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Who had the best 2016 Grand Tour Season?
Who showed the best performance, strategy, guts, cameraderie, joie de vivre, fraternite, liberte, chutzpah...

What young turks should we look out for? What silverbacks performed like they were a young turk?

Who boxed above their weight class, or performed above their paygrade?
 

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This is a great question , but maybe a little premature. There are still a few big races to be ridden.

As as it stands, I'm leaning toward Sagan. Wins at Flanders, Green Jersey, Quebec, animating the action for the whole season while wearing rainbow stripes. Extra points for his general awesomeness.

Van Avermaet gets a special shoutout. Always in the mix, making the race happen.

If Froome had been able to pull off the double...
 

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If you're a scientist, Chris Froome. If you're an artist, Peter Sagan.
 
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For Grand Tours I'd have to agree with Froome. Valverde didn't have the team support get have a ligitmite shot at the history he was going for. So Froome is the only answer to the question. As for team, I'd have to go with Orica. Chavez two podiums a truly sensational team effort with stage wins at the Vuelta and two riders who preformed well at the Tour.
 

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JSR, if the question was best overal season it would be very hard to argue with Sagan. I'll mention Valverde since he did make history at Fleche Wallone with his 4 win there, but in truth he's had a very average season for him this year if not a dissapointing overall season.
 

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As for team, I'd have to go with Orica. Chavez two podiums a truly sensational team effort with stage wins at the Vuelta and two riders who preformed well at the Tour.
Agree with Orica and Chavez. He's had a remarkable season for a young 'un. I always like to see some underdog team do well.
 

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It's nice to see Colombians up there with strong showings in the Grand Tours, a lot of young bucks.
My #1 pick, though, is Adam Hansen with 16 straight tours completed. :thumbsup:
 

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I'll mention Valverde since he did make history at Fleche Wallone with his 4 win there, but in truth he's had a very average season for him this year if not a dissapointing overall season.
Ok, now that I'm on the same page...

Obviously Froome is a lock with a GC win and a fighting second. But I am more in Valverde's camp than you seem to be. A stage win and podium finish in the Giro. 6th place in Le Tour while escorting his hapless protege around France. 12th in the Vuelta with eight(!) top ten stage results.

The reason I've never warmed up to Valverde is that he always seemed to find a way to crack when he was team leader for a GT. And, IMHO, he just seemed too cool for school when he wasn't the dedicated leader. This year he road with panache all the time and supported Quintana selflessly.
 

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Ok, now that I'm on the same page...

Obviously Froome is a lock with a GC win and a fighting second. But I am more in Valverde's camp than you seem to be. A stage win and podium finish in the Giro. 6th place in Le Tour while escorting his hapless protege around France. 12th in the Vuelta with eight(!) top ten stage results.

The reason I've never warmed up to Valverde is that he always seemed to find a way to crack when he was team leader for a GT. And, IMHO, he just seemed too cool for school when he wasn't the dedicated leader. This year he road with panache all the time and supported Quintana selflessly.
Actually I'm a huge fan of his. He's by far my favorite rider and has been since I picked him as my favorite in 2005. The problem is (and a lot of Spanish fans, whom I'm friends with feel the same way). He went to the Vuelta chasing history and leaves with literally nothing at all to show for it. He went there looking to be only the 3rd rider in history to have a top 10 in all 3 Grand Tours and had no support at all from his team in his quest. In general we feel that we as fans and that he has been disrepected by the team and we in turn are walking away from supporting the team anymore. We will continue to support him, but not the team. He finished less than 2 minutes outside the top 10. If he had any support at all he should have been able to find that time to get his piece of history that now he will never have. So yes to us it has been actually a very dissappointing season. As you can see we are very angry and will not forgive the team. Because he did not get history at the Vuelta this is truly not a remarkable season for him. He got his average of 7-8 wins. He typically has 1 GT stage win and a GT podium. Well he had all that before June and the rest of the season wasn't worth anything really. 2 top tens in Grand Tours is what he typically does. This year he had his WORST ever Vuelta as it was the first time in entire career he's ever finished outside of the top 10 there and didn't do anything worth mentioning in either the Tour or the Vuelta. Nothing remarkable at all about his season with the only expection being history at Fleche Wallone. But that is only because it was his 4th win and not because he won the thing. He had a normal first part of the season and basically a bad 2nd part of the season. So yes a dissappointing season. We have also come to the conclusion that in truth we should have ended our watching of the season with the Giro as the rest of the season (outside of San Sebastian) was a complete and total waste of our time to have bothered with and esp the Vuelta being an even bigger waste of our time.
 

