Teams & Riders Chris Froome Discussion Thread.

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UAE I think not, with Pogacar.
NTT could be. I don't think they can win the Tour though if they have only Froome. Would they think they do? Rather a PR coup then? But for a high price, even if Froome would be willing to take a bigger paycut, that could become a failure?
Bahrain... They sure could build a strong team of helpers around him, they are simply lacking that "big" leader right now. I am not sure the team is financially safe at this time, but maybe safe enough.
 
Apr 16, 2017
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A mid-season transfer this particular season strikes me as a terrible idea for whatever team ends up signing him.
I have to say, this is the most reasonable way to look at this.
If you sign Froome, you do it for one of two reasons, I would think. Either for publicity/marketing or to win a GT, which in this case would be the Tour. I don't think there are many businesses/enterprises who consider an event that, while it is more likely to happen than not, has a significant chance of not occurring as a good investment for their marketing. Plus, who has the money to do this right now? A few perhaps, but the options are much reduced in the initial stages of economic distress.
As far as hiring him to win a GT, you have to look at Froome as damaged goods. Literally, insofar as he had a major injury that may reduce what his peak-level performance may be. But perhaps more importantly, if the dominant GT team in cycling is making it clear that they have better options than Froome, and are willing to let him go, then that suggests he is not going to be a serious contender for the Tour. They have to know that letting him go will give him further incentive to win and prove them wrong (and I think we could all agree that Froome has a serious commitment to winning already), so I think this should be read as Ineos deciding that Froome is not only surplus to their needs, he is not able to compete at a level where they need to be concerned about him as an adversary either.
 
Hard to figure out which 2 teams they are talking about. NTT is possible. If he goes to Bahrain, I'd guess Landa won't be too happy. I tried to think of other teams without a real GT-contender. Maybe thought Sunweb or CCC but I doubt they have any budget to spare.
 
But perhaps more importantly, if the dominant GT team in cycling is making it clear that they have better options than Froome, and are willing to let him go, then that suggests he is not going to be a serious contender for the Tour. They have to know that letting him go will give him further incentive to win and prove them wrong (and I think we could all agree that Froome has a serious commitment to winning already), so I think this should be read as Ineos deciding that Froome is not only surplus to their needs, he is not able to compete at a level where they need to be concerned about him as an adversary either.
Possibly. Another way to look at it is Ineos believes they need to prioritize the future in Bernal and not risk losing the next decade plus of him in order to get 1-2 good years out of Froome. This could be analogous to the Tom Brady situation that just played out. The Patriots know they didn't have a better option that TB in the near future but they preferred to let him walk rather than rather than tie themselves to a new contract that would likely provide at least a year or two of elite performance but also at least a year or two of significant decline, which would hinder them from building the future.
 
I have to say, this is the most reasonable way to look at this.
If you sign Froome, you do it for one of two reasons, I would think. Either for publicity/marketing or to win a GT, which in this case would be the Tour. I don't think there are many businesses/enterprises who consider an event that, while it is more likely to happen than not, has a significant chance of not occurring as a good investment for their marketing. Plus, who has the money to do this right now? A few perhaps, but the options are much reduced in the initial stages of economic distress.
As far as hiring him to win a GT, you have to look at Froome as damaged goods. Literally, insofar as he had a major injury that may reduce what his peak-level performance may be. But perhaps more importantly, if the dominant GT team in cycling is making it clear that they have better options than Froome, and are willing to let him go, then that suggests he is not going to be a serious contender for the Tour. They have to know that letting him go will give him further incentive to win and prove them wrong (and I think we could all agree that Froome has a serious commitment to winning already), so I think this should be read as Ineos deciding that Froome is not only surplus to their needs, he is not able to compete at a level where they need to be concerned about him as an adversary either.
Good observations. If he were to pull out a spectacular win, Ineos would have the money to re-sign him. If he isn't up to standards and poses a conflict with Bernal, GT and others they can determine which event he would appear and resolve the issue.
Trek....
 
