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t-72

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Ok, we have had a few small discussions regarding talented riders, and their development and so on, and one of the things that last year impressed me a lot was that team  dsm #dsm (or Sunweb as it was know before) had very good results with relatively inexperienced riders. In many case they seemed to develop very well.

For the Norwegians on the team, it has been more of a mixed bag. Andreas Leknessund's development seems to have flattened out very quickly after joining the team, and the rider I consider an equally great talent, is now leaving the team after 3 years with, if anything, slow steady progress. She came in 10th at the Bergen worlds road race, but that was when she was riding for #hitec. With #dsm nothing much really happened.

Let's see if Uno-x handles the scenario of a formerly talented rider returning to the team after a stunt with a WorldTour Team, shall we? I am looking forward to seeing her ride as capain and sprinter again. I might have to go watch the LTON ..

KJØR PÅ, SUSANNE, KOM IGJEN!

#dsm Susanne Andersen --> #unox


https://twitter.com/UnoXteam/status/1425366323777970180
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  • LukasCPH

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    *no Susanne Andersen is nearing the end of her contract with #sun already - if she signs an extension that is only for one year, that will be a big indicator she's going to wear #unox after that.
    It was the easiest transfer to predict, and it has come to pass.

    (come to think of it, I believe she signed a three-year deal, 2019-2021, so never extended with #dsm)
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    t-72

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    Ahem... (a polar bear stumbles out of his den) is it cycling season yet?  :S
    4 more weeks  :angry get it on!


    A week back or so, I commented on the new uno-x jerseys in an online discussion with (amongst others) Lukas. The jersey looks like this #unox (spot the difference?) and I am not joking, there is one small but big difference.
    On the front there is a listing of a few sponsors, and one of the recent additions is a big name: Reitan Trading. It is known that this is the mother company of Uno-x (in one way or another, not sure about details concerning ownership). This is important because the least impressive thing about Uno-x is their business future - the glory days of their old business model, retail of diesel and gasoline, and just that, is already in the past in Norway.  Only 1 in 5 cars sold in central areas of Norway need gasoline or diesel, the rest are electric powered.

    Reitan Trading, as a mothership, has several other businesses - including one major groceries chain - which can be alternative brands for the cycling team to promote. Their name on the shirt indicates a longer term intention to maintain the cycling team, which as of today is considered to be more or less self-financing as a part of Uno-x, with most value added through participation in the home countries' UCI races (Norway/Denmark).
    Reitan Trading's brands can probably sell *anything* using the cycling team as an advertising board, and another of their brands may thus be the plan b if problems with the energy transition should arise. I wouldn't find that a big surprise, as driving along Norway's main artery (the E6 road is the spine of the road network in the country) several companies now provide "new gas" stations (in other words - charging stations) and the uno-x stations look a bit deserted.
    It doesn't make sense selling "just cheap power" mirroring the "just cheap fuel" slogan of Uno-x, because charging takes longer time than refuelding diesel and thus comes with ample opportunitites to sell stuff like coffee, buns, newspapers, sausages and ice cream to everyone in the car as value adding services.  Exactly the opposite of the "Uno-x way" to sell fuel: just cheap fuel (at unmanned stations).  The company needs to do something else in the foreseeable future, as that way of doing business will definetly fade away, slow at first and then fast. I think the "fast stage" isn't far away, not in Norway at least.

    Hopefully the cycling team can still be on the road after the next chapter in the energy transition saga.
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  • LukasCPH

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    The jersey looks like this #unox (spot the difference?) and I am not joking, there is one small but big difference.
    And that's the 2022 kit smiley already! :cool

    Yes, having Reitan Retail on there suggests that, now they're close to the top levels, it's not only the Uno-X rowboat doing the pulling, but the Reitan mothership is becoming interested as well. And looking at Reitan's brands, that is a good thing as it covers more business areas.
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  • Leadbelly

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    Any idea of THJ's TT-ing t-72? There's not exactly much data to base an opinion on other than one prologue and a pan flat TT at the Baby Giro.
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  • t-72

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    I think he´s about just as bad as Thibaut Pinot  :D

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  • Leadbelly

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    He didn't do badly tbh and I'm presuming Dare bikes aren't in the same league as Pinarello and Specialized etc.

    However in this day and age (the Slovenian era), if you want to compete at the really top level, then being just "not bad" at TTing won't cut the mustard. So I recommend a lot more TT practice over the coming couple of years if that's the road he and the team want to go down.

    There were lots of plus points for him and the team from the race though. Stages 2-4 went really well for him - he's quite punchy.
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  • t-72

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    There are 2 Halland and 1 Haaland (picked thw wrong sport as a kid, bad parental influence, may be convinced and converted later like Remco and Greg was).

