Teams & Riders The Bora - Hansgrohe team thread

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I would say BORA's criticised transfer policy has not worked out too bad thus far.
Yes the highlights of the season did come from actual transfers (Higuita, Vlasov, Hindley) or Kämna, who feels like a transfer after missing almost a year.

They badly needed such a victory. Higuita is really quite better than in the last years with EF. That was a really strong performance against guys from the second row of GC contenders. This incredible raid yesterday and today not one sign of weakness.

The rest of the team is really weak as of right now (injuries, slow form build up, sickness). The classics team ist totally done for. Koch 22nd today, Haller 50th at MSR - no chance to something at the Ronde and Roubaix. All their sprinters are also totally out of form. Bennett seems to be miles away from the top sprinter he once was. Some of the more promising riders like Schelling, Fabbro and Aleotti are nowhere right now. It's not communicated who is/was sick and races through some bad legs, but all in all the situation right now ist pretty bleak in my eyes (of course just for some of the upcoming main goals of the season, long-term is another thing). Maybe they get a change of heart when it comes to their set-up for the Ardennes, the Giro and the Tour. Vlasov isn't able to go with the Top Guys for GC and my faith in Bennett/Schachmann is very low atm. For the Giro they have their strong climbers squad who maybe doesn't feature their strong climbers at all. Kelderman and Buchmann were a disappointment so far. I'm not sure Fabbro and Aleotti are deserving of a GT spot and if that's because of sickness the build up to the giro is very short to fix that.

Higuita for the Vuelta was a good plan, but maybe they should consider including him into the Giro. Also Palzer and Wandahl should get a look as support rider. They lack GT experience and maybe the Giro is then a bridge too far, but they are having a fine season. The next race for Higuita is Itzulia. Bora is there with a line-up that reads like a pretty good Team (but not yet confirmed). Higuita, Vlasov, Buchmann, Palzer, Wandahl, Kämna, Grossschartner (out with collarbone, so the list will be updated in the future). If Higuita goes toe to toe with Roglic, Evenepoel and Matrinez he would give Aldag certainly something to think about. Especially if he continues to outclass the GC Guys in his own team. Even Hindley didn't had this kind of performance this year. He raced very well but more in a clear support role. The 5 spot at T-A is nice but he wasn't really ion contention there like Vlasov and Higuita are on WT-Level.
 
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I think the plan with Higuita for the Vuelta is great for now. It is the GT that should suit him best and if gives him the chance to focus on the Ardennes for now. Also I think that staying in form from Catalunya-Basque-Ardennes and then Giro on top of that is just too much to expect.

Following the Adam Yates 2021 program was the best call Bora could have made with Higuita for this year.
 
Higuita is saving their season after Vlasov form fell off. He is a great rider, and kind of like Masnada in that his results the last 2 years don't match his talent.

He said back in 2019 he wants to be the next Bala, but he showed on Saturday a courage that Valverde hardly showed in 2 decades
 
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I think really most of the riders are out of form because of sickness. Aleotti and Schachmann definately had COVID. Schachmann got really sick again during Paris-Nice. I don't know whats wrong with Schelling. Politt got really sick at Algavre and never got back in form. Bennett is just out of form and I am not so confident for him at the moment. Haller, Uijtrebroeks and Zwiehoff also got COVID. There was one statemnent from Denk that around 19 riders where sick or injured two weeks ago.
The new riders are really saving Bora at the moment. Uijtrebroeks looks really strong, too, despite his COVID infection a few weeks ago.

Schachmann prabably can forget the Ardennes classics. Same for Politt and the flanders Classics. I am confident that they come back strong this year.

But its not only Bora. A lot of teams have problems, too.
 
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I don’t think we can judge their signings yet against the reasons they were bought to challenge for hilly classics wins and Grand Tour podiums and ideally wins as this portion of the season has barely begun.

Vlasov and Higuita have performed well but not hugely surprising that they could make another step to win some of these 4-8 day stage races in good company.
 
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Getting Bennett off the mark should improve things there, sprinting being a confidence game and all.
Yup.

Good riders like Schachmann, Aleotti and Hindley might chip in with a couple of wins before the season is over.

