Teams & Riders Vincenzo Nibali discussion thread

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Re: Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
ColonelKidneyBeans said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
He has at this point displaced Simon Gerrans as the greatest overperformer of his physical talent in the peloton. He is very good at a lot of things, but is not in the top half dozen riders at anything, including descending. In this age of specialists, he really shouldn’t be able to win as much as he has. Yet look at his palmares. One of the most cunning and canny riders we’ve seen in modern cycling. There’s something truly admirable about that.
While i agree that he has surpassed his talent many times, i think you are underselling him saying that he isn't on the top half dozen in anything, his climbing on hard mountain stages is a bit underrated, his TT in the third week of a GT is very very good and his stamina has gotten incredible as he got older, who else could do what he's done today or at lombardia last year? He is a machine even on the flat after a long day in the saddle
I think he’s quite close to the top half dozen in a few things. When I say he has hugely over performed his talent, that doesn’t mean that he has a small talent. In climbing for instance, his best is very good, just not Froome, Quintana or even Landa very good. Where he surpasses them all though is in turning his talents into big wins. That’s what he has in common with Gerrans, a rider that in most ways is very dissimilar but has also earned a palmares that is much better than would be expected from a guy with his physical level. One of the weird things about cycling is that this seems like it’s a dismissal, but it really shouldn’t. Nibali has the tactical brain and the mentality of an all time great.

If you put his brain in Valverde’s body, you’d have the biggest winner since Merckx. Or if not quite that you’d at least have someone with the palmares level of a Kelly, which should otherwise be impossible nowadays.
That's a really good assessment of Nibali as a rider.
I would argue that there is one aspect of cycling in which he's clearly top notch: climbing in 230+ km races (Firenze, Rio, Lombardia x2, MSR). Sadly for him, there are very few of those races in the calendar. That's another good reason why he should focus on Monuments.
 
Re:

Summoned said:
As far as the comparison between Nibali and Valverde goes, while I am entirely a partisan for Nibali, I think it is very difficult to argue that Valverde is not the better rider. Certainly he is the more talented rider. As evidence for this I would argue that there is no top-level race for which Nibali is as overwhelming a favorite as Valverde is for several races. And Valverde has an impressive success rate in these races that he enters as a presumptive winner. The only race I can think of that Nibali entered as anywhere near a presumptive winner would be the 2017 Lombardia. Compare that to Valverde at Spanish one-week races, Flèche, and LBL. Yes, Nibali is a better GT rider, or at least has better results, but Valverde is an under-rated GT rider, with his 2016 performance across all three GT's being a spectacular accomplishment from my perspective.

What I will say is a potential argument in favor of Nibali as a better rider than Valverde, though its merits are debatable, is that Nibali's ability to win so often, and, perhaps more impressively, in such varied fashion, means he is both adaptive and perceptive, possessing a tremendous understanding of how a race is progressing and what affords him the best opportunity to gain the victory. That may be the feature that differentiates him most from his contemporaries in the peloton, and even if it does not make him a greater rider than Valverde, it does set him apart from his current competitors. He may not be unique in the larger history of cycling, but I think no one else riding today can do what he does.
versatility is overrated if not supported by talent. Nibali is not simply somebody who's merely good at everything. He wins races and GTs,which means he's at the very absolute top in some part of the year against ANYBODY

Nibali is not somebody who is just versatile like wearing a red shirt, green shorts and yellow hat is.....
He is at the VERY TOP in one skill,which is tactical sensibility (like you already alluded to).
He's not the best "Watt producer" but he's probably,along with Valverde,the best racer in the peloton which is in itself a top skill. Who said that the definition of "top skill" is limited to "being the best on one terrain"??

another user said that he is an overachiever like Gerrans. It doesn't seem particularly close honestly...
When the "achieving" part becomes frequent then the "over" loses its meaning.

also,Nibali might not be the best climber but in 2014 he was probably better than Quintana and Landa ever were or at least on par
 
Nibali was at least one of the best 3 climbers in the world at his peak.

