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Tour: Cycle Free» Forums » News

Subject: Squads for 2012 - ongoing update thread rss

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Luke Morris
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So I'm working on the squads for 2012 and may increase the number of teams.
The cyclingnews website has been handy as they've been giving pictures for riders as each team releases their squad pictures so as usual it's just a case of choosing who makes the cut....and how much I'm going to drop that dirty cheat Valverde's stats.

Also how amusing that I have exactly the same Contador problems as last season when I didn't know whether to include him or not due to the doping lawsuit. A damning indictment on the sport.

Anyway, Gilbert will probably be this year's Hushovd ('11) and Cunego ('10).
 
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Luke Morris
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Oh yeah and squads will be increased to 14 which means one per page. Which is nice.

I've started with Sky because they were the first team to reveal for the season. The 14 in the Cycle Free squad are:

Mark Cavendish
Ritche Porte
Michael Rogers
Geraint Thomas
Rigoberto Uran
Bradley Wiggins
Thomas Lofkvist
Edvald Boasson Hagen
Michael Barry
Juan Antonio Flecha
Bernhard Eisel
Kanstantsin Siutsou
Chris Froome
Chris Sutton

....which is a really strong team actually. More to come.
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John Weber
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Luke, FWIW, I vote for including Contador. He's won his case at just about every stage thus far.

I like the idea of more than 10 riders per team as well.
 
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Luke Morris
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Yeah I was looking through Sky and thought "man, who am I going to leave out here?" The guy that came second in the VUELTA would have missed the ten man cut which was ridiculous.



Anyway, time to enjoy myself as I choose the Garmin-Cervelo squad...

Tom Danielson
Thomas Dekker
Tyler Farrar
Murilo Fischer
Heinrich Haussler
Ryder Hesjedal
Christophe Le-Mevel
Dan Martin
David Millar
Ramunas Navardauskas
Alex Rasmussen
Christian Vande Velde
Johan Vansummeren
David Zabriskie
 
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Luke Morris
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Just been to the Radioshack Nissan Trek website. Now that's an attractive website with great photos for the riders. Lampre, AG2R etc need to take a leaf out of their book.

Anyway here's the Radioshack Nissan Trek 14....

Andy Schleck
Frank Schleck
Fabian Cancellara
Gregory Rast
Andreas Kloden
Jens Voigt
Linus Gerdemann (like Lofkvist I'm certain one day he'll fulfil his potential)
Chris Horner
Maxime Monfort
Hayden Roulston
Jakob Fuglsang
Yaroslav Popovych
Haimar Zubeldia
Daniele Bennati
 
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Luke Morris
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While we're on the topic of super teams here's BMC's for the year. Far more enjoyable to play with this season due to a couple of, well, pretty high profile additions.

Alessandro Ballan
Brent Bookwalter
Marcus Burghardt
Stephen Cummings
Cadel Evans
Mathias Frank
Philippe Gilbert
George Hincapie
Thor Hushovd
Taylor Phinney
Marco Pinotti
Johann Tschopp
Greg Van Avermaet
Tejay Van Garderen
 
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Luke Morris
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Omega Pharma-Quickstep is a strange beast for 2012. Merging the Boonen/Chavanel Quickstep underachievers with half the sponsorship of the Omega-Pharma Lotto team and throw in a few extremely shrewd signings and the Quickstep team for 2012 is stronger than it's been for a long time.

Tom Boonen
Matt Brammeier
Sylvain Chavanel
Francesco Chicchi
Gerald Ciolek (remember when he was supposed to be the next big thing until Milram ruined him?)
Dries Devenyns
Bert Grabsch
Levi Leipheimer
Tony Martin
Serge Pauwels
Jérôme Pineau
Gert Steegmans
Niki Terpstra
Peter Velits
 
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Luke Morris
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It's time for CAPITAL LETTERS as we check out the first ever GreenEDGE team. A new team for 2012, grabbing as many of the Aussies in the peloton that they can. Robbie McEwen will be included despite the fact that he's stated that he will only ride for the first half of this season before retiring....Not that they're short of sprinters...just everything else.


