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Re:

hazaran said:
Tour of California is a faux WT race. Of course if the UCI makes every race a WT race no matter if all WT teams are even attending, Cannondale was bound to win something.
No more than the Tour of Poland, Turkey, Denmark or any other race not on the level of competition of the ones where every top rider makes an appearance.
 
Really happy for Rolland and Cannondale today, after trying so hard the last few days, and since the whole "no WT win"-thing got really annoying - especially since their win in Cali apparently didn't count all of a sudden. :)

What do people think of Formolo's chances for a Top 10? He was climbing really well the last days, but the last ITT is obviously a problem for him.
8 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:04:35
9 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:06:20
10 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:06:33
11 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:07:00
12 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:07:16
13 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac 0:07:17
 
Formolo might end up 11th, I'm afraid. Kruijswijk doesn't seem to be in great shape and Polanc is definetely catchable, but I can't see many chances for Davide to jump above Yates or Jungels. He lost around 1 minute more than I expected him in the first ITT and that is hurting his chances a lot. I expect him to lose another minute or so any guy high in GC and certainly more than that to Jungels in the final ITT. For some reason Cannondale GC guys are TT-ing horribly in the last 2 years, apart from Talansky.

Of course someone might crash out (hopefully not) or completely collapse and then top10 will be a good possibility.
 
Re:

Anderis said:
Formolo might end up 11th, I'm afraid. Kruijswijk doesn't seem to be in great shape and Polanc is definetely catchable, but I can't see many chances for Davide to jump above Yates or Jungels. He lost around 1 minute more than I expected him in the first ITT and that is hurting his chances a lot. I expect him to lose another minute or so any guy high in GC and certainly more than that to Jungels in the final ITT. For some reason Cannondale GC guys are TT-ing horribly in the last 2 years, apart from Talansky.

Of course someone might crash out (hopefully not) or completely collapse and then top10 will be a good possibility.
Chances are someone of the top 13, as well as the two breakaway fluke guys, will pop badly over the next two stages but it's as likely to be Formolo as anyone else.
 
Controversial opinion: Despite last year being essentially a write off and an unwise comment about old fashioned training methods, Vaughters actually knows what he is doing with Rolland. There were reasons for Rolland to try to develop into a GC guy, both because it's a more lucrative career and because it's a disadvantage to be a stagehunter without a sprint. But in fact he's better off concentrating on getting better at reading a race and picking both his break and his moment to attack than he is trying endlessly to gain a consistency and a TT ability he will never have. If he times it right, Rolland should reasonably expect to be the strongest climber in a break that's likely to succeed twice per GT.
 
Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
Controversial opinion: Despite last year being essentially a write off and an unwise comment about old fashioned training methods, Vaughters actually knows what he is doing with Rolland. There were reasons for Rolland to try to develop into a GC guy, both because it's a more lucrative career and because it's a disadvantage to be a stagehunter without a sprint. But in fact he's better off concentrating on getting better at reading a race and picking both his break and his moment to attack than he is trying endlessly to gain a consistency and a TT ability he will never have. If he times it right, Rolland should reasonably expect to be the strongest climber in a break that's likely to succeed twice per GT.
Rolland WAS a gc rider before he went to Vaughters. He managed to get 4th in the Giro with his attacking style. At the Tour he always lost significant time because of his weak tt yes, but mainly in the first week due to crashes etc. Nevertheless he won two major mountain stages and the white jersey.

Since joining Vaughtets and his fantastic training skills he needs like 4 breakaways to finally beat some mediocre climbers. Vaughters is an incompetent goof that ain't got no clue about anything that's relevant in cycling. Tinkov was 1000% right about him.

Hopefully Rolland rejoins Bernadeu next season and concentrates on stage wins and the polka dot jersey there. A return to the Giro, if possible,might always be fruitful for a rider with his skills of course.

So I certainly agree with your conclusion of course.
 
Re:

staubsauger said:
They're French so luckily they couldn't care less! :D
And if you just put the time frame to 2 years, that count goes up to 6 and they finished 2nd in the Tour like 10 months ago, their amount of success is not even comparable. Also, who counts California as a WT race for real, it really become a joke race in recent years.
 
