Teams & Riders Chris Froome Discussion Thread.

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I can only assume their reasoning is that them attracting Froome might be worth it from a marketing point of view alone, regardless of his results. It can also serve as a statement of intent, and might help interesting riders to consider joining in the future.
You could use 15 million Euros to buy a lot of really good talent, and still have plenty left over for marketing. Also, ISU may have dug themselves into a hole, now that it appears Froome is staying with Ineos this year. If ISU really offered him 5 million a year for three years (and I understand this is just a rumor, it hasn't been confirmed), it would hard to back down from that offer if they try to sign him for next year. But unless Froome wins the TDF this year (or comes close, as in 2018), no one is going to consider his market value anywhere close to that. In the absence of a really strong, still-in-his-prime Tour, Froome will be getting offers for much less next year. ISU, you'd think, would have second thoughts about how much to offer Froome, but he might consider that bad faith, and just rule them out.

Even if Froome were to win the TDF this year, it might not help his value that much. He'll still be a year older next year, and if he's a five-time winner at that point, his only motivation will be for no. 6. But how much longer would he try for that?
 
You could use 15 million Euros to buy a lot of really good talent, and still have plenty left over for marketing. Also, ISU may have dug themselves into a hole, now that it appears Froome is staying with Ineos this year. If ISU really offered him 5 million a year for three years (and I understand this is just a rumor, it hasn't been confirmed), it would hard to back down from that offer if they try to sign him for next year. But unless Froome wins the TDF this year (or comes close, as in 2018), no one is going to consider his market value anywhere close to that. In the absence of a really strong, still-in-his-prime Tour, Froome will be getting offers for much less next year. ISU, you'd think, would have second thoughts about how much to offer Froome, but he might consider that bad faith, and just rule them out.

Even if Froome were to win the TDF this year, it might not help his value that much. He'll still be a year older next year, and if he's a five-time winner at that point, his only motivation will be for no. 6. But how much longer would he try for that?

I'm still not convinced the market is that large for him to begin with. Several teams if they survive definitely don't have the money to talk to him regardless of if they may want him. Then you have the classics teams that aren't interested and a handful of GC teams that already have the riders they want. Plus 2 teams have already said not interested. I don't get why you offer that much when he hasn't proven rather or not he's recovered from the injuries.
 
Froome: 1,5 million followers on twitter
Bernal: 225.000
Peter Sagan 927.000
Alaphilippe 76.000
Geraint Thomas 460.000

Not that I would make that my reasoning, but obviously that can be the reasoning.
 
You could use 15 million Euros to buy a lot of really good talent, and still have plenty left over for marketing. Also, ISU may have dug themselves into a hole, now that it appears Froome is staying with Ineos this year. If ISU really offered him 5 million a year for three years (and I understand this is just a rumor, it hasn't been confirmed), it would hard to back down from that offer if they try to sign him for next year. But unless Froome wins the TDF this year (or comes close, as in 2018), no one is going to consider his market value anywhere close to that. In the absence of a really strong, still-in-his-prime Tour, Froome will be getting offers for much less next year. ISU, you'd think, would have second thoughts about how much to offer Froome, but he might consider that bad faith, and just rule them out.

Even if Froome were to win the TDF this year, it might not help his value that much. He'll still be a year older next year, and if he's a five-time winner at that point, his only motivation will be for no. 6. But how much longer would he try for that?

What ISU will be trying to do is make a statement. They want to show the rest of the sport that they're not just making up the numbers, they want to be big players with big name riders. And what better way than signing the biggest name in the sport. It's similar to when BMC were a small team with money and signed Cadel Evans.
 
