Tour de France Review - Team by Team

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Tour de France Review - Team by Team

Post by dummy_half on Mon 25 Jul 2011, 9:45 am

Marks out of 10 and an opinion as to how the teams performed compared with their expectations:

AG2R - 5/10. Peraud rode to a top 10 spot but was not much in evidence. Otherwise some fairly fruitless riding in breaks.

Astana - 2/10. Losing Vino quite early was a blow they never recovered from. Di Gregorio and Iglinsky showed their faces in a few breaks but never really threatened for stage wins.

BMC - 9/10. Cadel winning overall and taking a stage win early on. Lose a mark because for me the rest of the team did not contribute enough and it is a great tribute to Cadel's strength in the high mountains that he did so much with so little support.

Cofidis - 5/10. Taaramae was consistently in the white jersey competition and rode creditably to 12th overall. Otherwise as AG2R.

Europcar - 10/10. Would have started the tour looking to get a stage win and maybe get TV into yellow before the high mountains. Ended it with most people gutted that TV missed the podium by one spot after the greatest defence of the jersey in my recollection (back to Lemond/Hinault), and with Rolland taking an epic stage win on l'Alpe d'Huez and winning the white jersey on the back of some great support work for Voeckler. One star cementing his position and one being created.

Euskatel - 7/10. Sanchez may be slightly disappointed with 6th, but did take a stage win (and a couple of 2nd places) and the polka dot jersey, so not unsuccessful. Rest of the team was noted more for their absence.

FDJ - 7/10. Although in the end little to show (Jeannesson 16th and having worn the white jersey, Roy winning the combativity award overall), they really made the race and no-one would have begrudged them a stage win - wasn't to be only because of Hushovd's descending ability.

Garmin - 10/10. Danielson in 9th overall, 2 stages for Hushovd (including the epic over the Aubisque), one for Farrar and one in the ITT, with Thor holding the yellow jersey for the first week. Can't have expected much more in the absence of a genuine contender for the win and with Cav being a clearly faster sprinter.

HTC - 9/10. 5 sprint stage wins and the green jersey for Cav was the primary goal accomplished, although he lost out in 2 bunch sprints. Tony Martin's ITT win was also impressive. Lose a mark because of a lack of a stronger showing in the GC (Velits at 19th was some way behind).

Katusha - 0/10. Kolobnev kicked out for a doping positive was the only time they made the news. Karpets was no-where overall, and while Silin and Ignatiev got into a few breaks, they never looked like having any success.

Lampre - 5/10. Yes, Cunego did well to be 7th overall and was in evidence in the 'heads of state' group through the mountains, but was more likely to be off the back than off the front of such a group. Otherwise, no joy for Petacchi or for any break away attempts.

Liquigas - 4/10. Basso probably wanted more than 8th. No stage successes and not much of a showing from the team mates (Szmyd did a bit of work, but wasn't as visible as a couple of years ago).

Leopard - 7/10. Difficult one to rank, with them getting 2nd and 3rd overall and Andy's epic win on Galibier, but I've gone quite low because Andy looked the strongest rider and could have won overall with more aggression in the earlier mountain stages. Team support was a bit hit and miss - whisper it quietly, but Cancellara and Voigt were not at their best, and clearly Fuglsang under-performed. The DS needs to realise that Frank Schleck can't win the Tour (because he can only follow in the hills and will lose out in the ITT), so it should have been Frank doing the softening up and Andy striking the big blows.

Movistar - 7/10. Got the stage win they'd have wanted with Costa, and Rojas kept the points competition interesting (and wore the jersey for a while). Not much to shout about in the overall, but then they probably weren't expecting much.

Omega - 9/10. A great race after losing Van den Broek early on. Vanendert rode well in the Pyrennees, taking a stage and the points jersey before fading slightly in the Alps. Gilbert got one stage and wore all three jerseys during the first week, plus the bonus of a Greipel stage win.

Rabobank - 4/10. LLS's stage win papered over some serious cracks with Gesink being no-where overall.

Radioshack - 0.5/10. Compared to Katusha, at least they only lost all their contenders to crashes. Leipheimer is now officially past it, and looks to be a team in trouble.

Saur Sojasun - 6/10. Coppell in 14th overall and competing for the white jersey, and got plenty of riders in breaks. Marked up 1 compared to Cofidis and AG2R because they probably expected less going in.

