PREDICTION 2020

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Tier 1: Bernal, Roglic

Tier 2: GT, Quintana, S. Yates

Tier 3: Pinot, Kruijswijk, Pogacar, Buchmann

Tier 4: Landa, Mas, Lopez, Bardet, Uran, Mollema, Porte, Higuita, Aru

Tier who-the-hell-knows: Froome, Dumoulin.


Of course, being such a strange season, with few racing days before the Tour and almost 5 months without races, surprises might occur. I think guys like Bernal and Roglic have shown a very high base level in the past few years which leads me to believe they will be very good no matter what. Someone like GT is a bit more unpredicatable.
I more of less agree with this, though I'd put Pinot higher, though maybe I'm too optimistic for him. My list goes:

  1. Bernal
  2. Roglic
  3. GT
  4. Pinot
  5. Froome (won't be surprised if he DNFs or gets in mid-teens and won't be completely shocked if he wins but I think 5 is a fair bet)
  6. Quintana
  7. Dumoulin (does not sound like a winner in his interviews and half the game is mental...)
  8. Yates
  9. Pogacar
  10. Mas
 
Pinot is so overrated here. Last 8 GT finishes going back to Vuelta 2014... DNF, 16, DNF, 4, DNF, DNF, 6, DNF
:cool: I'm starting to sound like a Pinot fangirl here, a role in which I had not expected myself, lol. But... well, if he had not lost the time in the crosswinds and did not have that injury last year... if there had been only one time trial in the Giro 17... I know, that's just ifs... but does it not show that the potential is there?
 
Tier 1: Bernal, Roglic

Tier 2: GT, Quintana, S. Yates

Tier 3: Pinot, Kruijswijk, Pogacar, Buchmann

Tier 4: Landa, Mas, Lopez, Bardet, Uran, Mollema, Porte, Higuita, Aru

Tier who-the-hell-knows: Froome, Dumoulin.
It's a difficult exercise so i don't mean to lecture you, but i have some difficulties with some of these "ratings". Quintana has shown good form early season... but he was really not that great the past few years. Are you basing his "tier" on what he did 3+ years ago, or on what he did early this year? If the latter, it feels like you are valuing those early season 1 week stageraces very highly. Based on what do you put Pogacar above Landa, Mas, Uran...? I'd rate Mas' 2018 Vuelta at least on par with Pogacar's 2019 Vuelta, considering the opposition present. Lopez wasn't great in the Vuelta, so i assume that's part of the reason why you rate him lower than Pogacar, but i think we can agree that Lopez can do better than what he showed in the Vuelta? If we're going by latest achievements, Aru shouldn't even be on the list.

That said, i'm not really sure how i'd rank them myself. Going by gut feeling, i know Quintana has the potential to be up there, even "Tier 1", but are those early season races really enough of an indicator that he's back at that level? Difficult.
 
I'd also put Pogacar ahead of those three, as he was as close to GT winning level as any of them have ever been last year already, but he's the only one at an age where you'd expect him to take the next step. This year may be a bit too early for him, but Uran, Mas and Landa will do well to ever win a GT, let alone a Tour with this kind of field.
 
How does Valverde not get some tier ranking even if he's not racing for GC. Mas more or less said he's his safety net at the Tour. Granted his plan is not to race for GC, however that doesn't mean he won't be up there just because. Or are we taking him at his word that he's not racing for GC?
 
I'd also put Pogacar ahead of those three, as he was as close to GT winning level as any of them have ever been last year already, but he's the only one at an age where you'd expect him to take the next step. This year may be a bit too early for him, but Uran, Mas and Landa will do well to ever win a GT, let alone a Tour with this kind of field.
You seem to think Mas is 34? Hes still growing into his best years and i rate his 2nd place probably higher than Pogacar's podium, regardless of age. Both will still get better. Maybe Pogacar will leapfrog Mas, or maybe Mas will take the next step this year and Pogacar will stall for a while until he gets physically stronger. These guys don't necessarily progress linearly. Did Mas lose all his credit because of one bad Tour2019 (where he may or may not have been sick)? And Quintana on the form he's had the past few years is also not going to win any GT's anymore, yet he ranks just below Bernal. Is what he showed early season enough to justify that?

