EF-Cannondale-Drapac

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I would say it's a combination of several factors:
- Bettiol has indicated TT potential before. He finished 8th in TdP2016 final TT which allowed him to jump from 5th to 3rd in GC. He was much younger than most of the other contenders in the race so it's not surprising that it was not the limit of what he would be able to achieve.
- He is a very versatile, quite young rider who is still developing. After making a rapid progress in 2016, he was thrown into deep water in 2017 (riding the biggest races which limited his leadership opportunities), and then had a rough 2018 (injuries and health issues). Now he seems to be back on track and I bet we haven't seen the best of him, yet. He has a very big potential IMO, which he wasn't always able to show due to circumstances and he can develop in multiple directions.
- The team has made a big progress in TT as a whole. For the first time in years they have sponsorship stability which allows them to spend resources into things like working on TT position etc. Someone mentioned in another thread that Cannondale has made some recenet improvements to their TT bikes as well.
 
Agreed, 3 yr contract for him plus the majority of their riders signed at least through next year is a good sign for this team. Their sponsor took a chance on the team because they saw how many fans were willing to make small donations through crowdsourcing to keep this team around. That chance appears to be paying off.
 
Re: Re:

JoeD1997 said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
Of course all of their transfer choices will depend on how much they spend to keep Martinez.
No clue what they have spent, but spent they have. 3 year extension running until the end of 2022: https://mailchi.mp/ef/martinez-contract-extension-2458617?e=171cfbd58a
I guess it's a decent deal for Martinez if he agreed to sign a 3 years-deal so early in the season after showing great form in the last couple of weeks. No doubt he would be sought by many other teams if he was a free agent.

Great news for EF that they keep him. Will bring some stability as they have a great succession plan that they need when Uran and many other important riders are already at the wrong side of 30. Now Vaughters can get picky during the transfer window. With Uran, Woods, Martinez, Carthy, Clarke, Langeveld, Bettiol and Vanmarcke they have stage races and classics covered for next year. And with Higuita, Villalobos, Whelan and Van den Berg some talent to develop. They could use a decent sprinter, though. McLay is vastly inconsistent and Modolo disappoints more and more as the time progresses.
 
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/ef-education-first-extend-with-martinez/
Vaughters said Martinez's emerging talent in the time trial will make him a GC threat in the future.

"He's a gifted climber — one of, say, 20 very talented climbers in the peloton. But it's his blossoming ability in the time trial that makes Dani so exciting," Vaughters said. "He's made huge improvements in the TT. He's a climber whose time trial is now a strength, not a liability. He’s worked hard on his end there, and I’m also proud of the advancements the team has made on that front, too. We're doing great work together."

EF Education First say Martínez's spring race program will likely include Itzulia Basque Country [formerly Vuelta País Vasco], the Ardennes Classics and Tour de Romandie. He’s also expected to start his second Tour de France in July.
Hope Martinez can stay injury free as he seems destined to take over from Uran at EF. Very promising.
 
Re: Re:

Anderis said:
JoeD1997 said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
Of course all of their transfer choices will depend on how much they spend to keep Martinez.
No clue what they have spent, but spent they have. 3 year extension running until the end of 2022: https://mailchi.mp/ef/martinez-contract-extension-2458617?e=171cfbd58a
I guess it's a decent deal for Martinez if he agreed to sign a 3 years-deal so early in the season after showing great form in the last couple of weeks. No doubt he would be sought by many other teams if he was a free agent.

Great news for EF that they keep him. Will bring some stability as they have a great succession plan that they need when Uran and many other important riders are already at the wrong side of 30. Now Vaughters can get picky during the transfer window. With Uran, Woods, Martinez, Carthy, Clarke, Langeveld, Bettiol and Vanmarcke they have stage races and classics covered for next year. And with Higuita, Villalobos, Whelan and Van den Berg some talent to develop. They could use a decent sprinter, though. McLay is vastly inconsistent and Modolo disappoints more and more as the time progresses.
Hopefully EF is seeing the value of this team. Also I think Tejay had signed for more than one year. Hopefully at this point he understands he's more of a top domestique than as a race leader.
 
I wouldn't be surprised if Tejay is just on a 1 year deal, maybe with an option to extend on the team's side- he signed after rather poor 2018, so it's maybe "we'll pay you as if 2018 was just a one-off but if there is no improvement in 2019, there's no way we keep you on this salary for any longer".