Meuss and Walls not done much so far this season, could win in some minor races and weaker fields.

There is probably a good chance that some riders may win a couple of nationals too.
 
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The fewer "-manns" on Bora, the better they seem to do. I think they're down to KelderMAN, BuchMANN and SchachtMANN, right? (Didn't they have more at one point? Maybe just seemed that way...)

Actually, if you think about all the stürm und drang over Sagan, in hindsight, they really did the right thing, as painful as it may have seemed from the outside. Somebody at Bora figured out 18 months ago or whenever that Sagan's decline was either permanent or not going to be reversed at Bora, and made the decision to jettison their No. 1 rider in terms of star power before they were stuck with an expensive, long-term contract for a rider who can't deliver anything except forum chatter...so sometimes, I think, we don't give upper-level management enough credit.

And then going after Vlasov and Higuita -- both huge in terms of talent/potential if not results -- is a gamble that seems to have paid off, too.

True, there are still a few big question marks (Buchmann/Hindley/Kamna/Politt -- maybe enigmas is a better word?), but what team doesn't have that at any given time?
 
Any news about Kelderman's shape before the Giro?
He has only raced once since Milano-Torino (I guess they really didn't know that the route got changed...) and that was a DNS at LBL. Buchmann has also had his share of problems, so atm Hindley actually looks like their best bet for the gc at the Giro.
 
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Any news about Kelderman's shape before the Giro?
He has only raced once since Milano-Torino (I guess they really didn't know that the route got changed...) and that was a DNS at LBL. Buchmann has also had his share of problems, so atm Hindley actually looks like their best bet for the gc at the Giro.
Hindley appears to be in good shape - He could get a position between 5th and 8th.
 
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Any news about Kelderman's shape before the Giro?
He has only raced once since Milano-Torino (I guess they really didn't know that the route got changed...) and that was a DNS at LBL. Buchmann has also had his share of problems, so atm Hindley actually looks like their best bet for the gc at the Giro.

No, Hindley got really sick before LBL, his shape is a big question mark.
Kelderman should be ok, even if he had to miss some practice time after his crash.

Buchmann was sick after Itzulia and they had to delay his altitude camp, they hope now that he manage his losses in the first two weeks because there is a good chance he will be in good shape in the third week.
 
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There are huge questionmarks behind the three (co-) leaders in my opinion. I could actually see them going for stages pretty fast after a few days, I suppose at least Kämna to win a stage a or two, he seems to really have perfected his skills in that matter.

Now just a few days before the start in Budapest I can‘t see a top 8 finish in GC for one of the leaders, neither for Kelderman nor for Hindley - and especially not for Buchmann. But we all know a GT has its own magic and some unexpected things will be happening…
I guess we‘ll get to know Bora‘s state in terms of GC during the first week.

I can see them snatching a few victories though, not only by Kämna… especially if GC isn‘t a hot topic anymore after week one
 
How are they playing their cards now tactitcally wise? I would have guessed that they keep their powder dry until the last week, but do they try to create or press an advantage on stage 7 or 9? From the teams I had in mind as top forces at this giro one already fell apart (Astana) and one looked not nearly as strong as i thought (Ineos).

It's still early in the race but it seems like Ineos wants/has to be the dominant team here and control breaks even without pink. I think taking on some of that burden would be unswise for Bora because there's absolutely no need to, but in my eyes they could:

1. sneak Kämna (again), Hindley or Buchmann in the stage 7 break in the anticipation that it will be complete carnage out there with so many strong riders that want to join the break (Martin, Foss, Nibali, Mollema, Cort, Tesfatsion, van de Poel, everyone of EOLO, Ag2r and Wanty-> probably half the peleton plans on joining the break) that the break gets through again.

2. Keep their troops together on stage 7 but test if they can get rid of Lopez to get Kämna into Pink for one day. Unlikely because of Lopez climbing performance and his relatively good team, but stage 7 is really a different beast than today.

3, Let Kämna loose time in stage 7, so that he can go into the breakaway on the 9th stage to at least be in the competition for the mountain classification or possibly another stage win if the other teams let the break go again.

