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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I've said it about Simon Yates at the Giro. Teams have to be telling their riders to give away zero info about weakness or issues in post race interviews. It can completely be used against you. I think an untraced Covid infection is a distinct possibility. The tests arent infallible and at this level of performance the slightest diversion of your body towards fighting an infection could have an impact.
 
And I was totally wrong. Jumbo's new superman just annihilated Pogacar like they were in an episode of Dragon Ball Z.

But, Pogacar just earned himself a spot on my "I think this guy is actually okay" list. I like riders who show a human side, i.e. first time I've ever felt this rider was more relatable.

I really don't like terminators.
4 km of weakness in three years of GTs doesn't make him ok actually. I look forward to tomorrow.
 
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I don't think it were the efforts of the days before, he was doing rather fine the whole day except for the last 8km when he started to show some problems. Seems more like a hunger bonk imo. and if that is the case, he should probably recover fine by tomorrow. If it is something else, we should see him fading more tomorrow i believe.

Edit: i find it hard to believe it is a conditional issue... with all the zone 2 riding he does.
If he actually bonked, that will absolutely negatively impact his ability to recover tomorrow.
 
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I've said it about Simon Yates at the Giro. Teams have to be telling their riders to give away zero info about weakness or issues in post race interviews. It can completely be used against you. I think an untraced Covid infection is a distinct possibility. The tests arent infallible and at this level of performance the slightest diversion of your body towards fighting an infection could have an impact.
or, he just bonked?
 
Maybe some top fuel is needed for Pogi to recover and drop a watt bomb.
Seeing Pogacar attacking in white with Vingegaard in yellow sucking his wheel at every acceleration, it brings me right back to the 2007 TdF when Contador was in white attacking Rasmussen (the original version).

It's like Pogacar is reaping what he sowed in 2020 at La Planche. I think Roglic totally got over it & didn't take it personally at all, but Jumbo? They've gone & done some weird science experiment themselves & produced the Vingegaard mutant just to take down the Pog.

This TdF is a bit surreal tbh.
 
4 km of weakness in three years of GTs doesn't make him ok actually. I look forward to tomorrow.
Jumbo Visma have succeeded in making me a Pogacar fan in this TdF. That's quite a achievement right there. If someone had told me this a month ago I would have laughed. I will cheer for the Pog from now on, in full awareness of who his backers are & what he is. A bit like Ullrich 20 years ago.

It's the cynicism of creating Vingegaard in a lab to take down another lab project (Pog) which I find completely gross, so if I have to choose sides, I go with the original mutant. As I'm not a shareholder of any of the sponsors & I don't treat sport too seriously (it's just 'sport'), the sort of military approach Jumbo has in this TdF with a almost clinical (pun intended) smash Pogacar at all costs approach = me jumping off their train.

I can't support that. Vingegaard is even tangibly a worse rider than Pogacar (yes, I'm talking basic bike handling, spatial awareness & even something as subjective as his style on the bike which is a bit of Froome combined with Chicken). He's Rasmussen, the return. This time with upgraded watts & rouleur abilities.

I bet his doctors are very proud. I also think he's literally stronger than Pog right now, i.e. he was so easy on the Alpe D'Huez & just 'floated around' behind Pog's attacks. Surreal.
 
Jumbo Visma have succeeded in making me a Pogacar fan in this TdF. That's quite a achievement right there. If someone had told me this a month ago I would have laughed. I will cheer for the Pog from now on, in full awareness of who his backers are & what he is. A bit like Ullrich 20 years ago.

It's the cynicism of creating Vingegaard in a lab to take down another lab project (Pog) which I find completely gross, so if I have to choose sides, I go with the original mutant. As I'm not a shareholder of any of the sponsors & I don't treat sport too seriously (it's just 'sport'), the sort of military approach Jumbo has in this TdF with a almost clinical (pun intended) smash Pogacar at all costs approach = me jumping off their train.

I can't support that. Vingegaard is even tangibly a worse rider than Pogacar (yes, I'm talking basic bike handling, spatial awareness & even something as subjective as his style on the bike which is a bit of Froome combined with Chicken). He's Rasmussen, the return. This time with upgraded watts & rouleur abilities.

