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Most Impressive Team of the Tour...

Jul 23, 2009
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180mmCrank said:
Which other teams impressed?

I was impressed with the BBox lads. I know, I know, they rode the TTT with their brakes on but I thought that many of their riders were aggressive and actually tried to win the day, not just get the jersey on TV for a while.

I also liked Saxo Bank, they had a few big objectives (protect the MJ in week 1, get a Schleck or two on the podium, grab a stage where possible) and they pulled all this off despite losing two road warriors to injury.
 
Jul 14, 2009
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Im not saying they were the most impressive team, but Euskaltel was great at the tour. They only got one win, but rode the mountains so aggresively, they were a plesure to watch. I thought Liquigas would be a less obvious choice for this. Bennati was a dissapointment but Pellizoti and Nibali were incredible. In fact, Pellizoti really kept the race alive at times and is the first KOM winner in a while that really deserved it. Also, on Ventoux their original leader finally Kreuziger showed up, giving them two top 10 finishers.
 
Liquigas. Place 7, 9 and Polka dot is pretty good. Aren't Italian teams invisible on TdF usually?

Saxo. The only team that gave the impression they could shake the major Astana lineup with superior strategy. Pretty strong all around but not really a surprise.

Columbia. They kind of messed up with Besançon but their train is really impressive.

AG2R and BBox were the two best french team. AG2R MJ defense was pretty good (they also were pretty high on the Team Ranking). BBox was the classical French team animating breaks but it payed off.

EDIT: and yeah Euskaltel. I like those guys and this year they lived up to their rep.
 
Jul 3, 2009
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180mmCrank said:
I would second the Leaky Gas nomination some great stuff from their guys as the race unfolded - and I am not sure much was expected - a happy camp I suspect :)

I definitely agree and a few more things to think about with this team:
1. BOTH of their top 10 finishers are under 25 -- Roman is only 23.
2. Ivan Basso will almost certainly ride the tour next year and is the kind of rider who could be dangerous still.
3. Pellizotti concentrated on the Giro and finished on the podium; he could very well shift his focus next year.

This team could be VERY dangerous over the next couple years, look out for them. . .
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Irrespective of what you might think of Cav as a person, you have to admit that five stage wins is a pretty impressive haul.

I was SO hoping that Tony Martin would take today's win, and I SO hope that he either moves to a team where he can lead, or is a protected rider in the next GT's. He's too good to just be the final or penultimate man on Cav's train. I'm wondering what he might have done without the complete collapse that lost him nearly half an hour in one stage.

Skil have done themselves proud as a non Pro Tour team, Leaky gas can be very happy, as can BBox.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Saxo bank was the most impressive team to me. Strong in all terrains and situations with the exception of the hard-core sprinting. But I don't think many teams can expect to assemble a strong sprint squad and seriously position a GC rider.
 
i like all the teams ya'll have named. the agr2 photo is priceless as well.
no one likes the Astana guys, but they kicked booty.
Cav is a tool, but he and his team were a massive sprint train.
but who lived down to expectations?
i pick Silence/Lotto. blotto for them.:cool:
 
Jul 7, 2009
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The big problem with picking an impressive team for the tour is that all the big major teams performed as expected (bar Rabobank), and very few teams punched above there weight. My pick would probably be Columbia, not so much for Cavendish himself - but for the way his train dominated the four pure sprint finishes of the tour, I mean no team could get around them at all. And say what you like about Astana, but for my mind they aren't being mentioned nearly enough in this thread...
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Liquigas will be over the moon.
They wanted Nibali and Kruziger in the top 10, which seemed like a tall task at the start of the tour.

Nibali - 7th
Kruziger - 9th
Pellizotti - KOM

Saxobank will be somewhat happy, got some good stage wins, andy on podium, frank in top 5 and a stage win. Fab in yellow for a week. overall they would be pretty satisified.

AG2R - a week in yellow, good tour on a whole.
FDJeux - a french rider makes the top 10. And another, Casar had a brilliant tour in 12th! They will be thrilled.
Columbia - Cav owning every sprint. Overall a decent tour
Garmin - two men in the top 10
Astana - winner, plus 3rd and 6th. say what you want, it is still a great result.
Bbox - 2 stage wins, rolland had a good overall ride.
Agritubel - Brice Felliu stage win was great, and they were pretty active throughout the tour
 
May 11, 2009
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Garmin

Columbia were impressive (including 5 or 6 stage wins by Cav).

But the most improved team over last year was Garmin (ending with two riders in top 10) and second on team classification

(assuming no disasters on Sunday).
 