Re: Re:

staubsauger said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
Controversial opinion: Despite last year being essentially a write off and an unwise comment about old fashioned training methods, Vaughters actually knows what he is doing with Rolland. There were reasons for Rolland to try to develop into a GC guy, both because it's a more lucrative career and because it's a disadvantage to be a stagehunter without a sprint. But in fact he's better off concentrating on getting better at reading a race and picking both his break and his moment to attack than he is trying endlessly to gain a consistency and a TT ability he will never have. If he times it right, Rolland should reasonably expect to be the strongest climber in a break that's likely to succeed twice per GT.
Rolland WAS a gc rider before he went to Vaughters. He managed to get 4th in the Giro with his attacking style. At the Tour he always lost significant time because of his weak tt yes, but mainly in the first week due to crashes etc. Nevertheless he won two major mountain stages and the white jersey.

Since joining Vaughtets and his fantastic training skills he needs like 4 breakaways to finally beat some mediocre climbers. Vaughters is an incompetent goof that ain't got no clue about anything that's relevant in cycling. Tinkov was 1000% right about him.

Hopefully Rolland rejoins Bernadeu next season and concentrates on stage wins and the polka dot jersey there. A return to the Giro, if possible,might always be fruitful for a rider with his skills of course.

So I certainly agree with your conclusion of course.
Rolland was a GC man, but a distinctly limited one. He was the kind of guy who finishes 16th when he's going badly, 8th when he's going very well. His one better than 8th result in his 12 GTs, 4th in Giro 2014 but nowhere near contesting the win, was an outlier that in retrospect mostly served to wrongly encourage him to stay on the GC track.

His only wins since his Tour stage glory days four years before joining Cannondale were a couple of very minor stage races (Sarthe and Castille y Leon). He did have a bad year last year, but really not all that much worse than his preceding not all that great years. Much of the difference between the preceding pretty bad years and that very bad year came down to him repeatedly crashing.

This year he has already had his best season since 2012 even though we are less than halfway through it. It's customary to blame Vaughters every time a Cannondale rider does badly, so it seems only fair to give him some credit when a rider there does well, particularly one he now coaches. If Rolland picks up another WT win this year - and I think he's likely to - it will be not just the best season of his last five years, but his best season all career.

As for Vaughters, I will confess that I have some difficulty how someone who for years kept one of the small budget WT teams punching well above their weight in terms of wins should be considered an idiot who knows nothing about cycling because he couldn't do that for two years. The only way he could reasonably be considered that is if you swallow his hype about his newly signed riders and then wonder what went wrong with the alleged world beaters he got on the cheap. Tinkov, by contrast, is a rich fool who tried and failed to buy the Tour and then sulked and took his ball home.
 
Re: Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
staubsauger said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
Controversial opinion: Despite last year being essentially a write off and an unwise comment about old fashioned training methods, Vaughters actually knows what he is doing with Rolland. There were reasons for Rolland to try to develop into a GC guy, both because it's a more lucrative career and because it's a disadvantage to be a stagehunter without a sprint. But in fact he's better off concentrating on getting better at reading a race and picking both his break and his moment to attack than he is trying endlessly to gain a consistency and a TT ability he will never have. If he times it right, Rolland should reasonably expect to be the strongest climber in a break that's likely to succeed twice per GT.
Rolland WAS a gc rider before he went to Vaughters. He managed to get 4th in the Giro with his attacking style. At the Tour he always lost significant time because of his weak tt yes, but mainly in the first week due to crashes etc. Nevertheless he won two major mountain stages and the white jersey.

Since joining Vaughtets and his fantastic training skills he needs like 4 breakaways to finally beat some mediocre climbers. Vaughters is an incompetent goof that ain't got no clue about anything that's relevant in cycling. Tinkov was 1000% right about him.

Hopefully Rolland rejoins Bernadeu next season and concentrates on stage wins and the polka dot jersey there. A return to the Giro, if possible,might always be fruitful for a rider with his skills of course.

