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Tadej Pogacar and Mauro Giannetti

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Seems almost personal now between Gianetti and Plugge. Overall team strength has been an obvious advantage to Richard Plugge's team at the 2022 and 2023 TdF eg WvA on Hautacam. Gianetti says I can beat you at that too and the Tour de Suisse is the dress rehearsal.

We are seeing the next phase of the arms race kicked off when Gianetti stole the 2020 TdF right out of Plugge's grasp.

Gianetti saw Visma sweep the grand tours and 1-2-3 the Vuelta and decided to try to 1-2-3 the TDF as a one up
 
I don't think they will race like that. I think they will attack with all the best riders and trying to do a trap to Visma.
They should do. But they will not. Unless Pogacar shows weakness from week one. Jumbo-Visma did not in the past, as other dominant teams didn't do. They just don't want to take risks, burn one or two of their superdomestiques or isolate the leader. Which is silly of course with ultradominant teams as Jumbo-Visma the previous years (not this season) or UAE (especially this season). Jumbo-Visma tried it once, like a pinprick, in the Vuelta last year. Sending Kuss in a breakaway quite early in the Vuelta.To their surprise, the other teams with favorits allowed Kuss to take a minutes lead. To their own surprise and that of the other teams, Kuss had not a breakdown or wasn't fading later on. Which led to uncomfortable situations and frustrations for Vingegaard and especially Roglic. Not allowed to attack several times, in order to not destroy their leader "by accident". The result was that Roglic left the team, and that VLAB will not be the strongest team, nor have the best riders in t he upcoming Tour. Also due to bad luck of course (crash Vingegaard).
 
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Jumbo's 2 TdF wins have largely been down to Vingegaard simply outperforming Pogacar. Similarly, Jumbo were hardly dominant in the 2023 Giro. We simulataneously see Roglic mocked for 'only beating washed up Thomas by 14 seconds' while at the same time it's an illustration of their absurd dominance?

The only real crazy race by Jumbo was the Vuelta, and in that the only real overperformance was by Kuss.
 
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Rogla abandoned with two fractured vertebrae.
Kruijswijk abandoned with fractured scapula and collarbone.
I never said Jumbo didn’t have issues, UAE just had more of them.

UAE finished the race with 4 riders counting Pogacar, Jumbo 5 counting Vingegaard.
UAE lost two riders first before stages 8 and 10, Jumbo lost their first two before and during stage 15.
Even with the fractured vertebrae Roglic was invaluable on stage 11 helping set up Vingegaard.
UAE lost two riders from stage 16 with an OTL and DNS the next day.
Visms had a DNS stage 20.

Of the remaining riders McNulty was missing bar the final week, Hirschi did next to nothing, and Berg helped when he could. While Jumbo had the more severe injuries, UAE were ravished by sickness that knocked their performance.
 
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Majka was the only valuable asset they lost, and they had the best team the day after he abandoned.

Jumbo would have been even more overpowered if both teams were at full strength throughout the race, thus what happened during the race helped UAE on net. Rogla being injured had greater impact on the race than all injuries and illness in UAE.
 
I never said Jumbo didn’t have issues, UAE just had more of them.

UAE finished the race with 4 riders counting Pogacar, Jumbo 5 counting Vingegaard.
UAE lost two riders first before stages 8 and 10, Jumbo lost their first two before and during stage 15.
Even with the fractured vertebrae Roglic was invaluable on stage 11 helping set up Vingegaard.
UAE lost two riders from stage 16 with an OTL and DNS the next day.
Visms had a DNS stage 20.

Of the remaining riders McNulty was missing bar the final week, Hirschi did next to nothing, and Berg helped when he could. While Jumbo had the more severe injuries, UAE were ravished by sickness that knocked their performance.
It wouldn't matter anyways. Mcnulty did the job of 6 guys on the stage of Peyragudes, and Pogacar could not make the difference.
 
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It wouldn't matter anyways. Mcnulty did the job of 6 guys on the stage of Peyragudes, and Pogacar could not make the difference.

Vingo was too strong to be dropped then. OTOH Pog had almost no team in 2020 and won the race. However, the team could matter if someone is equally strong to Pog giving the Slovenian tactical advantage or helpful pull in a moment of crisis (or just to kill Vingo before he regains power!) so most likely if it turns out that Pog feels the Giro in his legs.
 
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Majka was the only valuable asset they lost, and they had the best team the day after he abandoned.

Jumbo would have been even more overpowered if both teams were at full strength throughout the race, thus what happened during the race helped UAE on net. Rogla being injured had greater impact on the race than all injuries and illness in UAE.
Do you think Roglic would have been a domestique for Vingegaard or a potential hindrance and help to Pogacar if he didn’t crash? I think what we were truly robbed of is Roglic getting injured because that could have changed the dynamic and maybe we would have gotten the 2023 Vuelta earlier or a 2012 Tour 2.0. The crash made Roglic go all in for Vingegaard to help set up the slam dunk. I don’t see Roglic working for Vingegaard when a Tour win is within reach and Vinge finished second the year before.
 
