Teams & Riders Vuelta 2018 podium three years later

Look at the Vuelta podium in 2018:
-Simon Yates (26 at that time) has just won his first GT but also was the best cyclist for most of the Giro (until his collapse). He definitely was a force to reckon with (and potentially winner of future GTs).
-Enric Mas (then 23) was dubbed by Contador as his successor. It was first GT podium for him and people expected a lot from him in the future.
-Miguel Angel Lopez (then 24), a very talented climber, had a great season (two GT podiums in 2018).
These guys looked like the future of GT racing (I mean those mountains dominated GTs, which seemed more and more common).

Over the next 3 years Mas podiumed in only one GT (just now) and despite being a very solid GT rider hasn't met high expectations yet (no GT victory).
Similarly Yates podiumed just once in this period (no more GT victories) and his rivals didn't necessarily *** their pants (as he expected).
Lopez is Lopez, still a very talented climber but not consistent (performance- and emotion-wise). No GT podium for him since then!

OTOH in the meantime the GT competition changed so much (twillight of older stars: Froome, Quintana, Nibali, Dumoulin) and got even stronger due to new faces. The advent of the Slovenian terminators and other prodigies (Bernal, Vingegaard, Evenepoel, Almeida), who are regarded the present and future of cycling. How much 3 years can change!



 
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I am not sure if many people thought that any of these riders would take over the sport; I'd say that they have all had decent moments in the 3 years since then (in particular Mas who's consistency is impressive).

Far more decent than Andreas Klöden 01-03 :p

Anyway, surely most people would have been looking more towards Dumoulin to dominate from 2019 onwards?
 
Interesting. We couldn't have predicted just how good Roglic would become and many of the others were barely even well known juniors at that time.

That said I never saw GT winner in Mas and I always felt Lopez with his iffy TT would need a course tailor made for a pure climber. Yates not getting that close to winning another Grand Tour is a big surprise based on his 2018 season and development to that point.
 
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I am not sure if many people thought that any of these riders would take over the sport; I'd say that they have all had decent moments in the 3 years since then (in particular Mas who's consistency is impressive).

Far more decent than Andreas Klöden 01-03 :p

Anyway, surely most people would have been looking more towards Dumoulin to dominate from 2019 onwards?
No saying they were expected to dominate but definitely they looked likely to win GTs with few km of TTs (especially given their age at that time, before Pog, Bernal and co set a new age standard). Still, no more GT victories for them in 3 year period.
 
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I am not sure if many people thought that any of these riders would take over the sport; I'd say that they have all had decent moments in the 3 years since then (in particular Mas who's consistency is impressive).

Far more decent than Andreas Klöden 01-03 :p

Anyway, surely most people would have been looking more towards Dumoulin to dominate from 2019 onwards?
In 2018 people were already talking about Bernal as coming to dominate GTs
 
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Three very talented riders who are just not talented enough to win GTs when phenomenons are around. They wouldn't have won a GT against Froome, Contador, Nibali, Quintana at their peaks and they're not winning one now against Pogacar, Roglic, Bernal.
All of them might still win one in the future if all stars align (and I'm looking at Simon Yates in particular), but I wouldn't bet on it.
 
Simon Yates most entertaining GC rider around, still don't know whether the guy is going to break some ancient climbing record or lose 5 minutes on the morning of any given stage.

Hopefully he goes to the Tour next year as the cold doesn't seem to agree with him.
 
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At that time I think it was Dumoulin who everyone thought was likely to dominate for the next few years. Mas seemed to suffer from leaving QuickStep and it has taken until now to re-find the form he had then.
 
At that time I think it was Dumoulin who everyone thought was likely to dominate for the next few years. Mas seemed to suffer from leaving QuickStep and it has taken until now to re-find the form he had then.
I agree that the change of the guard that happened since 2018 is great. Dumoulin was definitely expected to win GTs then and noboty could predict Froome's accident. Maybe a general thread about change of the guard would be more fitting than focusing on these 3 guys.
 
