Sunweb burnout

I've heard various people talk about sunweb being a 'talent factory' and how professional and strict (some say overly so) they are with their riders, but is this causing them to burn out and have shorter careers.
Kittel retired very early and now dumoulin has taken unpaid leave from jumbo. Obviously that's only two riders and I'm sure they have their own separate issues (injuries etc.) but as they are also two of the biggest sunweb 'success stories' it begs the question is it an environment which is good for the riders long term future?
More broadly speaking with the increasing professionalisation of younger riders could this become a more common occurrence?
 
I dont know why this thread is called Sunweb burnout
Seems a bias dig at Sunweb which is a bit rich...While Dumoulin & Kittel and Wawa were at Sunweb they were fine...its when they left they hit troube

And is not like other teams are not riding their young riders as leaders in GT .....UAE, INEOS ,etc ..I thought Sunweb gave Dumoulin plenty time to develop a sa rider

And anyway Sunweb follow the science very carefully and DONT put pressure on riders , if anything they treat them like kinder garden attendees which many riders dont like when they start winning big

If I were to pick one team where I wanted to develop it would be at Sunweb
 
What Dolly said.

Jumbo always felt like a bad fit for Dumoulin to me. He was under one kind of pressure being the sole GC leader at Sunweb, but having to compete with several leaders at TJV doesn’t seem to have taken any of that pressure off him.
 
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I heard it was getting a contract offer from Sunweb which sent Pete Kennaugh into hiatus.

And van Keirsbulck pulling in a group which contained a Sunweb-rider which has caused him to be blacklisted.
 
While I wouldn't consider Dumoulin and Kittel appropriate examples, there were a number of Sunweb riders burning out at very young age.

Lennard Kamna took a 6 month break from cycling in 2018 when he looked primed for a breakthrough season. He later came back and had a decent season in 2019 but he never reached his true potential until joining Bora in 2020.

Daan Olivier quit cycling at 22 after having a very promising season in 2014. After a 2 years hiatus he signed for Lotto-Jumbo and never looked like the rider he was.

Max Kanter also took a 6 month break from cycling in 2019. Some say it was an injury but the situation was a bit unclear.


To me it's pretty clear the team's approach is not for everyone. Some riders (and I would include Dumoulin) benefit from it, some others don't. Hard to assess if the approach has long term consequences on riders' health/motivation/etc but I wouldn't completely rule it out.
 
While I wouldn't consider Dumoulin and Kittel appropriate examples, there were a number of Sunweb riders burning out at very young age.

Lennard Kamna took a 6 month break from cycling in 2018 when he looked primed for a breakthrough season. He later came back and had a decent season in 2019 but he never reached his true potential until joining Bora in 2020.

Daan Olivier quit cycling at 22 after having a very promising season in 2014. After a 2 years hiatus he signed for Lotto-Jumbo and never looked like the rider he was.

Max Kanter also took a 6 month break from cycling in 2019. Some say it was an injury but the situation was a bit unclear.


To me it's pretty clear the team's approach is not for everyone. Some riders (and I would include Dumoulin) benefit from it, some others don't. Hard to assess if the approach has long term consequences on riders' health/motivation/etc but I wouldn't completely rule it out.
Maybe the OCD-ridden approach takes a lot out of you and many can't keep it up for a long time.
I don't want to compare them to a scumbag like Locatelli, but their approach might also not be the best for the longevity of their riders.
 
While I wouldn't consider Dumoulin and Kittel appropriate examples, there were a number of Sunweb riders burning out at very young age.

Lennard Kamna took a 6 month break from cycling in 2018 when he looked primed for a breakthrough season. He later came back and had a decent season in 2019 but he never reached his true potential until joining Bora in 2020.

Daan Olivier quit cycling at 22 after having a very promising season in 2014. After a 2 years hiatus he signed for Lotto-Jumbo and never looked like the rider he was.

Max Kanter also took a 6 month break from cycling in 2019. Some say it was an injury but the situation was a bit unclear.


To me it's pretty clear the team's approach is not for everyone. Some riders (and I would include Dumoulin) benefit from it, some others don't. Hard to assess if the approach has long term consequences on riders' health/motivation/etc but I wouldn't completely rule it out.
I find this much more nuanced than the original post - but you can find this kind of talent vortex in a lot of teams if you look closer. Let's take Ineos in it's various since 2016 you can find more young talent who either retired or never lived up to their billing:
Peter Kennaugh, Alex Peters, Kristoffer Halvorsen, Ian Boswell

Go a bit further back and you can add Josh Edmonson, Dombrowski,

I'm not saything there is nothing peculiar with Sunweb, but this is drawing it a bit far.

...and the real Sunweb-related crime is omitted here - Patrick Gretsch unable to get a new contract post AG2R in 2016.
 