Possibly. Another way to look at it is Ineos believes they need to prioritize the future in Bernal and not risk losing the next decade plus of him in order to get 1-2 good years out of Froome. This could be analogous to the Tom Brady situation that just played out. The Patriots know they didn't have a better option that TB in the near future but they preferred to let him walk rather than rather than tie themselves to a new contract that would likely provide at least a year or two of elite performance but also at least a year or two of significant decline, which would hinder them from building the future.
But Ineos has already built for the future. They've got Kwiatkowski and Dennis in the "still got some peak years left" category, Carapaz, Geogeghan Hart and Moscon in the "just coming into peak years" category, and Bernal, Sivakov, Sosa and Dunbar in the "building for the future" category, including some for the latter who are very much building for the present too. They've got a very pliant agent who has been giving them favourable treatment in the placement of supertalents to line his back pockets, and they've also got a good connection to Savio's production line of South American talents too.

I'm assuming the issue is that Froome doesn't want a short term "prove it" deal, but the team don't know what his level will be like when racing begins. I'm sure they have a better handle on what his shape post-injury is like, and if they're willing to let him walk, that says that the numbers probably aren't that good, or the kind of money that's being bandied about by other teams for him is so ludicrous in the current environment that they can't say no, especially as presumably they'd get a handsome recompense for a rider of his standing switching teams mid-season.

Ineos are also at the max number of riders, which may be a factor - I was thinking there's no problem with the contracts from a financial point of view, but potentially I guess it could restrict them in terms of what transfer moves they have available to them for next season if they've got too much of the budget, and too many roster spots, tied up.
 
Movistar? Telefonica isn't doing great but (who is) but they seem to be in it for the long term and they should be fine. Movistar sorely need a little luster. Obviously, it's not quite their usual route but I think they have to consider it, particularly if Mas and Soler don't step up big, fast. All the more so if Valverde retires.

Plus, Unzue seems like a level-headed enough guy, but even he might not be altogether unenthused at the chance for a little payback for Amador, Carapaz, etc. Sure, this may mostly be a ploy by Froome to try to get a little more commitment out of Brailsford. But I can see Movistar lending themselves to be a stalking horse.

And more, for the right price. If Froome values wins over money it might be a good move for him too. That team won the won Giro last year, and they were pretty much the only ones to take it to Sky at the Tour -and that was without any riders in the top five.

Also, I mean, if I ran O2 I would be pretty much begging HQ to take his salary out of my marketing budget.
 
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Movistar? Telefonica isn't doing great but (who is) but they seem to be in it for the long term and they should be fine. Movistar sorely need a little luster. Obviously, it's not quite their usual route but I think they have to consider it, particularly if Mas and Soler don't step up big, fast. All the more so if Valverde retires.

Plus, Unzue seems like a level-headed enough guy, but even he might not be altogether unenthused at the chance for a little payback for Amador, Carapaz, etc. Sure, this may mostly be a ploy by Froome to try to get a little more commitment out of Brailsford. But I can see Movistar lending themselves to be a stalking horse.

And more, for the right price. If Froome values wins over money it might be a good move for him too. That team won the won Giro last year, and they were pretty much the only ones to take it to Sky at the Tour -and that was without any riders in the top five.

Also, I mean, if I ran O2 I would be pretty much begging HQ to take his salary out of my marketing budget.
I don't see it. Abarcá are not one of the highest budgets out there (actually somewhere in the midfield) and if they had the money for it, you bet they'd have done more to retain either Quintana or Landa instead given Telefonica's presence in South America and the home market of Spain. They might have accepted losing one, but they would have avoided having both walk and probably kept hold of some of the other experienced hands they lost this off-season if they had the kind of money left over to hire Chris freaking Froome. Spending above market value on reclamation projects and climbers who are past their prime may be an Unzué thing, but that's usually been for people at the Gadret, Moreau, Szmyd kind of level. Froome? Seems very unlikely. Not unless he's taking a humongous pay cut.
 
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Movistar? Telefonica isn't doing great but (who is) but they seem to be in it for the long term and they should be fine. Movistar sorely need a little luster. Obviously, it's not quite their usual route but I think they have to consider it, particularly if Mas and Soler don't step up big, fast. All the more so if Valverde retires.

