7 extra kg make more of an impact for a lighter rider than it does for a heavier rider. If a 100kg dude climbs as fast as his 10 year old son under normal circumstances, who will climb faster with a 12kg backpack? For the 100kg dude this is only a 12% weight gain, so for the huge watts he already has to push, the difference will be minimal. But the 10 year old kid who weighs 25kg himself, now has to drag an extra 50% of weight with the limited watts he needed to push his 25kg uphill.It's all just Greek to me.
Your muscles don't know whether they are doing a flat TT or a climb at a certain pace at certain watts. If he would climb the way he TT's, his muscle fibers would be none the wiser. But please don't tell them.He may have the power but not the right muscle fibers to handle multiple high mountain stages (consecutively). Jury's still out.
I think him focussing on gaining muscle in order to be more explosive/punchy is a mistake. He will never be as punchy as Roglic or Pogacar, so why does it matter if he loses 5 seconds at the finish or 2 seconds? Especially with the risk of him putting less focus (as evident this year) on longer climbs. Chances are by doing so, he won't even make it to the finish with those guys in order to sprint to begin with. He was a superb endurance athlete and now they are trying to turn him into a puncheur.
On the other hand, you can objectively verify this was a good climbing performance by the data. Regardless of the echelons that killed the climbers or lack of competitors.His 2 impressive MTF wins (Gaustatoppen, Picon Blanco) were both essentially Unipuerto stages. Both with echelons that likely killed the climbers. Ideal circumstances.