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Ivan Sosa discussion thread

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Re: Ivan Sosa discussion thread

08 Oct 2018 20:12

I remember a few years back when one of the SKY haters on this forum was
outraged that SKY was buying up all the top young talent like Nathan Earle!
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Re: Re:

08 Oct 2018 20:36

rick james wrote:
Logic-is-your-friend wrote:Time to introduce financial fair play in cycling.

why is that?

I won't pretend for even a second that the fact it's Sky doesn't play a part in people's negative response to this saga, but in return please don't pretend that a team with sufficient budget and clout that the team with the second biggest budget in cycling abandons its U23 development project because it can't stop its riders being stolen isn't a marketplace killer.

Cycling got by, you could argue rather archaically, for many years without football-style tapping up, contract buyouts and so on. Sky's contract wranglings and buyouts with Wiggins and Swift were one element of the end of that, GreenEdge were another with their tapping people up all the way from January. It might well be how it's done in football and not especially wrong per se, but there are quite a few marketplace killers in football too - Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern München, Manchester City, Real Madrid for a few, and their way of going about business is plenty unpopular among large sections of the fanbase too. While it's disappointing to see a single overpowered team buying up quality young talents like Bernal, or skimming off the cream of the U23 ranks like they did with the likes of Moscon and Sivakov, the way they - and the rider's advisors and agents, who are far more culpable than Sky for this saga - have gone about this Sosa transfer is another level of problematic from a competition point of view; if the richest teams are now at the stage where they can dangle carrots and pressure riders to break contracts or play up until they're allowed to leave (Dimitri Payet ring any bells?), and can afford to simply pay off any fine that comes for breaking those contracts as collateral for the purchase, then we are reaching the point that was why football needed the financial fair play regulations in the first place.

If Sosa had signed for Sky without the Trek diversion, then there'd still have been something of a negative response, sure, but it would have been the same as with the signings of Bernal, Sivakov and so on; a frustration that Sky are stockpiling all of the best young riders when fans would rather see them fighting against the seemingly unbeatable Sky machine rather than joining it, but not the feeling that there's anything wrong per se in how it's come about. The situation here with Trek and the UCI getting involved in arbitration and then ultimately being ignored or treated as irrelevant anyway because Sky can pay away any fine on the rider's behalf, however, has justifiably generated a more negative reaction because its implications are greater, and it reinforces the image many have of Sky as the big overpowered, amoral corporate bully, the Gordon Gekko of the pro péloton.
Last edited by Libertine Seguros on 08 Oct 2018 20:46, edited 1 time in total.
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08 Oct 2018 20:37

Technically, Sosa is currently still under contract with Androni, so it should be Savio who will have final say.
As I understand it, changing teams this year without Savio's consent was possible only if new team paid 120k to Savio before 31 July. The only team that did that was Trek. So Sosa can either accept Trek's offer, or has to seek additional Savio's consent with Sky. And I can imagine Savio will have no problem with Sky if they compensate him for all money due back to Trek plus some extra for the trouble and potential damages if claimed by Trek. If Savio says he will honor only Trek offer, Sosa has no way of going to Sky this year (unless he goes the WvA way).
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Re: Ivan Sosa discussion thread

08 Oct 2018 21:05

GuyIncognito wrote:
Gigs_98 wrote:If it continues like this it will only take a few more years until the top three of the tdf all come from one team. And I'm not even kidding. Sky seemingly has the financial capacity to every year sign the most promising gc rider. I'm just massively happy Evenepoel has signed for QS but then again, long way to go for him, as of now the potential hasn't been proven on the big stage.


The new Chinese team claim to have a bigger budget than Sky, so give it a few months and Sky might also be asking for a budget cap.

A big budget doesn't always translate to a good team though. I think Katusha were said to have a bigger budget than Sky at some point, and I think Bahrain or UAE as well, but UAE generally sucks, they at least underperform relative to their budget, while Sunweb are doing exceedingly well.
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Re: Re:

08 Oct 2018 21:20

Libertine Seguros wrote:
rick james wrote:
Logic-is-your-friend wrote:Time to introduce financial fair play in cycling.

why is that?

