The Is Marc Soler the Next Great Spanish Climber Thread

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Thanks. Curious to sell how he'll do as a GT leader. I think a podium isn't out of the question depending on the course. He's had some really impressive climbs and as noted he can TT pretty well -- maybe better if he's motivated by keeping a GC place.

I'll reserve judgment on Movistar's new direction until we see how Mas/Soler go. Hard to believe they went from Landa/Quintana/Carapaz to Mas/Soler, but both those guys have been touted as having potential. And Movistar is probably happy to have cut down their salary base, right?
 
Thanks. Curious to sell how he'll do as a GT leader. I think a podium isn't out of the question depending on the course. He's had some really impressive climbs and as noted he can TT pretty well -- maybe better if he's motivated by keeping a GC place.

I'll reserve judgment on Movistar's new direction until we see how Mas/Soler go. Hard to believe they went from Landa/Quintana/Carapaz to Mas/Soler, but both those guys have been touted as having potential. And Movistar is probably happy to have cut down their salary base, right?
I'm very happy Soler is finally getting an opportunity to show what he has. He and Mas have been touted as having potential and the next generation of Spanish cyclists. Mas does have a Vuelta podium and seems to have some leadership qualities. Now is the time for both of them to show what they have. They also have the advantage of having Valverde as their coach, mentor, teacher, and safety net for a little while. They need to take advantage of what they are being given. I suspect Movistar is very happy right now to have a lower salary base with everything going on currently. I suspect that has helped them not have to cut salaries.
 
I'm very happy Soler is finally getting an opportunity to show what he has. He and Mas have been touted as having potential and the next generation of Spanish cyclists. Mas does have a Vuelta podium and seems to have some leadership qualities. Now is the time for both of them to show what they have. They also have the advantage of having Valverde as their coach, mentor, teacher, and safety net for a little while. They need to take advantage of what they are being given. I suspect Movistar is very happy right now to have a lower salary base with everything going on currently. I suspect that has helped them not have to cut salaries.
The prospective compressed season could also make or break them early. Soler seemed prepared for early season when he screwed up Contador's 2017 Paris Nice by taking the summit time bonus after sitting on. That one still hurts to watch.... He looked pretty quick. Not sure about Mas but the form of other competitors will be somewhat of a mystery and whoever prospers first may be the best supported GC guy. The opposite is true and it could be a learning experience for the rider that doesn't get on top of it early and lacks the confidence to get through a tough patch.
 
The prospective compressed season could also make or break them early. Soler seemed prepared for early season when he screwed up Contador's 2017 Paris Nice by taking the summit time bonus after sitting on. That one still hurts to watch.... He looked pretty quick. Not sure about Mas but the form of other competitors will be somewhat of a mystery and whoever prospers first may be the best supported GC guy. The opposite is true and it could be a learning experience for the rider that doesn't get on top of it early and lacks the confidence to get through a tough patch.
With comments today from Movistar it appears they changed things up for this odd season (if it happens). Now they are sending Mas and Valverde to the Tour and Vuelta, while Soler is going to take a young team to the Giro. Mas gets leadership at the Tour with Valverde as back up, teacher, while Soler will have Betancur for help along with the two young Colombians.
 
I've never been a real believer in Soler as a GT GC rider, but i'm glad he's finally getting this chance to show himself. He's turning 27 this year, I can't help but feel this is a bit make or break for him.
I'd share your belief but he has been in the service of others too long. He needs the shot but it will be in an environment with many good/great younger riders . We'll find out in a hurry.
 