So I certainly agree with your conclusion of course.
As for Vaughters, I will confess that I have some difficulty how someone who for years kept one of the small budget WT teams punching well above their weight in terms of wins should be considered an idiot who knows nothing about cycling because he couldn't do that for two years. The only way he could reasonably be considered that is if you swallow his hype about his newly signed riders and then wonder what went wrong with the alleged world beaters he got on the cheap. Tinkov, by contrast, is a rich fool who tried and failed to buy the Tour and then sulked and took his ball home.
Exactly. Tinkoff criticizing anyone is a joke.
 
Re: Re:

staubsauger said:
Hopefully Rolland rejoins Bernadeu next season and concentrates on stage wins and the polka dot jersey there.
I have to disappoint you but PCS states that he is staying for 2018.

Zinoviev Letter said:
He did have a bad year last year, but really not all that much worse than his preceding not all that great years.
I don't even think Rolland's 2016 was that bad. He didn't have any stand-out results but his level in WT races was more consistent than ever. His tyre exploding on the descend on TdF's stage 8 was a big blow for his confidence (I think he only struggles on descends so much since then) so he wasn't great in that Tour and that made a big difference to how was his season perceived.

I find saying that Vaughters has no clue about anything that's relevant in cycling pathetic. His team won 3 monuments and a GT. BMC for example only won 1 monument and 1 GT at the same time despite having budget at least twice as big on average for all those years. For 2017 he has the smallest budget in WT but there are still teams out there with worse results and Cannondale even manages to outnumber the best teams at the end of a big race not so rarely. And lack of WT wins in 2016 was nothing more than shi**y luck that's blown out of proportion. People sometimes underestimate how circumstancial cycling can be.
 
Re: Re:

Anderis said:
staubsauger said:
Hopefully Rolland rejoins Bernadeu next season and concentrates on stage wins and the polka dot jersey there.
I have to disappoint you but PCS states that he is staying for 2018.

Zinoviev Letter said:
He did have a bad year last year, but really not all that much worse than his preceding not all that great years.
I don't even think Rolland's 2016 was that bad. He didn't have any stand-out results but his level in WT races was more consistent than ever. His tyre exploding on the descend on TdF's stage 8 was a big blow for his confidence (I think he only struggles on descends so much since then) so he wasn't great in that Tour and that made a big difference to how was his season perceived.

I find saying that Vaughters has no clue about anything that's relevant in cycling pathetic. His team won 3 monuments and a GT. BMC for example only won 1 monument and 1 GT at the same time despite having budget at least twice as big on average for all those years. For 2017 he has the smallest budget in WT but there are still teams out there with worse results and Cannondale even manages to outnumber the best teams at the end of a big race not so rarely. And lack of WT wins in 2016 was nothing more than shi**y luck that's blown out of proportion. People sometimes underestimate how circumstancial cycling can be.
I'm not sure that comparison with BMC is entirely fair.
 
Here are Rolland's choices

Be a GC rider
Be a domestique to a GT rider
Be a stage hunter

All things considered he has taken the best option (stage hunter) for someone like him (as he says) who wants to attack and race...

Much better than a rider who sits in place 12th to 8th on GC and we never see or sitting on a train banging out a tempo. If I were a pro and I couldnt be on the podium of a GT , I'd be a stage hunter everyday ...its hard , it a lottery but its racing
 
Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/is-pro-cycling-the-best-advertising-and-content-marketing-opportunity-major-bran.html?cid=search

More highly favourable sponsor fishing in the business media. Vaughters has done a good job pitching these story ideas to appropriate writers.
The answer is probably no!! Where are all the big money 'blue chip' companies? And why have so many teams folded in recent years?
The sport actually needs a change in its governance, and how it's run and financed. So many times I watch and think it seems so amateur.
I get the impression that because things have worked like this for x number of years, there is no reason to change anything.
 
Uran, Rolland, Talansky, Bettiol, Simon Clarke, Bevin, Van Baarle, Langeveld and Vanmarcke should be the TdF roster based on form that riders have shown in preparation races. But I wouldn't be surprised if the final choice is different than that. How much do they believe in Phinney? I don't think he is ready to make his mark on this year's Tour.

