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+ Padun, Morton and Delettre.
Maybe they'll go for 31 riders but if not, then all of: Caicedo, Howes, Owen, Scully and Whelan are out of contract. Also only 2 Americans in the roster, when the lowest in the team's history prior to that point it was 6!
As it turns out, Padun had originally had a contract for 2022 with Bahrain. Maybe that's the reason the signing od Delettre has fallen at the last moment. They needed a spot for Padun who was not someone they had expected to sign. But that would imply they didn't have another free spot on a team and they should have 31 riders in 2022. Judging by frequent appearances on their twitter late in the year, I would be surprised if Morton and Howes weren't renewed but who knows.
A highlight from a few years ago should be calling Jose Neves the most talented Portuguese rider since Rui Costa and then never offering him a full time contract.
I don't think he's called Steinhauser the best U23 rider in the world.
“Georg is, I think, potentially the most talented Under-23 rider in the world right now,” Vaughters said.
“That doesn’t mean that he’s the best Under-23 rider in the world right now. The thing to understand about Georg is that his father was a professional cyclist and his father was very insistent that Georg finish his schooling before he dedicates himself to cycling, which is actually very rare in the world of cycling.
That's what makes more sense IMHO. Just looked it up and Scully has just been registered in UCI for 2022. I guess Howes and Morton can still be sponsored by the team to do gravel shenanigans without having a Pro Contract.
Don't know about El Fares which is listed as questionable, but he was supposed to have signed a two-year contract.
Why would you not say positive things about your riders when asked by media.
On average, over the years, his team was classified 4-5 places higher in team rankings than it was in the budget rankings. So it means he's actually signed a lot of riders who were overlooked by richer teams yet delivered decent results.
He may be over the top sometimes but it still makes perfect sense that he is even if it's sometimes funny.
I guess there has to be some middle ground between the Lefevere approach of bashing the riders leaving the team while undermining some of your most loyal and devoted riders and the Vaughters approach of overpraising your riders and new signings while hinting or expressing how no other team manager had seen their talent or properly train them.
Those reports about French riders from you don't tend to age well, do they? To be fair- he might have extended but then had his contract cancelled to make a place for Padun. It even appears they had him confused with Padun in the official news initially:
I wonder what's the opinion of the French sponsor about all that- they don't have a single French rider for 2022 while it appeared they wanted more than one. But they're still on the official website of the team, so it doesn't look like the contract has been cancelled.
Also Vaughters says that this is potentially the strongest roster they've ever had, which I'm not that optimistic about. I really think 2011 and 2020 rosters were super strong compared to this one. Maybe if all riders develop to the best of their potential, the 2022 could get very strong at some point too but that's pretty much what never happens in reality. Look how promising the 2015 roster was too, but ultimately Formolo, Mohoric and Moser have never given the team as much as you would have hoped for at the time (while Bettiol surprisingly turned out to be the biggest deal of the bunch). I don't even think the 2022 roster looks as promising in early 2022 as the 2015 one looked in early 2015. It's not awful but I don't see anything special about it.