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Teams & Riders The "MVP" Mathieu Van der Poel Road Discussion Thread

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Good to see MVP trying a monument that is out of his comfort zone (MSR, Flandres, Roubaix). It's the first time since 2020. Judging by his form he can get a good place in Liege (he was 6th in 2020 and I wouldn't put a podium place out of his reach, especially if he finishes from a small group) but with Pog around it will be very difficult for other guys to win it.
 
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Not nearly as long of a race but Kopecky didn’t in the women’s race. I also recall noting at least one other guy in the top 10 on the men’s but not sure who.

Lizzie didn't when she won, her blood from the blisters became part of the post Roubaix look of the bike.

I was more interested this year that Zoe B didn't wear mitts, got some blisters but Elynor B did wear mitts and appeared to suffer much much worse, and I think Magnus always said in comms at least, don't wear gloves for it.
 
He should. If Gerrans could win it...
Cancellara outsprinting Valverde in Ans is on your bingo card?

Imo Cancellara actually never did that much outside the cobbles and TTs, and especially in hard hilly races there's only 2 races that stuck out, and Beijing and Mendrisio where IMO both considerably easier in the finale than Liege and he won neither despite a full focus on it.

In 2014, the year Gerrans won Liege, he was in blistering form and was one Kwiatkowski away from winning the WC.
 
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Cancellara outsprinting Valverde in Ans is on your bingo card?

Imo Cancellara actually never did that much outside the cobbles and TTs, and especially in hard hilly races there's only 2 races that stuck out, and Beijing and Mendrisio where IMO both considerably easier in the finale than Liege and he won neither despite a full focus on it.

In 2014, the year Gerrans won Liege, he was in blistering form and was one Kwiatkowski away from winning the WC.

Valverde didn't win Liège between 2009 and 2014. Cancellara repeatedly won Strade, and it's not like climbing skills are unimportant there. He could absolutely have been competitive in it and it was silly not to try.

And it's even more silly to now play the role as the wise old man who gives advice to younger riders that goes against what he would do himself (not to mention that he didn't take the time to check Mathieu's programme before writing his column).
 
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only seeing Pogi so far this year I think there's literally no shot in LBL unless Pogi falls ill and all the other climbers wait around too much. For the win at least.

I can see him top 5/top 10 easily
If Pogi falls ill, all the other climbers will wait till RaF to make a move, and of course they will not go straight from the bottom, Van Der Poel will ride tempo and catch them all on that descent and flat after, and win the sprint comfortably.
 
Hopefully his form holds, and if so who knows. Will definitely be fun to see him outside his comfort zone though. I guess it's all about the Olympics at this point in terms of things that could really add to his palmares (road, MTB, or both?) Outside of him somehow beating Pogi at LBL - which seems like a longshot can't wait to watch him try.
 
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MVDP beating Pog at LBL (implied for the win)?

Should that happen it would (should) be the end of all discussions on who’s the better. It would definitely make for a real good show and a spectacular outcome but it seems quite unlikely. At MSR Pog’s performance couldn’t break the best riders and Van der Poel showed his massive power when bridging up before the crest of Poggio. At Strade Bianche Pog looked superb, slimmer and more focused for the upcoming GTs rather than prepped for all raw absolute power races like Paris-Roubaix. So despite Van der Poel’s performances at Ronde and Paris-Roubaix it just looks like the terrain of LBL will favor Pog’s physique. But who knows? Hopefully we will see both of them at their peaks at the start line and hopefully we will have a good show that might go down in history.
 
MVDP beating Pog at LBL (implied for the win)?

Should that happen it would (should) be the end of all discussions on who’s the better.
How's that? At best it would open the discussion, as right now I think with Pog being top 2 in GTs, stage races and classics it's kind of closed. Pog can mingle in mvdps territory (nearly all classics), but mvdp has no business in stage races. It would be absolutely astonishing could mvdp beat pog in LBL, but it would not be big enough of an outlier to put them on euqal grounds imo.
 
How's that? At best it would open the discussion, as right now I think with Pog being top 2 in GTs, stage races and classics it's kind of closed. Pog can mingle in mvdps territory (nearly all classics), but mvdp has no business in stage races. It would be absolutely astonishing could mvdp beat pog in LBL, but it would not be big enough of an outlier to put them on euqal grounds imo.
Pogacar is no.2 in both classics and GT's, and naturally has a claim of being the best rider in the peloton. But so has the other two.
 
Pogacar is no.2 in both classics and GT's, and naturally has a claim of being the best rider in the peloton. But so has the other two.
Pogacar has won 5 monuments to Van der Poel’s 6+Worlds, at 5 years younger, the same total number of different monuments, and has a similar number of non monument classics wins. He is probably on track to win more total monuments in his career. Or do the monuments with real climbs not matter?
 
How's that? At best it would open the discussion, as right now I think with Pog being top 2 in GTs, stage races and classics it's kind of closed. Pog can mingle in mvdps territory (nearly all classics), but mvdp has no business in stage races. It would be absolutely astonishing could mvdp beat pog in LBL, but it would not be big enough of an outlier to put them on euqal grounds imo.
Obviously we have different perspectives. MVDP can “mingle” in CX and MTB (and crush it) and beat Pog fair and square at the Road WC, has more Monuments and if he can beat Pog at LBL that would be an astonishing feat. Then again we value different things differently
 
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Pogacar has won 5 monuments to Van der Poel’s 6+Worlds, at 5 years younger, the same total number of different monuments, and has a similar number of non monument classics wins. He is probably on track to win more total monuments in his career. Or do the monuments with real climbs not matter?
First of all, Pogacar is not 5 years younger, but 3.
Second, Van Der Poel started to ride monuments in 2019, just as Pogacar.
Third, Van Der Poel won 3 different monuments + worlds. Pogacar didn't won worlds.
Fourth, Pogacar won 5 other classics, Van Der Poel won 6
Fifth, Van Der Poel won 22 one-day races, Pogacar 13
And sixth, I don't give a damn who's on track to do what in his career, I can only speak what they have done until now.