Riders who curiously did badly in certain types of races

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I think that "lacks endurance" is often a throwaway crutch as explanation for riders that don't excel in big classics as they're expected to. It's a bit like in tennis where every single player who gets hyped as a huge talent is later judged to be mentally weak. I think this is very frequently the case with jack of all trades riders that can be great stage hunters but lack the world class puncheur skills to be up there with the best in the world.
 
It was the only time he performed in such a long race, while he's often a contender in shorter races...
I think he underperforms in the Ardennes cause he peaks or the Giro. Also the monuments simply have a stronger field.

If he gets 50th in Lombardia cuase he gets wrecked on Muro di Sormano, it's not endurance cause they've barely done 200km at that point.
 
I think nobody would be all that surprised about Ulissi's lack of classics results if not for his pretty insane number of giro stage wins. But the giro is really the only race where he performs extremely well in.

The rest of his palmares is decent, I guess he won a WT one day race in Montreal once but he did so by outsprinting Jesus Herrada, Tom Jelte-Slagter and Jan Bakelants. Don't know about you guys but that hardly screems "man to beat for the Ardennes" to me. I feel like the question with Ulissi shouldn't be "how hasn't he won a big classic yet", but rather "how on earth did that guy get 8 giro stage wins as a pure stage hunter"
 
I think he underperforms in the Ardennes cause he peaks or the Giro. Also the monuments simply have a stronger field.

If he gets 50th in Lombardia cuase he gets wrecked on Muro di Sormano, it's not endurance cause they've barely done 200km at that point.
What about the Worlds then? He never performed there, and Italy often had high expectations. Also he has exactly one top 10 placing in Monuments in his whole career out of 26 participations! If we include the Worlds, it is 1 of 32!!! To me it really looks like he has a problem with length and hardness of the race.
And considering Ardennes, how do you explain that he has 1 podium and 3 other top 10 placings in shorter Fleche Wallonne, but in much longer and harder Liege his best result is 20th place?
 
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I think nobody would be all that surprised about Ulissi's lack of classics results if not for his pretty insane number of giro stage wins. But the giro is really the only race where he performs extremely well in.

The rest of his palmares is decent, I guess he won a WT one day race in Montreal once but he did so by outsprinting Jesus Herrada, Tom Jelte-Slagter and Jan Bakelants. Don't know about you guys but that hardly screems "man to beat for the Ardennes" to me. I feel like the question with Ulissi shouldn't be "how hasn't he won a big classic yet", but rather "how on earth did that guy get 8 giro stage wins as a pure stage hunter"
Ulissi was a massive talent, double junior World Champion, won a GT stage at 21 already, everything was pointing that he'd became a great one-day racer and stage hunter. But, around 200km he's a contender, at 250km he isn't.
 
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What about the Worlds then? He never performed there, and Italy often had high expectations. Also he has exactly one top 10 placing in Monuments in his whole career out of 26 participations! If we include the Worlds, it is 1 of 32!!! To me it really looks like he has a problem with length and hardness of the race.
And considering Ardennes, how do you explain that he has 1 podium and 3 other top 10 placings in shorter Fleche Wallonne, but in much longer and harder Liege his best result is 20th place?
Also at the Giro is the same, Fiuggi is an outlier and was pretty easy, even in 2016 when he was flying and in shorter stages like Andalo and Risoul he was there fighting with the top GC riders in the 200+ kms Dolomitic stage he exploded and lost half an hour, the longer and the harder the race/stage is the more his capabilities sink.
 
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.
IMHO he didn't try seriously for most of his career, in 2018 he started with intentions to do well and was around 5th position of the peloton at the top of the Poggio, just unlucky that he crashed on the bottle that Nibali throw to the wall and bounced back on the street on the descent, at least a top 10 would have been very likely that year.
 
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No one has mentioned the terrible record of Bettini in Fleche? Huy should have fit like a glove a fast and punchy rider like him that loved to attack on short and steep climbs but his record in the race is 50th, 19th, 20th, 37th, DNF, 41st, 12th, DNF and excluding the first one he was always the undisputed leader of the team.
 
IMHO he didn't try seriously for most of his career, in 2018 he started with intentions to do well and was around 5th position of the peloton at the top of the Poggio, just unlucky that he crashed on the bottle that Nibali throw to the wall and bounced back on the street on the descent, at least a top 10 would have been very likely that year.
Wait that's how Greipel crashed?

Where was the UCI to suspend Nibali?
 
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Ulissi was a massive talent, double junior World Champion, won a GT stage at 21 already, everything was pointing that he'd became a great one-day racer and stage hunter. But, around 200km he's a contender, at 250km he isn't.
According to Bettini Ulissi was already training harder than most pros as a junior rider. His big weaknesses have already been mentioned.
 
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No one has mentioned the terrible record of Bettini in Fleche? Huy should have fit like a glove a fast and punchy rider like him that loved to attack on short and steep climbs but his record in the race is 50th, 19th, 20th, 37th, DNF, 41st, 12th, DNF and excluding the first one he was always the undisputed leader of the team.
Yep, a strange one indeed. Bartoli won it, Rebellin won it three times, Bettini at least should've been a contender...
 
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2012 was the big chance. He Castro and LLS made a mess of that final. Granted it's always tricky in a group that size but was a missed opportunity for sure.
Tbf that course was designed in the hope that Cavendish won a mass sprint, and even in that breakaway group, there were far better sprints that you did not want to take to the line anyway. Imo, Valverde had a very slim chance of winning that race. 08 and 16 were ones that suited him really that he should have done better in.
 
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Richie Porte and GT stage wins. Has he won 1 since the Giro in 2008 or 2009? Granted, he spent a portion of his career in service of others, but that’s a bit surprising considering how much talent he has.
Richie Porte and GTs in general. He got that anomalous 7th in the Giro thanks to a huge time gap in 2010, but even when he wasn't riding in the service of others he was a painfully negative rider in Grand Tours who threw in the towel as soon as any misfortune befell him, so it took him what, six years to get another top 10, he has recorded more DNFs than finishes when riding as leader and he was 35 when he finally got a podium - and since he has spent much of his career being either a domestique or kind of just another guy in the group until such point as he isn't in the group anymore, it's not surprising that he hasn't got a stage win. Yet he was talked up like a favourite relentlessly thanks to his formidable one-week stage race record and his performances as a super-domestique. And if he'd been willing to let go and accept a GC fail (or could stay on his bike throughout rather than that string of DNFs) he could have dropped enough time to rescue the race with a stage win the way we've seen at the Tour in recent years from Quintana. Although to be honest, I've never really rated Porte that highly so I don't think he's underperformed that badly and in getting a Tour podium in his twilight years he's salvaged something that means he won't be forever wondering 'what if'.
 

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