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The overwhelming narrative of the mens 2023 Road season so far has been the utter dominance of the big 6 riders reigning supreme over the mere mortals like a modern day set of Greek Gods.

I can’t think of any occasion this season where another rider has won a race (GC or 1 day classic) featuring at least 1 big 6 alumni without being a teammate such as Laporte or Philipsen winning GW and Scheldeprijs.

Their levels and in most cases panache in terms of long range attacking intent has been excellent to watch but has left it feeling very flat when only 1 of the bigs is present at a race.

How can this be countered as even a very dangerous group of 2nd tier favourites got well over 2 minutes in RVV and still got smashed to pieces by Pogacar in the end.

Further to this what are your predictions for the first time a big beast will be slayed.
 
Pidcock did win Strade with Van der Poel present, but I think that's about it this season for WT races where one of the six started.

At the moment it looks like Tour de Suisse is almost a certainty not to be won by any of the six unless Van der Poel or van Aert do something really crazy.
 
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The whole situation reminds me of Alaphilippe and Fuglsang in 2019. In the hilly classics of Spring they were both clearly on another level.

Strade Bianchi: 1st Alaphilippe 2nd Fuglsang, finishing together. 3rd place WVA 27s behind.
Tirreno-Adriatico: Alaphilippe (2) and Fuglsang (1) both grabbing stage victories
Milano-Sanremo: 1st Alaphilippe
Brabantse Pijl: 2nd Alaphilippe (losing sprint to VDP)
Amstel Gold Race: 3rd Fuglsang 4th Alaphilippe. However, they were the strongest in the race but just came to a standstill trying to make the other head the sprint.
Flèche Wallonne: 1st Alaphilppe 2nd Fuglsang
Liège-Bastogne-Liège: 1st Fuglsang 16th Alaphilippe. They rode away from the pack as a duo after which Alaphilippe blew up. Likely that the latter was still 2nd strongest in the race.
 
Pidcock won Strade with Van der Poel present, Superman won San Juan with Evenepoel present, but the big 6 are still yet to be defeated by a non-teammate in races where their form wasn’t ***. And yes, it’s a problem, not least because there are only so many ways a race can play out when so few riders matter, we will definitely see more races in the future that feel like a rerun of the past much like today felt like a rerun of last year’s race.

Don’t feel like there’s a clear remedy right now except for hoping whichever of the big 6 are present are on a bad day like Van der Poel was at Strade. I think we’ll see some races go the way of the field in the autumn as the big 6 will be past their form peaks by that point (especially with the WC being early) but for the next defeat in a major target, odds are we’ll have to wait for next season and bank on the dynamics being a bit different. Only Ayuso seems capable of closing the gap in a GT, but this year was a massive anomaly in the classics even compared to 2020-22 which had mostly the same dominant forces. In fact, the big 6 only won 3 of 8 spring monuments in 2021-22 (3 of 7 if we don’t count Roubaix 2021), and their teammates won none (Asgreens Ronde doesn’t count because Evenepoel wasn’t there, and wasn’t at his current level yet for that matter). So, while the dominant forces should mostly stay as they are the next few years, I don’t think different dynamics than this year’s completely one-sided ones are too much to expect. In fact, I’d be pretty surprised if none of De Lie, Girmay, Pidcock, Asgreen, Healy, Gregoire, Ganna, Mohoric and so on break the streak next spring in a major classic, in fact I’d expect it to happen multiple times.

So in short, the big 6 bar Roglic should dominate for most of the decade, perhaps joined by a few younger riders at some point, but the extent of domination we’ve seen this year so far is unlikely to become the norm.
 
