Teams & Riders Tadej Pogačar discussion thread

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Well it depends on your definition of top level performance. Pogacar already had a gt more impressive than any of Gesink or Mollema. But he has not yet shown performances that made me think, this is already at the level of a gt winner. I still think his Vuelta mostly looked so great because of the total lack of good competition outside of Roglic.

I still think the comparison with Mas a year earlier is quite good. Mas also had a gt better than any of Gesink or Mollema, but like Pogacar he only achieved what he did because the competition wasn't that great. Now two years later the hype around him has completely died. Maybe it will make a comeback at the Tour but I honestly doubt it.

In fairness, I think Pogacar is better than Mas and argubly the gt podium Pogacar achieved when he was 21 looked even more impressive than the one Mas achieved aged 23 (that long range attack by Pogacar on stage 20, I have to admit, that smelled a bit like greatness). But my point is, those young climbers stop improving very suddenly and the only question is when they do. They might at a higher level than Mollema or Gesink, but just because they get a vuelta podium and a few stage wins they don't automatically have to improve all the way to the ranks of "legendary climber".
 
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MAL, Quintana, Vuelta Valverde aren't exactly weak, especially on their on days on the stages that suit them. Majka got 6th in both the Giro and Vuelta.

Andorra, Muchacos and Plataforma de Gredos were all top level performances. Outclimbed Quintana in a big mountain stage, climbed with Roglic on the type of climb he absolutely shines at, and then cranked out a 40km solo when everyone was dead. Mas' win was a sprint against MAL, while maybe his best climbing performance was like Oiz finishing with Valverde or something, neither of which are like flying away solo.

I think the only argument against that is 'but Vuelta'.

And I think putting try to backtrack on Pogacar hype now based on a 4th place in a prep race where it's common to be slightly off, he came in off the back of 2 one day races which probably weren't optimal Dauphine prep, and he was flying at the start of the year.
 
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Why are we always discounting Valverde so hard? Only good competition was Roglic? Excuse me, Valverde was a flying in that Vuelta (like always) and Lopez is no slouch either, Quintana fell off, but the level at that Vuelta wasn't that bad and if you can solo away on the last stage of the race like Pogacar, its legit no matter the competition almost. That was an incredible performance, he got nothing awarded, he was just straight up the best rider by far that day which shows signs of a future GT winner for sure.
 
Why are we always discounting Valverde so hard? Only good competition was Roglic? Excuse me, Valverde was a flying in that Vuelta (like always) and Lopez is no slouch either, Quintana fell off, but the level at that Vuelta wasn't that bad and if you can solo away on the last stage of the race like Pogacar, its legit no matter the competition almost. That was an incredible performance, he got nothing awarded, he was just straight up the best rider by far that day which shows signs of a future GT winner for sure.
Valverde also dropped Bernal once in the Tour, but to be fair to Bernal that was such low altitude he can't be expected to win.

Or he would've won if he tried I never know.
 
Just saying, Mas finished ahead of Valverde while Pogacar didn't. Valverde last year also really wasn't flying he was just the same guy he usually is in the vuelta, just that for the first time in years there was only one guy who beat him.

Seriously, a lot has to happen to convince me last years Vuelta field wasn't just really bad.
 
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Valverde was much better in 2019 Vuelta compared to 2018, so that cannot be used as an argument for Mas. Valverde cracked the last 2 days in that Vuelta where as in 2019 he was actually more or less as good as Roglic uphill.
 
Why is Vuelta taken as the only reference point for Pogacar's level? His results in stage races since turning pro with UAE are the following: 13-1-6-1-4-3 (Vuelta)-1-2-4.
Are you guys questioning his recovery? You don't think his incredible consistency in one week stage races could translate to GTs? Because he sure looked like someone with a great recovery in last year's Vuelta third week.
 
Valverde was much better in 2019 Vuelta compared to 2018, so that cannot be used as an argument for Mas. Valverde cracked the last 2 days in that Vuelta where as in 2019 he was actually more or less as good as Roglic uphill.
Much rather less than more though. He got a headstart in the Andorra stage due to Roglic's crash but Roglic caught him anyway, he then lost about half a minute on two of the three remaining mountain top finishes and finished same time as Roglic in the third. I guess you could point at Valverde gaining a handful of seconds when Roglic cruised to the finish line on stage 20, but that's it. It's true Valverde cracked towards the end of the 2018 edition, but that only really cost him much time on stage 20 and Mas was already very close to him before that. I'd argue before the last two mountain stages Valverde was easily as good in 2018 as in 2019. Anyway, I don't actually want to get into discussions about how good Valverde was in 2019 compared to other years (I know I brought that up myself, probably shouldn't have) I just think him being there shouldn't be used as an argument for how good the field of that race was.