Saxo - 3/10. Going in with Contador, they had to be expecting some successes, so 5th in the GC with no stage wins really is well below par.

Sky - 7/10. A bit like with Omega, recovered the situation after losing their main GC hope to an early crash. 2 good stage wins from EBH and strong performances from Thomas and Uran (until the final mountain stage) with both holding the white jersey for a time has to be judged pretty good under the circumstances.

Vacansoleil - 5/10. Another team that got into breaks, but their chances of success were hindered when Crazy Johnny was attacked by a TV car and a barbed wire fence.

dummy_half

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Re: Tour de France Review - Team by Team

Post by KiaRose on Mon 25 Jul 2011, 5:58 pm

Hi

Would agree with many your ratings. So just a few general comments
1 Was glad Cunego didn't do any better, would not have been sorry if he had done worse - he didn't add anything to the race and seemed content to allow everyone else to drag him along. Every time the cameras panned back, Harmon and Kelly were looking for the riders top og the GC and kept mentioning Cunego, but this seemed to be the only times he got mentioned.

2 Is there anyone else in LeopardTrek other than the two Schleck boys? team support for Andy did not seem to be as good as for some of the other GC contenders.

3 Like you, very very sorry TV did not make the podium at the end - but chapeau to him for sheers guts and courage while he was in the maillot jaune.

4 It was overall a great race this year. Exciting to the end of the ITT.

5 The scenary was as ever spectacular - how can anyone say the TdF is boring!

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Re: Tour de France Review - Team by Team

Post by Azabache on Tue 26 Jul 2011, 10:57 am

I thought that LeopardTrek had quite a strong team. The work done at the front of the main peleton by Cancellara and Voigt reminded me of the old US Postal power train.

Saxo were the disappointment for me with poor Contador often on his own.

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Re: Tour de France Review - Team by Team

Post by dummy_half on Tue 26 Jul 2011, 11:16 am

Azabache

Agree re Saxo - Nabarro was present quite a few times but no-one else.

As for Leopard, I just saw it a bit differently from you - O'Grady did a big turn on the first climb before Andy's attack, and Montfort did what he could that day, but I thought at times the team didn't provide as much help as the DS might have been looking for (Fuggles being parrticularly prominent by his absence).

Not sure it made that big a difference to the final outcome though - I think the only way that would have been different is if Leopard had attacked more in the Pyrennean stages and been able to put Cadel into real difficulties, but they were too worried about Contador counter-attacking when it turned out he wouldn't have had it in him.

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Re: Tour de France Review - Team by Team

Post by snoopster on Tue 26 Jul 2011, 11:45 am

I thought LeopardTrek was a strong team, the team tactics just saw them putting a real shift in early on the harder stages and I think Cancellara perhaps wasn't in his best form so they were usually spent by the last 15-20 kilometres. Saw them doing far more riding on the front than anyone else - their effort actually seemed to have a goal in sight as well, while teams like Saxobank and even more so Euskatel looked to me to often have a reasonable number of riders in the front group so long as they didn't need to do anything - soon as they needed to help their team leader or the pace really got turned up they were gone.

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Re: Tour de France Review - Team by Team

Post by djlovesyou on Tue 26 Jul 2011, 11:59 am

It's a sign that the sport is much cleaner if you ask me.

We don't see 5 guys from one team riding like Sylvester Szymd (only faster) three quarters of the way up every mountain before everybody else is dropped and their 55 hct team leader decides he wants to attack.

Fuglsang and Gerdemann perhaps could have done a better job, but most of the time once the pace went up near the end, most leaders weren't left with much in the way of support.

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Re: Tour de France Review - Team by Team

Post by Azabache on Tue 26 Jul 2011, 3:34 pm

I had a nightmare last night that, a week from now, we wake up to the headlines:

"Tour [fill in the name or ranking] A sample is positive".


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Re: Tour de France Review - Team by Team

Post by Lowlandbrit on Tue 02 Aug 2011, 2:44 pm

Marks look about right on the whole, but disagree on Vacansoleil (some success with Hoogerland and to a certain extent Ruijgh) and Saur (don't remember them adding anything to the race at any point, Coppel did well but I can't think of one stage where I actually saw him).

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