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2018 seems a long time ago, but on the other hand with all that's been happening regarding the pandemic and disturbances to the normal seasons, I don't know if we already can give a definitive answer towards those 3 in particular.

2020 in particular was a hit or miss for some riders with the way the GT season was scheduled and prepared. MAL for instance was on track for a Tour podium, which would be his biggest achievement so far, before ITT happened. A few weeks later had that strange crash on the opening Giro TT and then at the beginning of this season Covid. Was on track for a podium on this Vuelta before the meltdown of the last stage. I'm going to wait another season or two before casting my complete judgment on that one.
 
Three very talented riders who are just not talented enough to win GTs when phenomenons are around. They wouldn't have won a GT against Froome, Contador, Nibali, Quintana at their peaks and they're not winning one now against Pogacar, Roglic, Bernal.
All of them might still win one in the future if all stars align (and I'm looking at Simon Yates in particular), but I wouldn't bet on it.
Agree. All sorts of riders show up on GT podiums (Hugh Carthy, Jai Hindley, I'm looking at you...) but it's not too hard to spot the next level guys.

One of the most mysterious winners in recent years, however, has been Thomas. But in his case it's probably down to age that he couldn't find another GT win.
 
After stage 19 the 2018 Vuelta podium was Yates, Valverde, Kruijsvijk.

On stage 20 Valverde and Kruijsvijk both fell off the podium. Valverde collapsed, Kruijsvijk lost just over 1 minute.

It was the attack of Mas and Lopez on that stage 20 that got them their respective podium positions.

Nobody would have predicted after that that it would be the last GT podium of Lopez, whereas Kruiswij and Valverde would both get 1 more each.
 
Interesting. We couldn't have predicted just how good Roglic would become and many of the others were barely even well known juniors at that time.

That said I never saw GT winner in Mas and I always felt Lopez with his iffy TT would need a course tailor made for a pure climber. Yates not getting that close to winning another Grand Tour is a big surprise based on his 2018 season and development to that point.
I saw Lopez as a potential GT winner when he won the Tour de Suisse in 2016, he dominated the whole race and finished 2nd in the hilly ITT, ahead of Cancellara (who'd go on to win Olympic Gold), Keldermann, Talansky, Castroviejo, G. Thomas and TJVG, to name a few. That was probably his overall most dominant performance over the span of a whole stage race.
 
Agree. All sorts of riders show up on GT podiums (Hugh Carthy, Jai Hindley, I'm looking at you...) but it's not too hard to spot the next level guys.

One of the most mysterious winners in recent years, however, has been Thomas. But in his case it's probably down to age that he couldn't find another GT win.
Circumstances made a difference for G as well. Changing of the guard was about to happen and all of the top riders of that time (Dumoulin, Froome, Nibali if you still want to include him) either peaked for the Giro or crashed out.
Pogacar and Bernal were kids, Roglic had yet to fully develop.

Take a top shape G in any of the past 10 Tours, even as a sole captain of his team, and the only one he's 100% winning is 2018. Possibly 2019, but race dynamics would have been different with Bernal in another team so I'm not sure.

And two riders took 4 out of 6 in the last 2 years - it doesn't leave much for the others.
And 3 riders took 7 out of the last 8.
 
At that time I think it was Dumoulin who everyone thought was likely to dominate for the next few years. Mas seemed to suffer from leaving QuickStep and it has taken until now to re-find the form he had then.
Don't know that I'd agree with this. His real sophomore slump was 2019 while he was still with Quick Step. Though he has a strong score in terms of PCS/CQ Points, that's rather inflated by winning the Tour of Guangxi at the end of the season. He was 22nd in Le Tour that year and mostly a relatively anonymous placement rider in his home stage races, with a 9th at Catalunya, 11th at País Vasco and 9th at the Tour de Suisse to his name. Since coming across to Movistar he's been 5th, 5th, 6th and 2nd in four GTs. I think it was more that in the 2018 Vuelta he was able to get that breakthrough because of not being marked as closely until it was too late, you only have the element of surprise once, plus contending for GC at the Tour is a step up from contending for it at the Vuelta, so it was his first GC tilt at the big one and he was found out, plus of course Alaphilippe's odyssey in the maillot jaune meant he was deployed more as a superdomestique than as a leader there.