Do you think Roglic would have been a domestique for Vingegaard or a potential hindrance and help to Pogacar if he didn’t crash? I think what we were truly robbed of is Roglic getting injured because that could have changed the dynamic and maybe we would have gotten the 2023 Vuelta earlier or a 2012 Tour 2.0. The crash made Roglic go all in for Vingegaard to help set up the slam dunk. I don’t see Roglic working for Vingegaard when a Tour win is within reach and Vinge finished second the year before.
There's nothing to indicate they wouldn't try the same strategy if Roglic doesn't crash and break his back.
 
So if doping and innate talent could supposedly help Jonah the Fish win this year's TdF, then the same formula could be applied to Todly's recovery from the Giro.

I'm wondering if toddy will
  • Start super hot and fade later in the race, which would seem to fit with somewhat normal human capabilities
  • Start slow and get stronger, sort of like The Fish last year in the Vuelta, or
  • Just thermonuclear the whole thing, which I guess is somewhat expected
 
So if doping and innate talent could supposedly help Jonah the Fish win this year's TdF, then the same formula could be applied to Todly's recovery from the Giro.

I'm wondering if toddy will
  • Start super hot and fade later in the race, which would seem to fit with somewhat normal human capabilities
  • Start slow and get stronger, sort of like The Fish last year in the Vuelta, or
  • Just thermonuclear the whole thing, which I guess is somewhat expected
Probably option 3, but then the French press might also start to become difficult.
 
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Surely his greed will get him in the end? The Giro was a horror show.
Only in cycling you see someone calling a rider who wants to win more than a few stages greedy. If you're the best shouldn't you prove it? Maybe other teams should... I dunno, start racing more tactically to counter him? At least half of his stages at the giro were given to him on a plate.
 
Yeah. Surely tactics would have saved the others in the Strade and all the other long range raids. They should also try not to suck as bad.
They would. Sometimes you have to work with others to negate someone that's better than you. When Pog attacked in Strade there was no proper organisation behind. In the Giro how many times was his team tested? They had no problems controlling because there was nobody dangerous up the road. Other teams complained that Pog was winning too much, but did they try anything? In the last proper stage when Pellizzari was alone in the break, why weren't other top climbers there? Why was say Bardet back in the peloton protecting his top 10? He has a grand tour podium ffs. Why didn't Nario go into that break? Because he was protecting Rubio and his 7th place against the mighty Jan Hirt. It's silly things like that which "gifted" a lot of the stages to Pog. If you look back he only properly went for 4 stages. Those were 1, 2, the stage where he chased after Nairo and stage 20. He won 3 of them. Ineos were being idiots pacing the whole stage 2 for UAE instead of just letting UAE burn their riders. There were a few other stages where UAE was able to "rest" while the others did their work for them. It's a crazy thought but what if you don't do that? It felt like other teams were there just participating rather than racing most of the time.
 
They would. Sometimes you have to work with others to negate someone that's better than you. When Pog attacked in Strade there was no proper organisation behind. In the Giro how many times was his team tested? They had no problems controlling because there was nobody dangerous up the road. Other teams complained that Pog was winning too much, but did they try anything? In the last proper stage when Pellizzari was alone in the break, why weren't other top climbers there? Why was say Bardet back in the peloton protecting his top 10? He has a grand tour podium ffs. Why didn't Nario go into that break? Because he was protecting Rubio and his 7th place against the mighty Jan Hirt. It's silly things like that which "gifted" a lot of the stages to Pog. If you look back he only properly went for 4 stages. Those were 1, 2, the stage where he chased after Nairo and stage 20. He won 3 of them. Ineos were being idiots pacing the whole stage 2 for UAE instead of just letting UAE burn their riders. There were a few other stages where UAE was able to "rest" while the others did their work for them. It's a crazy thought but what if you don't do that? It felt like other teams were there just participating rather than racing most of the time.
No, Pog simply was on another level. When he attacked he killed them. It wasn't as if the chasers behind didn't work together. They were dead.
 
In two minds about the Giro and greediness. If he is clean then it is a completely fine and acceptable thing to do, go ahead and win as many stages as you want, if they can't beat you then that's their problem. If he is doping then it is unbelievably foolish.

There is a misunderstanding floating around about 'gifting' or letting stages go I think, derived from the Contador/Tiralongo dynamic, which is a pretty rare occurrence in cycling, but it isn't quite accurate. The subtext around the discourse of letting the smaller teams and lesser riders have their day isn't about making friends, it's about not making enemies, whether tomorrow on the road or in ten years when you're sat in front of a Grand Jury. Sky understood this and learnt the lessons from Armstrong, win your big race then *** off. Don't draw unwanted attention to yourself.

I think Gianetti has lost the plot personally, seen Jumbo going for it and decided it's open season, dialectical doping. But I could always be wrong and they've found some legal wonder drug that makes him look like he's racing against infants.