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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love this dude's vibe, but I think he's already identified the races that work best for him and that's the Spring Classics, Ardennes, and one week stage races. He's basically very similar to Valverde with a hint of Gilbert/Van Avermaet/Sagan. While there is nothing wrong with trying something new or setting goals that are just outside of your reach, I would hate to seem him undermine his potential on those fronts trying to be something he isn't.

Froome's Tour MVP Kwiatkowski stays humble | VeloNews.com
 

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Agreed. He's a classics rider and very good one. Although I wouldn't compare to him Valverde. Remember Valverde has a Grand Tour over all win (2009) Vuelta and 8 overall Grand Tour podiums. Not something 99.9% of Classics specialists can do. He is one podium short of the record of podiums at la Vuelta. That is not something Kwiatkowski can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Agreed. He's a classics rider and very good one. Although I wouldn't compare to him Valverde. Remember Valverde has a Grand Tour over all win (2009) Vuelta and 8 overall Grand Tour podiums. Not something 99.9% of Classics specialists can do. He is one podium short of the record of podiums at la Vuelta. That is not something Kwiatkowski can do.
That remains to be seen and you wouldn't compare anyone to Valverde, not ever. Kwiat is still pretty young and Valverde is at the end. Valverde's grand tour also came during the doping era so I'm not sure we are comparing apples to apples if you talk resumes, but ok. Anyway, what I really meant is skillset. He has similar skills and abilities as Valverde does and the dude has already won a World Championship and a Monument (Milan San Remo). I think if you cross Valverde with someone like Van Avermaet or Gilbert in his prime, you get a rider like Kwiatkowski in essence. Finally, as I have stated before, I like Valverde, think he's a great one, but I kind of don't buy into your opinion that he is the best at everything all of the time, etc. Intelligent minds can differ on the topic though I suppose.

Keep in mind, he's a full ten years younger and already has a pretty nice palmares, imagine what it will look like ten years from now:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michał_Kwiatkowski
 

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He's not a Grand Tour specialist. That would be Contador. He's just good enough to ride with them in the Grand Tours. Also 5 of his Grand Tour podiums have come after his doping suspension. Along with two of his Ardennes doubles. He's just an exceptionally consistent rider. I don't think Kwiatowski is a good enough climber over 3 weeks to truly compete for a Grand Tour. On the other hand he does seem to be a good leader when given opportunities which some other riders I have not seen those qualities from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He's not a Grand Tour specialist. That would be Contador. He's just good enough to ride with them in the Grand Tours. Also 5 of his Grand Tour podiums have come after his doping suspension. Along with two of his Ardennes doubles. He's just an exceptionally consistent rider. I don't think Kwiatowski is a good enough climber over 3 weeks to truly compete for a Grand Tour. On the other hand he does seem to be a good leader when given opportunities which some other riders I have not seen those qualities from.
I actually agree that Kwiat is more of a Classics/Ardennes racer, I only disagree with your argument that you can't compare him to Valverde. I don't think either is a true grand tour/climbing specialist, but they can both hold their own with those guys when at their best on certain courses. He has finished as high as 13th when riding for himself. He was still fairly young at that time. This year he showed incredible strength and poise while pulling Froome through the mountains and covering and preventing attacks from the best climbers in the world. He's also clearly a very good time trialist, probably better than Valverde at this point. I don't think it's his best move or where greatness lies for him, but I think he could be a legitimate team leader for the right course at some point.
 

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I agree that Valverde is not a true Grand Tour GC rider because he's not a pure climber. He made a comment a couple years ago when he was why he's so good at climbing because he's not a pure climber. His response was "Because I love to climb." He said that makes up for some of it. I agree that Kwiat is a better TTer. Valverde has done a very good job working on improving his TT skills to where he isn't going to loose time to most of the GC riders now, but it took him a long time and a year and half ban to do. On the other hand unlike some riders he actually worked on it and improved it. Yes Kwait would need the right route layout.
 

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At this time last year would we have been seriously talking about Dumoulin as a GC contender? Riders change, focus on things, work toward hyper-specific training goals and get older and smarter. They mature. Of course genetics are huge, and course selections and TT profiles. But really, Dumoulin a GC guy? You bet!!! I completely agree about Kwaitos principle skill sets, but a TT specialist just won the Giro. Comparing active riders that are still developing to older broken up riders just doesn't hold much water. We know what an old broken former doper has done, these younger riders are still evolving. BTW! I'm no Valverde hater at all. I kind of like him, but it is what it is.
 