Michael Albasini
Fumiyuki Beppu
Jack Bobridge
Baden Cooke
Allan Davis
Julian Dean
Luke Durbridge
Simon Gerrans
Matthew Goss
Sebastian Langeveld
Robbie McEwen
Cameron Meyer
Stuart O'Grady
Pieter Weening
 
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Luke Morris
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Time for the Russians. As my favourite Katusha rider (big Vladimir Karpets) has left, I would have found it even easier to dislike the team....except that they've bought in old Rabobank teammates Oscar Freire and Denis Menchov. Strange move for Freire....
Anyway Katusha HAVE got a couple of top quality riders for both climbs (Menchov, Rodriguez) and sprints (Freire and Galimzyanov) and have always have solid domestiques and fighters so a (kinda) pretty decent all-round team to play with this year...Just not for me.


Pavel Brutt
Óscar Freire (I might have to include some special rules for him due to his breathing problems)
Denis Galimzyanov (and rules for him being dangerous in group sprints)
Vladimir Gusev
Mikhail Ignatiev
Alexander Kristoff
Aleksandr Kuschynski
Denis Menchov
Daniel Moreno
Luca Paolini
Alexander Porsev
Joaquim Rodríguez
Gatis Smukulis
Simon Špilak
 
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Luke Morris
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Movistar. Always my least favourite team in the pro peloton. Previously Caisse d'Epargne, Previously previously Banesto. This year sees the (unsurprising) return of my least favourite rider (to my least favourite team) - the unrepentant cheat Alejandro Valverde - pride of Spain, Vuelta winner etc etc but pleasingly always explodes when he rides the Tour.
Anyway he's back after his short drugs ban and, horror of horrors, he's joined by VLADIMIR KARPETS (see above). Even Vlad can't make the team playable for me though. Oh they also have the least exciting sprinter in the peloton (Rojas) and a million generic small, punchy Spanish climbers (probably).

David Arroyo
Marzio Bruseghin
Juan José Cobo
Iván Gutiérrez
Beñat Intxausti
Vladimir Karpets
Vasil Kiryienka
Pablo Lastras
David López
Rubén Plaza
José Joaquín Rojas
Alejandro Valverde
Francisco Ventoso
Giovanni Visconti
 
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Luke Morris
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Screw it, I'm gonna have a go at Euskaltel.

Bright orange and full of Basque beans. The team's political status is also their biggest performance weakness. All Euskaltel riders have to either be from the Basque country in the north of Spain or have grown up there (hence two Frenchmen in their full squad). Luckily they have Samuel Sanchez who's a wonderful bike rider and should probably get a bonus for descending. Unsurprisingly for a team from the Basque region, they have a plethora of strong climbers....and Mikel Astarloza who's just returned from an EPO doping ban.

Igor Antón
Mikel Astarloza
Jorge Azanza
Gorka Izagirre
Mikel Landa
Egoi Martínez
Mikel Nieve
Juan José Oroz
Alan Pérez
Samuel Sánchez
Romain Sicard
Amets Txurruka
Pablo Urtasun
Iván Velasco


a.k.a: Samuel Sanchez + 13.
(Actually that's a little mean on Igor Anton).
 
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Luke Morris
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While I'm in an orange mood, here's Rabobank. A strong team for 2012 and a good mix of classics riders, sprinters, tough TT riders and climbers. Also Robert Gesink who has been a "promising young rider" for years and finally needs to step up as team leader and legit GC contender. Mark Renshaw gets his chance to show what he can do in sprints as the main man.

Carlos Barredo
Lars Boom
Theo Bos
Matti Breschel
Graeme Brown
Juan Manuel Gárate
Robert Gesink
Steven Kruijswijk
Paul Martens
Bauke Mollema
Mark Renshaw
Luis Leon Sanchez
Laurens ten Dam
Maarten Tjallingii
 
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Luke Morris
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In a move of brilliance (a move that is long overdue) I have added a small time trial stat - a plus one or a minus one (or nothing at all). Great TTers have a +1, bad TTers have a -1 and the rest don't have anything. This, when I've finalised TT rules, will add to rider stats on the other terrains. This won't provide a +1 or -1 for every section but more to their overall time for the TT.

