Sky's classics problems

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A few things Brian Smith said during yesterdays FW race (and I'm paraphrasing slightly):

*A senior member of the Classics team halted a planned training ride from Kerrison on behalf of everyone else on the team as it was too difficult for them

*Kerrison's training with them has gone down like a lead balloon - there are only a few riders at Sky capable of training like Wiggins and it has left others in the team almost on their knees

*The entire classics squad is jaded and have felt tired all season

*Jon Tiernan Locke has felt in poor condition all season - the Sky approach to training doesn't work for him. To such an extent that he has, according to Brian, gone back to his old coach to try and recapture his form from last season
 
argyllflyer said:
A few things Brian Smith said during yesterdays FW race (and I'm paraphrasing slightly):

*A senior member of the Classics team halted a planned training ride from Kerrison on behalf of everyone else on the team as it was too difficult for them

*Kerrison's training with them has gone down like a lead balloon - there are only a few riders at Sky capable of training like Wiggins and it has left others in the team almost on their knees

*The entire classics squad is jaded and have felt tired all season

*Jon Tiernan Locke has felt in poor condition all season - the Sky approach to training doesn't work for him. To such an extent that he has, according to Brian, gone back to his old coach to try and recapture his form from last season
Certainly an interesting quote about JTL, I thought is was another sky coach rather than his old coach. when I heard it, but I might have got that wrong.
 
argyllflyer said:
A few things Brian Smith said during yesterdays FW race (and I'm paraphrasing slightly):

*A senior member of the Classics team halted a planned training ride from Kerrison on behalf of everyone else on the team as it was too difficult for them

*Kerrison's training with them has gone down like a lead balloon - there are only a few riders at Sky capable of training like Wiggins and it has left others in the team almost on their knees

*The entire classics squad is jaded and have felt tired all season

*Jon Tiernan Locke has felt in poor condition all season - the Sky approach to training doesn't work for him. To such an extent that he has, according to Brian, gone back to his old coach to try and recapture his form from last season
Interesting, there's definitely been an issue with JTL but I think the cobbles guys were in good shape before the illness at RVV took out Stannard, Hayman and Eisel. Obviously they haven't seen the vast improvement that the GC guys have got but in terms of past performances their results this year were pretty much in line with expectations. They could go back to their old training and get very similar results imo. Sky just don't have the necessary talent on their roster for the cobbles that's why they took a risk with the change in training in the first place. Nothing to lose.
 
del1962 said:
Certainly an interesting quote about JTL, I thought is was another sky coach rather than his old coach. when I heard it, but I might have got that wrong.
You could be right. Just looking back over the race just now and will put down what Brian Smith said regarding the Sky Classics campaign.

59.6km onwards...

"They've got it wrong. They've got to realise that not everybody's Bradley Wiggins. Bradley's got a big... (interrupted by Contador changing bike) ...You've got to remember they've so much success on the track and most of them were training, the team pursuit and team sprinters, were training to the letter. And when it comes to the road, it's so many variables and Bradley Wiggins is only - within the world, you know, 5% of bike riders or even humans - that can take that amount of work and he's come at the right time. Chris Froome is another one that can take the amount of work that Kerrison gives them at Team Sky, the coach there. And not everybody's like that and everybody's different.

I believe the success of the Tour de France and the stage race riders.... they've had tremendous success, and they're producing some great results, but when it comes to the Classics, taking the Classics teams to Tenerife and training them over there hasn't worked but the thing is, Dave Brailsford has taken a chance. He's taken them over there to something that works for stage race riders, and he's taken a chance and it hasn't worked. So, hats off to him for taking that chance but I think he has to put his hands up and say "we got it wrong".

Nobody... very few riders in that Team Sky, apart from possibly Chris Froome, can do the amount of work that Bradley Wiggins has done in the past to win what he has won, and I think the Classics team went out and I believe from the training in Tenerife that one of the most experienced riders that they've got in the Classics team pulled, stopped, stopped the whole team from training on a day and said "this is too hard, we cannot do this." And a lot of the riders have gone into these races feeling jaded. I was in Maastricht at the start of Amstel Gold, and just looking at their faces, it's as if they didn't seem happy, they had a bit of pressure on themselves because every Classic that goes by there's more and more pressure on them.

I had a word with Jon Tiernan-Locke, and he obviously has been doing... learning from these Classics, he's been getting bottles and looking after a lot of good riders. But even himself, he was getting trained by Kerrison but it wasn't doing him any good and over the last few weeks he's decided to change his coach and go to another person, and go back to what was working last year because he believes that the form he had with Endura Racing was better than he is at the moment, so from looking at these different scenarios, yeah there's great champions like Bradley Wiggins but not everybody in Team Sky is Bradley Wiggins and can cope with the training methods there.

