How to beat Team SKY at TdF?

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Aug 4, 2010
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Re: Re:

Mayomaniac said:
ILovecycling said:
Red Rick said:
Was Contador top form in that TT? I don't think so. Froome was nigh invincible 2013 and still looked average in the 3rd week. Since then, he's had only one performance like that, in that Tour he got dropped again in the third week. This year he was never unbeatable uphill, but other riders basically defaulted. Don't think he's a better rouleur or descender per se, Peyresourde was an easy descent with a gimmick technique, useless on harder descents, and others will pick up on it.

Why do you think Froome won minutes on the TT's? Because the others were in worse shape. Froome is overrated as a standalone tt'er. Mollema of all people barely lost 50s in the first one, after going toe-to-toe on the Ventoux. Unless there's long flat tt early in the race, Froome shouldn't win more than a minute on a direct threat for yellow, and what was the last time that happened?

I don't even think Sky was unbreakable this year, but nobody tried to create chaos. Why? Cause nobody had the form to win in the first place.

If a climb is hard enough, if you're good enough, and if you have teammates up the road, you can force Froome to make a choice between staying with your train, or following. If there's flats involved afterward, just the one superdomestique won't cut it, and waiting for the other domestique's only results in losing more time.
Good post.I agree with entire first and last paragraph but I still dont believe that top form Nibali/Contador (quintana,bardet,aru etc are bad tt so this scenario is not possible for them) can match top form Froome in hilly itt later in the race.If that would be the case,then your plan is The plan.

There is a big possibility that there will be at least one itt 30km+ next year and we should better pray that it will not be flat
2013 Contador almost matched Froome in a hard, hilly ITT, so Nibali and Contador should at least be able to limit their losses, if Mollema was able to limit his losses in the longer ITT to 51 seconds than they should be able to loose even less time (with all the respect to Mollema, he rode a great Tour and showed some guts, it was a great performance, but Nibali and Contador are usually just better in a longer, hilly ITT).
Thats true, but they need to limit their losses almost to 0 and then be able to open a gap on some mtf.

Its still hillarious to think to against what kind of opposition Sky won 4xTdF

2012- their biggest rival was their own teammate and youngish Nibali with no tt
2013-their rival was almost neo-pro Quintana who attacked 30km from the finishes against whole train and *** Contador
2015-the best Quintana but with 3 minute deficit mainly due to crosswinds (their most lucky victory)
2016-almost as ridiculous as 2012, bardet and other podium aiming riders plus *** Quintana

Maybe it will come ayear where finally his opponents are gone be '2015' with no flat stage losses.
 
Re: Re:

ILovecycling said:
Mayomaniac said:
ILovecycling said:
Red Rick said:
Was Contador top form in that TT? I don't think so. Froome was nigh invincible 2013 and still looked average in the 3rd week. Since then, he's had only one performance like that, in that Tour he got dropped again in the third week. This year he was never unbeatable uphill, but other riders basically defaulted. Don't think he's a better rouleur or descender per se, Peyresourde was an easy descent with a gimmick technique, useless on harder descents, and others will pick up on it.

Why do you think Froome won minutes on the TT's? Because the others were in worse shape. Froome is overrated as a standalone tt'er. Mollema of all people barely lost 50s in the first one, after going toe-to-toe on the Ventoux. Unless there's long flat tt early in the race, Froome shouldn't win more than a minute on a direct threat for yellow, and what was the last time that happened?

I don't even think Sky was unbreakable this year, but nobody tried to create chaos. Why? Cause nobody had the form to win in the first place.

If a climb is hard enough, if you're good enough, and if you have teammates up the road, you can force Froome to make a choice between staying with your train, or following. If there's flats involved afterward, just the one superdomestique won't cut it, and waiting for the other domestique's only results in losing more time.
Good post.I agree with entire first and last paragraph but I still dont believe that top form Nibali/Contador (quintana,bardet,aru etc are bad tt so this scenario is not possible for them) can match top form Froome in hilly itt later in the race.If that would be the case,then your plan is The plan.

There is a big possibility that there will be at least one itt 30km+ next year and we should better pray that it will not be flat
2013 Contador almost matched Froome in a hard, hilly ITT, so Nibali and Contador should at least be able to limit their losses, if Mollema was able to limit his losses in the longer ITT to 51 seconds than they should be able to loose even less time (with all the respect to Mollema, he rode a great Tour and showed some guts, it was a great performance, but Nibali and Contador are usually just better in a longer, hilly ITT).
Thats true, but they need to limit their losses almost to 0 and then be able to open a gap on some mtf.