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Personally I wouldn't include Vingegaard in that list, purely because he doesn't really do 1 day races. Just like I wouldn't put Froome in that list a couple of years ago.
I get these points and largely agree, but the phenomenon is similar with him: When he raced a 1 week race without pog, it was the same inevitability as remco racing liege without pog or mvdp racing PR with wva flattening.
And that is at least my main problem like I stated in the liege thread: It feels wrong (not in a clinic sense) when things are that hopeless for the others. Sagan was arguably the strongest rider for some time, but it was very hard for him to win even the races suiting him the most, but here it is as if tactics and what non-big-6 do does not matter at all. On Sagan and everyone else people could pull a kwiatkowski or a gerrans, here everyone not big 6 dies in the wheel or is dropped with two pedal turns as soon as the road goes up, and that often takes a whole lot out of it for me.
 
Personally I wouldn't include Vingegaard in that list, purely because he doesn't really do 1 day races. Just like I wouldn't put Froome in that list a couple of years ago.

What does the list mean? What's the criteria to be in that list?

Is it: reminds us of Merckx? Then it's only a Big 2.
Is it: if any of those are in the race, and the race somewhat suits them, they'll easily win (or gift it) - or fight it out with the other 5? Then it really is a big 6.
 
Pogacar: Can win Monuments, Grand tours, stage races and world championships

Evenepoele: Can win Monuments, Grand tours, World championships, stage races

Roglic: Can win monuments, Grand tours, stage races

Vinegaaard: Can dominate Grand tours and stage races

Van Der Poel: Can win Monuments and world championships. Best monument racer in the world

WVA:????? . Is good at getting in the break at le TDF???
 
I understand the talk about the big 6, but the problem is that they don't all overlap.

Might be better to talk about the top4 for classics and top4 for GT, because as some stated, there are only a few multi discipline engaged.

  • Vdp/Wva/Pog/Remco
  • Rog/Ving/Pog/Remco

if VDP or WVA start in a GT it is really not important for the win.
Rog can win classics (as he has shown before), but he shows little interest in them and it was also not dominantly like the others.
 
Pogacar: Can win Monuments, Grand tours, stage races and world championships

Evenepoele: Can win Monuments, Grand tours, World championships, stage races

Roglic: Can win monuments, Grand tours, stage races

Vinegaaard: Can dominate Grand tours and stage races

Van Der Poel: Can win Monuments and world championships. Best monument racer in the world

WVA:????? . Is good at getting in the break at le TDF???

I fixed it for you:

Pogacar: Can win any race he starts (eg Monuments, Grand tours, stage races and world championships)
Evenepoel: Can win some (suitable) non-technical Monuments and stage races , Grand tours and World championships
>>> These are the best two if everything is combined i.e. WC + GTs + Monuments

Van Der Poel: Can win all Monuments and stage races apart from possibly LBL and Lombardia, World championships, MTB and CX races.
WVA: Can win all Monuments and stage races (apart from possibly LBL and Lombardia?), World championships, and CX races
>>> These are the best two if 1D-classics + WC + Monuments 'counts' the most and obviously the most versatile when you also consider technical ability (hence why Remco is unlikely to win Strade Bianche, P-R and RVV)

Roglic:
Can win Grand tours and possibly certain Monuments (eg LBL) and stage races
Vingegaard: Can win Grand tours
>>> These are possibly the best two if only GTs counts
 
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We had a similar thread in the past and it failed miserably. All beaten. But i guess it's good to do such cross sections from time to time.

In regards to Roglič. I don't know on why he shouldn't be able to win world championships. He can win all. Maybe he could even win cobbled races. But until his main focus is on stage races. I wouldn't advise for such attempts. As getting injured and not winning much in that season would be in my opinion a rather foolish thing to do. On top of that in JV there are other first picks. When it comes to one day races. And for Rogla it would be harder to demand full team support. Like for example Pogi or Remco can.

And i don't know on why van Aert now all of the sudden shouldn't be able to win world championships and one day races. In stage races the main problem is there is a hill or two in it that are too much for him. But in some specific cases he could likely win that too. Likely he just isn't interested in that all that much. As it would require more specific preparation.
 
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