Teams & Riders Everybody needs a little bit of Roglstomp in their lives

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Kruijswijk pre-race quote:

"It's hard to determine what I'm capable of now, but at least I hope to participate in the race and I don't plan to let it go in the beginning. It is not yet possible to say whether I will go for a classification, stage or fully for Primoz Roglic."

^ so there you have it from the man himself. He was indeed racing for a possible GC on Picon Blanco, as we thought.
 
Kruijswijk pre-race quote:

"It's hard to determine what I'm capable of now, but at least I hope to participate in the race and I don't plan to let it go in the beginning. It is not yet possible to say whether I will go for a classification, stage or fully for Primoz Roglic."

^ so there you have it from the man himself. He was indeed racing for a possible GC on Picon Blanco, as we thought.
What remains to be seen now is whether not being able to stay in the group of 50 top climbers makes him realise it's time to abandon his personal amibitons and dedicate his efforts to his team. Or (god forbid) makes Addy Engles tell him that in case it doesn't...
 
It's really crazy how one of the best riders in recent years doesn't have 100% team support...ever.
This right here.

Roglic leads on a "human" level as well (he's not a bully), i.e. last year's Vuelta was not going so well with Dumoulin in the team but after he left, the young riders & lesser names (Vingegaard at the time, Hofstede) really rallied around the "Ninja Turtles" attitude. I mention Ninja Turtles because Roglic at one point wore the green sprint jersey with yellow arm warmers... which made him look like a Ninja Turtle. So there was a scene in the JV Vuelta documentary where in a pre-stage team talk on the bus, Grischa Niermann asked the riders to choose their Ninja Turtles weapons of choice. Team morale was spot on.

But when you add other stars with their own objectives in a team (like Kruijswijk who has no real clue what he's doing with his career anymore), i.e. in a team which has a smaller budget than rivals & also attempts to keep everyone happy, finding that all-for-Primoz zone is more difficult. Yesterday was a case-in-point with Gesink, Hofstede & van Hooydonck riding really well whilst the two biggest names (Kuss & Kruijswijk) not really stepping up. Although in the coming week I do expect Oomen & Bouwman to really deliver when it matters.

But it's not just Roglic in this situation either, i.e. for example over at Ineos Bernal has won the Tour & Giro, yet he still endures "shared" leadership with Yates, Carapaz & sees Pidcock riding this Vuelta like a tourist with a finger in his nose so far.
 
This right here.

Roglic leads on a "human" level as well (he's not a bully), i.e. last year's Vuelta was not going so well with Dumoulin in the team but after he left, the young riders & lesser names (Vingegaard at the time, Hofstede) really rallied around the "Ninja Turtles" attitude. I mention Ninja Turtles because Roglic at one point wore the green sprint jersey with yellow arm warmers... which made him look like a Ninja Turtle. So there was a scene in the JV Vuelta documentary where in a pre-stage team talk on the bus, Grischa Niermann asked the riders to choose their Ninja Turtles weapons of choice. Team morale was spot on.

But when you add other stars with their own objectives in a team (like Kruijswijk who has no real clue what he's doing with his career anymore), i.e. in a team which has a smaller budget than rivals & also attempts to keep everyone happy, finding that all-for-Primoz zone is more difficult. Yesterday was a case-in-point with Gesink, Hofstede & van Hooydonck riding really well whilst the two biggest names (Kuss & Kruijswijk) not really stepping up. Although in the coming week I do expect Oomen & Bouwman to really deliver when it matters.

But it's not just Roglic in this situation either, i.e. for example over at Ineos Bernal has won the Tour & Giro, yet he still endures "shared" leadership with Yates, Carapaz & sees Pidcock riding this Vuelta like a tourist with a finger in his nose so far.
I wonder, how much is this because they are trying to have Dutch riders in the team? Because, okay, they don't have a budget like Ineos, but they aren't a poor team either, are they? Van Aert doesn't get much support as well. So where does the money go? Couldn't they buy some more suitable support? There seems to be something odd in their recruiting, but I don't know enough about the team to put the finger on it.
 