I'd share your belief but he has been in the service of others too long. He needs the shot but it will be in an environment with many good/great younger riders . We'll find out in a hurry.
I've never seen him ride in a way of which i thought he'd be a GT winner someday, regardless of results. But i especially find it hard to believe that a Spanish team, would completely ignore him for years, if he really had it in him. They have his data, they know the wattages he can push and for how long, they know his VO2max, they know his FTP, W/kg, AeT, AnT, they know how mentally strong he is (or isn't), they get to see how he does on training compared to his teammates and teamleaders, how he reacts to altitude training... This isn't 1995 anymore. A team has a lot more info about what a rider is capable of. If he really made an impression of that of a future GT winner/contender, i can't for the life of me, imagine that they would have chained him up for so long. Even Movistar, known for doing some funky *** and stupid in-race tactics.

Maybe he's a real late bloomer, or maybe he wasn't mentally ready for leading the team, but i think they had plenty of opportunities to send him along in a protected role, as a backup leader, without the burden that comes with being either a teamleader, or a domestique. But they didn't. Did they really drop the ball with him year after year? So he has to wait until a month before his 27th birthday, in a GT they weren't even planning on competing for GC. The writing is a little bit on the wall here. I do wish him to to do well, if only because it would be hilarious should he actually compete for the overall, and prove Movistar completely f*cked up. Though i don't know what would be worse, realizing he might have wasted good years of his career, or finding out he doesn't have 'it' after all. On the other hand, turning 27 isn't the end of the world either, he should still have 5 good years of GC racing ahead of him, maybe more. But like i said earlier, it does seem make or break. Will they keep sending him to GT's as leader if he finishes this Giro 16th, not due to injury or bad luck.
 
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I've never seen him ride in a way of which i thought he'd be a GT winner someday, regardless of results. But i especially find it hard to believe that a Spanish team, would completely ignore him for years, if he really had it in him. They have his data, they know the wattages he can push and for how long, they know his VO2max, they know his FTP, W/kg, AeT, AnT, they know how mentally strong he is (or isn't), they get to see how he does on training compared to his teammates and teamleaders, how he reacts to altitude training... This isn't 1995 anymore. A team has a lot more info about what a rider is capable of. If he really made an impression of that of a future GT winner/contender, i can't for the life of me, imagine that they would have chained him up for so long. Even Movistar, known for doing some funky *** and stupid in-race tactics.

Maybe he's a real late bloomer, or maybe he wasn't mentally ready for leading the team, but i think they had plenty of opportunities to send him along in a protected role, as a backup leader, without the burden that comes with being either a teamleader, or a domestique. But they didn't. Did they really drop the ball with him year after year? So he has to wait until a month before his 27th birthday, in a GT they weren't even planning on competing for GC. The writing is a little bit on the wall here. I do wish him to to do well, if only because it would be hilarious should he actually compete for the overall, and prove Movistar completely f*cked up. Though i don't know what would be worse, realizing he might have wasted good years of his career, or finding out he doesn't have 'it' after all. On the other hand, turning 27 isn't the end of the world either, he should still have 5 good years of GC racing ahead of him, maybe more. But like i said earlier, it does seem make or break. Will they keep sending him to GT's as leader if he finishes this Giro 16th, not due to injury or bad luck.
In 2017 when Valverde got hurt at the Tour the team did give Soler a chance to try to race for GC at the Vuelta that year. That Vuelta they took a team without a leader and said do what you want. Soler did try to race it for GC and he and team basically came to the conclusion he needed a bit more time. So this year the Giro (as long as it's raced) will be his first real attempt at leading the team in a GT. I do think this is very much make or break in terms of riding for GC in GT's for Soler. He did win Paris-Nice so he is capable of doing that in week long races. The way he climbs I do think the Giro or Tour are better options than la Vuelta is for him to show what he is or isn't capable of doing.
 
He did win Paris-Nice so he is capable of doing that in week long races. The way he climbs I do think the Giro or Tour are better options than la Vuelta is for him to show what he is or isn't capable of doing.
A lot of people keep referring to PN. But seriously, he won that with seconds ahead of guys that aren't even considered GC riders (for instance, 16 seconds ahead of Wellens). A great win, but not a sign of a great GC rider imho.
 
