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Soudal - Quick Step Thread

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It's the first time since 2011 and 2010 that QS fail to put a rider in the top-5 of either Omloop or Kuurne.

I can't point here to a coincidence of a person that's been with QS from 2012 until the end of 2021, but their recent prime was during that period after a time where they struggled as a team, going from 16th team in the world (CQRanking team ranking) in 2011 to 4th in 2012, but I think it could also be a factor. Or maybe their training has changed to go with their GC goals. What it's true is that in recent years, it almost seemed that every 'donkey' (just an expression, as it's obvious that QS riders have been - and still are - extremely talented) turned into gold when starting a classics race with QS and now it's almost the opposite.

If QS want to spend their money on a sprinter and if they feel Jakobsen is past his best days or won't be capable of doing more than he does (and let's face it, 2022 was not a good year for Jakobsen, a TdF stage win, a Paris-Nice stage and KBK is not enough for the first in line QS sprinter - I bet that Lefevere doesn't care about Euros), they should try at all costs to sign Kooij, as he won't have opportunities in Jumbo (3rd pro year without a GT, really?).
 
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I'm not joking. I think the hilly requirements for De Ronde are a lot higher than they used to. Even in the year he won E3, GW, Ronde and Roubaix he could barely hang on on the final Paterberg to Pozzato despite racing a very conservative race. And that is with Cancellara crashing out. Then he won Roubaix by 2 minutes.

He might get into the same spot Kristoff is now. Never sniff the front end of the race in the final 20km and sprint for the highest top 10 spot left. But that's about it. I'd give Boonen 0% shot at hanging with the likes of MvdP, Van Aert and Pogacar on the hills. His only shot would be to anticipate and attack.
If your point is about peak Boonen in De Ronde, why use 2012 as an example and not 2006?
 
Even if what you saying might be "true"... his ability to sprint and being one of the stronger riders in the race would make him a danger. His "only shot" would be a lot more dangerous, than 96% of all the other riders in the race.

You also said PEAK Boonen, that he would have no shot as you originally said is laughable. Not a 37 year-old Boonen or Kristoff. Kristoff in his peak would probably be more of a factor, than today, while still being a factor today.

How many monuments has MVDP and Van Aert won together? Since they make the most sense to compare him too.

Dynamics might have changed a bit, with a lot of different factors to consider, but he would definitely have had a case to be made in this day and age.
If the entire field gets a lot better it becomes harder to win 2 monuments than to win 4 in a previous decade. This is also specifically De Ronde. I never contested Boonens Roubaix chops..

I don't see how it's debatable that guys like Van Aert, Van der Poel and Pogacar are overall a lot better riders than

If your point is about peak Boonen in De Ronde, why use 2012 as an example and not 2006?
Different route. Harder to judge. I don't see how you can make a particular strong case that 2012 is a weak representation when he won all 4 big cobbled races. It just means you're back to eye testing and feelings instead of any semblance of data. I do know they did the hills a lot faster in 2022 than in 2012.
 
If the entire field gets a lot better it becomes harder to win 2 monuments than to win 4 in a previous decade. This is also specifically De Ronde. I never contested Boonens Roubaix chops..

I don't see how it's debatable that guys like Van Aert, Van der Poel and Pogacar are overall a lot better riders than

It will always be difficult to compare different eras to each other. A debate that will only go in circles.
 
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Different route. Harder to judge. I don't see how you can make a particular strong case that 2012 is a weak representation when he won all 4 big cobbled races. It just means you're back to eye testing and feelings instead of any semblance of data. I do know they did the hills a lot faster in 2022 than in 2012.
Tell me more of how your approach refrains from eye testing, but is backed up by data.
 
If we ignore the elephant in the room (movistar riders all very strong recently guys), the point remains that they can't get the same performance out of their riders as they used to.

The 2021 e3 was one of the most ridiculous display s of team strength I saw in a classic. QS shredding the field into the Taienberg with all 7 riders and using their numbers to win the race with Asgreen.

6 of those 7 rider are still at the team. Only Stybar, who was getting a bit old and had his cardiac issues, left the team.

Then you have Declerq, Van Leeberghe, Lamapert, Ballerini, Senechal and Asgreen

Declerq had his carditis which might have dropped his performance a bit, and Van lerbergh is still very good as a leadout rider. But Lampaert, Asgreen, Senechal and Ballerini are just not close to their former level, and there is no apparent reason why.

And then we have Alaphilippe struggling (although I think he will be strong this season). But in 2019 and 2021 his 3 month spring peak was a super high level. Even Peter Serry in 2021 was doing ridiculous things on Liege.

OK they lost some big riders. They had Gilbert, Viviani, Jungels, Terpstra, Almida in the last 5 years. But they just can't turn random Belgian farmers into top cobbles rider the sam way they used to.

Weird how some of the hilly terrain riders are still so strong. Remco, Vansevenont, Van Wilder, Schmidt. Maybe they just focus more on this.
 
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It's the first time since 2011 and 2010 that QS fail to put a rider in the top-5 of either Omloop or Kuurne.

I can't point here to a coincidence of a person that's been with QS from 2012 until the end of 2021, but their recent prime was during that period after a time where they struggled as a team, going from 16th team in the world (CQRanking team ranking) in 2011 to 4th in 2012, but I think it could also be a factor. Or maybe their training has changed to go with their GC goals. What it's true is that in recent years, it almost seemed that every 'donkey' (just an expression, as it's obvious that QS riders have been - and still are - extremely talented) turned into gold when starting a classics race with QS and now it's almost the opposite.

