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[PT] Aegon - Lavazza 2018|2019
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Posted on 25-05-2020 03:47
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roturn
Last addition to the squad


Quite late in the transfers we were able to get a rider deal signed, which was on hold for a long time as the big goal Van der Poel was not yet secured. But once that signature was done, it was just seconds until the next deal.

Tony Gallopin
30 years - 4.100 - 74,42 - 75.000 €

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75717475797874667073807074
Gallopin is a big allrounder with great skills on any terrain and yes, while not being from our focussed Nations, it`s just a perfect fit on a great wage.
With TTTs having a big importance in the Pro Tour, he will play a big role in those events while the skills over climbs, longer and shorter plus a good sprint will surely give him lots of opportunities to go for some results himself. That said, this skills also allow an early leadout position even making him even more versatile.
His only "weakness" are the cobbles but it`s not even that bad, who knows, what he can do in a race such as TONE as co-leader maybe.


That`s 3 riders now with a great allrounder skill set in Boom, Gallopin and Van der Poel with just one stat below 70 each.
 
trekbmc
He's the sort of guy you wish you could train now, amazing back-ups and strong main stats already, he's a quality rider in almost any race, congrats on that signing! Smile



"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
 
roturn
Team Presentation


The transfer season is over and our team ended with a solid amount of 25 riders, which is basically a bit higher than in the past but is helping nicely on the complex PT calendar surely and another reason is that the focus was quite a bit on talent additions as you will see further below.

Biggest change clearly was the leaving riders Martijn Keizer, Davide Villella, Geert Van der Sanden and Sven Nooytens which somehow needed to be replaced.

Leaders

Stage Racer

Daan Olivier
26 years - 4.100 - 77,36 - 200.000 €

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Thomas Dekker
34 years - 4.100 - 77,81 - 390.000 €

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74807477758078606669686677

Our Dutch duo will lead us in the hardest races this season, which means the GTs as also the mountaineous stage races such as Dauphinee, Suisse or Paris Nice.
Olivier did some nice off-season work and hence might go for a bit higher places this year, which basically is the internal replacement for Keizer.
Veteran Dekker is still valuable at age 34 and hopefully can perform close to his 2017 season.

Puncheur

Sean De Bie
27 years - 4.100 - 79,52 - 500.000 €

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73718372777669687275746568

Our big leader in the hilly races remains Sean De Bie. In a last minute decision, he got some nice hill improvement, which hopefully means, we will see him more often going for a top5 or even win instead of late top10 or even outside. At age 27 there is lots of room left and hopefully he can perform more often as in the 2017 LBL.

Sprinter

Ben Swift
31 years - 4.100 - 79,57 - 680.000 €

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Dylan Groenewegen
26 years - 4.100 - 78,05 - 400.000 €

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Swift hopefully continues to win multiple stages in both GTs and PT stage races while Groenewegen can hopefully repeat his nice run from 2017 with several GT stage wins, which won`t be easy though.

That said, our Dutch sprinter got some small mountain boost, that should make him finish GTs more easy.

Allrounder

Lars Boom
33 years - 4.100 - 75,22 - 135.000 €

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Tony Gallopin
30 years - 4.100 - 74,42 - 75.000 €

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Lars Boom is with the team since the beginning and even though he is beyond his prime, he is surely a great rider to have. Still our leader for the Tour of Northern Europe and a great rider to have for TT events, hence his role is slowly moving from leader to domestique level but a lot more freedom than regular domestiques.

Same could be said for Gallopin. Surely a rider to support De Bie regularly but also one to go for the breaks as often as possible and even a 2nd option next to Boom in those hilly TT events.


Domestiques

Stage Racer

Thomas Koep
28 years - 4.100 - 72,86 - 50.000 €

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Giulio Ciccone
24 years - 3.30 - 70,95 - 50.000 €

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Giovanni Carboni
23 years - 2.00 - 69,97 - 75.000 €

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Koep remains an important domestique for our team. Also with the team since 2012 except for 2 seasons on loan out. He continues his streak of GTs and will participate and hopefully finish continuous GT #7-9 this year with the top50 being goal in all of them.
Ciccone had a good first season with us last year and will become more important now with still 2 steps to go.
Similar for Carboni, who is even having 3 more steps and hence both Italians are more for the future but already play important domestique roles.