May 6, 2009
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Cervelo were decent as well. Sure Sastre was MIA, but they got two stage wins and likely the green jersey as well and not to forget the balls that took Hushovd to go on a break in the Alps to pick up sprint points.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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SaxoBank are classy, but I have to say Columbia take the honours just for the fact that their lead-out train is so awesome. If I was a sprinter from another team I don't know if I would intimitaded, or just absolutely terrified once I saw Hincapie move to the front with 2km to go.
 
Buninyong Bunny said:
The big problem with picking an impressive team for the tour is that all the big major teams performed as expected (bar Rabobank), and very few teams punched above there weight.

I thought Garmin punched above their weight.

Columbia were impressive OK, but you expect them to be. They met expectations rather than surpassed them.

Garmin and yes, Bouygues Telecom were impressive.

Astana I just couldn't get impressed at. They just have the best riders, but it didn't seem like a "team". Even with Leipheimer gone, they still had the strongest team there
 
May 26, 2009
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Not the best team of course, but the Skil Shimano guys were impressive in their own way. Saw a lot of them on TV considering their underling status. Pretty sure ASO would consider they proved themselves worth the invitation.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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yourwelcome said:
Not the best team of course, but the Skil Shimano guys were impressive in their own way. Saw a lot of them on TV considering their underling status. Pretty sure ASO would consider they proved themselves worth the invitation.

Gotta agree 100% about Skil. They didn't win a stage, but got 2 combative rider awards. Not bad for such a young team with all riders in their first Tour.

For me the best team performance needs to be divided up between 3 teams. First, Columbia...dominating the flat stages, Martin in yellow and second on Ventoux. Second, Saxo Bank. That is one heck of a team and it just seems to me that all the riders are on the same page and not only ride well together...but actually really like each other as people!! Last, gotta give props to Astana. I didn't like the infighting between LA/AC. But they really put up a solid show. They most likely would have had 4 riders in the top 10 if Levi had not crashed. What can you say...I don't like them, but a heck of a performance.
 
TRDean said:
Gotta agree 100% about Skil. They didn't win a stage, but got 2 combative rider awards. Not bad for such a young team with all riders in their first Tour.

For me the best team performance needs to be divided up between 3 teams. First, Columbia...dominating the flat stages, Martin in yellow and second on Ventoux. Second, Saxo Bank. That is one heck of a team and it just seems to me that all the riders are on the same page and not only ride well together...but actually really like each other as people!! Last, gotta give props to Astana. I didn't like the infighting between LA/AC. But they really put up a solid show. They most likely would have had 4 riders in the top 10 if Levi had not crashed. What can you say...I don't like them, but a heck of a performance.

I'm pretty sure that was the white jersey.
 
I was really impressed with Skil-Shimano as well. Fumi finished! They hung tough throughout, and I agree they were deserving of their wildcard invite.
Love the underdogs!

The team that stood out for me this year was AG2R. Sure, they were "allowed" to keep yellow for so long - but, I thought they, generally, defended the yellow quite admirably. Besides, they were on my TV screen more than I would have ever imagined. Normally, I would have only seen them in breakaways.

The other team that I was most impressed with (although, I agree they met expectations, not exceeded them) was Saxo-Bank It is nice to see such a united team. The Schlecks continue to strengthen their bond and Jens is tough as nails. This was the team that kept the yellow jersey competition animated - and I really appreciate that. I wish more team would do that.

One of my favorite teams this year is Cervelo, so this may be a bit biased - but I thought they had a great tour. Sure, their hopes for yellow never materialized, but Sastre never stopped fighting. He comments about trhying to make something happen on Ventoux were good to hear - even if he couldn't deliver. His legs may have given out on him, but his head didn't (Menchov, Boonen). Haussler's stage win had me shed a little tear. And to see the Maillot Vert FIGHT for the Green was great to watch. Much deserving.

One note about Garmin - well, well, well JV. Not the "aw shucks, we're just glad to be here, and happy to ride our own race" this year. It was kind of nice to see Garmin pulling out all the stops to try and win. "Scrappy Doo Team Award" of the Tour.
 
Most impressive has to be Astana. Winner, 3 in top 10, team award, and crushed everyone in TTT. Not the most impressive team ever (that goes to La Vie Claire 1986), but most impressive for 2009.

Best performance above expectations? B-Box.
 
Jul 3, 2009
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Ag2r.....even under pressure...Roche recieved a torrent of verbal abuse for the two Liquigas riders when he sat on the break..to deny Hincapie yellow and keep it in his squad...normal tactics...everyone in the break understood except Liquigas! When Roche went looking for them after the stage they didn't put up much of a fight(cowardly mouthpieces).

Astana...strongest team there with 4 genuine GC contenders.


Garmin...Wiggans


Biggest Disapointment.... Kenny Van Hummel not making it to Paris