To show what kind of riders are included in this "top tier", after completing stats for Garmin, Movistar, Rabobank, Radioshack, Katusha and Sky (and a few riders for Euskaltel) the +1 riders are:
Samuel Sanchez
David Millar
Dave Zabriskie
Thomas Dekker
Alex Rasmussen
Lars Boom
Fabian Cancellara
Andreas Kloden
Denis Menchov
Bradley Wiggins
Edvald Boasson-Hagen
Richie Porte
Geraint Thomas

So it's not really really elite but these guys would all be considered great time trial riders. So that's 13 out of about 85 riders so far. There have been 11 -1 riders such as Bernhard Eisel, Denis Galimzyanov and Mark Renshaw.


Interestingly out of those teams, using the same stats groupings as last year (GC Contenders, Fighters, Sprinters, Classics) the best GC rider is Samuel Sanchez (30*/32) A star means that they are a +1 TTer. Menchov is a 29*, Schlecks are 29, Gesink, Rodriguez and *shudder* Valverde are also 29. Kloden and Wiggins are 28* and Horner, Vande Velde and Danielson are 28.

Best classics riders so far are Cancellara, Breschel and Farrar (30/32) but Farrar's is down to his sprint more than hill ability. Boasson-Hagen, Freire and Boom are 29s.

Best fighters are Cancellara (24/24), Boom (23) then numerous tough guys on 22 including Voigt, Millar, Flecha and Zabriskie.

Sprinters? Cavendish (16*), Farrar, Freire, Renshaw, Boasson-Hagen (16) then plenty of 15s who are always weaker because it means either their sprint or flat ability is a 7. I think having sprint 7/flat 8 is the best for those because if you can't at least be at the front when it comes to the sprint then you're going to struggle.


Anyway just a snapshot of things so far. More to come.



And yes, pretty much all Movistar riders are 7 flat, 7 hills, 7 mountains. Hilarious going through the PCM daily stats.
 
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Luke Morris
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As I've just started reading Nicolas Roche's autobiography it's a good time to get Ag2r done. Though I could probably just list a dozen random French-sounding names and the majority of people (myself included) probably wouldn't realise.

Put simply Ag2r are a bit rubbish and always have been. They've got a few good riders (like Roche and Peraud) but ultimately they're the kind of team you see in the Tour de France who send someone off on a doomed break every day just to get some TV coverage. This does mean that they can get nuggets of glory though and some top 20s in GCs.


Manuel Belletti
Maxime Bouet
Jimmy Casper
Hubert Dupont
Martin Elmiger
John Gadret
Sylvain Georges
Sébastien Hinault
Lloyd Mondory
Rinaldo Nocentini
Jean-Christophe Péraud
Mathieu Perget
Christophe Riblon
Nicolas Roche
 
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Luke Morris
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No longer Garmin-Cervelo, this season it's Garmin-Barracuda! Rockin'!

 
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Luke Morris
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Saxy Saxy Sexo Bank. Still got the stupid hawk/eagle things on the front of their jerseys this year but now they're blue!

Once everyone's favourite team (except mine it seemed) when it was the Schleck/Voigt/Cancellara etc machine but now it's mostly just Contador + his merry band of domestiques.....and Nick Nuyens for the classics.

Contador makes a return to the game this season as his court case probably won't happen until 2030 or something...


Alberto Contador
Volodymir Gustov
Juan José Haedo
Karsten Kroon
Anders Lund
Takashi Miyazawa
Michael Mørkøv
Daniel Navarro
Benjamin "road bodyguard*" Noval
Nick Nuyens
Sérgio Paulinho
Nicki Sørensen
Chris Anker Sørensen
Matteo Tosatto



* Saxo Bank making up new terms
 
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Luke Morris
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New boys Vacansoleil are up next. Their biggest coverage in 2011 came from Jonny Hoogerland (car + barbed wire + finishing the stage and needing 33 stitches = becomes cult hero) and Riccardo Ricco going to hospital (attempting his own blood transfusion + stupidity + previous = ban and deserved vilification).

