Targets of grand tour riders in 2020

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There are so many variables in cycling in a year that it is hard to judge until we can look at it few years in a rear. Two years ago Mas was podium at the Vuelta. Few years back it was Chaves. Hec in 2011 we could have said The Vuelta was the weakest of them all with Froome and Wiggins fighting for the race with Cobo. So many things change from year to year.
 
There are so many variables in cycling in a year that it is hard to judge until we can look at it few years in a rear. Two years ago Mas was podium at the Vuelta. Few years back it was Chaves. Hec in 2011 we could have said The Vuelta was the weakest of them all with Froome and Wiggins fighting for the race with Cobo. So many things change from year to year.
Wasn't Contador calling Mas the future of Spanish cycling ? No doubt that the Vuelta in the last 15 years or so has been as a much more competitive race than it used to be. Even when Armstrong was riding, for grand tours it was mainly about the Tour. You could argue that that Vuelta has been generally the more entertaining of the three races of late and riders seem to like riding it, away from the daily pressures of the Tour. Froome has always called it his second favourite race.
 
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Wasn't Contador calling Mas the future of Spanish cycling ? No doubt that the Vuelta in the last 15 years or so has been as a much more competitive race than it used to be. Even when Armstrong was riding, for grand tours it was mainly about the Tour. You could argue that that Vuelta has been generally the more entertaining of the three races of late and riders seem to like riding it, away from the daily pressures of the Tour. Froome has always called it his second favourite race.
I do wonder if having several Spanish riders in the Vuelta on multiple occasions over the past decade helped the Vuelta in that regard as well? I think part of what helps make the Vuelta more entertaining is that the Spanish mountains by their nature make the race harder to control. The mountains are typically shorter, steeper and more varied gradients meaning it's harder for a train to do a lot of good and puts more on each rider individually to race on his own. Where the Tour and Giro have higher mountains with longer steady gradient climbs that leads to helpers being more useful in the mountains.
 
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Schachmann in Paris Nice showed 0 GT Potential imho. He suffered to defeat Benoot, was suffering greatly in La Colmiane... Best case scenario, Schachmann is a fringe Top-10 contender in a lesser GT, with a great likelihood of imploding in the last week (maybe he would be able to hang on in La Vuelta). The mountains in the Giro will surely be too much for him. It makes no sense to skip Ardennes where he will be one of the five main favourites for the win and target the Giro where he would be 15th / 20th favourite.
Well, he also defeated guys like Nibali, Pinot and Quintana in Paris Nice. Ok it was only a week stage race with one MTF that hasn´t been that hard. But everyone starts his carrer with small steps.
This winter Denk said about Schachmann they still didn´t know where the journey for Schachmann goes in his career. After his win at Paris-Nice Schachmann said that he noticed for the first time that he has potential to compete in Grand tours. So I think the team will let him try at least a few times. Don´t know if this will already happen this year or if it will happen next year. But it´s more or less sure that it will happen one day.
Of course he is already one of the top ardennes guys. And personally I love to see what kind of rider he is now. (A world class ardennes classic guy and a week stage general classification contender)
But he is also german and in Germany as sad as it is what really counts in Cycling is the Tour de France. So if the managers or him see at least potential that he can compete there with the best one time he will try...
 
That's what I was about to write: you might say Schachmann suffered to defeat Benoot, you might also say he ended PN ahead of Quintana, Bardet, Pinot, Higuita, Nibali... :) (Of course only one real mountain stage, guys missing, but usually PN is not a bad indicator for GT potential.)
I would certainly not use the words "zero GT potential". But Tour de France, I don't see that either. But Vuelta or Giro, if it is the right route, not for the win, but for podium... I would not rule that out.
 
