Question Tadej Pogacar and Mauro Giannetti

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It's about time we address Pogacars remarkable rise since he joined UAE in 2019.

His first season as a junior wasn't anything special, but we have to remember that he was born later in year (September) which is a disadvantage at that age.
In his second season he definitely proved his talent by winning the Giro della Lunigiana.
However, in the entire season he only won two stages and never put any distance on his competitors.
His time trial abilities were less impressive. A 25th and 68th spot.

His first season as a U23 rider wasn't too great either.
He won a few youth jerseys, but didn't record a single stage win.

His second season was definitely better, but still hit and miss.
He won the Tour de l'Avenir, but didn't record a stage win.
He also finished 7th at the WC road race.
Promising, but not exceptional.

Then he moved to UAE. Its CEO is Mauro Gianetti, possibly the dirtiest rider and sports director in history.
Suddenly he started to win stage races (Algarve, California, and individual mountain stages in the Vuelta against the likes of Valverde and Roglic.
He also became a much better time trialist beating Mohoric and Tratnik in the Slovenian championship.

Give me a break.
 
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He’s also only a week removed from winning Tour of Slovenia effortlessly. Can’t tell if he’s deliberately underperforming or just something was off. I don’t buy the heat explanation some are saying.
It was hot in France last September & Pogacar was obviously fine. Yesterday's TT wasn't even technical either, i.e. it was merely a circuit along a straight road with a couple of u-turns & traffic cones.

But people are also too quick to forget Basque Country in April where Pogacar lost 30 seconds on Roglic in a 14km TT (which featured a climb start & a wall finish as well). Honestly, stage 20 of last year's Tour is a major outlier & was entirely form based (for xyz reasons...). And judging by what we've seen since in his TT's (& yesterday), I wouldn't be so quick to label Pogacar massive favorite for the Tour.

I could be wrong here (hell, I thought Roglic had the Tour in the bag last year), but anyone of the favorites who finds himself on the backfoot & down in the GC standings before the mountains is going to have problems, simply because there are too few mountain finishes & the respective strength of the top teams (Ineos in particular) means mountain trains will be a problem for attackers.
 
He’s also only a week removed from winning Tour of Slovenia effortlessly. Can’t tell if he’s deliberately underperforming or just something was off. I don’t buy the heat explanation some are saying.
He did not give full gas. He basically lost all of the 30 seconds on the last lap.

Maybe the news of Polanc not in the tour team was a bit of a shock to him too
 
It was hot in France last September & Pogacar was obviously fine. Yesterday's TT wasn't even technical either, i.e. it was merely a circuit along a straight road with a couple of u-turns & traffic cones.

But people are also too quick to forget Basque Country in April where Pogacar lost 30 seconds on Roglic in a 14km TT (which featured a climb start & a wall finish as well). Honestly, stage 20 of last year's Tour is a major outlier & was entirely form based (for xyz reasons...). And judging by what we've seen since in his TT's (& yesterday), I wouldn't be so quick to label Pogacar massive favorite for the Tour.

I could be wrong here (hell, I thought Roglic had the Tour in the bag last year), but anyone of the favorites who finds himself on the backfoot & down in the GC standings before the mountains is going to have problems, simply because there are too few mountain finishes & the respective strength of the top teams (Ineos in particular) means mountain trains will be a problem for attackers.
But Ineos will mainly ride for Carapaz no? He will be their main leader. But Carapaz will be behind after the TT too. So he needs to catch up time in the mountain stages too?

Thomas is likely to have a time advantage after the TT on Tadej but is unlikely to follow Pog and Rog uphill
 
But Ineos will mainly ride for Carapaz no? He will be their main leader. But Carapaz will be behind after the TT too. So he needs to catch up time in the mountain stages too?

Thomas is likely to have a time advantage after the TT on Tadej but is unlikely to follow Pog and Rog uphill
Ineos would be fools to let Pogacar ride up the road on a climb & surrender any prospective advantage Porte & Thomas might have gained over him in the TT. I can see what you're saying re Carapaz, but a scenario where Carapaz attacks to make up a time deficit from the first TT, Pogacar goes with him & Ineos just let them get on with it (because they won't ride down Carapaz) would be pure imbecility. This Tour's TT are going to play a central role & that's "why" both Thomas & Porte have their chances. That also means protecting their lead using the train on the climbs.
 
Ineos would be fools to let Pogacar ride up the road on a climb & surrender any prospective advantage Porte & Thomas might have gained over him in the TT. I can see what you're saying re Carapaz, but a scenario where Carapaz attacks to make up a time deficit from the first TT, Pogacar goes with him & Ineos just let them get on with it (because they won't ride down Carapaz) would be pure imbecility. This Tour's TT are going to play a central role & that's "why" both Thomas & Porte have their chances. That also means protecting their lead using the train on the climbs.
But Porte already indicated that he wont be any of the team's leaders this tour so that leaves open Carapaz and Thomas in my opinion. Both might need another strategy to win.

This will be an interesting tour for sure
 
But Porte already indicated that he wont be any of the team's leaders this tour so that leaves open Carapaz and Thomas in my opinion. Both might need another strategy to win.

