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M Gee

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2018: Who's got the strongest team?
« on: July 03, 2018, 17:30 »
The wait is over

Chris Froome,
Egan Bernal,
Jonathan Castroviejo,
Michal Kwiatkowski,
Gianni Moscon,
Luke Rowe,
Wout Poels,
Geraint Thomas

https://twitter.com/TeamSky/status/1014079589319086081



Now, somebody, please, give me some rankings for these guys as climbers. Like as in x out of 10. It looks to me like Sky have brought more climbers than anyone excepting Movistar. Which means they believe the race will be made in the mountains. Which, of course, is always true to some degree. HOWEVER, given the role of luck in the first week or so these past several years now . . .

#mitchelton are all in behind Yates. They did a magnificent job of acting like the Sky Train back at the Giro. Will they do it again? Can they be as effective?

#sunweb, Dumoulin says this one is for learning. But we've got a TTT coming up. Maybe they could be in #yellow heading into stage 10.

#movistar, there is nothing left to say - it has been pointed out by so many people - can they act as one team - and not as 3 egos? I think the decision is split when it comes to rating how well Quintana and Valverde worked together. Not outright conflict, but not exactly the finest of teamwork, either.
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    rote_laterne

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    Re: 2018: Who's got the strongest team?
    « Reply #1 on: July 03, 2018, 19:54 »
     #ag2r  and  #bahrain seem pretty strong, to a lesser extent  #astana#jumbo and  #efd.

    A. Yates  #mitchelton only has Nieve for the mountains, who was ill and ridden the Giro. I don't see him attacking as much as his brother in the Giro, but surely ending the race in the top ten.

    I don't see T. Dumoulin  #sunweb in the top ten, although wearing the  #yellow before the mountains is possible.
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  • froome19

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    Re: 2018: Who's got the strongest team?
    « Reply #2 on: July 03, 2018, 23:18 »
    The thing about Sky is their riders as they tend to be, are pretty adaptable and have pretty big motors meaning they will also be of help in the first week or so and the TTT. Thomas officially (though he is unlikely to work in 1st week due to his semi-protected status), Kwia, Moscon.. are all riders who have big tanks but can also help Froome up the climbs as well.

    In theory the support for Froome is super strong, Bernal is untested in a 3 week stage race however and Thomas can be prone to crashes, asides for them the main climbing support will be from Poels who came 12th in the Giro and maybe tired..
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    just some guy

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    Re: 2018: Who's got the strongest team?
    « Reply #3 on: July 04, 2018, 05:35 »
    If TJ clicks BMC team is probably the strongest. Imho
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    Re: 2018: Who's got the strongest team?
    « Reply #4 on: July 04, 2018, 14:41 »
    The thing about Sky is their riders as they tend to be, are pretty adaptable and have pretty big motors meaning they will also be of help in the first week or so and the TTT. Thomas officially (though he is unlikely to work in 1st week due to his semi-protected status), Kwia, Moscon.. are all riders who have big tanks but can also help Froome up the climbs as well.

    In theory the support for Froome is super strong, Bernal is untested in a 3 week stage race however and Thomas can be prone to crashes, asides for them the main climbing support will be from Poels who came 12th in the Giro and maybe tired..

    Yes, imagine Plan A is for Bernal to look after Froome until he breaks and then hand over to Poels.
    Plan B - Kwiat,
    Plan C Moscon,
    Plan D Thomas.
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  • M Gee

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    Re: 2018: Who's got the strongest team?
    « Reply #5 on: July 05, 2018, 03:05 »
    If TJ clicks BMC team is probably the strongest. Imho

    I have a couple favs I'd rather see come in first before BMC, but hey, if they end up there? I'll cheer! After all, TJ and Porte and the rest have worked very hard for a long time to try and get results. Maybe it will finally be their year.
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  • just some guy

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    Re: 2018: Who's got the strongest team?
    « Reply #6 on: July 05, 2018, 06:07 »
    I have a couple favs I'd rather see come in first before BMC, but hey, if they end up there? I'll cheer! After all, TJ and Porte and the rest have worked very hard for a long time to try and get results. Maybe it will finally be their year.

    Not saying they are going to win just that the team for this try is really strong.

