Saturday Shorts

Dylan Teuns has moved from Bahrain to Israel-PremierTech. Pro cycling has a mid-season transfer window from 1-15 August and a move is possible if both teams agree and the UCI approves. He can help in their relegation battle but he’ll have to win big and often.

The first thought might be “Teuns, but they’ve got Woods for steep finishes” but that’s the point: they can score twice in a finish like this. The Israel team is facing relegation and Teuns can help score precious points. But he won’t bring any with him, under the rules any points scored so far this season stay with Bahrain, here’s the UCI rulebook screengrab:

The IPT team is about 1,000 points short of Movistar and the rest, and for context if he won the Vuelta with a stage along the way this would close the gap; likewise if he wins one of the Canadian GP races and Lombardia as well. But he can help the team in a different way, while teams are promoted and relegated on the basis of a three year system, the automatic invites to grand tours and other races are based of each year’s rankings and here Teuns can help Israel to pass TotalEnergies for the spot that guarantees the team automatic invites to all the grand tours next year and here the gap is only 433 points.

EF Education-Easypost are also doing the mid-season transfer thing too with Andrea Piccolo and the soon-to-be-announced Jefferson Cepeda, both from Androni-Drone Hopper where team manager Gianni Savio must have a spring in his step from the likely release fees. Piccolo probably holds some kind of record for the most teams in a short space of time: turning pro with Astana in 2021 but leaving mid-way in his first season because of post-viral fatigue from mononucleosis / glandular fever, then signing with Gazprom for 2022 only for the team to halt this year, moving to Drone Hopper this summer for about a month… and now to EF. Both can help score points.

As current World Tour teams Israel and EF have, like all the others, been paying an annual fee to the UCI for their licence, it’s €85,000. On top of this there’s the anti-doping contribution of €134,774 while second tier Pro Teams pay €90,203. So there’s a degree of proportionality here. However, the UCI and the International Testing Agency, the body that runs the anti-doping programme for the UCI, wants more funding and one route to do this is to make the fee more proportional still and charge a percentage of the annual team budget instead of a fixed fee. So Ineos would pay a lot more than Cofidis, getting on for five times as much given the British team’s budget is almost five times that of the French one. You can argue this both ways, richer teams should fund more; or that every team has a duty to pay in. Indeed it seems that this is exactly what is going on between the teams and the UCI…

Staying with anti-doping, alas… the Volta a Portugal is on at the moment. Its history back to 1927 – it predates the Vuelta a España – and it used to be three weeks long until the 1980s. Now it’s a 10 day race but the recent history isn’t so glorious, several local teams and riders have had doping scandals over the years to the point where the race has a reputation of a two-speed event. Some laugh at this, others shrug but it shouldn’t really be like this. The police this year seem to be taking matters into their hands with a dragnet operation to roust several riders before the race.

Onto a brighter outlook, Groupama-FDJ have signed seven riders from their development team to the main team. And more are turning pro with other teams, such as sprint powerhouse Jensen Plowright to DSMAlpecin-Deceuninck. It’s an impressive ratio and a self-fulfilling one as it’ll help the squad attract more talent although they were hardly short to start with, many an agent is delighted if they can place a rider on the squad.

Why have a development squad when you can sign riders straight from the junior ranks? Bora-Hansgrohe have done this with Cian Uijtdebroeks, Quinn Simmons is another example to Trek-Segafredo. Well Ineos could still have a devo team but they’ve hired 18 year old Josh Tarling and another young rider to make the move up, like new team mate Carlos Rodríguez…

… will Carlos Rodríguez stay with Ineos? Movistar are keen to sign him and with Valverde retiring, they need a replacement leader and his exit frees up budget. But the team’s sponsorship runs out next year, they’re facing relegation and that’s not exactly a scenario to sign up for (and while Movistar ought to be safe, it’s a risk many riders will have to think about). There’s an immediate story here about Movistar trying to sign a top Spanish rider amid a global market for talent but a wider one as well with Spanish cycling at risk of going the way of Italian cycling where there are no World Tour teams left.

