Teams & Riders The Bora - Hansgrohe team thread

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Jun 26, 2020
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They can't compete with the Slovenians and Bernal. My approach would be to go all-in GC wise for the Giro:

Buchmann, Kelderman, Hindley, Fabbro, Aleotti, Schelling, Pöstlberger und Haller.

I think this team could do some serious damage.

And then send Vlasov, Schachmann, Kämna, Politt + Bennett stage hunting at the Tour.
 
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Their roster is a mess. They're like a football team who sold their star player for a lot of money and instead of filling the void with 1-2 really great signings splashed it on multiple guys hoping to somehow strike gold.
I guess they will be happy, if Aldag is able to produce similar results, as he did with the messy roster of Bahrain this year. They went from 9 to 30 victories, with their to this point biggest name Mikel Landa having a terrible season.

Sure you can take the Sagan+Stuff money and invest it in 1-2 really great signings. But who are those signings? The biggest transfer of this period is Almeida going to UAE. They really wanted to sign him and he didn't want to join Bora. After that there are really no bigger names this year. They can't sit on this money for a year or two.
 
After 5 years they still have a PCT mindset without Peter the Great. No organisation, just throwing stuff at the wall
That's hugely exaggerated. So far they have been very ambitious and planned for long term success. This is the first season where I think "what is this?"

Honestly I don't really know why they weren't able to convince Almeida. Apparently it wasn't the money. Bora has very good material, better than UAE probably, so that can't have been a factor. Were UAE's personal connections to Almeida just too strong? Are they better in transfer talks? I mean, you could also ask what guys like Ackermann see in them, when he will have to fight for good races there, will very probably never go the Tour, probably won't have a great lead-out...
I would always try to not get involved with a team like UAE if I have other offers. In Hodeg's case my explanation is that for someone without big victories especially in the past years a 2 year contract at a reliable WT team where you even know some guys is a good thing, but Almeida... Bora could have built a very strong team around him and he would likely have been their number 1 in the Tour - while at UAE Pogacar will always have the first pick of GTs - when one of the reasons he left was that he wasn't okay with the Remco situation in the team.
So, maybe the best explanation is that Bora just wasn't willing to set everything up for Almeida. He's portuguese - and maybe Almeida feared to play second fiddle to a rider preferred for his nationality. Maybe, in the contract talks, Bora didn't show the same amount of trust in him that UAE did. I am also thinking of Marco Brenner who went to DSM instead... maybe Bora really isn't that good in these things, maybe they just failed - or maybe they are "too" honest.
Or maybe even the glitzery world of the UAE surroundings got to him, like it's reported that it has a big influence on young footballer's decisions where they go.
:grimacing: That's a lot of maybes.
 
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I would also send Buchmann to the Giro, but Bennett to the Vuelta. No train for anybody, just go for aggressive stage hunting.

Maybe something like this:

Giro
Buchmann with some helpers to the Giro,
Fabbro and Higuita partly as helpers, partly or if Buchmann's out of GC as stage hunters.

Tour
Kelderman and Vlasov as freelancer GC guys
Schachmann, Politt and Kämna as stage hunters

Vuelta
Bennett with a train as a focus.
I'd agree with the GC distribution but not with Bennett, he's a sprinter, he can do more than one GT and peak, they could easily send him to the Giro first week and then the Tour as well. And yeah, him being a top 3 sprinter in the world they'll definitely take him to the Tour.

I think they figured Sagan was an asset with diminishing returns. The results he was getting/will likely get in the future don't justify building a team around him, especially when they have other guys like Pollitt who can do as well or better at Roubaix, or Bennett who can win as many TdF stages.
Oh, don't get me wrong, they were 100% right to part ways with Sagan - I just don't agree what they used the money for.
I guess they will be happy, if Aldag is able to produce similar results, as he did with the messy roster of Bahrain this year. They went from 9 to 30 victories, with their to this point biggest name Mikel Landa having a terrible season.

Sure you can take the Sagan+Stuff money and invest it in 1-2 really great signings. But who are those signings? The biggest transfer of this period is Almeida going to UAE. They really wanted to sign him and he didn't want to join Bora. After that there are really no bigger names this year. They can't sit on this money for a year or two.
Yeah, I understand that the market wasn't fantastic but you can still structure your signings around a plan. Like I said, they got Bennett (great signing) but they don't back it up with a proper train, why not throw money at Morkov or other lead out guys (who I think are heavily underrated, teams often pay their sprinter millions but then invest nothing in their leadouts).
Second question, if you sign plenty of guys why not strengthen your Classics team? They were already kinda meh on that front now with Sagan leaving they have even less to show for. Schachmann and Politt - that's it I think(?). Instead the Hindley, Vlasov, Higuita signings only add numbers to the one department they were already strong: Second tier GC guys that can finish top 10.
Regarding Aldag, I'm a bit cautious, let's see.
 
