Teams & Riders Tadej Pogačar discussion thread

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Anyone who has numbers of Pogacar's climbs the last days? Either VAM or climbing time compared to earlier years. I'm pretty sure he is on par with or better than the best performances from Contador, Froome and Quintana. But the distance to the rest of the GC contenders this year could imply that is doing something more unique than any of those three. I'm not sure that is the case though. The quality of the closest contenders this year (after Roglic and Thomas crashed) seems pretty mediocre. If Pog were to crash now, we would (IMO) have the weakest winner in many, many years.
I'd agree. Each Tour has a need for some parity to be "entertaining" and losing Roglic, Thomas and Ineos demonstrating for a second Tour a big deficit of depth makes it one dimensional. Carapaz tries and most everyone else just flinches because they're afraid of losing more time. If no rider is willing to chase Tadej he is free to totally bury himself like a TT and gain maximum time. Absent challenges that is going to be a dull situation. Between UAE and DQS the pack has been rendered impotent with only the Bahrain raiders taking risks.
 
A totally rational decision not to chase.
Maybe. You don't get further up the GC if you don't attempt some sort of move. The lack of response of any kind on the last 2 Alpine stages only encourage the attacks, too. Pogacar must love the ability to totally commit to getting the gap and then settling into a rhythm without distraction and that the riders behind will actually let up on a pursuit.
 
Take it with a grain of salt, but Pogacar and his coach say he’s at the same level as last year, putting out near identical watts; it’s just the competition that’s below. That’s what I (and of course others) have postulated elsewhere. Obviously they have a vested interest in Pogi not being superhuman, but Uran, who has never been a real threat to win a Tour and is now 34, is in second place among GC contenders. That says a lot.
 
Take it with a grain of salt, but Pogacar and his coach say he’s at the same level as last year, putting out near identical watts; it’s just the competition that’s below. That’s what I (and of course others) have postulated elsewhere. Obviously they have a vested interest in Pogi not being superhuman, but Uran, who has never been a real threat to win a Tour and is now 34, is in second place among GC contenders. That says a lot.
I don’t buy this by Gianetti. Uran is inconsistent. When he fires he’s huge. I concede I am basing this on his from in the 2014 Giro. The vested interest is the best explanation.

I think 2021 Pogacar easily beats 2020 Pogacar. Remember Pogi did show some weakness last year e.g. The Queen stage to Col de la Loze. It remains to be seen if he shows any weakness at all in this edition.
 
I don’t buy this by Gianetti. Uran is inconsistent. When he fires he’s huge. I concede I am basing this on his from in the 2014 Giro. The vested interest is the best explanation.

I think 2021 Pogacar easily beats 2020 Pogacar. Remember Pogi did show some weakness last year e.g. The Queen stage to Col de la Loze. It remains to be seen if he shows any weakness at all in this edition.
Even on that stage, he beat Mas by by :47 and Uran by 1:20 or so…
 
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The competition isn't the best there could be, that would be with Roglic and Lopez in top form in my opinion, but it's not weak, I find that slightly insulting.

First of all Pogacar won the time trial ahead of Küng, how is that because the competition is weak? It's easy to say "oh, from the maybe-contenders Vingegaard was second", forgetting that he also put some decent time into other guys like Asgreen, about a minute into Porte and Uran, who aren't weak time trialers.
Second Carapaz, who climbing wise I would consider slightly below Roglic, but not much, tried to follow him on the way to Tignes, and was completely unable to. Also if I remember right Jumbo have said Roglic could not have followed him there.
Thirdly, Vingegaard, Mas, Gaudu, O'Connor, Kelderman etc. may not sound like the best of the best, but the preparation races and the early season showed that they are roughly about the level of Geraint Thomas if all healthy and fit. No way could Thomas, had he not crashed, taken it to Pogacar in any way. The only one who could have been closer to Pogacar had he not suffered from crashes and the cold was Lopez, who would always lose a good deal of time in a time trial.
The other top 10 contenders aren't weak. (Mostly they are young and haven't had a stellar first years, many riders don't.) And he gained about three minutes thirty on them on one climb; I know that they didn't really try to catch him afterwards anymore, but neither do I think he really went all out, he was certainly pushing hard, but he never looked (and I don't mean his facial expressions, I mean his movements) totally in the red, he was on his own, and he eased significantly on the way down.

Basically, he's just extremely strong. No need to say the competition is weak.
 
Yes he’s strong. Stronger than 2020 which we should expect since he’s only 22.

I still don’t rate M. A. Lopez like some here seem. I don’t think Roglic would climb with Pogacar in this form. I note Lopez cracked and finished in the auto bus on Tignes.

In the 2019 Giro Roglic was climbing at about Carapaz’s level. But Carapaz is firing fairy floss bullets at Pogi this TdF. Who else is there other then Roglic and Carapaz who could push Pogacar? Thomas is in decline. Bernal maybe but that’s it. So much for poor competition. This wil be proven in the coming days.

Tomorrow I think Pogi will hold back and not take more than maybe 30 seconds.
 