    Pity big Danilo is not there of course
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  • M Gee

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    Re: 2018: Who's got the strongest team?
    « Reply #7 on: July 07, 2018, 13:28 »
    Benson doesn't think #mitchelton-Scott brought the depth to the Tour that they did to the Giro. He thinks Nieve is going to be the sole dom left to assist in the late mountains. About 20 minutes in.
    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/tour-de-france-gears-up-to-the-sound-of-boos-podcast
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  • M Gee

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    Re: 2018: Who's got the strongest team?
    « Reply #8 on: July 09, 2018, 00:32 »
    Ok - so going into the TTT we have the following situation for GC:

    THOMAS, Geraint (SKY)   

    FUGLSANG, Jakob (ASTANA)   
    NIBALI, Vincenzo (BAHRAIN - MERIDA)   
    JUNGELS, Bob (QUICK - STEP FLOORS) 
    ALAPHILIPPE, Julian (QUICK - STEP FLOORS)
    DUMOULIN, Tom (SUNWEB)   
    BARGUIL, Warren (TEAM FORTUNEO - SAMSIC)
    LANDA MEANA, Mikel (MOVISTAR)   
    BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
    VALVERDE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR)     
    MOLLEMA, Bauke (TREK - SEGAFREDO)
    ZAKARIN, Ilnur (KATUSHA ALPECIN)   
    URAN, Rigoberto (EF EDUCATION FIRST - DRAPAC)
    MARTIN, Daniel (UAE TEAM EMIRATES)
    ROGLIČ, Primož (LOTTO NL - JUMBO) 
    VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING)

    PORTE, Richie (BMC RACING)    + 51
    YATES, Adam (MITCHELTON - SCOTT)   
    ROLLAND, Pierre (EF EDUCATION FIRST - DRAPAC) 
    FROOME, Chris (SKY)   

    QUINTANA, Nairo    MOVISTAR TEAM   +  01' 15''   

    Thomas has actually picked up a bonus second or two, not sure exactly. IMHO, The 3 to beat in the TTT are Sunweb, Sky and BMC. Odds favoring Sunweb, with equal odds on Sky and BMC. Movistar are going to lose time. EF-Drapac - will lose some time also, but hopefully not so bad. Where will Bahrain and Nibali land? Probably lose some time.

    What about the bee squad? How will they do? They're dark horses for the GC tho.

    But the point is, that the TTT will likely change things again. I don't think Sky will benefit that much against some major contenders. Sunweb and Dumoulin are widely thought to be out of the running for GC in Paris. But if Froome is good through Paris, why not Dumoulin? He's young. Froome does have a stand-in with Thomas. At this point, I'm liking Nibali's chances, but I can't see his team doing all that well tomorrow.

    I'm thinking either Dumoulin or Thomas will be in #yellow tomorrow. And several dark horse candidates will be on the back foot.
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  • AG

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    Re: 2018: Who's got the strongest team?
    « Reply #9 on: July 09, 2018, 01:34 »
    Yeah I agree - either Thomas, Dumoulin or maybe GVA if BMC can get up.

    I do think that Nibali and the Movistar guys will have a bit of a setback - and Bardet as well.  The extra 55 seconds certainly will come in handy.

    Out of them - Dumoulin in an awesome position.  He must be happy
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  • froome19

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    Re: 2018: Who's got the strongest team?
    « Reply #10 on: July 09, 2018, 09:37 »

    But the point is, that the TTT will likely change things again. I don't think Sky will benefit that much against some major contenders. Sunweb and Dumoulin are widely thought to be out of the running for GC in Paris. But if Froome is good through Paris, why not Dumoulin? He's young. Froome does have a stand-in with Thomas. At this point, I'm liking Nibali's chances, but I can't see his team doing all that well tomorrow.

    I'm thinking either Dumoulin or Thomas will be in #yellow tomorrow. And several dark horse candidates will be on the back foot.
    About Froome V Dumoulin based on them both riding the Giro.. it is always difficult to guess rider fitness post Giro, but it sounds from the Sky camp that Froome's season has been setup in typical Sky manner to give him the best chance of winning both Giro &  Tour, Froome seemed to be riding himself into form in the Giro (though he was also hampered by crashes and whatnot) and Sky certainly seemed to imply with those notes they released that he was on a regimented weightloss programme throughout the race. He also managed both Tour & Vuelta wins consecutively last year, though the Giro & Tour is certainly a different kettle of fish. Dumoulin on the hand it sounds like has added the Tour as a secondary objective to the Giro and I don't think his Giro preparations were planned with any consideration of him racing the Tour subsequently. Not to mention that there are somewhat vague and conflicting reports coming from the Sunweb team regarding Dumoulin's chances in the race..

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  • M Gee

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    Re: 2018: Who's got the strongest team?
    « Reply #11 on: July 09, 2018, 13:33 »
    I felt like playing with this - hence my predictions for the day:

    Rider Team GC after TTT seconds
    DUMOULIN Tom   (SUNWEB)      0
    THOMAS Geraint   (SKY)       3
    VAN GARDEREN Tejay   (BMC RACING)    4
    ALAPHILIPPE Julian   (QUICK - STEP FLOORS)   20
    JUNGELS Bob   (QUICK - STEP FLOORS)     20
    MARTIN Daniel   (UAE TEAM EMIRATES)    20
    MOLLEMA Bauke   (TREK - SEGAFREDO)   30
    NIBALI Vincenzo   (BAHRAIN - MERIDA)      45
    ROGLIČ Primož   (LOTTO NL - JUMBO)     45
    FROOME Chris   (SKY)    54
    PORTE Richie   (BMC RACING)    55
    BARDET Romain   (AG2R LA MONDIALE)   60
    FUGLSANG Jakob   (ASTANA)       60
    URAN Rigoberto   (EF EDUCATION FIRST - DRAPAC)
    ZAKARIN Ilnur   (KATUSHA ALPECIN)      60
    VALVERDE Alejandro   (MOVISTAR)        60
    LANDA MEANA Mikel   (MOVISTAR)       60
    YATES Adam   (MITCHELTON - SCOTT)      61
    BARGUIL Warren   (TEAM FORTUNEO - SAMSIC)    75
    ROLLAND Pierre   (EF EDUCATION FIRST - DRAPAC)     111
    QUINTANA Nairo    (MOVISTAR)   135


    Considering some of those guys are surely going to slide downwards over the next couple weeks, I'm liking Nibali's position. I agree that Dumoulin is likely to suffer fatigue at some point, and Sunweb have said more than once that he's in this one just for funsies.
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  • t-72

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    Re: 2018: Who's got the strongest team?
    « Reply #12 on: July 09, 2018, 22:46 »
    Yeah I agree - either Thomas, Dumoulin or maybe GVA if BMC can get up.

    I do think that Nibali and the Movistar guys will have a bit of a setback - and Bardet as well.  The extra 55 seconds certainly will come in handy.

    Out of them - Dumoulin in an awesome position.  He must be happy

    Must say, I think you really nailed it today!
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  • t-72

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    Re: 2018: Who's got the strongest team?
    « Reply #13 on: July 09, 2018, 23:06 »
    About Froome V Dumoulin based on them both riding the Giro.. i

    Just one thing you didn't mention: #sky Team Sky has said about 3 years in advance that they are going all in for the win with Froome this year (pluss/minus a puff of salbutamol that could have put Geraint Thomas in that position). After all they have been through now, as funny as it seems, there is an enormous pressure  on Froome to perform and to win the GC. It is like as if winning the 3 last GT's in a row isn't good enough. What is more, the pressure on Froome's shoulders will double the day they sell Thomas' chances to support Froome on a stage when Froome struggles, and that could be this coming Sunday.

    #sunweb Dumoulin has put this forward in a very different way, he's just here for research and having some fun riding the bike in France with his team. Today they cleared one of the major obstacles as a team - this wasn't the Bergen squad riding and the loss of Kelderman has clearly set the team back on such a day. 
    Now, Tom's days will not be very stressful, and I think he's quite happy to see someone else in #yellow yellow as long as he is not far behind.

    How will #sky defend if Dumoulin attacks on the cobbles?

    Dumoulin may be able to, and should try to, break the Thomas-Froome alliance. If Dumoulin goes, Thomas cannot afford to wait. If Thomas ends up 3 minutes ahead of Froome, Sky may be forced to give him a different role, and all in all they will be more vulnerable that way than in the "standard" sky modus operandi with everyone behind Chris Froome and Froome 2 minutes ahead on GC. It seems they may struggle to get to that point this year, it will not happen before 2nd rest day if at all.




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  • M Gee

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    Re: 2018: Who's got the strongest team?
    « Reply #14 on: July 10, 2018, 00:37 »
    Just one thing you didn't mention: #sky Team Sky has said about 3 years in advance that they are going all in for the win with Froome this year  . . .

    #sunweb Dumoulin  . . . - this wasn't the Bergen squad riding and the loss of Kelderman has clearly set the team back on such a day. 
    Now, Tom's days will not be very stressful, and I think he's quite happy to see someone else in #yellow yellow as long as he is not far behind.

    How will #sky defend if Dumoulin attacks on the cobbles?

    Dumoulin may be able to, and should try to, break the Thomas-Froome alliance. If Dumoulin goes, Thomas cannot afford to wait. If Thomas ends up 3 minutes ahead of Froome, Sky may be forced to give him a different role, and all in all they will be more vulnerable that way than in the "standard" sky modus operandi with everyone behind Chris Froome and Froome 2 minutes ahead on GC. It seems they may struggle to get to that point this year, it will not happen before 2nd rest day if at all.



    Interesting thoughts! We were talking about something similar in the Thomas v Porte thread.
    No way. After the Giro there's no way Sky will be riding for Thomas even if he wears  #yellow. Thomas is and will always be plan B.  . . .
    . . . Only if he falters big time in the mountains, and Thomas is STILL a whisker away from #yellow do I think Sky would even discuss a change in leadership at the dinner table.  . . .

    However, I failed to remember that THIS year Froome and Geraint are O-fficialy CO-CAPTAINS. Now, WTF that means in reality? Well, such titles have led to some infamous shenanigans in the past!   

    And, BTW, I like your idea for Tom and the upcoming "Classics" stages. Tom came up short on the tactics in the Giro. It would be nice to see him work the tactics to his advantage here, if he can.
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