I think you have look at when I was a pro and maybe Sean was a pro, and 75% of the work was on feel, 25% was on science, and I think now it's 50-50 but Sky have gone 75 Science and probably 25% on feel and for me I think they have to go back to a bit more on the feel of the riders, and maybe talk to the riders and get them back to enjoying themselves a wee bit more.
(He then said James Murdoch is more interested in the Classics than Grand Tours and went on to talk about the chances of Cancellara signing for Sky).

On JTL again:
Last year, he was as good as Joachim Rodriguez at these sort of finishes, he is one of the best in the world. This year he feels a bit tired, jaded, and it's just because of the workload and the training he's been doing. He wants to go back to what he was doing last year.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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Last year, he was as good as Joachim Rodriguez at these sort of finishes, he is one of the best in the world

shows they have lost all touch with reality in sky
 
Yup that's exactly what I've been saying too. It does seem as if they have trained too hard this year. Particularly in December. While everyone else still had holidays, the Sky classic squad were doing 8 hour rides.

EBH has been overtrained earlier in his career too, when he was 17 or so. I remember his sports director saying "I knew something was wrong with EBH when Kristoff suddenly outclimbed him!". It turned out he was burned out after training far too hard for a period, so he took a break, came back a couple of weeks later and took 3 stage wins in Tour de l'Avenir.

This year the exact same has happened...Kristoff has outclimbed him. That just shouldn't happen. There's something wrong, and it's not just that he's not a classic's rider as Ryo suggests (although him being bad on cobbles is part of the explanation too).
 
May 28, 2012
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maltiv said:
Yup that's exactly what I've been saying too. It does seem as if they have trained too hard this year. Particularly in December. While everyone else still had holidays, the Sky classic squad were doing 8 hour rides.

EBH has been overtrained earlier in his career too, when he was 17 or so. I remember his sports director saying "I knew something was wrong with EBH when Kristoff suddenly outclimbed him!". It turned out he was burned out after training far too hard for a period, so he took a break, came back a couple of weeks later and took 3 stage wins in Tour de l'Avenir.

This year the exact same has happened...Kristoff has outclimbed him. That just shouldn't happen. There's something wrong, and it's not just that he's not a classic's rider as Ryo suggests (although him being bad on cobbles is part of the explanation too).
Kristoff has become better over the last year, and cobbled climbs aren't your average training climbs.

What's also strange is that Eisel, Thomas and Stannard for example rode according to their expected level this year, but that EBH once again seemed to be suffering. I guess he was the only rider in December who couldn't handle 8h of training.

But what's more important to understand is that he lacks acceleration. You should rewatch how only a power house in the FTP test.
 
Pentacycle said:
Kristoff has become better over the last year, and cobbled climbs aren't your average training climbs.

What's also strange is that Eisel, Thomas and Stannard for example rode according to their expected level this year, but that EBH once again seemed to be suffering. I guess he was the only rider in December who couldn't handle 8h of training.

But what's more important to understand is that he lacks acceleration. You should rewatch how only a power house in the FTP test.
They did? I must have missed that Thomas and Stannard did great in P-R and RVV as many of the posters here expected...

Stannard couldn't be more suited to P-R, yet he was **** there. He was much better last year. Sure, he was great in M-SR, but then he clearly ran out of fuel...Geraint Thomas wasn't too bad in E3 for instance - but let's not forget that he wasn't a part of the Mallorca training camp. For some reason, he was training alone in Australia instead. Might've been wise, but we don't really know how good he was as he crashed all the time. Personally I doubt he was particularly strong since he was very far back when he crashed in both races.
 
May 28, 2012
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maltiv said:
They did? I must have missed that Thomas and Stannard did great in P-R and RVV as many of the posters here expected...

Stannard couldn't be more suited to P-R, yet he was **** there. He was much better last year. Sure, he was great in M-SR, but then he clearly ran out of fuel...Geraint Thomas wasn't too bad in E3 for instance - but let's not forget that he wasn't a part of the Mallorca training camp. For some reason, he was training alone in Australia instead. Might've been wise, but we don't really know how good he was as he crashed all the time. Personally I doubt he was particularly strong since he was very far back when he crashed in both races.
Thomas did well considering the circumstances, and he showed class in the Omloop and E3, Eisel normally isn't a regular top 10 finisher in big races, and Stannard's track record at Roubaix isn't indicating that he's suited to it. Stannard's best performances have been in horrible weather conditions, like MSR, but as soon as the temperature rose he got worse.