So Martinez is doing TdF? Woods also stated more than once that he would like do to go the TdF this year. It looks more and more likely they won't have a proper leader for the Giro this year. :(
 
Anderis said:
I wouldn't be surprised if Tejay is just on a 1 year deal, maybe with an option to extend on the team's side- he signed after rather poor 2018, so it's maybe "we'll pay you as if 2018 was just a one-off but if there is no improvement in 2019, there's no way we keep you on this salary for any longer".

So Martinez is doing TdF? Woods also stated more than once that he would like do to go the TdF this year. It looks more and more likely they won't have a proper leader for the Giro this year. :(
A little weird that EF has chosen to bring Martinez to TdF last year, but also this year. You'd expect this would be the year to contend for the GC in either the Giro or Vuelta, but on the other hand, TdF looks just as hard (if not harder) to do really well in the GC. Also, there's 3 timetrials in the Giro.

Think its cool to him comitting basically to 4 years. Consistency is pretty important, they are doing quite well at the moment, he has Rigo as a Colombian who is also aging and not many other stars, so it definitely makes sense. I wonder how much money it took to ink him for that long, I suspect quite a lot given his potential.
 
Martinez signing for a long time is great news. There is always a risk involved in betting heavily on a young guy immediately after a breakthrough performance. They got burned before when they resigned Talansky for big money after his Paris Nice win , for instance. But if a smaller budget team wants to compete for GTs it is the only viable way.
 
There's a TTT of significant length at the Tour so maybe taking Martinez there makes some sense. Woods- less so. Although they would still be able to make a strong team without Martinez. Something like: Uran, Woods, Van Garderen, Kangert, Craddock, Bettiol, Langeveld, Phinney. Substitute Woods for Martinez and it's starting to look very well for TTT.
 
Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
Martinez signing for a long time is great news. There is always a risk involved in betting heavily on a young guy immediately after a breakthrough performance. They got burned before when they resigned Talansky for big money after his Paris Nice win , for instance. But if a smaller budget team wants to compete for GTs it is the only viable way.
Don't think Talansky ever won Paris-Nice. I remember him finishing 2nd to Porte, though.
 
Re: Re:

jaylew said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
Martinez signing for a long time is great news. There is always a risk involved in betting heavily on a young guy immediately after a breakthrough performance. They got burned before when they resigned Talansky for big money after his Paris Nice win , for instance. But if a smaller budget team wants to compete for GTs it is the only viable way.
Don't think Talansky ever won Paris-Nice. I remember him finishing 2nd to Porte, though.
He must have meant Dauphiné.
 
Re:

Anderis said:
Whoever was responsible for bringing Higuita to EF, I'm impressed with his talent-spotting ability. A quick look at his 2017/2018 results doesn't reveal anywhere near as much promise as Higuita is showing right now, in early 2019. They will now have a lot of Latin-American climbing talent in the team with Martinez, Caicedo + Villalobos set to join later this year.
This is a misconception though. Higuita already made a pretty big leap in the latter part of the 2018 season. He even beat the unbeatable Caicedo in Manizales (MTF). Furthermore, three years ago, when he was just 18 years old, he finished 12th in Valle d'Aosta, one of the most prestigious U23 races, while being a helper to Aguirre and Aldemar Reyes. He is performing above expectations, but it's not like they appeared out of the clear blue sky nor had he never showed signs.

Seeing how well Colombians are faring with EF lately, I'm thinking their next scoop will be either Harold Tejada or Jhojan Garcia, but that's just a guess of mine.
 
Re: Re:

DNP-Old said:
He even beat the unbeatable Caicedo in Manizales (MTF).
Ahh that Vuelta a Colombia. I was of course not aware, because this result has not been registered by procyclingstats. :D

But still, I think it's fair to say that Higuita has been revelation of early 2019 and I'm sure not many would have picked him when asked to predict who that would be before the beginning of the season.
 
What a miserable day for the team today. They rode Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne like they didn't even want to try to be involved in the finale at all, poor TTT in a weakish field of Settimana Coppi e Bartali and in Catalunya they were not that awful (Dombrowski and Caicedo- OK and Woods didn't expect to be good here after a break from racing) but I expected they would have put 2 riders in the broad GC fight with that roster. Carthy was usually very good in this race and Van Garderen looked better than that in his last 2 races. I hope it's not losing momentum after a very good start of the year.
 
