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Sprint Trains 2016

ocdupalaisocdupalais Posts: 3,947
edited January 2016 in Pro race
OGE vs Dimension Data vs Lotto vs Etixx

Here's something I never imagined asking: are we in for some particularly exciting sprint finishes this year? Looking at the Dimension Data line up, they've so nearly got the old (Highroad-HTC) band together (I'd be surprised if they didn't offer a large incentive for a certain missing band member of the German tank variety to join next year). They are packing some serious sprint train heavyweights in there, including one I'd almost forgotten about: Theo Bos.
I guess the question for them is how much of a distraction/hinderence will Cav's attention on Rio be? Or put in another way; will Cav's training towards the track impinge on his performance on the road?

This year could be a vintage. The possible demise of the old guard (but not without a fight)- and in with the new? Kids like Ewan and Gaviria up against last year's most successful "pure" sprinter, Greipel - and his impressive Lotto train... then there's Kittel, doing his utmost to regain his almost "unbeatability" of 2014; will he be at such a dominant level that Gaviria won't get a look-in at the bigger races? Will Katusha have the horse power to put Kristoff in with a shout? Then there's the best sprinter of all time seeking to prove that ego, guile and experience (as well as probably the most successful sprint train of the last decade) can overcome youthful speed and brute power.

No doubt one or more will be out of contention by the end of the season; but the other incentive for these dudes to get their sprint bang-on is that one of them could be World Champ on the Qatar course.

Posts

  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 5,254
    Isn't Bos also focusing upon the Olympics next year?
  • MacaloonMacaloon Posts: 5,545
    The 2014 Giant stealth train was pretty special. Despite having the dominant sprinter on board they were allowed to hide and pick the perfect moment, every time. Will be interesting to see how Kittel handles the more improvisational Etixx lead out style.

    (Not to derail the thread, but I'm going to need a massive olympic trigger warning if 'The Road to Rio' soap opera interferes with a vintage road season. Is Cav actually serious? I was hoping it was empty talk to boost his off-season media profile.)
    ...a rare 100% loyal Pro Race poster. A poster boy for the community.
  • ShutupJensShutupJens Posts: 1,373
    Bos won a few titles at the dutch track champs the other week so I don't think he is going to be up to much on the road this year. Hoping that Cavendish hasn't put all his eggs in a basket marked Rio, as he didn't look too sharp in a fairly average field at Revs the other week
  • i don't think any team will dominate in the way HTC did for a while, the main reason HTC were so good was simply because other teams didn't set up to do battle with them, maybe because they didn't have faith their sprinters could match Cavendish?
  • jam1ejam1e Posts: 1,060
    I've read a couple of things this off-season which have suggested that despite each sprinter having a train there's likely to be a change of tactics, particularly if one train dominates in the early races. Basically more attacks off the front by the teams 2nd sprinter and a leadout man, more disruptions, more ad-hoc trains and train hoping etc rather than the drag races they've become.

    Not sure if this will work seeing as how the trains developed to stop this kind of thing but could be interesting if true.
  • MacaloonMacaloon Posts: 5,545
    I've read a couple of things this off-season which have suggested that despite each sprinter having a train there's likely to be a change of tactics, particularly if one train dominates in the early races. Basically more attacks off the front by the teams 2nd sprinter and a leadout man, more disruptions, more ad-hoc trains and train hoping etc rather than the drag races they've become.

    Not sure if this will work seeing as how the trains developed to stop this kind of thing but could be interesting if true.

    Tony Martin would be ace for this. They'd have to chase hard.
    ...a rare 100% loyal Pro Race poster. A poster boy for the community.
  • I've read a couple of things this off-season which have suggested that despite each sprinter having a train there's likely to be a change of tactics, particularly if one train dominates in the early races. Basically more attacks off the front by the teams 2nd sprinter and a leadout man, more disruptions, more ad-hoc trains and train hoping etc rather than the drag races they've become.

    Not sure if this will work seeing as how the trains developed to stop this kind of thing but could be interesting if true.

    Tony Martin would be ace for this. They'd have to chase hard.

    You're so right. Seems like the perfect man for the role.
  • joelsimjoelsim Posts: 7,552
    Sprint trains are a bit passe now aren't they? The best wins will come from someone sitting on someone else's wheel on the final straight.

    I do agree on the changing of the guard though. Gaviria, Ewan and Pelucchi, although Kittel and Bouhanni should be right in there too.

    Gaviria will be the choice on any race with more than a tiny hill, if it's flat then Kittel.
  • ShutupJensShutupJens Posts: 1,373
    A couple of years ago it was definitely the big battle of the lead out trains, Quickstep, Lotto and Giant going head to head for the most part and the sprinters from other teams were seen as second rate.

    I think that the dynamic has changed a bit, the gap to the top tier riders seems to be shorter and there are many more riders around the fringes who won't get their own big trains so need to piggyback others. Obviously if Quickstep get a fit Kittel in a half decent position then they will be seriously tough to beat, but I think the others will have to try something new if they want to avoid leading out the hangers on.

    There seems to be so much more strength in depth than in previous years, looking forward to some proper showdowns this year!
  • Paul 8vPaul 8v Posts: 5,458
    Sprint trains are a bit passe now aren't they? The best wins will come from someone sitting on someone else's wheel on the final straight.
    I'm not a fan of the Valverde "Magnet train" Bloody dull to watch and heartbreaking for the poor sod he's latched himself on to like a limpet for the last 20km.

    At least sprint trains add some drama. Nice when you get a few freestylers like Sagan in the mix (Freestyler because he is usually riding for a team with no leadout!)
  • deejaydeejay Posts: 3,138
    Tony Martin would be ace for this. They'd have to chase hard.
    You're so right. Seems like the perfect man for the role.
    Yep, a good replacement for George Hincape.
    Organiser, National Championship 50 mile Time Trial 1972
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