Teams & Riders Tadej Pogačar discussion thread

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@CyclistAbi Remco wasn't even on that race.

I see you meant Tour 2020 and not Vuelta 2022. I somehow assumed you are talking about a race, on where Remco participated. The way the claim was made. Obviously Remco wasn't struggling there. Likely in some jacuzzi or somewhere at the beach. Considering Remco will be a debutant at the Tour this year. Best to wait and see on how that goes for him. That is 5.9 km climbs at roughly 8.6%.

But bottom line, if we go with the sentiment of the fans most vocal in such pre season discussion, then Jonas will surely win the Tour, Rogla and Pogi will try to prevent that and Remco will dedicate his 2024 season, to beat Rogla in a stage race.

Sounds good to me. Now can we move to Jonases thread, and discuss Rogla vs Remco over there and then near beginning of the march to do it in Remcos thread? Does that work for others?

Anyway, go Pogi, have a great season!
 
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Obviously Remco wasn't struggling there. Likely in some jacuzzi or somewhere at the beach.
Remco had just started intensive physio after falling off a bridge a month earlier and spending 10 days in hospital.


Remco will dedicate his 2024 season, to beat Rogla in a stage race.
Already happened twice. They are both top athletes who focus on the biggest goals, simple.
 
Remco had just started intensive physio after falling off a bridge a month earlier and spending 10 days in hospital.

I see. Remco was injured at that point.

Already happened twice. They are both top athletes who focus on the biggest goals, simple.

As for already happened twice, that is rather normal, if you ask me. Nobody wins all races. For example personally i am satisfied with Rogličes track record so far. Even his "worst" Tour, when he went for the GC. He finished second and won Vuelta after.

The reason i wrote that is from the fans perspective. Still stuck somewhere at Catalunya 2023 and supposed wheelsucking. For months now and during all this time i never once heard on how Remco will go after Jonas in 2024 season. But let me make that clear. I said the fans not Remco himself, thinking like that. As for what Remco plans to do in 2024 season, we will found out that soon.
 
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Hinault famously sat on Lemond's wheel and was gifted the Alpe d' Huez victory by his teammate. This after creating a rift within the team and attacking the GC leader, Mr. Greg L. The appearances were of happy teammates collaborating in a Hollywood victory. Every Hero has sat on a wheel until the towing rider became annoyed and changed tactics. That is Every Rider. You don't get a thank you for being stupid enough to tow another to a victory unless it's a paid teammate. Thank God for great riders but every one of them know how to sit a wheel. You just don't know how to quit feeding the trolls. Get it....they're trolling.
In reality, Hinault would have won that Tour if he would have raced to conserve a 5 min lead, but opted to attack again. Now we can criticize the stupidity, but not the audacity. Greg was trepidatious, but had the mental gile and strength to see things through, yet Hinault made the race what it was. A titanic battle.
 
I seriously doubt the sport has radically changed for worse. Or for better.

How can you even have an account for that?

What we know is that Hinault raced in the last days of an era that was shifting into more scientific and capital intensive approaches. Television, sponsors, radios, nutrition have all domesticated the random factors where past attack strategies thrived. Of course cycling is less "free" now but that was the price of spreading it to wider audiences and securing sponsors investments in tangible results. But that tendency is here to stay. Soon we will have live glucose monitors or instant power meters.

All in all, I refuse to equate wheelsucking with negative racing. It might be boring to watch but it just means the levels are higher for everyone.
De gustibus non disputandem est. So, we can't argue over matters of taste. Having said that, the more science prevails, the less the human aspect counts. And back then the drama of frontal confrontation was, I don't say more natural, but spontaneous yes. It was mano a mano from the front of the race, not mega- budget teams dictating outcomes. It's evolution, but greater entertainment no.
 
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In reality, Hinault would have won that Tour if he would have raced to conserve a 5 min lead, but opted to attack again. Now we can criticize the stupidity, but not the audacity. Greg was trepidatious, but had the mental gile and strength to see things through, yet Hinault made the race what it was. A titanic battle.
Except it wasn't supposed to be a "battle" as Lemond was the designated protected leader. The 5 minute lead the Badger secured was based on a somewhat secret arrangement with team members to isolate Lemond for Hinault's benefit. It became obvious and, on the day after when Hinault escaped and gained some 3 more minutes; Lemond was p*ssed off and unleashed from any protection obligations. Lemond and a few sympathetic riders brought Hinault back and left Bernard. I believe it was the next day Hinault attempted it again, was caught and agreed to ride with Lemond rather than get dropped; something absolutely no one believes Bernard would have offered up if the roles were reversed. He got the gift of a stage win and then offered up the feeble and arrogant suggestion that he was simply assisting Lemond "earn" his win at the Tour.
This after the prior year Lemond was ordered to ride neutrally or in support of Hinault's final TdF win in exchange for full team support the following Tour. Lemond could have easily taken that Tour from Hinault as well by all credible accounts.
Hinault proved that he would do what he wanted and create a narrative of greatness afterward. Nothing more heroic or titanic than that and this is coming from le Blaireau fan.
 
