Sastre win 1 Tour himself, but he also unwon Lance's 7.
 
For overachiever, I'd go with Carlos Sastre. I don't think he was considered a future Tour winner early in his career. I mean, it was so surprising that it confused Lance Armstrong out of retirement, which was a necessary development for Armstrong's eventual ban.
So, not only did Sastre win 1 Tour himself, but he also unwon Lance's 7.
To be fair to Sastre, Riis had been saying for a long time that Sastre is much better than people give him credit for. Go back to the 2004 TDF and see how long he was able to hang with Armstrong, Basso, Kloden and Ullrich yet still have enough to finish 8th.

I've always felt Sastre was slightly (but only slightly) underrated but achieved about right considering the level of talent at the 2008 TDF. Having said that, Contador would have obliterated it, as would Ricco if he wasn't so blatant.

I also agree with Rujano being a colossal underachiever, as was Duque.

For me atm, the biggest underacheivers relative to their talent are Betancur, Morton, Kudus, Lutsenko and McCarthy.
 
Among GT riders in the 2000s I have Klöden as the biggest underachiever. Talent wise he should have won multiple GTs but injuries, focus on the Tour and lack of killer instinct prevented him from winning a single one. Obviously clinic reasons and terrible team strategies played a role as well. Looking back at the Tour 2006 I will never understand how a guy that finished 10th in the previous year is gifted 30 minutes. Allowing him to take the lead with only 7 stages remaining.
I guess Klöden was happier in a helper role but watching him work for clearly worse teammates like Ullrich (2004, 2005), Vinokourov (2007) or Armstrong (2009) just felt wrong.
I am not sure that he underachieved that much. Winning multiple GT's is a bit of a stretch, especially given that he was never a dominant climber (I believe his only mountain stage win was in '99 in Volta Algarve). Two 2nd's (or a 3rd) at the Tour and a 6th, and no top 10's at all in the other GT's....yeah, he underachieved in that sense. 2007 TDF was the big missing result as he had great form; without the crashes and having to wait for Vino and being thrown out of the race....without all of that he almost certainly finishers top 4 and even possibly wins. Also, Kloden never won a single GT stage. However, he does have a very full one week stage race palmeres (though I know that must people around here don't count those).

He has an olympic bronze medal too.

In regards to 2004, from my memory Andreas never had to work for Jan at all. He was able to ride his own race in the pyrenees whilst Guerrini rode with Ullrich, and in 2005 it is doubtful that Klodi ever had the form to challenge for the podium anyway (yes he helped Jan on Courcheval, but it's not like he would have be riding with the big four on that MTF).

Andreas also appeared to waste prime 2001-03 years. Almost no results during this time, which may have been based partly on injuries and partly on motivation (it was suggested that his strong form in 2004 was encouraged by being a contract year.
 
Thing with Nibali is that he was unlucky or made tactical mistakes just as often. Crash in the olympic road race. Gifting time to Carapaz in last years Giro because he is focused on a battle vs Roglic. Running into GOAT Horner in the Vuelta. Losing Liege to Iglinsky (clinic).
And his form in the 2013 Giro and 2014 TDF was that of a dominant GT GC rider, and makes him winning 4 GT's not an overachievement (2016 Giro was pretty out there though). Also, Nibali is arguably more consistent than Contador in GT's, for he has had numerous other podiums. One could even make an argument that Contador was lucky to win 7/9, and that Nibali could have even won more.

Now I think that Contador was much better to watch, but his best climbing and TT level isn't much dissimilar to Nibali. This gets distorted by the 2009 TDF and 2011 Giro, because that was peak Contador, but it wasn't yet peak Nibali.

As for Andy Schleck, overall he underachieved, but whilst he raced he didn't. From 2007 to 2011 he targeted one GT a season, and every time except once, he got it right, and finished on the podium. Given that he wasn't a great time triallist (and that TT's weren't totally extinct at that point) one could argue that he overachieved.
 
To be fair to Sastre, Riis had been saying for a long time that Sastre is much better than people give him credit for. Go back to the 2004 TDF and see how long he was able to hang with Armstrong, Basso, Kloden and Ullrich yet still have enough to finish 8th.