David Gaudu turned pro aged 20 and at the time this was seen as early, although he’d won the Tour de l’Avenir already. He’s been progressing each year and his fourth place in the Tour de France was a strong result, although how to improve on this is a big ask but with time perhaps he’ll improve yet more. One thing he probably can’t improve further is his video hosting abilities. He spent the best part of three hours holding court on streaming website Twitch (uploaded to Youtube now) about his Tour de France, a monologue covering team selection, every stage’s course of events and plenty that happened in the race. There’s plenty of detail, for example Antoine Duchesne was picked ahead of Bruno Armirail because he can handle the hustle and bustle of fighting for position better; or his watts (398W for the Planche des Belles Filles for 57.5kg = 6.9W/kg). He said the Netflix crew filming the race apparently didn’t understand cycling too well at the start of the Tour but learned quickly. Amusingly Gaudu tells how one of Pogačar’s attacks on a non-mountain stage came after Peter Sagan rode up alongside the yellow jersey (at the time, it was Stage 10) and said he didn’t have the balls to attack. Of course Pogačar had to prove otherwise and so the whole race went into a brief frenzy. Anyway, there are many more nuggets, it’s all completely unfiltered and personal which is the interest.

36 thoughts on “Saturday Shorts”

  1. You wonder how useful Tuens will be for IPT in the relegation battle, as he needs to get himself into their top 10 riders before his points count…any idea how many points their no.10 rider has? Possibly a stage win in the Vuelta wouldn’t actually net them any additional points?

    • Unless I’m mistaken, their 10th rider is Carl Fredrik Hagen with 177. A stage win in the Vuelta would give Teuns 100 points – but indeed the trouble is that he will not start bringing additional points for IPT until he has earned those 177 points in their jersey,
      But I’m sure that the season is long enough for him to first earn those points and then to net a not insignificant amount of points. Whether it alone will be sufficient to make IPT one of the teams with automatic invites is another matter…

        • Apparently my mistake was to rely on a source of information that I shouldn’t have trusted. The list I drew up was:
          58 Woods Michael 972
          60 Nizzolo Giacomo 957
          89 Fuglsang Jakob 679
          99 Clarke Simon 637
          143 De Marchi Alessandro 486
          159 Hermans Ben 439
          206 Houle Hugo 341
          232 Bevin Patrick 305
          385 Boivin Guillaume 179
          391 Hagen Carl Fredrik 177

          • This is cycling’s version of Lord Palmerston’s Schleswig-Holstein question, eg “only three people understand it, one is dead, the other has gone mad and I can’t remember it” 😉

            What you’ve gone is look at the current UCI individual World rankings for each rider but that is based on a rolling 12-month basis, eg Hagen’s 177 includes 15 points from his Cro Race overall win from 2021… when the 3 year team rankings take each rider’s points for each season so the 2022 count only so to use Hagen, he’s their 7th best rider on 162 points this year.

          • To get these go to the uci ranking site, click on the team rankings, click on the team you want to see and their ten scoring riders and their points will pop up.

  2. Thnaks for the updating post – so, Israel are going to go for it? One wonders why they did not see this coming earlier? Perhaps they thought the Woods/Fugelsang/Froome threesome would some how save the day and the team, but it would have been very wishful thinking.

  3. Have Movistar actually made any definitive statements about leaving as the team sponsor, or is it a case of a new sponsorship deal not being announced until the ink is dry? The last official statement I could find was back when they signed a two year extension;

    If they were relegated, it would make sense, I guess. If not, they’re in a situation of restructuring the team regardless.

  4. Just a couple of typos;

    Movistar paragraph double up on team (But the team’s sponsorship team runs out next year)

    Gaudu is slim but 5.75kg would give him a very impressive power to weight ratio!

    Also in the final paragraph I think you ment Netflix filming rather than Netflix filing.

  5. Interesting to observe the CIC-Tour Féminin International des Pyrénées (women’s) stage race, the overall GC is calculated by giving the winning team riders a 5 sec advantage over team second, and another 5 sec advantage over third, all the way down to the last team, despite there being a 56 sec actual time difference between first and second, and 91 sec over third.

    • I recall this being done similar in a tdf probably in the early 00’s when postal or discovery was to dominant. To reduce the effect of the TTT taking out the lower ranked teams GC rider.

  6. Just an observation; what if in the future the UCI considers points in different buckets as a sporting criterion?

    It seems certain teams have effectively close to zero results in the GC top 15 in WT GC races this year.
    (zero – Alpencin-Fenix, one result – Lotto)

    I think you could argue that the other teams were at least trying, some more than others, it probably warrants going back and taking a look at several years as Covid could be causing a distortion.