Gotta love Sylvan Adams, a UCI World Masters Track Cycling Champion himself, for building a world-class velodrome in Israel. And if he now wants to pay the TopDawg many millions over three years I commend him for trying to drag cycling out of the bargain basement of professional sports. Of course the fans of the low budget teams that never compensate their riders properly will try to find fault.
It's not even that though. It's more that you're paying top dollar for people who will never be any better than they are right now. This is something that Ineos demonstrably haven't done, and has been one of their biggest strengths and part of why they've established a dynasty and not other super-budget teams. Sure, Ineos has more money than anybody else, but look at other big budget start-up or influx-of-cash teams who've done what Israel Start-up Nation are doing, and where they are now.

BMC had that super-sized budget and they spent it on Evans - who was getting older but whose results got better due to his late-career change of style and heart - but other than that it was a lot of money for a declining Hincapie, an over-the-hill Kroon and paying peak price for a Ballan that would never reach that level again. Katyusha paid top dollar for people like Vladimir Karpets. Apart from Ballan (and Mantova was an issue for him) they were all 32-33 years old or more. Cervélo spent a lot on Carlos Sastre, who would be 34 before the first GT of 2009 began. Hushovd was 30, and would likely never get as high paid a contract ever again... except then Cervélo folded and he wound up being paid through the nose as reigning World Champion at 32 by BMC.

In giving out those kind of fat contracts, you have to judge people not on what they have achieved but on what they will achieve with you. That's why Chris Horner couldn't find a team willing to pay him what he wanted for 2014. And what you expect out of that will be different for different teams of course. Some teams make a tradition of these kind of cut-price flyers on older riders or riders with some injury history or other issues - Movistar with Betancur, Rujano, Gadret or Moreau, or Dimension Data with the old HTC group of Renshaw, Cav and Eisel, for example - but these are typically because those riders are experienced enough to not need much looking after or coaching, and they come at a cheaper price because they're in the twilight of their careers or at a "prove yourself worth it" period. A €5m a year deal is quite demonstrably not that. That's top dollar for somebody you expect peak performance from, not a 34-hyear-old coming off a major injury. That's the kind of contract that becomes a millstone if Froome returns at anything other than the level he had in 2017-18. If he comes and is a top level GC contender but not the man that's winning Grand Tours, it's still a risky contract because you could have a couple of people who can achieve at a comparable level to that, and have room for improvement, for less. It's the kind of contract that wouldn't happen if there was a salary cap - not because nobody is worth that money. Not even because Froome himself isn't worth that money, or wouldn't still be worth it if he signed at that level 2-3 years ago. But it's the kind of contract you see hockey players sign in their prime that guarantee them huge money until they're 38-39, and then they end up getting LTI-Retired, or they wind up having to give up assets to get the player off their books. You know, like how Toronto traded a prospect AND their own first round draft pick in exchange for little more than a sixth rounder, for somebody to take Patrick Marleau's contract off their hands, because they were paying him a colossal contract he'd signed a few years before when he justified it.

It feels very much like they're paying the kind of money that you should be paying to a star of today who will hopefully be a star of the future, to a man who is a star of yesterday who will hopefully still be a star today.
 
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It feels very much like they're paying the kind of money that you should be paying to a star of today who will hopefully be a star of the future, to a man who is a star of yesterday who will hopefully still be a star today.
I mean, it's all speculation at this point, but yeah it would pretty obviously be bad strategy.

Even if Froome has another Tour win in him (who knows, he might) or two, it's too much money. In capitalism to some degree money equals respect, but assuming a limited budget, if I was Froome, I'd rather do it for a million and demand a team built around me with the rest. Surely his lifestyle wouldn't be impacted in any way by that.
 
