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Sky TDF focus

phreakphreak Posts: 2,031
edited April 2012 in Pro race
Surely with the form Wiggins is in he has to be the focus of the team this year rather than splitting it between himself and Cavendish? With the route and all he surely won't get a better chance to win it.

For me I'd use the first week or so to keep Wiggins near the front and out of trouble, and give Cavendish some help, but then after that all goes to Wiggins, with Cavendish dropping out to focus on the Olympics.

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  • They said as much on the most recent Real Peloton, but if you're James Murdoch and paying £x million a year for the World Champion, you don't want him being sidelined.
    My Men 2020 - Mark Cavendish, Ben Swift, Fernando Gaviria, Alejandro Valverde, Edvald Boassen Hagen, Zdenek Stybar, Vincenzo Nibali, Geraint Thomas.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,031
    If he's going for stage wins then no problem. He can go for stage wins in the first week and maybe have just Eisel to get him over the mountains so he can have a crack at the Champs Elysee
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    Cav's astute.
    Yes, a dedicated train will always help, but he'll be able to hi-jack another train in a sprint, and Bernie can help him over the railway bridges.
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,617
    The train's not just about the last 10k. If you're in yellow (Wiggins) you're not going to work to bring break aways back. There's no point being in the mix if the break away crossed the line 5 mins before.
  • Tusher wrote:
    Cav's astute.
    Yes, a dedicated train will always help, but he'll be able to hi-jack another train in a sprint, and Bernie can help him over the railway bridges.

    That's still two riders Wiggins is down. They might be quite handy in the last week. If I was a GC TdF contender, I would want the entire team riding for me.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 23,002
    inseine wrote:
    The train's not just about the last 10k. If you're in yellow (Wiggins) you're not going to work to bring break aways back. There's no point being in the mix if the break away crossed the line 5 mins before.

    I don't think Cavendish will mind missing out on one stage for the greater good.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Dont forget that Cav is not the only sprinter. Do you think all the other teams wont work if a break is away? If wiggo is in yellow could work in their favour, let others do the chasing and Cav can mopupminor placings as training for olympics :D
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    It's not ideal but on the plus side Sky do have some very strong riders so that will work in Wiggos favour - it wont be a full team of strong domestiques like Armstrong had but then not many GC contenders have had that kind of support - and arguably WIggo hasn't really earned that kind of backing in his previous performances.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • liquor boxliquor box Posts: 184
    Have teams ever done a deal with another team to get help? Maybe this is an option, find a team with a similar issue and team up with them and work together.
  • Dave_1Dave_1 Posts: 9,512
    The whole team will end up working for Chris Froome. Cav I reckon will be good enough to let the team ride for GC over green.
  • inkyfingersinkyfingers Posts: 4,397
    Dave_1 wrote:
    The whole team will end up working for Chris Froome. Cav I reckon will be good enough to let the team ride for GC over green.

    Whilst I don't doubt Froome's talent, I do doubt his health and his consistency. Unless Wiggins is ill or injured then Sky would be taking a huge risk to give the leadership role to a guy who has only ever ridden at the top level for 3 weeks rather than a guy who is winning lots of races, showing real consistency and stage racing nous.
    "I have a lovely photo of a Camargue horse but will not post it now" (Frenchfighter - July 2013)
  • Dave_1Dave_1 Posts: 9,512
    Dave_1 wrote:
    The whole team will end up working for Chris Froome. Cav I reckon will be good enough to let the team ride for GC over green.

    Whilst I don't doubt Froome's talent, I do doubt his health and his consistency. Unless Wiggins is ill or injured then Sky would be taking a huge risk to give the leadership role to a guy who has only ever ridden at the top level for 3 weeks rather than a guy who is winning lots of races, showing real consistency and stage racing nous.

    Froome's health is an issue I agree. But if he gets to the condition he had at the Vuelta he will surely be reluctant to ride on the front for Brad. I forsee problems not between Brad and Cav but between Brad and Froome....not quite Visentin-Roche but bad..Contador-Armstrong tension possible
  • inkyfingersinkyfingers Posts: 4,397
    Contador and Armstrong were both proven grand tour winners so it's a different situation.

    Assuming Froome and Wiggins both get themselves into great shape in July I still think Froome is going to struggle to justify being given a leadership role after the results that Wiggins has got this season and his own continuing health problems. If this was a mountain focussed tour, with fewer TT miles then I think the situation might be different. I know Froome beat Wiggins in the Vuelta TT last year, but I would have thought that's one of a few times he's beaten him in a serious race, I'd still put my money on Wiggins in the TT.
    "I have a lovely photo of a Camargue horse but will not post it now" (Frenchfighter - July 2013)
  • Dave_1Dave_1 Posts: 9,512
    Contador and Armstrong were both proven grand tour winners so it's a different situation.

    Assuming Froome and Wiggins both get themselves into great shape in July I still think Froome is going to struggle to justify being given a leadership role after the results that Wiggins has got this season and his own continuing health problems. If this was a mountain focussed tour, with fewer TT miles then I think the situation might be different. I know Froome beat Wiggins in the Vuelta TT last year, but I would have thought that's one of a few times he's beaten him in a serious race, I'd still put my money on Wiggins in the TT.