I bet his doctors are very proud. I also think he's literally stronger than Pog right now, i.e. he was so easy on the Alpe D'Huez & just 'floated around' behind Pog's attacks. Surreal.
The lead vingo has on pog can evaporate very quickly. I'm pretty sure if he could have done more and really attacked pog again, he would have. It's not like this is a scripted play (I'm not that cynical)

Anywho, I'm interested to see how this arms race plays out this year. So much ridonkulous today and yesterday. The watt bombs are just priceless. And pog screwing it up a bit yesterday definitely does not make me a fan. On a different note, one of his weaknesses at this juncture might be hubris (or perhaps uncertainty)
 
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The lead vingo has on pog can evaporate very quickly. I'm pretty sure if he could have done more and really attacked pog again, he would have. It's not like this is a scripted play (I'm not that cynical)

Anywho, I'm interested to see how this arms race plays out this year. So much ridonkulous today and yesterday. The watt bombs are just priceless. And pog screwing it up a bit yesterday definitely does not make me a fan. On a different note, one of his weaknesses at this juncture might be hubris (or perhaps uncertainty)
If he has a weakness, it's his team. Not in the sense he has weak teammates (that's one issue) but clearly because they probably never expected Vingegaard to be so strong. Pogacar was cruising around France last week without realizing there was such a crazy mutant rider in this TdF on Jumbo's team, hiding behind Roglic. I bet Gianetti never expected that one.

I'm just super salty (I am salt incarnate) because Jumbo crapped all over the 'romanticism' (yes, even with dopage involved) of the narrative which demanded Roglic get his revenge for 2020. It turns out Jumbo wanted their revenge way more so they built themselves a nouveau mutant to do the job they didn't trust Roglic to do.

I mean in my mind they've literally doped up a new super responder to correct the 2020 result. That's cold, very cold.
 
If he has a weakness, it's his team. Not in the sense he has weak teammates (that's one issue) but clearly because they probably never expected Vingegaard to be so strong. Pogacar was cruising around France last week without realizing there was such a crazy mutant rider in this TdF on Jumbo's team, hiding behind Roglic. I bet Gianetti never expected that one.

I'm just super salty (I am salt incarnate) because Jumbo crapped all over the 'romanticism' (yes, even with dopage involved) of the narrative which demanded Roglic get his revenge for 2020. It turns out Jumbo wanted their revenge way more so they built themselves a nouveau mutant to do the job they didn't trust Roglic to do.

I mean in my mind they've literally doped up a new super responder to correct the 2020 result. That's cold, very cold.
It also suggests you've created quite a bit of your own narrative around it, past the suspicious physical performances and dodgy team managers.

I think one of the worst things about doping and cheating in sport is how it exacerbates cynicism (although it's totally understandable).
 
It also suggests you've created quite a bit of your own narrative around it, past the suspicious physical performances and dodgy team managers.

I think one of the worst things about doping and cheating in sport is how it exacerbates cynicism (although it's totally understandable).
However, if you substitute Contador for Pogacar and Froome (and Sky) for Vingegaard (and Jumbo), then perhaps he does have a narrative point.
 
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It also suggests you've created quite a bit of your own narrative around it, past the suspicious physical performances and dodgy team managers.

I think one of the worst things about doping and cheating in sport is how it exacerbates cynicism (although it's totally understandable).
What is sport, if not a narrative? It's industrialized narratives, actually, i.e. stories sold by the teams & the riders themselves, giving context to the raw performances on the road. Just check Jumbo Visma's public relations machine & they'll sell you the 'human factor' behind their new champion (pictures of his family, smiles everywhere, platitudes about his character etc.). This is what sport is, at all levels, i.e. without the stories, it's just a meaningless number on a fact sheet.

And to be perfectly clear here, we're way, way beyond 'cynicism', i.e. the time for questioning the physical reality of cycling performances was in the 1980's & 90's, now? That ship sailed & anyone who starts a conversation about professional sports from the standpoint "I don't think they're on drugs" is only lying to himself. History has shown how pro-sport works & we should all know that already (I certainly do).

