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Teams & Riders Tadej Pogačar discussion thread

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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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Goodness, the obsession with the Tour de France some people have on here is quite baffling. You'd think no other race exists or matters, lol. Just pointing out that neither the Tour nor the Giro are Pogi's main concerns this year. He's made it very clear that the World's are his main focus this year. He really wants that rainbow jersey and I hope he gets it!
 
Goodness, the obsession with the Tour de France some people have on here is quite baffling. You'd think no other race exists or matters, lol. Just pointing out that neither the Tour nor the Giro are Pogi's main concerns this year. He's made it very clear that the World's are his main focus this year. He really wants that rainbow jersey and I hope he gets it!
Poggi wants everything he hasn't won, yet.
 
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".
I'm a grumpy non-fan of the excess tech that has neutered aggressiveness in the sport. Race radios and instant strategy adjustments from the DS caravan have seen to that and it's an easy fix if it were important. The blather about on the road safety is an easy fix as well. Allow riders to have a general alert from the officials with input from the team caravans and maybe a designated rider per team. Take the in depth data off the bikes and leave them with speed, distance, pulse rate and altitude to guide their efforts. That should encourage aggression with the absence of an alarm system when you're 2 watts over your "pedal anger" prescription.

But wrapping up in-team subterfuge with some sort of heroic and noble outcome is something I'd expect of Hinault's biographic ghost writer. It didn't pass as credible to me on any level.

Even comparing the Visma debacle is irrelevant. They neglected to support the supposed leader, Roglic and then tried to weasel out of it by protecting a deserving team member. It would have been a disaster for that team to let it go on, too. Sorry we didn't enjoy the denouement that would have satisfied the unwashed masses.

As for Pogacar; he seems to enjoy racing impulsively to a greater point and has been successful. I'm afraid now he deals with the reality of being the most feared rider and gets very few opportunities to surprise anyone which tends to play into the hands of the most stacked team. Hopefully this year it's different and we'll get the honest drama we'd all enjoy. It may be an outlier that provides the catalyst and it'd be really sweet.
 
I'm a grumpy non-fan of the excess tech that has neutered aggressiveness in the sport. Race radios and instant strategy adjustments from the DS caravan have seen to that and it's an easy fix if it were important. The blather about on the road safety is an easy fix as well. Allow riders to have a general alert from the officials with input from the team caravans and maybe a designated rider per team. Take the in depth data off the bikes and leave them with speed, distance, pulse rate and altitude to guide their efforts. That should encourage aggression with the absence of an alarm system when you're 2 watts over your "pedal anger" prescription.

But wrapping up in-team subterfuge with some sort of heroic and noble outcome is something I'd expect of Hinault's biographic ghost writer. It didn't pass as credible to me on any level.

Even comparing the Visma debacle is irrelevant. They neglected to support the supposed leader, Roglic and then tried to weasel out of it by protecting a deserving team member. It would have been a disaster for that team to let it go on, too. Sorry we didn't enjoy the denouement that would have satisfied the unwashed masses.

As for Pogacar; he seems to enjoy racing impulsively to a greater point and has been successful. I'm afraid now he deals with the reality of being the most feared rider and gets very few opportunities to surprise anyone which tends to play into the hands of the most stacked team. Hopefully this year it's different and we'll get the honest drama we'd all enjoy. It may be an outlier that provides the catalyst and it'd be really sweet.
I completely agree with your first paragraph, so there's nothing to beg to differ about there.

However, I think you've misunderstood what I was trying to express regarding the 86 Tour, if my words were read carefully. I basically stated that Hinault was a back-stabbing egomaniac, even if not quite so bluntly. Hence, how in what I wrote can such "team subterfuge", as you so well put it, be construed as sychophantic flattery to a supposed "heroic and nobel outcome"? No, what I meant was that such douchebaggery on Hinault's part, like it or not, made the duel with Greg enthralling, as all the pundits at the time unanimously said. The only hero was Lemond, Hinault the anti-hero. Every hero needs an anti-hero to make up the epic. Moreover, I clearly stated that Hinault raced rather stupidity and there is nothing to recommend in that. Although doing so afforded much to the entertainment value of that year's race. It was pure gold, that, and I for one would not have had him race any other way from this point of view. Let us not take things too seriously.

More than comparing with the Vismo debacle, I was contrasting the two outcomes' polar opposite team management applied mental habits. On the one hand, you had a rather devious Paul Köchli mischieviously encouraging discord, while sowing the seeds of intercene war (at one point the insouciant DS even encouraged a stupified Hampsten to play his own cards to win the race), while on the other, a lilly-livered Zeeman unable to handle the backlash from social media over "how dare Roglic and Vingegaard ride as team leaders", to then cave into an all too predictable politically correct outcome. Such denouement can only have satisfied shareholders terrified of the team being black labled and those with weak stomachs for any type of controversy (or simply a certain fandom insistant upon preconceived notions of etiquite and fair play).

As for Pogacar, he has already been the most feared rider in the peloton for quite some time, but this doesn't seem to have prevented him from striking hard and winning big.
 
