Question Tadej Pogacar and Mauro Giannetti

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Riders who could climb, TT, and sprint.
Merckx
Hinault
LeMond
Bauer
Gimondi
Zabel (OK maybe not a good example for the point I'm trying to make)
Lots more but mostly that vintage.
Are we really seeing more doping or less?
Indeed, however, I think Lemond was the last of that era of riders and then we moved into much more of a specialist type of rider, which had more to do with focus on events than doping per se. I don't know if we are seeing more or less overall.
 
Pogacar just raced like crazy for three weeks...then has that acceleration at the line to almost beat van Aert? C'mon now. Is this guy a climber? A sprinter? Or...
I agree with you what you're saying. I wanted to add, however, that there are a number of lightweights (Tadej, Tom P) who seem to sit on van Aert's wheel on the sprint, which of course is to their advantage. Does not change the fact that they seem to be world beating at everything.
 
Pogacar just raced like crazy for three weeks...then has that acceleration at the line to almost beat van Aert? C'mon now. Is this guy a climber? A sprinter? Or...
Exactly ? He continues to his "not normal" performances and may very well win the next 3 tours in a row and then go into oblivion like Indurain, because there is no David Walsh type of reporter anymore.
 
Riders who could climb, TT, and sprint.
Merckx
Hinault
LeMond
Bauer
Gimondi
Zabel (OK maybe not a good example for the point I'm trying to make)
Lots more but mostly that vintage.
Are we really seeing more doping or less?
Aren't we just listing good riders who weren't one-dimensional pure climbers or pure sprinters?

Pantani at one end, Cavendish at the other - the likes of Merckx, Lemond, Armstrong, Hinault (and now Pogacar) somewhere in the middle.
 
Pogacar finishing 10th in the WC ITT, just a few sec behind Affini and just ahead of 90kg Walscheid, on a totally flat course, with his body type and his coal miner TT position is what I'd call taking the piss, how can anyone look at that and think it's legit.
With the other lightweight TTers like Remco you can see that their position is really aero, but not with him...
 
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Pogacar finishing 10th in the WC ITT, just a few sec behind Affini and just ahead of 90kg Walscheid, on a totally flat course, with his body type and his coal miner TT position is what I'd call taking the piss, how can anyone look at that and think it's legit.
With the other lightweight TTers like Remco you can see that their position is really aero, but not with him...
I agree but this is nothing compared to what happened in July.

It's not in top 8 of WTF pogacar moments.
 
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Pogacar is flying on a magic carpet where whatever he does, he gets praise.

He got praise today for his 10th place finish on a flat TT, he got praise in the Tour last year for demolishing TT specialists on the flat part of the Planche TT (people handwaved that with talk of "Third week TT is different" etc.). He got praise for demolishing the field in the first TT of the Tour this year (stage 5 with rolling terrain) & then also praise for finishing behind Vingegaard in the final TT ("playing it safe, he's smart" etc.). Basically whatever Pogacar does, he's "great". Win, lose, demolish everyone, have an anonymous ride, whatever. In Basque Country 2021 he got beaten by Roglic with a 30 second margin & no one batted an eye.

He's living the dream.
 
Pogacar is flying on a magic carpet where whatever he does, he gets praise.

He got praise today for his 10th place finish on a flat TT, he got praise in the Tour last year for demolishing TT specialists on the flat part of the Planche TT (people handwaved that with talk of "Third week TT is different" etc.). He got praise for demolishing the field in the first TT of the Tour this year (stage 5 with rolling terrain) & then also praise for finishing behind Vingegaard in the final TT ("playing it safe, he's smart" etc.). Basically whatever Pogacar does, he's "great". Win, lose, demolish everyone, have an anonymous ride, whatever. In Basque Country 2021 he got beaten by Roglic with a 30 second margin & no one batted an eye.

He's living the dream.
The kiddo looks as innocent as an angel, doesn't he? Just cut him some slack.
But if you watch YT highlighs of his thermonuclear performances you will notice keywords like "mutant", "Armstrong" etc
And let's not pretend that his clinic section isn't active here :p
 
And let's not pretend that his clinic section isn't active here :p
I concur with that, i.e. 72 pages in one year isn't bad (still a long way to go to reach someone Froomey though on the clinic notoriety scale, although for that he probably needs a "believer versus nonbeliever" battle to create more discussions). He also seems to have a knack for saving those thermonuclear bombs for very specific occasions (Tour de France mainly). He looks so (as you said, "angelic") smiley & innocent most of the time... & also strangely beatable outside of the main events he targets.

It's like the Slovenian National TT just before the Tour when he was beaten by Tratnik (30 seconds or so behind), i.e. he looked human. Whereas a week or so later he was wrecking the entire field (WvA included) in stage 5 of the Tour.

So if they put a "flat as a pancake" TT in the first week of the Tour next year (even 43 km), I'd have to once again bet on Pogacar destroying everyone irrespective of what we saw today.
 
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I concur with that, i.e. 72 pages in one year isn't bad (still a long way to go to reach someone Froomey though on the clinic notoriety scale, although for that he probably needs a "believer versus nonbeliever" battle to create more discussions). He also seems to have a knack for saving those thermonuclear bombs for very specific occasions (Tour de France mainly). He looks so (as you said, "angelic") smiley & innocent most of the time... & also strangely beatable outside of the main events he targets.