And it's absolutely not like Valverde is physically more talented or anything. Nibali most definitely has more endurance and stronger solo efforts deep into hard stages and classics. He's also a more talented GT specialist. Valverde never was a good enough climber over 3 weeks to win the Tour or Giro.
 
Re:

Summoned said:
As far as the comparison between Nibali and Valverde goes, while I am entirely a partisan for Nibali, I think it is very difficult to argue that Valverde is not the better rider. Certainly he is the more talented rider. As evidence for this I would argue that there is no top-level race for which Nibali is as overwhelming a favorite as Valverde is for several races. And Valverde has an impressive success rate in these races that he enters as a presumptive winner. The only race I can think of that Nibali entered as anywhere near a presumptive winner would be the 2017 Lombardia. Compare that to Valverde at Spanish one-week races, Flèche, and LBL. Yes, Nibali is a better GT rider, or at least has better results, but Valverde is an under-rated GT rider, with his 2016 performance across all three GT's being a spectacular accomplishment from my perspective.

What I will say is a potential argument in favor of Nibali as a better rider than Valverde, though its merits are debatable, is that Nibali's ability to win so often, and, perhaps more impressively, in such varied fashion, means he is both adaptive and perceptive, possessing a tremendous understanding of how a race is progressing and what affords him the best opportunity to gain the victory. That may be the feature that differentiates him most from his contemporaries in the peloton, and even if it does not make him a greater rider than Valverde, it does set him apart from his current competitors. He may not be unique in the larger history of cycling, but I think no one else riding today can do what he does.
I find it very easy to argue Nibali is the better rider. Valverde is incredibly consistent, but in the biggest races he's simply not won that much.

Valverde's palmares basically says that there's almost always someone better unless it's super tailored to him.
 
What is the deal with this Nibali vs Valverde discussion? Going on in two seperate threads. I must have missed something.

I think Nibali is an overachiever in terms of results (i.e. his palmares doesn't really match his level of talent), Valverde not really because he just has a very strong sprint/last km punch and most of his wins were gathered in that way, so his palmares matches his talent.
I'd definitely rate Nibali's palmares above Valverde's, quality of wins (prestige and way in which a race was won) is much more important than quantity in my eyes. Valverde's consistency is amazing but I can't help but notice many of his 100+ wins were won in smaller races, against mediocre competition, with a move inside the final ~300m. Of course he has a fair share of big wins but it doesn't live up to Nibali's palmares IMO.
 
About yesterday's making the impossible possible, it should be noted that it was a strong headwind on Poggio and on the final flat which makes his effort even more impressive. The team was always on the front on the narrower roads that led to his attack and he was very well positioned, Mohoric was outstanding, credit also to Krist Neilands from Israel Academy. Nibali made his move earlier than anybody could expect on an almost false flat and managed to keep a fair distance, he already had a gap when the steepest part came which he climbed outstandingly. He didn't bombed the descent, it was a very well controlled attempt to keep the gap. Last but not least he dodged a mobile phone on Via Roma.
 
I think you could make a strong argument that, since 2015, Nibali is the stronger one day racer and Valverde the stronger stage racer. Which is kind of an interesting turn around.

Certainly Nibali is a better one day racer now than he is stage racer. He just seems to lack something now in his climbing in stage races - either in terms of peaking or consistency. Whereas his rouleur skills seem to have improved massively - to the point where he can hold a relatively small gap to win. Surely he's a big favourite for the Worlds now, especially given the strong support he'll get from Italy's team.
 
Re:

DFA123 said:
I think you could make a strong argument that, since 2015, Nibali is the stronger one day racer and Valverde the stronger stage racer. Which is kind of an interesting turn around.