I won't pretend for even a second that the fact it's Sky doesn't play a part in people's negative response to this saga, but in return please don't pretend that a team with sufficient budget and clout that the team with the second biggest budget in cycling abandons its U23 development project because it can't stop its riders being stolen isn't a marketplace killer.

Cycling got by, you could argue rather archaically, for many years without football-style tapping up, contract buyouts and so on. Sky's contract wranglings and buyouts with Wiggins and Swift were one element of the end of that, GreenEdge were another with their tapping people up all the way from January. It might well be how it's done in football and not especially wrong per se, but there are quite a few marketplace killers in football too - Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern München, Manchester City, Real Madrid for a few, and their way of going about business is plenty unpopular among large sections of the fanbase too. While it's disappointing to see a single overpowered team buying up quality young talents like Bernal, or skimming off the cream of the U23 ranks like they did with the likes of Moscon and Sivakov, the way they - and the rider's advisors and agents, who are far more culpable than Sky for this saga - have gone about this Sosa transfer is another level of problematic from a competition point of view; if the richest teams are now at the stage where they can dangle carrots and pressure riders to break contracts or play up until they're allowed to leave (Dimitri Payet ring any bells?), and can afford to simply pay off any fine that comes for breaking those contracts as collateral for the purchase, then we are reaching the point that was why football needed the financial fair play regulations in the first place.

If Sosa had signed for Sky without the Trek diversion, then there'd still have been something of a negative response, sure, but it would have been the same as with the signings of Bernal, Sivakov and so on; a frustration that Sky are stockpiling all of the best young riders when fans would rather see them fighting against the seemingly unbeatable Sky machine rather than joining it, but not the feeling that there's anything wrong per se in how it's come about. The situation here with Trek and the UCI getting involved in arbitration and then ultimately being ignored or treated as irrelevant anyway because Sky can pay away any fine on the rider's behalf, however, has justifiably generated a more negative reaction because its implications are greater, and it reinforces the image many have of Sky as the big overpowered, amoral corporate bully, the Gordon Gekko of the pro péloton.


All reasonable, but lets not kid ourselves, UCI getting involved is precisely because Trek never actually got Sosa's signature at the time, within the time they needed to get it. While no doubt, more money can change a man's mind what company he ends up working for, it can't un-sign a contract that should have been signed in the first place.
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Re: Ivan Sosa discussion thread

08 Oct 2018 21:33

Vasilis wrote:
GuyIncognito wrote:
Gigs_98 wrote:If it continues like this it will only take a few more years until the top three of the tdf all come from one team. And I'm not even kidding. Sky seemingly has the financial capacity to every year sign the most promising gc rider. I'm just massively happy Evenepoel has signed for QS but then again, long way to go for him, as of now the potential hasn't been proven on the big stage.


The new Chinese team claim to have a bigger budget than Sky, so give it a few months and Sky might also be asking for a budget cap.

A big budget doesn't always translate to a good team though. I think Katusha were said to have a bigger budget than Sky at some point, and I think Bahrain or UAE as well, but UAE generally sucks, they at least underperform relative to their budget, while Sunweb are doing exceedingly well.


Yes, it’s entirely possible to squander a big budget or to allocate larger chunks of it to other goals (classics, sprints). And anyway, there is only a limited number of riders at any time capable of seriously challenging for a Tour even at the head of a crack squad of very expensive domestiques. If one isn’t available or willing to sign or if the team can get one but then he expensively underperforms, then a mega budget rival won’t trouble Sky much. Sky’s model for success is dependent on having a huge budget but can’t simply be reduced to their budget. They are focused on one goal, have spent for season after season on that goal, got lucky with Froome and, of course, know what they are doing.

The problem with them isn’t that they have dominated GTs for some years now, it’s that they are making a serious attempt to go beyond what has previously been the natural lifecycle of dominant teams in the sport (the top end career of one great rider) and create a machine for winning GTs indefinitely.
Zinoviev Letter
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08 Oct 2018 21:39

Right now they're just making the biggest offers on

every

single

top

talent.
Veni, Vidi, Kirby

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Re: Re:

08 Oct 2018 21:54

samhocking wrote:
Libertine Seguros wrote:
rick james wrote:
Logic-is-your-friend wrote:Time to introduce financial fair play in cycling.

why is that?

