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Pogacar Starts 2023 Strong!

Old 02-16-23, 04:53 PM
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Pogacar Starts 2023 Strong!

Tadej Pogacar has announced his presence with authority this week, winning the Jaen Paraiso Interior Road Race and the first 2 stages of the Vlueta a Andalucia with what has appeared to be relative ease. 3 starts. 3 wins. Pogacar is pretty good at bikes.
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Old 02-16-23, 05:19 PM
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I had the thought this morning that he is like Alberto Contador. When he sees and opportunity to go, he goes. No hesitation. Looked him up on wikipedia. His role model? Contador!

Like Contador, he also knows how to use the abilities of others to his advantage. I'm waiting to see if he can both do this and make those who benefit him feel good about what they have done; something Contador was a master at. (For example, concede a win to a lesser competitor and have that competitor help you win a Grand Tour a few years later.)
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Old 02-17-23, 01:27 AM
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Peaking early or his idea of "rounding into form"?

He also won his last 2 starts last year, so 5 for 5 so far, one of them a Monument. Also noted that of his 49 wins, only 1 was a .1 -- Jaen, and I'm sure that will soon be a Pro race, and that 33 wins were at the WT level. Not too shabby.
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Old 03-01-23, 09:23 AM
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JV also looking dominant early. The Tour should be pretty exciting this year. It seems like those two are really in a class of their own right now.
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Old 03-06-23, 01:46 PM
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Pog and UAE are killing it this year. Tufts has found himself crazy power with Wellens
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Old 03-08-23, 12:31 PM
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Pogacar took it to JV big time today. 43 seconds over the final few kms.
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Old 03-08-23, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Pogacar took it to JV big time today. 43 seconds over the final few kms.
Way to early to tell if that will carry over to the Tour. That said, it's exciting stuff.
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Old 03-09-23, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
Way to early to tell if that will carry over to the Tour. That said, it's exciting stuff.
true, but I think Pog is just stronger than Vingegaard. In last year's TDF, Vingegaard won partly because he had the help of phenomenal teammates, especially WvA. I don't think that Vingegaard can beat him again.

But we'll see.
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Old 03-09-23, 10:02 AM
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Agree. Head to head, Pogacar has the measure of JV and is a more complete rider.

It took a total team effort for JV to win last year. And Pogacar made some tactical errors due to some youthful exuberance/pride, chasing down breaks that he didn't really need to chase. Hopefully he'll learn and be more measured and tactical in his response.
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Old 03-13-23, 10:05 AM
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So maybe J-V is going to make a switch and have Vingegaard ride for Roglic?
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Old 03-13-23, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
So maybe J-V is going to make a switch and have Vingegaard ride for Roglic?
Last I heard, Roglic was headed to the Giro. Probably La Vuelta too.

Vingegaard is building for Le Tour.
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Old 03-14-23, 12:55 PM
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Very exciting time for pro cycling!!!
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Old 03-16-23, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by slcbob View Post
Last I heard, Roglic was headed to the Giro. Probably La Vuelta too.

Vingegaard is building for Le Tour.
This is probably a bit of a controversial take, but I kind of feel like Roglic is done as a truly top tier competitor. What I mean by that is that I think peak Roglic would be a notch below peak TP and JV. He, along with Remco belongs in the 2nd tier just a bit below those guys... but he's only getting older at this point. I think he can still definitely win the Giro and the Vuelta, but I would be very surprised if he ever wins a TdF.
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Old 03-16-23, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
This is probably a bit of a controversial take, but I kind of feel like Roglic is done as a truly top tier competitor. What I mean by that is that I think peak Roglic would be a notch below peak TP and JV. He, along with Remco belongs in the 2nd tier just a bit below those guys... but he's only getting older at this point. I think he can still definitely win the Giro and the Vuelta, but I would be very surprised if he ever wins a TdF.
I would like to see Remco up against Pogacar. AFAIK, they've never faced off in a grand tour.

At this point, I think the consensus in the peloton is that Pogacar is in a class by himself. J-V, Quickstep and Ineos all have strong teams, and will give it a go. But I don't think J-V can repeat last year's magic. It would take not just Vingegaard stepping up his game, but also WVA would have to repeat a performance that is probably unrepeatable.

The French are now hoping for Gaudu, but I just don't think that FDJ has the team to compete with UAR or J-V over a 3 week tour.
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Old 03-16-23, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
I would like to see Remco up against Pogacar. AFAIK, they've never faced off in a grand tour.

At this point, I think the consensus in the peloton is that Pogacar is in a class by himself. J-V, Quickstep and Ineos all have strong teams, and will give it a go. But I don't think J-V can repeat last year's magic. It would take not just Vingegaard stepping up his game, but also WVA would have to repeat a performance that is probably unrepeatable.