I think i'd put them more like this, as far as climbing goes and assuming they are in the best shape we can possibly expect them in (no knee injuries or pelvis fractures) considering their age (in Quintana's case, the reborn Quintana, or else he drops 2 lines).

Bernal
Roglic / S Yates / Froome / Quintana 2.0
Buchmann / Pinot / Dumoulin / Thomas
Mas / Lopez / Pogacar / Bardet / Uran / Kruijswijk / Landa
Higuita / Porte / Mollema / Quintana 1.2 / Valverde
van Emden / Declercq
Aru
 
I was already wondering when you were going to comment this :D

I guess he should be in tier 4 as well.
I had to ask. I'm good with tier 4, just surprised he wasn't included. Plus with Mas' comments it sounds like even with Valverde saying he's going to support Mas, Mas thinks he can help him most by having Valverde also race for GC and be his back up.
 
You seem to think Mas is 34? Hes still growing into his best years and i rate his 2nd place probably higher than Pogacar's podium, regardless of age. Both will still get better. Maybe Pogacar will leapfrog Mas, or maybe Mas will take the next step this year and Pogacar will stall for a while until he gets physically stronger. These guys don't necessarily progress linearly. Did Mas lose all his credit because of one bad Tour2019 (where he may or may not have been sick)? And Quintana on the form he's had the past few years is also not going to win any GT's anymore, yet he ranks just below Bernal. Is what he showed early season enough to justify that?

I think i'd put them more like this, as far as climbing goes and assuming they are in the best shape we can possibly expect them in (no knee injuries or pelvis fractures) considering their age (in Quintana's case, the reborn Quintana, or else he drops 2 lines).

Bernal
Roglic / S Yates / Froome / Quintana 2.0
Buchmann / Pinot / Dumoulin / Thomas
Mas / Lopez / Pogacar / Bardet / Uran / Kruijswijk / Landa
Higuita / Porte / Mollema / Quintana 1.2 / Valverde
van Emden / Declercq
Aru
I agree with this for right now. I think Mas has the potential to get to that second line. Obviously potential doesn't mean it will happen.

For those who need to be reminded of age. Enric Mas turns 25 this year. Yes he's a couple years older than Pogacar, but he is also a couple years younger than Landa, Quintana, Pinot, Bardet, etc.
 
Why start at the '14 Vuelta, unless you want the numbers to match your point? Overrated, no, after last year's Tour you have to put him in the top-5 of GT riders.
I started at the 2014 Vuelta because that began a string of poor performances. If a rider's GC highlights are a random podium 6 years ago and a DNF, he definitely isn't top 5. Probably not even top 20.
 
I started at the 2014 Vuelta because that began a string of poor performances. If a rider's GC highlights are a random podium 6 years ago and a DNF, he definitely isn't top 5. Probably not even top 20.
Sometimes it's better to comment on such matters if you have watched the recent Grand Tours and have any recollection of recent Grand Tours, rather than just clicking on the Grand Tour icon on the rider's PCS page, thinking "LOL, he abandons all the time".

For example, rememberimg how he rode everybody off his wheel on the MTF the day after he had won on the Tourmalet might be a start, instead of thinking that him getting a freak injury two days later is a better predictor for future performances. Another example could be 2018's Vuelta, where he was possibly the best rider in the last week and then was robbed from the opportunity to secure himself a rainbow jersey due to bad tactical choices, after which he smoked the opposition in Lombardia.

If he reaches last year's level in the Tour, he wins.
 
Sometimes it's better to comment on such matters if you have watched the recent Grand Tours and have any recollection of recent Grand Tours, rather than just clicking on the Grand Tour icon on the rider's PCS page, thinking "LOL, he abandons all the time".

For example, rememberimg how he rode everybody off his wheel on the MTF the day after he had won on the Tourmalet might be a start, instead of thinking that him getting a freak injury two days later is a better predictor for future performances. Another example could be 2018's Vuelta, where he was possibly the best rider in the last week and then was robbed from the opportunity to secure himself a rainbow jersey due to bad tactical choices, after which he smoked the opposition in Lombardia.

