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  1. #1
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    First Part of 2012 Season -- Lessons Learned

    So the first third of the season is behind us, and with the Tour of Romandie starting today we're now entering the next part (Giro/Tour).

    So what have we learned thus far in 2012? Here are some random observations.

    1. The BMC boys ate too much this Winter. Hushovd? Gilbert? I'll give Evans a pass. Ballan did a nice job filling in and riding strong this Spring, but I wonder when he gets popped.

    2. Tom Boonen has returned. Sure, it helped that Cancellara didn't challenge him in Flanders and Roubaix, but Tornado Tom is arguably back to his 2005/2006 form -- and wiser too.

    3. Radioshack -- see item 1 above. What a disastrous start to the season. I read somewhere 1 European win this season. At least Horner busted his butt at TA and Basque Country.

    4. Vincenzo Nibali is fun to watch. This guy throws caution to the wind. He is not explosive, but he knows when to attack. 2 podiums in MSR and LBL plus GC on TA.

    5. Filippo Pozzato will never win a big race, unless he changes his racing brain. Watching Pipo motion Ballan to chase after the decisive Boonen "move" at PR with less than 50 km left (the one where Terpstra simply pulled and nobody followed the two-man Quickstep train) was inexplicable.

    Please add more!
    Last edited by fornaca68; 04-25-2012 at 02:49 AM.
    2014 SuperSix Evo HM Sagan LE
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  2. #2
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    WIth what I have seen from FRANDY thus far, they will be non factors this year. WIth 100k worth of TT in the TDF, we all know they have absolutely NO shot at winning this year with the way they TT. Maybe they should have focused on the Giro this year.

    -Curious to see how Voeckler will do this year in Le Tour. Looks strong already.

    -Wondering what kind of racing we are going to see at the grand tours this year. It seems to me that most of the big names are shooting for the Olympics. Could we see some lesser names winning stages while the big names save their legs?

  3. #3
    your text here
    Reputation: weltyed's Avatar
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    i think bruyneel must be furious, both at the team and himself. it seems the superteam was relying solely on cancellara for the spring work. not just wins, but work. its almost like they are two teams: cancellara and team radioschleck. and i really hope andy schleck has realized he cant just ride wheels all the way to the podium in paris.

    bmc screwed the pooch in the spring. for a team most had high expectations, they wet the bed this spring.

    omega quick step was awesome. im not sure if they were THAT great or all other teams were that bad. and thats the thing; do we fault riders, directeurs, or what? it seemed to me that qs was a level above most other teams, both in strength and tactics.

    but that doesnt always translate into summer success or failure. how many times did we see a postal/disco squad with paltry palmares in the spring? thor looked bad last spring with garmin but really shined in july.

    hey, is garmin still around?
    I don't normally "do people." - Dr. Roebuck

  4. #4
    warrrrrrrgh!!!
    Reputation: foto's Avatar
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    Griepel is going to needs some new excuses.
    I hate you all

    j/k lol kthxbye!

  5. #5
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    I learned that if you were hired by QS to help them compete for GC in stage races, you need to avoid training on European roads; they are a dangerous place to be.
    I like when you get to that point and I donít know if itís the endorphins kicking in or what, but you realize youíre so far from where you started, that youíre finally really somewhere else, a completely different place.

    -Richard Sachs-

  6. #6
    LA CHEVRE
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    Quote Originally Posted by foto View Post
    Griepel is going to needs some new excuses.
    What? He sold his old list to Mark Renshaw?

    Seriously...

    Yes, RadioSchleck is two teams into one, Fabian and the rest. Fabian for spring without much help (Johan has always just cared about Grand Tours though), the rest to help Andy try not to fall off the podium in July. Only Fabian looks motivated and passionate about winning on that team. The Schlecks don't seem to want to do what it takes to win... and it doesn't seem to bother them.

    Liquigas... Nibali is definitly not the strongest/fastest... but he tries hard, works hard and is the opposite of the Schlecks in terms of attitude on and off the bike. I really like him. Sagan.... we already knew he was good but it was nice to see him so close in the classics, we'll count his classics titles in a few seasons. Basso on the other hand...

    Thor who? At least Gilbert was there and showed progress and actually raced. Ballan was as good as he'll ever be...

    Yeah Boonen was great! Strong but racing smart too.

    Wiggins, with this year's Tour route, is looking like a real potential candidate for once.

    DAN GEROUS

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  7. #7
    Hucken The Fard Up !
    Reputation: Salsa_Lover's Avatar
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    First trimester was QuickStep's
    next trimester will be Sky's IMHO
    Quote Originally Posted by zank
    They're just bikes. Ride 'em in the rain, salt, snow and crap to fully appreciate them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Kelly
    The thing about the cold is that you can never tell how cold it is from looking out a kitchen window. You have to dress up, get out training and when you come back, you then know how cold it is.

  8. #8
    Albert Owen
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    HTC are badly missed, not least by the riders who were part of its incredible collective power.
    Schlecks are useless - relatively speaking.
    Sagan might be the new Big Thing.
    Ganging up against Cav might give the Sky riders a sense of purpose.
    Greenedge look to be a really good outfit.
    BMC and Rabobank are sleeping giants waiting for their time to come later in the year.

  9. #9
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    I learned a healthy Tom Boonen is still damn hard to beat

    no, I already knew that. Glad to see Tommeke with equal power back in both legs
    one nation, under surveillance with liberty and justice for few

    still not figgering on biggering

  10. #10
    Where's that GPS?
    Reputation: LostViking's Avatar
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    Top Performer - Boonen's Classics domination.
    Top Prospect - Wiggo - seems to have found that missing something, like Cadel last year.
    Greatest pleasent surprizes: Greenedge and Vacansoleil-DMC.
    Greatest disappointments: BMC and Radio Shack-Nissan-Trek.
    Most Impressive Comeback: Valverde.
    Exit Stage Left: Saxo Bank.
    1980's - Centurion
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    2000's - Specialized
    2010's - Bianchi

    ''This story was so perfect for so long. It's this myth, this perfect story, and it wasn't true.'' - Lance Armstrong

  11. #11
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    That stray bottles are serious business!

  12. #12
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    That training is just as dangerous as racing..
    CŰte du Petit Pas d'Ane - Best climb name ever.

  13. #13
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    Sagan had a good Classics campaign. He still needs to learn when to go, when not to. But only 22 years old.
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  14. #14
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    Sometimes the "all for one" team strategy can be a disaster. Many people think it is confusing for a team to have multiple captains but it is nice to have some insurance. Saxo lost their classics captain to a crash and their GC captain to a doping ban and they're up the creek without a paddle. Radioshack lost their classics captain to a crash and schleck was in bad form; not good for them either. Of course, QS made it through the classics with their team intact but if something had happened to Boonen, Terpstra and Chavanel got them wins. I think the best example was BMC. Hushovd and Gilbert were sick all spring and Ballan was able to save them some face and pull a couple of big podiums.

    I'm trying to think of examples where the "too many chiefs and not enough Indians" situation actually confused and divided a team enough to hurt their results.
    I like when you get to that point and I donít know if itís the endorphins kicking in or what, but you realize youíre so far from where you started, that youíre finally really somewhere else, a completely different place.

    -Richard Sachs-

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