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What kind of riders win grand tours?
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I don't know more than a few riders who have won tours, but I'm amazed at how different they are. Is there any kind of stereotype for what a rider needs to excel in to be in a position to compete?

Team tactics aside, if you compare LA to AC, it seems they couldn't be more different. LA would win climb stages, and was dominant in the tt. AC is a good climber, but didn't win a single stage last year at the tdf iirc. Shleck seems to be similar in being pretty good at everything but not dominant.

Has cycling changed? Or have just not watched enough races?
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [%FTP] [ In reply to ]
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AC is a 'good' climber? OK....where do we start?

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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [%FTP] [ In reply to ]
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My bad...just re-read your last sentence...yeah, that's the answer. Do that ;-)

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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [%FTP] [ In reply to ]
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%FTP wrote:
Has cycling changed? Or have just not watched enough races?

Yes and yes.

If you watch Versus... turn off the sound.
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [Francois] [ In reply to ]
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It's clearly not about being a great tt'er, or sprinter, so is it all about climbing?
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [%FTP] [ In reply to ]
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Contador, Armstrong, Indurain, Lemond, Fignon, Hinault, Merckx, Anquetil were all great climbers and great time trialists.
Pantani is the only pure climber to have won the TdF in the past 20 years.

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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [%FTP] [ In reply to ]
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All 'rounders.

Most TdF winners are FOP on both the climbs and the TTs. A significant weakness in either puts you out of contention. Some guys will make time in the TTs and try to hang on in the high mountains, while others will lose a little time in the TTs and try to get a gap on the climbs, but we're talking a minute or two either way in any stage (there are only usually 2 TTs and 3-5 high mountain stages in any TdF).

There are anomalies (usually in weak-field years) when a great climber/ok TTer can win (Pantani, Sastre, Delgado).

PS: In many cases the winner is the strongest in both disciplines (Armstrong, Indurain, Fignon, Merckx).
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [%FTP] [ In reply to ]
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This doesn't answer your question directly, but I happen to be looking at it today so maybe you'll find it useful.

Top 10 from the 2011 Paris-Roubaix race.

Johan Vansummeren (BEL) 6'5" 170 lbs
Fabian Cancellara (SUI) 6'1" 180 lbs
Maarten Tjallingii (NED) 6'2' 181 lbs
Grιgory Rast (SUI) 6'1" 170 lbs
Lars Bak (DEN) 6'3" 167 lbs
Alessandro Ballan (ITA) 6'3" 160 lbs
Bernhard Eisel (AUT) 6'0" 170 lbs
Thor Hushovd (NOR)6'0" 170 lbs
Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP) 5'11.5" 160 lbs
Mathew Hayman (AUS) 6'3" 170 lbs

By comparison. 2010 TdF.

Alberto Contador (ESP) 5'9.5" 140 lbs
Andy Schleck (LUX) 6'1" 150 lbs
Denis Menchov (RUS) 5'11" 140 lbs
Samuel Sαnchez (ESP) 5'9" 140 lbs
Jurgen Van Den Broeck (BEL) 6'1" 150 lbs
Robert Gesink (NED)6'1" 150 lbs
Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) 6'2" 160 lbs
Joaquim Rodrνguez (ESP) 5'6.5" 130 lbs
Roman Kreuziger (CZE) 6'0" 140 lbs
Chris Horner (USA) 5'11" 140 lbs



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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [%FTP] [ In reply to ]
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%FTP wrote:
I don't know more than a few riders who have won tours, but I'm amazed at how different they are. Is there any kind of stereotype for what a rider needs to excel in to be in a position to compete?

Team tactics aside, if you compare LA to AC, it seems they couldn't be more different. LA would win climb stages, and was dominant in the tt. AC is a good climber, but didn't win a single stage last year at the tdf iirc. Shleck seems to be similar in being pretty good at everything but not dominant.

Has cycling changed? Or have just not watched enough races?
When Contador won the '09 TDF, he dominated the TTs. He's also an absolutely explosive climber. The main reason he didn't win a stage last year was because he didn't have to. Schleck is a great climber and a terrible TTer, as is his brother. Sastre is a terrible TTer, as was Rasmussen (who would have won if he hadn't gotten caught), though I think both were fortunate in the weather patterns on the TT days. Basso isn't a terrible TTer, but won the Giro after Evans kind of crumbled, and Liquigas had by far the strongest contingent. Same with Nibali in the Vuelta.

Stronger TTers almost always have the edge... look at Lance, Contador, Menchov (and how he embarassed DiLuca at the Giro in the final TT despite falling), Valverde in the Vuelta, etc.
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [%FTP] [ In reply to ]
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Ones with great chemists. NEXT!
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [Quantum] [ In reply to ]
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Reading your post reminded me of Rasmussen's final tt in 2006 (I think). He fell I think 4 times. Just fell a part.
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [knightlancer] [ In reply to ]
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Ones with great teams
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [Kenney] [ In reply to ]
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Kenney wrote:
Reading your post reminded me of Rasmussen's final tt in 2006 (I think). He fell I think 4 times. Just fell a part.
Yeah, I remember that one pretty well, and just cringing. He got just as lucky in '07 as he was a terrible rider the year prior though, because the roads had dried up for him in the first TT, when the main contenders hadn't gone after him in the first mountain stages because of his known terrible TTness.