In fairness to Soler, there was a bit of a logjam at Movistar, with Valverde, Quintana, Landa and Carapaz being more obviously talented riders. I don't think I'm going out on a limb to say that he can Top 10 a GT without too much difficulty, let's see him take the next step...
 
In fairness to Soler, there was a bit of a logjam at Movistar, with Valverde, Quintana, Landa and Carapaz being more obviously talented riders. I don't think I'm going out on a limb to say that he can Top 10 a GT without too much difficulty, let's see him take the next step...
That's the truth between prior results, the data/numbers and making good choices in a 3 week race. Roglic won a Vuelta he had no real chance of winning if a few small things went differently. He seemed unshakeable and he's the same age as Soler. Maybe jumping off a 90m jump as a junior taught him calm amid instant choices that can win or kill.
Soler will know this is his shot and feel the pressure that doesn't show on the numbers. How Movistar treats his moves will be informative and it'd be cool if they let him go and make mistakes if that's needed for future success. Sometimes the studs need to pull the reins out of their ears and race.
 
In fairness to Soler, there was a bit of a logjam at Movistar, with Valverde, Quintana, Landa and Carapaz being more obviously talented riders. I don't think I'm going out on a limb to say that he can Top 10 a GT without too much difficulty, let's see him take the next step...
Well he does have a Vuelta GC top 10 last year.


That's the truth between prior results, the data/numbers and making good choices in a 3 week race. Roglic won a Vuelta he had no real chance of winning if a few small things went differently. He seemed unshakeable and he's the same age as Soler. Maybe jumping off a 90m jump as a junior taught him calm amid instant choices that can win or kill.
Soler will know this is his shot and feel the pressure that doesn't show on the numbers. How Movistar treats his moves will be informative and it'd be cool if they let him go and make mistakes if that's needed for future success. Sometimes the studs need to pull the reins out of their ears and race.

Well the team should be used to a team leader being fairly good at making mistakes that cost himself wins. You'd think they would be ok with that. (The rider who is good at making those mistakes is Valverde. The team and his fans learned long ago to deal with it.)
 
You can only race who shows up.
Wellens showed up and finished at 16 seconds. In other words, this win is not representative for the answers we're looking for.

That's the truth between prior results, the data/numbers and making good choices in a 3 week race. Roglic won a Vuelta he had no real chance of winning if a few small things went differently. He seemed unshakeable and he's the same age as Soler. Maybe jumping off a 90m jump as a junior taught him calm amid instant choices that can win or kill.
Soler will know this is his shot and feel the pressure that doesn't show on the numbers. How Movistar treats his moves will be informative and it'd be cool if they let him go and make mistakes if that's needed for future success. Sometimes the studs need to pull the reins out of their ears and race.
Same age as Soler??? I think they're 5 years apart or something.
Edit: Roglic turns 31 a month before Soler turns 27.
 
Wellens showed up and finished at 16 seconds. In other words, this win is not representative for the answers we're looking for.
Plus Paris-Nice is not exactly the one week stage race I would use to predict GT success.
In the last decade it has been won by Soler, Schachmann, Henao, Betancur, Tony Martin.
Podium finishers include: Benoot, Kwiatkowski, Gorka Izaguirre, Spilak, Rui Costa, Vichot, Talansky, Westra and Lulu Sanchez.

I still give Soler the benefit of the doubt since he never had the chance to ride a GT as a captain (or even with a free role).
Giro seems like a sensible option to test him: many TT km (for contemporary standards) and a weakish field.
 
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Over 20 mins down in not exactly the strongest field in a GT in recent history. I'm sure he can finish top 10 in GT again, but I don't think he will ever podium, let alone win one.
It was a top 10 in a GT and he was working for Valverde. Technically Quintana as well, but we saw his not wanting to do that. Also he lost a bunch of that time in one early stage where he either screwed up or was sick.
 
