Team Sunweb thread

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I did not believe that they would succeed this tour but they have done really good in all the stages that are suited to them albeit with lesser known riders. They have a plan and they have intelligently and tactically put their resources to it. Thay know how to develop riders considering that Kittel, Degenkolb and Dumoulin are their products with GC stages, Monuments and GTs in their palmares. I hope that they continue to develop good talent even though they may not hold them.
 
They have nicely developed a number of young riders (Dumoulin, Degenkolb, Hirschi, etc), most of whom were very good to begin with, but they have done a terrible job with some others, leading Kamna, Olivier and Kanter to burn out, Kelderman and Oomen to completely stall (ok, these 2 have had their own issues but still), and Barguil to leave in bad terms, so it's pretty clear their approach is not for everyone.

In the past 3 years they have been signing a gazillion good prospects from the u23 ranks so it's not surprising a few of them will become good riders, or even elite riders.
 
In the past 3 years they have been signing a gazillion good prospects from the u23 ranks so it's not surprising a few of them will become good riders, or even elite riders.
Ok, but there must be a reason why all these guys sign with them in the first place.

I mean Hirschi for example, I'm a terrible scout, but signing the U23 world champion is kind of a no-brainer, surely he must have had other options.
 
Ok, but there must be a reason why all these guys sign with them in the first place.

I mean Hirschi for example, I'm a terrible scout, but signing the U23 world champion is kind of a no-brainer, surely he must have had other options.
I can imagine them having elaborated, detailed plans for the youngsters. "This is what we do to adress this topic, this for that, at this and this point". They are probably considering a lot of small things and their schedule for the future of these prospects will be ambitious and clearly led out. That might appeal to young, ambitious riders. And in other teams it might be more like "yeah, we have this plan here for you, but it will take its time, you will learn, you will grow into the role..."
Well, my mind just makes this up, but it looked like the logical explanation from what I heard.
 
The persistent rumour is that Sunweb is a very hands-on, controlled environment for rider development. That appeals to young riders learning how to find their steps as a pro, and is less useful for riders with several years' experience who know how their body reacts and how to get the best out of themselves, and might not mesh with the stricter attitudes of the team.
 
In addition, it's what for instance Brenner, I think, said: They have a lot of young riders, and someone at the age of 18 might feel more comfortable among others in their early twenties than among guys 10 or 15 years older, married, with kids. I sometimes forget that myself, but I remember how at 16 I was like "what, you're with a 24year old? He could practically be your granddad." And at 21 I felt so old among 18 year olds..." :D At that age, I guess, that can really mean something.
 
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In addition, it's what for instance Brenner, I think, said: They have a lot of young riders, and someone at the age of 18 might feel more comfortable among others in their early twenties than among guys 10 or 15 years older, married, with kids. I sometimes forget that myself, but I remember how at 16 I was like "what, you're with a 24year old? He could practically be your granddad." And at 21 I felt so old among 18 year olds..." :D At that age, I guess, that can really mean something.
Plottwist, they actually are Rebellins grandkids
 
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Do you think that Sunweb woud've won 3 or more TdF stages had they taken Matthews to the race? I find it an interesting point to discuss considering how much criticism they've received for leaving Matthews but how well they've done without him. It's not out of the question they would've won less if they tried to ride for Matthews on those intermediate stages.
 
Classy sponsor for the team of the year 2020 (arguably).

How many (outside NL) know that DSM stands (stood) for Dutch State Mines? Fabulous corporate transformation. I went to visit them at their head office years ago, flew to Maastricht from Gatwick and the Virgin Airlines pilot let us into the cockpit for what seemed like an age, as there were only about ten people on a 200 seater. Brilliant views down ....

we didn’t win the work ... Great trip though.
 
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Yeah, it is strict but if you want to make it at a professional level you need to apply yourself. Some things can of course be argued about if it really is necessary. There are always things you can improve as this actually mentioned too, when it it came to the Tour. They had changed the approach there.

Things like study the route to prepare is just smart a thing to do. I thought most riders did that anyway for important races. At least the ones that want to make results. If you go in as a leader on the team and you dont know the race (Omloop or KBK) and the key moments it is pretty bad if you "forget", or just dont do it. I mean if I forget or dont do some of my tasks at work and whats expected of me, my boss would probably not be okay with that. If I dont follow company rules I would probably not be working there anymore. Maybe willingly if I hate it.