Certainly Nibali is a better one day racer now than he is stage racer. He just seems to lack something now in his climbing in stage races - either in terms of peaking or consistency. Whereas his rouleur skills seem to have improved massively - to the point where he can hold a relatively small gap to win. Surely he's a big favourite for the Worlds now, especially given the strong support he'll get from Italy's team.
Valverde is more succesful in short stage races but in Grand Tours he hasn`t been close to Nibali in the last few years.
Valverde: 3rd 2015 Tour, 3rd 2016 Giro
Nibali: 4th 2015 Tour, 1st 2016 Giro, 3rd 2017 Giro, 2nd/maybe 1st 2017 Vuelta
 
Re: Re:

skippo12 said:
DFA123 said:
I think you could make a strong argument that, since 2015, Nibali is the stronger one day racer and Valverde the stronger stage racer. Which is kind of an interesting turn around.

Certainly Nibali is a better one day racer now than he is stage racer. He just seems to lack something now in his climbing in stage races - either in terms of peaking or consistency. Whereas his rouleur skills seem to have improved massively - to the point where he can hold a relatively small gap to win. Surely he's a big favourite for the Worlds now, especially given the strong support he'll get from Italy's team.
Valverde is more succesful in short stage races but in Grand Tours he hasn`t been close to Nibali in the last few years.
Valverde: 3rd 2015 Tour, 3rd 2016 Giro
Nibali: 4th 2015 Tour, 1st 2016 Giro, 3rd 2017 Giro, 2nd/maybe 1st 2017 Vuelta
2017 isn't really comparable is it? Valverde rode the half prologue in total.

In any case. It will be very interesting to see how Nibali does in the Tour as well this year. He did his slow build up thing last year, after not racing the 2nd half of 2016, and the Vuelta didn't suit him at all and probably never will again. He's been getting his GT peaks a little wrong for a while now I think, especially in '15 and '16, and he was pretty slow to get there in the last Giro as well.

In any case, Nibali said the rain helped him and that he got better and better as the race went on. I find this very interesting and I think it might be a thermoregulation thing.
 
Re: Re:

skippo12 said:
DFA123 said:
I think you could make a strong argument that, since 2015, Nibali is the stronger one day racer and Valverde the stronger stage racer. Which is kind of an interesting turn around.

Certainly Nibali is a better one day racer now than he is stage racer. He just seems to lack something now in his climbing in stage races - either in terms of peaking or consistency. Whereas his rouleur skills seem to have improved massively - to the point where he can hold a relatively small gap to win. Surely he's a big favourite for the Worlds now, especially given the strong support he'll get from Italy's team.
Valverde is more succesful in short stage races but in Grand Tours he hasn`t been close to Nibali in the last few years.
Valverde: 3rd 2015 Tour, 3rd 2016 Giro
Nibali: 4th 2015 Tour, 1st 2016 Giro, 3rd 2017 Giro, 2nd/maybe 1st 2017 Vuelta
Looks pretty close to me.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
skippo12 said:
DFA123 said:
I think you could make a strong argument that, since 2015, Nibali is the stronger one day racer and Valverde the stronger stage racer. Which is kind of an interesting turn around.

Certainly Nibali is a better one day racer now than he is stage racer. He just seems to lack something now in his climbing in stage races - either in terms of peaking or consistency. Whereas his rouleur skills seem to have improved massively - to the point where he can hold a relatively small gap to win. Surely he's a big favourite for the Worlds now, especially given the strong support he'll get from Italy's team.
Valverde is more succesful in short stage races but in Grand Tours he hasn`t been close to Nibali in the last few years.
Valverde: 3rd 2015 Tour, 3rd 2016 Giro
Nibali: 4th 2015 Tour, 1st 2016 Giro, 3rd 2017 Giro, 2nd/maybe 1st 2017 Vuelta
Looks pretty close to me.
How about Nibali winning since 2013 every year either a GT or a monument? 3 GTs and 3 Monuments.
Valverde? 0 GTs, 2 Monuments.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
skippo12 said:
DFA123 said:
I think you could make a strong argument that, since 2015, Nibali is the stronger one day racer and Valverde the stronger stage racer. Which is kind of an interesting turn around.