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I'm a grumpy non-fan of the excess tech that has neutered aggressiveness in the sport. Race radios and instant strategy adjustments from the DS caravan have seen to that and it's an easy fix if it were important. The blather about on the road safety is an easy fix as well. Allow riders to have a general alert from the officials with input from the team caravans and maybe a designated rider per team. Take the in depth data off the bikes and leave them with speed, distance, pulse rate and altitude to guide their efforts. That should encourage aggression with the absence of an alarm system when you're 2 watts over your "pedal anger" prescription.
This cannot be overstated. The impact of technology in the sport is unsurmountable and as recent developments recede to our awareness background, we tend to overlook it and assume they have always been there. And I'm not even talking about bike technology, nutrition or training methods.

The radio or the powermeter shift race dynamics a lot. I recall Contador's takes for banning them in the times of Sky train in order to allow a bit more random factors to come in.

That's why having a discussion about "wheelsucking", "agressiveness" or "the good old days" assuming that the contexts - from nowadays and in the past - are the same is mostly a pointless, mute discussion.
 
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This cannot be overstated. The impact of technology in the sport is unsurmountable and as recent developments recede to our awareness background, we tend to overlook it and assume they have always been there. And I'm not even talking about bike technology, nutrition or training methods.

The radio or the powermeter shift race dynamics a lot. I recall Contador's takes for banning them in the times of Sky train in order to allow a bit more random factors to come in.

That's why having a discussion about "wheelsucking", "agressiveness" or "the good old days" assuming that the contexts - from nowadays and in the past - are the same is mostly a pointless, mute discussion.
Pointless, however, only insofar as what you outlined nullifies all the rest. But it's that rest which is missing.
 
Pointless, however, only insofar as what you outlined nullifies all the rest. But it's that rest which is missing.
Simply put, attacking rates in races hinge on several factors:

1) human (natural talent, psychological drive to excel),
2) route design
3) weather factors
4) technology.

Technology is dependent on the capital intensive input that drive sponsors to expect a return for their investment. It means also that all things being equal in the peloton, i.e., if all teams have access to the same technologies, technology will have a tight grip on race dynamics.

The previous discussion just focused on the 1) factor.
 
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I’d amend this list to:
  1. Rider strength relative to competitors
  2. Rider confidence / knowledge
  3. Route design
  4. Weather
  5. Management
I see technology as a key determinant of 2 above but not a direct factor. Through power meters, analytics, and radios, riders have never been more knowledgeable about their strengths relative to peers and how hard they can push for how long. It seems like this can encourage or discourage attacks, but it always makes events more predictable. Vingegaard might attack more, knowing his numbers and Pogi’s best whereas if he didn’t know, he might choose to be more conservative.
Simply put, attacking rates in races hinge on several factors:

1) human (natural talent, psychological drive to excel),
2) route design
3) weather factors
4) technology.

Technology is dependent on the capital intensive input that drive sponsors to expect a return for their investment. It means also that all things being equal in the peloton, i.e., if all teams have access to the same technologies, technology will have a tight grip on race dynamics.

The previous discussion just focused on the 1) factor.
 
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I’d amend this list to:
  1. Rider strength relative to competitors
  2. Rider confidence / knowledge
  3. Route design
  4. Weather
  5. Management
I see technology as a key determinant of 2 above but not a direct factor. Through power meters, analytics, and radios, riders have never been more knowledgeable about their strengths relative to peers and how hard they can push for how long. It seems like this can encourage or discourage attacks, but it always makes events more predictable. Vingegaard might attack more, knowing his numbers and Pogi’s best whereas if he didn’t know, he might choose to be more conservative.
Exactly
 
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The thing is rider talent, versus knowing the data in real time discourages the spectacle. Riders should not know whether or not they can push 2 watts more or expolode. They should have to figure it out for themselves. Otherwise it's a question of automization, over the human aspect of sport. The latter, however, is where the true drama unfolds.
 
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Simply put, attacking rates in races hinge on several factors:

1) human (natural talent, psychological drive to excel),
2) route design
3) weather factors
4) technology.

Technology is dependent on the capital intensive input that drive sponsors to expect a return for their investment. It means also that all things being equal in the peloton, i.e., if all teams have access to the same technologies, technology will have a tight grip on race dynamics.

The previous discussion just focused on the 1) factor.
Leave such tech to training, in a race have them rely on instinct. The returns on investment don't change. Riders benefit during preparation, as does the market, then it's every man for himself in the race and may the best one win.
 
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The thing is rider talent versus knowing the data in real time, discourages the spectacle. Riders should not know whether or not they can push 2 watts more or expolode. They should have to figure it out for themselves. Otherwise it's a question of automization, over the human aspect of sport. The latter, however, is where the true drama unfolds.

It's also true that every day is different. On a weaker day a rider can't sustain the same wattage as during training. On a superb day maybe a rider can push a bit more/longer than during pre-race tests. So riding by feeling always exists to some extent.
 
It's also true that every day is different. On a weaker day a rider can't sustain the same wattage as during training. On a superb day maybe a rider can push a bit more/longer than during pre-race tests. So riding by feeling always exists to some extent.
Sure, but controlled risk factor often leads to a big fart, as we have so often seen in the hyper-tech science driven sport of today. I'm not for backwardness, but compromise.
 
