Whatever happened to...?

This thread might wither and die on the vine, in which case no harm done, but it might be helpful to have a place where we can enquire about riders who burned brightly for a short while, but then seemed to disappear, or about whom there was a mountain of hype at the beginning of their career, but very little came to pass.

It may end up being a repository of sad stories and might have beens, or maybe many enquiries will just end up being met with a single word answer of 'clinic', but it would be good to tap the vast resource of knowledge that is in our community here.

This is partly inspired by discussion arising from Robert Power's presence in the Dauphiné break yesterday, but also occurred to me when Fabio Felline's only mention in commentary during the Giro was his withdrawal. After a low key early career he suddenly looked like he was going to be an excellent all rounder in 2015, followed it up with Vuelta points jersey and 2nd in Tour of Poland the following year, but since then has been largely inconspicuous. What happened?
 
Felline is actually such a weird case. When the whole Nizzolo topic about him never having won a gt stage came up again I did some research on how much of an outlier he actually was. Well, a pretty big one, but the only one who seemed to be close to him was Felline. Really succesfull and close to winning gt stages at a really young age before disappearing completely. No idea what happened to him. I remember having him in my cq team once. He had a great start to the season and looked better than ever before becoming an absolute no show midway through the season. I think he never really came back after that.

One guy that just came to my mind is Cyril Gauthier? Not that he ever was the biggest talent, but wasn't he fighting for stage wins in TdF mountain stages in 2014. He was pretty young at the time yet that's approximately the last thing I can remember of him.
 
Gautier indeed was a well-known breakaway specialist during his Europcar years. Although he might be best remembered for taking a summertault onto the grass on a descent during an escape.

He would later become a helper for Bardet at AG2R. Led the peloton down the Colombiere and kinda did a pirouette, because he had taken to many risks and was about to crash.

That's actually what he's best remembered for. Being a bit too ambitious while descending.
 
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Speaking GT stage win, Cyril and dissapearance, what happened to Cyril Saugrain? (hope spelled correctly)
Never forgot his late breakaway escape in a Tour edition in the 90ies, but gone just as quickly as he got to fame, like a lucky punch in boxing.
 
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A much more high-profile rider but what happened with John Degenkolb? I know he broke his hand in a crash or something but was that all that happened? Because his career was on a monster trajectory and it never quite happened afterwards.
At the end of 2015 he had won MSR, PR, GW, PT, Vattenfall, 10 Vuelta stages. He was only 26 and had 45 victories total

Afterwards he has collected only 8 more victories, including 1 Tour stage. While he did show some promise in classics again (2nd in GW, 7th in MSR, 7th in RVV and 10th in PR) it definitely was not on the same level anymore.

One of the bigger 'what-if's' of recent cycling to me.
 
Might I mix it up with another Cyril? Cyril Dessel ?
Dessel is the one who gained the yellow jersey at the 2006 Tour de France by placing second from the breakaway in the stage Juan Miguel Mercado won. It promoted Dessel to co-leadership in disfavor of Christophe Moreau.

Eventually Dessel finished 7th on the unfinal general classification, just ahead of initial AG2R leader Moreau!
 
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A much more high-profile rider but what happened with John Degenkolb? I know he broke his hand in a crash or something but was that all that happened? Because his career was on a monster trajectory and it never quite happened afterwards.
At the end of 2015 he had won MSR, PR, GW, PT, Vattenfall, 10 Vuelta stages. He was only 26 and had 45 victories total

Afterwards he has collected only 8 more victories, including 1 Tour stage. While he did show some promise in classics again (2nd in GW, 7th in MSR, 7th in RVV and 10th in PR) it definitely was not on the same level anymore.

One of the bigger 'what-if's' of recent cycling to me.
He was never the fastest of the fast sprinters, he needed a long, hard race to wear the others down (hence his wins in San Remo and Roubaix) so he collected a lot of Vuelta stages when there weren't many sprinters there. When he went back to the Vuelta in '19, he was 30 years old and Bennett and Jakobsen were ruling the sprints.

The crash pretty much eliminated his 2016 season. His results haven't been bad since, but Roubaix and Sam Remo have been raced a lot less cagey since his wins (Demarre in 2016 was the last bunch sprint MSR). He was 2nd on the Champs Elysees behind Kristoff in 2018, after basically all the other sprinters had been eliminated or crashed out; see again my point in the previous paragraph.

And then last year he crashed on a slippery descent on stage 1 of the Tour and finished OTL. He's had a bit of bad luck, but he's been still around. It's not unusual that a rider would peak at 26, but a couple of things changed in racing; Sprints got more competitive, so he's slipped in the order there, and classics got more attack-oriented, so he tends to be in the 2nd or 3rd group crossing the line.
 
Dessel is the one who gained the yellow jersey at the 2006 Tour de France by placing second from the breakaway in the stage Juan Miguel Mercado won. It promoted Dessel to co-leadership in disfavor of Christophe Moreau.

