Sky's classics problems

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Roderick said:
The biggest problem is that the DS's of Sky doesn't seem to know what the strenghts and weaknesses are from their riders. Everybody but them knows that EBH isn't a guy for the "cobbled classics". He can't handle neither cobbles or the cold. And then they sent their best cobbles guy in the attack in P-R at 120k from the finish.
That isn't the biggest problem though! Although I do agree with you that Hayman shouldn't have been sent in the break at that point. Their biggest problem is that Hayman is their best rider on the cobbles and when you're up against the best in the world that doesn't leave you with much chance of winning!

Cancellara and Boonen have between them won 7 of the last 9 PR's and 5 of the last 9 RVV's. Boonen's teammate also won 2 RVV's almost by default.

That doesn't leave much for everyone else!
 
gruppeto993 said:
sky had the same problem as BMC. None of the riders knew who they were working for. Having multiple potential race winners is a recipe for disaster.
Well if BMC were not working for Gilbert, who were they working for ? GVA always works for Gilbert and I think that is their problem. GVA is the kind of rider who could win if he got into a break like the one Kreuziger was in at Amstel. I would like to see BMC work for Gilbert but let GVA race his own race because sometimes he does better than Gilbert after working for him all day. He is good enough and consistent enough to be given some freedom in the races that suit him and has more chance from a break that trying to cope with Sagan and co at the end of a stage. But maybe BMC see him as being too important to Gilbert to let him do his own thing. So far BMC are doing better in the classics than Sky.
 
maxmartin said:
interesting then why in Tour SKY train can drop everybody else?

Did the Classics squad and GT squat use different trainer? Maybe they should move their advanced GT training method to these Classics riders?

Oh wait EBH is in both squads, his spring form is just way way off from his last year Tour form. Why?
As I said, I think their training in the winter was far too extreme. EBH's off-season lasted about 2 weeks from the end of Tour of Beijing before they started with the crazy winter training programe, training 6 hours a day. EBH has looked tired all year, I think he's burnt out...the poor guy had to ride the longest season possible last year (TDU to Beijing) and yet had no holiday whatsoever. Meanwhile, Froome and Wiggins got several months off.
 
maltiv said:
As I said, I think their training in the winter was far too extreme. EBH's off-season lasted about 2 weeks from the end of Tour of Beijing before they started with the crazy winter training programe, training 6 hours a day. EBH has looked tired all year, I think he's burnt out...the poor guy had to ride the longest season possible last year (TDU to Beijing) and yet had no holiday whatsoever. Meanwhile, Froome and Wiggins got several months off.
You say that maltiv but EBH's cobbled classics performances this year were pretty much exactly the same as last year. Especially RVV and PR.
 
Dazed and Confused said:
BMC better than SKY in classics?

Agree, but the bar is very low, in fact too low.

A win by either team in FW or LBL can just about save the sprint classic campaign.
It's hardly surprising that BMC are doing better, in fact they should be doing a lot better when you look at the rosters. BMC have one top tier classics rider and several second tier guys. Sky has a bunch of 3rd tier guys in both the cobbles and the Ardennes classics. Ok, maybe Henao and Uran are second tier guys in the Ardennes but they barely have the results to justify that category.
 
Unless I'm mistaken, if you take the palmares of every rider on the Sky roster, they have just 2 spring classics wins between them. Those were wins for EBH and Eisel in Gent-Wevelgem which is arguably the easiest of the spring classics. Their only other podium finish in any of the major spring classics is Eisel's 3rd place in E3 last year.

On paper, and in terms of results, they arguably have one of the weakest squads of any of the world tour teams for the spring classics.
 
they don't have top rank Classics riders. They have a bunch of guys who can win if the circumstances play to their strengths and it hasn't worked out for them this year.

EBH at his best is very, very good, but he rarely seems to be at his best. For a long time I've assumed that he'd been unlucky with illness and injury (which he has) but now I'm beginning to think that his head isn't in the right place and he's fragile psychologically.

I didn't expect much of Thomas this year, tbh. I think that he still hasn't go his road head on after spending most of last year on the track. Maybe he'll do better next year, maybe not. We'll see. In any case, their results aren't bad - plenty of teams would be very happy with them - but when you're up against Cancellara, Sagan, Gilbert et al you need someone exceptional to reliably turn in the results.

I'd hoped that Sky would use their Classics squad to try and grow interest in the Classics in the UK as they have the GTs, but that doesn't seem to be part of their game plan. Although it's difficult to say if that's because they don't have the riders to build around, or because they're not so interested in the Classics and that's why they don't have riders, because they're not interested in growing the coverage.
 
JRanton said:
You say that maltiv but EBH's cobbled classics performances this year were pretty much exactly the same as last year. Especially RVV and PR.
That's because he's bad on cobbles. But last year he was in much better form. For example he was dropped with 10 km to go in Amstel last year, after having been on a solo attack. This year he was dropped with 60 km to go without having done anything at all.

Obviously the main problem is that he's not really suited to cobbled classics. But he's also not been anywhere near his best form.
 
maltiv said:
That's because he's bad on cobbles. But last year he was in much better form. For example he was dropped with 10 km to go in Amstel last year, after having been on a solo attack. This year he was dropped with 60 km to go without having done anything at all.

Obviously the main problem is that he's not really suited to cobbled classics. But he's also not been anywhere near his best form.
We can't say that he was in much better form last year purely based on his performance at Amstel. It's one race, coming a week after Paris-Roubaix. If his form was worse this year wouldn't it be logical that he'd have performed even worse on the cobbles?

