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Probably, but let's wait until they have a proper battle first. So far Pogacar's PdBF TT is a complete outlier and before that it's not like he was absolutely unbeatable on the climbs. On the Col de la Loze he lost 30 seconds to MAL and I have no reason to believe Bernal wouldn't be even better.
Needless to say though, I don't know if Pogacar doesn't further improve drastically. If that happens that would of course change my view on the comparison of the two.
Sorry but these cross comparisons never work. You can’t deduce that since Bernal is in general better than MAL and MAL dropped Pogacar on a certain climb in a certain situation, Bernal would do the same. It simply doesn’t work like that. Besides, Bernal had his chance to either drop or follow Pogacar on several occasions during his career and he failed to do so many times, while the opposite can’t be said, Pogacar dropped/distanced Bernal on almost every climb they rode together...
 
Sorry but these cross comparisons never work. You can’t deduce that since Bernal is in general better than MAL and MAL dropped Pogacar on a certain climb in a certain situation, Bernal would do the same. It simply doesn’t work like that. Besides, Bernal had his chance to either drop or follow Pogacar on several occasions during his career and he failed to do so many times, while the opposite can’t be said, Pogacar dropped/distanced Bernal on almost every climb they rode together...
I agree PdBF was likely an outlier but the sample size is too small. Most of your comment is based upon the 2020 TdF. Need to see more of these two head to head to draw conclusions. Pogacar wasn't at the 2019 TdF and Pogacar lost time on Col de la Loz to Roglic. 2019 TdF went higher.
 
I agree PdBF was likely an outlier but the sample size is too small. Most of your comment is based upon the 2020 TdF. Need to see more of these two head to head to draw conclusions. Pogacar wasn't at the 2019 TdF and Pogacar lost time on Col de la Loz to Roglic. 2019 TdF went higher.
Once again with ze altitude.

Pogacar won in Andorra in the Vuelta. Bernal dropped the same dudes he dropped at Prat d'Albis at 1200m save for Pinot who injured himself and Buchmann.
 
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Once again with ze altitude.

Pogacar won in Andorra in the Vuelta. Bernal dropped the same dudes he dropped at Prat d'Albis at 1200m save for Pinot who injured himself and Buchmann.
I wondered if you'd pick me up ;). I guess what I saying is all else being equal altitude is more in favor than against Bernal. There are science papers written on this. Of course other factors influence strength and performance on any given stage but I thought Col de la Loz was instructive and even more so in hindsight knowing the form Pogacar was in.
 
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I wondered if you'd pick me up ;). I guess what I saying is all else being equal altitude is more in favor than against Bernal. There are science papers written on this. Of course other factors influence strength and performance on any given stage but I thought Col de la Loz was instructive and even more so in hindsight knowing the form Pogacar was in.
Isn't the science more aimed at the general, non athlete population?
 
I believe the science shows similar principals apply to endurance athletes but just at a higher level. But I am sure there will be papers that cover this. But all else being equal I would place bets on Bernal compared to his competition doing better the higher the roads go.
Could be, on average, but in absolute terms I think the effect is marginal, and it's more a function of favoring the strongest climbers than specifically high altitude specialized riders. I can't think of single big high altitude super performance by a rider that wasn't also capable of that on regular altitude for example.
 
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To be honest i wasn't expecting this on stage 17. I felt surely Bernal will at least be able to follow everybody in mountains. Didn't look like back issues, Bernal was just empty. Luckily for him he had Martínez at his side.

Lets see if he can survive two more hard stages. If Yates manages to turn this Giro around in week 3, then for sure that would be a spectacular outcome.
 
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To be honest i wasn't expecting this on stage 17. I felt surely Bernal will at least be able to follow everybody in mountains. Didn't look like back issues, Bernal was just empty. Luckily for him he had Martínez at his side.

Lets see if he can survive two more hard stages. If Yates manages to turn this Giro around in week 3, then for sure that would be a spectacular outcome.
I think that's Yates' plan but he probably didn't expect to be down this much time. Following on from his last Giro loss he probably realized that he attacked too much in the first 2 weeks then suddenly his legs went in Week 3. I'm rooting for Bernal but would happily cheer a Yates victory.
 
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To be honest i wasn't expecting this on stage 17. I felt surely Bernal will at least be able to follow everybody in mountains. Didn't look like back issues, Bernal was just empty. Luckily for him he had Martínez at his side.

Lets see if he can survive two more hard stages. If Yates manages to turn this Giro around in week 3, then for sure that would be a spectacular outcome.
I don’t think anyone expected this and I agree that these can’t be back issues. With back issues, you would expect they affect performance progressively both within 3w timeframe as well as stage timeframe. Yesterday’s drop was sudden - both in the context of a stage and a GT.

As far as him surviving the mountains - sure, time always tells eventually but speculating beforehand is much more fun. So I’ll get started :)

Bernal now has two problems - Yates and Caruso and while Yates has the potential to gain much more time in the mountains he is:
a) himself not very consistent and could just as easily get dropped as drop others
b) probably the same tier TTer as Bernal meaning he needs to gain maglia Rosa before the final TT
c) further back

That’s why I see Caruso as a bigger threat. I can easily imagine him consistently stealing a minute each stage from Bernal and then finishing the job in the TT. But still, it’s Bernal’s race to lose. If he has the legs on Friday and Saturday, Caruso won’t have the capacity to put time in him and Yates is, well - Yates…
 
I think that's Yates' plan but he probably didn't expect to be down this much time. Following on from his last Giro loss he probably realized that he attacked too much in the first 2 weeks then suddenly his legs went in Week 3. I'm rooting for Bernal but would happily cheer a Yates victory.
His bad day on the shortened stage killed his chances. He needs to be more consistent and he knows it.
 