Puncheur

Edoardo Zardini
29 years - 4.100 - 75,33 - 110.000 €

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Björn Thurau
30 years - 4.100 - 73,30 - 60.000 €

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Zardini`s role is to replace Villella as main support for De Bie. His skills on longer climbs though also help us in GTs and Stage Races, where he is the main support for Olivier/Dekker alongside Koep. Hence more variable in plannings.
Thurau is our 2nd hill support rider and as last year his job is to cover De Bie and go stage hunting, which worked nicely with a stage win in the Deutschland Tour.

Sprinter

Kristian Sbaragli
28 years - 4.100 - 75,59 - 110.000 €

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Phil Bauhaus
24 years - 4.100 - 73,99 - 50.000 €

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Our leadout duo are Sbaragli and Bauhaus. Expect them to be whereever Swift is and in times also supporting Groenewegen. First did some stunning leadouts in 2017 and hopefully remains as such beast while Bauhaus goes into his first maxed season and surely is a bit of a downgrade to Van der Sanden, which he needs to replace. Hence leadouts might remain a bit of a gamble. That said, the team is confident to score a lot of points on the flat also in 2018.

Time Trialist

Tom Dumoulin
28 years - 4.100 - 74,22 - 60.000 €

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Frederik Frison
26 years - 4.100 - 73,09 - 50.000 €

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Dumoulin and Frison had mainly TTT tasks in 2017 and this basically remains. They might have their chances in 2-3 events on their own as best time trialists in the squad, but expect them to do support mainly.

Allrounder / Northern Classics

Jasper Bovenhuis
27 years - 4.100 - 72,71 - 50.000 €

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Mathieu Van der Poel
23 years - 2.43 - 72,33 - 250.000 €

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Nathan Van Hooydonck
23 years - 2.00 - 71,22 - 120.000 €

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Taco van der Hoorn
25 years - 3.08 - 69,85 - 50.000 €

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Bovenhuis as only maxed in this part might have a lot of freedom on the cobbles actually, even though it can`t be expected to be a good scorer. Same goes for young talents Van der Poel and Hooydonck. Their future is bright and maybe they can show themselves here and there already in their debut with our team.
Van der Hoorn is a good rider for the flat and the paves but just for support duties while all four of them are hoped to jump into the breakaway rather often.


Loaned In

Davide Martinelli
25 years - 4.00 - 72,67 - 50.000 €

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Walter Trillini
27 years - 4.08 - 772,86 - 50.000 €

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German Anibal Orue
24 years - 4.18 - 71,66 - 50.000 €

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Hugo Hofstetter
24 years - 2.00 - 70,07 - 50.000 €

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Four loaned in riders of which Martinelli might be seen in a leadout train for Swift/Groenewegen. Trillini has a good hill/sprint combination and hence is supposed to help De Bie and join breakaways while Orue is on paper the best cobbler in our team, though expectations are more towards top50 than top30 results.
Hofstetter, who joined late, is a future sprinter/classic rider, who is here to learn from more experienced mainly.


Stagiare

Cees Bol
23 years - 1.00 - 69,19 - 10.000 €

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Our only stagiare in 2018 is Cees Bol. The Dutch is a talented rider with a decent sprint but also skills on the short hills. Hence it will be interesting how he develops in the future. For now it`s some first steps in Pro Cycling
 
Scorchio
So is that training for Olivier, De Bie and (minor for) Groen-wagon I spy? Am I missing anyhing else? With the number of very solid talents also in development the future looks bright! The one concern I guess must be the 'now' position with the loss of the likes of Der Kaiser coupled with f.e. Dekker's gradual decline not necessarily like-for-like replaced as yet as you wait for the talent to blossom. The sprint duo must give confidence that relegation is not an issue/concern, but perhaps a bit of a slide down the rankings is to be expected from the heights of last season?

