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Re: The Academy of Cycling
« Reply #480 on: September 16, 2019, 20:30 »

Looking more and more likely.

Let's have a look at this potential team.

Katusha Riders

Enrico Battaglin
Jenthe Biermans
Jens Debusschere
Alex Dowsett
Reto Hollenstein
Daniel Navarro
Nils Politt
Dmitry Strakhov
Harry Tanfield
Mads Würtz Schmidt
Rick Zabel

The question you need to ask is, if none of these had contracts for next year, who would get re-signed for the new team? Politt obviously, but might he try and force a move through to Deceuninck (Van Aert style). Battaglin covers much the same ground as Sbaragli. Not a great year for Debusschere, but previous years results might get him a cheap extension. Dowsett/Hollenstein/Tanfield don't excite. Navarro is getting on a bit. How is Zabel as a leadout? I remember one good one for Kristoff in California a couple of years back. Biermans has youth on his side, but isn't going to be a world beater. Strakhov is a strange one. MWS could be okay - TT and a decent sprint.

So maybe five or six if you're not too sniffy.

ICA Riders with contracts

Matteo Badilatti
Rudy Barbier (?)
Davide Cimolai
Itamar Einhorn
Ben Hermans
Krists Nielands
Mihkel Räim
Tom Van Asbroeck

I'm sure Barbier was announced as getting a two year deal, but neither CQ or PCS has this. Maybe it was a one year deal with an option for another.

New ICA Riders

Hugo Hofstetter
Dan Martin

That comes to twenty one if we include Barbier. Add on the other four Israelis to get twenty five and that leaves five spots to fill. Just five.

ICA Hopefuls

Awet Gebremedhin - Nice story, but a CT rider
Edwin Avila - Shame if he has to go, but the exotic calendar will be much reduced
Guillaume Boivin - Bound to be kept if he wants to stay
Matthias Brandle - Not needed as Dowsett/Hollenstein/Tanfield will be overkill already
Clement Carisey - Just not good enough malheursement
Alexander Cataford - Canadian, but not really up to the task
Zak Dempster - Good pro, but covers much the same ground as Boivin
Conor Dunne - Popular rider, but not WT level
Nathan Earle - Missed most of the season with injury. Might have a chance as not many climbers in team
Sondre Holst Enger - Rumoured to Uno-X
August Jensen - Been unlucky with injuries/crashes
Riccardo Minali - Could he have some off the bike problems? Difficult to explain his season otherwise
Ben Perry - Canadian, but limited in the bigger races
Ruben Plaza - Retiring
Kristian Sbaragli - Bound to be extended after his late season showing
Hamish Schreurs - A good one in the changing room, but is that enough now
Daniel Turek - The only original left, I think we're gonna lose a third of the Holy Trinity....
Dennis Van Winden - Has fallen down the pecking order this year

Alexis Renard (stagiaire) might also be in contention, but he's still young and they might offer him another trainee role in 2020 before signing full time the year after.

Anyway from that long list I (thinking with my head, not heart) would go for Boivin, Dempster, Sbaragli and possibly Earle.

That would leave one or two spots left to be filled by other transfers in. Kangert and Haller from earlier in the thread would tick several boxes.
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