I won't pretend for even a second that the fact it's Sky doesn't play a part in people's negative response to this saga, but in return please don't pretend that a team with sufficient budget and clout that the team with the second biggest budget in cycling abandons its U23 development project because it can't stop its riders being stolen isn't a marketplace killer.

Cycling got by, you could argue rather archaically, for many years without football-style tapping up, contract buyouts and so on. Sky's contract wranglings and buyouts with Wiggins and Swift were one element of the end of that, GreenEdge were another with their tapping people up all the way from January. It might well be how it's done in football and not especially wrong per se, but there are quite a few marketplace killers in football too - Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern München, Manchester City, Real Madrid for a few, and their way of going about business is plenty unpopular among large sections of the fanbase too. While it's disappointing to see a single overpowered team buying up quality young talents like Bernal, or skimming off the cream of the U23 ranks like they did with the likes of Moscon and Sivakov, the way they - and the rider's advisors and agents, who are far more culpable than Sky for this saga - have gone about this Sosa transfer is another level of problematic from a competition point of view; if the richest teams are now at the stage where they can dangle carrots and pressure riders to break contracts or play up until they're allowed to leave (Dimitri Payet ring any bells?), and can afford to simply pay off any fine that comes for breaking those contracts as collateral for the purchase, then we are reaching the point that was why football needed the financial fair play regulations in the first place.

If Sosa had signed for Sky without the Trek diversion, then there'd still have been something of a negative response, sure, but it would have been the same as with the signings of Bernal, Sivakov and so on; a frustration that Sky are stockpiling all of the best young riders when fans would rather see them fighting against the seemingly unbeatable Sky machine rather than joining it, but not the feeling that there's anything wrong per se in how it's come about. The situation here with Trek and the UCI getting involved in arbitration and then ultimately being ignored or treated as irrelevant anyway because Sky can pay away any fine on the rider's behalf, however, has justifiably generated a more negative reaction because its implications are greater, and it reinforces the image many have of Sky as the big overpowered, amoral corporate bully, the Gordon Gekko of the pro péloton.


All reasonable, but lets not kid ourselves, UCI getting involved is precisely because Trek never actually got Sosa's signature at the time, within the time they needed to get it. While no doubt, more money can change a man's mind what company he ends up working for, it can't un-sign a contract that should have been signed in the first place.

An verbal agreement is legally binding, at least in most countries i think. Sosa basically validates it himself by posting a video online where he states he's going to TREK.

However the cookie crumbles, it could become a dangerous presedent.

As for the financial fair play, cycling isn't football, but it's clear people need to start thinking about where this is going. There will come a time where the dominance of one team will become counter productive for that team itself. Sky is burning money in order to create a monopoly on future GT riders. If they succeed, the interest in cycling will once again plummet and they will have spent hundreds of millions on a sport that gives them exponentially less exposure (because people will lose interest in it). In other words, there will come a time where the more money they put into it, the less it will be worth.
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Re: Re:

08 Oct 2018 22:19

Logic-is-your-friend wrote:
samhocking wrote:
Libertine Seguros wrote:
rick james wrote:
Logic-is-your-friend wrote:Time to introduce financial fair play in cycling.

why is that?

I won't pretend for even a second that the fact it's Sky doesn't play a part in people's negative response to this saga, but in return please don't pretend that a team with sufficient budget and clout that the team with the second biggest budget in cycling abandons its U23 development project because it can't stop its riders being stolen isn't a marketplace killer.

Cycling got by, you could argue rather archaically, for many years without football-style tapping up, contract buyouts and so on. Sky's contract wranglings and buyouts with Wiggins and Swift were one element of the end of that, GreenEdge were another with their tapping people up all the way from January. It might well be how it's done in football and not especially wrong per se, but there are quite a few marketplace killers in football too - Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern München, Manchester City, Real Madrid for a few, and their way of going about business is plenty unpopular among large sections of the fanbase too. While it's disappointing to see a single overpowered team buying up quality young talents like Bernal, or skimming off the cream of the U23 ranks like they did with the likes of Moscon and Sivakov, the way they - and the rider's advisors and agents, who are far more culpable than Sky for this saga - have gone about this Sosa transfer is another level of problematic from a competition point of view; if the richest teams are now at the stage where they can dangle carrots and pressure riders to break contracts or play up until they're allowed to leave (Dimitri Payet ring any bells?), and can afford to simply pay off any fine that comes for breaking those contracts as collateral for the purchase, then we are reaching the point that was why football needed the financial fair play regulations in the first place.