Its still hillarious to think to against what kind of opposition Sky won 4xTdF

2012- their biggest rival was their own teammate and youngish Nibali with no tt
2013-their rival was almost neo-pro Quintana who attacked 30km from the finishes against whole train and **** Contador
2015-the best Quintana but with 3 minute deficit mainly due to crosswinds (their most lucky victory)
2016-almost as ridiculous as 2012, bardet and other podium aiming riders plus **** Quintana

Maybe it will come ayear where finally his opponents are gone be '2015' with no flat stage losses.
...that's not very difficult to downplay any gt win with that way of thinking. :p
 
Re: Re:

Gigs_98 said:
Yeah, maybe Froome was really the best climber on every mountain stage, but he still didn't drop riders like Porte one single time. And before the tour did you expect Porte to be the at least 2nd strongest climber? Don't you think that a top shape Quintana, Contador maybe also Nibali would easily beat Porte, a rider who has never finished in the top ten of a gt before this tour (except a giro which didn't really count). Let's say Contador would have been in top shape (of course not given, but just let's say he would have been). I'm pretty sure he would have followed Froome on the Peyresurde descent immediately, he would have been on Sagan's wheel in the crosswind stage, he definitely wouldn't have lost more time than Mollema in the first ITT, probably rather about 30 seconds, and I also don't think he would have lost a lot of time in the 2nd one since he usually is a monster in this kind of TT. He probably only would have had a disadvantage of about one minute, rather even less. And are you still so sure Contador definitely wouldn't have gained one minute on the climbs in the tour this year? Contador at least would have tried everything in Arcalis, Finhaut and Mont Blanc. I also think Froome would have won the tour anyway but if his other contenders are in top shape it will never be easy for him
Look at PSM, look at Ax 3. Perfectly reasonable to assume that Porte is better than Quintana when it comes to the early mountain stages.

You're right about the TTs, but I can only see Contador dropping Froome on Arcalis, and even for that he'd need to be in amazing form. And even if he did manage it, Froome was probably capable of dropping Contador on Ventoux and Finault

Froome dropped Contador fairly easily in the Dauphine. And yes, Contador improves a lot between the Dauphine and the Tour, but unless you think that barely beating TVG in the Dauphine and absolutely destroying everyone on PSM were a similar level of performance, so does Froome
 
You want to beat Sky, you're going to need someone better than Froome for the parcours. Given that he has proven himself the strongest on nearly every terrain against the current contenders, you would really need someone new to come up or someone to get significantly stronger. Or you need bank on Froome failing or fading.

You could also change the parcours into something bordering on the ridiculous to play into the few guys with a possible advantage on Froome. An '80s 120-TT-Km route for Dumoulin, with few mountains and lots of sprint days for him to rest up. Otherwise, strip out the time trials (very few TT (maybe a prologue and an true MTT). Make it a super easy run in through France and the Alps with to set up a killer third week for Quintana. Or conversely, 21 days of hell where less than 100 guys make it to Paris. Also, this Tour on steroids, with every hilly stage on ending on a real technical descent, for Nibali or Bardet. Although a gun-shy Zakarin might end up winning that one after everyone who went full gas crashed.

And remember, in those cases if the guy you're setting it up for crashes then Froome is on this form cruising to victory again. So I'll just say make it fun and vary it year to year and see what happens. All-in-all I thought the dawg actually gave us quite a good show this year.
 
Re:

fungusbear said:
Finally, riders need to ride for the win, not for a place in the podium. It was so disappointing to not see any do or die llong range attacks (or any attack tbh). Obviously it is easy for me sitting on my sofa to demand that kind of racing, but to see everyone give up on winning the race after the first TT is irritating.
Problem here is the team/sponsor pressure for UCI world tour points for podium / top 5/ top 10 placements. If they changed the points system perhaps this could free up at least some of those riders/teams who play it too safe to take more risks.
 
Aug 4, 2010
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Re: Re:

dacooley said:
ILovecycling said:
Mayomaniac said:
ILovecycling said:
Red Rick said:
Was Contador top form in that TT? I don't think so. Froome was nigh invincible 2013 and still looked average in the 3rd week. Since then, he's had only one performance like that, in that Tour he got dropped again in the third week. This year he was never unbeatable uphill, but other riders basically defaulted. Don't think he's a better rouleur or descender per se, Peyresourde was an easy descent with a gimmick technique, useless on harder descents, and others will pick up on it.

