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Leadbelly

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Connect the Dots - Transfer Predictions 2021/22
« on: April 08, 2021, 16:45 »
The 'Transfers and Rumors' thread very much is full of news from other sources. This is a more speculative version of the same thread, asking "who should go where?"

...or as it's been said in previous years' threads, "predict the transfer before the rumour".

This PCS page is quite a useful starting point to see who might be on the move.
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  • Leadbelly

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    https://twitter.com/CyclismeMercato/status/1380157521588072450

    Cofidis extend for several more years with the team, but we're more interested here in what else is said or intimated in the interview.

    Viviani ----> ???

    Signed on a big deal. Could stay on much reduced terms, but somebody else (who?) might fancy taking him on.

    Support for Martin and Laporte --------> #cofidis
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  • Leadbelly

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    So who could be in for Elia? There are maybe four teams I could see signing him.

    I'll go with #trek

    Nibali's star is on the wane (and on the move as well?) and the Italian co-sponsor might fancy a bigger name alongside Ciccone.

    Who could be the incoming transfers to Cofidis? Usually it's Frenchmen, Spaniards or Belgians, but not exclusively.

     *fr Russo from Arkea?

     *es Bilbao? but De La Cruz could be a more realistic target

     *be De Gendt (the Aime version)? Not having a great 2021, but the talent is there.
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    Support for Martin and Laporte --------> #cofidis

    I really struggle to see the kind of rider it would need to improve their results. Both are good, but not really dependent on a (mountain) train or so, and neither would it be any help to compete with Pogacar or Sam Bennett. Maybe some classics support for Laporte wouldn't hurt. Russo could be a good choice indeed
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    Leadbelly

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    https://www.lavenir.net/cnt/dmf20210409_01570916/s-il-faut-attribuer-une-cote-je-nous-donne-un-5-5-sur-10

    Hilaire (and his cows) with a little interview.

    They (Intermarche) plan to........sign some Belgians next year. Who'da thunk it? The only problem is there aren't too many good ones that'll be available.

    Ben Hermans is the obvious name at WT level and their climbing dept is sorely lacking. Theuns could be an option too.

    There's not much at PCT level either. Their best choice as I see it would be to try and tempt De Bondt or Vermeersch away from Alpecin. Not easy.

    "Some foreigner capable of playing for the win" is also mentioned. How about Kristoff? Disappointing classics campaign this year, but would be a good figurehead in the races that are important for the team.
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  • t-72

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    They (Intermarche) plan to........sign some Belgians next year. Who'da thunk it? The only problem is there aren't too many good ones that'll be available.

    Isn’t the experience from the corona age that such statements should be saved until you see which teams go belly-up at the end of the year? We don’t really know which teams will be racing next year, do we?
    The problem for Belgium seems to be that despite a very good selection of talent at junior level, they don’t have the quality in terms of teams developing riders further. Indeed the best development opportunities seems to be in cyclocross or football, outside the traditional road scene, where riders seem to plateau at a high level, but yet not at a winning level. The solution to this is probably not found at WT-level. (Exception: across the border, there is team DSM #dsm which appears more successful at creating winners.)

    In Belgium, if you are not labeled as the next Remco Evenepoel and ride for #quickstep, you are stuck on a team that struggles to develop riders further, maybe because there’s so much talent to choose from, so the teams don’t have to work very systematically to get a squad that can deliver decent results. Getting top results may still require that. Until rider development improves with the second-tier Belgian teams, the top talent may be better off riding for foreign teams. This year, most wins by Belgian riders are likely to come from Dutch teams.

    Perhaps hire a younger manager with a reputation for developing riders and teams, Hilaire?

    Quote
    "How about Kristoff? Disappointing classics campaign this year, but would be a good figurehead in the races that are important for the team.


    If they get Mørkøv from #quickstep, maybe they can convince Kristoff to change teams. However, my impression is that Kristoff´s preference is fading into a well-paid domestique on a big team, rather than a captain on a small team. He was out of shape due to illnness this year, but may still compete on top level in the classics a year or three more. I think there´s a motivation to win the races he hasn´t won yet, even if that looks increasingly difficult with the strong early 20´s crowd dominating the headlines now. With the Paris-Roubaix and the World Championships in the fall, he´s still got a chance to achieve the remaining objectives already this year.