If Sosa had signed for Sky without the Trek diversion, then there'd still have been something of a negative response, sure, but it would have been the same as with the signings of Bernal, Sivakov and so on; a frustration that Sky are stockpiling all of the best young riders when fans would rather see them fighting against the seemingly unbeatable Sky machine rather than joining it, but not the feeling that there's anything wrong per se in how it's come about. The situation here with Trek and the UCI getting involved in arbitration and then ultimately being ignored or treated as irrelevant anyway because Sky can pay away any fine on the rider's behalf, however, has justifiably generated a more negative reaction because its implications are greater, and it reinforces the image many have of Sky as the big overpowered, amoral corporate bully, the Gordon Gekko of the pro péloton.


All reasonable, but lets not kid ourselves, UCI getting involved is precisely because Trek never actually got Sosa's signature at the time, within the time they needed to get it. While no doubt, more money can change a man's mind what company he ends up working for, it can't un-sign a contract that should have been signed in the first place.

An verbal agreement is legally binding, at least in most countries i think. Sosa basically validates it himself by posting a video online where he states he's going to TREK.

However the cookie crumbles, it could become a dangerous presedent.

As for the financial fair play, cycling isn't football, but it's clear people need to start thinking about where this is going. There will come a time where the dominance of one team will become counter productive for that team itself. Sky is burning money in order to create a monopoly on future GT riders. If they succeed, the interest in cycling will once again plummet and they will have spent hundreds of millions on a sport that gives them exponentially less exposure (because people will lose interest in it). In other words, there will come a time where the more money they put into it, the less it will be worth.


I don’t think that a monopoly on future GT GC men is their aim. Mostly because I think that the unusual structure of the sport, with teams riding for the results of individuals, makes it impossible without a budget that isn’t just the biggest but an order of magnitude bigger than that of anyone else. Leave aside for a moment the other key problem, the fact that the recent history of the sport has involved a substantial change from the days when future GT winners were invariably obvious talents young. The money required to keep the future versions of Nibali, Dumoulin and Quintana riding for the future equivalent of Froome would quickly be prohibitive, even for Sky.

It appears to me that what they are actually trying to do is create a squad which functions like a machine for winning Tours, with an endless supply of quality riders who can be plugged into slots in the train. Part of that requires that they always have more than one guy on hand who can slot into the winner’s role. They have previously relied on their ability to pay to bring in a succession of fringe GC men and quality all rounders to support their leaders. The shift to mass buying most of the young talents isn’t about thinking that they can keep them all if they all turn out great. It’s about having the opportunity to sift through them and keep in the long run a couple of guys who will replace Froome / Thomas and some guys who will end up as interchangeable parts of the train. Other guys will end up on other teams, either because they are too good to keep in a subordinate role or because they don’t develop as Sky hopes. But only after Sky has had a long look at them and as a bonus denied them to rivals for some years.
Zinoviev Letter
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08 Oct 2018 22:38

Maybe a draft system is in order?
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Re: Re:

08 Oct 2018 23:33

Zinoviev Letter wrote:I don’t think that a monopoly on future GT GC men is their aim. Mostly because I think that the unusual structure of the sport, with teams riding for the results of individuals, makes it impossible without a budget that isn’t just the biggest but an order of magnitude bigger than that of anyone else. Leave aside for a moment the other key problem, the fact that the recent history of the sport has involved a substantial change from the days when future GT winners were invariably obvious talents young. The money required to keep the future versions of Nibali, Dumoulin and Quintana riding for the future equivalent of Froome would quickly be prohibitive, even for Sky.