Why do you think Froome won minutes on the TT's? Because the others were in worse shape. Froome is overrated as a standalone tt'er. Mollema of all people barely lost 50s in the first one, after going toe-to-toe on the Ventoux. Unless there's long flat tt early in the race, Froome shouldn't win more than a minute on a direct threat for yellow, and what was the last time that happened?

I don't even think Sky was unbreakable this year, but nobody tried to create chaos. Why? Cause nobody had the form to win in the first place.

If a climb is hard enough, if you're good enough, and if you have teammates up the road, you can force Froome to make a choice between staying with your train, or following. If there's flats involved afterward, just the one superdomestique won't cut it, and waiting for the other domestique's only results in losing more time.
Good post.I agree with entire first and last paragraph but I still dont believe that top form Nibali/Contador (quintana,bardet,aru etc are bad tt so this scenario is not possible for them) can match top form Froome in hilly itt later in the race.If that would be the case,then your plan is The plan.

There is a big possibility that there will be at least one itt 30km+ next year and we should better pray that it will not be flat
2013 Contador almost matched Froome in a hard, hilly ITT, so Nibali and Contador should at least be able to limit their losses, if Mollema was able to limit his losses in the longer ITT to 51 seconds than they should be able to loose even less time (with all the respect to Mollema, he rode a great Tour and showed some guts, it was a great performance, but Nibali and Contador are usually just better in a longer, hilly ITT).
Thats true, but they need to limit their losses almost to 0 and then be able to open a gap on some mtf.

Its still hillarious to think to against what kind of opposition Sky won 4xTdF

2012- their biggest rival was their own teammate and youngish Nibali with no tt
2013-their rival was almost neo-pro Quintana who attacked 30km from the finishes against whole train and **** Contador
2015-the best Quintana but with 3 minute deficit mainly due to crosswinds (their most lucky victory)
2016-almost as ridiculous as 2012, bardet and other podium aiming riders plus **** Quintana

Maybe it will come ayear where finally his opponents are gone be '2015' with no flat stage losses.
...that's not very difficult to downplay any gt win with that way of thinking. :p
That was not my intention, I apologize. I respect Froome, he is a great rider, attacking and fighting nature, works hard on himself, and if he would ride in another team I would probably cheer for him in various races.
But its how it is, he never was against great competition as Contador during Tour 2007 and 2010.He always had one really strong rider against him.But I dont want this thread to become another ac vs. cf, so I will not talk about that anymore.
 
Re:

fungusbear said:
Aside from that, there are ways of at least trying to make the fight for yellow a little more interesting. Salary caps and banning team radios and power meters may decrease the dominance of the SKY train, which although does not deal with the problem of Froome being so strong, but would at least expose if he had a bad day a make him fight for it more himself.
I really like the idea of banning powermetres. Not necessarily because it's anti-Sky (I think the importance of Froome's stem-gazing is overstated), but because it would make things more unpredictable in general.

People aren't supposed to have a fuel gauge.
 
Aug 4, 2010
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rick james said:
It's been a while so I expect a long flat ITT next year, Froome will take minutes in the other GC guys in one stage alone
That or ttt + short itt. Of course most of us would prefer the second combination because there is actually a chance they will challenge Sky.(even tho it doesnt look like Trek or Nibali's team is gonna be full of tt specialist :p )
 
Re:

rick james said:
It's been a while so I expect a long flat ITT next year, Froome will take minutes in the other GC guys in one stage alone
Except one: Pinot a.k.a The Cance From France. 2017 is the year that Tibopino wins the Giro-Tour-RRWC triple. Guaranteed :) .
 
Sep 29, 2013
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It´s a good post.

First i don´t think anyone is unbeatable. But Froome and Sky are almost that if the other teams don´t have a superb team.

I think sky has two very important things in cycling and in live: They have a plan, and they can put the whole team commited to that plan. And this is where starts their victory.

Then they have Froome, he is superb, and that´s all...

But i think a top rider ( there aren´t so much like that) and a super team maybe can do it.

I don´t know if Contador can continue at his best, if so, then he is clearly the number one rival to Froome with a superb team... Problem. I don´t see a superb team arround him. He will need at least 3/4 top climbers plus 2 excelente rollers in his team, and alllll with MAXIMUM commitement. Just fighting for his leader.

Nibali is another that could try it, it a super Astana why not? But just the 2014 Nibali can do it... At least like Contador, can try it.

