MTN - No wildcards

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MTN is clearly the better team of the two, but the difference is not big enough to expect ASO to cut a decent french team like Bretagne for MTN, so the selection was quite logical. This selection will give Bretagne a boost and will help secure the development of french riders in the future and secure a lot of french riders in breakaways this year. And if a rider like Romain Feillu can find his old form again he also has about the same level as Ciolek, plus a rider like Vachon could even win a stage if he hit the right break away, so the difference is really not that big.

And MTN should get their wild card in the Vuelta anyways, where only Caja Rural and likely the boring Cofidis can be ahead of them for the last 4 wild cards. So all in all I think the wildcards for the TDF are fine. What is really interesting now is who will get the 4. wild card in the Vuelta, where teams like Wanty and United Healtcare maybe looks to have a realistic chance this year with all the better teams riding either Giro or TDF.
 
Aug 16, 2013
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MADRAZO said:
MTN is clearly the better team of the two, but the difference is not big enough to expect ASO to cut a decent french team like Bretagne for MTN, so the selection was quite logical. This selection will give Bretagne a boost and will help secure the development of french riders in the future and secure a lot of french riders in breakaways this year. And if a rider like Romain Feillu can find his old form again he also has about the same level as Ciolek, plus a rider like Vachon could even win a stage if he hit the right break away, so the difference is really not that big.

And MTN should get their wild card in the Vuelta anyways, where only Caja Rural and likely the boring Cofidis can be ahead of them for the last 4 wild cards. So all in all I think the wildcards for the TDF are fine. What is really interesting now is who will get the 4. wild card in the Vuelta, where teams like Wanty and United Healtcare maybe looks to have a realistic chance this year with all the better teams riding either Giro or TDF.
If Colombia does well in the Giro, they could get a wildcard too.

It's a logical decision by the Tour organisation. What Ryo said, it is about securing sponsors, and the goal of a Tour de France is partly to develop French cycling in general, and a way doing it, is inviting French teams.
 
MADRAZO said:
. wild card in the Vuelta, where teams like Wanty and United Healtcare maybe looks to have a realistic chance this year with all the better teams riding either Giro or TDF.
I'd love to see the Vuelta invite Caja Rural, MTN, Wanty and UHC. Why not? It's not like even the worst of them would be any weaker than the second string teams of outfits that have already been in a GT. And it would be a huge deal to all of those teams. It's more likely to be a deathly dull selection though.
 
It is a pity a team as MTN Qubeka dont have wild cards...It is my favourite team, they have very good riders, and they are the future. They have reached good results.. but anyway, they are in the hearth of a lot of people if they are in the big races or if not, so I just hope they demostrate the spirit of this team, and the spirit of Africa, wherever they race.

Ciolek, Gerdeman, Pardilla, Jhon Lee Augustynm Konovalovas, Teklehaimanot... all of them have been in the best teams of the World: SKY, HTC, Movistar, Orica... but the important maybe are the other names, with a big quality as well.
 
Zinoviev Letter said:
I'd love to see the Vuelta invite Caja Rural, MTN, Wanty and UHC. Why not? It's not like even the worst of them would be any weaker than the second string teams of outfits that have already been in a GT. And it would be a huge deal to all of those teams. It's more likely to be a deathly dull selection though.
How much does Cofidis sponsor the Vuelta with? I have no clue, but thats the issue with them being selected or not.

Otherwise, agree with your list. Makes a lot of sense.
 
Ryo Hazuki said:
it has nothing to do with french viewers watching some random french guy in a boring flat stage. it's about securing sponsors in france and a small hope of such a team having the new voeckler
I would doubt a minor Pro Conti team will secure any new sponsors in France. And from the main man himself:

"it was also a way for the Tour de France to express its support for French cycling"
 
argyllflyer said:
I would doubt a minor Pro Conti team will secure any new sponsors in France. And from the main man himself:

"it was also a way for the Tour de France to express its support for French cycling"
It's much easier to find new sponsors or to keep those you already have if you can tell them they'll be at the Tour. For Caja Rural, for example, getting a Vuelta invite was seen as a matter of life or death a couple of years ago, and the organizers were criticized because by not inviting Caja Rural they might be dooming them to disappear.

Supporting French cycling is not just about letting small teams ride around France for 3 weeks in July just for the experience and the adventure, it's also about making it easier for them to find sponsors to keep growing.
 
Taxus4a said:
It is a pity a team as MTN Qubeka dont have wild cards...It is my favourite team, they have very good riders, and they are the future. They have reached good results.. but anyway, they are in the hearth of a lot of people if they are in the big races or if not, so I just hope they demostrate the spirit of this team, and the spirit of Africa, wherever they race.

Ciolek, Gerdeman, Pardilla, Jhon Lee Augustynm Konovalovas, Teklehaimanot... all of them have been in the best teams of the World: SKY, HTC, Movistar, Orica... but the important maybe are the other names, with a big quality as well.
Wanty has a pretty long list of riders with WT experience. Still its hard to see them light up the show in France.
 