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Excellent point, PBL450...Valerde and Kwiat seem to share the same weakness in that they suffer on high mountain climbs. Dumoulin is a classic Tour GC contender, far more so than superior climbers (like Bardet, for example,) because he can stay close on the climbs and then destroy the competition in the TT. When you look at Froome's Tour victories, the only real challenge posed to him was in 2015, a race he initially publicly stated he didn't want to enter given its parcours. In fact, This year's Giro with it's lengthy TT mileage was designed to attract Froome.
 

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I think Dumoulin put his statement out there at the Vuelta that he could contend for a Grand Tour.
The pressure of leadership is also something that you can't see when talking about who may be able to contend or who can't. We've seen both Vangardern and Quintana fail miserably when the pressure was put solely on them as leaders. Kwait does have that going for him. He has proven in the classics he can lead a team and handle the pressures that go with leadership.
 

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If Armstrong can turn himself from a sprinter to the best GC rider ever ... Kwiatkowski has an easier transition :)

I'm running for cover now .... :)
 

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I like Kwiatowski, but when he, and EBH went to Sky I felt it was a stifling move for their careers, that type of rider doesn't seem to blossom there. At least EBH got out and is starting to stand on his own again, I hope the same for 'Ski.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I think Dumoulin put his statement out there at the Vuelta that he could contend for a Grand Tour.
The pressure of leadership is also something that you can't see when talking about who may be able to contend or who can't. We've seen both Vangardern and Quintana fail miserably when the pressure was put solely on them as leaders. Kwait does have that going for him. He has proven in the classics he can lead a team and handle the pressures that go with leadership.
I agree that Dumoulin signaled his potential when he finished the Vuelta as a runner up to Aru a couple of years ago. He actually had the win in the bag until the final climb. I also agree that Dumoulin is probably Froome's biggest threat given how most grand tours are set up. A few years ago though, and Dumoulin looked more like Tony Martin than like a future Froome or Wiggins, so change definitely happens. Regarding GC leadership for Kwiatkowski, I think he has the potential to a grand tour GC leader light, kind of like Valverde is, if he continues to work on the climbing in the high mountains, which he has to in order to assist Froome anyway. He can already TT at a high level obviously.

Like @upstate, I also hate that Kwiat is at Sky. It was definitely a downer for me when he left Quickstep (along with Uran, Cavendish, Tony Martin, and others) because it was my favorite team at the time given their focus on the Classics and their roster, but I understand it's a business on some level and he has to earn the best living he can. It became even more difficult for me to swallow when he joined Sky, which is one of my least favorite teams, but it is what it is. He's still one my favorite guys to watch. I am still bouncing around about a favorite team though. Sometimes I feel like following Quickstep again (I really like Jungles and Gaviria), but I also have a soft spot in my heart for Dimension Data and the charity they support (Qhubeka) and Cannondale Drapac because it is the organization that sparked my interest in pro cycling. I am also interested in seeing where Trek Segrafredo goes with things, but we'll see where riders land.

Finally, I can't agree that Quintana has failed at anything other than maybe this TdF/double attempt though. I think the pro Valverde crowd has this weird fascination with bashing Quintana and I don't think it's justified at all. The guy has two grand tours and is clearly one of the best pure climbers in the business. To compare him to Tejay VG is laughable to me.
 

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Cannondale seems to have finally remembered they are a team. That helps. I followed them back when they were the Garmin team (my Felt road bike is actually in that paint scheme).

I saw that article and started laughing.
 

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I can understand one day / classics guys joining Sky on the basis that they will get good support in their career and in return will have to do domestique duty on the GTs but I can't understand sprinters going there (it didn't work out for Cavendish and Viviani) or "nearly there" GT guys. The Yates brothers have been given roles and opportunities at Orica that would have never achieved at Sky. IMHO, the Sky business model will have to change or die. Maybe the latter because, IIRC, the sponsorship deal runs out in 2020
 

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I agree that Dumoulin signaled his potential when he finished the Vuelta as a runner up to Aru a couple of years ago. He actually had the win in the bag until the final climb. I also agree that Dumoulin is probably Froome's biggest threat given how most grand tours are set up. A few years ago though, and Dumoulin looked more like Tony Martin than like a future Froome or Wiggins, so change definitely happens. Regarding GC leadership for Kwiatkowski, I think he has the potential to a grand tour GC leader light, kind of like Valverde is, if he continues to work on the climbing in the high mountains, which he has to in order to assist Froome anyway. He can already TT at a high level obviously.

