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Strongest ever GT team?

Nov 29, 2010
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As was mentioned in the Sky thread it's very possible their TDF roster this year could be the strongest team ever sent to a GT. (Froome, Landa, Thomas, Kwiatkowski, Poels, Stannard, Kiryenka .. etc) Maybe it will be, maybe it won't but it got me wondering what has been the strongest team so far?

My memory isn't great but I nominate:

Astana - 2009 - TDF

Contador, Armstrong and Kloden all finished in the top 6. Leipheimer could have done aswell had he not crashed out. They lack a bit of depth with a couple of domestiques who could be a little stronger though.

Alberto Contador (ESP)
Lance Armstrong (USA)
Andreas Klöden (GER)
Levi Leipheimer (USA)
Dimitry Muravyev (KAZ)
Sérgio Paulinho (POR)
Yaroslav Popovych (UKR)
Grégory Rast (SUI)
Haimar Zubeldia (ESP)

CSC - 2008 - TDF

Sastre and the two schlecks made a scary force in the mountains, plus Cancellara and Voigt had their climbing legs on this tour. The rest of the domestiques are very high quality also.

Carlos Sastre
Kurt Asle Arvesen
Fabian Cancellara
Volodymyr Gustov
Stuart O'Grady
Andy Schleck
Fränk Schleck
Nicki Sørensen
Jens Voigt

T-Mobile - 2005 - TDF

This team didn't win but the triple pronged Ullrich, Kloden and Vino caused a lot of worry for Armstrong at the start of the Tour. Until they started attacking each other. :rolleyes: Sevilla and Guerini were excellent in the mountains as support and Kessler and Nardello were really strong too.

Jan Ullrich (Ger)
Giuseppe Guerini (Ita)
Matthias Kessler (Ger)
Andreas Klöden (Ger)
Daniele Nardello (Ita)
Stephan Schreck (Ger)
Oscar Sevilla Ribera (Spa)
Tobias Steinhauser (Ger)
Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz)

(Also 2012 sky team)

Any others ? Especially from the other two GT's?
Can't think of any that come even remotely close to Molteni 1971

Merckx - greatest rider ever
van Springel - 2nd in the Giro, Tour and Worlds. Monument winner.
Wagtmans - Top 5 in the Tour
Van Schil - repeated podiums in monuments
Stevens - winner of essentially everything on the track. worlds podium and multi stage wins in grand tours, in the few occasions where he wasn't keeping Merckx out of the wind
Basso - one of the greatest sprinters ever. world champion. many GT stage wins
Spruyt - domestique. Tour stage winner
Huismans - Tour top 10, classics winner
Swerts - GT top 10s, worlds medal, classics winner, one of the greatest time trialists ever
Bruyére - monument winner, tour top 5. could've been a huge star in his own right if he wasn't constantly working for merckx

(10 riders per team back then)
Aug 31, 2012
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There was a great thread on this topic in the clinic, employing a draft format. Indurain was picked first, Armstrong second. There was complete consensus on those two being the strongest leaders.

Edit: Read too hastily, this is about actual teams.

I'm going with one of Armstrong's or Sky 2012.
In the period when I've followed cycling, I'd have to say Sky 2012 for strength relative to their opponents, and Astana 2009 in absolute terms.

Imagine if Ullrich and Sevilla hadn't been thrown out out the 2006 Tour, how amazing T-Mobile would've been!

Edit: Haha, great minds think alike! :D
La Vie Claire 1986, tour de france:

Greg LeMond: 1st in GC
Bernard Hinault: 2nd
Andy Hampsten: 4th
Nikki Ruttiman: 7th
JF Bernard: 12th
Chaly Berard: 44th
(I had to look up Berard, and of course there are others too, but I made my point)

No contest.

edit: got beaten to it
Are you talking about team results or pure team strength. Result wise, by far would have to be those Le Vie Claire teams of the mid 80s. Heck, you know a team is strong when the only entertaining part of the final results are watching a pair of teammates attacking each other for the TDF. (Oh wait, Hinault was just helping out Lemond, I forgot). Nowadays, it seems teams will have 3 riders ride the best results possible when team duties are done (This is for the Team Classification results), then have everyone lay off to conserve energy.

Its outside of the box, and it was back when the races concentrated on local nationalities, but the Early 90s Amaya Seguros teams would usually field 4-6 riders in the Top 15 of the Vuelta with climbers like Jesus Montoya, Fabio Parra, Cubino, Melchor Mauri, and I believe for a year or 2 Mikel Zarrabeitia.

For the Giro in the time period, if I recall right didnt Carrera have a team for the Giro including Roche, Claudio Chiapucci (Sp) and Pantani
May 16, 2016
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Pantani Attacks said:
Astana 09 stood out for me too. I recall after Arcalis when Contador, Lance, Kloden and Leip were all in the top 6. Crazy strong team.

And why does anyone think that was? All these teams were tainted except Mercx who was a lot less tainted