So why am I here? For the stories & the performances of champions with various strengths & limitations, no matter the pharmaceutical assistance they receive. I don't have a problem with Vingegaard being on a program, whereas I have a massive problem with Jumbo Visma for taking their previous story (the ski jumper who dreams of winning the TdF) & canning that in favor of their newest creation they plucked from thin air & whose existence as 'the best climber in the world' is so artificial he might as well have the name Armstrong on his dossard.

I am a spectator & consumer of this sport (I literally have a Eurosport subscription just for cycling). What did I want to see in the TdF? Roglic versus Pogacar & may the best man win (& best doctors for reality sake). What we got was something else entirely owing to the fact Jumbo Visma are insanely obsessed with Pogacar & wanted to maximize every chance they had of beating him (& clearly also deemed Roglic was too limited to achieve that result himself & by himself).

The equivalent would be UAE pulling another rider out of a hat next year (Ayuso, maybe?) & saying "ta-da! here's a new generational talent we conveniently had in our ranks... believe us & now watch him destroy climbs & get top results in ITT's". Then perhaps that rider will expect Pogacar to work for him in the event something unlucky happens to Tadej. It sounds crazy (i.e. just how many super talents are we supposed to believe exist out there? All in the same teams as well!) but it's exactly what has happened at Jumbo Visma.

Anyway, this little wall of text is a condensed reason 'why' I believe Jumbo & Vingegaard are now worse than Gianetti & Pogacar because the race we're currently witnessing was spawned in their science lab, nowhere else, & has absolutely zilch narrative quality considering its artificial & cynical origin.
 
Interesting commentary, although I understand Ripper's point as well. I felt the same way about Froome and Sky, which took the "romanticism" out of Contador. At the same time, however, Contador had ridden for Saiz, Bruyneel and Riis, so part of my "romantic" take on Contador was wrapped up in that he was the first to really cause havoc and destruction with style since Pantani, at least for me. At the same time, I felt the same way about Froome and Sky then as you do about Vingegaard and Jumbo now: laboratory and robotic insanity passed off for marginal gains and (unknown by others) performance science expertise. It was like a James Bond 007 narrative of clean good guys, fighting with superior know-how, the rotten Continental system rife with doping that had plummeted the sport to its nadir. It was just too much to take, really.

The similarities with the Jumbo narrative of today, as you describe it, are of course strikingly similar. At the same time, Pog's case is also far from transparent. Yet, somehow, UAE doesn't come across as imperious as Sky then or Jumbo today. Perhaps it's because of the Italian component that it still resonates, rightly or wrongly, as romantically "old school," as it was with Mercatone Uno and Pantani of yore.
 
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Interesting commentary, although I understand Ripper's point as well. I felt the same way about Froome and Sky, which took the "romanticism" out of Contador. At the same time, however, Contador had ridden for Saiz, Bruyneel and Riis, so part of my "romantic" take on Contador was wrapped up in that he was the first to really cause havoc and destruction with style since Pantani, at least for me. At the same time, I felt the same way about Froome and Sky then as you do about Vingegaard and Jumbo now: laboratory and robotic insanity passed off for marginal gains and (unknown by others) performance science expertise. It was like a James Bond 007 narrative of clean good guys, fighting with superior know-how, the rotten Continental system rife with doping that had plummeted the sport to its nadir. It was just too much to take, really.

The similarities with the Jumbo narrative of today, as you describe it, are of course strikingly similar. At the same time, Pog's case is also far from transparent. Yet, somehow, UAE doesn't come across as imperious as Sky then or Jumbo today. Perhaps it's because of the Italian component that it still resonates, rightly or wrongly, as romantically "old school," as it was with Mercatone Uno and Pantani of yore.
It's also partly because UAE have not demonstrated tactical/strategic superiority, or bellowed on about marginal gains (actually, I have found UAE to be pretty silent). Their team is OK, but the collective does not seem to be as strong as the sum of the parts would suggest, whereas Sky turned so many into superhuman robots and let's be frank, Jumbo has indicated they were going to copy Sky for quite some time, so not really a surprise.

Personally I don't find pog as fascinating as Contador. I think pog and vingo are both lab enhanced up the ying yang :p I am quite skeptical about pro sports performances, but not yet a cynical person about it.
 