And 'many posters' here to whom you were referring were just being ignorant, or they were under the assumption that Sky got their science worked out. In the end the different approach from Sky didn't matter results-wise, in fact they even got more attention than they normally would've had. They're probably pretty pleased knowing this.
 
maltiv said:
Yup that's exactly what I've been saying too. It does seem as if they have trained too hard this year. Particularly in December. While everyone else still had holidays, the Sky classic squad were doing 8 hour rides.

EBH has been overtrained earlier in his career too, when he was 17 or so. I remember his sports director saying "I knew something was wrong with EBH when Kristoff suddenly outclimbed him!". It turned out he was burned out after training far too hard for a period, so he took a break, came back a couple of weeks later and took 3 stage wins in Tour de l'Avenir.

This year the exact same has happened...Kristoff has outclimbed him. That just shouldn't happen. There's something wrong, and it's not just that he's not a classic's rider as Ryo suggests (although him being bad on cobbles is part of the explanation too).
Well then, EBH should go back to what he was doing last year and he'll end up getting exactly the same results (on cobbles).

If Sky had suddenly ruined a bunch of great cobbles riders I'd be more sympathetic to the view that they overtrained. In reality they were trying to change a group of fairly average cobbles riders into great ones with a change of training. Didn't work, obviously, but worth a go really in the circumstances.
 
maltiv said:
They did? I must have missed that Thomas and Stannard did great in P-R and RVV as many of the posters here expected...

Stannard couldn't be more suited to P-R, yet he was **** there. He was much better last year. Sure, he was great in M-SR, but then he clearly ran out of fuel...Geraint Thomas wasn't too bad in E3 for instance - but let's not forget that he wasn't a part of the Mallorca training camp. For some reason, he was training alone in Australia instead. Might've been wise, but we don't really know how good he was as he crashed all the time. Personally I doubt he was particularly strong since he was very far back when he crashed in both races.
Thomas was on Sagan's wheel when he crashed in RVV. He's too light for Roubaix and wasn't their leader there anyway. He would have most likely top 10'd in RVV and perhaps a bit better at MSR.

Stannard was ill before RVV, along with Hayman and Eisel. When you add Thomas's crash you have to say they had pretty **** luck. You've also missed the fact that Stannard crashed quite badly at Roubaix on one of the first cobbles sections. This was before the TV pictures started and one French journalist following the race described his effort to get back to the peloton as incredible (he got caught behind another crash as he was trying to get back).

Look at the E3 performance. That's pretty much what you could realistically expect from Sky's riders. Thomas 4th, EBH 9th with Stannard, Eisel and Hayman all in the top 35 in the main chase group. Yes, there's not the incredible improvement seen by the GC riders, far from it, but that performance at E3 doesn't suggest to me that Sky got their training wrong.
 
Pentacycle said:
Thomas did well considering the circumstances, and he showed class in the Omloop and E3, Eisel normally isn't a regular top 10 finisher in big races, and Stannard's track record at Roubaix isn't indicating that he's suited to it. Stannard's best performances have been in horrible weather conditions, like MSR, but as soon as the temperature rose he got worse.

And 'many posters' here to whom you were referring were just being ignorant, or they were under the assumption that Sky got their science worked out. In the end the different approach from Sky didn't matter results-wise, in fact they even got more attention than they normally would've had. They're probably pretty pleased knowing this.
Good point!

Also, if James Murdoch is as big a fan of the classics as Brian Smith claims then he should give Sky an extra 3 million budget to sign Cancellara.

Or alternatively ''release'' EBH from his near enough 2 million salary and you only need to increase the budget by 1 million.
 
Oct 15, 2012
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argyllflyer said:
A few things Brian Smith said during yesterdays FW race (and I'm paraphrasing slightly):

*A senior member of the Classics team halted a planned training ride from Kerrison on behalf of everyone else on the team as it was too difficult for them

*Kerrison's training with them has gone down like a lead balloon - there are only a few riders at Sky capable of training like Wiggins and it has left others in the team almost on their knees

*The entire classics squad is jaded and have felt tired all season

*Jon Tiernan Locke has felt in poor condition all season - the Sky approach to training doesn't work for him. To such an extent that he has, according to Brian, gone back to his old coach to try and recapture his form from last season
Interesting, but I'm not entirely sure I buy it. Thomas and Stannard in particular should eat Wiggins training patterns right up.

There is a problem with ebh, no getting away from it. Hes not worth his current wage as things stand. I csn see him leaving. Jtl was aleays a punt, based on one annus mirabilis. Eisel hss done ok, so has stannard. But up til the mur, two men had ripped the season apart between them. No training plan will overcome that. ..
 
Apr 10, 2011
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JRanton said:
Good point!