I do remember watching DiLuca's final time trial and just shaking my head... he was on a freaking road bike w/o aero bars.
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [bigskinny] [ In reply to ]
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Ones with great regimes.
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [%FTP] [ In reply to ]
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The winners are great climbers that can TT and have an inhuman ability to recover 21 days in a row. A good team to can help a great deal as well.
LA and AC followed pretty similar game plans. Don't lose time ever, gain time in GC on the TT's and at least one mountain stage. Stage wins are great but AC not winning one last year doesn't mean a thing since he beat his competition in GC.
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [Quantum] [ In reply to ]
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Exactly! Menchov was wearing #1. Most forget that everyone just thought he was going after the KOM. I also still remember the interview with Levi after the last mountain stage with Rasmussen. He stated how it was his job to attack. He said those constant attacks were not his thing, he was more of a steady rider. That stage AC lost a time to Ras. Afterward AC said He was sick and did not want to say anything to his team. He basicly screwed Levi. When looking at the final standings, with Levi down 29 seconds after the 10 second penalty, with the way things turned out, I always wondered if AC was honest with his team, would Levi have won.
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [Kenney] [ In reply to ]
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Kenney wrote:
Exactly! Menchov was wearing #1. Most forget that everyone just thought he was going after the KOM. I also still remember the interview with Levi after the last mountain stage with Rasmussen. He stated how it was his job to attack. He said those constant attacks were not his thing, he was more of a steady rider. That stage AC lost a time to Ras. Afterward AC said He was sick and did not want to say anything to his team. He basicly screwed Levi. When looking at the final standings, with Levi down 29 seconds after the 10 second penalty, with the way things turned out, I always wondered if AC was honest with his team, would Levi have won.
Yeah, I remember Levi running support on that last mountain stage, and Contador just CRACKING, and Levi gaining 10 seconds on him in like a quarter of a kilometer. That stage was probably my favorite TDF stage ever. I also remember Soler coming from way back to clinch the KOM. Was awesome.
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [%FTP] [ In reply to ]
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To win a grand Tour one must be a great climber, great TTer, have a good team willing to give their all to play a support role, AND be lucky and smart (to stay out of trouble) to stay healthy (no illness or injury). Lance had lots of good luck and little bad luck. Good luck and being smart won't win a race, but being stupis and having bad luck will lose a race for a great rider.

Team Zoot So Cal
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [Titanflexr] [ In reply to ]
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An 'all-a-rounder' does not win a grand tour. Hincapie is an all-a-round rider, Schleck and Sastre are not.
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [knightlancer] [ In reply to ]
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knightlancer wrote:
Ones with great regimens.

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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [Francois] [ In reply to ]
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Francois wrote:
Contador, Armstrong, Indurain, Lemond, Fignon, Hinault, Merckx, Anquetil were all great climbers and great time trialists.
Pantani is the only pure climber to have won the TdF in the past 20 years.

So what would you consider Sastre? He is definitely not a time-trialist. Although not as brilliant on the climbs as Pantani, he definitely is a climber in my books.
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [Karl] [ In reply to ]
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contador won a grand tour with a team set AGAINST him, landis won a grand tour with not much of a team

Karl wrote:
To win a grand Tour one must be a great climber, great TTer, have a good team willing to give their all to play a support role, AND be lucky and smart (to stay out of trouble) to stay healthy (no illness or injury). Lance had lots of good luck and little bad luck. Good luck and being smart won't win a race, but being stupis and having bad luck will lose a race for a great rider.



Kat Hunter reports on the San Dimas Stage Race from inside the GC winning team
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [RebeccaCreekKid] [ In reply to ]
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RebeccaCreekKid wrote:
An 'all-a-rounder' does not win a grand tour. Hincapie is an all-a-round rider, Schleck and Sastre are not.


Hincapie is a rouleur. He lacks the climbing ability of a tour contender/all-'rounder. He did win one mountain stage, but that was as part of a long escape. He's never been a GC guy.

You could classify CS and AS as climbers who can TT adequately when they want/need to. Sastre won in a weak year, and did so by team tactics. Schleck may have won his first Tour last year.....but that's up to CAS.
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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [trimess] [ In reply to ]
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I had forgotten about Sastre...That said, yes, there are outliers...But to win the TdF in general, you have to be a great climber and a great time trialist.
The Giro and the Vuelta are a bit different.

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Re: What kind of riders win grand tours? [trimess] [ In reply to ]
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what you must remember however is that Patani had a hemocrit level of 60% and Sastre is the only
tour winner in the pat decade to not have been bombarded with allegations of doping.
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