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Yeah, I understand that the market wasn't fantastic but you can still structure your signings around a plan. Like I said, they got Bennett (great signing) but they don't back it up with a proper train, why not throw money at Morkov or other lead out guys (who I think are heavily underrated, teams often pay their sprinter millions but then invest nothing in their leadouts).
Second question, if you sign plenty of guys why not strengthen your Classics team? They were already kinda meh on that front now with Sagan leaving they have even less to show for. Schachmann and Politt - that's it I think(?). Instead the Hindley, Vlasov, Higuita signings only add numbers to the one department they were already strong: Second tier GC guys that can finish top 10.
Regarding Aldag, I'm a bit cautious, let's see.
Okay, now I get your point better. :)
 
I'd agree with the GC distribution but not with Bennett, he's a sprinter, he can do more than one GT and peak, they could easily send him to the Giro first week and then the Tour as well. And yeah, him being a top 3 sprinter in the world they'll definitely take him to the Tour.


Oh, don't get me wrong, they were 100% right to part ways with Sagan - I just don't agree what they used the money for.

Yeah, I understand that the market wasn't fantastic but you can still structure your signings around a plan. Like I said, they got Bennett (great signing) but they don't back it up with a proper train, why not throw money at Morkov or other lead out guys (who I think are heavily underrated, teams often pay their sprinter millions but then invest nothing in their leadouts).
Second question, if you sign plenty of guys why not strengthen your Classics team? They were already kinda meh on that front now with Sagan leaving they have even less to show for. Schachmann and Politt - that's it I think(?). Instead the Hindley, Vlasov, Higuita signings only add numbers to the one department they were already strong: Second tier GC guys that can finish top 10.
Regarding Aldag, I'm a bit cautious, let's see.
I'm pretty sure Aldag was not who made the difference at Bahrain, although I'd think he's a solid DS.

I don't know about Bennett - I mean, yeah, they are probably taking him, but I probably wouldn't. The competition in the sprints in the Tour will be quite stiff (Jakobsen, Ewan, Philipsen, van Aert I presume, who will all have a good lead-out or, in van Aert's case, are very good at positioning), they don't have a great lead-out for him but for a sprinter you need several guys.
 
They can't compete with the Slovenians and Bernal. My approach would be to go all-in GC wise for the Giro:

Buchmann, Kelderman, Hindley, Fabbro, Aleotti, Schelling, Pöstlberger und Haller.

I think this team could do some serious damage.

And then send Vlasov, Schachmann, Kämna, Politt + Bennett stage hunting at the Tour.
It´s a german team, so I think they will switch Buchmann with Vlasov, but otherwise I agree. At the tour their numbers wouldn´t help. Pogacar and Roglic are just too strong.

But at the giro they could perhaps use a very strong line-up to reach a podium placing in the end.
 
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GIRO: Buchmann, Hindley, Fabbro, Aleotti, Zwiehoff, Benedetti, Meeus, Koch

TOUR: Wilco, Vlasov, Schachmann, Politt, Bennett, Haller, Van Poppel, Schelling/Kämna/Konrad/Higuita

I can't see them getting Buchmann to do the Tour with all its pressure after two lost years. So he'll do the Giro even if weather is a problem there. Hindley, depending on shape, can either assisst him, be a 2nd leader or go stage hunt. Fabbro, Aleotti and Zwiehoff will provide excellent support in the mountains while able to go for stages as well. Benedetti and Koch are really allround and can provide help wherever needed and especially for Meeus who can score nice placings without too much support in sprints. I could also see Walls instead of Meeus (because I think he has a better ceiling and can contest sprints almost in his own due to his track background and wheel surfing abilities) but maybe they won't give the Giro to him as 1st GT.

At the Tour things get complicated. My guess is that Bennett will have an actual agreement with the team to do it. Otherwise he wouldn't have come back. So this means he'll also bring support. Can't see Mullen/Archbold at Tour level so Haller and Van Poppeln will have to do. They can get further assistance from Politt who will probs stage hunt again and do support jobs where he can. Same for Schachmann. He'll also guaranteed be there. Both because he'll want to do the Tour in best possible shape finally and because the team needs him there for media reasons after this years Tokyo induced absence. GC will be similar to this year, as they'll probably don't send a dedicated squad but trust Wilco to do his thing again and provide Vlasov with a similar role to either be Wilcos back-up or be there when Wilco crashes etc. The Tour just suits those two far better than Buchmann/Hindley. This all leaves one spot in the team which will be hard fought about and see some good riders be left out. Depends a bit on what Bora want to prioritize and shape of the riders. More GC support and mountain breaks? Send Konrad/Higuita. More support for Bennett and transition stages? Schelling. And then there is Kämna who would probably a lock if both his physical condition and head space allow. But who knows how long it'll take him to get to TDF level again after this long without real racing. And who knows if he wants to do the Tour again so soon after.

