Teams & Riders The Great Big Transfers and Rumours Thread

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Oct 14, 2021
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I am not a huge fan of either the Wellens or Großschartner moves but at least both show that UAE is trying. You can't have a generational talent like Pog, lose the Tour the way they did and pretend like everything is fine. These moves at least acknowledge a desire to improve. In theory Wellens helps on the hills and smaller mountains, the kinds of stages the Tour seems to be moving towards. Großschartner helps in the mountains which in theory they don't need help but as the 2022 Tour shows, you can never be strong enough in the mountains.

They're still in deep trouble if there is a TTT but again, at least UAE is showing some effort to compete with Jumbo and that Jonas machine we witnessed in the 22 Tour. I think this also shows a belief that Pog can put time on Jonas in the mountains. That happened in 21, it didn't happen in 22.

We shall see, interesting moves for sure.
 
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I am not a huge fan of either the Wellens or Großschartner moves but at least both show that UAE is trying. You can't have a generational talent like Pog, lose the Tour the way they did and pretend like everything is fine. These moves at least acknowledge a desire to improve.
I don't really see it that way. In what way Wellens or Grossschartner bring any new quality to the team that alread has Almeida, Ayuso, Hirschi, Covi, Ulissi, McNulty, Majka, Bennett, Soler and so on. At best they're just copies of riders that are already on the team if not worse versions of them. It doesn't seem like trying very hard to me, especially for a team with such a huge budget.
 
I don't really see it that way. In what way Wellens or Grossschartner bring any new quality to the team that alread has Almeida, Ayuso, Hirschi, Covi, Ulissi, McNulty, Majka, Bennett, Soler and so on. At best they're just copies of riders that are already on the team if not worse versions of them. It doesn't seem like trying very hard to me, especially for a team with such a huge budget.
But how should they get their fingers on Vna Aert?

Because is he not the only rider that would make people like you happy?
 
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Because is he not the only rider that would make people like you happy?
Why the need for such absurd misrepresentation of other's people opinions? Seriously, it's disgusting to see people trying to summarise your point as one absurd statement that's not even remotely close to anything you've written.

It's been brought up many times already that the type of rider UAE is lacking the most are the rouleurs and spring classics specialists. Van Aert is not the only capable such rider in the peloton. Netserk above mentioned some good examples of riders that would actually make UAE's potential TdF selection stronger, but that list is not exhaustive. Versatile riders like Kwiatowski or even elite climbing domestiques like Kuss or Martinez (just examples, don't shout that they have a contract for 2023) or some u-23 revelations are also not the type of signing I would mock them for lack of trying if they actually made them.

The last thing they need, in my opinion, is another hilly terrain specialist like Wellens. Luckily Rui Costa is leaving so they'll only have 10 of them instead of 11. Grossschartner will not make the TdF selection if he's anywhere near his 2022 level so not exactly a signing I would say is likely to help Pogacar not to lose another TdF. Doesn't mean he is a bad signing, just not the one I would describe in the same way as the poster whose opinion I quoted.
 
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Trentin is basically the guy described above here but he has missed out on TdF twice because of very late inury/sickness. Hirschi also lots of bad luck at TdF with twice a crash which basically ended his race.

Since 2020 they have signed Trentin, Hirschi, Majka, Soler, Bennett. I also like the Wellens signing as a guy for both the flat and hilly terrain though. And also perfect partner for Pogacar to create havoc in bad weather.

Grosschartner I doubt will make their Tour team but can be usefull for il Giro.
 
Why the need for such absurd misrepresentation of other's people opinions? Seriously, it's disgusting to see people trying to summarise your point as one absurd statement that's not even remotely close to anything you've written.

It's been brought up many times already that the type of rider UAE is lacking the most are the rouleurs and spring classics specialists. Van Aert is not the only capable such rider in the peloton. Netserk above mentioned some good examples of riders that would actually make UAE's potential TdF selection stronger, but that list is not exhaustive. Versatile riders like Kwiatowski or even elite climbing domestiques like Kuss or Martinez (just examples, don't shout that they have a contract for 2023) or some u-23 revelations are also not the type of signing I would mock them for lack of trying if they actually made them.

The last thing they need, in my opinion, is another hilly terrain specialist like Wellens. Luckily Rui Costa is leaving so they'll only have 10 of them instead of 11. Grossschartner will not make the TdF selection if he's anywhere near his 2022 level so not exactly a signing I would say is likely to help Pogacar not to lose another TdF. Doesn't mean he is a bad signing, just not the one I would describe in the same way as the poster whose opinion I quoted.
There are not many better rouleurs than Wellens, that was why I was snarky. Because he is apparently not good enough.
 
I'm not sure why everyone thinks the Wellens transfer is definitely a bad one tbh. He's a good rouleur and more importantly he knows how to be in front of a bunch, he knows how to place himself and others in the right spot at the right time. UAE misses riders like that, pogacar needs to make his way to the front alone every single time. That hurts even if the guy makes it look easy. Wellens will be able to do his thing in some flemish classics and be a superdom in the hilly classics for Pogacar. And yes they've spoken about the Tour team. He would be an asset in the first week definitely, probably not in the mountains but he'll be usefull.

