2018 season thread

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2018 season thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Sat 13 Jan 2018, 10:02 am

First topic message reminder :

New World Tour season is about to start and, in good news for commentators with airtime to fill, Vaughters' lot are now 'Team EF Education First-Drapac powered by Cannondale'.


AG2R La Mondiale (ALM - FRA)

Astana Pro Team (AST - KAZ)

Bahrain-Merida (TBM - BRN)

BMC Racing Team (BMC - USA)

BORA-hansgrohe (BOH - GER)

Team Dimension Data (DDD - RSA)

Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale (EFD - USA)

FDJ (FDJ - FRA)

Team Katusha-Alpecin (TKA - SUI)

Team LottoNL-Jumbo (TLJ - NED)

Lotto Soudal (LTS - BEL)

Mitchelton-Scott (MTS - AUS)

Movistar Team (MOV - ESP)

Quick-Step Floors (QST - BEL)

Team Sky (SKY - GBR)

Team Sunweb (SUN - GER)

Trek-Segafredo (TFS - USA)

UAE Team Emirates (UAD - UAE)

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun 29 Jul 2018, 6:52 pm

Could listen to Thomas speak all day - top top bloke
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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by dummy_half on Mon 30 Jul 2018, 1:06 am

A few thoughts and comments -

Surprisingly easy win for G, in the sense that no-one really managed to put him under pressure. Was able to follow DuMoulin throughout and defend the lead established in the first half of the race, plus nicking the odd seconds in the sprints at the end of the stage.

Froome and DuMoulin really exceptional after the Giro to be back and big contenders in this.

Pity for the race that Porte and Nibali were lost early. Might have been a more interesting GC competition.

Zakarin - top 10, but did anyone actually see him at any point during the race?

Bernal immense, and gone a long way to confirming he is the next superstar of stage racing.

Special mention for the 'tough as nails' brigade, led by Lawson Craddock riding virtually the entire race with a broken shoulder, and still nearly being upstaged by Philip Gilbert finishing the stage with a broken knee cap...

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by dummy_half on Mon 30 Jul 2018, 10:52 am

Some more general thoughts

Not a classic TdF by any stretch of the imagination. I don't think the field was particularly strong, and as noted above, the loss of Nibali and Porte plus injury to Landa and lack of form of Adam Yates seriously reduced the GC battle. Not a dig at G, as he can only beat what's in front of him, and he did that with little fuss.

Sprinting appears to be going through something of a changing of the guard, with the older guys (Cav, Greipel, Kittel) no longer being the dominant forces. Sagan will keep winning the Green jersey for as long as ASO keep making routes with uphill and ramp finishes. Losing so many sprinters to the time cut by half way through the race was a disappointment.

Some very good individual stages (e.g. Mur de Bretagne, Roubaix, the short mountain stage), but probably one too few summit finishes within the mountain stages and the oddity of the stage to Pau being flat in the midst of the Pyrenees stages. The sadist in me thinks that the very short but very tough mountain stage should have been preceded by a monster 250km + day, perhaps mainly medium mountains with a cat 1 or HC summit finish.

Stars emerging or confirming themselves:
Allaphillipe, Bernal, Luke Rowe (in the 'new Sean Yates' mould), Roglic

Disappointments:
Yates, Quintana, Barguil.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 30 Jul 2018, 11:04 am

Yeah I think the tour organisers need to have a look at the sprinters and time cut offs - losing so many of them essentially made the flat stages from around stage 9 onwards a non event. Also the fact that there is still some clear bias of French riders...(see Demare climbed the final climb Col Du Portet on stage 17, in only 9 minutes slower than Quintana who won did...and quicker than many decent climbers....!)

I think the older guard sprinters will still have occasional stage wins - see how Kristoff is still kicking around! Cav clearly wasn't in any sort of form this year, a shame because there was opportunities that first week.

The loss of Nibali was the big one - especially with all those descents in the final week, he'd have really pushed Thomas I think.
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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Mon 30 Jul 2018, 11:06 am

The final stage appeared to be fairly boo-free, and it was nice to see Froome chatting with the Tour director.

A nice end to a pretty good Tour. I hark back to the 1987 as the last great Tour but we are now in different times. I have a feeling that this will be Thomas's only win and all credit to him; it's not his fault if some potentially serious competitors fell by the wayside.

Ominous that Froome, when interviewed, said that he's going nowhere and will be back! I wouldn't bet against him winning his 5th. next year.

The nice feeling was soured this morning when the slimey BBC in their R4 "Today" programme were interviewing a Sky member and couldn't resist mentioning drugs, He kept his cool and said that Chris had done nothing wrong. I expect they are smarting over losing their case with Sir Cliff.

Bernal for the Vuelta, Froome to have a rest?

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Mon 30 Jul 2018, 1:27 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Yeah I think the tour organisers need to have a look at the sprinters and time cut offs - losing so many of them essentially made the flat stages from around stage 9 onwards a non event.
Weren't most of them injuries though? Cavendish and Kittel were outside the time, but they weren't really in contention anyway.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Mon 30 Jul 2018, 2:33 pm

And they were WAY out of time! The trick, if things look dicey, is to form a gigantic Autobus-much more likely then that the organisers have to waive elimination.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by dummy_half on Mon 30 Jul 2018, 3:11 pm

Or do what Demare did and cadge a lift up at least the first half of any col...

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Thu 09 Aug 2018, 2:50 pm

Some transfer news:

- Lotto-Soudal are replacing Andre Greipel (off to Fortuneo) with Caleb Ewan
- Rohan Dennis is going to Bahrain-Merida, Tejay Van Garderen is joining Vaughters
- CCC have said they've made an offer to Geraint Thomas. Could he be defending his title in bright orange?

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by dummy_half on Thu 09 Aug 2018, 3:47 pm

Just for completeness of Lowlandbrit's info above:

CCC are taking over as the title sponsor of BMC, or at least the rump thereof.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Thu 09 Aug 2018, 4:44 pm

I posted that when it was announced, but probably should have said BMC/CCC to be clearer. Not sure if it's even been confirmed they'll be keeping the orange colour scheme. Speaking of the Pro-Continental team they sponsor now, has there been any news yet on what's happening with them?

BTW; for the 'what do they do' game, CCC are an online shoe and bag retailer from Poland.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Just John on Mon 13 Aug 2018, 4:11 pm

Vuelta startlist confirmed so far -

Nibali, Quintana, Aru, Porte, Adam & Simon Yates, Fuglsang, Kruijswijk, Valverde, Zakarin, Uran & Sagan.

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Re: 2018 season thread

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