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Leadbelly

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Re: The Academy of Cycling
« Reply #450 on: February 18, 2019, 11:04 »
Giro Watch

Valenciana ↑

A couple of good efforts from Hermans, but the TT meant a great GC result was always unlikely. A couple of top-tens for Enger in the sprints without much help.

Besseges and Provence

Might as well lump the SSFRs together where things didn't go very well. Some lower top-tens in the sprint finishes, but not much evidence of a train being any help in a crowded field. Cataford was nowhere in the Ales TT. The climbing days in Provence weren't much better - all of the team finished 10+ minutes down on stage 3 which I thought might have been a good profile for Jensen/Neilands.

Colombia ↑

Finally some nice sprint results for the team. Raim doing the business on a couple of stages. He got baulked by Richeze on stage 1 when otherwise he might would have scooped a podium and then on stage 4 he was pretty much the only sprinter to survive the climbs, but got Deceunincked by Jungle Bob. Climbing-wise Badilatti didn't do very well on the hilly circuit stages, but on the final stage he finished just behind Alaphilippe. Not bad for his first race of the season.

Laigueglia =

A missed opportunity really. Hermans got injured in Spain and thus missed this race. Cimolai and Sbaragli did okay in his absence. Maybe they could look at Gavazzi and think if he could make the group in front, why couldn't they.

Next races are Antalya, Haut Var and Rwanda. Fingers crossed they should get off the mark in Turkey.
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #451 on: March 05, 2019, 13:33 »


    Antalya

    This is actually a combination of a massive ↓ for Minali and his train and a = for Plaza/Dunne on the climbing day. In Minali's defence a couple of the sprints had very technical finishes and a few crashes, but against this level of opposition he needs to be doing better.

    Haut Var + 2 SSFRs ↓

    Neilands had a good first stage at Haut Var, but then got ill and the rest of the race was therefore a complete write-off. The Classic de l'Ardeche went quite well actually. It was Hermans' first race back after injury and he made the grp which came in just after Calmejane. Rather worryingly though he said the foot injury still prevents him from sprinting, which doesn't bode well for making attacks or winning stages in future races. Guy Niv also performed credibly in the same race, finishing 28th alongside people like Cherno, Vinjebo, Simon and Masnada.

    Rwanda ↑

    Finally some good news. Stage win for Avila (might have been two without a crash), a couple of other stage podiums and a GC podium for Badilatti. It's only a small arrow though as the level of competition wasn't so high. Going by what happened on the queen stage, Badilatti was probably the second best climber in the race. He's almost definitely not going to the Giro, but could be used to rack up some points in the more exotic races.

    KBK =

    It might have been a ↑ if not for Boivin's crash. It was disappointing though for not one rider to make the fairly large front group when it split up. They had to rely on Jumbo/Bora to bring it back together.

    Up next are a couple more 1 day races in Belgium, GP Industria & Artigianato, TA and Taiwan.
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  • t-72

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #452 on: March 05, 2019, 23:26 »
    Broken collarbone for #academy August Jensen after crash in Le Samyn. Crash wasn't his fault, some Quickstepper lost his balance and then lost control trying to recover on a slippery section, and crashing into Jensen as a result.

    Jensen expects to miss out on all the Italian races (there goes his San Remo , now Cimolai must get in shape!) and may be back for the Amstel.
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #453 on: March 12, 2019, 20:14 »
    https://twitter.com/yallaACADEMY/status/1105547181203881985

    Team for TA:

    Tom Van Asbroeck- Belgium
    Ben Hermans - Belgium
    Conor Dunne - Ireland
    Davide Cimolai - Italy
    Krists Neilands - Latvia
    Alex Cataford- Canada
    Matthias Brändle- Austria

    No Minali and no Israeli rider! Sagiv was meant to be riding, but he hasn't been feeling so great after training at altitude and the other home riders are already inked in for other upcoming races.

    Last year they lost 1m47 to BMC in the TTT. Hopefully there'll be a bit of an improvement with the addition of Dunne, Brandle etc but I'm still seeing 1m20+. Add into that the final TT (and for Hermans the lack of any real mountains) and I think any talk of a top-ten is pie in the sky.

    Neilands says is he is good shape though (he had several mechs to ruin any chance of a good result at the weekend) and the hilly nature of the course should suit him better.
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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #454 on: March 13, 2019, 07:08 »
    There's a short interview in Belgian media today with Ben Hermans. Sounds like we can strike him off the list for the Giro.