I'm not sure Sunweb is any stricter than Ineos. I've heard riders talk about how strict Ineos (and also British cycling in general) is. It sounds like I'd put them on the same level, although possibly a different approach which may be where some issues are.

Movistar and to a lesser extent EF are on the opposite side of the spectrum.

There are riders who can't handle the fulls stictness of an Ineos or Sunweb while other riders need a strict environment. Unfortunately for some riders they may never get the opportunity to compete for the team in which they would fit the best in.
 
I find this much more nuanced than the original post - but you can find this kind of talent vortex in a lot of teams if you look closer. Let's take Ineos in it's various since 2016 you can find more young talent who either retired or never lived up to their billing:
Peter Kennaugh, Alex Peters, Kristoffer Halvorsen, Ian Boswell

Go a bit further back and you can add Josh Edmonson, Dombrowski,

I'm not saything there is nothing peculiar with Sunweb, but this is drawing it a bit far.

...and the real Sunweb-related crime is omitted here - Patrick Gretsch unable to get a new contract post AG2R in 2016.
Boswell rode with Giant-Shimano as a stagiaire!

Also, his retirement was concussion related, not psychological or a ”need to take a break.” It’s arguable that he’s being reckless in continuing to compete in gravel racing.
 
Boswell rode with Giant-Shimano as a stagiaire!

Also, his retirement was concussion related, not psychological or a ”need to take a break.” It’s arguable that he’s being reckless in continuing to compete in gravel racing.
When you're as strong as Boswell is, gravel racing is more like an ITT than mass start racing so the risk is very reduced.
 
S.K.Andersen was sent home from Paris-Nice after the TT for a disagreement between him and his team about his TIME TRIAL POSITION. he was told to leave the race and report at the team headquarters
he has a contract for 2022 too. but he wants to leave at the end of this season
Hindley already said he´ll leave, his contract ends this year
 
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S.K.Andersen was sent home from Paris-Nice after the TT for a disagreement between him and his team about his TIME TRIAL POSITION. he was told to leave the race and report at the team headquarters
he has a contract for 202 too. but he wants to leave at the end of this season
Hindley already said he´ll leave, his contract ends this year
Where did you get that info? I've heard it was back problems. Can't find anything supporting what you're saying.
 
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Could you run the main parts through Google Translate? It's behind a pay-wall.
it's on Pressreader, available for free:

https://pressreader.com/article/282123524336664

Google translated (extract):

"What is certain is that Hirschi has violated a rule of Team DSM. Hirschi is said to have already told some colleagues how relieved he is to be away from the strict regime of Team DSM. Tom Dumoulin, Marcel Kittel, Michael Matthews, Warren Barguil and the Belgians Edward Theuns, Louis Vervaeke, Zico Waeytens and Xandres Vervloesem are predecessors. Hirschi is certainly not the last. Jai Hindley's name has been ringing at Trek - Segafredo and Israel Start-Up Nation for several weeks now. The number two of the Giro is at the end of the contract and the next leader who wants to visit other places.

Classic leader Soren Kragh Andersen also clashed with the rules. The Dane is still under contract until the end of 2022, but is considered a weird flail. He recently went into conflict with the sporting leadership. Team DSM changed from Cervelo to Scott as a bicycle supplier in the off-season. Andersen wanted to copy his old position on his new time trial bike, but that came across an njet, followed by a lot of bickering. After his fifth place in the time trial of Paris - Nice, the dispute was so brought to a head that the team did not let him start the next day. Officially, the Dane got off course with back problems. The real reason was that he was expected in the Netherlands for a new bike fitting to clarify his position on the time trial bike.

The UAE Team Emirates is diametrically opposed to Team DSM. The team of Tour winner Tadej Pogacar does not belong to the MPCC and has a looser compliance with the rules, we conclude. Big boss and ex-rider Mauro Gianetti was in a coma for three days in 1998 due to the use of doping product Perfluorocarbon. With Sergio Henao, until recently they had a rider in his core who had previously been put on hold at Team Sky due to abnormal blood values. With Juan Sebastian Molano, there is a rider on the payroll who in 2019 was put aside for a few months by the UCI and his team with "abnormal physiological values".

It is impossible that Hirschi had to leave Team DSM for such a reason, because then the UCI would have communicated this. Doping abuse is ruled out from the outset, but it is precisely because the lips are kept tight together that there is a smell. A smell of a mouthful of rotten teeth. Oh yeah, the reason Hirschi only rode his first race for UAE Team Emirates at the end of March was due to a tooth problem, according to his team. We'll just believe it. "
 
They think they are super-professional, but in fact they are amateurs in many ways. Sending injured riders to races, in order not to pay any fines. Last year they did this to Van Wilder, but they've also done it in the past for example with van der Haar, who paid for it dearly, and had complications with his injury so that he lost most of his following season when he rode for another team. Completely messing up rider's schedules because they feel the need to suddenly (a week before a stagerace where a rider has been working toward) let another rider start "just because". And i get the distinct impression that they "keep riders in line" by playing mindgames. I think this is why they are reeling in very young supertalents (like Brenner, Leknessund, Van Wilder, Arensman...) in droves, expecting most of them will run away before long. I have never heard of another team where so many riders actively try to get away before their contract ends, and i doubt it's a coincidence. If you get multiple riders per season trying to get away, something is up.
 