If he reaches last year's level in the Tour, he wins.
Not sure about winning. There's Real Madrid and Barcelona in the competition and though Pinot is a big fan of PSG, FdJ is no PSG.
 
In fact he is a bit like PSG in that there seems to be everything to win and then... the surprise disappointment, again. But that they will never win the Champions is a reckoning I never understood. Only when they have to sell their best assets. (And why would Pinot have to do that?)
(I think Barcelona resembles more Movistar nowadays, I would not worry about them too much concerning Champions League or Tour. I just can't make up my mind who would be TJV. ManCity?)
 
I don't suppose it's much of a secret that I have a bit of a soft spot for Pinot. However, once I look past the I hope aspect - which, of course, you always should - I honestly find it quite hard to assess his level because he just fluctuates so wildly; it's almost like good-Pinot and bad-Pinot are two different riders.
 
Reactions: Koronin
Jan 18, 2020
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* Bernal
**** Thomas, Pinot
*** Froome, Pogacar, Quintana
** Roglic, S Yates, Alaphillipe
* Buchmann, Dumoulin, Lopez, Landa
Won't let me put 5 for Bernal for some reason
 
You seem to think Mas is 34? Hes still growing into his best years and i rate his 2nd place probably higher than Pogacar's podium, regardless of age. Both will still get better. Maybe Pogacar will leapfrog Mas, or maybe Mas will take the next step this year and Pogacar will stall for a while until he gets physically stronger. These guys don't necessarily progress linearly. Did Mas lose all his credit because of one bad Tour2019 (where he may or may not have been sick)?
I would rate Pogacar's podium higher (at least in terms of GT winning potential) than Mas' because it involved three MTF wins, something that almost never happens.
The main reason I don't really believe in Mas winning a GT is because that Vuelta is easily better than he's ever done in any other race, also including shorter races. Whereas Pogacar has proven himself in other races too. Obviously he isn't going to keep developing at this rate for 5-6 years straight, but Mas on the other hand should be close to his best by now. If that Vuelta is his real level, then yes, he can win a GT in the future, but right now I think it's more likely to be an outlier tbh.
 
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The tour line up is stacked this year, at least 10-15 riders who could easily podium.

My current feeling is Bernal, Roglic, Pogacar top 3 - think Pog will surprise
I wouldn't bet against Pogacar, but i think in these long climbs, in a hard race, he will not be among the strongest climbers yet. What stood out more than his climbing ability (which was not always constant in the Vuelta) was his ability to read the race. He's very cunning and sly. I think that is maybe his strongest point.

I would rate Pogacar's podium higher than Mas' because it involved three MTF wins, something that almost never happens.
The main reason I don't really believe in Mas winning a GT is because that Vuelta is easily better than he's ever done in any other race, also including shorter races. Whereas Pogacar has proven himself in other races too. Obviously he isn't going to keep developing at this rate for 5-6 years straight, but Mas on the other hand should be close to his best by now. If that Vuelta is his real level, then yes, he can win a GT in the future, but right now I think it's more likely to be an outlier tbh.
Fair enough. I'm looking past the 3 victories though. He wasn't necessarily the 3rd best climber, he got dropped numerous times, but got back on, because the tempo in the front dropped when they started eyeballing eachother. His victories are more of a testament to his ability to read the race and time his attack, than him being the strongest climber.
 
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There's really only one stage characterised by long climbs in this Tour though.

On another note, I think Thomas' chances are being underrated. If you can finish in second with a preparation that was awful from start to finish, surely you can win the Tour two years after your previous win? I'd say he's joint favourite with Bernal and Roglic right now. Then Froome, Dumoulin, Alaphilippe, Pogacar, Pinot, Quintana and Simon Yates are all, to greater or lesser extent, outsiders, as in, I can see a realistic scenario in which they win. In terms of win chances that gives:
****Bernal, Roglic, Thomas
***Pinot, S Yates, Pogacar
**Froome, Dumoulin, Quintana, Alaphilippe. Pretty much the wildcard category.
*Anyone else. There's a few other names who could realistically podium, but nobody who I could see winning.
 
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