(Also I just want to add here that I have claimed multiple times that Roglic himself is overrated. Now whether that's true or not we'll see soon enough, just keep it in mind when I don't rate some performances in last years Vuelta as highly as others)

Why is Vuelta taken as the only reference point for Pogacar's level? His results in stage races since turning pro with UAE are the following: 13-1-6-1-4-3 (Vuelta)-1-2-4.
Are you guys questioning his recovery? You don't think his incredible consistency in one week stage races could translate to GTs? Because he sure looked like someone with a great recovery in last year's Vuelta third week.
Well the discussion started with the argument that Pogacar might have peaked super early. The counter argument was that reference points of early peaking climbers, like Gesink or Mollema, never showed the same peak level of performance Pogacar has shown. To that I answered that I don't think the peak level he has shown so far is actually that great, pointing towards the Vuelta field. Now if you want to argue it doesn't matter because he has crushed it in other stage races as well you are free to do so, I just don't think they are better examples for his peak performance than the Vuelta, the race he actually peaked for.
 
I have claimed multiple times that Roglic himself is overrated.
Overall i don't feel Roglič is overrated. His performance in the past year or so is stellar. Whatever race he enters, he basically needs to win it or he basically lost. Finishing third on Giro, regardless if we agree of the reasons, is still a great achievement.

P.S. As for Pogačar, he is 21 and is constantly considered to be one of the favorites. Hence i don't feel he is overrated. Currently he is a legit contender for becoming a future GT winner!
 
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Roglic peaks for the TdF last year he wins it with eyes closed. I think you can make also make arguments for all 3 GTs last year having weak fields due to form issues and freak crashes and incidents, but w/e

Carapaz cranks out a solo in the Giro, is shoehorned in as outsider while having no TT. Bernal is mythical climber without even having to complete the raid. Then Pog does a similar solo putting the same time into his opponents on easier climbs and suddenly his competition was weak.
 
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Roglic peaks for the TdF last year he wins it with eyes closed. I think you can make also make arguments for all 3 GTs last year having weak fields due to form issues and freak crashes and incidents, but w/e

Carapaz cranks out a solo in the Giro, is shoehorned in as outsider while having no TT. Bernal is mythical climber without even having to complete the raid. Then Pog does a similar solo putting the same time into his opponents on easier climbs and suddenly his competition was weak.
He'll be a fine domestique for Aru
 
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Roglic peaks for the TdF last year he wins it with eyes closed. I think you can make also make arguments for all 3 GTs last year having weak fields due to form issues and freak crashes and incidents, but w/e

Carapaz cranks out a solo in the Giro, is shoehorned in as outsider while having no TT. Bernal is mythical climber without even having to complete the raid. Then Pog does a similar solo putting the same time into his opponents on easier climbs and suddenly his competition was weak.
A>B and B>C therefore A>C

This theory has been broken many times in the past. Because such is life. If we play the "if" game Pinot and Porte would have been Tour champions by now.
 
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Ah, all the top Slovenian riders have that letter somewhere in their names?
More by a chance and not all, but indeed. And a bit unrelated, but Dončić has one too. I have seen a lot of NBA oriented videos, on how America is learning to pronounce č, getting good at it. It currently looks like č is there to stay in western media.

P.S. Don't take too serious what i wrote above.
 
As for Pogačar, and as it looks like Aru can't cope with favorites. Regarding Tour, plan A for me would be stick close to Roglič, as long as you can. Try to make your team to work for you. If that for whatever reason fails, plan B being, try to win a stage.
 
As for Pogačar, and as it looks like Aru can't cope with favorites. Regarding Tour, plan A for me would be stick close to Roglič, as long as you can. Try to make your team to work for you. If that for whatever reason fails, plan B being, try to win a stage.
Tadej has worked this angle and it seems to work. Especially since you rarely see another UAE jersey in the action when it gets really heated. Aru is so busy fighting himself and his bike that he's almost a non-factor. It'd be great if he returned to his breakthrough form and became a solid ally with Pogacar but this Tour won't allow for mistakes. There will be more anxious, twitchy and crash-prone mistakes than the races we've seen so far. Getting out of the first week alive will be every contender's goal.
 
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