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I’m not meaning to be disrespectful. He’s undeniably extremely strong, and Mas, Uran, Carapaz aren’t bad riders by any means. But the fact is that Pogacar didn’t have a real crash, and his top rivals did. As a result, he appears to be mutant when he is likely merely on par with Tour winners past. IMO.
In the post-Armstrona era, I think Pogacar this year is better than anyone else we've seen except the best versions of Contador and Froome (and Quintana at his best in the mountains). But the competition this year is not very strong. And I don't think the distance between Pog and the rest is a measure of how strong Pog really is compared to previous Tour winners. If that were the case, Pog's performance this year would be the best since peak-Armstrong.
 
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In the post-Armstrona era, I think Pogacar this year is better than anyone else we've seen except the best versions of Contador and Froome (and Quintana at his best in the mountains). But the competition this year is not very strong. And I don't think the distance between Pog and the rest is a measure of how strong Pog really is compared to previous Tour winners. If that were the case, Pog's performance this year would be the best since peak-Armstrong.
2014 Nibali deserves a mention as well.
 
The competition isn't the best there could be, that would be with Roglic and Lopez in top form in my opinion, but it's not weak, I find that slightly insulting.

First of all Pogacar won the time trial ahead of Küng, how is that because the competition is weak? It's easy to say "oh, from the maybe-contenders Vingegaard was second", forgetting that he also put some decent time into other guys like Asgreen, about a minute into Porte and Uran, who aren't weak time trialers.
Second Carapaz, who climbing wise I would consider slightly below Roglic, but not much, tried to follow him on the way to Tignes, and was completely unable to. Also if I remember right Jumbo have said Roglic could not have followed him there.
Thirdly, Vingegaard, Mas, Gaudu, O'Connor, Kelderman etc. may not sound like the best of the best, but the preparation races and the early season showed that they are roughly about the level of Geraint Thomas if all healthy and fit. No way could Thomas, had he not crashed, taken it to Pogacar in any way. The only one who could have been closer to Pogacar had he not suffered from crashes and the cold was Lopez, who would always lose a good deal of time in a time trial.
The other top 10 contenders aren't weak. (Mostly they are young and haven't had a stellar first years, many riders don't.) And he gained about three minutes thirty on them on one climb; I know that they didn't really try to catch him afterwards anymore, but neither do I think he really went all out, he was certainly pushing hard, but he never looked (and I don't mean his facial expressions, I mean his movements) totally in the red, he was on his own, and he eased significantly on the way down.

Basically, he's just extremely strong. No need to say the competition is weak.
The competition is weak. He is extremely strong. Both can be true.

In the ITT to PdBF he was the 2nd fastest on the flat part, only 1 second behind Dumoulin. He put 50 seconds in to Van Aert on the 30 km.

Carapaz may be good, but I also think he would be dropped last year. And I'm not sure he copes as well as Pogi in the poor weather of the weekend.
 
Thirdly, Vingegaard, Mas, Gaudu, O'Connor, Kelderman etc. may not sound like the best of the best, but the preparation races and the early season showed that they are roughly about the level of Geraint Thomas if all healthy and fit. No way could Thomas, had he not crashed, taken it to Pogacar in any way. The only one who could have been closer to Pogacar had he not suffered from crashes and the cold was Lopez, who would always lose a good deal of time in a time trial.
The other top 10 contenders aren't weak. (Mostly they are young and haven't had a stellar first years, many riders don't.) And he gained about three minutes thirty on them on one climb; I know that they didn't really try to catch him afterwards anymore, but neither do I think he really went all out, he was certainly pushing hard, but he never looked (and I don't mean his facial expressions, I mean his movements) totally in the red, he was on his own, and he eased significantly on the way down.

Basically, he's just extremely strong. No need to say the competition is weak.
He is extremely strong. But right now he has competition from only one (Carapaz) of the other 7-8 best GC riders the last 2-3 years. The competition is at best mediocre compared to what it could be with everyone present and fit.
 
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Well, "weak competition" is always a relative term. What does it mean, how can it be measured?
a) Are there many guys who would be better than the competing rivals but aren't there? I don't think so. I count Roglic, Bernal (but only in the mountains), and Lopez (there but hurt by crashes and weather; also only in the mountains. Yates: one is there but not targeting the race, the other isn't there. Why aren't they, since the Tour is the biggest race? Mostly because they wouldn't stand a chance for a win and they already knew that so they went elsewhere.
In almost every GT there are main competitors missing or crashing out. I don't think this one is an exception in that regard.

b) Are the times slow, the watts low? Not at all, everything we have, and especially taking the weather and circumstances like that very long stage into account, points to pretty fast times (Pogacar on Romme and Colombière) and high watts (O'Connor's numbers, de Gendt's or Greipel's statements).

In my opinion the competition looks a bit weak because there's a change of guard. The top 10 are not proven winners. But the ones who are or who came close are not at all on the level - one has to wonder whether they declined or if the requirements are now much harder, maybe both - anyway someone like TGH can't compete here, Thomas hasn't shown anything this season to suggest he'd be on a higher level than the likes of Vingegaard, someone like Bardet who was able to podium in other years probably wouldn't stand a chance here and he's not old.
 