Certainly Nibali is a better one day racer now than he is stage racer. He just seems to lack something now in his climbing in stage races - either in terms of peaking or consistency. Whereas his rouleur skills seem to have improved massively - to the point where he can hold a relatively small gap to win. Surely he's a big favourite for the Worlds now, especially given the strong support he'll get from Italy's team.
Valverde is more succesful in short stage races but in Grand Tours he hasn`t been close to Nibali in the last few years.
Valverde: 3rd 2015 Tour, 3rd 2016 Giro
Nibali: 4th 2015 Tour, 1st 2016 Giro, 3rd 2017 Giro, 2nd/maybe 1st 2017 Vuelta
Looks pretty close to me.
Let me phrase it differently: Valverde is going to finish in the top 5-10 and sometimes even on the podium in GT he starts but he is rarely contending for the win. Nibali on the other hand is finishing on the podium most of the time and is contending for the win.
 
Re: Re:

skippo12 said:
DFA123 said:
skippo12 said:
DFA123 said:
I think you could make a strong argument that, since 2015, Nibali is the stronger one day racer and Valverde the stronger stage racer. Which is kind of an interesting turn around.

Certainly Nibali is a better one day racer now than he is stage racer. He just seems to lack something now in his climbing in stage races - either in terms of peaking or consistency. Whereas his rouleur skills seem to have improved massively - to the point where he can hold a relatively small gap to win. Surely he's a big favourite for the Worlds now, especially given the strong support he'll get from Italy's team.
Valverde is more succesful in short stage races but in Grand Tours he hasn`t been close to Nibali in the last few years.
Valverde: 3rd 2015 Tour, 3rd 2016 Giro
Nibali: 4th 2015 Tour, 1st 2016 Giro, 3rd 2017 Giro, 2nd/maybe 1st 2017 Vuelta
Looks pretty close to me.
Let me phrase it differently: Valverde is going to finish in the top 5-10 and sometimes even on the podium in GT he starts but he is rarely contending for the win. Nibali on the other hand is finishing on the podium most of the time and is contending for the win.
I'm not sure Nibali really is contending for the win any more. He was fortunate to win in the 2016 Giro and hasn't really come that close to winning a GT since. And his results in week long stage races have been terrible in that period.

Valverde has won pretty much every stage race he has entered (and finished) for the past year and a half. Who knows how he would do in a GT with this kind of shape?

Meanwhile, in the same time period, Nibali has morphed into arguably the best one day racer in the world.
 
Re: Re:

Rollthedice said:
DFA123 said:
skippo12 said:
DFA123 said:
I think you could make a strong argument that, since 2015, Nibali is the stronger one day racer and Valverde the stronger stage racer. Which is kind of an interesting turn around.

Certainly Nibali is a better one day racer now than he is stage racer. He just seems to lack something now in his climbing in stage races - either in terms of peaking or consistency. Whereas his rouleur skills seem to have improved massively - to the point where he can hold a relatively small gap to win. Surely he's a big favourite for the Worlds now, especially given the strong support he'll get from Italy's team.
Valverde is more succesful in short stage races but in Grand Tours he hasn`t been close to Nibali in the last few years.
Valverde: 3rd 2015 Tour, 3rd 2016 Giro
Nibali: 4th 2015 Tour, 1st 2016 Giro, 3rd 2017 Giro, 2nd/maybe 1st 2017 Vuelta
Looks pretty close to me.
How about Nibali winning since 2013 every year either a GT or a monument? 3 GTs and 3 Monuments.
Valverde? 0 GTs, 2 Monuments.
I'm not really interested in getting into a fan boy face-off. This statistic doesn't really have anything to do with the point I was making. It was just an observation that the main forte of these two great riders seems to have swapped in the last couple of years. It's interesting how Valverde gets better at stage races, relative to one day races, with age, while the reverse is true for Nibali.
 
As someone has already pointed out, Nibali has got huge stamina. At the end of races over 200k his legs are fresher than most of the other riders and that makes a big difference.

