Re: Team Sky Discussion thread
Given that Sky obviously wanted to keep Landa and seemingly made him an offer then there must be quite a lot of spare budget available. With Rowe's injury potentially ruling him out of next year's classics I'd have liked to see them add a leader alongside Stannard and Moscon for the cobbles (maybe someone like Stybar).
Some of the extensions over the last couple of years will have taken up considerable resources (mainly Froome, Kwiatkowski, Poels and Thomas). They're still strong for the grand tours of course but Landa and Nieve leaving does leave a pretty big hole in the team. Of the riders left on the current roster Benat Intxausti has the highest placed grand tour finish (8th at the 2013 Giro) so there is basically no proven grand tour GC rider behind Froome.
8 man grand tour teams make all rounders even more valuable than they already were so I like the signing of Castroviejo. I'm interested to see how Moscon does at the Vuelta because he seemingly has the potential to develop into a tremendous all rounder for the grand tours. Tao Geoghegan Hart has impressed me this year. Very solid season for a first year pro and I think he'll definitely step up to ride a grand tour next year. I'd have liked to see Sebastian Henao take another step this year but I guess there's still plenty of time as he's just turned 24. I still find the Elissonde signing to be very odd. To be fair to him he's actually ridden pretty well outside of a poor Giro but I just don't see how he fits into a Sky grand tour line-up. He's not quite good enough a climber to be included on that basis alone and he obviously offers no versatility whatsoever outside of the climbs. Riders like Deignan and even Lopez are always going to be more useful across the three weeks.
Next year's projected team at the moment (some could well leave and others will probably join):
Team leader: Froome
Second tier leaders/super domestiques: Kwiatkowski, Thomas, Poels, Sergio Henao
Mountain domestiques: Rosa, Intxausti, Elissonde, Lopez, Deignan
Young climbers: Sebastian Henao, Geoghegan Hart (Bernal and Sivakov are strongly rumoured to have also joined)
Time trialists/all rounders: Castroviejo, Kiryienka, Moscon
Sprinters: Viviani, Van Poppel
Rouleurs/Cobbles: Stannard, Rowe, Puccio, Knees, Wisniowski, Golas, Dibben, Doull