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Why is Cunego not on Form?

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Cunego was awesome in the 2010 Giro, well first 2 weeks so i expected him to top 10 here.

2009 he won 2 stages of the Vuelta. All other years he was winning Lombardy Amstel Gold, podiuming worlds, Giro, etc so i think last year he just got a bit crap after second weak of GIro but otherwise he always has some awesome peak somewhere.
 
May 26, 2009
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Escarabajo said:
So what changed?

- His program
- The competition
- The level of doping in the peloton (Biopassport, doping investigations scaring riders off).
- His preparation
- Better health
- Other

Discuss

I'd say it's largely luck:

Brajk, Horny, Wiggins, JvdB and RG all fell away. Not only strong contenders for the top ten, also you probably would have seen different stages. Especially JvdB with Jelle and Gilbert would have been a force.

Also, there are no strong trains this year, which is quite strange. I won't go into clinic mode as I'm doubting that much has changed. I'd venture that four potential contender teams (Sky, Rabo, Lotto and RS) were so crastrated that otherwise we would have seen more trains. Saxo is simply a disappointment, Leopard clearly lacks climbers besides the Shreks and BMC is quite frankly a one man team. (I expected much more from Bookwalter). We have Euskatel and well they tried once... they simply lack the qualities (their speciality is stage wins). I guess Europcar did well :)

So my take is that Cunego is having a Wiggo. Both can do extremely well in a gt, but they need a lot of luck.

Quite frankly it's like looking at Boogerd.. why even bother with GT's if you are such a wonderful classic specialist.. why ruin your season if you can shine in the classics? Oh well, the lure of le tour.
 
Escarabajo said:
So what changed?

- His program
- The competition
- The level of doping in the peloton (Biopassport, doping investigations scaring riders off).
- His preparation
- Better health
- Other

Discuss

For a more benign explanation Lampre changed staff this year. New D.S. and new coaches IIRC. Of course in cycling that can mean new medical staff as well.

As for the program I think he announced his intention to go for GC in the Tour quite late - in May or something like that. I wonder what prompted him to think that he can do it especially after all his announcements that it's impossible to finish high on GC.
 
Franklin said:
I'd say it's largely luck:

Brajk, Horny, Wiggins, JvdB and RG all fell away. Not only strong contenders for the top ten, also you probably would have seen different stages. Especially JvdB with Jelle and Gilbert would have been a force.

Also, there are no strong trains this year, which is quite strange. I won't go into clinic mode as I'm doubting that much has changed. I'd venture that four potential contender teams (Sky, Rabo, Lotto and RS) were so crastrated that otherwise we would have seen more trains. Saxo is simply a disappointment, Leopard clearly lacks climbers besides the Shreks and BMC is quite frankly a one man team. (I expected much more from Bookwalter). We have Euskatel and well they tried once... they simply lack the qualities (their speciality is stage wins). I guess Europcar did well :)

So my take is that Cunego is having a Wiggo. Both can do extremely well in a gt, but they need a lot of luck.

Quite frankly it's like looking at Boogerd.. why even bother with GT's if you are such a wonderful classic specialist.. why ruin your season if you can shine in the classics? Oh well, the lure of le tour.
But we went that route before with him with the 2004 Giro. Are we going that route again this year even if we have Contador, Schleck brothers, Evans, Sammy Sanchez, Basso?

They all seem to find excuses for bad performances every year anyway, so every year we can justify that the competition was weak. So I am not sure that it is the reason. IMHO.
 
A couple of things.

Cunego has always, 2004 excepted, struggled to keep a peak up for the entire length of a GT. In this race, he didn't need to. Only one week or so. Excellent for him.

Crashes took out a number of contenders. Cunego wasn't one of them. All of a sudden he goes from being one of the first off the back or a hanger-on with no GC hopes (so he may as well drop time to be allowed to go in breaks) to being able to hang with the best because there aren't so many people vying for the front.

For a while Cunego has struggled with the position that he's not good enough to compete for the GTs but he's too good to let go. Eventually his GC ambitions have been eroded to the point where we don't expect anything of him, so he doesn't need to feel pressured.
 
Cunego has hung in with (and been visible in) the group of main GC contenders until near the end of the big stages in this Tour. The only MTF he has been dropped by them is Plateau de Beille.

