Tirreno - Adriatico 2021, March 10 - March 16

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Ok, I get it that he looked very impressive, but I feel it's somewhat premature to have Van Aert mentioned next to 3 actual GT winners.

Maybe. But he's proven he can climb here and at the Tour last year and that he can TT. So if Jumbo don't have him riding 4th/5th option in the train, he could do well I think. I'd give him a better shot than Kuss in the Tour as a leader. He's up with Kruijswijk as a good option for Jumbo imo, only you can attack with WVA on more than just climbs. Also, I don't think the Tour route is that hard climbing wise. Portet is probably the hardest climb for him.
 
Maybe. But he's proven he can climb here and at the Tour last year and that he can TT. So if Jumbo don't have him riding 4th/5th option in the train, he could do well I think. I'd give him a better shot than Kuss in the Tour as a leader. He's up with Kruijswijk as a good option for Jumbo imo, only you can attack with WVA on more than just climbs. Also, I don't think the Tour route is that hard climbing wise. Portet is probably the hardest climb for him.
Van Aert is a much better 2nd option than Kruijswijk, simply becaus Kruijswijk is 100% a known quantity who's 100% not gonna win the Tour.

But losing 42s on Prato di Tivo is not good enough and Van Aert would face the proposition of eating into a climbing gap with Pogacar. Also, Van Aert has much more reason to be in really good form right now, as the classics are looming.

As it is right now though, I don't see Roglic having much of a shot to beat Pogacar.
 
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Hmm, this needs some context though. He was leading most of the chasing in the group from 8km to go. And the other climbers than sprinted from his back with 500m to go.

I reckon he was actually the 3/4/5th best climber on the day.
Pogacar did all the work solo as well.

With relative strengths like these, no train can save van Aert here. This was a 7% average climb with no massive climbs before. Van Aert is very strong, yes, but Pogacar right now is easily good enough that he can just take off 3 to 5 times on the final climb and put all the required time into Van Aert.

Van Aerts only winditions are being a top 3 climber in the race or an echelon stage.

And that's not to dismiss van Aert. Before this Tirreno I'd have thought top 5 was crazy. Now I think he could get 2nd in the Tour if he holds up.
 
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Taking a performance from Tirreno and projecting it into the Tour can be tricky. In fact, it could be missing other critical variables around the race. First he has to do it to prove it before we jump in the bandwagon of GT winner.
 
Taking a performance from Tirreno and projecting it into the Tour can be tricky. In fact, it could be missing other critical variables around the race. First he has to do it to prove it before we jump in the bandwagon of GT winner.

Yes, true... but I already thought so during the last Tour, and even more so when the route for 21 was shown. What exactly do you want him to do first? Win it?
 
Move to a different team. Like many have done in the past. It will be very hard on his position to be upfront and protected.

Let's say in December 2022, the 2023 Tour route is announced with a Roubaix stage and two long TTs. Wout would arguably already be Jumbo's 3rd best GC bet on a route like that, behind Primoz who would be 33 and Kruijswijk who would be 35. Also if we did get a route like that, would we see Wout go all-in on GC & forgo the classics, maybe try to drop a kilo or three more?

Yeah, lots of ifs, but 18 months is a long time in this sport so lot's can change between now and then. No-one talks about Bernal anymore who 18 months ago was going to win 5 Tours....
 
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Pogi is just 22 . . . only going to get stronger. He is the best GC climber in the world tour, and he's probably the best time-trialer among GC guys (even better than Roglic, now [ok, maybe not better than Remco, but we'll have to see]). Not much can be done, I think. Roglic has a good chance to podium the 2021 TDF, but I think last year was his best shot at winning it.
 
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Pogi is just 22 . . . only going to get stronger. He is the best GC climber in the world tour, and he's probably the best time-trialer among GC guys (even better than Roglic, now). Not much can be done, I think. Roglic has a good chance to podium the 2021 TDF, but I think last year was his best shot at winning it.
While I can understand why Pogačar is seen by many as the number 1 favourite, I think you are selling Rogla short. I don't understand why (almost) every year for this forum the race (mostly for stage races) is over even before it happens. Or it's over in the first week of a GT. It's happened so many times where the prerace favourite hasn't won, or the leader who looked untouchable in the first week hasn't won in the end, yet everytime one can hear how the race is already over. When will we learn?

About Pogačar being the best climber and the best TTer among the GC riders, I'd agree. But it's all about recency. I think Roglič is very close to him in both. We haven't seen Roglič going against him head to head this season. I think on a climb like Prati di Tivo no way Pogačar gaps Roglič. We'll have to wait and see when they go against each other. In Itzulia we'll have some kind of a preview.

And I'm not ruling out INEOS either. With Thomas, Tao, and Carapaz in form (and maybe Bernal), they can do havoc in the mountains.
 
And I'm not ruling out INEOS either. With Thomas, Tao, and Carapaz in form (and maybe Bernal), they can do havoc in the mountains.

Yes, Ineos can do a big damage at the Tour (esp. if the Slovenian duo is a bit subpar). Even though I predicted Carapaz for top3, an in-form Thomas can actually be the best Ineos leader on this route. It's almost unfair to Pogacar and others how strong JV and Ineos are.
 
Pogacar doesn't have a co-leader, but as a support team he has a great one!

I'd forget about the sprinter and go with Bjerg, McNulty, de la Cruz, Majka, Formolo, Polanc, Hirschi. If they feel they can Kristoff, too, they probably feel good about their team.
 
Pogacar doesn't have a co-leader, but as a support team he has a great one!

I'd forget about the sprinter and go with Bjerg, McNulty, de la Cruz, Majka, Formolo, Polanc, Hirschi. If they feel they can Kristoff, too, they probably feel good about their team.

Great? Have you seen recent races? Only Formolo is looking good. The biggest addition for the mountains (Majka) seems completely out of form. Hirschi is great but not sure how helpful he will be in high mountains.
 
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Pogi is just 22 . . . only going to get stronger. He is the best GC climber in the world tour, and he's probably the best time-trialer among GC guys (even better than Roglic, now [ok, maybe not better than Remco, but we'll have to see]). Not much can be done, I think. Roglic has a good chance to podium the 2021 TDF, but I think last year was his best shot at winning it.
Still, if, and that's a big IF, Evenepoel gets back to his best level and then some after his injury, I think even Pogacar will be in trouble. But that will most likely not before 2022