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Old 10-11-11, 02:33 PM   #1
chasm54
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Sky finally announce

...that they have signed Mark Cavendish.

And Bernie Eisel too. It's a pretty interesting looking squad, to say the least.
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Old 10-11-11, 03:50 PM   #2
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I guess Pinarellos aren't so bad after all.
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Old 10-11-11, 09:17 PM   #3
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BMC's situation makes sense to me. All of their big name riders cover different niches. For any given day of the racing season, it's obvious which of them has the best shot at winning going into it.

Sky's situation does not make sense to me. Are Wiggins, Froome, and Cav all going to ride the same GTs? Will Cav ever win without constant shelter for the first 99% of every stage? Does Wiggins work for Froome, or vice versa? Are they going to have to *****foot around the issue, BOTH of them losing time every race until one of the two has bad luck, then work for the other one? If so, how many MORE Grand Tours will that tactic lose them? Does either of them work for Cav before they pick their single GT contender? Can Cav win with a leadout train missing two strong men?

It almost seems like they're hiring people because they're British, and they're good riders, not because they would be a good addition to the team.
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Old 10-11-11, 09:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kind of Blued View Post
BMC's situation makes sense to me. All of their big name riders cover different niches. For any given day of the racing season, it's obvious which of them has the best shot at winning going into it.

Sky's situation does not make sense to me. Are Wiggins, Froome, and Cav all going to ride the same GTs? Will Cav ever win without constant shelter for the first 99% of every stage? Does Wiggins work for Froome, or vice versa? Are they going to have to *****foot around the issue, BOTH of them losing time every race until one of the two has bad luck, then work for the other one? If so, how many MORE Grand Tours will that tactic lose them? Does either of them work for Cav before they pick their single GT contender? Can Cav win with a leadout train missing two strong men?

It almost seems like they're hiring people because they're British, and they're good riders, not because they would be a good addition to the team.
Well, Cav doesn't need the whole team for him as a lead out train. He's shown the ability to win without the HTC freight train in front of him. Cav will still win races/stages. The problem will be supporting Cav for points contention over the duration of 3 weeks in a GT versus the overall for riders that are less favorites to win it all. I think the issue of which GT contender to support will sort itself out on the road. Froome looks to be the man of the future. At 31, Wiggins hasn't shown the elite climbing ability, yet, that is needed to win a GT. Kinda Levi Leipheimer like. This years Vuelta was Wiggins first time on the podium at a GT. And Froome finished ahead of him despite supporting Wiggins for most of the race. And the Vuelta was shaping up for Wiggins to win.

I think they should support the best rider, Cav. He's the proven winner. Why sacrifice everything to support riders that haven't demonstrated that they are significant threats to win (like Contador, Schleck, Evans)? But who knows when egos get involved.
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Old 10-12-11, 01:08 AM   #5
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BMC's situation makes sense to me. All of their big name riders cover different niches. For any given day of the racing season, it's obvious which of them has the best shot at winning going into it.

Sky's situation does not make sense to me. Are Wiggins, Froome, and Cav all going to ride the same GTs? Will Cav ever win without constant shelter for the first 99% of every stage? Does Wiggins work for Froome, or vice versa? Are they going to have to *****foot around the issue, BOTH of them losing time every race until one of the two has bad luck, then work for the other one? If so, how many MORE Grand Tours will that tactic lose them? Does either of them work for Cav before they pick their single GT contender? Can Cav win with a leadout train missing two strong men?

It almost seems like they're hiring people because they're British, and they're good riders, not because they would be a good addition to the team.
As for the British thing, that was always the plan. Brailsford, the chief coach of the British track team, is also the team Sky coach. In fact team Sky was largely his idea - he wanted the UK to branch out from track to road and he approached Sky for sponsorship. So Sky is the sponsor of the whole British cycling development programme, British Cycling and Sky pro cycling are closely intertwined, even the national track team have the Sky logo on their skinsuits. The only reason David Millar isn't on the team - it was discussed, two years ago - is that they took a policy decision not to hire anyone who had any history of drug abuse.

I agree the task of selecting a team for the TdF will be interesting. But I don't think the Froome/Wiggins conflict or Cav lead-out train are the biggest problems. For Cav, they have Eisel, Thomas, probably Stannard, maybe Richie Porte who are all very strong men in a finish. Wiggins and Froome can to an extent look after one another in the hills without screwing one another's chances. If Froome continues to TT like he did in the Vuelta it may even make sense to just ride as a pair in the mountains against the other teams and let it be every man for himself in the TTs to see who wins. No, for me the biggest problem is Boasson- Hagen. He's super-talented, approaching his best years and it isn't clear what his role might be. He really ought to be going to a smaller team that he can lead, in my view.

Of course, they might have in mind a different strategy entirely. They have a big strong squad, if they wanted to target the classics with EBH and the Giro with Froome, that would be an option. Remains to be seen if Froome maintains his much-improved form, though.
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Old 10-13-11, 10:43 AM   #6
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What happens to Boasson-Hagen? I was under the impression that he went to Sky to get away from Cavendish.
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Old 10-13-11, 06:40 PM   #7
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^Not so much to get away from Cav, but his main job at HTC was to chase down breaks on the sprint stages, so he was kinda limited there.
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