Plus, Unzue seems like a level-headed enough guy, but even he might not be altogether unenthused at the chance for a little payback for Amador, Carapaz, etc. Sure, this may mostly be a ploy by Froome to try to get a little more commitment out of Brailsford. But I can see Movistar lending themselves to be a stalking horse.

And more, for the right price. If Froome values wins over money it might be a good move for him too. That team won the won Giro last year, and they were pretty much the only ones to take it to Sky at the Tour -and that was without any riders in the top five.

Also, I mean, if I ran O2 I would be pretty much begging HQ to take his salary out of my marketing budget.
I can't see that. Movistar has their 3 leaders, 2 of whom they are building their future around. Froome's choice of races will come after Valverde (who gets first choice) and after Mas and Soler get theirs. The only GT Froome might get full leadership for would be the Giro. Movistar is well known for going with co-leaders to Grand Tours. Why would they take a chance on an older injured rider. They already have their older leader whom they have full trust and confidence in and whom they trust to teach and coach their young GC riders. Also Movistar is already going to the Tour with 3 leaders. They don't need a 4th. One other thing is Froome would also have to understand he will never be the team leader at Movistar. That is Valverde and Valverde is likely racing for 2 more years after this season. It's his team until he retires and likely even after he retires. Froome would be going to a team in which another rider not only is the leader and that won't be challenged, but to a team in which that specific rider has the full trust of management and whom has a lot of say over how the team is run and how races are run.

Also as Libertine Seguros stated Movistar is a mid range budget team. Froome would have to take a massive pay cut to go there. 3 years ago when Landa went there he said he took a massive pay cut, but he wanted to go back to a Spanish team.
 
Koronin, the Tour is the biggest race in cycling, by far. It's actually bigger than the rest of cycling sponsorship-wise. And Unzue knows that as well as anyone. Last season they won the Giro and yet no one here seems to consider it a successful season for them. Now, no one on Movistar's roster is within range of having a shot at winning the Tour. Being on the podium a Giro or a Vuelta would make it a dream season for any of them. They would all more than settle for Giro or Vuelta leadership for now, including Valverde. Valverde doesn't seem to even want that, all he wants is a free ride and even still he has been willing to work for the teammates if necessary the last five years, including at the Vuelta. Chris Froome, on the other hand, is the greatest Grand Tour rider of the last ten years by quite some distance. He was on the heels of winning the Giro and podiuming the Tour back-to-back this time last year.
I don't see it. Abarcá are not one of the highest budgets out there (actually somewhere in the midfield) and if they had the money for it, you bet they'd have done more to retain either Quintana or Landa instead given Telefonica's presence in South America and the home market of Spain. They might have accepted losing one, but they would have avoided having both walk and probably kept hold of some of the other experienced hands they lost this off-season if they had the kind of money left over to hire Chris freaking Froome. Spending above market value on reclamation projects and climbers who are past their prime may be an Unzué thing, but that's usually been for people at the Gadret, Moreau, Szmyd kind of level. Froome? Seems very unlikely. Not unless he's taking a humongous pay cut.
You know way more about Movi than I do but my feeling was that what their stinginess over the winter was due more to personnel than to strategy. IIRC someone something said in the documentary implying that they had plenty of money to offer Carapaz but while they mulled it over he took Sky's cash. They've been steadily mid-table the last ten years or so but I'm thinking they must be drifting hard towards the bottom of it now. How much could they possibly be paying Mas? Or Soler, their likely third-highest paid rider? And Valverde is coming off the books soon. Maybe the purse-strings tightened but it seemed to me it was also that Unzue wasn't finding the riders he wanted at the prices he wanted. Chris Froome on the cheap? Particularly having O2 there on the sleeve already? I can see some special Tour uniforms in the offing, but what do I know. Just reading some tea leaves and putting it out there.
 
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The article indicates that Froome could be leaving this year, but this is his quote:

In a statement Froome hinted at possibly having won his last Grand Tour with a Dave Brailsford-run team by saying: “I am extremely confident I can return to Tour winning form. Which team that will be with, beyond 2020, I don’t know yet.”

“Beyond 2020.” I think it’s telling that he has mentioned 2020, it’s a big hint he will be at Ineos for this season, but don’t count on it next season. But that’s just my reading of the situation.
 