Grosschartner is also not a bad one. I hoped he would go to a team where he could finally do his thing but hey I don't shiit on people who think about their bank account.
 
I don't really see it that way. In what way Wellens or Grossschartner bring any new quality to the team that alread has Almeida, Ayuso, Hirschi, Covi, Ulissi, McNulty, Majka, Bennett, Soler and so on. At best they're just copies of riders that are already on the team if not worse versions of them. It doesn't seem like trying very hard to me, especially for a team with such a huge budget.
The only sort of climber UAE lacks is a top class domestique like Porte/Poels/Kuss who can outclimb just about anyone on their day. I suppose Almeida could become that guy if he's not careful and Ayuso continues to develop at his current rate.

You'd think a rider with a big engine for the flatlands and the experience be able to reign Pogacar in at times would be their no.1 priority, but who knows what UAE are thinking. Perhaps Wellens can partly fill that role, but if recent form is anything to go on he'll be a great replacement for Trentin instead.
 
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I'm not sure why everyone thinks the Wellens transfer is definitely a bad one tbh. He's a good rouleur and more importantly he knows how to be in front of a bunch, he knows how to place himself and others in the right spot at the right time. UAE misses riders like that, pogacar needs to make his way to the front alone every single time. That hurts even if the guy makes it look easy. Wellens will be able to do his thing in some flemish classics and be a superdom in the hilly classics for Pogacar. And yes they've spoken about the Tour team. He would be an asset in the first week definitely, probably not in the mountains but he'll be usefull.

Grosschartner is also not a bad one. I hoped he would go to a team where he could finally do his thing but hey I don't shiit on people who think about their bank account.
I think the main issue is that UAE already have plenty of riders like Grosschartner in the not bad category. Having a lot of them doesn't collectively add up to anything.
 
Van Baarle, Bettiol, Kragh, Küng, Tratnik etc. would fit the bill better.
Definitely these sorts of riders. Wellens seems like a B or C lister for just about any sort of role you could want him to fill in a squad. Add to that that he tends to peak in February and not show up for the big classics/GTs and it seems like a really bad signing.

Pogacar doesn't need a handful of extra average domestiques. He needs a few targeted really good ones.
 
The only sort of climber UAE lacks is a top class domestique like Porte/Poels/Kuss who can outclimb just about anyone on their day. I suppose Almeida could become that guy if he's not careful and Ayuso continues to develop at his current rate.

You'd think a rider with a big engine for the flatlands and the experience be able to reign Pogacar in at times would be their no.1 priority, but who knows what UAE are thinking. Perhaps Wellens can partly fill that role, but if recent form is anything to go on he'll be a great replacement for Trentin instead.
McNulty outclimbed everyone on stage 17. With Ayuso, Almeida and Majka in the team, they are not that bad in this context.

What really makes the difference for Jumbo instead of UAE is a rider like van Aert. If a rider like him is in the break, as a team you have the big advantage that you can try also something on a mountains faraway from the finish like they did at the Col du Calibier without risking something.

Szeanrio 1: Your captain (Vingegaard) is weaker at the Col du Galibier and the other is stronger and gains some time at the Col du Galibier. Van Aert drops back to his captain (Vingegaard) helps him after the mountain on the flat and in the end or before the final mountain the gap is not there anymore and the other rider (Pogacar) spend a lot more energy.

Szenario 2: Your captain (Vingegaard) is stronger then the other captain (Pogacar). Van Aert drops back to his captain (Vingegaard), helps at the flat to extend the advantage to the other rider with your captain spending a lot less energy at the flat then your captain.

Szenario 3: Both captains are equally strong at the Col du Galibier. This is the only szenario where van Aert is not that much help, although this year they just used van Aert to bring back Roglic who got dropped from Vingegaard and Pogacar.

You need a rider for this who has the ability to get into the break (so a rider who can pull on the flat; a lot of stages have a flat beginning), but are also capable of climb at a similar level as good as other breakaway climbers. There are very few riders in the peleton who can do this and Vingegaard has one with van Aert.

If you have a rider in the breakaway like van Aert with a lot of an advantage in a stage, long range attacks from your opponents also become senseless, because the only thing that you have to do is, let your breakaway rider wait and bring him back on the flat while your captain spends less energy then your opponent.
 
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Another strange transfer from Bora to UAE. I could unterstand Majka and Formolo, but I'm really skeptical for the Ackermann and Grossschartner moves. In my eyes this does very little for the team and the riders. As mentioned Grossschartner probably isn't making the Tour Team as they have 4-5 riders with his profile that are better. Especially because Grossschartner is a totally unproven domestique. When he was in the team as a helper he had often bad races. I think his two Top 10s in the Vuelta are also overrated. So my guess is he could have some success in smaller races given the numbers that UAE normally have in those in the finale and he gets a nice paycheck. But on the other hand: I don't see him in a free role on world tour races and he will have a hard time making a GT squad especially with riders like Ayuso, McNulty, Covi or Fisher-Black growing into larger roles (Besides the obvious: Almeida/Pogacar + their existing support cast).