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Yeah Pidders looks totally unprepared, and I've put him into my VG team :(

Kruijswijk didn't go on altitude before the Vuelta and he straight up wasn't expecting to be a 2ndary GC rider. He's there to work for Roglic and get a decent race under his belt this year. Tbh he should be there on bigger stages if the peloton is down to 25 dudes. He was in the Tour initially. Kuss is Kuss and laternates being a worse climber than Van Aert with being a top 10 climber in the world.
Jonas didn't go to altitude either before Vuelta last year, so if Stevie can do similar stuff in second half of the race then fair play to him, we'll see. And if he's just not ready because of illness in TDF then the team should have sent Eenkhorn who needs to ride a GT, and that way at least you can be on the front in flat windy stages with an extra rouleur and not rely on luck. Because in these first two stages they look like they lack power on both flat and hilly terrain with Van Hooydonck being their strongest guy after Rog, but yeah it's still early for conclusions

What remains to be seen now is whether not being able to stay in the group of 50 top climbers makes him realise it's time to abandon his personal amibitons and dedicate his efforts to his team.
I'm just not sure if he has the mindset... Mont Ventoux stage for example he dropped way before Kuss and then finished way in front of him while in support of Jonas, it might mean nothing be he usually rides that way, which tells me he doesn't go deep like he's still riding the GC. Not everyone can be Gesink, I guess it's pretty hard to shift to a domestique after so many years as the main guy
 
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JV is not Ineos per se. I mean they could be if they wanted. Most of the 2020 season was about that but it backfired on TDF 2020. Regarding Kruijswijk. Likely JV is not keeping him in a happy place and that could still improve in the future. If you are not happy it is hard to be motivated. Rohan will likely give a new dynamic to JV. I have high hopes about that. For example when Wout will be doing his thing and Tony will take the first fall for Roglič. Then Rohan will still be there and they won't fail as a team protecting their leader.
 
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JV is not Ineos per se. I mean they could be if they wanted. Most of the 2020 season was about that but it backfired on TDF 2020. Regarding Kruijswijk. Likely JV is not keeping him in a happy place and that could still improve in the future. If you are not happy it is hard to be motivated. Rohan will likely give a new dynamic to JV. I have high hopes about that. For example when Wout will be doing his thing and Tony will take the first fall for Roglič. Then Rohan will still be there and they won't fail as a team protecting their leader.
That's how they understand it, yes - but it's completely wrong in my opinion. Last year they had crazy good season. Ok, they got beaten (or Primoz got beaten if you will) by Pogacar in TDF but they got much closer to winning it than this year. And moreso, they had a reputation of maybe the strongest team in the peloton. When they compare 2020 and 2021 seasons, they will have to conclude that in 2020 they had much better approach (and results) than in 2021 even if 2020 was possibly more traumatic for them. What they lacked in 2020 was one more good day of Primoz and one a little bit less spectacular day of Pogacar and their season would be perfect. This season - far from it...
 
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I wouldn't get too many conclusions from the strange season of 2020. The reality is that their second line isn't great which is understandable from a budget point of view, but also it underperformed this year, add to that Tom's hiatus and it gets problematic in some races. I like the rumored signings but I think they need an extra guy for the steep stuff which they lack

Regarding Kruijswijk. Likely JV is not keeping him in a happy place and that could still improve in the future. If you are not happy it is hard to be motivated.
Why would you think so? They are very loyal to their long serving members
 
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That's how they understand it, yes - but it's completely wrong in my opinion. Last year they had crazy good season. Ok, they got beaten (or Primoz got beaten if you will) by Pogacar in TDF but they got much closer to winning it than this year. And moreso, they had a reputation of maybe the strongest team in the peloton. When they compare 2020 and 2021 seasons, they will have to conclude that in 2020 they had much better approach (and results) than in 2021 even if 2020 was possibly more traumatic for them. What they lacked in 2020 was one more good day of Primoz and one a little bit less spectacular day of Pogacar and their season would be perfect. This season - far from it...
They looked like a demolition group. Roglič replacing Miley on a wrecking ball. Like Ineos but better.

Still for beating Pogačar that is not the right approach and hence no need to make the same mistake twice. They will figure it out. After all Roglič now wears a golden helmet on all ITTs. Rohan should improve team stability whenever Tony is in trouble. They have enough quality climbers to fill the remaining 4 spots and each of them to be able to watch Pogačar for a day or two. They are on the right track for Roglič to stomp again. Pogačar was a new variable and i am sure that after a couple of adjustments he will be taken into account.
 
