What now for these riders

I know riders get older , new riders appear
Its like the seasons and its just nature

But I guess we have or at least I have been used to a certain order for awhile and changes of regime are not always so quick and so definite

Pog, Bernal, WVA, MVP, Allaphillipe, Carapaz , are the winners on the block now for a few years
The second tier are Gaudu, Casnefoy, Mas, Almedia, McNulty, Schachmann, etc

But I guesss I believed that the old guard could still compete or at least wanted to believe

Now I feel Nibali, Valverde, Quintana, Fuglsang, GVA ,Pinot , Chaves, maybe done wining the big ones (or even the little ones)

And of course Froome is done too

What role for an ex champion who is not domestique material ?


J
 
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I know riders get older , new riders appear
Its like the seasons and its just nature

But I guess we have or at least I have been used to a certain order for awhile and changes of regime are not always so quick and so definite

Pog, Bernal, WVA, MVP, Allaphillipe, Carapaz , are the winners on the block now for a few years
The second tier are Gaudu, Casnefoy, Mas, Almedia, McNulty, Schachmann, etc

But I guesss I believed that the old guard could still compete or at least wanted to believe

Now I feel Nibali, Valverde, Quintana, Fuglsang, GVA ,Pinot , Chaves, maybe done wining the big ones (or even the little ones)

And of course Froome is done too

What role for an ex champion who is not domestique material ?


J
I think van Avermaet dealt with it quite gracefully today, working for a possible successor as the defending Olympic champion in the Olympic race.

Don't know what happened to Valverde (and Spain) today, but in general I was surprised by his level again this year, when I thought age had finally gotten him. Seems it has, but his decline is still very slow for someone of that age, with the strong performances of younger riders. So, what goes for him, goes just as well for the others: If he still likes to race and someone is paying him to do so, it's his decision. I don't think it's a shame to race on a lower level, whether as domestique or in lower tier races, if you still have fun on the bike but aren't able to compete with the very best anymore. I used to think differently when I was younger ("oh my god, what a disgrace to not be able to hold on anymore when you once where a big champion"), but age gets to everyone, that's not a disgrace.
What I don't like to see of course are athletes who aren't willing to see that this time have come, who will not accept a smaller role and will go on talking like they are the big champions - but on the other hand, that's natural as well, for some driven athletes who don't have another identity yet, it's just hard, but it doesn't diminish what they have achieved.

Someone like Pinot is a different case, it sounds like he's basically fighting against a possible end of career after having fought already a lot in his career. He never truely reached the pinnacle. He's not that old, there are enough riders who only reached their best results when they were a few years older than he's now. So that would be just such a pity, one of the many cases of somehow unfullfilled. Yet that's measured by his persumed potential, otherwise he has already had a great career.

For Quintana it must also have been hard to see Bernal win the Tour, when for years it looked like Quintana would be the logical first Colombian rider to do that, and then someone young comes along and seems to do it with ease.

Fuglsang, I feel he has reached what was in his potential. At his age he can just be content.

Chaves will always be in our hearts, no matter what he does. ;)

Guys like Fuglsang, Valverde, Nibali, van Avermaet (as more or less a "sprinter"), Froome, Thomas, they are now just in an age where retirement in a not too far away future seems just normal and logical. They are all 35+.

How they deal with it and what they do afterwards will be different individually. Thomas can surely work in the media, if he wants to. He could take over from Kirby.... (as if that would ever happen). Valverde will probably work more in Spanish cycling. About the others I'm not sure. Fuglsang, Nibali and Froome seem, in their own ways, to be introverts more than outgoing media people.
For Nibali and Froome especially, competition, riding your bike, must be everything. I don't really see them in another role, they are so driven and ambitious and see themselves as champions first.
I don't really see them in a DS or coaching role, either.
But I don't know much about them. Maybe Nibali could take up another sport, I could see a second career in another sport that doesn't have such a broad professional base as cycling. Or maybe he could become a rider of more "adventurous" races. Froome, together with his wife, I could imagine becoming a kind of entrepeneur... :D

Resumée: Although it's always hard for a fan to part, too, I find it totally normal that athletes of that age will eventually quit, although I don't want to call for them to do so and think it's their own decision, I don't have much hope for these riders anymore to do something big. Each of them can retire in peace and be proud of their career, if they decide to do so. There's another life waiting for them.
It's a more difficult decision for those who have been around for many years but aren't that old, yet. Then it becomes a very personal question how much you are willing to suffer and spend years on a maybe hopeless case/ body.
 
