Here is a question I have pondered recently, having only really come to cycling in the last year as a hobby proper.

The big tour events seem to be a team effort now, and individual talents like Merckx and (insert name) come along rarely. That being the case, I cant help but wonder if the TDF and other major tours were genuine 'every man for himself' events, would the same characters triumph ?

I understand the equation between flat land speed and not losing too much time in the mountains, but I see that the big talents get massive support from their domestiques and it begs the question, if the race was a free for all, are the Schlecks and Contadors really the strongest individuals, or just the best compromises for a team to carry ?

Forgive my ignorance, this isnt a forum troll question, its just something that plays on my mind when classics are won by strong riders who dont seem to have the same success in tours..


sam_bennett [57 posts] 5 years ago

The fact that those teams work for Schleck and Contador is that they are best. They have the skill to finish a climb and compete at the top level, and they need support from their teams to deliver them in through right place.
The reason the classics strong men don't do as well in the GC is that they cannot stay with the pace on long climbs, regularly this is due to physical condition or technique. Contador is slight and suited to climbing while Hushed it bigger and better at laying down power on the flat.
Hope that helps