• Road Captain
  • Country: no
  • Posts: 2376
  • Liked: 3711
Re: Connect the Dots - Transfer Predictions 2021/22
« on: April 11, 2021, 13:00 »
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?

"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?
  • ReplyReply


    Back to top