A few shrewd signings over winter (such as sprinter van Hummel from Skil) should help them to more victories this year.

Matteo Carrara
Thomas De Gendt
Stefan Denifl
Stijn Devolder
Romain Feillu
Johnny Hoogerland
Gustav Larsson
Björn Leukemans
Marco Marcato
Wouter Mol
Wout Poels
Kenny van Hummel
Kevin van Impe
Lieuwe Westra
 
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Luke Morris
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As usual I'm being delayed in making my team sheets look pretty by the Italian teams (always late in updating their team pages), Garmin's usual lack of rider photos and Lotto's site launching later than they said it would (obviously spending all their time celebrating Griepel's early season form).



....and Astana being more interested in Vinokourov's political career than their cycling squad for this season.
 
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Luke Morris
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Little update with the following teams complete:
Ag2r, BMC, Euskaltel, Garmin, GreenEDGE, Movistar, Omega Pharma-Quickstep, Rabobank, Radioshack, Katusha, Saxobank, Sky and Vacansoleil.

So, with Lampre, Liquigas, Astana, Lotto and FDJ *snigger* to go...

BEST GC RIDERS (flat, hill, mountain, downhill, */- denotes TT ability)
30* Evans, Contador, Sanchez.
29* Menchov.
29 Schleck, Schleck, Gesink, Rodriguez, Valverde (shake).
28* Kloden, Wiggins, Leipheimer.
28 (with 8 mountain) Horner, Vande Velde, Roche, Danielson, Anton.
28- Gadret.

BEST SPRINTERS (flat and sprint)
16* Cavendish.
16 Farrar, Freire, Renshaw, Goss, Boonen, Boasson-Hagen.
15 Galimzyanov, Rojas, Hushovd, Haussler, McEwen, van Hummel, Breschel, Bos, Davis, Gilbert, Thomas, Feillu, Ciolek, Paolini, Rasmussen.

BEST CLASSICS RIDERS (hill, downhill, cobbles, sprint)
30 Gilbert, Cancellara, Hushovd, Boonen, Breschel, Farrar (mostly down to his sprint).
29 Boasson-Hagen, Freire, Chavanel, Boom, O'Grady.
28 Flecha, Nuyens, Hincapie, Roulston, Tjallingii, Van Avermaet, Leukemans, Goss, Cooke, Paolini, Mondory, Eisel.

BEST FIGHTERS (flat, hill, downhill)
24 Cancellara
23 Gilbert, Boom, Hushovd, O'Grady, Chavanel
22 Voigt, Flecha, Millar, Zabriskie, Hincapie, Breschel, Boasson-Hagen, Nuyens, Goss, Fuglsang, L.L. Sanchez, Boonen, Tjallingii, Sanchez, Evans, Paolini.



Pretty realistic so far I think.
 
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John Weber
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Hey Luke, since you seem to be headed toward posting just about all the top teams, how about a "miscellaneous" squad of 14 consisting of riders not on the Pro Tour teams or who did not make the cut on one of the "power" teams -- I am thinking about guys like Voeckler, Rolland, Pozzato, maybe Sastre and Pereiro if they are still around, etc., who wouldn't be "carded" otherwise. That way you would have the option of drafting them with current stats if so inclined.
 
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Luke Morris
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Yeah I could probably do that. Sastre just retired for this season but missing out on Voeckler and Rolland would be a shame. Also a couple of decent enough sprinters and climbers who would miss out otherwise.

I'll have all 18 UCI Pro Tour teams but you're right, there must be 14 decent riders who ride for:

Accent Jobs-Willems Verandas (Bel)
Acqua & Sapone (Ita)
Andalucia (Spa)
Androni Giocattoli (Ita)
Bretagne-Schuller (Fra)
Caja Rural (Spa)
Champion System (Chn)
Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne (Fra)
Colnago-CSF Inox (Irl)
Colombia-Coldeportes (Col)
Europcar (Fra)
Farnese Vini (GBr)
Landbouwkrediet (Bel)
Project 1T4I (Ned)
Rusvelo (Rus)
Saur-Sojasun (Fra)
Spidertech, Powered by C10 (Can)
Team NetApp (Ger)
Team Type 1-Sanofi (USA)
Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator (Bel)
United Healthcare (USA)
Utensilnord Named (Irl)

 
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Luke Morris
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Though a lot of their sites are at least a year out of date. Ugggggh, WIKIPEDIA WHERE ARE YOU WHEN I NEED YOU FOR EASE OF QUICK REFERENCE?!