    When Gaviria joined #uae UAE, Kristoff reflected on working as a leadout rider, and given the large number of wins by riders hanging on to Kristoffˋs wheel as he started his trademark long “endurance” sprints, he admitted some might see him as a natural choice for that role. It’s a reasonably safe position for a senior rider in the peloton, and with UAE his salary will probably be good if even reduced from captain level.

    With #wanty, there will be lots of uncertainty- how long will the team last, and - leadout for whom?
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  • Leadbelly

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    I don't know what goes on behind the closed doors of a Belgian PCT team or why exactly they seem to have been overtaken in recent years by other outfits, but I think you're being a bit harsh on them.

    It could very well be that outdated training techniques ("This is what we did in my day and worked for me, so you're doing the same") are part of the problem, but that could be linked to budget and none of these teams are that well off and have to cut their cloth accordingly.

    My thought is that they just are no longer getting the good raw materials to turn into the gems of the future. Talent identification of the big teams are targeting younger and younger riders especially in these major cycling canteras (Uijtdebroeks has signed for Bora in 2022 even though he is still a junior) and these days if you're good enough, you're old enough. There is less of a need for a PCT stepping stone, and maybe if you are a slightly slower developer, there's always U23 devo teams (linked or otherwise) with good calendars.

    Anyway I think #bingoal and #vlaanderen are doing okay (relatively).
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  • Leadbelly

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    We don’t really know which teams will be racing next year, do we?

    Delko probably won't. They have ongoing issues and have had to make cutbacks this year already.

    Could some of their riders follow Beppu, Nakane and El Fares to EF? Ghirmay would be the obvious one and maybe Barbier who still has time and room for improvement. Grosu of course has ridden for Nippo teams over several years. That could wangle him a move there.

    Diaz is fresh in the memory after his victory in Turkey. Not good enough for Movistar and not bad enough for Burgos. Caja could be the Goldilocks solution.

    ---------------------------

    How about Astana? There were some changes in the background there over the winter. Could the Kazakhs be ready to pull out? Could Eolo do a Wanty and buy the licence off them.

    Contador has talked fairly recently about wanting the team to go WT in 2022 and this to me seems a viable option. A lot of the Astana riders are out of contract at the end of this year. Only 8 (including two Italians and a Spaniard) would be left and none of them expensive.

    Okay it wouldn't be a very strong team for 2022, but when it comes to working out the WT teams for 2023 onwards, two good Astana years plus a bad Eolo one would give them a more than fighting chance of being in the top-18.
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  • LukasCPH

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    https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1dRJZNmBeEmJB

    #unox posted this live broadcast of a training camp sprint (and then deleted it again). Among the several yellow & red riders there is one in #total kit. Might just be EBH hitching a ride ... or it could be a sign of more? :shh

    Edvald Boasson Hagen #total --> #unox
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    LukasCPH

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    Edvald Boasson Hagen #total --> #unox
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    They call it "inspiration from one of the greatest" ... but we know what's really going on. ;)
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  • t-72

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    https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1dRJZNmBeEmJB

    #unox posted this live broadcast of a training camp sprint (and then deleted it again). Among the several yellow & red riders there is one in #total kit. Might just be EBH hitching a ride ... or it could be a sign of more? :shh

    Edvald Boasson Hagen #total --> #unox

    This has been a rumour in the Norwegian press for a couple of weeks already. I think #unox top priority currently is to make cross country skiing more like cycling, ie. stop competing in national teams only and open up for private enterprise. They have secured the MVP of x-c skiing on their payroll.

    EBH is clearly outside scope for #unox as a development team or a team with a strong development agenda. However, I think the road captain role at #tde doesn't fit EBH either (he doesn't speak french, for one ting, he is not the best resurging old classics star on the team, as they have Niki - so, something will happen.  Could also be retirement or transition/training for a sports director role at #unox (that could be the good deal here ). He's got to let the dream of a cobble from Roubaix area on his mantelpiece go for that one. What about a return to #qhubeka?
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