I've always felt Sastre was slightly (but only slightly) underrated but achieved about right considering the level of talent at the 2008 TDF. Having said that, Contador would have obliterated it, as would Ricco if he wasn't so blatant.
My post wasn't meant to be a criticism of Sastre. He was definitely talented, but I think he got the most out of his talent by riding intelligently.
 
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Klöden was definitely a big underperform and he never seemed to want to lead. 06 was affected from being short teammates and the 30' gift. 07 he could have top 5 or better but had to withdraw because of Vino. 08 Giro was sitting well in 6th and could have podiumed if he didn't get sick. 09 could have finished higher than 6th if no Armstrong. 10 was a bad year but he thought he would be supporting Armstrong. 11 was a devastating TdF injury after a great spring and left many on the forum sad. Who knows how well he could have did but he never recovered from the back injury. Without it he could have done better in 12 especially with all the TTs.

Kreuziger for his hype underperformed, some thought more of him compared to Nibali. Perhaps he should have focused more on classics, GT stages, and week stage races over GC. 12 he disappointed with 13 supporting Contador in his best shape. After the time off for the clinic side he wasn't the same though snuck a 10th in the tour. Definitely could have better classic results.

Cunego underperformed to the hypebut maybe the hype was too much. Andy could have had better. Kwiatkowski definitely a better career if not at Sky/Ineos. EBH as well, Sky ruined him making him a climber dom, if he went to Quickstep who knows his results. Demare I feel could have had better results as well.

Overachievers I'm suprised no one has said Leipheimer, Michael Rogers, or Fugslang.
Edit. And Ryder Hesjedal as an overachiever.
That's a good point about 2012. That Tour route was tailor made for Kloden!

In 2011 shape maybe he could have even edged Nibali off the podium, but that's a major hypothetical.

Yeah, the 2008 Giro was a disappointment, especially coming off Romandie. But his career might have been better if he had raced the Giro/Vuelta sometime between 2001-03. Such wasted seasons.

I would have thought that Fuglsang was an underachiever in GT's, but in other races he has obviously achieved a lot.
 
I am not sure that he underachieved that much. Winning multiple GT's is a bit of a stretch, especially given that he was never a dominant climber (I believe his only mountain stage win was in '99 in Volta Algarve). Two 2nd's (or a 3rd) at the Tour and a 6th, and no top 10's at all in the other GT's....yeah, he underachieved in that sense. 2007 TDF was the big missing result as he had great form; without the crashes and having to wait for Vino and being thrown out of the race....without all of that he almost certainly finishers top 4 and even possibly wins. Also, Kloden never won a single GT stage. However, he does have a very full one week stage race palmeres (though I know that must people around here don't count those).

He has an olympic bronze medal too.

In regards to 2004, from my memory Andreas never had to work for Jan at all. He was able to ride his own race in the pyrenees whilst Guerrini rode with Ullrich, and in 2005 it is doubtful that Klodi ever had the form to challenge for the podium anyway (yes he helped Jan on Courcheval, but it's not like he would have be riding with the big four on that MTF).

Andreas also appeared to waste prime 2001-03 years. Almost no results during this time, which may have been based partly on injuries and partly on motivation (it was suggested that his strong form in 2004 was encouraged by being a contract year.
I think at his best Klöden was a better climber and time trialist compared to riders like Evans or Menchov. His peak climbing level was the best among mortals in the Tour 2004 (behind Basso and Armstrong). Same for his TT (behind Ullrich and Armstrong).
He could easily have 2 Tour wins. Some would even argue that he has one. No Armstrong and he is the 2004 winner. No Landis and no crazy 30 min breakaway and he is the 2006 winner.
I think without Armstrong he finishes 3rd in 2009. In the end he only missed out by 40s. Not pacing Armstrong on the Verbier or doing all the work on the Ventoux is probably enough to make the difference. I don´t think he would have won in 2007. But top 5 is very likely.
2011 is the one that got away. Great spring and even better first week. Probably his best ever performances on short muritos. Only to be stopped by a crash.
 
