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Teams & Riders Pogačar as GOAT: already, never, or when?

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As of June 2024, can Pogacar be considered GOAT?


  • Total voters
    85
  • Poll closed .
Sometimes I hate this forum because valuable and insightful posts get lost in the flood and in threads which would clearly explain the issues at stake. What you get is a resonance box where some users keep repeating the same mantra every time. So I take my inspiration from one of these enlightened posts.

You can't use Merckx palmares as the objective assessment of what is the goat. You will have to find other criteria. Pogacar is so amazing that he draws comparisons but the fact that he resembles Merckx on how he wins and where he wins doesn't mean that Merckx´s or Hinault's palmares are the unbiased gauge to assess GOAT status. Why?

Because cycling was so different back then. It was the time where you could have the same build for sprinting, climbing, punching hills and TTing. Not anymore. You have to choose and you will be fortunate to have a choice. Most riders are born with a set of features and have to choose a path of racing through training and sacrifice. Look at young Remco, splitted between being an excellent TTer and a mediocre climber or an average climber and a good TTer. Merckx wouldn't be going anywhere today with that build. He would have to choose and win much less in the process.

And what does that physical build says about the sport? That it has become much, much more professional, technical, scientific where millions are invested just to get some marginal seconds. The bunch is much more leveled. Not like in Merckx days.

Merckx won MSR 7 times. Today it's the most unpredictable monument where a rider is lucky - luck counts - to win it one time. The bunch is much more leveled. Saying that Pogacar won't be the GOAT because he didn't win MSR 7 times is stupid as stupid gets.

I agree that back in old days bigger cyclists could dominate GTs more often - they gained a lot of time not only during frequent TTs but sometimes during transitional "easy" stages as we would call them today. Heavier bikes (with larger internal friction), less powerful and organized teams meant that strong guys could make the difference on stages like that. Tiny climbers had it more difficult away from the mountains and won GTs way less often. For a few decades specialities have been more pronounced and GTs became climbers dominated in this century. However, it's also true that lighter cyclists have it easier on more "powerful" courses nowadays than they used to in the past.
 
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Anything above 10% is outstanding for a non bunch sprinter but to be punching at 25% in the modern era is staggeringly dominant.
I checked it for all big 6 riders based on when they really started their professional career on the road.

Roglic - 13% (since 2014)
Vingegaard - 13% (since 2019)
Wout Van Aert - 18% (since 2018)
Remco Evenepoel - 19% (since 2019)
Mathieu Van Der Poel - 23% (since 2018)
 
There's an intangible quality about Pog's dominance that doesn't get talked about enough.

The closest word to describe it is incisiveness. It's something more akin to what star footballers have. When he goes, the race is typically over in an instant.

All this speculative analysis throwing around numbers and watts is missing the forest for the trees.

By far the most meaningul statistics are number of wins and winning percentage. On this measure, Pog is well on track to be, at worst, the second best road cyclist of all time. In this day and age that's pretty darn special.
 
There's an intangible quality about Pog's dominance that doesn't get talked about enough.

The closest word to describe it is incisiveness. It's something more akin to what star footballers have. When he goes, the race is typically over in an instant.

All this speculative analysis throwing around numbers and watts is missing the forest for the trees.

By far the most meaningul statistics are number of wins and winning percentage. On this measure, Pog is well on track to be, at worst, the second best road cyclist of all time. In this day and age that's pretty darn special.
It seems to me, however, that where he has lost and with equal incisiveness is another "intangible quality" that needs to be factored into the equasion.
 
There's an intangible quality about Pog's dominance that doesn't get talked about enough.

The closest word to describe it is incisiveness. It's something more akin to what star footballers have. When he goes, the race is typically over in an instant.

All this speculative analysis throwing around numbers and watts is missing the forest for the trees.

By far the most meaningul statistics are number of wins and winning percentage. On this measure, Pog is well on track to be, at worst, the second best road cyclist of all time. In this day and age that's pretty darn special.
To be fair though I think the same thing applies to MVDP as when he attacks it rarely fails to succeed immediately.
 
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There's an intangible quality about Pog's dominance that doesn't get talked about enough.

The closest word to describe it is incisiveness. It's something more akin to what star footballers have. When he goes, the race is typically over in an instant.

All this speculative analysis throwing around numbers and watts is missing the forest for the trees.

By far the most meaningul statistics are number of wins and winning percentage. On this measure, Pog is well on track to be, at worst, the second best road cyclist of all time. In this day and age that's pretty darn special.
Good post. Instead of incisiveness I would simply say "killer instinct".
 
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For me its very simple. To be GOAT, you need at least to be the best GT rider of your generation. Or at the very least on par with the best GT rider. Pogacar still has to show this. During the last 2 years, Vingegard has been the strongest GT rider. Clearly the strongest.
So far Pog has 3 GT wins and more podiums than Vinge.

So he is by default the best GT-rider of his generation. At least he is ahead on those within it.

You have to measure it by palmares. Wins and other great results in GTs. Pog is far ahead on that.

Who was the "strongest" in an individual year, is just a side-note.

Pog is the one with the most recent win as well out of the two. He is the strongest and in the lead based on results. Those are the facts.
 
So far Pog has 3 GT wins and more podiums than Vinge.

So he is by default the best GT-rider of his generation. At least he is ahead on those within it.

You have to measure it by palmares. Wins and other great results in GTs. Pog is far ahead on that.

Who was the "strongest" in an individual year, is just a side-note.

Pog is the one with the most recent win as well out of the two. He is the strongest and in the lead based on results. Those are the facts.
Only if you are treating Tour, Giro, Vuelta on the same GT level in terms of prestige and difficulty to win, which isn't the case. And certainly the best generational GT rider has to have the Tour firmly ensconsed in his palmares. Since they have faced eachother at the Grand Boucle its Vingo 2-1-1 to Pogi 1-2-2. These too are the facts and until Pogacar takes back the Tour against Vingegaard, whatever other GTs he may win, it makes the matter anything but cut and dry as you claim it to be. At any rate, there needs to be more data to give a final verdict.
 
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Only if you are treating Tour, Giro, Vuelta on the same GT level in terms of prestige and difficulty to win which isn't the case. And certainly the best generational GT rider has to have the Tour firmly ensconsed in his palmares. Since they have faced eachother at the Grand Boucle its Vingo 2-1-1 to Pogi 1-2-2. These too are the facts and until Pogacar takes back the Tour against Vingegaard, whatever other GTs he may win, makes what you are claiming anything but cut and dry. At any rate, there needs to be more data to give a final verdict on the matter.
This isnt a Vinge vs Pog discussion.

I responded to greatest GT-rider of his generation. And as two times winner and not missing the podium so far in the Tour, he already has that "stat" of yours.

Pog is well on pace to be the best GT-rider of his generation and in lead over anyone else based on what actually matters. End of discussion, for now.
 
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This isnt a Vinge vs Pog discussion.

I responded to greatest GT-rider of his generation.

Pog is well on pace to be that and in lead over anyone else based on what actually matters. End of discussion, for now.
No, this is a discussion about Pogi as the GOAT, for which, as has been asserted, being the best GT rider of the generation is a fundamental requisite. In this context, under current standings it very much is Vinge vs Pog (even if it's not about Vinge as the GOAT). I think this is where you are confused.