Who’s winning (and who isn’t)

Monday, 28 February 2011

BMC helper

A third wheel?

A table of the wins per team this year, via Spanish website Biciclismo, including all the World Tour and Pro Continental squads. Rabobank lead with a good mix of quality and quantity thanks to Sebastian Langeveld, Robert Gesink, Oscar Freire, Theo Bos and others. Whereas Farnese Vini landed plenty of wins in the less prestigious Tour of Langkawi.

Teams will take any wins they can get of course and it’s only early in the season. But note the World Tour squads of BMC Racing, Euskatel-Euskadi, Leopard-Trek and Saxo Bank-Sungard have yet to win. All these squads probably don’t mind that much since they hope their time will come in the hillier races and a good Tour de France alone can guarantee the entire year is a success. BMC is one team placing many eggs in the basket marked July.

Last year Euskatel won in early April to leaving Lotto as Team Gooseberry. Philippe Gilbert fixed this in the Amstel Gold Race but the Belgian media was vicious in its criticism and it goes a long way to explaining why the team hired André Greipel. Should teams continue to languish, don’t be surprised to see them hiring a sprinter to grab good headlines.

Cavendish to BMC Racing? You heard it here first.

Rabobank 10
Garmin-Cervélo, HTC-Highroad 9
Europcar, Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli 8
Liquigas-Cannondale 6
Androni-Giocattoli, FDJ, Lampre-ISD 5
Cofidis, Movistar, Sky 4
RadioShack, Vacansoleil-DCM 3
AG2R-La Mondiale, Omega Pharma-Lotto, Saur-Sojasun 2
Colnago CSf-Inox, Geox-TMC, Katusha, Quick Step,
Skil-Shimano, UnitedHealthcare, Verandas Willems
1
Acqua e Sapone, Andalucía-Caja Granada, Astana, BMC, Bretagne-Schuller, Caja Rural, CCC Polsat Polkowice, Colombia es Pasión-Café de Colombia, De Rosa-Ceramica Flaminia, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Landbouwkrediet, Leopard-Trek, Saxo Bank-SunGard, Team Type 1, NetApp, Spidertech, Topsport Vlaanderen 0
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{ 10 comments }

Gadi February 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Cav to BMC – even when I read it the second and third time I still don’t get it ……

The Inner Ring February 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Gadi: BMC’s owner Andy Rihs is probably the richest man in cycling (see http://inrng.com/?p=130) and he could offer a good contract. I won’t say any more but it’s not just a wild suggestion, ok ;-)

Gadi February 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm

that means he’ll have to pay for the current contract as well as some more for the HTC squad

Starr February 28, 2011 at 3:41 pm

I love that Rabo has started so strong. After all this is a sponsor that has hung out for 15 years already and show no signs of letting up, even through possible lean years.

BTW – their conti team of youngsters rips apart just about every U-23 race on the planet.

SQUADRA February 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Cavendish is out of contract this season.
Apparently he is disgruntled with his current financial position.
The BMC ‘suggestion’ fits in many areas, not least one specific GH and the team lacks a fast finisher.
If the team acquired the fastest and the 2nd fastest as a package, HTC would survive, after all they have a large number of fast all rounders and young GC prospects.
The intriguing element would be, how the loss of Cavendish to a rival team, impacted on the interest (if at all) of potential financial partners.
It is one area where they have proven to be lacking, even with the fastest man on 2 pedals.

12 speed February 28, 2011 at 6:45 pm

As a former maths grad I see an interesting distribution here. Rabobank has 10 wins whilst 17 teams have not got any wins to their name.

hamncheeze February 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Leopard must be a little frustrated with the nearly-man status of Daniele Bennati. He has a handful of 2nd and 3rd place sprint finishes, a few extra metres and they might have 5 wins via him alone. Bennati is an interesting case, looked set to be in the top flight of sprinters before the injury bug hit him for the past 3 years. It will be interesting to see if he can convert those podiums to wins, or if the team might be backing a guy like Wouter Weylandt in races like Ghent-Wevelgem and GP E3.

BMC could sure use some “winners” in its ranks. Really a squad devoid of guys who are big winners but full of nearly-men with Cadel Evans excepted. Hincapie, Kroon and Ballan under-deliver in terms of results when they have good form, Ballan especially seems a shadow of his 2006-2008 self. Van Avermaet looks really fit this early-season, I had him pegged for big things after his first two seasons but he seemed to regress and stagnate.

Euskatel is OK, they don’t have to win anything before the Tour of the Basque Country in April.

The Inner Ring February 28, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Gadi: yes, Cavendish will want some team mates with him, one or two in particular.

Starr: Rabo are a long term sponsor, not just the U-23 team but a lot of grass roots cycling in Holland too. The World Tour team is the top of the pyramid, there’s much below.

Squadra: Highroad’s position is something I intend to return to, why they can’t get a co-sponsor intrigues me.

12 speed: having several sprinters (Bos, Freire, Matthews) certainly helps skew things, no?

hamncheeze: frustrated or pleased? He’s come close and without much help. He was signed to help land a few wins and he might deliver. As for BMC, word is Ballan is back and ready for the classics and Van Avermaet is leaner, maybe less of sprinter and more an all rounder. Outsiders but they might be able to take their chances.

hamncheeze February 28, 2011 at 8:26 pm

No, I did not mean Leopard being frustrated with Bennati himself, just frustrated that for a few metres they would have broken the ice cap hanging over the win column. I hope for Bennati he can stay healthy and get back to GT stage winning form, he is a classy guy on and off the bike.

Agree, Van Avermaet looks super-lean this year and might be able to surprise at a race like Amstel Gold but I still see BMC as a team who will underwhelm.

grolby March 1, 2011 at 12:48 am

Another problem for BMC is that it’s looking like their young phenom Phinney can’t stay on his bike. That kid has got to stop hurting himself.

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