I'm moderately pesimistic about Cannondale's chances to have a good TdF this year. I just can't see who of these guys could win a stage or secure a mid top10 in GC (let alone better). Rolland is possibly the only one whose recent achievements bode moderately well but he won't have many stages that suit him on this route. Bettiol or Bevin would be fine if not the fact they are going to face a huge opposition on stages that could possibly suit them. Sagan, Gilbert, Colbrelli, Van Avermaet, Matthews, Kwiatkowski, Valverde, Ulissi... that's too hard opposition to beat, I'm afraid.
 
Re:

Anderis said:
Uran, Rolland, Talansky, Bettiol, Simon Clarke, Bevin, Van Baarle, Langeveld and Vanmarcke should be the TdF roster based on form that riders have shown in preparation races. But I wouldn't be surprised if the final choice is different than that. How much do they believe in Phinney? I don't think he is ready to make his mark on this year's Tour.

I'm moderately pesimistic about Cannondale's chances to have a good TdF this year. I just can't see who of these guys could win a stage or secure a mid top10 in GC (let alone better). Rolland is possibly the only one whose recent achievements bode moderately well but he won't have many stages that suit him on this route. Bettiol or Bevin would be fine if not the fact they are going to face a huge opposition on stages that could possibly suit them. Sagan, Gilbert, Colbrelli, Van Avermaet, Matthews, Kwiatkowski, Valverde, Ulissi... that's too hard opposition to beat, I'm afraid.
RE: TP: his form has been solid of late. He could do solid work on the flats for the team I think. The team may want him on the roster to get the GT in his legs. He might pop off a good TT, but I doubt that leaving his mark is a goal...but who knows.

I think that they have three guys who could win stages in Rolland, Uran, Talanski. They are talking about AT being top Five and maybe podium which is a good goal to go in with, but if that goal tanks after stage five (or maybe eight), its time to go into hunter mode.
EDIT:
Nine-man team to be selected from following squad: Alberto Bettiol (Ita), Patrick Bevin (NZ, neo-pro), Nathan Brown (US), Brendan Canty (Aus), Hugh Carthy (GB), Simon Clarke (Aus), Will Clarke (Aus), Lawson Craddock (US), Joe Dombrowski (US), Davide Formolo (Ita), Alex Howes (US), Kristijan Koren (Slo), Sebastian Langeveld (Hol), Ryan Mullen (Irl), Taylor Phinney (US), Pierre Rolland (Fra), Tom Scully (NZ), Toms Skujins (Lat, neo-pro), Tom-Jelte Slagter (Hol), Andrew Talansky (US), Rigoberto Urán (Col), Tom van Asbroeck (Bel), Dylan van Baarle (Hol), Sep Vanmarcke (Bel), Davide Villella (Ita), Wouter Wippert (Hol), Michael Woods (Can).
 
Re: Re:

jmdirt said:
RE: TP: his form has been solid of late. He could do solid work on the flats for the team I think. The team may want him on the roster to get the GT in his legs. He might pop off a good TT, but I doubt that leaving his mark is a goal...but who knows.
He could possibly do solid work on the flats but there are plenty of riders who should be able to do even more solid ATM (Bevin, Bettiol, Langeveld, Van Baarle, Vanmarcke). Vuelta would be better for him to get a GT in his legs IMO. He would be some use in the TTT there.

jmdirt said:
They are talking about AT being top Five and maybe podium which is a good goal to go in with, but if that goal tanks after stage five (or maybe eight), its time to go into hunter mode.
Good luck for AT being anywhere near top five with the form he has shown so far.

Escarabajo said:
Cannondale riders have actually looked good in this past month IMHO. They should be good for stage hunting.
The problem is not that Cannondale riders didn't look good. The problem is that their best riders lack the skillset to be good stage-hunters against top opposition. All of them average on no more than around 0.5 WT wins yearly over entire career, usually less than that.
 
It really depends on who do you compare them with. De Gendt for example has as many stage wins on a WT level during his career as Uran and Rolland together. Ulissi has won more GT stages than both together despite being younger than them. Don't get me wrong, Uran and Rolland are very good riders, but they are not specialists in winning stages, that's for sure. They can win but they don't win frequently. So statistically, Cannondale has a good chance of not winning a stage in a race that is a target for most of the best riders.

Although I must say Rolland impressed me with his win in this year's Giro. I had never thought that he could win a stage with a profile like that.
 

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