Eventually Dessel finished 7th on the unfinal general classification, just ahead of initial AG2R leader Moreau!
I think he was asking what happened to Dessel.
 
I feel like Fabio Aru and Esteban Chaves completely dropped off the radar - although I just looked Chaves up and he got top-10s in Catalonia, the Basque Country and Flèche Wallonne this year, so things are looking up.
 
I feel like Fabio Aru and Esteban Chaves completely dropped off the radar - although I just looked Chaves up and he got top-10s in Catalonia, the Basque Country and Flèche Wallonne this year, so things are looking up.
I don't think Aru "dropped off the radar," I think his struggles with injury and his iliac artery issue since he went to UAE have been pretty well documented.

Chaves seems to have shared leadership duties with Yates since his nearly-year where he was on the podium of the Giro and Vuelta.
 
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Chaves too is such a weird case. He apparently just lost his ability to compete over three weeks from one year to another. He looked like a future gt winner in 2016 and hasn't done so ever since but it's not like his good performances disappeared right away. In 2017 we at first thought he had refound his shape in the Vuelta. In the Andorra stage he was the only one able to follow Froome's ridiculous attack and generally looked like he was the 2nd strongest rider throughout the first week. Then the 2nd week came and he was nowhere.

The 2018 Giro also started with his sneaky breakaway win on the Etna and a real discussion throughout the first week whether he should be the teams (co)leader. He was eliminated on stage 10 because he dropped on the first climb and the other teams didn't want to let him come back...which seems weird now. You wouldn't put that sort of crazy effort into eliminating Chaves today, but it seemed sensible at the time. Hell, they didn't do the same to Froome when he struggled at the back of the peloton throughout the first two weeks. Chaves was literally seen as more dangerous than f*cking Froome.

He also won a Giro stage in 2019 so his peak performance still seems to be good, it just appears completely randomly. Tbf last season was genuinely bad, but then again that was a real outlier year where things might have gone wrong due to the overall weirdness of the covid calendar. Still hoping he will win a few more races in the future. He definitely still has big potential as a stage hunter in gt's.
 
Chaves too is such a weird case. He apparently just lost his ability to compete over three weeks from one year to another. He looked like a future gt winner in 2016 and hasn't done so ever since but it's not like his good performances disappeared right away. In 2017 we at first thought he had refound his shape in the Vuelta. In the Andorra stage he was the only one able to follow Froome's ridiculous attack and generally looked like he was the 2nd strongest rider throughout the first week. Then the 2nd week came and he was nowhere.

The 2018 Giro also started with his sneaky breakaway win on the Etna and a real discussion throughout the first week whether he should be the teams (co)leader. He was eliminated on stage 10 because he dropped on the first climb and the other teams didn't want to let him come back...which seems weird now. You wouldn't put that sort of crazy effort into eliminating Chaves today, but it seemed sensible at the time. Hell, they didn't do the same to Froome when he struggled at the back of the peloton throughout the first two weeks. Chaves was literally seen as more dangerous than f*cking Froome.

He also won a Giro stage in 2019 so his peak performance still seems to be good, it just appears completely randomly. Tbf last season was genuinely bad, but then again that was a real outlier year where things might have gone wrong due to the overall weirdness of the covid calendar. Still hoping he will win a few more races in the future. He definitely still has big potential as a stage hunter in gt's.
God yeah. You have to wonder about that thought process.
 
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Chaves too is such a weird case. He apparently just lost his ability to compete over three weeks from one year to another. He looked like a future gt winner in 2016 and hasn't done so ever since but it's not like his good performances disappeared right away. In 2017 we at first thought he had refound his shape in the Vuelta. In the Andorra stage he was the only one able to follow Froome's ridiculous attack and generally looked like he was the 2nd strongest rider throughout the first week. Then the 2nd week came and he was nowhere.

The 2018 Giro also started with his sneaky breakaway win on the Etna and a real discussion throughout the first week whether he should be the teams (co)leader. He was eliminated on stage 10 because he dropped on the first climb and the other teams didn't want to let him come back...which seems weird now. You wouldn't put that sort of crazy effort into eliminating Chaves today, but it seemed sensible at the time. Hell, they didn't do the same to Froome when he struggled at the back of the peloton throughout the first two weeks. Chaves was literally seen as more dangerous than f*cking Froome.

He also won a Giro stage in 2019 so his peak performance still seems to be good, it just appears completely randomly. Tbf last season was genuinely bad, but then again that was a real outlier year where things might have gone wrong due to the overall weirdness of the covid calendar. Still hoping he will win a few more races in the future. He definitely still has big potential as a stage hunter in gt's.
He had mono which was the same illness that finished off Intxausti.
 
One curious example that fits this thread but a name some of you might be not familiar with is Alan Banaszek. A man who just a few years ago had been considered the biggest Polish talent in men's road cycling and was past his prime by the age of 21 already.