All the best for the season ahead!
Manager of ISA - Hexacta in the MG
 
Heine
As usual, a very good team. Will be interesting to see if the training of De Bie and Olivier is enough to cover for the loss of Keizer. De Bie looks really good, and still many years to train him...
 
ember
Very strong team, similar to the 2017 season, but with Olivier stepping up stats wise. Add the De Bie training, and a title challenge isn't out of question, I think.

Though, considering Olivier, he might struggle to replicate 2017 points wise, as he did pretty well due to some superb third week racing in a GT. On the other hand his backup stats really makes him a great rider, who should perform well above the expectations only his base stats give.

Dekker will probably be undervalued this season thanks to his decrease, but I think he still got one good season left in him. Of course you can't expect a Dauphine performance all over again, but I still think he'll be a solid points scorer this season.

Best of luck! Will be interesting to see how you plan your leaders, especially Dekker, Olivier, Swift and Groenewegen.
 
roturn
@Scorchio: Yes, Top5 would be a huge surprise if I make this yet again. Goal is top10 and hopefully this works out. If it`s top15 I don`t mind neither that much. Doubt a team with De Bie, Swift, Groenewegen and 2 80 stage racers with good backup stats is relegating though. This would be a blow obviously, which I am highly confident to avoid. Wink

@ Heine: Yes, might not be 100% covering, though Keizer`s season in 2017 was crap in relation to 2016 and his stats/wage. A lot more suited to PCT where you can pick better races for such combination. Agree with De Bie. Wink

@ ember: I think you aim to high for me. Basically it`s improved De Bie/Olivier but with regressed Boom/Dekker plus Keizer leaving and I doubt any of Groenewegen/Dekker can repeat their 2017 scoring.
Olivier I think was okay. His 2016 last week performances was better. Should score similar.
And planning will be revealed once startlists are out in race threads. Let`s remain a surprise until then but I can say, I am happy with it. Pfft
 
SotD
I do agree... Top 5 is a serious stretch, although Aegon isn't the only team from the previous top 5 to have taken a slide, also Pendleton's not present will make it possible, although unlikely.

Top 10 should be very possible though. 2 strong GC riders with a lot of racedays to use, a top (now) puncheur and 2 very strong sprinters...

In a lot of ways I find Aegon quite a similar team to mine. Aegon is slightly better in sprints, while I'll be slightly better in cobbles. Aegon i slightly better in hills, while we are slightly better in GC - but leveled out by the fact that Aegon has 2. Then we have the advantage of a better TT'er, which should level the teams very evenly I think.

Will be fun to watch, and I definately see Aegon being a top 5 team in the making. More cap after Dekker next season should be thrown into talents bettering their current stats, and then you'll surely have a top 5 team!
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roturn
Season starts with big goals


The Offseason is slowly coming to an end and hence the riders are about to finish preseason-camps and head over to their first racing destinations. And by watching the rider tweets, slowly you can get a good overview, which riders are present in what races.

Nothing different for our team. Sean De Bie just tweeted from China and with him he linked Gallopin and Thurau, hence obvious to see them ride in the season opener Badaling International. With his most recent training, we feel that De Bie can ride for the win in basically all hill classics. That said whenever Ponzi, Boasson Hagen or Bakelants appear, they still are dominant and hard to beat. Though it`s a season for De Bie, where we expect him to finish inside the top5 quite regular and hence becoming our biggest point scorer.

Similar with our sprinting duo Ben Swift and Dylan Groenewegen. Both had a desert ride recently on Strava and apparently prepare for the Tour of Qatar. Big news as it means that Groenewegen acts as top leadout! Well, as a win goal race, this was an easy decision.