At Movistar realistically he has focused almost entirely on the GTs (doing only a handful of one day races all season this year, obviously last year is a bit harder to judge) and apart from being in pretty poor form early in the 2020 Tour, which he was improving day by day in as the race went on, he's largely been strong in them for the last two years.

I think it's a not unexpected pattern for a rider of his kind, with his lack of explosivity he's not likely to build a palmarès in the one-day races and will rely on stage races to build his stats, particularly GTs, and after his breakthrough he had one where he had to subsume his aims as well as not having the element of surprise anymore, and since then he's settled into a role as a diesel threat. I see Enric Mas as being a lot like Carlos Sastre. He actually won very little, but he was undeniably prolific, with 15 GT top 10s of which 6 were podiums - but it took a particularly unusual edition of the Tour in 2008 (with several of those who he had been sitting behind in previous years suspended, the defending champion's team barred from the race for the previous year's infractions (under a semi-different auspice since Astana and Discovery were not the same in 2007, and major contenders yanked mid-race due to new advances in anti-doping being unveiled at the race itself) for him to finally win one.
 
Circumstances made a difference for G as well. Changing of the guard was about to happen and all of the top riders of that time (Dumoulin, Froome, Nibali if you still want to include him) either peaked for the Giro or crashed out.
Pogacar and Bernal were kids, Roglic had yet to fully develop.

Take a top shape G in any of the past 10 Tours, even as a sole captain of his team, and the only one he's 100% winning is 2018. Possibly 2019, but race dynamics would have been different with Bernal in another team so I'm not sure.


And 3 riders took 7 out of the last 8.
Past 10 Tours just about cuts out Evans. I'd easily take 2018 Thomas over Bernal, Evans, and probably 2017 Froome as well.
 
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Maybe Thomas could have crushed everyone easily if he wanted to, but he got 1'10'' out of the final gap of 1'51'' on Dumoulin and 51' out of 2'24'' on Froome through circumstance.
Didn't get dropped once all race, and Froome was only on 2'24 because he was at Sky and got Bernal to drag him all the way through the Pyrenees.

Bernal is a non ITTer who got spanked for 2 weeks in the mountains.

Evans is just not a top climber, way too prone to getting dropped in the mountains and basically won the Tour cause Contador and Schleck were trying to murder each other all 3 weeks. Climbing performances in the 2011 Tour were basically an all-time low.
 
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TdF was an Awarded win. No on would have just let him ride off if they knew the top of that climb would 'become' the finish line.
So in 4 years 1 Real win and 1 Awarded.
Awarded? He was already 2nd at that point in GC.

Alaphilippe wasn't capable nor had the team to pull him back, neither on that stage neither on Val Thorens (which was nerfed too). The biggest threats to Bernal were Thomas (same team), Kruijswijk and Buchmann (Pinot was already out during that stage). I don't see either one of them having the strength to be equal with Bernal on that Tour.

In the previous mountain stage Buchmann was the one who stayed with Bernal and it was 1600m lower in elevation. Kruijswijk already had lost time to that duo.
 
Awarded? He was already 2nd at that point in GC.

Alaphilippe wasn't capable nor had the team to pull him back, neither on that stage neither on Val Thorens (which was nerfed too). The biggest threats to Bernal were Thomas (same team), Kruijswijk and Buchmann (Pinot was already out during that stage). I don't see either one of them having the strength to be equal with Bernal on that Tour.

In the previous mountain stage Buchmann was the one who stayed with Bernal and it was 1600m lower in elevation. Kruijswijk already had lost time to that duo.
Opinions differ :)
 
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