It appears to me that what they are actually trying to do is create a squad which functions like a machine for winning Tours, with an endless supply of quality riders who can be plugged into slots in the train. Part of that requires that they always have more than one guy on hand who can slot into the winner’s role. They have previously relied on their ability to pay to bring in a succession of fringe GC men and quality all rounders to support their leaders. The shift to mass buying most of the young talents isn’t about thinking that they can keep them all if they all turn out great. It’s about having the opportunity to sift through them and keep in the long run a couple of guys who will replace Froome / Thomas and some guys who will end up as interchangeable parts of the train. Other guys will end up on other teams, either because they are too good to keep in a subordinate role or because they don’t develop as Sky hopes. But only after Sky has had a long look at them and as a bonus denied them to rivals for some years.

What their intentions may or may not be is anyone's guess, but it is also a bit besides the point and it doesn't change what is happening. By buying away all these talents, they are literally "destroying" the competition (or better, the competitive aspect of the sport) and devaluating the "brand" that is cycling as a whole. In turn, this damages their very own investment in the long run.
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Re: Re:

08 Oct 2018 23:41

Logic-is-your-friend wrote:
Zinoviev Letter wrote:I don’t think that a monopoly on future GT GC men is their aim. Mostly because I think that the unusual structure of the sport, with teams riding for the results of individuals, makes it impossible without a budget that isn’t just the biggest but an order of magnitude bigger than that of anyone else. Leave aside for a moment the other key problem, the fact that the recent history of the sport has involved a substantial change from the days when future GT winners were invariably obvious talents young. The money required to keep the future versions of Nibali, Dumoulin and Quintana riding for the future equivalent of Froome would quickly be prohibitive, even for Sky.

It appears to me that what they are actually trying to do is create a squad which functions like a machine for winning Tours, with an endless supply of quality riders who can be plugged into slots in the train. Part of that requires that they always have more than one guy on hand who can slot into the winner’s role. They have previously relied on their ability to pay to bring in a succession of fringe GC men and quality all rounders to support their leaders. The shift to mass buying most of the young talents isn’t about thinking that they can keep them all if they all turn out great. It’s about having the opportunity to sift through them and keep in the long run a couple of guys who will replace Froome / Thomas and some guys who will end up as interchangeable parts of the train. Other guys will end up on other teams, either because they are too good to keep in a subordinate role or because they don’t develop as Sky hopes. But only after Sky has had a long look at them and as a bonus denied them to rivals for some years.

What their intentions may or may not be is anyone's guess, but it is also a bit besides the point and it doesn't change what is happening. By buying away all these talents, they are literally "destroying" the competition (or better, the competitive aspect of the sport) and devaluating the "brand" that is cycling as a whole. In turn, this damages their very own investment in the long run.


My argument was that this isn’t really the case. They are buying up the best prospects not the current best GC men. And those prospects will neither end up as all of the next generation of best GC men, nor all as Sky riders. The kind of stranglehold you are describing would require a much bigger budget and much less sane ambition. Their goals are less drastic but also more achievable. And also bad for the sport.
Zinoviev Letter
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08 Oct 2018 23:50

So which former Sky rider has left Sky and won a GT after he left? Right.

Again, you are arguing semantics. The point is that by their financial dominance, they are hurting the sport. By hurting the sport, they are hurting their own investment.

Can't make it any more clear than that.
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Re:

09 Oct 2018 00:22

Red Rick wrote:Maybe a draft system is in order?


Don't think it will happen. More a sign of desperation from Sky with the Froome reign not far from ending. Having a few riders from the same country, talented as well usually seems to be a good thing. Trek will be understandably disappointed. Although you could argue that the same idea hasn't worked too well at Movistar, not as well as expected anyway. But Sky is on another level financially and logistically. Be interesting to see what happens when the pendulum swings away from British riders to Colombians as team leaders. Sky want to continue to dominate but there will be healthy competition from riders like Mas and others you would think. Lopez can still improve. Germany and Belgium has some good young riders. Michelton have won their first GT and are well positioned to win more. Bernal and Sosa have massive potential but so do others. Hopefully Italy and the USA can also unearth some grand tour talent.
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Re:

09 Oct 2018 07:24

Logic-is-your-friend wrote:So which former Sky rider has left Sky and won a GT after he left? Right.