When asking the team for the full line-ups the following was answered:

Badaling International Tour of Qatar
Sean De Bie Ben Swift
Tony Gallopin Dylan Groenewegen
Björn Thurau Kristian Sbaragli
Jasper Bovenhuis Phil Bauhaus
Mathieu van der Poel Davide Martinelli
Giulio Ciccone Tom Dumoulin
German Anibal Orue Frederik Frison
Walter Trillini Tony Gallopin
Goal: Top5Goal: Win

Gallopin with a big start for the team in both races and hence a lot of flights in January already. Other than that the only "surprise" that new rider Zardini is getting a free January and not supporting De Bie in Badaling. Just didn`t suit his personal schedule and hence one of the few races in the hills without him.

It`s also the debut of future great van der Poel, who is supposed to learn mainly.
In Qatar next to our top duo also the full sprint train joins in Sbaragli, Bauhaus and Martinelli. Hence expectations are quite high.
 
roturn
January Review


With big goals we went into the first month and announced to aim a top5 in Badaling with a team around De Bie and aimed big for the win in Qatar with Swift and added a very strong team with Groenewegen, Sbaragli or Gallopin around him.

In short, it can be said, that we pretty much failed to acchieve those high goals and might need to check if those were simply to high or if it was more bad luck and soon to be improved!

The Badaling International was still okay. De Bie was concentrated and followed the big moves. He later on was in the group fighting for the positions and finished 6th of those, which would have been 1 off only from our goal. Though quite unlucky that one rider in Caio Godoy was still ahead solo and took a big, unexpected win for EA Vesuvio. So it`s a 7th for De Bie in total, which is not far off but neither what we aimed for.

In the Tour of Qatar though we experienced a real desaster. At least until stage 4.
After Dumoulin joined the break instead of controlling for Swift, we weren`t able to get anything organized in the end and neither Swift was really well placed on his own. A 14th for him with Groenewegen in 34th was a bad start, even more as half of the team lost more than 5min including 2 decent time trialists.
And unfortunately it remained like this on the next stages. 13th, 10th!!!, 27th for our sprinters. Well at least both of them always were in the front group and never lost due to wind as all others at least did once...This way the top30 was guaranteed pretty much, but this was far too less.

Stage 5 then delivered us the first stage win in 2018 with Gallopin doing exactly what he was brought into the team for. He realized that the sprints didn`t deliver for us for some reason and as experienced road leader, he decided to attack. First the peloton, later the breakaway and went solo onto the final kilometer where he easily was able to take the win. As the peloton took a day off (Swift was only 19th in the sprint of the peloton...!), the big gap of 5'32 moved us weirdly into the lead of the team ranking as we were able to keep at least 3 guys in the top group on any stage. Though never were able to organize something then.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Races/PT/Qtar/5/8.jpg


The final epilogue saw mid level performances by the team and in the end 17th for Swift and 18th for Groenewegen in the GC. 35th by Dumoulin, who had just one day out of the top group.

11 points combined by Swift/Groenewegen in the point competition says enough about our dilemma in Qatar 2018 but the team ranking win as also 2nd in the U25 (which was another loss on the last day) by Groenewegen and a stage win from Gallopin scoring was a lot better than we feared after 4 stages. That said, still like ~300 points less than we were counting on.


While Badaling was just a self-set goal, the Toru of Qatar was indeed a win goal and hence quite a disappointing loss there...
 
roturn
February Triple Header

Early on in the season the popular triple race clash appears on the Pro Tour calendar.
Paris Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico are usually mixed as one puncheur and one climber event while the additional Classique Grand Duche adds another puncheur race.
While it makes it rather easy for climbers to be send to one of the stage races, the puncheurs are seperated and every season you can win or lose by choosing the weaker or stronger startlist.

As our focus is on hilly races with Sean De Bie, we had to decide as well and went for Tirreno-Adriatico this season as our Belgium puncheur tends to perform better in stage races as in classics as his 5th in last years Paris-Nice GC shows and about this is what we aim this year again!
This years Tirreno only having a short 2km prologue and then 4 hilly stages along 2 flat ones. Three clashing races only mean that sending a full squad is difficult at times and we also were just able to make it 7 riders, though all in for De Bie and no additional sprinter for those 2 stages.
The support includes the hill riders Zardini in his season and team debut as also Gallopin and Thurau. A trio that will often be seen with De Bie. Plus 3 younger riders in Bovenhuis, van der Poel and Van Hooydonck. Mainly our cobbled squad but with strength on the short hills as well.