I'm sure EBH and Thomas will be very good at the Tour and EBH will have a strong end to the season. That's because they're very good road cyclists who just aren't very good on cobbles at all. Nothing to do with form, in my opinion.
 
JRanton said:
We can't say that he was in much better form last year purely based on his performance at Amstel. It's one race, coming a week after Paris-Roubaix. If his form was worse this year wouldn't it be logical that he'd have performed even worse on the cobbles?
I think he did. In P-R last year he was in the chase group until 20 km to go or so. This year he was dropped on the first acceleration, with 50 km to go.

In RVV he was 19th after some bad luck during the race, mainly getting caught behind Vansummeren's crash and having to chase alone for quite some time. Then he cracked in the sprint for 4th. This year he was 17th after ideal race development and cracking in the sprint for 4th...
 
maltiv said:
I think he did. In P-R last year he was in the chase group until 20 km to go or so. This year he was dropped on the first acceleration, with 50 km to go.

In RVV he was 19th after some bad luck during the race, mainly getting caught behind Vansummeren's crash and having to chase alone for quite some time. Then he cracked in the sprint for 4th. This year he was 17th after ideal race development and cracking in the sprint for 4th...
He blew up spectacularly at Paris-Roubaix last year, eventually finishing nearly 8 minutes down. This year, he finished just 3 and a half minutes down.

Yes, he had ideal race development at RVV but part of that was surely because he was feeling pretty well until blowing up trying to follow Cancellara and Sagan.

Sorry, but I see very little difference in those performances. If I didn't know better, I'd suggest you were trying to apportion a little bit of blame to Sky (they burnt him out, too much training etc) as an excuse for EBH's spring classics failings. ;)
 
Mar 31, 2010
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sky have a problem with the cobbled classics yes, their stupid trianingcamp revolution turned out to be a fiasco and ebh is still the overrated joke of the past seasons. the wallonne races they have henao though. he can win lbl and fleche wallonne
 
Ryo Hazuki said:
sky have a problem with the cobbled classics yes, their stupid trianingcamp revolution turned out to be a fiasco and ebh is still the overrated joke of the past seasons. the wallonne races they have henao though. he can win lbl and fleche wallonne
Do you think it effected their results though? Would you have expected any better from their cobbles group based on their previous performances? I wouldn't.
 
May 25, 2009
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JRanton said:
Do you think it effected their results though? Would you have expected any better from their cobbles group based on their previous performances? I wouldn't.
Based on last year I'd have expected them to look fairly strong as a team before failing to get any results because they didn't have a good enough leader, rather than having almost everyone vanish as soon as there was a serious acceleration as they did this year.
 
William H said:
Based on last year I'd have expected them to look fairly strong as a team before failing to get any results because they didn't have a good enough leader, rather than having almost everyone vanish as soon as there was a serious acceleration as they did this year.
You're looking at just RVV and PR though. They had some illnesses at RVV (Eisel, Hayman and Stannard) and Thomas crashed at the critical moment so bad luck played a part there. At Roubaix, they had Hayman in the break and Eisel was there in the final. Those were their best two guys for Roubaix and they performed as expected.

The earlier classics performances exactly fit your description. Looked fairly strong as a team before failing to get any real results because they don't have a good enough leader.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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JRanton said:
Do you think it effected their results though? Would you have expected any better from their cobbles group based on their previous performances? I wouldn't.
well this supposedly new thing was going to improve the sky riders for the cobbled classics, well it definitley didn't improve them
 
Jan 11, 2010
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JRanton said:
Do you think it effected their results though? Would you have expected any better from their cobbles group based on their previous performances? I wouldn't.
It would probably have effected their positioning in the peloton. Geraint Thomas crashed in the final of all 3 Monuments he rode. Thomas is their most talented rider for these classics, if he'd been up there they probably would have looked a lot better.
 
theyoungest said:
It would probably have effected their positioning in the peloton. Geraint Thomas crashed in the final of all 3 Monuments he rode. Thomas is their most talented rider for these classics, if he'd been up there they probably would have looked a lot better.
He would probably have finished in the top 10 at RVV but he was never going to podium and he's too light/not good enough on cobbles for Paris-Roubaix.
 
JRanton said:
You're looking at just RVV and PR though. They had some illnesses at RVV (Eisel, Hayman and Stannard) and Thomas crashed at the critical moment so bad luck played a part there. At Roubaix, they had Hayman in the break and Eisel was there in the final. Those were their best two guys for Roubaix and they performed as expected.

The earlier classics performances exactly fit your description. Looked fairly strong as a team before failing to get any real results because they don't have a good enough leader.
Is that guy potentially next year Fabian Cancellara? Prior to Wiggins 09 Tour Sky were looking at signing Vicenzo Nibali and waiting for a homegrown stage racer to develop. Is that an approach they should look at in the classics?
 
Mar 13, 2009
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What proven classics rider is on the team? Without one how do you expect they'll do? Sure they have talent, but without an experience you're really just hoping.
 
Jul 17, 2009
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MatParker117 said:
Sky have pretty much figured out how to win every single stage race they enter, but for some reason there best classics results are winning K-B-K back to back with CJ Sutton and Cav and a Nieuwsblad win with Flecha. Why is that? Is it tactics? Bad Luck? Training? It seems wierd to me that a team so accomplished in one form of the sport can be so atrocious in another.
Are their problems any different than Postal/discovery classics problems of past?
 
theyoungest said:
I think that's a result of just training really hard. They go into every stage race with a massive advantage over the rest in terms of form, which then gradually diminishes.

Classics can't be approached with only training. Those long distances require race rhythm and toughness.
????

And ????
 

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