Aug 16, 2011
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Dazed and Confused said:
I don't expect Bretagne to deliver any excitement to the race, but I'm just struggling to see who on MTN will provide the action. Ciolek will be up against Greipel/Cav/Kittel (plus all the 2nd tier sprinters) in the flat stages. Gerdeman hasn't deliver a meaningful result in years. Pardilla in the mountains? Maybe, if hes very lucky. Augustyn is a major gamble in any case.

The most interesting part of MTN are the other African riders imo, but most are very young and unproven.
Not really fair to Gerdeman, he didn't race last year, his 2012 was pretty anonymous (just a few top 10's), in 2011 he did win Luxembourg though. He'll be looking for a return of form and a fresh start with MTN. Kinda same thing Ciolek was looking for when he joined. I agree on Pardilla and Augustyn, both a bit of a gamble that would need some luck, but sometimes gambles do pay off.

Then riders like Kudus, Meintjes, Grmay, Jim while they are young are exciting and talented prospects who would love the chance to prove themselves. Be it trying to go head to head with the favorites or in the breaks.

My main reason for thinking MTN could provide more of a race though, is that their team overall is just stronger then those of Neri and Bretagne. They could end up playing the same role that Neri and Bretagne will play; of going into breaks hoping to make it to the finish. But I could see MTN's riders with a much better chance of being successful in this.

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Also IMO them not being invited to the Giro is much bigger then missing out on the Tour. ASO inviting Bretagne instead of MTN makes more sense then RCS going with Neri instead of MTN.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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Roude Leiw said:
On top don't they have this young climber who finished in the top 10 in argentina? Can't remember his name and can't be bothered to go look for it now
sepulveda is not a climber. he's an itt guy that can hold his own in a climb. he can be best compared with kwiatkowski. not a rider that you will see attack in the mountains though
 
Mar 31, 2010
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argyllflyer said:
I would doubt a minor Pro Conti team will secure any new sponsors in France. And from the main man himself:

"it was also a way for the Tour de France to express its support for French cycling"
if aso doesn't give a wildcards to bretagne then the sponsor may quit. something aso wouldn't want and also if a french sponsor quits it is harder to find a new sponsor if the team isn't experienced in the tour
 
Afrank said:
Not really fair to Gerdeman, he didn't race last year, his 2012 was pretty anonymous (just a few top 10's), in 2011 he did win Luxembourg though. He'll be looking for a return of form and a fresh start with MTN. Kinda same thing Ciolek was looking for when he joined. I agree on Pardilla and Augustyn, both a bit of a gamble that would need some luck, but sometimes gambles do pay off.

Then riders like Kudus, Meintjes, Grmay, Jim while they are young are exciting and talented prospects who would love the chance to prove themselves. Be it trying to go head to head with the favorites or in the breaks.

My main reason for thinking MTN could provide more of a race though, is that their team overall is just stronger then those of Neri and Bretagne. They could end up playing the same role that Neri and Bretagne will play; of going into breaks hoping to make it to the finish. But I could see MTN's riders with a much better chance of being successful in this.

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Also IMO them not being invited to the Giro is much bigger then missing out on the Tour. ASO inviting Bretagne instead of MTN makes more sense then RCS going with Neri instead of MTN.

Those riders are the future, but they need support and all kind of races to show that.

Maybe the best eritrean is Berhane, Europcar, that have just won Trpicale to Lusi Leon Sanchez in his field... but the riders of Qubeka have a similar potential.

Anyway I understad that if you aren italian, french or spanish, you have dificult to be invited.

Milan San Remo was right, and a Qubeka rider won the race, I predicted that in an spanish forum.

Of course riders as Augustyn need time to come back to his level, but he is really a good climber.
 
Ryo Hazuki said:
if aso doesn't give a wildcards to bretagne then the sponsor may quit. something aso wouldn't want and also if a french sponsor quits it is harder to find a new sponsor if the team isn't experienced in the tour
Indeed, that is something that I hadn't taken into account. In hindsight I find it much more surprising that MTN haven't recieved an invite to the Dauphine, just to assess the team and see if they would be out of their depth.

The Giro exclusion surprises me more than the Tour. At least they got invites to T-A and to defend MSR.
 
Ryo Hazuki said:
what is solid about their team? they sucked last year, all their african riders. worse even that colombians. it will take 5 more years before they have a worthy african tour rider
I agree, but don't tell Chris Froome. :D

The UCI has an African development program and we will see lots of good WT riders from Africa and more teams in the next decade.
 
hrotha said:
Funny, because I get the distinct impression all this MTN bandwagon and sense of entitlement owes its existence to nothing but their nationality.
I mean, to nitpick, 'African' is not a nationality. Unless you mean 'South African', which I don't think is the reason a lot of people (at least on this forum) root for that team.

Speaking for myself, I'm excited about that team existing at such a high level for a number of reasons, but one is because I feel like a country like Eritrea has a strong cycling culture (okay, it's from everything I've read, it's not like I'm from there, so feel free to call me on that) and it's exciting to have new nations represented (certainly there is a decent contingent of South African riders there, so that's definitely another relatively 'new' nation to the high level cycling scene). So I'm definitely excited to see those nations develop and get their due at the top level, just like I've been excited at the influx of top Columbian talent in recent years, since that's a country that has been pretty underrepresented at the highest level historically, aside from making a small dent in the 1980s.