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Except it wasn't supposed to be a "battle" as Lemond was the designated protected leader. The 5 minute lead the Badger secured was based on a somewhat secret arrangement with team members to isolate Lemond for Hinault's benefit. It became obvious and, on the day after when Hinault escaped and gained some 3 more minutes; Lemond was p*ssed off and unleashed from any protection obligations. Lemond and a few sympathetic riders brought Hinault back and left Bernard. I believe it was the next day Hinault attempted it again, was caught and agreed to ride with Lemond rather than get dropped; something absolutely no one believes Bernard would have offered up if the roles were reversed. He got the gift of a stage win and then offered up the feeble and arrogant suggestion that he was simply assisting Lemond "earn" his win at the Tour.
This after the prior year Lemond was ordered to ride neutrally or in support of Hinault's final TdF win in exchange for full team support the following Tour. Lemond could have easily taken that Tour from Hinault as well by all credible accounts.
Hinault proved that he would do what he wanted and create a narrative of greatness afterward. Nothing more heroic or titanic than that and this is coming from le Blaireau fan.
I'm aware of all that. I did not mean to say Hinault was an honorable chap. His ego knew no bounds. However, that still doesn't negate the fact that had he ridden to conserve his five minute lead, rather than go on cavalier attacks against all prudence, he likely would have won that Tour. Yet without Hinault's audacity that Tour would not have gone down as the epic battle for which it has been remembered, much to the benefit of Greg's legacy. Greg himself said he never saw Hinault stronger than in that Tour. So, even if Lemond was better, I don't think he could have taken back the five minute deficit had Hinault ridden on Lemond's wheel (wheelsucking). But le Blaireau just didn't know what the word wheelsucker meant evidently.

It also took Lemond's naivity to allow Hinault to attack with Delgado and ride into the yellow jersey, a gullableness which again manifested itself when the American chose not to drop Bernard on Alpe d'Huez, effectively keeping the Frenchman in the race going into the final TT. The extremities of temperment combined with a real zeal for romantic adventure, is what separated cycling back then from today's sport. And that's never coming back, although it was enthralling. Alas, now it's all hugs, smiles and fistshakes as they get on their stationary bikes for those silly warm-downs.

Moreover, when you think about what Hinault said of the whole affair, that he wanted Lemond to demonstrate his worthyness by repeatedly attacking him, when he certainly should have opted on a defensive strategy; herein lies the difference between today's cycling and that of the charismatic 80s. Never could a rider today be a Hinault against a Lemond. It's unimaginable. Everything is too controlled, too managed, too dialed into predetermined plans. There is no margin for chaos in today's sport. Look at what happened in the Vuelta last year. At the moment of any real drama, any tension in a script that was unwittingly shred to pieces, because Kuss was not supposed to have gotten a free ride into a serious bid to win the whole race; what does Jumbo do the moment of greatest intrigue and chaos? Shut the race down and fall back upon formulaic outcomes. Instead, it would have been much more entertaining to watch Vingegaard and Roglic attack in an "all bets are off" scenario and may the best man win. But today's cycling is far too conservative for that and lacks the renegade, buccaneer spirit of a more innocent, pure and less controlled agonistic environment of the 80s.

Yet this has been the rusult of over-sized budgets combined with a preponderance of performance science. It's made the racing faster, but more predictable, near perfect in controlling outcomes, but far less entertaining. Think about what would have happened had Delgado, something unimaginable today, not shown up late for the prologue, or if Lemond had a Jumbo to control the race and deliver him to the top of the climbs, or Fignon looked after better to prevent a saddle sore? We'd have been deprived of a clash of the titans, is what. For that matter, what would have happened if Fignon had put on an aero-helmet and mounted those friggin tri-bars? Instead we got a real tragedy and the pathos of witnessing a golden ponytailed and bespeckled gladiator dying in the arena before a stunned and incredulous crowd. By contrast, today we have the flip side of that absurdity, in an unending quest for marginal gains in what has become an arms race of tech advancements. All this adds up to more "perfection", but less entertainment value, because the racing is so controlled by power meters, race radios, risk management and all the rest that individual creativity and drama have been largely snuffed out. Yet the latest generation of young talents like Pogacar (remembering this is his thread), have proved to be a much welcomed "blast from the past".
 
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Classic maneuver to shift the topic away from the grand tours and to avoid follow up questions.

My take on Pogacars Giro-Tour double is that UAE are not confident in Poga winning TdF so they're hedging with the Giro.
It's the most obvious approach not to go out GT empty handed this season, but the fact it reaches for results doesn't take away the pattern that Pogacar never had a focus solely on the Tour and that his palmares reflects that.

Different races account for different preparations and there's a chance that for Pogi a good approach for the Tour without a loaded Spring can be a mild Giro in the legs. Even the Jumbo sport scientists, praised for their outstanding record could now only accidentaly fathom that Kuss needs two GT in his legs to be ultra competitive.

 
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