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I'm sure you could🙂, but I think you are overreacting. Regarding LBL, there are a million what ifs, but hey, he won, right? Even if Pog could go with him, that's a 50 percent chance of winning...I'd back that strategy against the most versatile and successful rider in the peloton. Bottom line at QS: despite setbacks and living inside the Belgian cycling fish tank, Remco has more than hit his development targets, to say the least. And even experienced riders can have catastrophic crashes.Never thrown in situations where he won't succeed? You mean like putting him vs Pogacar and Vingegaard in Tirreno while weighing 67kg?
They have screwed the pooch on numerous occasions. They never took his lack of experience seriously, which inevitably led to him crashing hard sooner or later combined with his eagerness to perform. They did not supervise his injury close enough, letting a young, eager and inexperienced rider to set the pace of his own recovery, which led to his injury getting worse, his recovery taking longer and an entire year being wasted. They constantly set him up with a tactical nitwit. The plan in LBL had not changed after Pogacar crashed out. So the plan all along had been to attack on La Redoute and solo it home. Would have loved to see that happening with Pogacar there. I could go into a race per race screw up if you'd like too.
Their strongest leader? Ok, based on...?Jumbo's C-team + Kuss was better than SQS.
Ineos had 3 guys much better than Van Wilder, and that's after their strongest leader crashed out.
The problem with Van Wilder currently is that he is also a diesel climber who needs to climb at his own pace early and then he can finish quite close to the top level climbers. Unfortunately, when guys like Roglic, Evenepoel, Pogacar... want to make a move, they need a guy that can set a hard pace early. If you use Van Wilder that way, you slash his efficiency. Van Wilder would be a great mountain domestique for when Evenepoel is suffering a crisis and gets dropped. In that case Van Wilder could pace him and keep him in contention. But when Evenepoel wants to prepare an attack 3k from the finish... chances are Van Wilder is no longer there (he could be dropped and riding 50 meters behind the group of favorites, to finish only 20 seconds later). As it stands, Van Wilder is not (yet?) that guy.Team strength is heavily overrated IMO, but you definitely need one guy to do some stuff in the mountains and thats Van Wilder. Roulers are no problem, they are interchangeable and QS is doing well in that department anyways.
It comes down to Remco v Pogacar v Vingegaard. Who avoids the crashes, whats the route like, whats the weather etc.
That's why it may make sense to a cash-driven Patrick to hold up Ineos and hold Remco out of any competition that's significant until he knows what he could be paid. Trying to build a Tour team will continue to cost him and, as you've said: it's a business. Everyone is for sale.
Pat Lefevere will take a leaf out of the Glazer's playbook & ask Jim Ratcliffe for... 6 billion euros for Evenepoel.
"show me the money!" "show me the money!"
But seriously a transfer in & of itself is a can of worms in cycling & not something that usually ever happens. So I still don't expect it to happen here.
Ala wont work well in that role. Nor do I think he is "happy" to do it.IsJulian going away? Because while expensive, he should do the trick very well for the final climb. He is riding the tour anyway since it is easiest to plan in the season so using him for the mountains in case Remco is in need. (otherwise free reign to get his money worth..)
welcome back ExtinctionI'm back, banned for the usual nonesense, but you missed my words of wisdom, now didn't you? So l've quite enjoyed Patrick's racing "in Colombia" about stray dogs, but don't approve of Remco exiting stage left without any comunication to the race organization whatsoever. There are ways and there are ways. Having said that, Soudal looked pathetic on the only mountain stage before his abandon. No support, not good. Evenepoel can't go forward like this, but with Patrick's budget how are things to improve?
I'm not sure and I may be wrong (I often am), but I think Julian is on a fast decline.Ala wont work well in that role. Nor do I think he is "happy" to do it.
If Ala declines so much that he is helping out in the biggest race of the season... all panache is gone. He should retire immediately.
Helping out at a race where is just riding for preparation or have no chance of winning, because he has had a bad preparation, is another thing. Poor shape/form because of sickness, crashes and injuries. Thats fine.
However, it would be really sad to see him pacing Remco up a mountain or be dropped from a 25-man group after doing some domestic work. Especially at the Tour, where he should be going for stages and maybe the mountains jersey. Ala has been one of the best riders in the peloton, in the past 8 seasons or so. Rather he retires than fade out that way. He should still be able make a "comeback" or have a couple decent/good seasons left in him with some nice results.