Like @upstate, I also hate that Kwiat is at Sky. It was definitely a downer for me when he left Quickstep (along with Uran, Cavendish, Tony Martin, and others) because it was my favorite team at the time given their focus on the Classics and their roster, but I understand it's a business on some level and he has to earn the best living he can. It became even more difficult for me to swallow when he joined Sky, which is one of my least favorite teams, but it is what it is. He's still one my favorite guys to watch. I am still bouncing around about a favorite team though. Sometimes I feel like following Quickstep again (I really like Jungles and Gaviria), but I also have a soft spot in my heart for Dimension Data and the charity they support (Qhubeka) and Cannondale Drapac because it is the organization that sparked my interest in pro cycling. I am also interested in seeing where Trek Segrafredo goes with things, but we'll see where riders land.

Finally, I can't agree that Quintana has failed at anything other than maybe this TdF/double attempt though. I think the pro Valverde crowd has this weird fascination with bashing Quintana and I don't think it's justified at all. The guy has two grand tours and is clearly one of the best pure climbers in the business. To compare him to Tejay VG is laughable to me.
Dumoulin got 6th, an amazing position. But, if my poor memory serves me, he got that lead with a massive TT difference and lost it on the final climb by like half a day. But it's a great point you make! He proved he can climb good enough. He can put those big time hits in the TTs and survive going uphill. Froome is a better climber but similar in a sense, I thought he was close to cracking a few times and he looks at his PM, slows down and gets into the zone he is trained to be in and persists like a diesel locamotive. And he takes big gulps of time in TTs, or he can anyway. I think Tom D is the real deal right now and for some time to come, I think it's an exciting thing in cycling right now. Sunweb is very exciting, with Tom D and Polka Dots and Green at Le Tour.

OK, I pick on Quintana for being a boring wheel sucker. You are right, he really doesn't deserve it. But he weighs like 45 pounds and can't drop his competition on long steep climbs! He is surgically attached to Froome rear wheel. In the bigger lecture, I don't see the Landa fit. I may pick on Nairo but he's legit. Landa seems like more of the
same. Unless they figure Valverde is done? I like what others posted about his fit with Trek. Congo has repeatedly said in the media that he will take any role that's good for his team and I think he's really genuine. You have to love him and how much he loves the sport.

You are prolly right rashad, they are reading us. Easy to keep your pulse on US cycling fans, just come here and read all 4 of us talking cycling after the Tour. Haha!
 

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Dumoulin got 6th, an amazing position. But, if my poor memory serves me, he got that lead with a massive TT difference and lost it on the final climb by like half a day. But it's a great point you make! He proved he can climb good enough. He can put those big time hits in the TTs and survive going uphill. Froome is a better climber but similar in a sense, I thought he was close to cracking a few times and he looks at his PM, slows down and gets into the zone he is trained to be in and persists like a diesel locamotive. And he takes big gulps of time in TTs, or he can anyway. I think Tom D is the real deal right now and for some time to come, I think it's an exciting thing in cycling right now. Sunweb is very exciting, with Tom D and Polka Dots and Green at Le Tour.

OK, I pick on Quintana for being a boring wheel sucker. You are right, he really doesn't deserve it. But he weighs like 45 pounds and can't drop his competition on long steep climbs! He is surgically attached to Froome rear wheel. In the bigger lecture, I don't see the Landa fit. I may pick on Nairo but he's legit. Landa seems like more of the
same. Unless they figure Valverde is done? I like what others posted about his fit with Trek. Congo has repeatedly said in the media that he will take any role that's good for his team and I think he's really genuine. You have to love him and how much he loves the sport.

You are prolly right rashad, they are reading us. Easy to keep your pulse on US cycling fans, just come here and read all 4 of us talking cycling after the Tour. Haha!
If my memory servers me on that Vuelta TT the only GC rider within 1 minute of Dumoulin was Valverde. The rest lost closer to 2 minutes and Purito more like 3-4 minutes. Biggest reason I remember Valverde doing so well was his comment after I don't know what he was asked, but he said it's taken me until I'm 35 years old to finally be able to ride consistently good time trials.

As for Quintana, I don't see him as a leader and he could not pull the team back together after Valverde's injury. They completely disappeared from the race.
Landa I do like, but just don't see where he fits at Movistar. Agree with other Trek or back to Astana seem to be better fits. Movistar has stated after Valverde's injury that this is his team and he will always have a place on this team to race for as long as he wants to. The boss actually said Valverde has an open contract with the team and they expect him to be back and race for at least several more years. When asked by fans when he'll be back (obviously people not following him) the team has stated not until next year. We can't rush things and he must be healthy first as we cannot risk more damage. So yes they fully expect him back. As a side note it appears the deal for Landa heading there was basically done before the Tour ever started.

LOL, there may be a few more US fans, but yeah, this is as good of a place to see what we think as anywhere else.
 
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