Cav signs w/ Astana (official)


Nairo Quintana is left.

Prediction: nobody signs Quintana at the World Tour or Pro Level (level below World Tour)

Rightly or wrongly he’s too toxic with his tramadol positive. If it was from only one stage, somebody might have taken a chance. Positives from two stages is IMO too much for anyone to sign him, as it shows intent. And more than intent, stupidity


Scuttlebutt is that Quintana will end up on Medellin w/ Lopez.


1 Like

I doubt it. 2 big dogs in one tiny team does not bode well given their personalities.

In any case, it’s very sad to lose 2 of the best climbers in the world. They might not be at their prime, but easily top 5 best in the world.

What great climbers do we have left beside the obvious ones?…Maybe only Enric Mas. Looking forward to the next generation.

Well that would be a step above Team Medellin…at least he would still be in Europe, but still not likely riding many big races.

What about Auyuso and Almedia (apologies for probably misspelling their last names)?

And… only one is enough to clear the field also.

1 Like

Yes, but they have not put on legendary numbers in climbs yet.

What will cycling podcasts discuss now?!!

Necessity is the mother of invention. Astana needs a profile with Lopez gone, Nibali retired and Moscon performing poorly. Cav needs team where he is the profile (and thus gets selected for the tour).

Obviously, the best sprinter of a generation and GSOAT candidate. And he has been written off before only to come back strong.

Still, it’s gonna be a handful for a team which has very little World Tour sprinting competencies both among riders and among staff. Adding Cees Bol as lead-out man would be a much needed addition to the team.

Interesting how they will balance the team. They still have other profiles like Lutsenko to ride for, but there are those days in the tour, where you need to use 2-3 riders just to get Cav home within the time-cut. It’s definitely an advantage for Cav to be on a team with so relatively few other profiles.

Pog, Vinegaard, Roglic and Remco all climb pretty well. Yates brothers not too shabby. G Thomas must’ve been going fairly fast uphill to finish third in the tour last year not to mention the time he won it. Pidcock will likely be pretty good this year.

1 Like

Plenty of great climbers left in the peloton, if the criteria is being able to climb as well or better than Quintana, Lopez and Mas. Pog, Rog, Vingegaard, Evenepoel, Bernal (assuming he’s back to near his best), Yates brothers and others all meet that description. I think maybe a better term is “pure climbers” as those 3 aren’t accomplished TTers and (in the case of Quintana and Mas at least, Lopez is a bit punchier) don’t have a big finishing kick. So they are defined by their ability to climb as that’s their only way of making up time on GC or getting a stage win.

People forget that Cav has shown he does not need a leadout train….he can wheel surf and freelance with the best of them. Arguably his biggest strength is his ability to read the sprint and react accordingly……

Whether Astana has a train or not will not be a huge detriment to him….your point about him needing teammates to get to the finish on some mountain stages is a good one. However, that will only really be a factor if he does not pick up a stage early on. If he gets a stage and breaks the record, doesn’t really matter if he ever sees Paris.


Not really. Consistency + OK time trials.

Yes, I forgot Adam Yates

Not really, tell me a rider that has top times in legendary long climbs at altitude like MVentoux, Gamoniteiru, Col de la Loze……MA Lopez is perhaps the best in the world at that. He will be missed

The road to Col de la Loze was only built 4 years ago and it first featured in the Tour in 2020, Gamoniteiru first feaured in the Vuelta in 2021 - they’re hardly “legendary long climbs”. It’s almost like you just cherry picked the last 2 climbs that Lopez has won a GT stage on…

I’ll grant you that Quintana has a very decent overall time on Ventoux, but that was 10 years ago now (and if we want to talk great climbers who are still racing, Froome beat him to the top that day).


When was the last time that Lopez factored into a race? Maybe he is a great pure climber, but as a racer he’s been a non-factor for a while. For me at least, for someone to be considered a great climber they need to impact the race. Otherwise they should just follow Phil Gaimon’s lead and chase Strava KOMs

In any case, they have to be able to deliver him fresh unto another sprint team. Can they?

I also think there’s a little more to it than what we see the last kilometers. Been listening to some interviews/podcasts in danish with his former DS Brian Holm (from both his Highroad and Quick Steps days). While Brian certainly speaks affectionately about Cav it does also sound like he is quite a handful to have on the team and requires a lot of ressources to manage and support.

(of course that is his subjective take on it)

I don’t think you understand the kind of performance he put there agains Primoz and Pog. more 6 watts/kg for a long time….same in Gamoneiteru. Only a handful of ppl can do this.

Well, yeah. That’s his gift, to excel at the queen stages at altitude. His TT is mediocre. And his punch is average with the other top 10.

If you think that’s decent, check last years MALopez time. One of the top climbing performances of the year.

:joy::joy::joy:. Good one!

Eh…Last year’s Vuelta ? running 3rd before that massive brain fart….

yeah, like winning the climbing queen stages of grand tours against the top guys……what I’m saying is not even controversial. MA Lopez is the best pure long climber at altitude cyclist in the world.