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I agree with a lot of what has been said in here. I guess for me, I am also just blown away by what Orica accomplished in GTs as a young team: A strong 4th in the TdF with Adam Yates, a second in the Giro and a 3rd in the Vuelta from my new favorite GT guy Esteban Chavez, and an attacking 6th from Simon Yates in the Vuelta. Not to mention all the stages they won in the 3 GTs combined (3 in the Vuelta, 1 in the Giro, and 1 in the TdF + the Young Riders Jersey). Wow just wow. I know it's not a grand tour, but it actually matters more to me. They also came away with a win in Paris Roubaix (a Monument) and a bag full of other nice wins. I have really grown to love watching these guys and their backstage pass videos.
 

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Actually I'm a huge fan of his. He's by far my favorite rider and has been since I picked him as my favorite in 2005. The problem is (and a lot of Spanish fans, whom I'm friends with feel the same way). He went to the Vuelta chasing history and leaves with literally nothing at all to show for it. He went there looking to be only the 3rd rider in history to have a top 10 in all 3 Grand Tours and had no support at all from his team in his quest. In general we feel that we as fans and that he has been disrepected by the team and we in turn are walking away from supporting the team anymore.
Yeah, the team really should have given up on all the red jersey nonsense early on and ridden for a top 10 placing.
 

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Agree with Orica and Chavez. He's had a remarkable season for a young 'un. I always like to see some underdog team do well.
Orica and Chavez and HAYMAN for the win! Did you guys forget Matt's Paris Roubaix win!?!?! Hell yeah.
 

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Yeah, the team really should have given up on all the red jersey nonsense early on and ridden for a top 10 placing.
^^^^ This! Disrespected??? What in the world? He did his job and he did it extremely well. Great First Lieutenants support GC riders and grind for them on the front and in break aways and help them get and keep the leaders jersey. There's no disrespect and dishonor in that. The team couldn't possibly ride for both of them with Froome stealing the leader's jersey at one point and then breathing down their necks the rest of the way after they recovered it. Did you really expect them to sacrifice the win to see Valverde come away with a slightly higher placing? You're joking right? If not, love is truly blind, lol. Guess who doesn't seem to have a problem with how it all went down? Valverde....

Quintana signs Movistar extension, Valverde to follow

Another little dose of reality:

Unzué: ?Valverde can race as long as he wants? | VeloNews.com
 

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Orica and Chavez and HAYMAN for the win! Did you guys forget Matt's Paris Roubaix win!?!?! Hell yeah.
Hayman winning the PR was so wonderful to watch. I was over the top thrilled for him.
 

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Basically all of us who are his fans are angry. We wanted history. No we couldn't care less who did or didn't win the overall. He was robbed of history and that is what is important to us. His chance at a piece of history was taken away from him. He lost one of his major goals for the season. So yes we are angry and we will not forgive the team and will no longer support the team. Yes the team disrespected him and us. Yes he leaves the Vuelta and the entire 2nd half the season with NOTHING to show for his racing. Nothing at all. He basically had a very BAD second half the season for what we expect. Thus that makes his entire season at best mediocre and something we will try to forget as it was a waste of our time to bother with. There are a LOT of Spaniards saying they just wasted 3 weeks watching the Vuelta and they will remember this and NEVER waste their time like this again. Since the race wasn't on TV here my feeling is that at least I didn't waste 3 weeks watching it.
 

