Giro d'Italia 2022 Giro d'Italia, Stage 12: Parma – Genova 204 km (Thursday, May 19th)

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This race should have been the one to pull them away from the relegation zone, instead it's eating into their buffer and when you ride like this it's entirely on them.
BEX made a tactical mistake with their team selection - They had to take Matthews who would have made the final of a number of stages, if not win a stage - When you put all your eggs in the GC basket then if the leader crashes, gets injured has a bad day then you are in trouble.
 
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BEX made a tactical mistake with their team selection - They had to take Matthews who would have made the final of a number of stages, if not win a stage - When you put all your eggs in the GC basket then if the leader crashes, gets injured has a bad day then you are in trouble.
Well if you wanted a rider who racks up plenty of top 10s you'd want Matthews but he seems to have a lot more trouble winning than he used to. Think he's lost a little speed in the sprint, enough to make a difference. As for his tactics and ability to read a race............
 
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BEX made a tactical mistake with their team selection - They had to take Matthews who would have made the final of a number of stages, if not win a stage - When you put all your eggs in the GC basket then if the leader crashes, gets injured has a bad day then you are in trouble.
Matthews should basically be dumped into as many one-day races as possible (which BikeExchange do relatively few of for some reason), doesn't have the kick to win much anymore and fifth places on GT stages don't yield much in the way of UCI points.
 
it's the annual group of randoms getting to contest the stage stage. Last year Lafay and so on
Rota is a very strong rider, whose best ability is precisely mid mountain stages. This stage suited him as a glove. He was the driving force of the trio. He had been deployed as a domestique for Bini, but as soon as he was out it was clear he would have carte blanche for a couple of stages.

He would have probably managed to hold the wheel of Mollema and Wilco on the climb if he had been in the group.

I think he lacked confidence, should have tried to drop Oldani and Leemreize in the climb.
 
Riders make races and made this stage rather fun. Good win by Oldani. Like to see the young guys get their first stage win, particularly when it rewards attacking racing and good tactics.

Yeah, it's less about Kelderman and more about Bora as a unit. That's a lot of very competent cards to play now.
So I can see four reasons why none of the GC teams bothered to push the pace:
  • Not much respect for the attacking instinct and grand tour winning form of Wilco Kelderman (even before his interview where he confessed as much)
  • Three team leaders who aren't that concerned about placings (Bardet, Carapaz, and Landa), don't mind a bit of attacking racing anyway, and still have to take time on the fourth guy who lacks the team to control the race and pedigree to feel he has to shoulder that responsibility (Almeida)
  • A perfect foil wearing the maglia rosa with the wont and the team to keep it
  • A parcours that would allow them to quickly eat into any gap if it got dangerous
 
Well if you wanted a rider who racks up plenty of top 10s you'd want Matthews but he seems to have a lot more trouble winning than he used to. Think he's lost a little speed in the sprint, enough to make a difference. As for his tactics and ability to read a race............
Considering the parcours and his form this year he would have a good race and earned UCI points.
 
Matthews should basically be dumped into as many one-day races as possible (which BikeExchange do relatively few of for some reason), doesn't have the kick to win much anymore and fifth places on GT stages don't yield much in the way of UCI points.
That's true if you are looking solely at UCI points BUT this Giro gave him a chance to win a stage ad pick up UCI points - He won't be riding many one day races outside of the Maryland Classic, the two Canadian races and possibly Bretagne - BEX will rely on Groenewegen and Groves to get wins in one day races - Groenewegen is limited with parcours, as well as getting into position in the last KM but as he showed in Hungary, he has speed - Groves is more versatile, although not as fast.

I think the promotion and relegation system is a joke and the points allocation is even a bigger joke.
 
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I think the promotion and relegation system is a joke and the points allocation is even a bigger joke.
Disagree with the former. Without a promotion and relegation system, there is no way for strong ProTeams like Alpecin to enter the WT except for hoping an existing WT team folds, and there's also no way for a WT-unworthy team dropping out of the WT except folding. I also think the system being based on the results of the last three seasons is reasonable as it means one bad year can't destroy a team. You could argue that promotion and relegation should occur every year rather than every three years but I do think there's something to be said for allowing teams a bit of room for mid- to long-term planning.

As for the points allocation... if the smaller races yield an amount of points that's commensurate with the startlist quality, there's little incentive for WT teams to start in those races which would likely kill off a significant number of them. That being said, there's a disproportionate number of smaller races in France and Flanders in particular. While I do think that BikeExchange and other teams in the relegation battle should be doing more of these races, commercial interests mean doing anywhere near the full calendar like the home teams can is not realistic. Internationalisation should not just occur by developing the calendar in areas which don't currently have races (especially not when money is the sole driver like for the Arabian Peninsula races and Guangxi), but also by expanding the calendar in areas which currently have a limited number of races - Germany, the UK and Colombia are among the countries that come to mind - and by trying to counter the shrinkage of the calendar in places like the US. Neither really seems to be on the mind of the UCI, or most people in the sport in general.

The amount of points handed out for stages and minor classifications, on the other hand, is ridiculously low compared to one-day races and GCs. For example, Biniam Girmay scored 172 UCI points this Giro for a stage win (100), a second place (40), two fourth (2x12) and two fifth (2x4) places. That's less than the reward for seventh on GC. At small races, it's even worse - in the Tour of Hungary, for example, Fabio Jakobsen received 14 points for each of his stage wins, 5 points for a second place, and nothing for winning the points classification. The total of 33 points is less than Krists Neilands was awarded for seventh on GC. Rudy Barbier was even worse off - two seconds, a third and a fourth on stages plus second on the points classification gave him just 13 points, less than Jimmy Janssens' 11th place on GC was worth.

Having said that, everyone is aware of such flaws and yet BikeExchange, a team where three of the best four riders aren't suited to GC battles in most or all races, does a calendar that's like 90% stage races. I don't want to single them out for it either, as EF are doing something similar, and Israel have only decided to adapt their calendar in recent weeks now that they are well behind. There's not really a commercial reason to start in smaller stage races as opposed to one-day races either, so there's no excuse for racing such a poorly thought out calendar which contributes to making your future as a team needlessly uncertain.

Look, Arkéa signed a rider in Hugo Hofstetter who's mainly renowned for finishing somewhere between second and eighth on flat to rolling terrain, sent him to a bunch of flat to rolling one-day races and, surprise! They're almost certain of their golden ticket. Compare and contrast to the calendar of the riders renowned for second-to eighth-place finishes on flat to rolling terrain who are on the roster of teams in the relegation battle - or indeed to the calendar of Hofstetter himself at Israel. It really isn't rocket science why Arkéa are ahead of these teams, except to four or five team managers.
 
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204 kms, 2867 vertical meters, and an average speed of 45.88 kms/hr!!

That‘s absolutely insane. Brutally fast pace. On the 12th day of the Giro d‘Italia…
I think net altitude gain is at least as important as overall gain. And a lot of the climbing was super false flats, which depress average speed a lot less than steep climbing.

The most outragous average speed of the last few years for me is the Covadonga stage of last year. Vuelta queen stage, 4 steep climbs, a net gain of 1000m, and the average speed was over 40kph
 

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