Koronin, the Tour is the biggest race in cycling, by far. It's actually bigger than the rest of cycling sponsorship-wise. And Unzue knows that as well as anyone. Last season they won the Giro and yet no one here seems to consider it a successful season for them. Now, no one on Movistar's roster is within range of having a shot at winning the Tour. Being on the podium a Giro or a Vuelta would make it a dream season for any of them. They would all more than settle for Giro or Vuelta leadership for now, including Valverde. Valverde doesn't seem to even want that, all he wants is a free ride and even still he has been willing to work for the teammates if necessary the last five years, including at the Vuelta. Chris Froome, on the other hand, is the greatest Grand Tour rider of the last ten years by quite some distance. He was on the heels of winning the Giro and podiuming the Tour back-to-back this time last year.

You know way more about Movi than I do but my feeling was that what their stinginess over the winter was due more to personnel than to strategy. IIRC someone something said in the documentary implying that they had plenty of money to offer Carapaz but while they mulled it over he took Sky's cash. They've been steadily mid-table the last ten years or so but I'm thinking they must be drifting hard towards the bottom of it now. How much could they possibly be paying Mas? Or Soler, their likely third-highest paid rider? And Valverde is coming off the books soon. Maybe the purse-strings tightened but it seemed to me it was also that Unzue wasn't finding the riders he wanted at the prices he wanted. Chris Froome on the cheap? Particularly having O2 there on the sleeve already? I can see some special Tour uniforms in the offing, but what do I know. Just reading some tea leaves and putting it out there.

You are WRONG. For Movistar la Vuelta actually IS as important for them as the Tour and in many ways la Vuelta is more important. You forget they are a Spanish team with a Spanish sponsor. That holds a lot of weight when it comes to the importance of la Vuelta. Also there is no way of knowing what Enric Mas is or is not capable of doing in the Tour as he was with a team without GC support. He is know with a team that is putting their future in his hands and building a team around him. Also Froome is not an guarentee he would even be able to finish in the top 20 of any GT after the injury he had. By the way they DID have a successful season with their podium at la Vuelta. NO they would NOT settle for the Giro specifically or just la Vuelta. Movistar doesn't care much about the Giro, but they hold la Vuelta very high and even higher than the Tour in many ways. You have totally forgotten Froome hasn't raced in over a year now and had an injury NO ONE has come back from. Froome has shown MORE signs of decline than Valverde has. Sorry, Movistar not only would not sign Froome as they have no interest in him. They are not one of the teams that sign old GC riders. They may sign climbing domestiques who are older and past their prime, but not GC riders.

Carapaz signed with Ineos BEFORE Movistar could even negotiate with him. This is where the big problems between Movistar and the agent came from and they black listed that agent. Also if Froome has that agent Movistar won't even talk to him. Mas and Soler are likely being paid over 1 million euros each. Valverde has a 5 year contract, with racing through 2021, however he's been talking to them about adding another year to that and the team has already said he just needs to let them know when he decides he wants to add 2022 to his racing and fix the contract to show he'll be racing through 2022. He's signed with them through 2024.

Again, to explain this point. Movistar is betting the future on Enric Mas and Marc Soler. They are coming into their peak and they are building their team around these two riders they expect to become their leaders. They also have a very good atmosphere around the team this year. The very LAST thing they want or need to do is bring in someone that will cause problems and bringing in Froome would cause problems. They already have the riders they want on their team.
 
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You are WRONG. For Movistar la Vuelta actually IS as important for them as the Tour and in many ways la Vuelta is more important. You forget they are a Spanish team with a Spanish sponsor. That holds a lot of weight when it comes to the importance of la Vuelta. Also there is no way of knowing what Enric Mas is or is not capable of doing in the Tour as he was with a team without GC support. He is know with a team that is putting their future in his hands and building a team around him. Also Froome is not an guarentee he would even be able to finish in the top 20 of any GT after the injury he had. By the way they DID have a successful season with their podium at la Vuelta. NO they would NOT settle for the Giro specifically or just la Vuelta. Movistar doesn't care much about the Giro, but they hold la Vuelta very high and even higher than the Tour in many ways. You have totally forgotten Froome hasn't raced in over a year now and had an injury NO ONE has come back from. Froome has shown MORE signs of decline than Valverde has. Sorry, Movistar not only would not sign Froome as they have no interest in him. They are not one of the teams that sign old GC riders. They may sign climbing domestiques who are older and past their prime, but not GC riders.

