Why I love Domenico Pozzovivo

In general, if you’re one of the best climbers, you’re one of the favourites for a Grand Tour. I love Domenico Pozzovivo because this doesn’t apply to him. I love him because of his limitations.

Put Pozzovivo on a long, steep incline and he will ride away from everyone. If he were reasonably competent in some of the more mundane aspects of cycling, this should be enough. However, Pozzovivo is no ordinary rider. He is an extraordinary climber and that is it. He is so impressively one-dimensional, he isn’t even very good at going downhill.

How does that happen? Has he spent his career getting the cable car down from climbs? Every hill you go up, you must also descend. He must have had practice. And yet he’s crap. He’s crap downhill, he’s crap on the flat and he’s crap in time trials. He’s fantastic.

Pozzovivo makes races interesting. He makes them more complex. Stages often end up with a group of the leading riders at the front, ploughing along with nothing really going on. However, if Pozzovivo’s in the race, he might decide to ride past them and then what happens? Do people follow? Can everyone follow? He tests other riders’ limits.

Domenico Pozzovivo is a glorious, gold-plated spanner in the works.