This will be an interesting tour for sure
While Porte's ability to finish things off is a little uncertain, what he says about being a leader or not is inconsequential. Not like he's going to explicitly state the team's complete strategy.

Would not be surprised if they sent someone like Carapaz up the road, but they would be on the wheel of anyone of consequence who chases after him.
 
While Porte's ability to finish things off is a little uncertain, what he says about being a leader or not is inconsequential. Not like he's going to explicitly state the team's complete strategy.

Would not be surprised if they sent someone like Carapaz up the road, but they would be on the wheel of anyone of consequence who chases after him.
I fully expect Carapaz to have freedom to attack in the mountains, but as regards the ability of Thomas or Porte to jump on the wheel of someone like Pogacar... I wouldn't bet on it. Not just in terms of ability (that's pretty evident), but also tactically.

Ineos will either benefit massively from having multiple team leaders (i.e. harassing UAE & Jumbo), or they'll shoot themselves in the foot because their strongest guys in the TT (aka the two who can theoretically limit/even put time of Pog & Rog) will be left rudderless on the climbs because they won't be allowed to ride down Carapaz (who himself will have lost time in the TT).

We saw a bit of that in the Dauphiné when Porte attacked & Thomas just had to sit on the wheels of the guys with him behind (Astana & Movistar). We don't know whether Thomas was stronger than Porte in the Dauphiné because he didn't get the opportunity to show it on the final weekend. Pogacar meanwhile (because this is his thread, even in the clinic) has full operational freedom to take time whenever he can & not concern himself with team tactics.

Basque Country was one example where "team tactics" totally backfired on UAE & their strongest rider (Pogacar of course) was hilariously tasked with babysitting Brandon McNulty (who they presumed could somehow defend a 20 second lead against Primoz Roglic on a huge mountain stage). That's the danger that awaits Ineos, i.e. their strongest TT riders (Thomas & Porte) might have to take a backseat in the mountains & not get the proper support when attacks kick off because Ineos will favor Carapaz, aka their strongest climber, who himself will have lost time in the TT.
 
I fully expect Carapaz to have freedom to attack in the mountains, but as regards the ability of Thomas or Porte to jump on the wheel of someone like Pogacar... I wouldn't bet on it. Not just in terms of ability (that's pretty evident), but also tactically.

Ineos will either benefit massively from having multiple team leaders (i.e. harassing UAE & Jumbo), or they'll shoot themselves in the foot because their strongest guys in the TT (aka the two who can theoretically limit/even put time of Pog & Rog) will be left rudderless on the climbs because they won't be allowed to ride down Carapaz (who himself will have lost time in the TT).

We saw a bit of that in the Dauphiné when Porte attacked & Thomas just had to sit on the wheels of the guys with him behind (Astana & Movistar). We don't know whether Thomas was stronger than Porte in the Dauphiné because he didn't get the opportunity to show it on the final weekend. Pogacar meanwhile (because this is his thread, even in the clinic) has full operational freedom to take time whenever he can & not concern himself with team tactics.

Basque Country was one example where "team tactics" totally backfired on UAE & their strongest rider (Pogacar of course) was hilariously tasked with babysitting Brandon McNulty (who they presumed could somehow defend a 20 second lead against Primoz Roglic on a huge mountain stage). That's the danger that awaits Ineos, i.e. their strongest TT riders (Thomas & Porte) might have to take a backseat in the mountains & not get the proper support when attacks kick off because Ineos will favor Carapaz, aka their strongest climber, who himself will have lost time in the TT.
Good analysis. My comment about jumping on the wheel was perhaps overly simplified, they certainly would look for other teams to chase the move down and do the work, which they undoubtedly would do. If that were to occur, then depending on the mix of chasers, then of course they would try their best with G and Porte to be on the wheels. No guarantee they could though.

As you rightly point out, this thread is about Pog. It will be interesting to see if he goes full nuclear on any stage and if so, which one(s)
 
i think carapaz will be used as a follower to rog/pog, either he slows them down so thomas/porte dont lose time and can play the numbers game or he sits on their wheels and possibly wins a stage, i doubt carapaz himself will be attacking - its been already proved Roglic could match him and outsprint him (so thats also implies Pog can do the same) so for carapaz to attack would be unwise, he can cook not just himself but also his teammates

of course all the strategy falls apart if Pog is in Tirreno mode, he will attack and sustain that and if roglic works with him - even if its only in couple of stages - it wont be Pog vs Ineos, it will be pog and rog vs. whoever is in form

imho mur de bretagne will be first showing, wouldnt surprise me if roglic won (he was 2nd in fleche wallone) and with pogacar they will gain some time on thomas/porte, then carapaz loses time in TT, then roglic fades in 3rd week as usual and Pog wins tour gg easy
 
Don't forget the final mountain stage in the 2019 Vuelta that Pogacar crushed. Miracle performance as well. Maybe he just has a habit of doing a last minute power up. Don't forget he was getting gapped by Roglic on stage 17 and 18, and I wonder if they actually planned to just put a minute into everyone in that ITT.
 
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