Teams & Riders Tom Dumoulin discussion thread

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I agree that Dumoulin was poor. But he still let himself and his team down with his childish antics in Stage 8. If he would have fought through the bad days, limiting losses, then he could have stayed a relevant GC option going into the last week.
 
He was nowhere near the form to challenge for the overall win.
Neither was Roglic, as it turned out. In hindsight, he definitely should have held his ground on the Peyresourde and given his team even a pretend 2nd option. If Pogacar has to watch Roglic AND Dumoulin over the Alps, no way does he cover all those attacks while isolated.



That said, EF had Pog isolated with 3 men up the road on the final stage of the Tour of California last year, and he came back and the race came together, so you never know. But I just think Jumbo didn’t quite maximize the cards they had.
 
Like to see Dumoulin back in the Giro next season as team leader or even as co-leader at the Tour. Roglic will obviously want to put some ghosts to rest in the Tour. Maybe SK will do the Giro.
If Roglic ever wants to win the Tour, either he'll have to hope other riders crash out, or he has to do it with a wingman (or two) with whom he can mix it up. If Bernal is back next year, and Pogacar is also there, and maybe some others, Jumbo isn't going to drop them, and we now know Roglic isn't going to outsprint Pogacar for the boniseconds either. So if Roglic wants to win, they'll have to rethink their strategy, or they'll be once more doing all the work for somebody else's benefit.

No, if Jumbo want to go for it again, they need to materialize their dominance in a completely different way (in case they again have the better team). They'll need at least two guys high in GC who can finish the job. Because if they're putting all their eggs in one basket again, we already know what's gonna happen.
 
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If Roglic ever wants to win the Tour, either he'll have to hope other riders crash out, or he has to do it with a wingman (or two) with whom he can mix it up. If Bernal is back next year, and Pogacar is also there, and maybe some others, Jumbo isn't going to drop them, and we now know Roglic isn't going to outsprint Pogacar for the boniseconds either. So if Roglic wants to win, they'll have to rethink their strategy, or they'll be once more doing all the work for somebody else's benefit.

No, if Jumbo want to go for it again, they need to materialize their dominance in a completely different way (in case they again have the better team). They'll need at least two guys high in GC who can finish the job. Because if they're putting all their eggs in one basket again, we already know what's gonna happen.
Yes, I can see that. Now that I've had a day to reflect on TJV's situation, I'm thinking 2021 might actually be a great opportunity. They'll need to be focused, to be willing to be more aggressive in places, and like most teams that hope to win, they'll need not to be derailed by bad luck--things like bad crashes a couple weeks before the TDF or during the TDF, illness, those kinds of things. If Roglic has good training and is motivated, and does not suffer from injury/illness, his TDF form for 2021 could be as good or better than in 2020. Same for Dumoulin. Now, will that be enough to deal with an in-form Bernal and an in-form Pogacar? If TJV can bring a strong team again, with a higher risk/reward approach to planning, maybe next year's Tour could be fun to watch for TJV fans.
 
Here's my frustration with Dumoulin after this race.

2015 Vuelta; Dumoulin was the strongest rider throughout the race, has maintained his lead throughout, but on the final climbing day Astana send men up the road in the break, Aru, with protection from the rest of his team who are with him, attacks, attacks and attacks Tom until the elastic snaps, the Astana riders ahead all sit up from the break, and the pale blues TTT their guy 50/60kms to a comfortable GC victory.

2018 Giro; As Simon Yates starts to crack, Dumoulin is sitting 30s down on GC, looking poised to inherit the Maglia Rosa, until Sky leverage their team strength to drill everyone and unleash Froome over the Finestre. Now, a few days before, Dumoulin had a chance to put some proper time into a suffering Froome, but instead of TTing to the finish, he kept sitting up and gesticulating wildly at Carapaz and Lopez, locked in their own battle with each other for minor places, for not working with him. But by the Finestre, Froome has recovered since then, and through his team's strength isolates Dumoulin from his weaker teammates and unleashes a 100km solo attack taking 3 minutes and the race lead.

