Question Tadej Pogacar and Mauro Giannetti

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On the other hand, riders who leave DQS tend to fade away abit. Almeida's development should be interesting.
Yup I know. So if Almeida would improve like crazy I'll cry. I'll cry either way. He's much more fun at QS. I like QS. I like Almeida. I don't like that the same people are always winning. It makes it all boring :(
 
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After letting today sink a bit I have to say I don't know why I'm watching this sport. This is a joke. It's worse than Lance.
I get where you're coming form, i.e. the French have a saying: "la glorieuse incertitude du sport". It translates as exactly that aka the glorious uncertainty of sport.

Watching that race yesterday presented us with an implacable reality: Pog was going to win as soon as the real racing started. And on that sort of race profile (239km, 6 main climbs with a final descent towards finish with some flat & then a small punchy climb 3km out), it's remarkable to make it so predictable.

I was rooting for Rog for what it's worth, but even I could tell before the Ganda climb he wasn't well (his positioning on the previous descent was a tell-tale sign). And that's the issue here: being a Rog fan, Alaphilippe fan, WvA fan, Mathieu van der Poel etc. offers no guarantees of success unless the route is absolutely tailor made for their specificities (& even then, sh*t happens all the time). These riders might win a lot, but there's always that feeling they're on the ragged-edge & things can go wrong at any time. And I suppose that's where a lot of the excitement comes from (& makes victories satisfying).

With Pog meanwhile he just turns the power on in the biggest races & wins, no matter the profile, whether it's a climb finish, climb with descent finish, hilly TT or even a flat TT. On these big occasions, it doesn't matter, he just wins (he probably would have won Liège last year as well with Alaph's error). And that's what he has in common with Lance. His Tours were predictable & his wins absolutely precise when it mattered.

I guess Pog & his staff probably think he's being magnanimous & "sharing" by leaving so many other races for his rivals to fight over (i.e. hence doing wheelies right at the back of the Emilia classic when Rog won the race last weekend). But the big races? He just casually scoops them up like ice-cream, one after the other.
 
I get where you're coming form, i.e. the French have a saying: "la glorieuse incertitude du sport". It translates as exactly that aka the glorious uncertainty of sport.

Watching that race yesterday presented us with an implacable reality: Pog was going to win as soon as the real racing started. And on that sort of race profile (239km, 6 main climbs with a final descent towards finish with some flat & then a small punchy climb 3km out), it's remarkable to make it so predictable.

I was rooting for Rog for what it's worth, but even I could tell before the Ganda climb he wasn't well (his positioning on the previous descent was a tell-tale sign). And that's the issue here: being a Rog fan, Alaphilippe fan, WvA fan, Mathieu van der Poel etc. offers no guarantees of success unless the route is absolutely tailor made for their specificities (& even then, sh*t happens all the time). These riders might win a lot, but there's always that feeling they're on the ragged-edge & things can go wrong at any time. And I suppose that's where a lot of the excitement comes from (& makes victories satisfying).

With Pog meanwhile he just turns the power on in the biggest races & wins, no matter the profile, whether it's a climb finish, climb with descent finish, hilly TT or even a flat TT. On these big occasions, it doesn't matter, he just wins (he probably would have won Liège last year as well with Alaph's error). And that's what he has in common with Lance. His Tours were predictable & his wins absolutely precise when it mattered.

I guess Pog & his staff probably think he's being magnanimous & "sharing" by leaving so many other races for his rivals to fight over (i.e. hence doing wheelies right at the back of the Emilia classic when Rog won the race last weekend). But the big races? He just casually scoops them up like ice-cream, one after the other.
It's ok to ask questions regarding Pogacar's performance but the same applies to your fave, who just a few days ago was toying with his opposition in uphill finishes, he was toying with them at the Vuelta and crushed them at the Olympics TT. And what kind of form did he prepare for the Tour? (judging by his post-crash performances it was probably his peak level, maybe on par with Pog). Speaking of Pog always winning his goal races, he was not even close to his best at the Olympics.

I realize you are disappointed that Rogla didn't perform well/had bad luck in monuments and at the Tour but his performances in other races he were outstanding. And we probably wouldn't even have this conversation had Roglic stayed on his bike at the Tour and had an tight battle with Pog.
 
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It's ok to ask questions regarding Pogacar's performance but the same applies to your fave, who just a few days ago was toying with his opposition in uphill finishes, he was toying with them at the Vuelta and crushed them at the Olympics TT. And what kind of form did he prepare for the Tour? (judging by his post-crash performances it was probably his peak level, maybe on par with Pog). Speaking of Pog always winning his goal races, he was not even close to his best at the Olympics.

I realize you are disappointed that Rogla didn't perform well/had bad luck in monuments and at the Tour but his performances in other races he were outstanding. And we probably wouldn't even have this conversation had Roglic stayed on his bike at the Tour and had an tight battle with Pog.
Rog's season was a rollercoaster with huge ups, big downs & flat at the end. I can pinpoint stages & days when he was either exceptional, level with the others, or below par. And none of them seem to happen in a specifically targeted or controlled manner (like he can have really good days when it's less important & have really below par days when it's very important).