Also, if James Murdoch is as big a fan of the classics as Brian Smith claims then he should give Sky an extra 3 million budget to sign Cancellara.

Or alternatively ''release'' EBH from his near enough 2 million salary and you only need to increase the budget by 1 million.
Releasing a rider is quite costly ;) Especially one with such high salary and still 2 years on contract ;) He'll stay at Sky till the end of his extension.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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JRanton said:
Well then, EBH should go back to what he was doing last year and he'll end up getting exactly the same results (on cobbles).

If Sky had suddenly ruined a bunch of great cobbles riders I'd be more sympathetic to the view that they overtrained. In reality they were trying to change a group of fairly average cobbles riders into great ones with a change of training. Didn't work, obviously, but worth a go really in the circumstances.
exactly this, ebh is a lost cause anyway for classics and thomas is dropping weight to do gt's right? stannard isn't a super talent
 
Mar 31, 2010
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JRanton said:
Good point!

Also, if James Murdoch is as big a fan of the classics as Brian Smith claims then he should give Sky an extra 3 million budget to sign Cancellara.

Or alternatively ''release'' EBH from his near enough 2 million salary and you only need to increase the budget by 1 million.
I'm sure cancellara doesn't want to sign with sky
 
Oct 15, 2012
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JRanton said:
Good point!

Also, if James Murdoch is as big a fan of the classics as Brian Smith claims then he should give Sky an extra 3 million budget to sign Cancellara.

Or alternatively ''release'' EBH from his near enough 2 million salary and you only need to increase the budget by 1 million.
I'd bet a pound to a penny the only classics james murdoch cares about are the Derby and the Oaks. The ides he has a learned interest in bikes is laughable. Sky saw a bandwagon and jumped on it. No more no less....
 
Gloin22 said:
Releasing a rider is quite costly ;) Especially one with such high salary and still 2 years on contract ;) He'll stay at Sky till the end of his extension.
His contract runs until 2014, so he has one year left after this year. By ''release'' I meant like how they ditched Cavendish. No pay-off required. Some team will offer him pretty close to what Sky are paying him per annum and over 2-3 years. Despite his failings on cobbles, he still picks up a lot of good results in other races and has a very high sporting value ranking that could pretty much guarantee a team world tour status. He still has plenty of value, he just isn't going to be able to provide Sky with what they want from him.
 
martinvickers said:
I' bet a pound to a penny the only classics james murdocj cares about are the Derby and the Oaks. The ides hr has a learned interest in bikes is laighable. Sky saw a bsndwagon and jumped on it. No more no less....
He's been a VIP at Paris-Roubaix for the last few years I believe (certainly 2010, 2011 and 2012 anyway). If he has no interest why is he being flown in by helicopter to the race and following the race in a VIP/Team Sky car?
 
Mar 31, 2010
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JRanton said:
Because of their training?

You do know Cancellara visited Teide several times in his preparation for the classics, right?
no, because cancellara doesn't sign for money. I think that;'s been clear for a long time with riis. he only left there to join his then friends the schlecks and andersen. I'm sure next year he will sign for a swiss team. he only cares for the classics anyway so he doesn't need a wt team either
 
martinvickers said:
Interesting, but I'm not entirely sure I buy it. Thomas and Stannard in particular should eat Wiggins training patterns right up.

There is a problem with ebh, no getting away from it. Hes not worth his current wage as things stand. I csn see him leaving. Jtl was aleays a punt, based on one annus mirabilis. Eisel hss done ok, so has stannard. But up til the mur, two men had ripped the season apart between them. No training plan will overcome that. ..
People often forget how good Cancellara and Boonen are. Not just the best of their generation but two of the greatest of all time. And then there's Peter Sagan, a phenomenon. I mean as much as I quite like Thomas and Stannard as riders there are limits to what even Kerrison/Sky can manage!
 
Dec 30, 2011
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argyllflyer said:
(He then said James Murdoch is more interested in the Classics than Grand Tours and went on to talk about the chances of Cancellara signing for Sky).

On JTL again:
Thanks, really quite interesting that as an explanation for the disappointment at the classics.

Last year, he was as good as Joachim Rodriguez at these sort of finishes, he is one of the best in the world. This year he feels a bit tired, jaded, and it's just because of the workload and the training he's been doing. He wants to go back to what he was doing last year.
Then again unfortunately kind of skews the reliability of all Smith says. I anyways wouldn't trust anyone at Eurosport when it comes to Sky.. whatever they say.


Last year, he was as good as Joachim Rodriguez at these sort of finishes, he is one of the best in the world

shows they have lost all touch with reality in sky
And.. LOL..
 

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