These selections would leave space for some GC action at the Vuela (Großschartner + who wants to double up) plus some sprinter with support there too (Bennett or Walls/Meeus + Laas/Gamper/Mullen) and then some climbing domestiques like Palzer + whoever gets left out of the TDF squad.
 
Yeah, I understand that the market wasn't fantastic but you can still structure your signings around a plan. Like I said, they got Bennett (great signing) but they don't back it up with a proper train, why not throw money at Morkov or other lead out guys (who I think are heavily underrated, teams often pay their sprinter millions but then invest nothing in their leadouts).
They've signed Van Poppel, Haller, Archbold, Koch and Mullen who all could be used for lead out with good effects. The problem with "why not throw money at Morkov" is assuming that Morkov would've wanted to move teams which there's no indication of, and secondly Morkov will be 37 next year and it's just not very wise to throw big money at such old riders who could stop performing at their former level any time due to age.

Second question, if you sign plenty of guys why not strengthen your Classics team?
Strenghthen classics team with whom exactly? There have barely been any top classics riders on the market this year. They've good a very solid signing in Haller- who else moved teams this year? Moscon? Bad rep for repeated unsportsmanlike behaviour. Kristoff? Probably not a good return for the money at this point of his career. And then? I fail to see anyone who could make a difference.

It's easy to say "they should have signed such and such riders" but it's just empy talk without telling which actual riders who were on the market should that be.
 
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I'm pretty sure Aldag was not who made the difference at Bahrain, although I'd think he's a solid DS.

I don't know about Bennett - I mean, yeah, they are probably taking him, but I probably wouldn't. The competition in the sprints in the Tour will be quite stiff (Jakobsen, Ewan, Philipsen, van Aert I presume, who will all have a good lead-out or, in van Aert's case, are very good at positioning), they don't have a great lead-out for him but for a sprinter you need several guys.
Bora have won GT stages with Bennett before, and against a better leadout, so I think they know what they're doing with him. As said above, I doubt Bennett would have agreed to move back to Bora without a guarantee of riding the Tour. It's why he left them in the first place. He has beaten all of the above in bunch sprints, both riding with Quickstep and Bora, and with/without the best leadout. Ultimately, he is their most likely source of a stage win; yes, most of their climbers/classics riders can win stages, but percentages-wise, Bennett with a half-decent leadout is a more reliable bet than Wilco/Buchmann/Hindley from the GC group/Konrad/Higuita from the break.

Also, the green jersey is a more open competition now than it was before Sagan signed for Bora. Bennett is one of the riders in with a very good chance for it. With the best will in the world, no other rider on the Bora squad is going to be wearing a jersey into Paris (maybe Wilco will be runner-up to Pogacar for KOM... that's about it...)
 
Giro: Vlasov, Hindley, Higuita, Fabbro, Aleotti, Meeus/Walls, Schelling, Koch

Tour: Bennett, Buchmann, Schachmann, Kelderman, Konrad, Van Poppel, Archbold, Politt

Vuelta: Kamna, Grossschartner, Zwiehoff, Meeus/Walls, Laas, Postlberger + 2 guys who have already ridden a GT like Vlasov, Hindley again or something.

Spots are not easy to obtain in this team anymore no. But all in all I see enough room for all of their bigger names to get space in at least one GT. And on the plus side, if one of those guys manages to challenge for a podium (which is definitely possible for me in the Giro at least) those guys will immediately have a very strong team.
 
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At least they have done something different than most other teams.

Many riders that can add one win or two during a season. Is that not what matters in the end.
As long as they actually go and get those wins… They can do it Quickstep-style; they have the personnel to win stages and (some) classics on all terrains, but riders will have to sometimes be willing to work for others.
 
Sure you can take the Sagan+Stuff money and invest it in 1-2 really great signings. But who are those signings? The biggest transfer of this period is Almeida going to UAE. They really wanted to sign him and he didn't want to join Bora. After that there are really no bigger names this year. They can't sit on this money for a year or two.
Exactly: they had their one big star leaving, consequently a lot of money to spend, no way of sitting on the cash and only two star riders on the market, Almeida and Bennett. They tried to spend the bulk of the Sagan money on those two which was the most sensible thing to do. But they only land one and as a result had a lot of money to spend and limited options to spend it on.

You could argue that they should have spent it in a more structured way, on support for their leaders, but part of the issue is that they have good depth without having any top leaders. Who would they bringing in a support squad for? Only Bennett is at the pinnacle of his sub discipline and they have brought in some big lumps with big horsepower to support him. Rather than bringing in support riders for top 10 type riders, they’ve brought in more top 10 type riders. Maybe that means everyone gets in each other’s way and sulks, but potentially it allows for DQS style riding and it also means that they have more guys who could reasonably improve from top 10 to top tier.
 
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