It's like the Slovenian National TT just before the Tour when he was beaten by Tratnik (30 seconds or so behind), i.e. he looked human. Whereas a week or so later he was wrecking the entire field (WvA included) in stage 5 of the Tour.

So if they put a "flat as a pancake" TT in the first week of the Tour next year (even 43 km), I'd have to once again bet on Pogacar destroying everyone irrespective of what we saw today.
Still, his other results this season have been stellar until recent drop:
UAE tour 1st
Strade Bianche 7th
Tirreno Adriatico 1st
Tour of Basque 2nd
Liege Bastogne Liege 1st
Tour of Slovenia 1st
Tour de France 1st
Olympics 3rd

Rider of the season so far. It's common for riders to peak for most important events. Many other riders have higher performance variance than Pog.
 
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Tour of Basque 3rd.
Corrected. ;)

In fact that result in Itzulia Basque Country occurred in a stage which featured a real epic mano a mano between Roglic & Pogacar (& Vingegaard playing follow the Pog) with Pogacar putting in one of his best performances of the season that day (which sort of went unnoticed because he lost, but the way he chased Roglic was very impressive).

In broader cycling terms I've never been a fan of the concept of "peak form" (usually abused back in the day by riders who reached for their Edgar Allan Poe aka EPO stash at the right moment). I like bike riders who're predictable & have a base level with some highs & lows which never break the illusion of underlying ability.

Pog's TT performances meanwhile are all over the place, up & down, awesome or mundane, irrespective of the terrain. That's just how I see it.
 
Corrected. ;)

In fact that result in Itzulia Basque Country occurred in a stage which featured a real epic mano a mano between Roglic & Pogacar (& Vingegaard playing follow the Pog) with Pogacar putting in one of his best performances of the season that day (which sort of went unnoticed because he lost, but the way he chased Roglic was very impressive).

In broader cycling terms I've never been a fan of the concept of "peak form" (usually abused back in the day by riders who reached for their Edgar Allan Poe aka EPO stash at the right moment). I like bike riders who're predictable & have a base level with some highs & lows which never break the illusion of underlying ability.

Pog's TT performances meanwhile are all over the place, up & down, awesome or mundane, irrespective of the terrain. That's just how I see it.
As you noticed yourself his road performances have been very impressive in various races of the season, also that cold stage during Tirreno Adriatico was amazing or ToS solo ride. His level was high from a get go so his Tour form wasn't a big surprise (compare it to Carapaz' variations for example). And peaking for main events isn't anything new in sports (with or without PEDs). As for the Tour TT I agree that it was way above his other TT rides this year (on par with his TT during 2020 Tour). Then again, picking two performances and comparing them can be tricky i.e. how can you compare Roglic's Olympics RR and his TT? Monster difference in performance in just a few days.
 
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Pogacar finishing 10th in the WC ITT, just a few sec behind Affini and just ahead of 90kg Walscheid, on a totally flat course, with his body type and his coal miner TT position is what I'd call taking the piss, how can anyone look at that and think it's legit.
With the other lightweight TTers like Remco you can see that their position is really aero, but not with him...
I played around with a few numbers and the difference to Evenepoel is roughly about what can be expected from a 10% heavier rider with a significantly higher frontal area producing about the same W/kg for the duration of the TT. I even added a higher Cd for Pogacar as well which may or may not be the most implausible assumption of the ones that I have made.
 
As you noticed yourself his road performances have been very impressive in various races of the season, also that cold stage during Tirreno Adriatico was amazing or ToS solo ride. His level was high from a get go so his Tour form wasn't a big surprise (compare it to Carapaz' variations for example). And peaking for main events isn't anything new in sports (with or without PEDs). As for the Tour TT I agree that it was way above his other TT rides this year (on par with his TT during 2020 Tour). Then again, picking two performances and comparing them can be tricky i.e. how can you compare Roglic's Olympics RR and his TT? Monster difference in performance in just a few days.
Roglic himself said he had horrible back cramps one hour into the Olympics road race & didn't know whether he'd finish the race, i.e. coming back from his Tour injury. He also said he only started feel good on his bike on the Tuesday before the TT (literally the day before).

Regarding Pogacar's TT's, there's also the fact the profile of the stages themselves don't have as much impact on his performance as some people suggest. For example Basque Country's opening TT was a rolling 14km profile with a muro finish. Yet he was thoroughly beaten by Roglic & even McNulty, Vingegaard & Foss as well. And that wasn't a question of form per se because he won a climb sprint two days later in front of Roglic.

So really, he's TT's are a bit of mystery... except in the Tour de France where he annihilated the field on two occasions across flat, rolling & climb profiles.
 
Roglic himself said he had horrible back cramps one hour into the Olympics road race & didn't know whether he'd finish the race, i.e. coming back from his Tour injury. He also said he only started feel good on his bike on the Tuesday before the TT (literally the day before).

Regarding Pogacar's TT's, there's also the fact the profile of the stages themselves don't have as much impact on his performance as some people suggest. For example Basque Country's opening TT was a rolling 14km profile with a muro finish. Yet he was thoroughly beaten by Roglic & even McNulty, Vingegaard & Foss as well. And that wasn't a question of form per se because he won a climb sprint two days later in front of Roglic.

So really, he's TT's are a bit of mystery... except in the Tour de France where he annihilated the field on two occasions across flat, rolling & climb profiles.
Didn't the late starters have worse wind in the Itzulia ITT?

In any case, his ITT does seem to have a lower base level.
 
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