Again, you are arguing semantics. The point is that by their financial dominance, they are hurting the sport. By hurting the sport, they are hurting their own investment.

Can't make it any more clear than that.


A lot of it is to do with agents

There are many ways teams can be more attractive to new young riders with big talent and big ambitions without needing to offer more money. The issue many teams have, is they don't offer a better environment. While people downplay the professionalism and marginal gains as nonsense at Sky, I think within the bubble of Pro cycling the opinion is they are just better. As Brian Holme said very recently. "No matter what you think about Sky they are a bloody good team".
That is a very attractive prospect to new riders. If other teams want to be viewed like that, they simply need to step up and aim to out-Sky at being Sky. If they are not prepared to do that, then those other teams are also part of the problem you think cycling has due to Sky and not them too surely?
Last edited by samhocking on 09 Oct 2018 07:51, edited 1 time in total.
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09 Oct 2018 07:39

Stupid move by Sosa. Seems he has no ambition of becoming a team leader and is only after the money.
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Re: Ivan Sosa discussion thread

09 Oct 2018 08:09

I think you underestimate how results-based Sky actually is in GC leadership selection. If Sosa's numbers are the best in training and racing, he will be made leader through natural selection anyway, you don't need to go to a lower performing team to be GC leader, you simply need to be the best riders at Sky.
samhocking
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09 Oct 2018 08:20

Even through I think that Sky are doing a bad favor for Cycling, I don't blame Sosa for signing with them. It was probably the best decision.

If he is good enough, he will get his chances as a team leader, if he isn't, he will cash it out. And also one would think that Sky because of their budget should be able to develop young riders better.
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Re: Re:

09 Oct 2018 10:28

Zinoviev Letter wrote:
Logic-is-your-friend wrote:
Zinoviev Letter wrote:I don’t think that a monopoly on future GT GC men is their aim.

...

It’s about having the opportunity to sift through them and keep in the long run a couple of guys who will replace Froome / Thomas and some guys who will end up as interchangeable parts of the train. Other guys will end up on other teams, either because they are too good to keep in a subordinate role or because they don’t develop as Sky hopes. But only after Sky has had a long look at them and as a bonus denied them to rivals for some years.

What their intentions may or may not be is anyone's guess, but it is also a bit besides the point and it doesn't change what is happening. By buying away all these talents, they are literally "destroying" the competition (or better, the competitive aspect of the sport) and devaluating the "brand" that is cycling as a whole. In turn, this damages their very own investment in the long run.


My argument was that this isn’t really the case. They are buying up the best prospects not the current best GC men. And those prospects will neither end up as all of the next generation of best GC men, nor all as Sky riders. The kind of stranglehold you are describing would require a much bigger budget and much less sane ambition. Their goals are less drastic but also more achievable. And also bad for the sport.


Destroying the competition may not be their expressed aim, but it is a straight consequence of buying up all the future prospects.

These young guys have the potential to become the next generation of GC riders, but as of now, they lack the experience. They are at the start of their carreer. They need to learn, they need to find their style.

If all of these talents go through the same system and get similar experiences in a controlled environment - because as far as I see it, Team Sky is as controlled as you can get in cycling - they all learn the same things. Inspiration and instincts also matters, but in a controlled environment, like Team Sky, they matter less, so they won't develop (maybe backwards).

If all of these young talents spend their formative years at the same team, learning the same things, they will carry these experiences even if they change teams and race against each other. A new DS can come up with new tactics, but when they are on the spot and the rider have to make decisions in the heat of moment, relying on himself, the gut reactions of these guys will be similar.

Individuality makes cycling great. Personal choices, tactics, riding styles make races exciting, which is formed by the rider's experiences and background. If the (possible) next generation of the GC riders all learn these things at the same team, in the same system, from the same people, their style will be very similar, and that will kill the beautiful variety of a cycling race.
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09 Oct 2018 10:31

I think Sky approach style has partially come from the style that suited their leaders, Wiggins and then Froome. As Sosa's TT is, ehm, not so good, he could prefer a different riding style, which Sky will adapt to. However, this is all theoretical of course, but it is either way.
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