Secondly, I have to admit I get kind of satisfied to see 'progress' in breaking continental European hegemony over cycling, if for no other reason that it broadens the appeal and accessibility of racing in lots of countries (like Canada, where I live). But I get less excited over sporting powerhouse nations like England and Australia being like 'okay, well let's take over cycling now' than I do about places that have a relatively rich tradition of cycling but are generally underrepresented on the world stage of sport (Columbia and Eritrea are fine examples). Of course, that only goes so far - the wholesale 'globalization' of cycling as pushed by Pat McQuaid was a crock; there are much more thoughtful ways to go about it than follow the smell of money to Beijing (and what happened to Hangzhou? Or GP Sochi?)

Anyway, all this is to say that I have no problem jumping on the bandwagon of MTN in the sense that I'm genuinely excited for some of these riders to get more exposure at the highest level - never mind that the team seems to be run somewhat tight-fistedly by some Germans.

And yeah, there is definitely something to be said about preserving the 'tradition' of cycling in 'traditional' cycling nations; I'm bummed that Euskaltel folded, I'm bummed that lots of 1.1 races are disappearing in Italy and being replaced with stuff in Dubai rather than a 'new' country that cares about cycling. But really, there are enough things I've seen about French nationalism that are xenophobic and exclusionary that I really couldn't care less if the Tour de France has some kind of mission to invite French teams. Screw that, French nationalism, you have your privilege enough, I'm going to choose to cheer against you in this case.
 
Jun 25, 2013
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Ciolek's MSR win is really the only thing giving MTN-Qhubeka street cred. Hopefully this will net them some classics and one-week stage race invites this year, and hopefully they can continue to build on last year's success with more of it this year. Until they do they, I'm not sure they have anyone on the team to make them a must-invite to a Grand Tour.
 
Aug 16, 2011
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skidmark said:
I mean, to nitpick, 'African' is not a nationality. Unless you mean 'South African', which I don't think is the reason a lot of people (at least on this forum) root for that team.

Speaking for myself, I'm excited about that team existing at such a high level for a number of reasons, but one is because I feel like a country like Eritrea has a strong cycling culture (okay, it's from everything I've read, it's not like I'm from there, so feel free to call me on that) and it's exciting to have new nations represented (certainly there is a decent contingent of South African riders there, so that's definitely another relatively 'new' nation to the high level cycling scene). So I'm definitely excited to see those nations develop and get their due at the top level, just like I've been excited at the influx of top Columbian talent in recent years, since that's a country that has been pretty underrepresented at the highest level historically, aside from making a small dent in the 1980s.

Secondly, I have to admit I get kind of satisfied to see 'progress' in breaking continental European hegemony over cycling, if for no other reason that it broadens the appeal and accessibility of racing in lots of countries (like Canada, where I live). But I get less excited over sporting powerhouse nations like England and Australia being like 'okay, well let's take over cycling now' than I do about places that have a relatively rich tradition of cycling but are generally underrepresented on the world stage of sport (Columbia and Eritrea are fine examples). Of course, that only goes so far - the wholesale 'globalization' of cycling as pushed by Pat McQuaid was a crock; there are much more thoughtful ways to go about it than follow the smell of money to Beijing (and what happened to Hangzhou? Or GP Sochi?)

Anyway, all this is to say that I have no problem jumping on the bandwagon of MTN in the sense that I'm genuinely excited for some of these riders to get more exposure at the highest level - never mind that the team seems to be run somewhat tight-fistedly by some Germans.

And yeah, there is definitely something to be said about preserving the 'tradition' of cycling in 'traditional' cycling nations; I'm bummed that Euskaltel folded, I'm bummed that lots of 1.1 races are disappearing in Italy and being replaced with stuff in Dubai rather than a 'new' country that cares about cycling. But really, there are enough things I've seen about French nationalism that are xenophobic and exclusionary that I really couldn't care less if the Tour de France has some kind of mission to invite French teams. Screw that, French nationalism, you have your privilege enough, I'm going to choose to cheer against you in this case.
Good post, I agree. Screw the French (and Italian in the case of the Giro) nationalism. I'd rather see young talents from less well represented parts of the world like Africa and South America get a shot at the big times.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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Arredondo said:
Perhaps Cofidis?
ah yes. cofidis is a certainty. so that leaves 2 spots for 3 teams, coldeporte,s mtn and maybe netapp if they want to go. so they have a good chance
 
Aug 16, 2013
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Armchair cyclist said:
IIRC Cofidis (the company) are large scale sponsors of the Vuelta, so Cofidis (the team) are pretty much guaranteed an invite.

If cycling's finances were sufficiently healthy, it would be preferable that such a dual role would be prohibited: in the real world however...
Yeah, i knew there were a important sponsor. I wasn't certain they still are.
 
skidmark said:
I mean, to nitpick, 'African' is not a nationality. Unless you mean 'South African', which I don't think is the reason a lot of people (at least on this forum) root for that team.
I meant their nationality makes them African, which is largely why most people want them in.
 

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