In 2017, at the age of 19, he was mixing up with the likes of Hodeg, Jakobsen and Halvorsen at Tour de l'Avenir, finished in the top10 in Nokere-Koerse and on a Tour de Pologne stage and was 5th on a Tour of Britain stage, where the 4 riders ahead of him were: Gaviria, Viviani, Kristoff and Groenewegen.
In 2018 he failed to make a lot of progress but was still able to finish 2nd on Tour of Norway stage as well as on the opening Tour de l'Avenir stage.
In 2019 he went to Caja Rural and that year was absolutely horrible for him, no form whatsoever and not a single top10 finish entire year.
For 2020 he came back to a Polish continental team and had some results in small races but that's nowhere near what one could have hoped for after his level from 2017.

I've never heard any explanation about why his 2019 was so disastrous and why his career has never managed to progress past the level he showed at the age of 19.

I've mentioned Halvorsen and he himself fits in this thread too, as well as Vincenzo Albanese. Both seemend to be tremendous talents at the time but have never reached the level one could have hoped for. Sondre Holst-Enger as well.
 
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One curious example that fits this thread but a name some of you might be not familiar with is Alan Banaszek. A man who just a few years ago had been considered the biggest Polish talent in men's road cycling and was past his prime by the age of 21 already.

In 2017, at the age of 19, he was mixing up with the likes of Hodeg, Jakobsen and Halvorsen at Tour de l'Avenir, finished in the top10 in Nokere-Koerse and on a Tour de Pologne stage and was 5th on a Tour of Britain stage, where the 4 riders ahead of him were: Gaviria, Viviani, Kristoff and Groenewegen.
In 2018 he failed to make a lot of progress but was still able to finish 2nd on Tour of Norway stage as well as on the opening Tour de l'Avenir stage.
In 2019 he went to Caja Rural and that year was absolutely horrible for him, no form whatsoever and not a single top10 finish entire year.
For 2020 he came back to a Polish continental team and had some results in small races but that's nowhere near what one could have hoped for after his level from 2017.

I've never heard any explanation about why his 2019 was so disastrous and why his career has never managed to progress past the level he showed at the age of 19.

I've mentioned Halvorsen and he himself fits in this thread too, as well as Vincenzo Albanese. Both seemend to be tremendous talents at the time but have never reached the level one could have hoped for. Sondre Holst-Enger as well.
I'm going to make a wild guess and say that his numbers (Vo2Max etc.) in a performance lab are not stellar. That would explain why someone with those results never got picked up by a better team.
 
One curious example that fits this thread but a name some of you might be not familiar with is Alan Banaszek. A man who just a few years ago had been considered the biggest Polish talent in men's road cycling and was past his prime by the age of 21 already.

In 2017, at the age of 19, he was mixing up with the likes of Hodeg, Jakobsen and Halvorsen at Tour de l'Avenir, finished in the top10 in Nokere-Koerse and on a Tour de Pologne stage and was 5th on a Tour of Britain stage, where the 4 riders ahead of him were: Gaviria, Viviani, Kristoff and Groenewegen.
In 2018 he failed to make a lot of progress but was still able to finish 2nd on Tour of Norway stage as well as on the opening Tour de l'Avenir stage.
In 2019 he went to Caja Rural and that year was absolutely horrible for him, no form whatsoever and not a single top10 finish entire year.
For 2020 he came back to a Polish continental team and had some results in small races but that's nowhere near what one could have hoped for after his level from 2017.

I've never heard any explanation about why his 2019 was so disastrous and why his career has never managed to progress past the level he showed at the age of 19.

I've mentioned Halvorsen and he himself fits in this thread too, as well as Vincenzo Albanese. Both seemend to be tremendous talents at the time but have never reached the level one could have hoped for. Sondre Holst-Enger as well.
Could also mention Silvio Herklotz.
 
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Could also mention Silvio Herklotz.
Silvio was partially destroyed by the pressure and expectations in Germany, his own coaches were saying that he was as good as Ullrich as his age when he was still a junior (now they are doing the same with Brenner "better than Ullrich at his age"). He never lived up to his rep and kinda regressed after a super strong first year in the u23 ranks (he had a few pretty bad crashes and was a crazy descender back then). After getting diagnosed with Lyme disease in late 2018 he decided to focus on his education and getting a real job once he was able to recover.

What happened to Chernetski? The guy looked like a million bucks in the u23 ranks and had good results in the pro ranks. One would think that someone with his skillset would have become a factor in the harder hilly one day races and in shorter stage races.
 
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It's no mystery lol. Chaves was dropped by half a peloton with domestiques still there. Froome got dropped by 15 odd dudes uphill with team leaders looking at each other and going 'no you'.

I do think if Contador had been at that Giro, Dumoulin would have won.
You mean, Contador would have won, surely.

But yes, I think if Dumoulin had just ignored Lopez and Carapaz playing silly games with each other in his slipstream, and put his head down either when Froome was behind and losing time, or ahead and gaining, the Giro was there for him.
 
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