The French are now hoping for Gaudu, but I just don't think that FDJ has the team to compete with UAR or J-V over a 3 week tour.
The key difference between Remco and Roglic is that Remco is clearly still improving. IMO the only GT he's done at peak form was last year's Vuelta, where he was obviously very good, but an off-peak Roglic was still pretty competitive until he crashed.
My wildly speculative guess is that Remco is still a bit behind Pog at this point, but potentially has more room for improvement. I think he would be clearly behind him this year if he raced the TdF, but could be very competitive with Pog in the next year or two.
At the start of the year, I would have picked Vingegaard to win the tour, but, even though it's a long way off still, Pogacar just looks so strong right now I think I'd go with him.
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Old 03-16-23, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
This is probably a bit of a controversial take, but I kind of feel like Roglic is done as a truly top tier competitor. What I mean by that is that I think peak Roglic would be a notch below peak TP and JV. He, along with Remco belongs in the 2nd tier just a bit below those guys... but he's only getting older at this point. I think he can still definitely win the Giro and the Vuelta, but I would be very surprised if he ever wins a TdF.
I don't think that's too controversial. Though I'd split a hair and say that he is absolutely a top tier competitor, he just isn't the tippity top.

We're talking about racking and stacking at most a half dozen guys at the pinnacle of their sport, for grand tours. They're ALL top tier. But Pog is tippity top right now, Roglic is a little over the hill, Remco is still a little before the hill (Pog was a freak in that regard, too), and it remains to be seen if Jonas can climb the mountain again. Who else belongs in that company?

Of course, there's another handful of folks gathered around the Hillary Step waiting to make an assault on the summit. I wouldn't be in too much of a rush to put Roglic in that company yet. Though he has been know to stumble and put himself there, much like G Thomas, but Roglic is still in rarefied company; G is not.

Gaudu is having a nice early season and the whole team was surprising there with support until the final surge, but being present and accounted for in Paris-Nice is a little different than any of the GTs, particularly Le Tour.
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Old 03-16-23, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by slcbob View Post
I don't think that's too controversial. Though I'd split a hair and say that he is absolutely a top tier competitor, he just isn't the tippity top.

We're talking about racking and stacking at most a half dozen guys at the pinnacle of their sport, for grand tours. They're ALL top tier. But Pog is tippity top right now, Roglic is a little over the hill, Remco is still a little before the hill (Pog was a freak in that regard, too), and it remains to be seen if Jonas can climb the mountain again. Who else belongs in that company?

Of course, there's another handful of folks gathered around the Hillary Step waiting to make an assault on the summit. I wouldn't be in too much of a rush to put Roglic in that company yet. Though he has been know to stumble and put himself there, much like G Thomas, but Roglic is still in rarefied company; G is not.

Gaudu is having a nice early season and the whole team was surprising there with support until the final surge, but being present and accounted for in Paris-Nice is a little different than any of the GTs, particularly Le Tour.
I think we're saying, or at least intending to say, pretty much the same thing.
Roglic is definitely still a top-5 GT rider. Possibly even top-3. But I don't think anyone really considers him #1 anymore, and barring some sort of unusual event, I don't see that changing in his favour going forward.
I would say not "top-tier" just on the basis that I think there is a clear separation between him and JV/TP. My "tiers" aren't really based on the number of riders, but rather if I'd feel confident about picking one over another. If so, they're on different tiers.

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Old 03-16-23, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
I think we're saying, or at least intending to say, pretty much the same thing.
Roglic is definitely still a top-5 GT rider. Possibly even top-3. But I don't think anyone really considers him #1 anymore, and barring some sort of unusual event, I don't see that changing in his favour going forward.
I would say not "top-tier" just on the basis that I think there is a clear separation between him and JV/TP. My "tiers" aren't really based on the number of riders, but rather if I'd feel confident about picking one over another. If so, they're on different tiers.
Iím not a fan of using only the Tour as a basis for evaluating a rider. I have a hard time saying that WVA, Alaphilippe, Roglic, or Evenepol arenít top-tier riders just because itís unlikely for them to win the Tour.
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Old 03-16-23, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
Iím not a fan of using only the Tour as a basis for evaluating a rider. I have a hard time saying that WVA, Alaphilippe, Roglic, or Evenepol arenít top-tier riders just because itís unlikely for them to win the Tour.
I'm only speaking in terms of stage racing/grand tour performance here which pretty much means TT plus high mountains.

Other races would obviously have a different set of riders who are more likely to win.
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Old 03-20-23, 12:18 PM
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No surprise that Pogacar was in the final selection at MSR, but MVDP put on an amazing display of power and bike handling to walk way from that group. Truly impressive.
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Old 03-20-23, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
No surprise that Pogacar was in the final selection at MSR, but MVDP put on an amazing display of power and bike handling to walk way from that group. Truly impressive.
The last 1/2 hour of that race is always great. MVDP had some great tactics along with incredible power to win that.
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Old 03-20-23, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
The last 1/2 hour of that race is always great. MVDP had some great tactics along with incredible power to win that.
Agreed! MVDP was able to use his best weapon at the time that was best for him, and put everyone else on defense.
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