I do wonder if having several Spanish riders in the Vuelta on multiple occasions over the past decade helped the Vuelta in that regard as well? I think part of what helps make the Vuelta more entertaining is that the Spanish mountains by their nature make the race harder to control. The mountains are typically shorter, steeper and more varied gradients meaning it's harder for a train to do a lot of good and puts more on each rider individually to race on his own. Where the Tour and Giro have higher mountains with longer steady gradient climbs that leads to helpers being more useful in the mountains.
IMHO the Giro is hardest to control. Long climbs that are steeper than the Tour and less valley roads between climbs. The Vuelta has good finishes but it's rare that anything of note happens before the finale. Giro 2016 is the best recent example of non-controlled GT. There were 4 stages in the last week with GC riders all over the road 50 - 70 km from the finish and different riders were caught behind each time. Last year's Giro was below average but there were still a couple of stages with GC riders isolated well before the finale, including Carapaz's winning move in Stage 14.

The Tour has the perfect combo to make it predictable. Gradual climbs, long valleys between climbs, strongest domestiques and a bunch of teams happy to ride for 8th place.
 
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That's what I was about to write: you might say Schachmann suffered to defeat Benoot, you might also say he ended PN ahead of Quintana, Bardet, Pinot, Higuita, Nibali... :) (Of course only one real mountain stage, guys missing, but usually PN is not a bad indicator for GT potential.)
I would certainly not use the words "zero GT potential". But Tour de France, I don't see that either. But Vuelta or Giro, if it is the right route, not for the win, but for podium... I would not rule that out.
Schachmann is not a good climber (good for winning or placing high in GT) and has little endurance. He faltered in Basque Country last year, he faltered in 2018 Giro... he would be destroyed in the Giro. The only GT i can see him performing (if everything falls into place) is La Vuelta.
 
It appears Movistar has slightly changed their original plans of Valverde, Mas, and Soler to the Tour and Vuelta this year. Valverde and Mas will be going to the Tour and Vuelta as originally planned. However, Soler will be taking a team to the Giro. The Giro will include the two young Colombians, Juan Diego Alba, Einer Rubio, along with Betancur.
 
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Now it gets more interesting :)
Agreed. With this latest development I'm going with they trust Enric Mas a lot more and feel as a single leader with Valverde's help and experience to guide him. I think it's a fair statement that Mas has shown some leadership qualities since he first showed up with the team at the team meetings.
Maybe they decided they did to find out how well both Mas and Soler can actually lead the team?
 
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Top-5 seems a bit too much for Soler at the moment. Top-10 seems feasible if he avoids one of his usual horrible days in the first week. I rate him below second tier climbers (Majka) and this is the kind of rider that reaches the Top5.

It will also depend on the startlist... with a weak field like 2018 Giro he could be close to Top5, with the 2019 contenders i don't even think he would crack the Top10.
 
Top-5 seems a bit too much for Soler at the moment. Top-10 seems feasible if he avoids one of his usual horrible days in the first week. I rate him below second tier climbers (Majka) and this is the kind of rider that reaches the Top5.

It will also depend on the startlist... with a weak field like 2018 Giro he could be close to Top5, with the 2019 contenders i don't even think he would crack the Top10.
Well a weak field seems very likely with sponsors pushing teams towards concentrating their big names to the Tour and many original Giro prospects likely to go for the Ardennes classics that now clash with the Giro.

I would not necessarily put money on a top 5 for Soler but I think his peak ability warrants a belief that he may have it in him. I would rank him above Enric Mas as a rider though clearly Mas already has a Grand Tour podium.

With the disrupted season and at this stage only Nibali and Carapaz having proven 3 week stage race winning capabilities the rest of the top 5 is wide open.

Evenepoel has by far the highest ceiling of any entrant but the 3 week question needs answering as that endurance can only be known when the first Grand Tour is attempted.

Majka usually rides well and consistently in the Giro but 3rd seems about the best he can do in his career.
 
Pozzovivo will race the Tour (with no real gc ambitions) and the Vuelta.
UAE will send both Aru and Formolo to the Tour with Pogi, their Giro team will be more about stagehunting with Gaviria doing Tour-Giro and Ulissi also riding the Giro.
 
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With all the respect to Carthy, what about Dani Martinez? For once he wouldn't have to worry about his usual allergies durning the Giro and there's a decent amount of km of ITT, I'd send him to the Giro.
I guess the Tour team will be Uran + Higuita, most of the classics guys and TJ or Craddock as the token American.
 