In giving out those kind of fat contracts, you have to judge people not on what they have achieved but on what they will achieve with you. That's why Chris Horner couldn't find a team willing to pay him what he wanted for 2014. And what you expect out of that will be different for different teams of course. Some teams make a tradition of these kind of cut-price flyers on older riders or riders with some injury history or other issues - Movistar with Betancur, Rujano, Gadret or Moreau, or Dimension Data with the old HTC group of Renshaw, Cav and Eisel, for example - but these are typically because those riders are experienced enough to not need much looking after or coaching, and they come at a cheaper price because they're in the twilight of their careers or at a "prove yourself worth it" period. A €5m a year deal is quite demonstrably not that. That's top dollar for somebody you expect peak performance from, not a 34-hyear-old coming off a major injury. That's the kind of contract that becomes a millstone if Froome returns at anything other than the level he had in 2017-18. If he comes and is a top level GC contender but not the man that's winning Grand Tours, it's still a risky contract because you could have a couple of people who can achieve at a comparable level to that, and have room for improvement, for less. It's the kind of contract that wouldn't happen if there was a salary cap - not because nobody is worth that money. Not even because Froome himself isn't worth that money, or wouldn't still be worth it if he signed at that level 2-3 years ago. But it's the kind of contract you see hockey players sign in their prime that guarantee them huge money until they're 38-39, and then they end up getting LTI-Retired, or they wind up having to give up assets to get the player off their books. You know, like how Toronto traded a prospect AND their own first round draft pick in exchange for little more than a sixth rounder, for somebody to take Patrick Marleau's contract off their hands, because they were paying him a colossal contract he'd signed a few years before when he justified it.

It feels very much like they're paying the kind of money that you should be paying to a star of today who will hopefully be a star of the future, to a man who is a star of yesterday who will hopefully still be a star today.

Exactly. This is the kind of money you pay Pogacar or Evenpoel. Roglic, Enric Mas, and a few others who are shown signs of real potential. Not aging stars. The only time you pay an aging star that kind of money is typically a rider who's been with your team for a long time and is still able to help the team in multiple ways. Even thing you still need to be careful because you still have to pay support riders.
 
Exactly. This is the kind of money you pay Pogacar or Evenpoel. Roglic, Enric Mas, and a few others who are shown signs of real potential. Not aging stars. The only time you pay an aging star that kind of money is typically a rider who's been with your team for a long time and is still able to help the team in multiple ways. Even thing you still need to be careful because you still have to pay support riders.
Of course Valverde would be forced into this...
 
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Of course Valverde would be forced into this...
Actually was more thinking of the NFL in which teams have done that with players from over the years. It still happens there when an older player will still get contracts fans think are a big too big at that point in their career. The NFL has a hard salary cap. I can see that happening in cycling. Then again the Denver Broncos did the same thing when they signed Payton Manning to what we're discussing with ISU signing Froome. To a lesser extent Tampa signing Brady this year, the difference is he's not coming back from a major injury.
 
Okay (yeah right, you were), but a guy who has won 4 Tours can't get a decent salary...
Ice hockey has a few examples of both extremes. The opposite extreme was Mario Lemieux coming out of retirement to play again after he'd bought the team. He played on league minimum salary and had tried to play without taking a salary, but the NHL told him he was required to get paid league minimum even though he owned the team. He was still one of the best players in the league when he returned for a short time before retiring again.

Didn't say a decent salary, but 5 million for someone who is coming off a serious injury and you have no idea if he's fully physically recovered and you won't until he's really back racing again seems high. Now if it would be closer to a 3 million base salary and the rest in bonuses it would make more sense or just wait and see if he's recovered or not.
 
Okay (yeah right, you were), but a guy who has won 4 Tours can't get a decent salary...
Of course Froome should get a decent salary. But the suggestion of €5m for 3 years when we have such a small sample size of him post-injury and at an age you would expect him to be declining is a serious, serious gamble, especially if they were to buy out the contract with Ineos as well. It's throwing the money at somebody that could only be expected to produce diminishing returns - and that's not a slight on Froome either, it's just that he is now at the age where you would expect some regression in his level physically, as well as also tying so much of the budget up in him will reduce the budget to give him the support he needs. If it was a front loaded contract where he earned big the first year and then diminishing salaries for the later years with options to increase to balance if performances justify (this kind of front- or back-loading of contracts does happen, it's a frequent thing in hockey where the cap hit of a contract doesn't match up with what the actual financial hit of the contract is (this can ease the issue when it comes to contract buyouts and LTI-retirement) that might make a bit more sense. Kind of a reverse version of that zero-money contract that Frank Vandenbroucke went on to prove himself.

