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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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    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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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #471 on: June 18, 2019, 20:48 »
    Most of you who are interested may not have seen this.

    THEMOVE Ran Margaliot



    Quote
    WEDŪ
    Published on May 27, 2019

    Former professional cyclist Ran Margaliot is this week's guest on THEMOVE. Ran is the co-founder of the Israel Cycling Academy Team. He and Lance spent most of the conversation discussing the team's homage to Gino Bartali. Bartali was a 3x winner of the Tour of Italy as well as the Tour de France twice. But his accomplishments off the bike are more important.

    Bartali used his fame on the bike to help move documents and papers of persecuted Jewish people. His actions saved hundreds of lives. He was awarded, posthumously, Israeli citizenship for work.
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #472 on: July 15, 2019, 13:52 »
    Израильская Академия Велоспорта?

    You may remember earlier in the year that I posted a VeloNews interview with Sylvan Adams. It was about his big wish for the team to ride the TDF in 2020. He saw three avenues down which this could happen. I think a fourth has come on the scene and if anything it has the best chance of happening, but more on that later.

    His three options (in order of preference):

    #1 Automatic Wildcard (but no UCI confirmation yet on this!)

    Basically finish as one of the top-two PCT teams in the new combined UCI rankings chart. This is what having the massive team, riding loads of races and lots of quick guys is all about, but it's just not happening. There has been an improvement point-wise from last year, but they're still a fair bit behind the top echelon. Maybe with a great end of season they could nab the third spot which has a pretty good prize in itself.

    #2 A Big Name Signing

    A marquee signing big enough for ASO to feel they have to give the team one of their wildcards. However there have been zero rumours about big names joining the team. Quintana is rumoured to drop down to PCT with Arkea, so something like that might have been possible. It's difficult to think though of anyone else available....Barguil(?), but his relationship with Arkea seems on a better footing after his Nats win.

    #3 Merge/Buy Out An Existing WT Team

    When he did this interview the talked about target was of course Sky, but several months down the line it's now about Katusha (or other unnamed teams according to some reports!). This would at a stroke guarantee them the TDF spot (no messing about with wildcards), but the big problem is about the team's identity. Is it Katusha? Is it the Geeeeeeeks? I've talked about Mr Burns' softball team in the past, but you can swap in the ship of Theseus or your grandfather's axe if you like.

    Okay #1 is not going to happen, zero rumours about #2 and while #3 is being talked about it does have drawbacks. This brings us to....

    #4 A Normal Wildcard

    There are some variables which could stymie this. Katusha continuing in some form and either Androni or Corendon winning an automatic wildcard. If both of those happen it will be very difficult to achieve the target, but if just one happens or neither then there is plenty of room for optimism I think. Being better than a weakened Wanty (Martin ------> Cofidis) might be enough or in a best case scenario, being better than Vital Concept!

    As I said in the transfer thread, Hofstetter and Offredo strike me as more #4 signings, so that's what I think they're going for.
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #473 on: July 31, 2019, 20:43 »
    The unlikely alliance between Katusha and Arkea could have been great news for the team and their wish to ride the Tour next year. The effect of the merger would be the freeing up of a normal wildcard and this would surely be contested between Vital and the Geeeeeks. A very winnable battle. A few squad improvements and maybe some "race sponsorship" could seal the deal.

    However Hubert denies it and with the way the auto-wildcard battle is going, it's going to be difficult to get anywhere near Paris.
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #474 on: August 05, 2019, 10:26 »
    Time for a quick game of Fantasy Cycling Manager 2020.

    They need a lot of different types.

    A GC rider who can TT
    A puncheur
    A dedicated final guy for Cimolai/Hofstetter
    Deeper strength in the classics team
    More climbers in general are good

    Not so easy to think of good realistic candidates for these roles from the WT.

    A GC rider who can TT - Powless (not certain to be renewing with Jumbo)

    A puncheur - Slagter (not keen on him myself)

    A dedicated final guy for Cimolai/Hofstetter - Haller (best option + adds to classics)

    Deeper strength in the (classics) team - Vermote, Houle (Argon18 won't be with Astana) or Denz. An easier section to find names for.

    More climbers in general are good - ???

    Who is available from PCT? Van Schip, but as a trackie will have one eye on Tokyo.

    CT? Zukowsky, Aular, Steimle (if he doesn't sign for Deceuninck), Townsend etc etc etc.
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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #475 on: August 05, 2019, 11:53 »
    More climbers in general are good - ???

    Kangert could be a good fit maybe, if he doesn't get an extension at #ef EF
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #476 on: August 05, 2019, 20:40 »
    Time for a quick game of Fantasy Cycling Manager 2020.

    Not so easy to think of good realistic candidates for these roles from the WT.

    A dedicated final guy for Cimolai/Hofstetter - Haller (best option + adds to classics)
    Excellent call. Haller is a very good rider who I feel is often underrated resp. flies under the radar.
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  • Leadbelly

    • Grand Tour Winner
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    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #477 on: August 13, 2019, 14:26 »


    Looking swish.
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  • Leadbelly

    • Grand Tour Winner
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    • Awards: 2018 Zero Pointers CQ Game winnerNational Championships Predictions Game Winner 2017National Championships Predictions Game Winner 2016KeithJamesMC award 2016Avatar of the year 2015Velogames Spring Classics 2015National Championships Predictions Game Winner 2014
    Re: The Academy of Cycling
    « Reply #478 on: August 16, 2019, 19:13 »
    https://twitter.com/yallaACADEMY/status/1162361809430601729

    I didn't see this one coming.

    Even if the monuments were over five years ago, it's still the team's biggest signing and real statement. One conclusion we can draw from it is that they must know one way or another that'll they'll be riding a GT (the Tour?) next year. A nice salary's all well and good, but he'd want guarantees about the race programme.

    More signings are incoming they say.....maybe I should upgrade some of the selections from a few posts above after this news.
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