2018 Tour; Sunweb pull a clever trick to send Kragh off the front, and Dumoulin links up with him on the long descent of the Roseland, and has an advantage starting up the finish climb to La Rosiere but Sky reel him in, and Froome and Thomas launch coordinated attacks against their opponents (Froome works well with Dan Martin, who they know won't be a podium threat, to put time into Movistar, Jumbo, Bardet, Nibali etc, who might) that ultimately free G up to ride past Dumoulin, take the stage and yellow jersey and put Froome, even though he's clearly not at his past best, into 2nd on GC. Dumoulin (and Roglic, Kruiswijk, etc) had to spend the rest of the Tour watching for attacks from Froome AND Thomas, and so could never really put time into G.

Each of these situations illustrate a few things;
If you have the strongest team, there are multiple ways to isolate an opponent and force him to work on his own to chase you.
It's always better to have multiple guys sitting as high as possible on GC.
Never pass up a chance to put time into someone who might be a threat down the line, even/especially if it means you can get some help doing so out of someone else and especially if they won't be a GC threat down the line.

These are all lessons that JV/Tom didn't apply in this year's Tour.
 
Dumoulin was not the strongest rider in 2015 Vuelta. Far from it. He was just leading the GC because the mountain stages were ridden very passively except the one to Cortals d'Encamp. When they attacked properly at stage 20 he lost minutes.
That's kinda irrelevant to Leinster's point, though. Giant didn't bother sending anyone in the break, and having just one domestique after the last climb might well have been enough for Dumoulin to get back in the group, as he got reaaaally close at one point. He had a weak team but if he had used it just a bit better (by doing something that's Cycling 101, incidentally) he might have won, regardless of whether or not he was the strongest. Jumbo has been just as unimaginative during this Tour. Dumoulin has had crap DS's for most of his career.
 
I don't think he would have won that Vuelta, he was just a handful seconds ahead of Aru and he cracked on the penultimate climb. Even if had gotten back, he would have lost time to Aru. But he fell back to sixth place, a podium should have been possible.
 
All good points. Cotos was not a hard climb so if he managed to catch the group there was a chance he could have managed to stay with them on the final climb ( though I still think he would have been dropped at Cotos regardless - but he could have achieved 3rd instead of 6th ) . My point was mainly that he should not have been near the top of the GC but that is irrelevant to Leinster's point. I agree that Dumoulin has had crap DS's for most of his career.

Also, Jumbo has had some awful DS's for many years. Remember 2016 Giro stage 19 where they did not send anyone into the break and then Kruiswijk crashed on the descent of Agnello and was completely alone in the valley? Their tactics this race were shocking as well.
 
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Here's my frustration with Dumoulin after this race.

2015 Vuelta; Dumoulin was the strongest rider throughout the race, has maintained his lead throughout, but on the final climbing day Astana send men up the road in the break, Aru, with protection from the rest of his team who are with him, attacks, attacks and attacks Tom until the elastic snaps, the Astana riders ahead all sit up from the break, and the pale blues TTT their guy 50/60kms to a comfortable GC victory.

2018 Giro; As Simon Yates starts to crack, Dumoulin is sitting 30s down on GC, looking poised to inherit the Maglia Rosa, until Sky leverage their team strength to drill everyone and unleash Froome over the Finestre. Now, a few days before, Dumoulin had a chance to put some proper time into a suffering Froome, but instead of TTing to the finish, he kept sitting up and gesticulating wildly at Carapaz and Lopez, locked in their own battle with each other for minor places, for not working with him. But by the Finestre, Froome has recovered since then, and through his team's strength isolates Dumoulin from his weaker teammates and unleashes a 100km solo attack taking 3 minutes and the race lead.

2018 Tour; Sunweb pull a clever trick to send Kragh off the front, and Dumoulin links up with him on the long descent of the Roseland, and has an advantage starting up the finish climb to La Rosiere but Sky reel him in, and Froome and Thomas launch coordinated attacks against their opponents (Froome works well with Dan Martin, who they know won't be a podium threat, to put time into Movistar, Jumbo, Bardet, Nibali etc, who might) that ultimately free G up to ride past Dumoulin, take the stage and yellow jersey and put Froome, even though he's clearly not at his past best, into 2nd on GC. Dumoulin (and Roglic, Kruiswijk, etc) had to spend the rest of the Tour watching for attacks from Froome AND Thomas, and so could never really put time into G.