Maybe someone like Michael Matthews, an Australian, doesnt fare well with the "german approach" or Tom D. as another example. Who comes of a bit arrogant. A diva.

Sounds to me they have just put responsibilities and expectations for their staff and riders as their employer. An established way of working. Everybody is valued the same in the workplace. Of course it dont suit everybody, but they can change teams then in this case or be let go off. I think we all have had co-workers like that, that have end up being fired or left for another job when needing a change.
 
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It does not appear like they have simply clear rules and expect riders to be professionals - of course that's what could be expected and is sensible. If all these things are true they come off as controlling, because it's not just preparation they want, but a preparation in exactly the way the riders are told without any room for the athletes to find their own ways.
I always find it hard to compare pro sport to another normal day job (behaviour on instagram was another topic like that) because the conditions are different. The riders don't go home and can do whatever they like in their free time. (And actually most of them are not even real employees, they are self-employed.) What they eat, how they sleep, all of this can be regarded as a direct part of their job, but it's also their very personal life and body. Their job is practically 24/7 and therefor private/job is not easily distinguished. If you control them all the time that does probably not help the mental side. Also, riders, in my opinion, should be able to develop a sense of their own for their body and its recquirements, what they need, what works best for them. In the longer run that seems important.
But of course if a rider knows what it's going to be like and agrees he can be expected to follow the rules. After all most riders at DSM are good enough to find a contract elsewhere.
 
I will continue to play devils advocate for fun.

Yeah, but if you have a coach or trainer and establish a plan for your training e.g. and you dont follow it I wouldnt use the word "controlling" in regards to that. I would also think individual plans are made for every rider with their input taken into account. I dont think they straight up get told what do and if you dont do it, you can go. And some things they might get told what do, that goes for everyone, but that is just normal things any employer can do. No matter what "job". Every company or organisation has a "code of conduct" so to speak.

I would say they seem to monitor and follow up on their riders . If they have model or method, way of working, that they believe in and that they get results with. Then why not do it? If some riders dont want do it or wants to have more freedom and decide how/when/where to train e.g. Make their own preparations. Be their own coach in a way, then so be it. Some may need that to get the best out of them and some may prefer having a coach to handle the training. A schedule. Routines and so on. If they have problem with something they surely are able to raise that. I do that at my job and I get told yes sometimes, and no sometimes. Depending on what it is, and thats just the way it is. Everyone can get angry and sometimes it is better to just shut up.

How the hierarchy and organisation is set-up can be very different. A lot of companies offer more freedom to their employees. Make up their own hours etc. Just get the job done, results. While others are more hands-on to make sure the job gets done and that results are met.

I also agree that being a professional athlete is probably a 24/7 kind of job but thats also the sacrifice being made. It becomes their life style. Sleep and nutrition becomes a part of the job/the daily life style.

I dont think a team controls their personal life or what they can do in their free time. Activities they can do with their families and so on. That would be controlling! I dont think they have much insight or rules for things do at home, thats not related to "work". That is an exaggeration. The riders probably know what to do and not do anyway. Common sense. If they go out partying or eat pizza after every training ride, they probably wont be professional very long.
 
Of course that approach isn't gonna suit everyone. It's not gonna suit a guy like Lachlan Morton, who likes to go on adventure rides spanning the length or width of various countries, or guys like De Gendt and Wellens, with their "last breakaways". However, some people need to be in a very focused environment.

And I'm pretty sure the riders are allowed to do things of their own chosing in their free time; Asbjørn Kragh - for example - likes going hunting, and then he puts the kill in Asgreen's freezer, scaring Asgreen's girlfriend (Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin, if you're wondering) half to death, like... you do...
 
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And I'm pretty sure the riders are allowed to do things of their own chosing in their free time; Asbjørn Kragh - for example - likes going hunting, and then he puts the kill in Asgreen's freezer, scaring Asgreen's girlfriend half to death, like... you do...
*Scaring Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin (she has a name you know :p)


I don't know whether Sunweb's rules and/or approach has changed over time, otherwise Matthews should surely have been aware of them at the beginning of 2020 afther three years on the team, and possibly also when he decided to sign with them in the first place.
Their relationship might also have grown strained during their four years together, so one or both parties could have been looking for a way out regardless of the spring occurrences.
 
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