Paris-Nice was harder to pick. We don`t have that top5 or even top10 mountain rider but the race consists of 1 hard mountain top finish, one semi hard looking mountain stage and a 10km mountain TT in addition to a 3km flat prologue. 2 flat stages early on and then 2 puncheur stages, of which one is a uphill finish. With that amount of hill stages and only 3km of flat TT we decided to send Olivier here, who is the better puncheur in comparison to Dekker and more being the weaker time trialist. A top10 would be nice here but is not easy to acchieve. Top15 is minimum though and being on the first page of the results would look a lot better obviously.
His support isn`t very good without Zardini. Koep and Ciccone need to carry him as long as possible.
And with 2 early flat stages and a full team of 8 riders, we decided to also send Groenewegen here as one of the riders to fight for 2 stage wins! Not the best support in Bauhaus only but he showed in the past to be able to do well without big support.

Grand Duche then is the puncheur classic and with De Bie in Tirreno, we simply had no leader. Loanie Trillini might get a chance on his own without any expectations. Young Carboni as well here with some sprinters and time trialists in addition. No expectations at all and will be interesting to see which riders decided for the weaker startlists in 2018!

Tirreno-Adriatico Paris-Nice
Sean De Bie Daan Olivier
Edoardo Zardini Thomas Koep
Tony Gallopin Giulio Ciccone
Björn Thurau Dylan Groenewegen
Jasper Bovenhuis Phil Bauhaus
Mathieu van der Poel Taco van der Hoorn
Nathan Van Hooydonck Hugo Hofstetter
Goal: Top5 German Anibal Orue
Goal: Top12 & Stage Win
Classique du Grand-Duche
Walter Trillini
Giovanni Carboni
Kristian Sbaragli
Tom Dumoulin
Frederik Frison
Davide Martinelli
Goal: Breakaway
 
roturn
Milan San Remo Preview

Milan San Remo is the first monument of the season and expectations are quite high despite having a risky team here.

Instead of sprinters Ben Swift or Dylan Groenewegen, our hopes are on top puncheur De Bie, who is having a decent sprint as well from smaller groups.
With top favourites being the punchy sprinters such as Van Stayen, Van der Lijke, Demare, Kump or even Bewley to a lesser extend, we considered the pure sprinters to skip this one and instead try to make the race as hard as possible to grab a top10 this way with a weaker sprinter but better rider over the hills.

De Bie is getting good support from mainly Tony Gallopin, a rider to maybe top20 himself in such race. He is supposed to make it very difficult for weaker puncheurs and bring De Bie into position for a late attack. Thurau, Bovenhuis or maybe future contender van der Poel are here to help.
Martinelli as only Italian alongside loanies Trillini and Orue for earlier work.

Milan San Remo
Sean De Bie
Tony Gallopin
Björn Thurau
Jasper Bovenhuis
Mathieu van der Poel
Davide Martinelli
Walter Trillini
German Anibal Orue
Goal: Top10
 
jandal7
No Swift Shock
30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing
[CX] Listerijns & Kiwis

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3x i.imgur.com/wM6Wok5.png x3
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roturn
Can`t remember if Swift was a sprinter. Pfft

Would need to check exactly but think when I combined sprinter and puncheur, the puncheur regularly was the better finisher and there are simply so many strong hill sprinters these days that would beat Swift most likely.

De Bie was 11th here last year iirc, so this is about what I want again and doubt Swift can do much better anyway.
 
dominox
Risky plan to not take a pure sprinter here. But if the race will be a bit selective with high tempo on those hills near the finish, it can pay off.
 
roturn
The short potential transfer post


Let`s start immediately with a big rumour being around for some time now.

The team was not really happy with Ben Swift and while they expect him to potentially be the team`s top scorer in 2019, the rumours have him on the availablity list!