The others i don´t see it, Quintana will have a great carreer, he can win GT´s but with a top Froome he is not an agressive rider, and he just can´t accelerate ( i´m always saying the same). If can´t accelerate he won´t be able to do it... Not against Froome.

Then, i don´t know if Bardet, Aru, Miguel Angel... ETC. can evoluate so much the next 3/4 years to match Froome, but they are good riders... And agressive, so maybe if they get better in TT...

Then every year new big talents appear... We never know when the next Contador or the next Froome will "born"... Cycling as sport as guys that dominate and one day... They give their place to another that looks stronger and stronger... The story tell us that one day it will appear one guy that will beat the top guy, and so on, and so on...

But without thinking in the future, just thinking in the present, i just see Contador and Nibali with a fenomenal tram trying to do it... But we never know it, maybe next year a big star appear and macth Froome... Who knows???
 
Wait for the years between two dominant riders. Like that year after Hinault retired and Lemond suffered from his hunting accident. Exciting Tour that year.

Froome's dominance is far from Indurain's "subiendo como una moto" years. I wonder what people would have written over these races on cn. :D
 
Aug 23, 2015
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I think we have to acknowledge that

(a) Sky works well to a rhythm;
(b) no single team can match Sky’s climbing prowess;
(c) Froome (on an average day) TTs no worse than any other GC rider;
(d) it is unlikely that any single rider could consistently outclimb Froome; and
(e) all teams with GC (winning) ambitions have common goals (to try and force a disruption to Sky’s rhythm and to isolate/drop Froome).

Points (a) to (d) likely render any individual team’s (singlehanded) efforts futile. Point (e), however, screams out for a cross-team alliance to (a) pool their climbing resources to force the pace on climbs (to take Sky domestiques out of their comfort zone); and (b) tag team Froome on the later climbs.

Of course, there is an element of risk involved. All candles may be burnt before a collective strategy (to whittle down the Sky train) takes effect. In addition (and this might sound harsh), GC targeting teams would have to stop coveting “also ran” placings. However, without the acceptance of risk (and barring crashes/illness), I see no change in current circumstances until Froome gets old (or bored).
 
Re:

rick james said:
It's been a while so I expect a long flat ITT next year, Froome will take minutes in the other GC guys in one stage alone
I think the opposite, they will do everything to not make it easy for Froome, so there will probably be a TTT because they didn't have one this year and a hilly/mountainous TT which won't play into Froome's hands as much as a flat TT.
 
There is no realistic hope until Froome declines. No one rider can match or exceed him in any specific aspect and no team can or will equal Sky in overall strength and financial backing. Saying they are tactically superior is not necessarily true. When you have the strongest rider(s), it makes any ds look like a genius.

There is no rider on the horizon that will be able to challenge him. I've watched less of the Tour in the past couple of years than I have since I became passionate about the sport.
 
Apr 3, 2016
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I predict next year's parcours unveiling might make a certain Monsieur R Bardet very happy :D


And me too, if that is what happens.
 
Mar 2, 2016
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How do you beat them? Attack them, don't let them have their own way. Be willing to throw away a top 10 for a win. :mad:
 
Be better than him. Pretty simple.

Quintana was close in 15 to his powers, so was the result. All he needed was a little more panache. Contador was trash in 13 and 15, crashed in 16. Quintana was trash in 16. The rest? Doesn't have the level.
 
Aug 4, 2010
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Valv.Piti said:
Be better than him. Pretty simple.

Quintana was close in 15 to his powers, so was the result. All he needed was a little more panache. Contador was trash in 13 and 15, crashed in 16. Quintana was trash in 16. The rest? Doesn't have the level.
Lo Squalo?
 
Re: Re:

ILovecycling said:
Valv.Piti said:
Be better than him. Pretty simple.

Quintana was close in 15 to his powers, so was the result. All he needed was a little more panache. Contador was trash in 13 and 15, crashed in 16. Quintana was trash in 16. The rest? Doesn't have the level.
Lo Squalo?
In 2014, yeah (I think he woulda won that Tour regardless of Contador/Froome crashes) but any other year, no.
 
Re: Re:

Valv.Piti said:
In 2014, yeah (I think he woulda won that Tour regardless of Contador/Froome crashes) but any other year, no.
Not the right thread to do this, but come on. Contador dropped him on a Cat 3, imagine what him and Froome teaming up against Nibali to eliminate the 2 mins from the cobbles could do on a real climb
 

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