Each of these situations illustrate a few things;
If you have the strongest team, there are multiple ways to isolate an opponent and force him to work on his own to chase you.
It's always better to have multiple guys sitting as high as possible on GC.
Never pass up a chance to put time into someone who might be a threat down the line, even/especially if it means you can get some help doing so out of someone else and especially if they won't be a GC threat down the line.

These are all lessons that JV/Tom didn't apply in this year's Tour.
Only problem is he may not have been close enough in the final week to keep Pogacar guessing. Hard to know on some of those stages whether Dumoulin took his foot off the pedal on purpose or whether he was at his limit. Long distance attacks are very risky especially if you get caught not close to the finish. A counter attack can be even worse for the team.
 
All good points. Cotos was not a hard climb so if he managed to catch the group there was a chance he could have managed to stay with them on the final climb ( though I still think he would have been dropped at Cotos regardless - but he could have achieved 3rd instead of 6th ) . My point was mainly that he should not have been near the top of the GC but that is irrelevant to Leinster's point. I agree that Dumoulin has had crap DS's for most of his career.

Also, Jumbo has had some awful DS's for many years. Remember 2016 Giro stage 19 where they did not send anyone into the break and then Kruiswijk crashed on the descent of Agnello and was completely alone in the valley? Their tactics this race were shocking as well.
Yeah, it's like they drank so much of the "keep the whole team together" koolaid they literally can't think beyond that. It's amazing.
Didn't the Giant DS responsible for that Vuelta stage actually join Jumbo, or did I dream that up?
 
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Isn't it hard to blame Dumoulin for his display in the Tour when his performance in the TT is just as good as in Bergen where he won the world championship? That's what he has said himself after comparing his numbers. He says he will never be able to equal a performance like that of Pogacar who rode 1:27 faster.
 
Yeah, it's like they drank so much of the "keep the whole team together" koolaid they literally can't think beyond that. It's amazing.
Didn't the Giant DS responsible for that Vuelta stage actually join Jumbo, or did I dream that up?
Did he? Wouldn't be surprised, given that it is Jumbo. After all this is the team whose team car disappeared to take a piss in Giro stage 15 last year before Civiglio.
 
Isn't it hard to blame Dumoulin for his display in the Tour when his performance in the TT is just as good as in Bergen where he won the world championship? That's what he has said himself after comparing his numbers. He says he will never be able to equal a performance like that of Pogacar who rode 1:27 faster.
I don't believe his numbers on Planche were on par with his Bergen performance, and if they were he should have changed bikes.
 
Wasn't Degenkolb the best guy in the mountains?
I think Lawson Craddock held on a bit longer on most mountain stages.
That team was what it was; they were brought to the race as Degenkolb's sprint train, and Dumoulin suddenly becoming a GC contender was as much a shock to them as it was to anyone else.

But my point on that Cotos stage is less about Sunweb's team, and more about the fact that Tom had a front row seat that day to watch how a focused Astana squad set about leveraging the strength of their team's numbers in a particular terrain to target one guy isolated by circumstances, and make him work harder and suffer and eventually crack.

It was clear by the time this year's Tour got to the Alps that just driving at the front uphill would not be enough to crack Pogacar tucked in their slipstream, and if they wanted to put some time into him (and see my references to 2018 Giro re "you need to put time into this guy") they needed to get a bit more creative, send guys up the road, maybe create a bridge up ahead for Primoz to sprint to, and (crucially) make Pogacar work to have to close some gaps.

"Racing is about licking your opponent's plate clean before starting on your own." Jumbo spent 3 weeks inviting Pogacar around for dinner and offering him seconds.
 
Only problem is he may not have been close enough in the final week to keep Pogacar guessing. Hard to know on some of those stages whether Dumoulin took his foot off the pedal on purpose or whether he was at his limit. Long distance attacks are very risky especially if you get caught not close to the finish. A counter attack can be even worse for the team.
By the final week, agreed, he wasn't close enough, but as pointed out here, he sacrificed his own chances on the Peyresourde stage to take a pull that ultimately achieved little; he didn't crack anyone, but gave up the leverage the team had of 2 riders positioned high up on GC. It wasn't his job to crack himself, it was the job of other teams to crack him. No wonder his DS was so mad.

Again, my analogies above aren't perfect (analogies never are), but are more intended as case studies from which lessons could/should be learned. And it appears that not all the lessons were learned.
 
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