The Brit is still one of the very fastest man on the planet, which showsin the GC win triple in the last 3 SAA Afrique Tours, where the very best sprinters usually met each other.
Also his palmares in the Tour of Qatar says enough being the GC winner or podium rider several times.
And not even to talk about all his GT and in especially Tour de France stage victories, which lists him as one of the very best MG riders of all time even in this category.
Even with a wage of 660.000 € this usually makes a good points per wage ratio.
So with just a bit more than one day until transfers, this could surely bring some movement into the sprinter market!

Other than that Thomas Dekker had fantastic 2 seasons with the team in his post prime. Though even at the age of 35 now, he still doesn`t consider stopping to hunt some more GC results and his stats (78mo, 75tt) surely say, he is capable. Actually a Tour de France top10 finisher in 2018! Knowing, this won`t be easy in the Pro Tour though to lead by himself a lot, he could ask the team staff to move down 1 or 2 divisions to enjoy leadership more often.

And as I usually have one rider on the not available for sure list but still end up selling him, here the list of riders not available "for sure":
Sean De Bie, Dylan Groenewegen, Daan Olivier, Lars Boom (Yes, they are NOT available).
 
cio93
Freeing up nearly a million in cap space AND surely at least one big transfer fee?


Let's just say, I'm not happy Phinney still is training eligible. Frown
 
roturn
Leaders and depth to enter for 2019


The first transfers for the upcoming season are sealed and it`s the big moves surely instead of the smaller ones, that got confirmed early in past seasons.

Peter Velits will come in following his brothers early career steps several years ago. 34 years of age yes, but still a capable stage racer to replace the gap Dekker`s decrease has opened and on a very good wage of just 260k.
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David Vesely already has a past in this team being here in his development years early on already. He now comes back being a proven sprinter and is expected to step into the 2nd row behind Groenewegen with lots of freedom though.
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Yoann Paillot coming in as time trialist, which is something we haven`t had an expert since Keizer and Schädlich left the team some time ago. He will lead the TT department with Dumoulin and Frison behind him.
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Robin van der Hugenhaben as only Free Agent signing so far. The Dutch veteran will lead the support role for De bie and being a valuable rider on hills and longer climbs as well and is sharing this function with Zardini, who did a good job in 2018 already. Now as double team should be stronger even. Coming from the FA market 70k wage is a more than decent value for him.
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Odd Christian Eiking is another rider for De Bie`s support. Though he comes on loan base only and will leave the team next season again. Should be in for some breaks as well of course.
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Farewell post


Big new signings usually mean some riders need to leave to open cap space for them. While being on the leader side of the team for some time now and with lots of
results actually, decision was made early to let one big name go.

Ben Swift as lead sprinter has left the team, partly being replaced by Vesely. One reason surely was the age of him being in his last prime season. In especially the SAA Tour Afrique palmares is impressive and was a nice story for our team. Also his TdF stage wins and his sensational fight in Paris Nice some on the hilly stages were legendary.
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Tony Gallopin was not supposed to leave at all but as transfer usually run (at least for me) things change. The alrounder is a great rider to have and he showed it with a TdF stage win and the TONE top10 alongside several other solid performances. Still his skills opened up some possibilities in the end that made a deal happening.
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Jasper Bovenhuis had been with the team for some time now but with the lack of a cobbled leader he always was some kind of free role here. He showed some skills on the paves or also in KoM hunts and breakaways but surely can deliver better elsewhere. Just like Gallopin, he was not planned to be sold but opened opportunitities that suited more.
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73587159747072746268796559
 
jandal7
Sad to see Velits go but hope he can work a little magic for you. A good couple of incomings as well in Vesely and Paillot. Shame to see Gallopin leave though Sad
30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing
[CX] Listerijns & Kiwis

i.imgur.com/PdCbs9I.png
i.imgur.com/RPIlJYr.png
3x i.imgur.com/wM6Wok5.png x3
i.imgur.com/olRsxdu.png
 
AbhishekLFC
Lovely signings, all of them. Should be really good for you Smile

Swift and Gallopin are big names to leave but I think the replacements for them have been taken care of. I'll look after Bovenhuis well Wink
 
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