    "Via Coppi e Bartali, Volta Limburg and Circuit de la Sarthe I'll get ready for the ardennes classics. Most likely I will not do the Giro afterwards. Personally I have more of an eye on the Tour of California, although we are not sure to get a wildcard yet."

    His foot is getting better though, and he'll try to go for a stage win in Tirreno.
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    Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #455 on: March 13, 2019, 10:10 »
    Bit of a strange one. :S

    Surely you'd want your best rider (and best chance of a stage win) at the biggest event of the year.

    Is this a conscious decision already by the team to chase points after their indifferent start to the season? There's no TT in California this year, so depending on the line-up, a top-5 in the GC wouldn't be crazy talk.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #456 on: March 13, 2019, 10:52 »
    Bit of a strange one. :S

    Surely you'd want your best rider (and best chance of a stage win) at the biggest event of the year.

    Is this a conscious decision already by the team to chase points after their indifferent start to the season? There's no TT in California this year, so depending on the line-up, a top-5 in the GC wouldn't be crazy talk.
    What would Hermans achieve at the Giro? A top-30 in GC if he's lucky, maybe a good stage placing from a breakaway.
    How many points do you get for that? Not that many.

    In comparison, in California he can get much more points for much less effort. From the auto-wildcard chasing point of view, leaving him out of the Giro and sending him to California is the only thing that makes sense.
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    Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #457 on: March 13, 2019, 11:18 »
    Personally I have more of an eye on the Tour of California, although we are not sure to get a wildcard yet.

    https://twitter.com/yallaACADEMY/status/1105780113994588160

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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #458 on: March 14, 2019, 11:10 »
    Last year they lost 1m47 to BMC in the TTT. Hopefully there'll be a bit of an improvement with the addition of Dunne, Brandle etc but I'm still seeing 1m20+.

    Well they did a lot better than expected.

    The finishing position of 9th ahead of ten WT teams has to be taken with a large pinch of salt as the conditions did favour those going later, but the time in comparison to those other late starters was a competitive one (only 43s down on Sunweb! 33s ahead of Katusha).
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #459 on: April 06, 2019, 19:10 »
    Far too many races to catch up on for a proper "Giro Watch". However you don't need me to tell you that the highlights have been few and far between. There aren't many riders putting their hands up with eye catching performances.

    Cimolai's performance at TA is probably the best the team can proffer. You can say the second sprint was a strange one (and it was weird), but his second and sixth were against real top opposition at a WT event. TVA helped him achieve those results and you could see them building some sort of partnership during the race, but the last I heard was that the Belgian was not going to be at the Giro. He would be going to Norway instead as there are easier UCI points available there........

    Nonsensical in my opinion (ditto for Hermans and California), but I wonder with this week's news of the UCI backtracking on the WT situation in 2020, if those choices might be reversed. There's no guarantee those auto-wildcards will be in play next year now and there's no way they can get enough points to get a WT spot when they are using a three year ranking. It would seem logical to me to send your best riders to your biggest race. One Giro invite in the hand is worth more than numerous auto-wildcards in the bush (especially if that bush is rapidly disappearing into the distance).

    If it was up to me they'd both be there and the team would be something like this:

    Hermans
    Plaza
    Cimolai
    Van Asbroeck
    Niv
    Sagiv
    + 2

    The realistic two would be Brandle and Sbaragli (in lieu of Minali).
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #460 on: April 15, 2019, 13:08 »


    Great team performance at the GP Beiras. None of the three stages had "tough" finishes, it was just a case of making the selection each day (and three of them managed it), but they did go over Torre on the final stage which is no molehill.

    Along with Avila's GC win and stage, Niv finished in seventh overall. Add that to his 6th in Taiwan and things are looking quite upbeat from the homegrown aspect.
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  • t-72

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #461 on: April 20, 2019, 17:27 »
    These guys race like Kristoff now? Isn’ t that a tubeless setup? How common is that these days?

    https://twitter.com/yallaacademy/status/1119519407791845377
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #462 on: April 20, 2019, 18:18 »
    These guys race like Kristoff now? Isn’ t that a tubeless setup? How common is that these days?

    I don't have the foggiest I'm afraid. :D

    Pastry's the man for tech details and knowing who's riding what etc etc.
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #463 on: May 03, 2019, 20:59 »


    What a day for Dan in Asturias. In a two man break with Paco and then got the KoM jersey off Alberto.



    He also made the decision to dye his hair silver....

