Teams & Riders Sam Bennett

I posted this in 2017 in the Sagan thread


I was listening to an interview today from what was formerly the telegraph cycling podcast with Sagan's new teammate Sam Bennett http://thecyclingpodcast.com/podcast/alberto-contador-lights-up-paris-nice-episode-10. He was asked why he's stronger this year and he put it down to doing an "altitude camp with Sagan" he mentioned how he previously struggled with climbing but now at the Paris - NIce he was with the front group going over Cat 1s. The whole thing sounded like the most obvious sign posted doping interview in years. It was like something from the 90s before riders had their guard up with the media.
 
Vanmol & Ibaguren turning a 2nd tier sprinter into a big winner isn't surprising any more. We already saw this with Viviani.

It's the Quick Step version of random gc rider learning how to TT while riding for Bruyneel.

No wonder a rocket like Kittel won 5 TDF stages with their fuel!
 
Vanmol & Ibaguren turning a 2nd tier sprinter into a big winner isn't surprising any more. We already saw this with Viviani.

It's the Quick Step version of random gc rider learning how to TT while riding for Bruyneel.

No wonder a rocket like Kittel won 5 TDF stages with their fuel!
he had 13 wins last year before joining Quick Step. 11 of those wins were in WT races. Most of the conversation about him this year was about whether he was able to adapt to the DQS train style after spending years as a successful solo wheel surfer at Bora. he‘s almost the platonic ideal of a guy who has got a little better year after year with no abrupt transformations. not having any sudden jumps by no means proves anyone is clean. but the idea that DQS got a hold of him and he suddenly got much faster is totally absurd,
 
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he had 13 wins last year before joining Quick Step. 11 of those wins were in WT races. Most of the conversation about him this year was about whether he was able to adapt to the DQS train style after spending years as a successful solo wheel surfer at Bora. he‘s almost the platonic ideal of a guy who has got a little better year after year with no abrupt transformations. not having any sudden jumps by no means proves anyone is clean. but the idea that DQS got a hold of him and he suddenly got much faster is totally absurd,
I never claimed he was a bad rider, simply not on supreme level. Hence why I called him a 2nd tier sprinter.

Bora themselves obviously stepped up their game last year. Especially looking at Ackermann & Buchmann. So of course Bennett already improved there last season.

That doesn't mean he didn't continuesly improved year by year as well. But if you look at the 2018 Giro d'Italia, where he won his first gt stages, but couldn't quite match Viviani during most sprints then yes... This is a new level for the Irishman. Although this year's Tour sprinter field was kinda weak as well.

Let's just wait and see how he performs once he leaves Quick Step again. Viviani's shape at the upcoming Giro d'Italia might be an indication. He certainly improves his shape in Italy. But whether it will be 2018 Giro d'Italia & 2019 Tour de France shape, while riding for Cofidis has yet to be seen.
 
I never claimed he was a bad rider, simply not on supreme level. Hence why I called him a 2nd tier sprinter.

Bora themselves obviously stepped up their game last year. Especially looking at Ackermann & Buchmann. So of course Bennett already improved there last season.

That doesn't mean he didn't continuesly improved year by year as well. But if you look at the 2018 Giro d'Italia, where he won his first gt stages, but couldn't quite match Viviani during most sprints then yes... This is a new level for the Irishman. Although this year's Tour sprinter field was kinda weak as well.

Let's just wait and see how he performs once he leaves Quick Step again. Viviani's shape at the upcoming Giro d'Italia might be an indication. He certainly improves his shape in Italy. But whether it will be 2018 Giro d'Italia & 2019 Tour de France shape, while riding for Cofidis has yet to be seen.
He wasn’t a second tier sprinter last year. In 2019 on Bora he was already part of a relatively large top tier of about five sprinters who all racked up large numbers of wins and all regularly beat each other: Ackermann, Ewan, Bennett, Groenewegen, Viviani. Viviani it could be argued didn’t quite belong simply on his own merits but because he had the best team, but results wise he was on the same sort of level as the other four. Then you had two others just below that tier in the shape of Jakobsen who was clearly on the way up to joining it and Gaviria who had belonged in it but was having a bad season.

Again, he won 11 WT races last year out of 13 total wins. He also did it with no team support in the finales. Ackermann had Bora’s sprint train, Sagan and Bennett were wheel surfing. There is no reasonable way to rank him outside of the top tier in 2019, which is why there were people talking all season about him not being given a Tour or Giro ride and its why DQS wanted him in the first place.

The Viviani comparison is instructive. He had a good season the year before QS signed him. But it wasn’t close to Bennett in 2019. He had 4 WT wins out of 9 total. Good but not top tier in 2017. Then you had the 2018 Giro you are talking about. Bennett won three stages, Viviani four. But what you actually had there were two sprinters head and shoulders above the competition, one of whom had the full QS train, the other of whom was freelancing. And what you saw was that Bennett had the edge on Viviani for speed and DQS got very imaginative trying and more often than not succeeding in trying to stop Bennett from being able to come off Viviani’s wheel with 150 metres to go. That’s the most obvious DQS effect for sprinters, they get the best team.

Earlier this season the question about Bennett wasn’t about whether DQS had suddenly made him faster but about whether he was having a hard time adapting to being the wheel everyone wants and coming off a leadout rather than being the guy picking his opponents wheel.

My basic point is this: we are talking about cycling here. I don’t vouch for anybody. But the specific argument that since joining QS, Bennett has jumped in level from second tier sprinter to supreme speed bears no relationship to his actual history. At most what we’ve seen is him slowly learn to combine his wheel surfing skills with having a great lead out, as seen in his great decision making in the finale in Paris. There’s no special fuel that makes you make the correct split second decisions.
 
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Sep 22, 2020
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tbh, I only registered here because I was quite annoyed that a Sam Bennett thread appeared on the day of his great well-deserved victory. Then the registration email got stuck in my spam filter and by the time I actually found it next day I wasn't so bothered anymore, lol.

Bennett may have been taking stuff during the tour, but to judge by some of his performances it must have been a few pints of guiness.
 

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