 
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Luke Morris
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Right, here we go. I'll edit this down to 14 riders as I go.

Accent Jobs-Willems Verandas (Bel)
Leif Hoste, Stefan van Dijk

Acqua & Sapone (Ita)
Danilo Di Luca (though I'd rather just ignore him), Stefano Garzelli, Danilo Napolitano

Andalucia (Spa)
none

Androni Giocattoli (Ita)
José Serpa

Bretagne-Schuller (Fra)
Geoffroy Lequatre

Caja Rural (Spa)
Manuel Antonio Cardoso

Champion System (Chn)
Craig Lewis

Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne (Fra)
Samuel Dumoulin, David Moncoutié, Rein Taaramäe, Nicolas Vogondy

Colnago-CSF Inox (Irl)
none (though they have an up-and-coming sprinter Sacha Modolo who could move up from the looks of it)

Colombia-Coldeportes (Col)
Fabio Duarte

Europcar (Fra)
Yukiya Arashiro, Anthony Charteau, Pierre Rolland, Thomas Voeckler

Farnese Vini (GBr)
Oscar Gatto, Kevin Hulsmans, Filippo Pozzato

Landbouwkrediet (Bel)
none

Project 1T4I (Ned)
John Degenkolb, Marcel Kittel, Dominic Klemme, Tom Veelers

Rusvelo (Rus)
hahahahahahahaha

Saur-Sojasun (Fra)
Jérôme Coppel, Brice Feillu, Jonathan Hivert

Spidertech, Powered by C10 (Can)
none

Team NetApp (Ger)
Steven Cozza

Team Type 1-Sanofi (USA)
Alexander Efimkin, Julien El Fares

Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator (Bel)
none

United Healthcare (USA)
Philip Deignan, Robert Förster, Boy Van Poppel

Utensilnord Named (Irl)
none






Well some of these are REALLY easy. Let's look at the certainties first...

Thomas Voeckler (best and smartest fighter there is)
Pierre Rolland (epic in the Tour last year)
Stefano Garzelli (linked to the big teams for a reason)
Jérôme Coppel (amazing Tour, young and massively talented GC rider)
Marcel Kittel (won more races in his debut year than Cavendish did)
Filippo Pozzato (treated disgracefully by Katusha, belongs in the ProTour)

...then I will choose: Philip Deignan, John Degenkolb, Tom Veelers, Leif Hoste, Yukiya Arashiro, David Moncoutié (a wonderful transparently clean rider), Rein Taaramäe....which leaves 1 more.
 
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Luke Morris
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Whooo FDJ-Big Mat. How exciting.

William Bonnet
Sandy Casar
Mickaël Delage
Pierrick Fédrigo
Arnaud Gerard
Anthony Geslin
Yauheni Hutarovich
Arnold Jeannesson
Francis Mourey
Yoann Offredo
Rémi Pauriol
Dominique Rollin
Anthony Roux
Jérémy Roy
 
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Luke Morris
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The Liqui boys have finally pulled their fingers out and updated their site. Huzzah. Here is the Liquigas-Cannondale team for 2012.

Valerio Agnoli
Ivan Basso
Maciej Bodnar
Eros Capecchi
Tiziano Dall'Antonia
Kristijan Koren
Dominik Nerz
Vincenzo Nibali
Daniel Oss
Maciej Paterski
Peter Sagan
Cristiano Salerno
Sylwester Szmyd
Elia Viviani


Despite Basso, Nibali, Sagan and the mountain support of Szmyd, that is the weakest Liquigas team I've seen in years.
 
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