I guess, I'm thinking it's a lot of money to tie up in what can only be a short term solution for the team, and feels like it's replicating the errors of other big budget teams and not learning from the team(s) that are putting forward sustainable long-term projects for success at the forefront of the sport. That's fine as long as they know that's what they're getting. And yes, I'm sure that provided he recovers at a decent level, Froome will still be able to produce some GT top 10 performances in a couple of years' time. But to justify the level of expenditure on him, he's really got to be winning them this year, because there are a lot of riders capable of making GT top 10s who can be had a lot cheaper than Froome, and once the decline really starts, his contract becomes a millstone for the team's development - unless they're going to have some wholesale changes and buy in a protégé for him, whereupon he may not be putting up the results to justify a €5m/year deal in and of themselves but earning his crust in other ways.
 
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Jun 15, 2020
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He looks super skinny. I know it's impossible to tell from Zwift, etc., but does anyone have any feeling at all for whether or not he's actually shown signs of returning to form?
Yes i have. In his social media, looks like is working very hard to returning to his best shape. Let s se if he can, i have no doubts that he wants to prove wrong every people that no more believes in him.
 
Bad contracts to aging players have been common in Major League Baseball in recent years. It's worse there than in cycling, because many of the contracts are for ten years, and team success, particularly in baseball, is far less correlated with individual success. Big contracts to older players (usually back-loaded) are rationalized that in the first few years the player will be very good, and increase the team's chances of success. If the team wins a World Series or two, all the money paid to someone who may be a bum in later years will be considered to have been worth it.

The problem is not just that one player, no matter how good, has a fairly limited effect on how much better the team can be. It's that even the best team in the league in the regular season faces a crapshoot in the postseason. No matter how much money an owner spends, the odds are against the team winning it all.

As risky as the situation with Froome is, at least a team like ISU knows that if he should perform to his level a few years ago, he would be worth it. That isn't the case at all with team sports (yes, cycling has teams, but GT success is mostly about one rider), and particularly not baseball.

He looks super skinny.
He looks as though he would be blown off the road in a TT.
 
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I dunno, I think it would be worth the gamble for ISN or another up and coming team to take a chance with a big contract for Froome.

Look at Tom Brady in the NFL -- Tampa is getting so much publicity for having him on their roster. Will he get them to the Super Bowl at age 43 or whatever? Probably not, but he certainly has the track record, he stays in shape, and he has a lot to teach young players.

Same with Froome -- any team that signs him will get millions in free publicity, whether he succeeds or fails. And if he does win a GT in 2021 that would be icing on the cake.

Froome showed no signs, to me, that he had lost much if anything, before his injury. Sure, he's older, but he's only been resting and training. He's different in that respect than Valverde, Nibali, Porte and a few other mid-30s riders who beat themselves up all of 2019 and at the start of this year.

I can only assume that at this point, if he's not able to put down nearly all the wattage he did pre-injury, that we'd know about it in some way. It's possible, I suppose, that before the Tour he'll announce that he's going to hunt stages or ride support, but somehow I kind of doubt it.
 
I think that the fact Ineos are willing to move on from him is potentially a sign of it in some way, to be totally honest. Tinkoff/Saxo stuck with Contador long past it being clear he was declining, BMC with Evans, Movistar with Valverde. I guess you could say it's like Sastre being ousted from CSC/Saxo when the Schlecks were the clear heirs apparent, because with Carapaz and Bernal there's an obvious succession plan at Ineos, but the fact there's been talk of him walking mid-contract, rather than just not being renewed, sets the spidey sense a-tingling.