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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #464 on: May 04, 2019, 20:08 »
    Neilands running into some timely form at Asturias. The season's been a bit of a non-event for him so far. He couldn't quite manage to stick with Vlasov on the climb, but came back to him on the descent and flatter run-in. Hopefully this performance will ensure he gets to ride the Giro. As long as he doesn't break a collarbone tomorrow.......touch wood.

    PCS actually has a provisional team for the Giro.

    Cimolai
    Gebremedhin
    Boivin
    Dunne
    Neilands
    Plaza
    Sagiv
    Sbaragli

    Can't see Dunne riding as he hasn't raced for a month and his missus is due to give birth soon (or has already). Not sure about Awet or Sagiv either.
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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #465 on: May 04, 2019, 20:23 »
    it's from a provisional startlist RCS has sent out yesterday. Doesn't necessarily need to be up to date, but ICA seems to have sent those names in at some point at least
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  • rote_laterne

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #466 on: May 04, 2019, 21:25 »
    I still don't understand why they don't sent their best team with Hermans. Can't see them getting invited again in 2020 unless Cimolai features strong in the sprints and Plaza going for stage wins/ #blue.
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #467 on: May 05, 2019, 10:16 »
    I still don't understand why they don't sent their best team with Hermans. Can't see them getting invited again in 2020 unless Cimolai features strong in the sprints and Plaza going for stage wins/ #blue.

    They hadn't fully decided about whether to send him to the Giro or California, but I think the decision has been rather taken out of their hands after his crash at FW where he took a chunk out of his knee. It's unlikely we'll see him at either race.

    Cimolai's performances recently have given me some hope it might not be a repeat of 2018. The sprint field is going to be pretty hot and a win is very, very unlikely, but maybe a top-5 or two is possible and who knows what could happen if the dice fall correctly on the right stage.
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  • rote_laterne

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #468 on: May 05, 2019, 15:58 »
    I didn't know Hermans is injured. I understand he could place higher in California but when you as a PC team are invited to a GT you applied for you send the best team.
    Cimolai has quite some form and should be good for plenty of top tens and maybe come stage 18 there aren't any top tier sprinters in the race anymore.
    Neilands should be good for breaks too.
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #469 on: May 13, 2019, 10:33 »
    Not bad from Cimolai yesterday. A bit of a tangle with Le Gac which was unfortunate, but he was up there nonetheless, a few bike lengths behind the four big names. Demare is probably now a member of the "rest", so today's minimum aim is to beat him and be the best of the rest. Looking further ahead I'm not too sure if I see a Goldilocks stage profile for him. Tomorrow is probably just a bit too tough. His best chance may come if the poor weather continues.

    Quite a bit of less good news yesterday too.

    https://twitter.com/yallaACADEMY/status/1127616080753643520

    Quote from: Boivin
    I didn’t have time to brake and just went over the bars. My ankle is a bit sore and I actually snapped my shoe in half somehow. I thought my ankle was broken but I just stretched the ligaments pretty bad. The next days won’t be fun at all. I was just bummed that I wasn’t able to help Cimo at the finish

    Judging by yesterday that means Cimolai's only helper in the sprints is going to be Sbaragli, as everybody else was doing a Moncoutie at the back of the peloton.

    Gebremedhin also crashed twice on one of the descents.
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #470 on: June 12, 2019, 10:03 »
    Well it was a better Giro than 2018 (that's not saying much!), but weighing up all 21 stages it still comes down as not quite meeting the par performance for a wildcard invitee.

    The first eleven stages in the main were fine. Cimolai was in the mix to be the best of the rest (five times he was 5th-7th). Sure he got caught up in the crash on stage 4 and on stage 5 he picked the wrong wheel (Viviani), but yeah it was okay. Plaza did his job as well on the two consecutive break days. Getting a fourth on the first of them.

    Excepting Neilands on stage 17, the rest of the race is what drags the overall rating down. The Latvian had been fighting illness which explains his lack of attacking, but with soooo many breaks being successful it was frustrating not to see the team up there fighting more. The Benedetti stage was the most disappointing. That's not to say it's the riders fault particularly, if you're two metres tall and weight ~90kg or whatever you are going to struggle on 9% slopes.

    The fault, if there is any, lies more in team selection or moving further back in the timeline - transfer policy. Hermans (if fit obviously) should have been there and Brandle and/or TVA would have been much more use to Cimolai on the flat days than Gebremedhin. Those "important UCI points" that TVA was meant to be targeting in Norway didn't exactly materialize.
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