Plus Paris-Nice is not exactly the one week stage race I would use to predict GT success.
In the last decade it has been won by Soler, Schachmann, Henao, Betancur, Tony Martin.
Podium finishers include: Benoot, Kwiatkowski, Gorka Izaguirre, Spilak, Rui Costa, Vichot, Talansky, Westra and Lulu Sanchez.

I still give Soler the benefit of the doubt since he never had the chance to ride a GT as a captain (or even with a free role).
Giro seems like a sensible option to test him: many TT km (for contemporary standards) and a weakish field.
Well, the problem with P-N is that for a few years it really was a good race for that, within certain parameters (obviously people like Luísle won it who weren't going to become GC candidates), because P-N was like the petit Grand Tour with a mountaintop finish, a couple of real up-and-down-all-day medium mountain stages and so on, while Tirreno-Adriatico was more of a puncheur's race with the GC largely settled by those Ardennes-like ramps in places like Montelupone, Chieti, Macerata and so on. In the early 2010s those roles kind of flipped, with Paris-Nice including a couple of outlying routes, like 2011 with very few significant climbs (they had the Col de la Mûre as the only decisive one, with a longer TT and then the Biot stage in lieu of an actually good penultimate stage) and then a couple of years where they reinstated the Col d'Èze TT but also wanted a Promenade des Anglais finish which resulted in very tame final mountain stages where the last climb was 60km from the line, which meant nobody relevant would attack with an MTT the following day. 2014 when Betancur won was the tamest of all of them. At the same time as that was happening, Tirreno-Adriatico was introducing larger mountains than usual, such as Prati di Tivo, the Monte Terminillo stage in the snow, and Passo Lanciano into Guardiagrele, and so that became more the indicator of GT capability. The balance is shifting back the other way in recent years, so where Soler fits in that remains difficult to say.

I'd say that leading the Giro for Movistar is perfect for Marc Soler. Historically it is the GT they care least about, and that's not to say that they don't care about Soler, but it is to say that there's less pressure of expectation on results for him there, because apart from Quintana's win in 2014 and Valverde's quest to podium all three GTs, often their best GC results there have not come out of genuine planned GC tilts - Arroyo's mythical quest in 2010, Amador's 4th place in 2015, and even Carapaz' win last year which was initially in support of Landa, plus Visconti's GPM win - plus also if you look at Soler's palmarès, apart from l'Avenir which is hard to rate when he was a pro already when he won it, a lot of his best results and performances come in relatively poor weather - early season stage races before summer hits, and stages like the Andorra stage of the 2019 in bad weather. His best year to date, 2018, saw him strong in the Ruta del Sol in late February, Paris-Nice, Catalunya and the GP Big Mig, then tail off afterward save for a couple of decent days in breaks and while domestiquing in the GTs. Now, how much of that is simply because he wants a peak around his home race in Catalunya and how much of it is a genuine predilection toward those kind of racing conditions, we just don't know. But the Giro is regularly the Grand Tour where you have to deal with the worst conditions (save for the occasional Vuelta day when the heavens truly open, like Anglirú 2002 or La Rabassa 2008) and which takes place at the coolest time of year, and we know there are some riders who perform better in certain conditions (Wellens in the wet, Froome in the heat, for example), and if Marc is indeed one of those, the Giro would be the GT he would be best suited to as well.
 
Wellens showed up and finished at 16 seconds. In other words, this win is not representative for the answers we're looking for.


Same age as Soler??? I think they're 5 years apart or something.
Edit: Roglic turns 31 a month before Soler turns 27.
So 4 years apart; both on the mature side of 21 years old which is the rising competition at the moment. Roglic started riding in 2012 and was a pro in 2013 when Soler was showing well in pro races. Roglic has shown himself to be consistently strong and tactically adaptable. Soler has been consistently strong but we don't know if he's three weeks strong and he's arguably had more race exposure than Roglic. I shouldn't belabor that comparison too much, though. The Giro's climbs will definitely task everyone. Good luck to him.
 
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