I think at his best Klöden was a better climber and time trialist compared to riders like Evans or Menchov. His peak climbing level was the best among mortals in the Tour 2004 (behind Basso and Armstrong). Same for his TT (behind Ullrich and Armstrong).
He could easily have 2 Tour wins. Some would even argue that he has one. No Armstrong and he is the 2004 winner. No Landis and no crazy 30 min breakaway and he is the 2006 winner.
I think without Armstrong he finishes 3rd in 2009. In the end he only missed out by 40s. Not pacing Armstrong on the Verbier or doing all the work on the Ventoux is probably enough to make the difference. I don´t think he would have won in 2007. But top 5 is very likely.
2011 is the one that got away. Great spring and even better first week. Probably his best ever performances on short muritos. Only to be stopped by a crash.
I don't think that Kloden was better than Evans. He certainly looked better than Evans, but I think that at their best they were probably on par.

2006 he may have won anyway, without the collarbone injury earlier that season. Maybe that left him slightly underdone in terms of consistency (his best, on Alp was obviously career best form).

As for 2009, working for Armstrong or not wouldn't have mattered if he had held on to the top of the Columbierre, or after being dropped, had at least descended much better. Remember too that Kloden benefitted a little from the TTT, so if he hadn't ridden for Astana he wouldn't have had to assist Lance, but he probably would have had to make up other time elsewhere. And it wasn't as if Andreas was doing the donkey work on penultimate climbs.
 
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I don't think that Kloden was better than Evans. He certainly looked better than Evans, but I think that at their best they were probably on par.

2006 he may have won anyway, without the collarbone injury earlier that season. Maybe that left him slightly underdone in terms of consistency (his best, on Alp was obviously career best form).

As for 2009, working for Armstrong or not wouldn't have mattered if he had held on to the top of the Columbierre, or after being dropped, had at least descended much better. Remember too that Kloden benefitted a little from the TTT, so if he hadn't ridden for Astana he wouldn't have had to assist Lance, but he probably would have had to make up other time elsewhere. And it wasn't as if Andreas was doing the donkey work on penultimate climbs.
Maybe he could have held on that stage without the previous work for Armstrong. All we know is he was completely gassed when Contador did his attack. Maybe he didn't think he was that on the edge since Contador looked suprised, especially since they were talking before. All I know is without Armstrong, not far fetched that he could have podiumed.
 
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That's a good point about 2012. That Tour route was tailor made for Kloden!

In 2011 shape maybe he could have even edged Nibali off the podium, but that's a major hypothetical.

Yeah, the 2008 Giro was a disappointment, especially coming off Romandie. But his career might have been better if he had raced the Giro/Vuelta sometime between 2001-03. Such wasted seasons.

I would have thought that Fuglsang was an underachiever in GT's, but in other races he has obviously achieved a lot.
Wasn't 01-03 filled with injuries as well that hampered him? I don't think he liked the Giro so he could rest after the Spring stage races and he never seemed to think highly of the Vuelta. Crazy he never got a stage win with plenty of 2nds. I think it was Oldag who said T-Mobile might have been the worst team for him because how lax they were with the German stars.
 
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TJVG showed promise really young with 3rd in Dauphine, 5th in TDF, 5th again in 2014 but declined gradually from there. think he could have done at least as much as Mollema but didn't happen.
Taylor Phinney looked like a potential Cancellara dare i say early on but the crash put that to rest.
 
Has Landa underachieved? I think that since the 2015 Giro he has, unless we look back and say that he overachieved there.

I think that if he doesn't finish on at least one more GT podium, that his career will seem slightly unfulfilled.
I don't think so. IMHO people expect more from him than what he is. He's never been among the top tier GC riders but consistently in the mid-Top 10. He could win a Giro or Vuelta if the circumstances were right (i.e., a very weak field).
 
Wasn't 01-03 filled with injuries as well that hampered him? I don't think he liked the Giro so he could rest after the Spring stage races and he never seemed to think highly of the Vuelta. Crazy he never got a stage win with plenty of 2nds. I think it was Oldag who said T-Mobile might have been the worst team for him because how lax they were with the German stars.
The frustrating thing is that he achieved NOTHING in those spring races of 01-03 also.

One thing though: If it was perfectly appropriate for Contador to finish is career with a win on Angliru, it was just as much the case for Kloden to finish second into Le Grand Bornand.