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As for when Valverde does or doesn't sign an extension well his comment to the Spanish media yesterday was there are issues with the contract that need resolved before he will consider signing it. Remember until he actually signs the contract there is no guarentee he won't decide to go somewhere else. Granted they have an entire year to negotiate the contract extension which they started negotiated last fall. He's still under contract through next season. Yes I am well aware Movistar's boss has said he can race for them as long as he wants to. However, they need to respect him and what he has done for them over the years. They cost him a piece of history he will NEVER have another shot at. They had better not cost him a couple of other pieces of history he still has a shot at. Such as most ever Vuelta podiums (1 to tie, to to have it to himself) and most ever green jerseys (same 1 to tie, 2 to have it to himself). These are things he DESERVES a legitimate shot at. It is obvious that they never gave him a legitimate shot at his place in history this year with a top 10 in all 3 Grand Tours in one season.
 

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Basically all of us who are his fans are angry. We wanted history. No we couldn't care less who did or didn't win the overall. He was robbed of history and that is what is important to us. His chance at a piece of history was taken away from him. He lost one of his major goals for the season. So yes we are angry and we will not forgive the team and will no longer support the team. Yes the team disrespected him and us. Yes he leaves the Vuelta and the entire 2nd half the season with NOTHING to show for his racing. Nothing at all. He basically had a very BAD second half the season for what we expect. Thus that makes his entire season at best mediocre and something we will try to forget as it was a waste of our time to bother with. There are a LOT of Spaniards saying they just wasted 3 weeks watching the Vuelta and they will remember this and NEVER waste their time like this again. Since the race wasn't on TV here my feeling is that at least I didn't waste 3 weeks watching it.
You lost me at "we could care less about who won the Vuelta." He wasn't robbed of anything, he got tired after a long season my friend. Maybe you all should follow triathlon if you just want to cheer for one person because cycling is a team sport and he had a role that wasn't GC leader for this race. Now if it had been the Ardennes and the team didn't support him, I could understand where you are coming from, but this is just an odd position to take in my opinion.

You and your friends sound like jilted lovers that were stood up at the prom, it's just strange and I don't get it. I am pushing back a bit because I know you are a serious cycling fan and as such you should know that nothing is guaranteed in this sport, he did his best, but he ran out of gas, said so himself, and nobody but you and your friends thinks it makes sense to sacrifice winning a grand tour so that another member of your team can place a little higher and "make history." Are you seriously advocating for that? Winning races, grand tours and monuments in particular, is the most important way a cyclist makes history in the pro game. Everything else is secondary. So, the truth of the matter is Valverde did make history this month. He was a road captain and ushered his protected rider to a grand tour victory. He did his job and he sacrificed his body and interests to be a great teammate for his team and they won big because of it. Only a handful of people in the history of the world can say that and he is one of them. He did so knowing that he will be calling on his teammates to do the same thing for him early next season and next spring and recognizing that they have done it for him before. That's teamwork and I tip my hat to the guy AND the team that held Sky and other teams in check to win one of the biggest prizes in all of cycling. You are free to see it differently, but, like I said, I don't get it. Again, the guy ran out of gas, it happens. There's no disrespect here from my perspective, but maybe I am alone in seeing it that way....
 

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He was not given a legitimate chance at one of his goals for the season. The team said they were supporting him in his quest for history and they lied. They lied about supporting him for his quest at history. It's a shot at history that not only will he never have another shot it, but it's a shot at history that will never been seen in our lifetime now and possibly never again. We also would have much preferred to see Contador win the Vuelta. We all happen to be much bigger fans of Contador than we are of Quintana's. Many of my friends have stated they are changing their loyalty to supporting Caja Rural whom they now believe is the only real Spanish profession team. For me I may go support Etixx not entirely sure yet, as Orica put in a nice preformance. We will all continue to support Valverde as he is our rider, but our suport for a team is going elsewhere. You can support a rider without supporting that rider's team. Many of us have done that with Contador for years as he is high on the list of favorites for many of us. Yes we are being emotional about it, but fans are emotional esp when you are talking about a favorite athlete, and even moreso when talking about someone who has been a group of fans favorite athlete for over a decade. He has been my rider since 2005 for many of my friends it goes back to his amature days.
 
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