    I have listened to a very long interview with them while driving my car on a long distance drive and back this weekend. The difference in results between Anders and Tobias is rather coincidental and to some degree then amplified by the role they have been assigned. Their physical level is almost identical with some individual form curve variations such that are caused by random crashes, injuries and illnesses that are likely to even out over the years. Tobias actually said Anders was a bit earlier and tougher in making tactical decisions such as needed when racing in the peloton but he says he has improved himself aswell now. 

    The TT experience is really limited and I dare think the bike isn't really to blame for the performance. You could ask #dsm Andreas Leknessund how he rates the Dare bike compared to the bike he ?occasionally would be allowed to borrow? with team DSM last year. With the Dare bike he won the national and european U 23 championship, and last year he lost the national championship to that other Tobias (now #jumbo  #champno Mr Foss), who also happened to be quite fast on a Dare bike when he won the Avenir. One Tobias Avenir fast on the TT and diesel in the mountains, the other Tobias Avenir a more punchy, explosive kind of climber with lots of ahem..potential? to improve the TT. ) The most impressive stage wins by Tobias Halland Johannesen has been on uphill finishes with limited time differences, so perhaps he's more the kind of rider that races up the Huy rather than leaving Pogi behind on the long climbs? He won the tour de L'Avenir by struggling and surviving rather than dominating the last stage, but left the others behind on the shorter track-stand-to-finish-line-dash last climb the day before.   

    I predict that the TT victories will be few and far between for the twins, and put my money on prince Tobias Avenir I to take care of that.
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  • t-72

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    t-72

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    Some updates from the Uno-x camp, which may or may not be known to readers here:
    1. they have made progress on reshaping the sharp end of their business - no longer just cheap hydrocarbons typically at parking lots of car-based REMA grocery stores, now they will be a supplier in the sustainable mobility value chain. They are rolling out turbochargers for elctric cars (>90% of new car sales in Norway are electric cars) and also environmentally certifified car wash are popping up across Denmark and Norway. Great, but I would love some ice cream and coffee when charging my car next year!) OK why this here: because the mother company and the cycling team are one company, and they need an income source to stay in business. Things are looking better than last year - but the transition away from hydrocarbons is still challenging for those trying to make money out of it. (Elon Musk is not welcome in this thread).

    2. Sywer Wærsted has been diagnosed with lots of stuff but also arthritis in his left knee. It had undergone serious reconstruction work after Wærsted was hit by a car and luckily survived. His comeback was against all odds, his departure maybe less surprising, taking into account the serious crash. Sad to see him leave after so much effort for the team, though. High point of his career, probably winning the 1.2 Ringerike Grand Prix, beating Jonas Wingegaard (and Alexander Kamp).

    3. They have filed all  the necessary paperwork for WT status. Their self assessment is they qualify on 4/5 of the criteria and the missing one is the results from races. There are other applicants that can fail on a high number of the criteria while they do qualify on the results. Uno-x boss says they will keep applying every year until WT status is granted.

    4. On a separate note, they are also doing everything they can to get into the Tour de France, and I think they would be happier with that only than with the WT access, for next year. The Vuelta and the Giro (cycling nerd's grand tours  :P) are nowhere near as valuable in Denmark and Norway as the Tour de France.[1]In terms of GT participation they aim directly for Le Tour and that is also reflected in their wildcards for 2022 - many ASO-owned and operated smaller races. And let's not forget, they have a winner of the Tour de l'Avenir.

    5. (wild speculations from me) and who knows, next year they may have 2 as #rainbow Tobias Foss may need to look for other teams to support his GC ambitions post 2023. There are many chiefs at #jumbo and some of them are very good. When they get the WT status, #unox needs another Tobias for all the grand tours they will have to ride. Just trying to look over their shoulders to find the new younger Tobias  that will win the Avenir 2023  :P 
     
     1.  (To date, the Uno-x moneymakers that bring the publicity to their target audience are the PostNord Danmark Rundt and the Tour of Norway.  The Arctic Race  is more a race in Norway for the European audience, and usually races in regions with less customers, ie Finnmark county is 13% larger than Denmark by area, but in terms of population it is about 1% of what Denmark has. That is why the ARN local audience isn't a huge target for retailers.)
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  • Leadbelly

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    #4 for 2023 will depend on what happens with B&B in the next couple of days. They've been given a deadline of tomorrow to get things sorted and if they disappear or are completely emasculated by their best riders being let go, then the chances of Uno-X getting an invite will massively increase.
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    yeah, from like "90% out" to "90% in".

    Not sure how confident they are themselves, by the way, as Uno-X has also confirmed to start in Sibiu at the same time.

    ...although with almost 30 riders signed now, they should be able to send a B team to the Tour ;).
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