4. Hope to get an uneventful stage 7 and then try to attack on Blockhaus using Kämna to get rid of most of the domestiques for the other GC teams so that they have a 3 to 2 or 3 to 1 advantage.

5. Basically the same, but they go all-in for Kelderman with setting up a train approach with even Buchmann and Hindley included.

6. As mentioned above stay in the wheels as good as possible and wait for the last 8 stages wit 3 or 4 guys in the Top 20. Maybe get Aleotti or Zwiehoff in the break so that they can have a little bit fun on their own and maybe get a Top 5/ Top 3 result in a break stage.

So it will be Option 6, but it would be so fun if a team with multiple options (Bora/Bahrain/DSM) would yolo stage 7 and partner with some of the more obvious candidates (Jumbo, Wanty, Astana) to try break Ineos and BikeExchange with an start to finish mountain raid. Stage 7 could be the stage of the race or a total borefest with the break winning by 6 minutes with someone like Rota or Perez winning it.

In a season preview podcast Aldag said that they have to do an attacking approach with multiple options if they want to have a chance at winning a GT. I don't really see it happening (yet) and they honestly don't have to if the form on the guys is real and they don't crash out it is probably better to wait until the domestiques are more tired and some other riders are dropped out of GC contention.
 
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How are they playing their cards now tactitcally wise? I would have guessed that they keep their powder dry until the last week, but do they try to create or press an advantage on stage 7 or 9? From the teams I had in mind as top forces at this giro one already fell apart (Astana) and one looked not nearly as strong as i thought (Ineos).

It's still early in the race but it seems like Ineos wants/has to be the dominant team here and control breaks even without pink. I think taking on some of that burden would be unswise for Bora because there's absolutely no need to, but in my eyes they could:

1. sneak Kämna (again), Hindley or Buchmann in the stage 7 break in the anticipation that it will be complete carnage out there with so many strong riders that want to join the break (Martin, Foss, Nibali, Mollema, Cort, Tesfatsion, van de Poel, everyone of EOLO, Ag2r and Wanty-> probably half the peleton plans on joining the break) that the break gets through again.

2. Keep their troops together on stage 7 but test if they can get rid of Lopez to get Kämna into Pink for one day. Unlikely because of Lopez climbing performance and his relatively good team, but stage 7 is really a different beast than today.

3, Let Kämna loose time in stage 7, so that he can go into the breakaway on the 9th stage to at least be in the competition for the mountain classification or possibly another stage win if the other teams let the break go again.

4. Hope to get an uneventful stage 7 and then try to attack on Blockhaus using Kämna to get rid of most of the domestiques for the other GC teams so that they have a 3 to 2 or 3 to 1 advantage.

5. Basically the same, but they go all-in for Kelderman with setting up a train approach with even Buchmann and Hindley included.

6. As mentioned above stay in the wheels as good as possible and wait for the last 8 stages wit 3 or 4 guys in the Top 20. Maybe get Aleotti or Zwiehoff in the break so that they can have a little bit fun on their own and maybe get a Top 5/ Top 3 result in a break stage.

So it will be Option 6, but it would be so fun if a team with multiple options (Bora/Bahrain/DSM) would yolo stage 7 and partner with some of the more obvious candidates (Jumbo, Wanty, Astana) to try break Ineos and BikeExchange with an start to finish mountain raid. Stage 7 could be the stage of the race or a total borefest with the break winning by 6 minutes with someone like Rota or Perez winning it.

In a season preview podcast Aldag said that they have to do an attacking approach with multiple options if they want to have a chance at winning a GT. I don't really see it happening (yet) and they honestly don't have to if the form on the guys is real and they don't crash out it is probably better to wait until the domestiques are more tired and some other riders are dropped out of GC contention.
It's going to be option 6. With all their leaders having some issues going into the Giro, they can be really happy after four stages.
Maybe they try something with Kämna or Hindley on stage 7, but I think Kelderman and Buchmann will wait for week 3.

Like I already wrote in the stage-thread: watch out for Buchmann in week 3 if was already able to attack on stage 4.
 

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