I'm baffled by how weak EF's cobbled squad is looking this season, barring Langeveld and Bettiol. Yet another race and they have absolutely no support riders in the bunch while half of the peloton is still there. It's embarassing how little worth riders like Modolo, Phinney, Docker and Breschel are sharing betweem themselves nowadays. It is a surprise to me because for the past 2 years they were often doing very well on cobbles as a team with some lesser riders so I thought the staff was doing good job with training, preparation etc. of their classics team and I expected this to continue. Maybe it's time to reshuffle the squad that is providing support to Vanmarcke, Langeveld and Bettiol, who all have contracts for next year but most of the other cobble riders do not.

I'm also slightly disappointed with the Catalunya roster where I expected them to look stronger as a team but at least it seems like Mike Woods is growing some good consistency he didn't necessarily have in the previous years. All in all, the team is having a respectable spring considering the fact that their main leaders in Uran and Vanmarcke have had a rough start to the season. I bet a team like Dimension Data would gladly trade with EF for their respective performances. But there's still room for imprvement.
 
Re: Re:

tobydawq said:
jaylew said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
Martinez signing for a long time is great news. There is always a risk involved in betting heavily on a young guy immediately after a breakthrough performance. They got burned before when they resigned Talansky for big money after his Paris Nice win , for instance. But if a smaller budget team wants to compete for GTs it is the only viable way.
Don't think Talansky ever won Paris-Nice. I remember him finishing 2nd to Porte, though.
He must have meant Dauphiné.
Paris Nice is a higher prestige.
 
Re: Re:

This Charming Man said:
tobydawq said:
jaylew said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
Martinez signing for a long time is great news. There is always a risk involved in betting heavily on a young guy immediately after a breakthrough performance. They got burned before when they resigned Talansky for big money after his Paris Nice win , for instance. But if a smaller budget team wants to compete for GTs it is the only viable way.
Don't think Talansky ever won Paris-Nice. I remember him finishing 2nd to Porte, though.
He must have meant Dauphiné.
Paris Nice is a higher prestige.
What does that matter when Talansky didn't win that?
 
Anderis said:
I'm baffled by how weak EF's cobbled squad is looking this season, barring Langeveld and Bettiol. Yet another race and they have absolutely no support riders in the bunch while half of the peloton is still there. It's embarassing how little worth riders like Modolo, Phinney, Docker and Breschel are sharing betweem themselves nowadays. It is a surprise to me because for the past 2 years they were often doing very well on cobbles as a team with some lesser riders so I thought the staff was doing good job with training, preparation etc. of their classics team and I expected this to continue. Maybe it's time to reshuffle the squad that is providing support to Vanmarcke, Langeveld and Bettiol, who all have contracts for next year but most of the other cobble riders do not.

I'm also slightly disappointed with the Catalunya roster where I expected them to look stronger as a team but at least it seems like Mike Woods is growing some good consistency he didn't necessarily have in the previous years. All in all, the team is having a respectable spring considering the fact that their main leaders in Uran and Vanmarcke have had a rough start to the season. I bet a team like Dimension Data would gladly trade with EF for their respective performances. But there's still room for imprvement.
Breschel has not done any classics, not even Sanremo where his result last year was like the best result for the team all year, and instead has raced Coppi e Bartali. Maybe he has been ill or is out of favor with the directors for some reason.
 
He rode OHN and KBK this year, 104th and DNF respectively being his results, and he didn't show anything in Settimana Coppi e Bartali, which makes me think that the reason he was omitted for classics was simply not being good enough ATM. Whether that's because of health issues or anything else- I have no idea.
 
Mar 14, 2018
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I know this team did not break any records last season but it seems strange to say Breschel's 12th at Sanremo was one of their best results.

Simon Clarke has been had some surprisingly high placings so far, and overall this was a much better start to the season then before. They had six victories in 2018 and have had six so far in 2019 (by PCS).

I am too much of a fan to close the book on Phinney yet, just as I was beginning to last year he produced some excellent performances that will sustain me for at least another season.

And it is might not totally be worth saying but Vanmarcke's troubles cannot be attributed to team support, or lack thereof.
 

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