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Why would you think so? They are very loyal to their long serving members
It's painfully obvious he is mismanaged. They should manage him more like Wout. And on some shorter races if they send Kuss and Kruijswijk together. They should make a deal to help each other on such races to get some wins. As currently it looks like this. Kuss attacks, Kruijswijk attacks, both dropped.

Ridiculous.
 
It's painfully obvious he is mismanaged. They should manage him more like Wout. And on some shorter races if they send Kuss and Kruijswijk together. They should make a deal to help each other on such races to get some wins. As currently it looks like this. Kuss attacks, Kruijswijk attacks, both dropped.

Ridiculous.
Kruijswijk isn't mismanaged. He just doesn't have a high base level then crashes for the GTs where he's supposed to be a top 10 climber. Obviously he's outlived his relevance as a GC threat, but if he's unhappy it's because of his bad luck, not because of his managment.

Kruijswijk was like the 5th best GC rider on Etna last year before being struck by COVID.
 
In my book if they won't manage Kruijswijk in a way he will be back as a podium contender in 2022. Then i will perceive it as a poor job done in this regard.

That is assuming the obvious and that is Kruijswijk is still interested.
Kruijswijk only beat Manny Buchmann for the 3rd place in the Tour because of a TTT. In 2022 he'll be 35 and there'll be like 10 additional GC riders better than him compared to 2019, when he was lucky as hell in the first place.

If there's a mistake, it's extending Kruijswijk this year to 2023, but that's only IF he's on big money right now. The motivation of the rider and the managment of the rider aren't a problem. He's just overrated.
 
Nah. They should do better. To get happy and motivated Kruijswijk back. They did it with Tom hence they have the know how.
I don't subscribe to that logic. There's only so much a team can do and if his fading could be due to several other factors than just mismanaging him. To claim he has definitely been mismanaged, one would have to know a lot more details that are at our disposal. Besides, they can't manage him the same way they do Wout because they are completely different riders. Wout is a serial winner who needs to have his freedom to stay happy and motivated. He is not a domestique and he is not a GC contender (yet). Kruijswijk has won what - two races in his entire career if I'm not mistaken. He has been top level only in GC on a long stage races. Basically, just grand tours. And if he has lost his ability to be competitive in grand tours due to illness, age or any other reason than mismanagement, there's not much he can do now - apart from being a domestique. Can TJV motivate him to be a useful domestique?

As for Tom, it's not a finished story yet for him either. They have been very understanding so far but he will need to deliver for TJV at some point - he's paid quite a handsome amount of money. If he doesn't want to do GC (not sure he dosen't), doesn't want to be a domestique (not sure he doesn't) and can't win classics due to his physique, only world championships and TTs in stage races will not be enough for TJV probably.

But in any case, Kruijswijk can't realistically hope for Tom's status because Tom can still win TT stages. Kruijswijk can't win stages...
 
Kruijswijk was like the 5th best GC rider on Etna last year before being struck by COVID.
7th or so I thought. Which is not impressive in such a field, and probably evidence that he was past his peak already. Although you never really know after 1 mountain finish. But still... not a good sign. His (less than stellar) results in one-week stage races worsened too.

All in all not enough for co-leadership at the Tour de France. Just let him race stage races Roglic has no intention of contesting and be done with it.
 
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7th or so I thought. Which is not impressive in such a field, and probably evidence that he was past his peak already. Although you never really know after 1 mountain finish. But still... not a good sign. His (less than stellar) results in one-week stage races worsened too.

All in all not enough for co-leadership at the Tour de France. Just let him race stage races Roglic has no intention of contesting and be done with it.
Well, he crashed out of Dauphiné last year, so the Giro doesn't really represent the best form he could achieve (at that age).

Ever since his Tour podium he has been hampered by crashes/injuries, covid, and age. At this point, I don't expect to ever see an elite climbing performance by him again.
 
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In my book if they won't manage Kruijswijk in a way he will be back as a podium contender in 2022. Then i will perceive it as a poor job done in this regard.

That is assuming the obvious and that is Kruijswijk is still interested.
Will he bounce back? ;)

Edit: TJV seemed more alert today. Much better job than stage 2. It was actually Roglic who lost Van Hooydonck's wheel in the end so this time around, the team did what they were supposed to do. Hope this continues...
 
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