One thing I noticed: Formolo doesn't have a contract for 2023. Are there any rumours? That could be a reason of the transfers of Wellens and Großschartner even though Formolo is clearly the better rider. I see a lot of teams possibly interested in a Formolo as he's pretty versatile (that is if he is happy to have a lower salary than with UAE...)
 
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Majka is that guy. When Majka pulled only 3-5 other guys could follow
Majka's the most reliable domestique UAE have, but I wouldn't put him on the same level as the best riders Sky/Ineos and Jumbo have had in that role. That's not a huge problem because Pogacar's so good at looking after himself, but if they're going to have a team full of climbers surely UAE could do better than they have.
 
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McNulty outclimbed everyone on stage 17. With Ayuso, Almeida and Majka in the team, they are not that bad in this context.

What really makes the difference for Jumbo instead of UAE is a rider like van Aert. If a rider like him is in the break, as a team you have the big advantage that you can try also something on a mountains faraway from the finish like they did at the Col du Calibier without risking something.

Szeanrio 1: Your captain (Vingegaard) is weaker at the Col du Galibier and the other is stronger and gains some time at the Col du Galibier. Van Aert drops back to his captain (Vingegaard) helps him after the mountain on the flat and in the end or before the final mountain the gap is not there anymore and the other rider (Pogacar) spend a lot more energy.

Szenario 2: Your captain (Vingegaard) is stronger then the other captain (Pogacar). Van Aert drops back to his captain (Vingegaard), helps at the flat to extend the advantage to the other rider with your captain spending a lot less energy at the flat then your captain.

Szenario 3: Both captains are equally strong at the Col du Galibier. This is the only szenario where van Aert is not that much help, although this year they just used van Aert to bring back Roglic who got dropped from Vingegaard and Pogacar.

You need a rider for this who has the ability to get into the break (so a rider who can pull on the flat; a lot of stages have a flat beginning), but are also capable of climb at a similar level as good as other breakaway climbers. There are very few riders in the peleton who can do this and Vingegaard has one with van Aert.

If you have a rider in the breakaway like van Aert with a lot of an advantage in a stage, long range attacks from your opponents also become senseless, because the only thing that you have to do is, let your breakaway rider wait and bring him back on the flat while your captain spends less energy then your opponent.
McNulty's performed at that level once without doing anything unexpected for the rest of the race. It was a really impressive ride, but it kinda came out of nowhere. If Ayuso and Almeida end up working for Pog I suspect they'll be out the door in no time. Maybe Almeida would do it if he got the same kind of deal Landa did at Sky.
 
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There are not many better rouleurs than Wellens, that was why I was snarky. Because he is apparently not good enough.
Well, maybe I underestimate him. I know he can be really good on his day but he doesn't seem the "domestique" type to me.

One rider that was available on the market that I think would be very good for UAE but was signed by another team is Jungels. Very versatile, better in high mountains than Wellens, better at peaking for important races, strong rouleur and a more consistent TT-er when healthy.
 
Oct 14, 2021
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Quite the debate on the UAE signings. At some point, they need to use their money to throw a boat load of cash at Van der poel. Of course his contract is through 2025 so good luck getting them to let him go before than.

The reality is Van Aert is a game changer. A rider who can do everything and is willing to be a domestique? Give me a break. Yes, Van Baarle would be a great signing. But yeah, you'd need 3 riders to do what one Van Aert can do, unless of course you sign his friend Van der Poel...

However, I was reacting to the fact that UAE is at least doing something. It looked like they might do nothing. With their money they can afford a few over priced depth additions, though I do think these two are more than just depth.

With that said, I don't think any of this really matters at this point. Vingegaard raced at the highest level I've seen since the 90s and 2000s. He showed no weaknesses and had 0 bad days. Maybe if he was on a weaker team he loses about a minute or so on the cobbles but he still wins the Tour for fun. Figuring out a way to beat him in 2023 won't be easy and I am not sure there is anyone available that'll make a difference. These signings just help with team selection but it comes down to Pog improving or Ving falling back to post 2008 performance levels. Though the lack of TT specialist will really hurt UAE if there is a TTT. Even if Pog improves and Ving regresses to more human levels of performance, UAE can't afford to lose a minute or so to Jumbo in a TTT which is what the most likely outcome of a TTT looks like.
 
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It's definitely a possibility. They need some more quality riders with experience for the new project. But since Benji Naesen has praised her a lot on twitter, she's probably going to JV ;)
The only question is if she's legit going to lead the project as a chance to ride for herself one final time rather than being crowded out at SD Worx, or if it's another Guarnier-to-TIBCO signing, which was basically about listing her as an active rider to retain the points she had earned with Boels for the UCI's race entry qualification rankings, and the equivalent of Pavel Datsyuk's NHL career ending as a member of the Arizona Coyotes, because he'd retired from the NHL and returned to Russia, so Detroit traded away his contract to a team trying to make the cap floor and knowing full well that Datsyuk would never suit up for them.
 
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