Riders who curiously did badly in certain types of races

Page 2 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Contador was never gonna be a prolific one day winner cause he lacked the sprint and wouldn't really destroy everyone at <5 minute climbs. Also at the peak of his powers Il Lombardia was much more of a puncheur race.
I'm not ruling out that Contador would have been competitive or even won Il Lombardia in his prime if the route had already been harder at the time but I feel like this is ignoring one of the main weaknesses Contador had, being that he wasn't very good in long races. Tbh, this is a trend that wasn't really noticed until the latter stages of his career so maybe he only lost the ability to compete in very long stages when he got older but I'd argue this weakness was probably there all along, it was overshadowed by him being so much better overall that you didn't really notice.
But at least from 2011 onward the trend that he performed way better in short stages was definitely there.

So while this isn't a very obvious weakness, it would be a very good explanation for his lack of classics results.
 
Reactions: gregrowlerson
As stated by skippo, he doesn't like fighting for position, he doesn't like the chaos and stress. It's the main reason why he started doing long breaks, long before turning pro. In a GT, you can pick your day, you can dangle at the back of the peloton, keep out of trouble and out of the wind for days until your time comes. De Gendt also doesn't degrade as much as other riders over multiple days/weeks. When everybody is fresh for a classic, he doesn't stand out. But after days or weeks of riding, others in the peloton grow more tired than him, and he gets the advantage. It's one of the reasons why he could have been a good GC rider, if only he could handle the stress and chaos that comes with it.
This is also seen in the TTs. Average time trialer when it comes in the start of a stage race (not saying he can't fight for one occasionally), a terrific one when it happens on the last half of a 3 week tour.
 
I'm not ruling out that Contador would have been competitive or even won Il Lombardia in his prime if the route had already been harder at the time but I feel like this is ignoring one of the main weaknesses Contador had, being that he wasn't very good in long races. Tbh, this is a trend that wasn't really noticed until the latter stages of his career so maybe he only lost the ability to compete in very long stages when he got older but I'd argue this weakness was probably there all along, it was overshadowed by him being so much better overall that you didn't really notice.
But at least from 2011 onward the trend that he performed way better in short stages was definitely there.

So while this isn't a very obvious weakness, it would be a very good explanation for his lack of classics results.
Contador has very limited datapoints for long one day races, especially in years where he excelled. He basically tried hard in LBL 2010 and was one of the three strongest in the race. Lombardia 2014 was that route. It's also not like Contador has much of a sample in shorter one day races.

He was no Nibali, but I think his performances gravitated more and more to 15 to 20 minute climbs than 40 minute climbs by the end of his career, and I think that correlation is much stronger than the one to overall race distance.
 
Sagan is a perfectly capable TT rider, he just has rarely been contending for GC, and TT stages either don’t award points, or have reduced points. He smashed the field in the Tour of California in 2015, and there were some ok TTers there, and he has a few other TT top 10s as well.
I think think I've seen Sagan more aero on a road bike than on a TT bike.
 
Contador was never gonna be a prolific one day winner cause he lacked the sprint and wouldn't really destroy everyone at <5 minute climbs. Also at the peak of his powers Il Lombardia was much more of a puncheur race.

Frankly, there's a big, sad void of one day races that are suited to pure climbers, and I would love if there were a few biggish ones as an alternative to Vuelta for the climbers.
I still think he should have done Lombardia 2017.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Sean Kelly in 2nd tier classics.

He won 9 monuments in his career, but only 2 next-level one-day races (Paris Tours in 84 and Wevelgem in 88), despite some good results at Flèche, Amstel, Omloop etc.

His lack of TdF stage wins after 82 is more explainable (competing for points every day makes you more tired competing for individual stage wins, see also Zabel, E) but it just seems odd that someone so dominant in his career on almost all terrain didn’t win more often in minor one dayers.
 
I'm not ruling out that Contador would have been competitive or even won Il Lombardia in his prime if the route had already been harder at the time but I feel like this is ignoring one of the main weaknesses Contador had, being that he wasn't very good in long races. Tbh, this is a trend that wasn't really noticed until the latter stages of his career so maybe he only lost the ability to compete in very long stages when he got older but I'd argue this weakness was probably there all along, it was overshadowed by him being so much better overall that you didn't really notice.
But at least from 2011 onward the trend that he performed way better in short stages was definitely there.

So while this isn't a very obvious weakness, it would be a very good explanation for his lack of classics results.
The
I still think he should have done Lombardia 2017.
Given that Andy was able to get a 1st and a 2nd at LBL, couldn’t have Contador potentially succeeded there as well? Of course, that race held more importance for the Schlecks than it would have for Contador.
 
To me Kristoff is a much more interesting case, because he is great on the cobbles in general, just not in PR. Even the year when he won Flandres and generally looked like the man to beat on the cobbles he was nowhere near the strongest riders in Roubaix. You just wouldn't expect that. For a guy like Gilbert or Alaphilippe it seems sensible that they are better at Flandres than at PR, because they are extremely punchy climbers who also thrive in the Ardennes. But Kristoff is the kind of guy who you would think a flat race suits much better especially one as tiring and exhausting as PR. But no, he is only good if the cobbles are uphill.
My theory is that it is a bit of a coincidence and a bit unlucky. But Kristoff has also done some stupid mistakes. He didn't want to do necessary changes to his bike, such as using wider tires. This is one of the reasons why he has ruined his chances sometimes in PR by puncturing a lot.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
The

Given that Andy was able to get a 1st and a 2nd at LBL, couldn’t have Contador potentially succeeded there as well? Of course, that race held more importance for the Schlecks than it would have for Contador.
Well there's somewhat of a physiological difference that makes some seeming well suited riders underperfrom in one day races and vice versa. Maybe it's because some riders also just don't really "learn" to peak for a one day race? They just turn up like it's stage 1. But I doubt it's so big he never be competitive in those races, and in fact he was really good in 2010 LBL

Also I've never really rewatched 2009 LBL and don't really remember how much of it was the entire group just going "aw *** missed the move let's race for 2nd"
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Griepel in MSR? Even at his peak when it came down to a sprint, he was nowhere to be seen.
That´s an interesting one. On paper he had the endurance for longer races (3rd WCRR in 2011, 7th Paris-Roubaix 2017 and multiple impressive breakaway attempts in the Ronde). Would also argue that he was a better climber/puncheur than some of his opponents with wins in MSR (Petacchi, Cavendish). I guess being on the same team as Cav prevented him from starting in the more sprinter friendly editions in 09 and 10 but he had an opportunity in 2014 and didn´t even contest the sprint.
Possible explanation. Greipel wasn´t the best in messy sprints. He needed a train. Cavendish on the other hand was dominant with or without a train. MSR sprints are always messy. No train. Most of the time the sprinters are in a bad position after the Poggio and need to get back to the front of the group. Not exactly the perfect situation for a guy like Greipel.
 
Reactions: Velolover2

ASK THE COMMUNITY