The same happened last year as well, i.e. people might forget but there's stages like the Angliru & Formigal in the Vuelta 2020 for example (very similar to what we saw yesterday). It happens. And it's not always related to the distance either (which is a pattern now with Rog but it's not exclusively the issue). I mean yes, I don't want to come across as a hypocrite or whatnot who's merely moaning because his favorite got beaten, but I've only ever seen Roglic do what Pogacar did yesterday in one race: the Covadonga stage in the Vuelta where he went with Bernal in the rain 60km out.

Basically the crux of the matter is despite Rog's phenomenal performances, there's an element of uncertainty involved where we just don't know which Roglic is going to show up.

Pog meanwhile... as soon as he looks totally committed (or his team UAE want it badly enough), it's game over for the others. And I don't think the Olympics were really that high on his list of priorities either. I guess we'll find out more next spring & specifically one race which will tell us a lot about what we can expect for the coming years: Liège 2022. If he comprehensively wins that again, it'll say a lot about what to expect later.
 
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Rog's season was a rollercoaster with huge ups, big downs & flat at the end. I can pinpoint stages & days when he was either exceptional, level with the others, or below par. And none of them seem to happen in a specifically targeted or controlled manner (like he can have really good days when it's less important & have really below par days when it's very important).

The same happened last year as well, i.e. people might forget but there's stages like the Angliru & Formigal in the Vuelta 2020 for example (very similar to what we saw yesterday). It happens. And it's not always related to the distance either (which is a pattern now with Rog but it's not exclusively the issue). I mean yes, I don't want to come across as a hypocrite or whatnot who's merely moaning because his favorite got beaten, but I've only ever seen Roglic do what Pogacar did yesterday in one race: the Covadonga stage in the Vuelta where he went with Bernal in the rain 60km out.

Basically the crux of the matter is despite Rog's phenomenal performances, there's an element of uncertainty involved where we just don't know which Roglic is going to show up.

Pog meanwhile... as soon as he looks totally committed (or his team UAE want it badly enough), it's game over for the others. And I don't think the Olympics were really that high on his list of priorities either. I guess we'll find out more next spring & specifically one race which will tell us a lot about what we can expect for the coming years: Liège 2022. If he comprehensively wins that again, it'll say a lot about what to expect later.
So your main point is that Roglic's best performances have more random distribution compared to Pogacar's (which seem more targeted). I don't think the sample is big enough to state it definitely. Roglic's peak this year was disturbed by crashes (and it was surely targeted for the Tour) but it can't be denied that his top performances also happened during most important races (Vuelta stage and Olympics TT).
 
Pog is either a freak of nature or else... It is singular, at any rate, that the two best cyclists in the world right now come from a country that has a population the size of Lazio, with cycling not being that big a deal in Slovenia. I guess it is possible, but it is the whole UAE setup, with Mauro Gianetti and Saronni that makes me wonder.
 
So your main point is that Roglic's best performances have more random distribution compared to Pogacar's (which seem more targeted). I don't think the sample is big enough to state it definitely. Roglic's peak this year was disturbed by crashes (and it was surely targeted for the Tour) but it can't be denied that his top performances also happened during most important races (Vuelta stage and Olympics TT).
It's been like this forever with Roglic though & at this point I can't see things changing (& tbh I wouldn't want it any differently because the unpredictability is what makes most of the races fun). That final TT of the Tour 2018 when Froome knocked him out of the podium contention set a benchmark for what would follow (& it's mostly not crash related). Take the recent Vuelta: Covadonga should have settled the race, but there's always that underlying threat of a serious off-day in one of the final difficult stages ruining everything.

I mean I get it, i.e. there's probably just small variations in terms of the "dark arts" preparation between what UAE does & what Jumbo does (although WvA also seems to suffer the same sort of off-days as Roglic in some races, so it could be a specific deficit in JV's set-up). But Alaph is the same: random peaks all over the place with ups when he doesn't necessarily need them & downs when he needs an up most (hence why he keeps on losing Liège a few days after he crushes Flèche).

I also know physiology plays a role, but the way in which Pog dominates when he needs to with total control over the result (even waiting for Masnada to catch him on the descent yesterday for... shits & giggles I guess?), no, I don't see Rog ever doing the same. Maybe Pog is just better but I don't find it entertaining.
 
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So your main point is that Roglic's best performances have more random distribution compared to Pogacar's (which seem more targeted). I don't think the sample is big enough to state it definitely. Roglic's peak this year was disturbed by crashes (and it was surely targeted for the Tour) but it can't be denied that his top performances also happened during most important races (Vuelta stage and Olympics TT).
Roglic' only super clutch performance was arguably the Olympic ITT where he had a clear advantage over riders that went hard in the road race, as well as a very favorable route, and probably the Col de La Loze stage in the Tour.

Pogacar on the other hand has these random days where he absolutely destroys everybody and then he goes back to being regular world class. Vuelta 2019 stage 20 - 35km solo to podium Vuelta, Tour 2020, PDBF ITT, now Il Lombardia, etc.

The only negative outlier for Pog would probably be not crushing everyone in the ORR.
 
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