Carapaz signed with Ineos BEFORE Movistar could even negotiate with him. This is where the big problems between Movistar and the agent came from and they black listed that agent. Also if Froome has that agent Movistar won't even talk to him. Mas and Soler are likely being paid over 1 million euros each. Valverde has a 5 year contract, with racing through 2021, however he's been talking to them about adding another year to that and the team has already said he just needs to let them know when he decides he wants to add 2022 to his racing and fix the contract to show he'll be racing through 2022. He's signed with them through 2024.

Again, to explain this point. Movistar is betting the future on Enric Mas and Marc Soler. They are coming into their peak and they are building their team around these two riders they expect to become their leaders. They also have a very good atmosphere around the team this year. The very LAST thing they want or need to do is bring in someone that will cause problems and bringing in Froome would cause problems. They already have the riders they want on their team.
Oh, come on. No, the Vuelta isn't close to as important as the Tour for them either. Movistar didn't come out of Nairo's Vuelta win thinking all was right with the world. "We saved the season", maybe. But they were aiming for the bigger prize.

Also, wake up and smell the coffee. What is Unzue going to say, "Sorry guys, we're going to blow chunks all over this season?" Of course, they're hoping Soler and Mas do well. They're building for the future. But their chances this year aren't all that great and they know it. And I think I rate them more than most.

Unzue's last Tour was a quarter-century ago. He knows how much they're worth, and that chances to win them are few and far between. He's seen older riders than Froome come back from worse and maintain their level higher. And he's seen how good Mas was on the Iseran. So has everyone else. There's a reason why Froome odds are so short and Mas's odds are so very long and it's not because bookies love losing money.

Anyway, it's just a punt. Pure transfer speculation. Maybe they have and plan and they're sticking to it. Maybe they just don't have the pesetas and the pounds aren't quite chuffed enough to spell them. But maybe not.
 
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Oh, come on. No, the Vuelta isn't close to as important as the Tour for them either. Movistar didn't come out of Nairo's Vuelta win thinking all was right with the world. "We saved the season", maybe. But they were aiming for the bigger prize.

Also, wake up and smell the coffee. What is Unzue going to say, "Sorry guys, we're going to blow chunks all over this season?" Of course, they're hoping Soler and Mas do well. They're building for the future. But their chances this year aren't all that great and they know it. And I think I rate them more than most.

Unzue's last Tour was a quarter-century ago. He knows how much they're worth, and that chances to win them are few and far between. He's seen older riders than Froome come back from worse and maintain their level higher. And he's seen how good Mas was on the Iseran. So has everyone else. There's a reason why Froome odds are so short and Mas's odds are so very long and it's not because bookies love losing money.

Anyway, it's just a punt. Pure transfer speculation. Maybe they have and plan and they're sticking to it. Maybe they just don't have the pesetas and the pounds aren't quite chuffed enough to spell them. But maybe not.
You really don't know much of anything at all about Movistar do you. 2016 Movistar was more interested in Valverde's attempt at racing all 3 GTs in one season than they were much of anything else. Yes la Vuelta is actually as important to more important to Movistar as a Spanish team with a Spanish sponsor. Although I guess you don't understand that the HOME GT of a team is actually extremely important. By the way, the team and sponsor already knew this was a rebuilding year. Movistar as a sponsor re-signed knowing that this was a rebuilding year.

As for the Rojas tweet I wouldn't read anything at all into that. Rojas has exactly zero pull or say in that team. Unless Unzue or Valverde say something there is nothing to report from the team it's self. There are only a handful (if that) that have any real control in that team and that Unzue, his son, and Valverde, then the rest of the inner circle of that management team.

Again you have missed that Valverde is the team leader and is the only rider with any actual say in that team. Is Froome going to go somewhere where another ride has full control and where he will never have full leadership?
 
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