As an example, yesterday Trentin couldn't catch him, despite at some point being no more than 3-4 secs behind with Nibali a clear point of reference in front of him.
I don't think that in a 150/180km race Nibali would have stand a chance in holding him off. Let alone the rest of the peloton.
But after almost 300k his legs, compared to most of the others, had that extra bit that let him stay away.

And I believe this skill is linked to his very good recovery ability during GT. Ability the makes a difference during the third week, when everyone else is tired and is starting to fade.
 
Its kind of funny that Nibali probably will end of with quite a better palmarés and career than Contador - Contador was certainly the more talented rider, although he obviously lacks something in the one racing apartment, but Nibali is the kind of rider who just maximises what he gets out of his talent. Incredible. Objectively, he probably also has a better palmarés than Valverde at this point - altho I think still Valverde is the better rider! ;)
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Rollthedice said:
DFA123 said:
skippo12 said:
DFA123 said:
I think you could make a strong argument that, since 2015, Nibali is the stronger one day racer and Valverde the stronger stage racer. Which is kind of an interesting turn around.

Certainly Nibali is a better one day racer now than he is stage racer. He just seems to lack something now in his climbing in stage races - either in terms of peaking or consistency. Whereas his rouleur skills seem to have improved massively - to the point where he can hold a relatively small gap to win. Surely he's a big favourite for the Worlds now, especially given the strong support he'll get from Italy's team.
Valverde is more succesful in short stage races but in Grand Tours he hasn`t been close to Nibali in the last few years.
Valverde: 3rd 2015 Tour, 3rd 2016 Giro
Nibali: 4th 2015 Tour, 1st 2016 Giro, 3rd 2017 Giro, 2nd/maybe 1st 2017 Vuelta
Looks pretty close to me.
How about Nibali winning since 2013 every year either a GT or a monument? 3 GTs and 3 Monuments.
Valverde? 0 GTs, 2 Monuments.
I'm not really interested in getting into a fan boy face-off. This statistic doesn't really have anything to do with the point I was making. It was just an observation that the main forte of these two great riders seems to have swapped in the last couple of years. It's interesting how Valverde gets better at stage races, relative to one day races, with age, while the reverse is true for Nibali.
Funny thing is I really like Valverde so it was just about some facts because somebody brought in this thread the Spaniard and started to make comparisons. As for Nibali losing the ability to win a GT lately, he will never get to the 2014 level but still has the chance to win under proper circumstances, the podium being almost a given for every GT he rides. He was better in Vuelta last year than in Giro so I don't see a reason why he can't contend for the win in Le Tour this year, the route is good for him.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Rollthedice said:
DFA123 said:
skippo12 said:
DFA123 said:
I think you could make a strong argument that, since 2015, Nibali is the stronger one day racer and Valverde the stronger stage racer. Which is kind of an interesting turn around.

Certainly Nibali is a better one day racer now than he is stage racer. He just seems to lack something now in his climbing in stage races - either in terms of peaking or consistency. Whereas his rouleur skills seem to have improved massively - to the point where he can hold a relatively small gap to win. Surely he's a big favourite for the Worlds now, especially given the strong support he'll get from Italy's team.
Valverde is more succesful in short stage races but in Grand Tours he hasn`t been close to Nibali in the last few years.
Valverde: 3rd 2015 Tour, 3rd 2016 Giro
Nibali: 4th 2015 Tour, 1st 2016 Giro, 3rd 2017 Giro, 2nd/maybe 1st 2017 Vuelta
Looks pretty close to me.
How about Nibali winning since 2013 every year either a GT or a monument? 3 GTs and 3 Monuments.
Valverde? 0 GTs, 2 Monuments.
It's interesting how Valverde gets better at stage races, relative to one day races, with age, while the reverse is true for Nibali.
Honestly I don't think that Nibali is getting better at one day races. He is where he has always been.
He had pretty good results in the past... already 3rd at MSR and 2nd at LBL in 2012. Sometimes you need the stars to be correctly aligned.

Also saying that he getting weaker in GTs simply does not make any sense.

Giro winner in 2016
3rd at the Giro last year, second at the Vuelta...