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3rd in Catalunya, 1st in Romandie and 3rd in Dauphine which are races with actual high mountains vs 2nd in Pais Vasco which is a tough medium mountains race

1 month ago Vingegaard was wheelsucking Konrad in the Dauphine

No, it's Vingegaard who has not shown anything to suggest that he could be on par with the rest.
 
3rd in Catalunya, 1st in Romandie and 3rd in Dauphine which are races with actual high mountains vs 2nd in Pais Vasco which is a tough medium mountains race

1 month ago Vingegaard was wheelsucking Konrad in the Dauphine

No, it's Vingegaard who has not shown anything to suggest that he could be on par with the rest.
Vingegaard its a strange guy, when he feels he is not in top shape he blows up or decides not to suffer anymore to hang on in a grup like others GC contenders for being top 15-20 during a mountain stages instead he focus on trying a stage win or helping others, like in Uae Tour or Dauphiné, but when he in peak shape you are not gonna see him being tenth in a race, he is winning or podium material depending of the level of the stage race.

Its true that he is a better rider for the mid-mountains and steep walls like Basque climbs, but he is developing quite fast in true mountains, last year was pulling veary easily in Angliru and also the day before during tons of minuts, in big big climbs, for me things like this are better signals of the potential of young guys than doing some top 10 in mountains stages wheelsucking and not having real options.

And Basque contry was by far the best one week race os this year in what level refers, despite not having true montains. To be in the podium with slovenians doing that TT and covering all the moves from Pogacar even when he was fresh still fresh in KRABELIN climb without giving him an inch was top class, even Yates being in great shape had a moment of suffering giving some meters to Pogacar at that climb.
 
It's the only stage race he has been poor in this year, and it was quite clearly done in preparation mode. While I expected him to step up this year (and he was already impressive at times in the Vuelta last year), I too have been surprised by how much (and that he so far has managed to be quite consistent).
 
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I’m not meaning to be disrespectful. He’s undeniably extremely strong, and Mas, Uran, Carapaz aren’t bad riders by any means. But the fact is that Pogacar didn’t have a real crash, and his top rivals did. As a result, he appears to be mutant when he is likely merely on par with Tour winners past. IMO.
Rival, not rivals. Geraint Thomas certainly was not a top rival. Primoz Roglic was.
 
Honest question: could he eventually beat Cav/Merckx record?

If he goes TDF every year, he is one of best at TT, is best climber; when he finishes in a small group he is best finisher, I don’t think it is unrealistic to see him average three Stages per TDF. Yes; I know; injuries; rivals will get better etc; but he is 22 years old and has four stages already; will probably end on 5/6 this year.
 
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Honest question: could he eventually beat Cav/Merckx record?

If he goes TDF every year, he is one of best at TT, is best climber; when he finishes in a small group he is best finisher, I don’t think it is unrealistic to see him average three Stages per TDF. Yes; I know; injuries; rivals will get better etc; but he is 22 years old and has four stages already; will probably end on 5/6 this year.
I don't really think that record is achievable because breakaways are prevelent on mountain stages these days and he will face strong rivals in the next years however the most important Merckx record of winning 5 Tours looks achievable but even that one will be hard.
 
For me, one of the most puzzling things about Pogacar is his physique. Compared to his compitors and champions of the past, he just doesn't look like someone who could motor on TT's and outclimb the field. If you were to show me pictures of the top 20 with their identities masked, I'd never pick him out as the best. It's not that he looks out of shape or something--just not exceptional.
 
The competition isnt great, but it's not so common to have a GT were u actually have more than 2 or 3 of the GC riders with the highest potential in top shape/not crashing out at some point. I would say it's about were it is last year, just that we don't have Roglic in the Mix. Uran is a rider who has proven that he doesn't have it to win a GT. Mas doesn't look like a potential future winner either anymore. The same for Keldermann, Martin or Bilbao on a slightly lower level even. Lutsenko is a strong rider but he has never been a GT GC thread and even if he transform into a pure GC rider I doubt more than a top 5 in a weak GT will be possible. Gaudu might still have room to grow but right now he is someone for a top 5 max.

I would say below Pogacar and Roglic, Bernal, Carapaz and S. Yates might be the strongest GC riders right now. Pinot before his health issues was pretty good too, barring bad luck.
Below that we have a large pack of guys which are pretty evenly matched and again aren't far off a Carapaz or Yates either.
 
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For me, one of the most puzzling things about Pogacar is his physique. Compared to his compitors and champions of the past, he just doesn't look like someone who could motor on TT's and outclimb the field. If you were to show me pictures of the top 20 with their identities masked, I'd never pick him out as the best. It's not that he looks out of shape or something--just not exceptional.
Tadej is built like the good, young cyclist should. He's reasonably tall for a GC guy, got bigger looking feet and long legs. His leverage and pedal stroke show more power to weight possibilities than most of the other top GC guys except maybe Vingegard. He could lean out but this is the start of week 2 and the true comparison should be with himself at the Tour's end.
 
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