    Bradley Wiggins wouldn't have even been 3rd at the Vuelta without Froome sheltering him , waiting on him and towing him through the mountain stages of the Vuelta 2011, which cost Froome the Vuelta win... so how can you say I still think Froome is going to struggle to justify being given a leadership role
  • inkyfingersinkyfingers Posts: 4,397
    I wouldn't disagree that Froome might have won the Vuelta last year had he not been riding for Wiggins, but the fact remains that that race is the only time when he's ever looked remotely like a a guy that can win at the top level. History is littered with guys that have put in one great performance then done very little after that. Look at Cunego, after the 2004 Giro he looked like he could be the next dominant GT rider after Armstrong, but he's never been at that level again in GTs.

    Don't get me wrong, I like him and would love to see him fulfill his obvious potential but I can't see it happening this year. Sky will bank on Wiggins to continue his consistent but maybe not spectacular performances, rather than risking it on a guy who could be brilliant or could be ill and completely useless . He's only 26, if he can stay fit and get a few more results behind him then they can give him the leadership in future years. If Wiggins doies well in the tour this year I wouldn't be surprised to see him retire.

    I imagine they'll probably give Froome a leadership role at the Vuelta, if he can do as well again this year then it will be a different story.
    "I have a lovely photo of a Camargue horse but will not post it now" (Frenchfighter - July 2013)
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,031
    Worth remembering that Wiggins had his collar bone injury just 7 weeks before the Vuelta last year, so it's reasonable to think he wasn't at 100%.
  • rebsrebs Posts: 891
    I'd argue more that Froome would not have been in the position he was if Wiggins wasn't with him. Look at any climb Froome was leading Wiggins. You'll see Wiggins shouting out to him all the way up.

    Froome still needs to prove himself. He has the ability his race craft is poor. Much like Wiggins was in the last few years. If Froome buries himself for wiggins in the Tour and has a good top 10 in possibly the Veulta. He'll have earn't a leadership position next year.
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,108
    Froome said himself that riding alongside Wiggins really helped him in the Vuelta. Remember, that was Froome on a level not seen before or since, against Wiggins coming back from injury, and there was little between them. Unless Froome has a remarkable couple of months, I don't see there being any live leadership issue this July.
  • tremaynetremayne Posts: 378
    If there is going to be storm clouds ahead, then I'm absolutely certain it wont involve Mr Froome. He's got too much to lose, still too much still to learn and he's too decent a man to allow his own ambitions to get in the way of 'the script'. Just look at the Vuelta - a picture of positivity (when others might have been going off-message). Nope - he's part of the solution and not part of the problem.

    Possible internal sky turbulence - if we do see some - has got to involve Cav. It pretty much can't be any other way. However, I doubt this also. Again, he's got too much to lose - if nothing more to learn. He needs Sky (and potentially Mr Wiggins) fully on board with his gold medal bid, and I think accepting this is Brad's best ever shout for yellow, is all part of the deal that was most likely knocked out all those months ago with Brailsford.
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    bear in mind also, Cav is the Sky leader for the Giro - if he won the maglia ciclamino this would be the full set of sprinters jerseys, which would make up for a lack of a green this year

    when cav rode for HTC the TdF green was the biggest and pretty much only gig in town - with sky it isn't, especally not this year
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • ProssPross Posts: 22,421
    Cav won't have the full HTC style lead out train but I really don't think he needs it. What Sky will have is a couple of work horses (Eisel and Stannard) who can pull back breaks but they will be equally useful for Wiggins if he is going for yellow. There's also EBH who can work as a lead out man and super domestique until the hills get really big. Eisel / Stannard can pull things along and keep the pace up in the valleys for as long as possible whilst EBH can then take over hopefully saving the legs of Porte / Rogers etc. to do the mountain domestique duties.
  • inkyfingersinkyfingers Posts: 4,397
    edhornby wrote:
    bear in mind also, Cav is the Sky leader for the Giro - if he won the maglia ciclamino this would be the full set of sprinters jerseys, which would make up for a lack of a green this year

    The points jersey in the Giro is a bit different in that I believ it gives equal eighting to all stages rather than favouring the flat stages. Though it is sometimes won by a sprinter it more often won by a GC contender or a Bettini type rider who can place hghly on a variety of stages.

    That said, the first week of this years Giro is very sprinter friendly so he could build up a nice chunk of points, but he would also have to finish the race, which he hasn't usually done but he might this year if he's going to bale early from the Tour.
    "I have a lovely photo of a Camargue horse but will not post it now" (Frenchfighter - July 2013)
  • CumulonimbusCumulonimbus Posts: 1,730
    One of Cav's biggest allies this year could be GreenEdge. Although they have had some early season success i still think that when it comes to the Tour their main goal will be stage wins for Goss. This should encourage them to pull breaks back as well. GreenEdge do have some pretty handy riders though so i can imagine they will try to get in breaks - maybe Sky could try this too although this may end up with some riders using up a lot of energy.

    One handy thing for Cavendish would be if he could win the first sprint or two - then he could use the 'well we've got some wins from the sprints, now we're concentrating on Wiggins ' card. However, from memory he doesnt seem to always go that well in the first sprint or two.

    One other possibility is that Sky look at 2 or 3 stages where they think Cav can win and look to go harder on those days, otherwise being largely absent from the chase.
  • CumulonimbusCumulonimbus Posts: 1,730
    edhornby wrote:

    when cav rode for HTC the TdF green was the biggest and pretty much only gig in town - with sky it isn't, especally not this year

    Yeah, this could be Wiggo's best chance at yellow. Contador is the best stage racer around at the moment with A Schleck and Evans the next two best. However, Conty is absent this year and the course doesnt suit A Schleck, although he should still be up there. Conty will be back next year and the course could well favour A Schleck more so it makes sense for Sky to give Wiggins the priority this year.
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