Team Ineos Discussion thread

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Brailsford must know more than we do. He'll look silly if Carapaz doesn't have the legs. Or only has the legs in week one when (other) teams can easily control the race.

Could still be that Sivakov is the actual backup plan, but they're not hiding the fact that they're hoping that that guy delivers, either. I'm gonna go ahead and assume that Carapaz is their actual #2.
It doesn't really matter who the official #2 is for Ineos as the idea that anyone on the TdF team outside Bernal is a contender of Yellow is a complete fantasy
It's true, but I have never seen Sky/Ineos have a goal of maximizing their chances in three GTs. They, more than any other team, have coldly embodied the realization that the Tour is 90% of the attention and money in cycling, and have thrown everything at it since their inception essentially.

The only times I can remember them even moderately hyping a tilt at a GT other than the tour:

  • Wiggins Vuelta 2011 after he crashed out of the Tour and before they'd really won anything as a team
  • Wiggins Giro 2013 after he had won the Tour and wanted to go for the Giro for a lark, plus it was convenient to avoid the blatant obviousness of Froome being better
  • Porte in the Giro for a few years where he wasn't good enough to win the Tour, but wanted to lead and was good enough to get his own camper van
  • Thomas in the Giro for a couple of years before he had really done anything in GTs and needed a proving ground (which mostly proved he could crash out of races)
  • Froome in the Vuelta because he wanted to eventually complete the set but didn't want to gamble on doing a GT before the Tour without a 5 week window (several times)
  • Bernal in the Giro because they didn't want a leadership controversy (and then he broke his collarbone and they did anyway)
They never really hyped (or, at least in my perception) the GT attempts of the likes of Landa and Henao.

The whole 'Thomas and Froome can focus on the other GTs' is just saving face. They throw all their best power at the Tour, and Jumbo putting together a train that is better than theirs scares them. It doesn't matter if Carapaz wanted to peak for the Giro, they'd rather have him super-dom for Bernal and give Bernal a better chance at not being worked over by TJV than win the Giro with him. Carapaz, Sivakov, and even Castro and Kwiatko are showing better climbing form than Froome and Thomas, so they got picked. I think leadership of the other GTs is an afterthought, and if they choose to spin the focus on that, it is reverse engineering their motivation.
So much this.

Just look at the Sky teams in the 2018 and 2019 Vuelta's as well.
I have very strong feeling Carapaz will ride Giro. And I also believe Bernal will be in Vuelta, depending of course on the outcome of the Tour.
Yes, I'm thinking if all Carapaz does in the Tour is take some pulls ahead of Bernal on some climbs, he could be in shape to go to the Giro and contend. Not much to lose, because at worst he can ride for Thomas, assuming the latter is in better form. And i wouldn't be surprised to see Bernal in the Vuelta. If he doesn't win the Tour, or even podium, he will want to win something.
I don't disagree, but that's because most of the time, they haven't had two riders who were good enough to contend in both the Giro and the Tour (very few teams ever do)--except, as you note, when Wiggins rode the Giro, and even then, expectations were low. When both those GTs are in play, the strategy changes. When Froome rode the Giro in 2018, Sky knew that he was reducing his chances of winning the Tour that year, probably by more than not having Carapaz would hurt Bernal's chances this year--but they let him go for the double. If Thomas hadn't come out of nowhere, Froome's Giro would have cost Sky the TDF, but that was a gamble they evidently were willing to take.

Again, I don't disagree at all with this. Maybe Ineos felt they had to give each rider his own GT to save face completely.
Just to be clear, I don't disagree with what you were saying either. Just that the premise of 'could have maximized their chances in all 3 GTs' got me thinking, so I replied specifically to your post.

I am cognizant that they let Froome/he let himself go for the Giro only after he had won 4 tours, and on the year where there were 5 weeks between the two. They were transparent about that (which is much more than I can say for their communication about the context around Froome's participation in races in general at the time, but that's for another forum). So yeah, targeting other GTs have always been a grudging concession or proving ground rather than a 'risk it all' mentality. Which is part and parcel of why the team is both so successful and so hated.

I will quibble slightly with the assertion that expectations were low when Wiggins rode the Giro, at least on this forum. I vividly remember the months of moaning about how the Giro put so many TT kms in just to tailor it to Wiggins, and the talk leading up to it was 'how will anyone beat him' more than anything else. I was also subject to the whiplash of my own personal framework approaching the Giro developing from "Nibali is so exciting putting the Empire under pressure" to "God this Nibali win is anticlimactic" after Wiggins crashed out/gave up (a dissonance I also went through again in the exact same way the following year in the Tour).
Reactions: Red Rick
Even "give" is a big word here, as I do not believe Froome/Thomas will have sole leadership in Vuelta/Giro unless their shape takes monster leap in coming month. I have very strong feeling Carapaz will ride Giro. And I also believe Bernal will be in Vuelta, depending of course on the outcome of the Tour.
I'm sure I see Bernal in a video recently saying he's not sure of his rides after the Tour but would be happy to work for Froome at the Vuelta. Maybe a Tour/Vuelta double for Bernal then maybe go onto the Giro next year.
Bernal has previously said he wants to go for the Giro again and of course was targeting it last year until his shoulder injury.

It would not surprise me in the slightest to see Bernal heading to the Giro next year with perhaps Sivakov, Thomas and Carapaz going to the Tour (depending on condition/parcours)
Don't understand why you would pull Carapaz out of the Giro - Carapaz at the TDF is not going to be the difference whether or not Bernal wins the TDF - Carapaz should have stayed in the Giro and Froome and Thomas go to the Vuelta.
Aug 17, 2020
I’m a closet Sky/Ineos fan. I’ve always marveled how they just rode the peloton into the ground sucking energy out of the group. Its going to be a nice change of pace to see other teams attempt the same. I still think Bernal is the favorite but it’s a crazy year and who knows how they look in week 3. I’m thinking all the riders are struggling with conditioning and it might be the most interesting race of attrition ever seen.

As for Froome, he just couldn’t be selected. He looked terrible. The biggest surprise and disappointment is Thomas. He didn’t have an injury to deal with and what happened with him is puzzling. Has he just cashed it in?
They made the right decision. They could not make a dent in Jumbo's squad. they would be far away from ideal weight. Froome probably has not recovered from the injuries. Thomas on the other hand requires a structured training and nutrition approach guided by others. The pandemic threw that out of the window. I donot think without DB and team looking over his shoulder, he had the necessary motivation. They start the TDF as 2nd favorite.
Winning the Giro with Rohan Dennis seems like an Ineos move that would piss me off......
I don't think Dennis has the mental strength to stay composed for 3 weeks while fighting for the win. If he hadn't crashed the 2017 Giro would have been perfect for him to get inside the top 10 on the gc. That said, he has shown more than Thomas before he suddenly became a top climber in gts, so who knows.
Don't understand why you would pull Carapaz out of the Giro - Carapaz at the TDF is not going to be the difference whether or not Bernal wins the TDF - Carapaz should have stayed in the Giro and Froome and Thomas go to the Vuelta.
I'd agree that he may make little difference if Bernal wins the TDF because Egan will not win it. Re-watching Stage 2 of the Dauphine and noting Bernal's position it looked like he did have something wrong. He was laid out and looked totally stressed when the guys around him looked more comfortable at about 10km to go.
Carapaz may surprise us all as an opportunist. That feeling comes from zero knowledge on his form, though.