Yet another reason for many of us to dislike an over achieving Portuguese rider!

I think I have hijacked this thread and made it a second Kloden thread ;)
 
The frustrating thing is that he achieved NOTHING in those spring races of 01-03 also.

One thing though: If it was perfectly appropriate for Contador to finish is career with a win on Angliru, it was just as much the case for Kloden to finish second into Le Grand Bornand.

Yet another reason for many of us to dislike an over achieving Portuguese rider!

I think I have hijacked this thread and made it a second Kloden thread ;)
Don't make it obvious ;)

I don't think I would classify Uran as an overachiever, most here thought highly of him.
Henao and Roche are underachievers. Henao had more hype than Uran here. Roche could have did better if he went from GC tour focused to stages, GC in Vuelta, and classics. Basso could be an underachiever, I'm sure most thought he would win more than 2 GTs during his career.
Of course the biggest underachiever was Rujano ;)

I'm on the fence on Farrar on if he is under, over, or his results were just right.

If we're going to mention Gilbert as an overachiever than I think it's only fair to mention GVA as well.
Another overachiever the forum loves, Voeckler with the GC and KOM.
 
The bigest over and underachivier sample you can find in our two best Slovak riders.

4 time world champion + GT podium
3 world champion + RVV + PR
Palmaeres looks similar. Don' t they. :)
Riding for the best teams sometimes can be helpful.
Do not take me wrong. I love both riders and I am very proud of them, but after 20-30 years when only "big" results will be talking, somebody can tell that these were riders of the same quality.

Honoroble place under overachievers: Demare.

I wanted to put Ciolek to the group with Demare, however that is another case. Guy played his only life card to the perfection (similar like Hayman) but beeing last on bottom of Cipressa and then win the race requires a lot "coincidences".
 
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This is rather subjective so I'll make a few names compared to my expectations.

Underachievers: Moreno Moser, Robert Gesink, Roman Kreuziger, Carlos Betancur, Peter Sagan, Jan Ullrich, José Rujano, Thomas Dekker, Marcel Kittel, Andy Schleck.

Overachievers: Fabio Aru, Esteban Chaves, Ryder Hesjedal, every rider who won a Monument in 2011 bar PhilGil, Paolo Savoldelli, Simon Gerrans, Elia Viviani, Mark Cavendish.

I did consider Nibali an overachiever up to 2013. His Vuelta win looked liked a mix of mental strength and lack of top riders, while his GT podiums were mainly due to team strength. I'm pretty sure back in 2010 I wrote on a forum something like: "Vincenzo Nibali won't win much in his career, but he will rarely lose a race he can win". And I was wrong.
Since 2013 he has been top4 in every GT he has targeted and finished. He has 11 GT podiums overall so it really comes as no surprise he won 4 of them.
He only trails Gilbert and Valverde for Monument podiums among active riders. There's volume beneath his big wins, so there's no way I can consider him an overachiever. He's a top class rider.
 
And his form in the 2013 Giro and 2014 TDF was that of a dominant GT GC rider, and makes him winning 4 GT's not an overachievement (2016 Giro was pretty out there though). Also, Nibali is arguably more consistent than Contador in GT's, for he has had numerous other podiums. One could even make an argument that Contador was lucky to win 7/9, and that Nibali could have even won more.

Now I think that Contador was much better to watch, but his best climbing and TT level isn't much dissimilar to Nibali. This gets distorted by the 2009 TDF and 2011 Giro, because that was peak Contador, but it wasn't yet peak Nibali.

As for Andy Schleck, overall he underachieved, but whilst he raced he didn't. From 2007 to 2011 he targeted one GT a season, and every time except once, he got it right, and finished on the podium. Given that he wasn't a great time triallist (and that TT's weren't totally extinct at that point) one could argue that he overachieved.
Yeah Nibs is more consistent. And while I do think his peak level is underrated, I don't think it matches up to Contador. 2014 Tour is weird cause the field in the end was so shocking but Nibali destroyed it so easily. That Tour is the battle we never saw.

As for Contador being lucky, he was clutch converting wins but really unclutch getting podiums.
 
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