It's also partly because UAE have not demonstrated tactical/strategic superiority, or bellowed on about marginal gains (actually, I have found UAE to be pretty silent). Their team is OK, but the collective does not seem to be as strong as the sum of the parts would suggest, whereas Sky turned so many into superhuman robots and let's be frank, Jumbo has indicated they were going to copy Sky for quite some time, so not really a surprise.

Personally I don't find pog as fascinating as Contador. I think pog and vingo are both lab enhanced up the ying yang :p I am quite skeptical about pro sports performances, but not yet a cynical person about it.
What I meant about "old school" was simply having a bunch of lads willing to ride their hearts and souls out for an especially prodigious leader, however on the normal program they are. By contrast with Sky you had a bunch of engineered bots deployed to cower the field into utter submission. Then unleash the lab-designed leader's irresistable power to blow the remaining would-be challengers into oblivion. There is something unnatural about it, whilst claiming to be cleaner than clean. What happend was the greatest of heists. A super budget affording a team-wide advanced program of performance science and chemistry, allowed a donkey to vanquish a thoroughbred.

I too had found Contador more fascinating than Pogacar, but the Slovenian has proven to be a cycling prodigy, however peculiar his meteoric rise out of Slovenia has to use a euphemism seemed rather perplexing.

So basically it's detestable when budgets and the arms race create an evident imbalance among the teams and forces on the battlefield, such that a rider of no particular talent re-engineered by the system smacks down with a sardonic grin a gigantic pedigree.
 
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Jumbo Visma have succeeded in making me a Pogacar fan in this TdF. That's quite a achievement right there. If someone had told me this a month ago I would have laughed. I will cheer for the Pog from now on, in full awareness of who his backers are & what he is. A bit like Ullrich 20 years ago.

It's the cynicism of creating Vingegaard in a lab to take down another lab project (Pog) which I find completely gross, so if I have to choose sides, I go with the original mutant. As I'm not a shareholder of any of the sponsors & I don't treat sport too seriously (it's just 'sport'), the sort of military approach Jumbo has in this TdF with a almost clinical (pun intended) smash Pogacar at all costs approach = me jumping off their train.

I can't support that. Vingegaard is even tangibly a worse rider than Pogacar (yes, I'm talking basic bike handling, spatial awareness & even something as subjective as his style on the bike which is a bit of Froome combined with Chicken). He's Rasmussen, the return. This time with upgraded watts & rouleur abilities.

I bet his doctors are very proud. I also think he's literally stronger than Pog right now, i.e. he was so easy on the Alpe D'Huez & just 'floated around' behind Pog's attacks. Surreal.
Whatever Wout is on is equally potent. That whole team is radioactive right now.
 
Pogo seems impervious to burning matches left, right, and central. So far at least. Either he'll succeed after trying and trying, or his lack of biding his time (and managing his energy) will result in another not so good moment.

There are other tactics than bludgeoning your opponents with pure power. Somewhat reminiscent of Flanders.
 
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Jumbo Visma have succeeded in making me a Pogacar fan in this TdF. That's quite a achievement right there. If someone had told me this a month ago I would have laughed. I will cheer for the Pog from now on, in full awareness of who his backers are & what he is. A bit like Ullrich 20 years ago.

It's the cynicism of creating Vingegaard in a lab to take down another lab project (Pog) which I find completely gross, so if I have to choose sides, I go with the original mutant. As I'm not a shareholder of any of the sponsors & I don't treat sport too seriously (it's just 'sport'), the sort of military approach Jumbo has in this TdF with a almost clinical (pun intended) smash Pogacar at all costs approach = me jumping off their train.

I can't support that. Vingegaard is even tangibly a worse rider than Pogacar (yes, I'm talking basic bike handling, spatial awareness & even something as subjective as his style on the bike which is a bit of Froome combined with Chicken). He's Rasmussen, the return. This time with upgraded watts & rouleur abilities.

I bet his doctors are very proud. I also think he's literally stronger than Pog right now, i.e. he was so easy on the Alpe D'Huez & just 'floated around' behind Pog's attacks. Surreal.
So do you think if someone dopes up to mutant levels, then the others should just let him win? Not even try to beat him, using the same methods? Why does doing the same stuff as the chief mutant, make the others the bad guys?
 
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