Here is the time he has lost to/gained on Andy Schleck..
TTT, lost 01'00"
Luz Ardiden, lost 00'05"
Plateau, lost 00'41"
Gap, gained 00'48"
Galibier, lost 02'33"

Aside from Schleck's long break, Cunego has stayed with the favourites almost the whole way through the tough stages.

Adding Wiggins, Brajkovic, Horner etc. wouldn't push him further down the GC. It is people like Danielson who have been fairly anonymous and consistently lose a bit of time on each mountain stage who have benefitted from the loss of all these top 10 contenders.

I'm not saying that he would be 5th if Gesink, VDB2 etc. were still here/not injured, but he hasn't got this top 10 due to the misfortune of others.

On this form I think he could podium a Vuelta.
 
Aug 18, 2009
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How is he not in form? Hasn't ridden a GC in quite a while, I believe, and he's top ten in the Tour just now, ahead of Basso. I like how he's riding.
 
May 26, 2009
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But we went that route before with him with the 2004 Giro. Are we going that route again this year even if we have Contador, Schleck brothers, Evans, Sammy Sanchez, Basso?

In 2004 he was a different rider, he obviously evolved.

They all seem to find excuses for bad performances every year anyway, so every year we can justify that the competition was weak. So I am not sure that it is the reason. IMHO.

He surely deserves it, but those who fell away certainly would have been problematic for him. Damiano will probably end 7th. I find it hard to see how he would have beaten JvdB, Brajk and RG. Not just because they are generally better climber, but also because the dynamics really worked in his favor.


luckyboy said:
I'm not saying that he would be 5th if Gesink, VDB2 etc. were still here/not injured, but he hasn't got this top 10 due to the misfortune of others.

If you mean: "He deserves it", I fully agree. But you also admit that those who fell away more than likely would have ended before him. Considering he will most likely end 7th, a top ten would have been a close call.

On this form I think he could podium a Vuelta.

I'd be extremely surprised. He managed 3 giro top tens so far and now a TdF top ten. Podium is a long way....
 
Jun 16, 2009
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ingsve said:
Because the 2004 Giro was a joke. Just look at the people that was competing and look at the course that year. It's nothing compared to a regular GT.

I agree, look at the top 10 overall in 2004

1 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Saeco 88.40.43
2 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) De Nardi 2.02
3 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco 2.05
4 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 4.36
5 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 5.05
6 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie 5.31
7 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Lampre 6.12
8 Bradley McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com 6.15
9 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Phonak Hearing Systems 6.34
10 Juan Manuel Garate Cepa (Spa) Lampre 7.47


Serguei Gonchar 2nd? Give me a break.:rolleyes:
 
Jun 16, 2009
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ISDfan said:
Gonchar was a good rider , and he deserve that place .
Yes but Serguei Gonchar coming 2nd in the giro no matter what way you want to spin it is a bad indictment on that edition.

Cunego crushed the competition...he was clearly the best so I'll give him that.
 
May 12, 2010
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auscyclefan94 said:
Yes but Serguei Gonchar coming 2nd in the giro no matter what way you want to spin it is a bad indictment on that edition.

Cunego crushed the competition...he was clearly the best so I'll give him that.

Don't underestimate Gonchar. He has 8 top-10 finishes in the Giro GC. His second place in 2004 was his best, but he also finished (for example) 4th in 2001, and 5th in 1997. Maybe it was a slightly weaker field that year, but it's not like Gonchar would have finished more than 2 or 3 places down in a stronger field.
 
Dec 27, 2010
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auscyclefan94 said:
Yes but Serguei Gonchar coming 2nd in the giro no matter what way you want to spin it is a bad indictment on that edition.

Cunego crushed the competition...he was clearly the best so I'll give him that.

You were like what, 9 or 10? when Gonchar was at his best. Forgive me if I take your opinion on his GC ability with a pinch of salt. He was a damned good rider particularly in the Giro.

As others have alluded to, Cunego wouldn't have won the Giro if he and Gibo had been on different teams.
 
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Parrulo said:
if he carries his form from the tour he should be one of the top contenders for the win.

i hope he challenges phill in lombardy this year as well. cunego is the true Mr. lombardy and gilbert is getting dangerously close to cunego's number of wins :p

Well, Gilbert is a beast. Almost impossible to beat in the hilly classics.
I'm just happy Cunego is again able to ride with the best.