Tracking the French drought

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Tonton said:
Alexandre B. said:
For all my whiny comments about this great generation of riders lacking big wins, that was a great season.

1st in Il Lombardia, Flèche Wallonne, Clasica San Sebastian, Milano-Torino.
2nd in World Championships, Strade Bianche.
3rd in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Milano-Sanremo, Gent-Wevelgem, Volta a Catalanya.

Tour of the Alps is also nice, as are stages in Grands Tours.

When I started to follow the sport, the biggest achievement we could afford was winning a stage in the Tour de France.
We're back on top of the World Alexandre! :)
Congratulations Tonton! I share in your joy! Thibaut delivers and in high style!
 
It borders on the bizarre at this point. Of all of the big French talents of recent years, the only one who over performs his apparent physical level in terms of results is Demare. Then you have Pinot, who does win quite big in between the inexplicable disasters and provides most of the best wins. He is is own unique thing, swinging wildly from tragedy to ecstasy. Other than that they all underperform their promise. All of them.
 
I don't know. This is very much about expectations. And it's about what types of riders do you develope, what are they and what do you expect from them.
Clearly, France produces great one day racers nowadays. That's the type that gets, for some reason, I don't know anything about the French youth system, to the top. Those guys have instincts, passion, they are great in the mountains and hills. They are usually not amazing time triallers. They are powerful and rather punchy, but they do not excel especially in long-term endurance. But then you expect them, because they are French, and the French are supposed to be a big cycling nation, and they have this kind of important race, and it's a three week race, and after all, any great cyclist is supposed to win a GT, so now you expect them to be winners of big stage races.

Well, I guess if you want great stage racers you have to start to scout them and to support them to become that. You will get a lot of rather "boring" riders, not your beloved attacking ones, but riders who can wait, who can time trail, who can do a three-week race almost without being recognised... and then maybe one day one of these will win your GT.
Ah and one more thing... it might help to not put them into the spotlight and under the pressure that they have to win because no Frenchman has... since 30 years... and the honour and integrity of the French nation lies on your shoulders now...
 
It borders on the bizarre at this point. Of all of the big French talents of recent years, the only one who over performs his apparent physical level in terms of results is Demare. Then you have Pinot, who does win quite big in between the inexplicable disasters and provides most of the best wins. He is is own unique thing, swinging wildly from tragedy to ecstasy. Other than that they all underperform their promise. All of them.
Alaphilippe?
 
Alaphilippe?
amazingly i managed to forget his existence lol. Obviously he’s the most prominent of the three who actually win stuff.

but thinking about it, he isn’t yet an overachiever. His expectations are sky high as he is the guy who has succeeded Valverde as worlds best puncheur, but he only has a single monument. Of course he’s hardly a conspicuous underachiever at this point either.
 
Reactions: Forever The Best
The golden generation that didn't win a thing over five days of racing is out of it in the Tour.

What a surprise.
I think the fact that it's always "all about the Tour" has a lot to do with it. They usually don't go to the Giro or Vuelta. And they don't want to go too deep in 1 week stage races, because they don't want to cook themselves or hit form too soon with the Tour in mind. Like they've been setting themselves up for this. Pinot's track record is "ok", he's done 13 GT's, of which 8 Tours. But Bardet has only ever done one Vuelta, and no Giro.
 
It's true, they always prioritize the Tour massively, while the Vuelta would suit most of them better. And then the Tour has been won by a British team in the last decade, while the French prefer to stay with French teams.
 
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Certainly possible PInot or Bardet take a step forward in future years but I'm thinking it would have to be a year similar to 2014 when some top riders have bad luck through crash/illness or the like. Unfortunately for them, Nairo and Aru are the same age, though you never know in what years Aru might focus on the Giro. I prefer Bardet but at this point Pinot looks to be the better bet, having upped his TT game.
or he might just disappear. It’s so hard to predict the future lol.
 
It's true, they always prioritize the Tour massively, while the Vuelta would suit most of them better. And then the Tour has been won by a British team in the last decade, while the French prefer to stay with French teams.
They would probably have come a lot closer to winning the Tour, had they built up some experience riding/winning smaller races for the actual victory. Be it Pais Vasco, Dauphiné, Suisse or Vuelta...
 
Reactions: Eclipse
They would probably have come a lot closer to winning the Tour, had they built up some experience riding/winning smaller races for the actual victory. Be it Pais Vasco, Dauphiné, Suisse or Vuelta...
Well, that's pretty much what Pinot did, and he got close last year.

The ITT thing has been pretty bad for decades, with one exception for GT contenders, Pinot '16. At the expense of his punch. Something may be due to the system, I don't know. Having multiple small and medium budget teams doesn't help. Not one big team that can make even a Wiggo win a Tour. That seems to be the modern recipe for GB and now NL.

Well, no Tour win in '20.
 

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