If that means getting worse at GT.... :eek:
 
Valverde wins races that suit him perfectly thanks to his sprint and tends to fail climbing wise outside of Spain with races like the 2015 Tour being the notable exception. Nibali wins races that ain't suited to his characteristics or where he already has been defeated. Yeah, sometimes his victories are favored by a little luck. But if opponents constantly crash, make tactical mistakes etc because they're nervous, inattentive etc while Nibali just nearly never makes this errors it's a quality as well. Valverde is pretty much overrated IMHO, while Nibali actually has become the closest thing to Merckx you could get nowadays with yesterday's M-SM victory.

And I'm absolutely not known as a Nibali fan, if we get back to 2016!

But to put things into perspective, for me personally Phil Gilbert and Hennie Kuiper are bigger (classics) riders than Boonen & Cancellara, because winning the same race(s) that perfectly suit you over and over again doesn't make you exactly the greatest IMHO. So from that POV Nibali of course is superior to Valverde.

Maybe I reward versatility a bit too high tbh.
 
Re:

Red Rick said:
Nibali was at least one of the best 3 climbers in the world at his peak.

And it's absolutely not like Valverde is physically more talented or anything. Nibali most definitely has more endurance and stronger solo efforts deep into hard stages and classics. He's also a more talented GT specialist. Valverde never was a good enough climber over 3 weeks to win the Tour or Giro.
With some decent luck, Valverde could definitely have won a Tour or a Giro. Had he caught up with the Nibali-group before Risoul (they were something like 10 seconds behind), he would probably have won the race. And thats the only time he has attempted it. He climbed very well that race, had one bad days which cost him the race and even with that, chances are he would have won with just a LITTLE bit of luck.

The Tour is different, he has crashed a bunch. I'd still like to have the Tour 2017 simulated without crashes, thats my 2014 Tour in that aspect...
 
It goes back to the same old question: is it better/more prestigious winning Le Tour 4/5 times and almost nothing else, or winning it 1 or 2 times along with other GTs?
 
Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Its kind of funny that Nibali probably will end of with quite a better palmarés and career than Contador - Contador was certainly the more talented rider, although he obviously lacks something in the one racing apartment, but Nibali is the kind of rider who just maximises what he gets out of his talent. Incredible.
I think although there is a certain area of overlap in their palmares there are too many differences to objectively compare the two. Like comparing Gilbert with Boonen.

Edit: I see staubsauger just made that comparison a few posts above mine :p
 
Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Its kind of funny that Nibali probably will end of with quite a better palmarés and career than Contador - Contador was certainly the more talented rider, although he obviously lacks something in the one racing apartment, but Nibali is the kind of rider who just maximises what he gets out of his talent. Incredible. Objectively, he probably also has a better palmarés than Valverde at this point - altho I think still Valverde is the better rider! ;)
I rather think their palmarés reflect the difference in what they're talented at. I'm pretty sure it's a lot more complicated than many people think.

I'm sure Contador had some potential in climbing classics, but he could never have pulled off any of the stunts that won Nibali monuments.

The buildup to peaking for 1 day races and GTs is vastly different, and that has to suit you, and you have to figure out how to do that.
 
Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
Valv.Piti said:
Its kind of funny that Nibali probably will end of with quite a better palmarés and career than Contador - Contador was certainly the more talented rider, although he obviously lacks something in the one racing apartment, but Nibali is the kind of rider who just maximises what he gets out of his talent. Incredible.
I think although there is a certain area of overlap in their palmares there are too many differences to objectively compare the two. Like comparing Gilbert with Boonen.

Edit: I see staubsauger just made that comparison a few posts above mine :p
Yeah, you are right about that, but just looking at the big wins and the versatility of those, Nibali outclasses Contador and Valverde for that matter, IMO. But if you ask who are the better rider of those 3, just to casual cycling fans, Im sure most people will say Contador. But those 3 riders are extremely close, I rate Valverde and Contador as equally 'talented', but with a lesser palmarés than Nibz as this point. But to me, I think they are equally good and I have a hard time separating them.
 

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