S.K.Andersen was sent home from Paris-Nice after the TT for a disagreement between him and his team about his TIME TRIAL POSITION. he was told to leave the race and report at the team headquarters
he has a contract for 2022 too. but he wants to leave at the end of this season
Hindley already said he´ll leave, his contract ends this year
Almost as expected, it turned out to be a duck. SKA himself denies disciplinary reasons: EB.dk article in Danish
 
What I find weirdest about the whole thing is; don't they have a reputation as having a very "Don't change anything unecessarily" approach? And yet they were supposedly trying to force him to change his position unnecessarily? Sure, they changed bikes, but I don't think the differences between Cervélo bikes and Scott bikes are that big.

Also... this:

It's a good story, but there's nothing in it. It's not true. And everyone should be able to say to themselves that a team will of course not force a rider to ride in a position he does not like, says Søren Kragh Andersen.
 
Almost as expected, it turned out to be a duck. SKA himself denies disciplinary reasons: EB.dk article in Danish
Just because he denies the story, it doesn't mean that it isn't true. Neither him or the team would really benefit from confirming the story at this point. If there actually was an issue, it may also have been resolved now. And if it hasn't been, we'll probably hear more about it later on.

Not that I necessarily don't believe him, cause obviously there can be smoke without a fire, I just don't see it as a proof of anything.
 
Just because he denies the story, it doesn't mean that it isn't true. Neither him or the team would really benefit from confirming the story at this point. If there actually was an issue, it may also have been resolved now. And if it hasn't been, we'll probably hear more about it later on.

Not that I necessarily don't believe him, cause obviously there can be smoke without a fire, I just don't see it as a proof of anything.
I agree that it's wise to take statements with a grain of salt, but 1) I think SKA is pretty clear in his denial 2) I'm not sure I would put more truth value in one "unknown" source compared to one specific rider.
 
Sep 27, 2020
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Cool Thread!

Personally I hold it with the old Neil Diamond line, it's better to burn out than to fade away. So if I had to choose between riding for an OCD team but getting chances as a young gun or dwelling somewhere in the peloton and fetching bottles, hoping I get a chance to shine one day I'd sign up to DSM. After all, every rider dreams of winning stages, no one dreams of the latter lol.

I am not sure if I just buy into the Post-DSM burnout of riders as well. It could easily be turned around, saying that riders perform way above their capacities at DSM due to the OCD training, and fall into a slump of less training, less eagerness to perform, etc. pp. It is easy for anyone to blame their previous team for their current bad performances; after all, why would they blame their current team, the hand that feeds them.. or even, look at themselves to find the flaw. J

Kittel is also not a good example, imho. The guy was still on fire at Quick Step most of the time. Only after 2 years at Lefevre and joining the performance graveyard called Katusha, he completely collapsed. Don't think anyone would start calling Quick Step that they hinder the long term development of their riders post-QS, although Cavendish, Kittel, Uran Uran, Gaviria and many others have dropped significantly or in the case of Uran Uran, have a wildly volatile level of quality. Degenkolb - aside from the crash - also went to Trek, which is not exactly know for pushing their riders to the max, more famous for chill coffee rides and riders close to retirement.

Whilst some decisions like the Matthews pull out have been just odd and baffling, you can't really gain an advantage by always going the safe route, too. Maybe they have a different view on risk and reward, but given their small budget the success in the past decade is really amazing. The performances of Degenkolb, Kittel, WaWa, Dumoulin meanwhile all confirm that at the end of the day, DSM is at least doing a few things right even though some bad outcomes are the result of it.

Currently I hope that Bardet finally finds his legs at some point and could become a GT winner under DSM regime. I have also hopes for Marco Brenner, his result in Fleche hopefully foreshadows great things.
 
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I agree and think DSM get a lot of unnecessary bad press

The proof of the pudding is in the eating and DSM (Sunweb) have produced great results for such a small limiting budget and such young riders . Maybe their ethos is too regimented and prescriptive but it works

Of course when riders start wining and become names they want more freedom and more money ...but that is not DSM's fault

I am looking forward to see how Bardet goes with this new regime . Tour of the Alps was probably too early to get a good indication.
I am also looking forward to see how they do in the Tour and can they repeat their great 2020 results in that race
 

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