If QS want to spend their money on a sprinter and if they feel Jakobsen is past his best days or won't be capable of doing more than he does (and let's face it, 2022 was not a good year for Jakobsen, a TdF stage win, a Paris-Nice stage and KBK is not enough for the first in line QS sprinter - I bet that Lefevere doesn't care about Euros), they should try at all costs to sign Kooij, as he won't have opportunities in Jumbo (3rd pro year without a GT, really?).

Brian Holm came to the team in 2012, and last year he was only on very few races before finally retiring.

Before that, he was on HTC all the years where they were the most winning team.

Maybe it's just a coincidence.
 
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Brian Holm came to the team in 2012, and last year he was only on very few races before finally retiring.

Before that, he was on HTC all the years where they were the most winning team.

Maybe it's just a coincidence.

I'm sure he believes it isn't one.

Or maybe he would just blame the poor result on the riders for forgetting to live like monks and not going to sleep hungry every single day.
 
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In a very specific perspective, it's clear that Laurent Madouas was a far, far better climber than Fignon ever was. The 80's was such a weak era.
Obviously, in absolute terms. But that's also irrelevant.

The relative terms do matter. How many of the top dogs in De Ronde right now just try desperately to hold on on the Poggio hoping the peloton comes back for a sprint these days? The top dogs all have much more climbing chops than Boonen did. And it's not just about climbing chops, but simply puncheur chops as well.

That doesn't mean he gets dropped on the Taaienberg in E3. But I do think it just means the attrition gets worse for him if they race the hills very aggressively. But I definitely think if they attack the Hotond hard he has a problem.
 
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If we ignore the elephant in the room (movistar riders all very strong recently guys), the point remains that they can't get the same performance out of their riders as they used to.

The 2021 e3 was one of the most ridiculous display s of team strength I saw in a classic. QS shredding the field into the Taienberg with all 7 riders and using their numbers to win the race with Asgreen.

6 of those 7 rider are still at the team. Only Stybar, who was getting a bit old and had his cardiac issues, left the team.

Then you have Declerq, Van Leeberghe, Lamapert, Ballerini, Senechal and Asgreen

Declerq had his carditis which might have dropped his performance a bit, and Van lerbergh is still very good as a leadout rider. But Lampaert, Asgreen, Senechal and Ballerini are just not close to their former level, and there is no apparent reason why.

And then we have Alaphilippe struggling (although I think he will be strong this season). But in 2019 and 2021 his 3 month spring peak was a super high level. Even Peter Serry in 2021 was doing ridiculous things on Liege.

OK they lost some big riders. They had Gilbert, Viviani, Jungels, Terpstra, Almida in the last 5 years. But they just can't turn random Belgian farmers into top cobbles rider the sam way they used to.

Weird how some of the hilly terrain riders are still so strong. Remco, Vansevenont, Van Wilder, Schmidt. Maybe they just focus more on this.
Not that I disagree overall, but Ballerini only had those 2 weeks at the start of the 2021 season when he was an actual worldbeater, otherwise his performances at Quickstep are in line with what he always did. Anyway, I wouldn't overestimate the Omloop results, those who fly at the start of the cobbles season often run out of steam once the monuments come around.
 
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Brian Holm came to the team in 2012, and last year he was only on very few races before finally retiring.

Before that, he was on HTC all the years where they were the most winning team.

Maybe it's just a coincidence.
When they sort of merged with HTC they definitely became more like the Quickstep we know today (or the Quickstep we used to know until 2 years ago :)). Before that it was more of an oldschool Belgian team, built around Boonen. I don't know if that's thanks to Brian Holm, but the whole HTC mentality and setup certainly helped.
 
At the moment, Lefevere‘s team is only number four in Belgium.

Three best are Alpecin, Intermarche and Lotto-Dstny.

At least, Soudal QS are still a bit better than Bingoal and Topsport Vlaanderen.

I‘d say at the end of the Classics season, it would be a success for Patrick and his men if they were on the same level as Topsport. Bingoal might finish their Classics campaign a bit ahead of Soudal QS.

Ah, fingers crossed for Patrick that his team doesn’t face the destiny of BB Hotels at the end of the season. But okay, wouldn‘t be the end of the world - there would be still three Belgian top teams in Alpecin, Intermarche and Lotto, and Patrick certainly wants to retire soon, anyways, doesn‘t he?
 
At the moment, Lefevere‘s team is only number four in Belgium.

Three best are Alpecin, Intermarche and Lotto-Dstny.

At least, Soudal QS are still a bit better than Bingoal and Topsport Vlaanderen.

I‘d say at the end of the Classics season, it would be a success for Patrick and his men if they were on the same level as Topsport. Bingoal might finish their Classics campaign a bit ahead of Soudal QS.

Ah, fingers crossed for Patrick that his team doesn’t face the destiny of BB Hotels at the end of the season. But okay, wouldn‘t be the end of the world - there would be still three Belgian top teams in Alpecin, Intermarche and Lotto, and Patrick certainly wants to retire soon, anyways, doesn‘t he?
Remco will take care of it.
 
At the moment, Lefevere‘s team is only number four in Belgium.

Three best are Alpecin, Intermarche and Lotto-Dstny.

At least, Soudal QS are still a bit better than Bingoal and Topsport Vlaanderen.

I‘d say at the end of the Classics season, it would be a success for Patrick and his men if they were on the same level as Topsport. Bingoal might finish their Classics campaign a bit ahead of Soudal QS.

Ah, fingers crossed for Patrick that his team doesn’t face the destiny of BB Hotels at the end of the season. But okay, wouldn‘t be the end of the world - there would be still three Belgian top teams in Alpecin, Intermarche and Lotto, and Patrick certainly wants to retire soon, anyways, doesn‘t he?

Alpecin has had a very bad start to the season, so claiming they're better than Quck Step is a bit of a stretch.