I completely agree with your first paragraph, so there's nothing to beg to differ about there.

However, I think you've misunderstood what I was trying to express regarding the 86 Tour, if my words were read carefully. I basically stated that Hinault was a back-stabbing egomaniac, even if not quite so bluntly. Hence, how can such "team subterfuge", as you so well put it, in what I wrote be construed as sychophantic flattery to a supposed "heroic and nobel outcome"? No, what I meant was that such douchebaggery on Hinault's part, like it or not, made the duel with Greg enthralling, as all the pundits at the time unanimously agreed. The only hero was Lemond, Hinault the anti-hero. Every hero needs an anti-hero to make up the epic. Moreover, I clearly stated that Hinault raced rather stupidity and there is nothing to recommend in that, affording much though to the entertainment value of that year's race. It was pure gold, that, and I for one would not have had him race any other way from this point of view. Let us not take things too seriously.

More than comparing with the Vismo debacle, I was contrasting the two outcomes in their polar opposite team management applied mental habits . On the one hand, you had a rather devious Paul Köchli encouraging discord, while sowing the seeds of intercene war (at one point the insouciant DS even encouraged a stupified Hampsten to play his own cards to win the race), while on the other a lilly-livered Zeeman unable to handle the backlash from social media over "how dare Roglic and Vingegaard ride as team leaders", to then cave into an all too predictable politically correct outcome. Such denouement can only have satisfied shareholders terrified of the team being black-labled and those with weak stomachs for any type of controversy (or simply a certain fandom insistant upon preconceived notions of etiquite and fare-play).

As for a Pogacar, he has already been the most feared rider in the peleton for quite some time, but this doesn't seem to have prevented him from striking hard and winning big.
I don’t know if I agree but your 2nd full paragraph is really well-crafted writing—I always appreciate that!
 
I completely agree with your first paragraph, so there's nothing to beg to differ about there.

However, I think you've misunderstood what I was trying to express regarding the 86 Tour, if my words were read carefully. I basically stated that Hinault was a back-stabbing egomaniac, even if not quite so bluntly. Hence, how can such "team subterfuge", as you so well put it, in what I wrote be construed as sychophantic flattery to a supposed "heroic and nobel outcome"? No, what I meant was that such douchebaggery on Hinault's part, like it or not, made the duel with Greg enthralling, as all the pundits at the time unanimously agreed. The only hero was Lemond, Hinault the anti-hero. Every hero needs an anti-hero to make up the epic. Moreover, I clearly stated that Hinault raced rather stupidity and there is nothing to recommend in that, affording much though to the entertainment value of that year's race. It was pure gold, that, and I for one would not have had him race any other way from this point of view. Let us not take things too seriously.

More than comparing with the Vismo debacle, I was contrasting the two outcomes in their polar opposite team management applied mental habits . On the one hand, you had a rather devious Paul Köchli encouraging discord, while sowing the seeds of intercene war (at one point the insouciant DS even encouraged a stupified Hampsten to play his own cards to win the race), while on the other a lilly-livered Zeeman unable to handle the backlash from social media over "how dare Roglic and Vingegaard ride as team leaders", to then cave into an all too predictable politically correct outcome. Such denouement can only have satisfied shareholders terrified of the team being black-labled and those with weak stomachs for any type of controversy (or simply a certain fandom insistant upon preconceived notions of etiquite and fare-play).

As for a Pogacar, he has already been the most feared rider in the peleton for quite some time, but this doesn't seem to have prevented him from striking hard and winning big.
If I misunderstood your Hinault description; we are of the same opinion. Kochli was that guy but he could do that because of the strength of that particular team.
As for political correctness; that's not where I was going with Visma's final strategy. Their decision preserved the team and it's possible future cohesiveness. IMO they had already written Roglic off and probably didn't want the carnage that could have occurred. They won the Vuelta and kept the two most valuable riders for this season.
They did achieve a backhanded marketing coup as did the sport in general due to the polarization of fans. Everyone wanted to watch that trainwreck.
As for Pogi; he now faces response from every team when he farts or twitches. The other contenders know what he can do if their planned control goes awry and that may make for great racing this year. Who will step up to ally with Pogacar at a point to advance their team cause? It's just a prospective tactic that I hope will happen.
 
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I’d amend this list to:
  1. Rider strength relative to competitors
  2. Rider confidence / knowledge
  3. Route design
  4. Weather
  5. Management
I see technology as a key determinant of 2 above but not a direct factor. Through power meters, analytics, and radios, riders have never been more knowledgeable about their strengths relative to peers and how hard they can push for how long. It seems like this can encourage or discourage attacks, but it always makes events more predictable. Vingegaard might attack more, knowing his numbers and Pogi’s best whereas if he didn’t know, he might choose to be more conservative.
It's the lack of certainty that makes for the threshold-breaking efforts. Taking instant communication away from team strategy requires more riders to actually race; rather than fulfill their wattage output quotient as a donkey domestique and fade back.