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The Spanish team was very very badly affected by the positive Covid test. At least 2 members of the team said that demoralized them and they didn't sleep well and basically their race was over the day before it started. Valverde also has a horrible Olympics record. In case you forgot he won a stage at the Duaphine this year. You're also forgetting his teammates want him there, they don't want him to retire. Enric Mas said last year he had the entire 2021 season to convince Valverde to stay for another year. He'll be involved in Spanish cycling for as long as he wishes to be. He also can race at Movistar for as long as he wishes to. Movistar's boss has stated that on multiple occasions over several years including this year and last year.
 
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And if he doesn't, we shall laugh and point at you for eternity!
That’s fine, I also said no way Zubeldia will ever finish top 10 at the Tour again or ahead of Klöden and that was before 2012 Tour. Kreuziger will win 2012 Giro and a LBL, Hushovd will win 2011 Paris Roubaix, etc.

But I also called Cav winning at 2016 Tour, Turkey, and Tour and Brady winning Super Bowl so you know a blind squirrel finds a nut.

But he is winning it and you’ll be there to celebrate!!!!!
 
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The Spanish team was very very badly affected by the positive Covid test. At least 2 members of the team said that demoralized them and they didn't sleep well and basically their race was over the day before it started. Valverde also has a horrible Olympics record. In case you forgot he won a stage at the Duaphine this year. You're also forgetting his teammates want him there, they don't want him to retire. Enric Mas said last year he had the entire 2021 season to convince Valverde to stay for another year. He'll be involved in Spanish cycling for as long as he wishes to be. He also can race at Movistar for as long as he wishes to. Movistar's boss has stated that on multiple occasions over several years including this year and last year.
Valverde is going to be like Ole Einar Bjørndalen, just keep going until a fitting retirement for somebody of his status is simply not possible anymore. Ole could have retired an Olympic champion in his late 30s, could have retired a Worlds silver medallist at home, but as long as he was competitive enough he wanted to stay on, so tried to stay until Pyeongchang at which point he wasn't even good enough to qualify.

Valverde had the perfect opportunity to retire as World Champion in 2018, finally finishing that unfinished business, and a perfect opportunity to retire in 2019, after having his year in the rainbow jersey (totally understand wanting to stay for a year to enjoy wearing it!), after a podium in the Vuelta and Lombardia. But he'll not retire as long as he's competitive, and when he's no longer competitive, his retirement will be an anticlimax.
 
Valverde is going to be like Ole Einar Bjørndalen, just keep going until a fitting retirement for somebody of his status is simply not possible anymore. Ole could have retired an Olympic champion in his late 30s, could have retired a Worlds silver medallist at home, but as long as he was competitive enough he wanted to stay on, so tried to stay until Pyeongchang at which point he wasn't even good enough to qualify.

Valverde had the perfect opportunity to retire as World Champion in 2018, finally finishing that unfinished business, and a perfect opportunity to retire in 2019, after having his year in the rainbow jersey (totally understand wanting to stay for a year to enjoy wearing it!), after a podium in the Vuelta and Lombardia. But he'll not retire as long as he's competitive, and when he's no longer competitive, his retirement will be an anticlimax.
That wouldn't surprise me. He also has the unusual case of a pro cyclist who has a team boss more than willing to keep paying him to race for as long as he wishes. That's very unusual in team sports in general.
 
Fuglsang seems to be on track to win a big one every year over the past few. And this year is not over yet, so who knows. He certainly seems to have been fairly impacted by his covid vaccine, at least according to him. He is old for cycling, but I don't know if I would say his time in the limelight is over yet. Likewise, Chaves maybe rediscovering good form after a number of years of illness, so he might not be quite ready for the switch yet.

Completely agree with the post by @BlueRoads about gva ... what an awesome way to go.
 
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Valverde is going to be like Ole Einar Bjørndalen, just keep going until a fitting retirement for somebody of his status is simply not possible anymore. Ole could have retired an Olympic champion in his late 30s, could have retired a Worlds silver medallist at home, but as long as he was competitive enough he wanted to stay on, so tried to stay until Pyeongchang at which point he wasn't even good enough to qualify.

Valverde had the perfect opportunity to retire as World Champion in 2018, finally finishing that unfinished business, and a perfect opportunity to retire in 2019, after having his year in the rainbow jersey (totally understand wanting to stay for a year to enjoy wearing it!), after a podium in the Vuelta and Lombardia. But he'll not retire as long as he's competitive, and when he's no longer competitive, his retirement will be an anticlimax.
But at least Bjørndalen got a new family out of prolonging his career, though I agree that it would have been a more worthy final salute if he had retired in Sochi.
 
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