I don't think that Froome is going to hunt stages or ride support. Definitely not. With his record and reputation he's not going anywhere if he isn't leading, and rightly so. But it might be a sign that Ineos do not believe in him as a sole leader at their kind of level anymore and that should a too-many-chiefs-not-enough-Indians situation develop there, then despite being the most decorated, by being the oldest and the one with the most adverse history, he's also the most expendable. Kind of the reverse of Movistar letting Landa and Quintana walk but keeping Valverde, but then I don't think Brailsford and co. stand on sentimentality so much as Unzué is sometimes guilty of.
 
Of course Ineos also have this recipe to make anyone who rides for them as a leader a favourite for winning the Tour. That's not because they accumulated the most promising riders. They made Froome and Thomas Tour-winners. So, whatever they have been doing, they have been doing something "right". So why should they themselves doubt that they are able to repeat this with other riders than Froome? They must think the secret is in their team, not in Froome. It's not like they attracted the most promising Junior and won the Tour with him, like if DQS won with Evenepoel.
 
Of course Ineos also have this recipe to make anyone who rides for them as a leader a favourite for winning the Tour. That's not because they accumulated the most promising riders. They made Froome and Thomas Tour-winners. So, whatever they have been doing, they have been doing something "right". So why should they themselves doubt that they are able to repeat this with other riders than Froome? They must think the secret is in their team, not in Froome. It's not like they attracted the most promising Junior and won the Tour with him, like if DQS won with Evenepoel.
Your point works for Froome, who was a complete outlier to the point where his breakthrough Vuelta was a surprise to the team since he was only there after Lars Petter Nordhaug got sick - and they were so unsure about him that they had him domestiquing for Wiggins on La Manzaneda despite him being in the red jersey, leading to tiimelosses that ultimately cost him that Vuelta (at least until nearly 8 years later). Less so for Thomas, who was a talented junior who has been nurtured by Brailsford through the track program since before there was a Sky, the weird thing with him is his transition from a completely different type of rider to being a bona fide Grand Tour GC rider at 29, and then again to Tour winner at 32, same as happened to Wiggins before him (and who fits the same bill).

But what is Egan Bernal if not Sky/Ineos getting their hands on the most promising espoirs?
 
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I think that the fact Ineos are willing to move on from him is potentially a sign of it in some way, to be totally honest. Tinkoff/Saxo stuck with Contador long past it being clear he was declining, BMC with Evans, Movistar with Valverde. I guess you could say it's like Sastre being ousted from CSC/Saxo when the Schlecks were the clear heirs apparent, because with Carapaz and Bernal there's an obvious succession plan at Ineos, but the fact there's been talk of him walking mid-contract, rather than just not being renewed, sets the spidey sense a-tingling.

I don't think that Froome is going to hunt stages or ride support. Definitely not. With his record and reputation he's not going anywhere if he isn't leading, and rightly so. But it might be a sign that Ineos do not believe in him as a sole leader at their kind of level anymore and that should a too-many-chiefs-not-enough-Indians situation develop there, then despite being the most decorated, by being the oldest and the one with the most adverse history, he's also the most expendable. Kind of the reverse of Movistar letting Landa and Quintana walk but keeping Valverde, but then I don't think Brailsford and co. stand on sentimentality so much as Unzué is sometimes guilty of.
I agree that Ineos having not yet offered a new contract plus talk of a mid season transfer says they don't fully believe in him. I'd suspect they would know better how he's recovered physically so far. The Movistar/Valverde relationship is different in that the team feels they owe him more than they can ever repay him. Plus you also have a situation where you have a rider (Valverde) who actually has a lot of say in the team and for all intent and purposes is part of the team's management, plus there's a friendship and deep trust between rider and team owner. Plus a current contract that keeps rider with team after he retires assuming he actually retires. This relationship that Valverde/Movistar/Unzue have is a bit unique from what I've seen. I agree that Brailsford isn't going to keep someone based on sentimentality as Unzue may do at times.
 
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