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Egan Bernal reaction:
"Today was a tough day for me, the last kilometres were really steep and I tried to follow Yates, but today he was stronger than me and I just tried to arrive at the finish with Caruso who is the closest in the GC, I didn’t want to take any risks. Yates was impressive and I just did my best.

I am happy because I didn’t lose too much time to Yates in today’s stage, today’s stage was perfect for him and then with Caruso who is second in GC I lost just a few metres.

A bad day today but I lost nearly no time to second on GC, I have some advantage over Yates so I just need to arrive with some time in Milan and if I win the Giro by one second or two minutes it will be the same".
 
Bernal now has two problems - Yates and Caruso and while Yates has the potential to gain much more time in the mountains he is:
a) himself not very consistent and could just as easily get dropped as drop others
b) probably the same tier TTer as Bernal meaning he needs to gain maglia Rosa before the final TT
c) further back
I'm personally not that much convinced about this supposed Yate's inconsistency in this Giro... Of course we know he's not consistent by definition and we could have every right to expect him to crack any moment in the future, but let's break down his performance on this Giro so far.

The stages where he lost time to Bernal (not counting boni seconds):

stage 4 - 11s
stage 6 - 17s
stage 9 - 12s
stage 11 - 26s

stage 14 (Zoncolan) - 11s
stage 16 (Cortina) - 2min30s
stage 17 (Sega di Ala) - gained 53s

Until the stage 11 Yates was very consistent. He lost 11-26s to Bernal on every single MTF. He was always in the main group at the finish (usually at the back of it ofc), no major problems. However, I'd not focus so much on this first part of the race, as we didn't have any serious mountains there nor any significant gaps between GC riders.

The first important test was stage 14 - Zoncolan. As we know, Simon attacked first on the steep part. Bernal followed him, eventually counter attacked ~300m before the finish and gained 11s. Great performance from Yates, 11s at the finish is almost nothing.

Second test - stage 16, Cortina d'Ampezzo. Yates lost 2min30s - this is 74% of his current time loss to Bernal.
BUT, we know how the weather conditions looked like. Let's assume this was the main reason for his very poor performance. Why can we assume that with quite a high level of confidence?

Test number 3 - stage 17, Sega di Ala. 2 days after Cortina, beautiful sunny day, the hardest climb of this Giro. Yates put 53s on Bernal, even more on other riders, who also were ahead of him in Cortina. Actually, comparing to Bernal, he was just flying up this hill.

Then, for me in this Giro, Yates seems to be a very consistent rider, whose form comparing to others, is gradually improving, who had just one bad day, caused most likely by poor weather conditions.

Of course we can say that he can still repeat Giro '18 in one of the upcoming stages, but I just can't see it to happen. This time he hasn't been killing himself from day one like on that year. Quite the opposite. He's been riding very conservatively (maybe even to much) and looking at his yestetrday's performance (but also Zoncolan where he was almost as good as Bernal) I'd say that in terms of climbing performance he's at the same level as Bernal if not even slightly better now.

I expect Yates to gain more time on Bernal in those 2 upcoming MTFs (for now weather is supposed to be good, only some rain possible on the Saturday's afternoon). Anyway, I don't think that's gonna be enough to win the Giro (assuming they will ride the TT more or less equally), unless Bernal is going to be as weak as yesterday (which I don't expect to happen but don't also completely rule it out). Also the remained climbs are not as hard as yesterday's Sega di Ala. The time loss from Cortina stage might be just too big.
 
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You can argue that his performances in this Giro have been consistent, but that doesn't mean he's a consistent rider.
You need more data points from different GTs to infer that his lack of performance when he lost +2 minutes was due to bad weather.
 
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You can argue that his performances in this Giro have been consistent, but that doesn't mean he's a consistent rider.
That's why I wrote that he's an inconsistent rider by definition, but in this Giro for me, he seems to be rather consistent so far.
You need more data points from different GTs to infer that his lack of performance when he lost +2 minutes was due to bad weather.
True, I know that the relevance of my analysis is very limited by having not enough data points. At the same I find it very hard to belive that the weather conditions didn't affect strongly his performance during Cortina stage. Just looking at what he did two days before and two days after, I can't belive it was his legs only.

Fortunately, we don't have to wait very long until we'll find out if we could really say this was a consistent race by Simon Yates. If he won't show any siginificant signs of weakness during the next two stages (I truly belive he won't) then we can say he was generally consistent apart from having that one day off. ;)
 
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If it was simply a food related bonk then I can't see Yates being able to do anything against Bernal based upon what we saw prior to stage 17. I am not 100% sure but if not his back then I think Bernal simply ran out of glycogen. That is easily rectified and if so, Yates and everyone else can look forward to more of what we saw on stage 16 and earlier, i.e., powerless. What I am more certain of is Bernal won't fade.
 
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If it was simply a food related bonk then I can't see Yates being able to do anything against Bernal based upon what we saw prior to stage 17. I am not 100% sure but if not his back then I think Bernal simply ran out of glycogen. That is easily rectified and if so, Yates and everyone else can look forward to more of what we saw on stage 16 and earlier, i.e., powerless. What I am more certain of is Bernal won't fade.
It’s not just those two possibilities (bonk or back): he could also have gotten sick sometime , which is not unusual in a GT and is something that a team is unlikely to disclose because it would communicate their leader’s vulnerable ness. There are other possibilities as well, but tomorrow should tell us a lot more.
 

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