Riders who curiously did badly in certain types of races

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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.
You might want to also consider his career overlaped with Valverde's and, in the classics department, the latter was much more the specialist, in an age when, following Armstrong's trajectory, specialization had really peaked. That and after Contador's career blip, to win grand tours he had to deal with the new force in town, a.k.a Sky and Froome. Ixnay any lingering classics ambitions. Plus he was Spanish and, bar Valverde, the Spaniards have never really excelled in the monuments, being much more stage racers as Indurian epitomized. Even the Italians have been historically more a force in the spirng classics campaign than their Iberian cousins. Nibali benefited from this; that is from how community, tradition and heritage makes one feel what it means to be a cyclist.

At any rate, at his peak (when his TT was among the best in the world), I say Contador, with an adapated approach/mentality and without other hickups or distractions could have won MSR, LBL, San Sebastian and Lombardia. Of course, it would have helped to have been Italian. But we can't change history.
 
Why not? Nibali did it and, at his peak, Contador was a better tter, no less a sprinter (they both suck) and a way more explosive climber. Let's be objective at least. Although Nibali's italianità gave him an edge on home turf in terms of actually succeeding.
After 290 km's Contador wasn't a better TT-er nor more explosive than Nibali.
 
Why not? Nibali did it and, at his peak, Contador was a better tter, no less a sprinter (they both suck) and a way more explosive climber. Let's be objective at least. Although Nibali's italianità gave him an edge on home turf in terms of actually succeeding.
Nibali has far better endurance, descending ability, is a little bit taller and heavier than contador which would help on the flat after the poggio, and the climb itself, which is not that long or steep. Nibali ability to fight for position in the pack is better than contador as well which is crucial for sanremo in the final 100km. Remember the roubaix stage in 2014.
 
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After 290 km's Contador wasn't a better TT-er nor more explosive than Nibali.
Could be, but I don't think we can know at peak performance. The fact is the Spaniard had no interest in the race, unlike the Italian, who has to be the luckiest of all those who won each grand tour. And I like Nibali, but mother fortune has certainly been on his side in a way that even audacity doesn't compensate for, of which he has had heaps.
 
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Nibali has far better endurance, descending ability, is a little bit taller and heavier than contador which would help on the flat after the poggio, and the climb itself, which is not that long or steep. Nibali ability to fight for position in the pack is better than contador as well which is crucial for sanremo in the final 100km. Remember the roubaix stage in 2014.
Nibali has far better endurance? Based on winning MSR? That's confirmation bias. Is a better descender? Yes, and this is where he would have an advantage bombing down the Poggio (although Contador was not bad going down hill, just made some mistakes that cost him). Nibali's stature is insignificant. Ability to fight for position? If you are working on classics then you have to go in with that mentality. Contador never focused on that, but arrived second in LBL, so, pressed, evidently could fight for position rather well.

Two different careers, but I see no reason why, engine wise, Contador could be excluded from possibly winning MSR if Nibali is a parameter.
 
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Contador came close to winning LBL, Froome has never even been a factor. Where thus is your perpendicular universe?
Contador tried LBL four times. He came 9th once and his other results were poor.
He tried Lombardia four times. He came 9th once and his other results were poor.
He knew better than to try the other monuments.
Contador was a great grand tour rider.
 
Contador came close to winning LBL, Froome has never even been a factor. Where thus is your perpendicular universe?
Contador‘a best result in LBL was 9th in 2010. Nibali was 2nd in 2012.

Contador did manage 3rd in Flèche Wallone once, and also won Milano-Torino, so we can say that in Contador’s case, it may have been that he focused on Grand Tours to the exclusion of one-day races. Whereas Froome genuinely has no classics/one-day track record to speak of whatsoever.
 
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Apologies for the confusion between Contador and Nibali at Liege. If I'm not mistaken, however, Contador's chance at winning that Liege was blocked by Vinokourov in the Astana dynamic. At any rate, 9th means he was in the fight and held the pace for 250 kms. I still think Contador was rapped up in a career trajectory for which any Spanish multiple grand tour rider was programed. And that left no room for the classics. But this doesn't mean he could not have been up for it otherwise.
 
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A Spanish GT rider could absolutely compete in Liege; Delgado and Indurain both had top 10s there, Purito had some good results, as well as Valverde obviously. Indurain also won San Sebastian.

Given his other results in Liege, I suspect Contador’s top 10 was more a result of being able to sit on while Vino ploughed on ahead, rather than Vino’s presence up the road preventing Bertie from showing what he could do; he rolled in last of a group that included both Schlecks , Igor Anton, and Papa Horner.
 
A Spanish GT rider could absolutely compete in Liege; Delgado and Indurain both had top 10s there, Purito had some good results, as well as Valverde obviously.

Given his other results in Liege, I suspect Contador’s top 10 was more a result of being able to sit on while Vino ploughed on ahead, rather than Vino’s presence up the road preventing Bertie from showing what he could do.
Contador doing really good at Flèche Wallonne was a strong indication of his great form coming to the race, though.

Schleck (2009) and Fuglsang (2019) achieved 2nd at Flèche Wallonne before winning LBL, and both were not considered as formidable puncheurs.

Even Nibali did a good Flèche Wallonne (8th) before his best LBL.
 
You might want to also consider his career overlaped with Valverde's and, in the classics department, the latter was much more the specialist, in an age when, following Armstrong's trajectory, specialization had really peaked. That and after Contador's career blip, to win grand tours he had to deal with the new force in town, a.k.a Sky and Froome. Ixnay any lingering classics ambitions. Plus he was Spanish and, bar Valverde, the Spaniards have never really excelled in the monuments, being much more stage racers as Indurian epitomized. Even the Italians have been historically more a force in the spirng classics campaign than their Iberian cousins. Nibali benefited from this; that is from how community, tradition and heritage makes one feel what it means to be a cyclist.

At any rate, at his peak (when his TT was among the best in the world), I say Contador, with an adapated approach/mentality and without other hickups or distractions could have won MSR, LBL, San Sebastian and Lombardia. Of course, it would have helped to have been Italian. But we can't change history.
Flècha, Freire, Sanchez and Purito all had good monument results.
 

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