  7. David Gaudu’s comment regarding Tadej Pogacer is very revealing. It shows his inexperience and also that the rest of the peloton are perfectly aware of it. Jumbo Visma clearly played to this, they pretty much knew that he would not pass up the “challenge” offered up by Primoz Roglic’s attack on the Telegraphe. A more experienced rider would have let him go and conserved his efforts for the final climb. I wonder if curbing this enthusiasm (naivety) will change and lessen the rider that he is?

    • I think I posted here about Pogacar probably losing more time due to his “youthfull exuberance”, but I hope he learns from his experiences at this years TdF. He has the ability to win GT’s now he has to learn all the ways of how to win. With a weaker team then Jumbo V he’ll have to learn or face the same problem over and over again. One of the joys of watching an “old hand” like Nibali is the uncanny ability of knowing exactly when to try an attack.

      • …. and which attacks to cover (continuing your comment about Nibali). I don’t think Nibali would have gone all in to chase down Roglic. Vingegaard was the clear leader and top rider to follow.

  8. I wonder if Pogacar might end up with a run similar to Anquetil? Anquetil won the TDF in 1957 and was then beaten by several riders over the next three years. He came back in 1961 as a much stronger and wiser rider and was dominant over the following four Tours.

    Pogacar has two wins already, but we could see an interregnum where he re-tools his approach and comes back stronger and wiser. He’s still very young and has a lot of years ahead of him when he could win the TDF. Vingegaard and Jumbo look to be in the cat bird seats now but we have seen past TDF winners look to be set for long runs of winning, only to never reach the top again. Ullrich is the prime example of that but one must also look at Fignon.

    Ullrich podiumed several times after his 97 win but never finished in yellow again. Fignon looked locked on for a long stretch at the top after he took the four time winner Hinault apart in 84, only to see it never happen.

    • I see Bernal rejoining the top tier of GT riders for the yellow jersey battle over the next few years. Everyone seems to discount his chances against pogacar/vingegaard.

      • Yes, and it’s not a mistake. He is good, no doubt, but can he TT like the top3 of 2022?
        And first let’s hope he will return just as good as he was.

  9. With regards to the Volta a Portugal, the authorities have let it become a very dark comedy. Hopefully the recent raids will finally straighten things out.
    The big interesting question in my mind is, what will Roglic do now at Jumbo V? He’s under contract until 2026 when he’ll be 36, but after this year’s TdF it seems he’ll be second choice for “protected rider”. He could well do the Giro/Vuelta double, but he’d need a good team to back him up, and the A-team will be at the TdF of course.

    • I don’t see a problem with Roglic’s current position. Obviously he has a big salary, but he’s a great teammate and always appears pretty realistic about his own chances. I think he’ll continue to be a strong member of the team.

    • Avoid crashes, and other type of time losses. Maybe Jonas can’t, and voila, he can go for the win.
      He’s in a very good place, I think.

  10. Glad to hear that about FdJ – think what you like about Marc Madiot, but it’s critical for cycling that a French team has some level of success… the fanbase depends on it and the sport is more interesting for it.

    Thank you Inrng for discussing these topics – makes the sport much more interesting than an anglo-focused/dominant peloton.

  11. To understand the crazy speed at this year’s TdF, this I think puts it into perspective,
    “The Lanterne Rouge in the 2022 TdF was Caleb Ewan. Ewan completed the 3,349.8 km course 85h 14′ 02″, which works out to 39.3 kph.

    There was only one GC winner before 1998 who was faster than 39.3. That was in 1992, when the top three in GC were faster than 39.3 kph.

    To put that in perspective, the first three GC finishers in 1992 aside, the LAST PLACE GC FINISHER in the 2022 TdF was faster than EVERY RACER IN EVERY TdF from 1903 to 1997.”

    • I recall GTs only a few years ago where the basic result of the stage (i.e., bunch sprint, small breakaway group) was known 100+km from the finish and everyone would ride accordingly, sometimes pretty slowly. That just didn’t happen at this year’s TdF. Every stage felt like it was up for grabs, and there always seemed to be someone (often WvA) willing to work to keep it interesting. That also made it nearly impossible for the break to form, making for incredibly fast early hours of stages. I would have hated to be a sprinter trying to have any success in such conditions.

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