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Can we make a list, that people can add/correct and copy/paste in a new message? This is the situation as i understand it for the moment. I'm not sure if all the Tour guys have confirmed for Vuelta, or if this is just a general assumption in most cases.


Tour: Bernal, Froome, Thomas, Roglic, Kruijswijk, Dumoulin, Mollema, Pogacar, Higuita, Lopez, Mas, Valverde, Quintana, Uran, Formolo, Pinot, Bardet, Aru, Landa, Buchmann, Woods

Giro: Nibali, Carapaz, Carthy, G. Bennett, Fuglsang, Evenepoel, Knox, Soler, Kelderman, Ciccone, Zakarin, Majka

Vuelta: Valverde, Mas

What about: Yates x2, Costa, Kämna, CF Hagen, Hart, Sosa, Sivakov, Nieve, O'Connor, Dunbar, Madouas, Martinez...
 
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I haven't seen anything from Mitchelton-Scott about who is going where or from any of their riders.

Bernal is saying Tour only. Higuita has said he's only racing on GT and isn't ready at his age to even want to attempt to race more than 1 in a regular season let alone this season.

As far as I have seen only Valverde and Mas are confirmed for the Vuelta.

I've seen where some of the guys are choosing Tour and Ardennes and that's it. Basically saying in this calendar Tour, Ardennes, Vuelta is too much and it appears right now that only Valverde is attempting that.
 
Can we make a list, that people can add/correct and copy/paste in a new message? This is the situation as i understand it for the moment. I'm not sure if all the Tour guys have confirmed for Vuelta, or if this is just a general assumption in most cases.


Tour: Bernal, Froome, Thomas, Roglic, Kruijswijk, Dumoulin, Mollema, Pogacar, Higuita, Lopez, Mas, Valverde, Quintana, Uran, Formolo, Pinot, Bardet, Aru, Landa, Buchmann, Woods

Giro: Nibali, Carapaz, Carthy, G. Bennett, Fuglsang, Evenepoel, Knox, Soler, Kelderman, Ciccone, Zakarin, Majka

Vuelta: Valverde, Mas

What about: Yates x2, Costa, Kämna, CF Hagen, Hart, Sosa, Sivakov, Nieve, O'Connor, Dunbar, Madouas, Martinez...
Yates x 2 go to the TDF and probably Chaves - Nieve to Giro or Vuelta - probably the latter - Haig will lead at Giro or Vuelta and L. Hamilton will lead other - Like most teams the Classics riders will feature strongly in the TDF squad..
 
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This Tour has no TTT and the mountains start from the beginning. My feeling is that if Ineos goes with Bernal as number 1 in the hierarchy they will take Sosa to the Tour. They will probably use him to apply pressure in the first 2 weeks.
 
This Tour has no TTT and the mountains start from the beginning. My feeling is that if Ineos goes with Bernal as number 1 in the hierarchy they will take Sosa to the Tour. They will probably use him to apply pressure in the first 2 weeks.
He would be the most usefull climbingdomestique they could choose, but I thought he was supposed to be the teams Vuelta captain and I would think he is too young for a double or that it would at least compromise him too much in the Vuelta, but perhaps not.

With the TDF now being important training for the classics (and the classics colliding with the Giro and Roubaix also with the Vuelta so he likely cant ride those) I wonder if they might even give Moscon another chance at the last spot on the TDF team (I assume Bernal, Thomas, Froome, Kwiatkowski, Rowe, Van Baarle and likely also Castroviejo are more or less certain) but a better climber like Sivakov, Geoghegan Hart or Sosa are likely still the most likely, with my guess being Sivakov as the guy that stated clearly he wanted to ride the TDF as helper and with Sosa not chosen because of his Vueltachances.

I guess this all means Carapaz will get Amador as the main helper besides Rohan Dennis and then I guess Geoghegan Hart also (and Ganna on the flat and I suppose Puccio, Knees and Seb. Henao)) in the Giro. Then Dunbar can perhaps be saved for the Vuelta like Sosa.
 

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