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the_hoyle
Impressive results from the team in the cobbled classics. Nice riding in RvV
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Ian Butler
jandal7 - We'll get that wildcard next year Wink Dierickx certainly pushed his limits on the Ronde and put our entire team on the map, for sure!

VoetsT - It would not be fair to ask for more. In fact, we would have been happy with way less. But this is wonderful!

Tamijo - Yes, the boys are showing their potential!

Croatia14 - Almost, almost! I think they lack that bit of consistency to be up to WT standards. But that result in the Ronde (and the E3) certainly show us that WT won't be many years ago. Maybe in 2 seasons we could already be in the World Tour, who knows!

the_hoyle - Thanks. We have the advantage of not being any favorite, so we can hide rather well. I think after this performance, Dierickx won't be able to sneak his way in the front group anymore Smile
 
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Ian Butler
i.imgur.com/cao4s1H.jpg

6th of May, 2019

Been a while. We've been super busy with a whole heap of one day races. Unfortunately, we've not been able to add another win to our counter. Some races have gone downright bad for us. Others, on the other hand, have gone surprisingly well.

So here's a list of the one day races we've competed it. We've also entered two stage races, but both were very forgettable races for us, unfortunately.

First, the Scheldeprijs. A sprinter's festival. Huyge found the right wheel to follow and finished a respectable 13th place.

Scheldeprijs - Top 15
1Arnaud DĂ©mareGroupama - FDJ4h37'03
2Dylan GroenewegenTeam Jumbo-Vismas.t.
3John DegenkolbTrek - Segafredos.t.
4Niccolo BonifazioDirect Energies.t.
5Giacomo NizzoloTeam Dimension Datas.t.
6Caleb EwanLotto Soudals.t.
7Jonas RickaertCorendon - Circuss.t.
8Danny Van PoppelTeam Jumbo-Vismas.t.
9Andrea PasqualonAstana Pro Teams.t.
10Fabio SabatiniDeceuninck-Quick Steps.t.
11Mark CavendishTeam Dimension Datas.t.
12Sam BennettBORA - hansgrohes.t.
13Roel HuygeWanty - Gobert Cycling Teams.t.
14Pascal AckermannBORA - hansgrohes.t.
15Elia VivianiDeceuninck-Quick Steps.t.


The beauty of leading a team of 20 neopros is that you have 20 potential leaders. Riders get in and out of form, and always some rider will stand up in great shape. Louis Gaerdelen sort of missed his early season, but the last few weeks, he's been in amazing shape. Remember his name for the final result for today!
But anyway, in Paris- Camembert, he played a very active role and made the top 5, a noteworthy result!

Paris - Camembert Top 10
1Kenny ElissondeTeam Sky4h48'50
2Odd Christian EikingCycling Team Wallonie-Bruxelles+ 25
3Peter KennaughBORA - hansgrohes.t.
4Leopold KönigBORA - hansgrohes.t.
5Louis GaerdelenWanty - Gobert Cycling Teams.t.
6Anthony RouxGroupama - FDJ+ 45
7Lilian CalmejaneDirect Energies.t.
8Quentin PacherVital Concept - B&B Hotelss.t.
9Guillaume MartinCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
10Axel DomontAg2r La Mondiales.t.


The Brabantse Pijl was more disappointing. We had hoped that Roets might've been able to ride himself in the top 20, perhaps. Maybe that's too much to expect of these young men. But we've worked with them for years and they are not just any riders. All of these boys have potential and can be great!

Anyway, the race didn't go our way and our first placed rider was Maxime Thomas, 32th.

Brabantse Pijl - Top 10
1Michal KwiatkowskiTeam Sky5h05'39
2Magnus Cort NielsenAstana Pro Teams.t.
3Patrick KonradBORA - hansgrohe+ 9
4Stefan KĂĽngGroupama - FDJs.t.
5Felix GrosschartnerBORA - hansgrohes.t.
6Jhonatan NarváezTeam Skys.t.
7Georg PreidlerGroupama - FDJ+ 20
8Robert GesinkTeam Jumbo-Vismas.t.
9Andrea PasqualonAstana Pro Teams.t.
10Jonas Vingegaard RasmussenTeam Jumbo-Vismas.t.


Moving away from the races where the startlists are dominated by WT riders, we entered the Tour du Finistère. Both Gaerdelen and Thomas Cuyper were very attentive and they managed to get in the right attack at the end. Four riders would sprint for the win. Unfortunately, mostly due to inexperience, they were unable to exploit their numeral adventage and finished 3rd and 4th, but still, not bad!

Tour du Finistère - Top 10
1Anthony RouxGroupama - FDJ4h27'22
2Pieter WeeningRoompot-Charless.t.
3Louis GaerdelenWanty - Gobert Cycling Teams.t.
4Thomas CuyperWanty - Gobert Cycling Teams.t.
5Xandro MeurisseCycling Team Wallonie-Bruxelles+ 11
6Julien BernardTrek - Segafredos.t.
7Nick Van Der LijkeRoompot-Charless.t.
8François BidardAg2r La Mondiales.t.
9Jesper HansenCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
10Brice FeilluArkéa - Samsic+ 21


Tro-Bro LĂ©on was another one of those races where you wonder if we were even in the race. The pace was brutal and our best finisher was Brouwers at 34th, followed by Chang Li at 81th place. Not our best showing.

Tro-Bro LĂ©on - Top 10
1Mathieu Van der PoelCorendon - Circus5h01'33
2Christopher LathamVitus Pro Cyclings.t.
3Zico WaeytensCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
4Matej MohoricBahrain - Meridas.t.
5Geoffrey SoupeCofidis, Solutions Créditss.t.
6Luis León SánchezAstana Pro Teams.t.
7Jan TratnikBahrain - Meridas.t.
8Anthony MaldonadoSt Michel - Auber 93s.t.
9Clément VenturiniAg2r La Mondiales.t.
10Emils LiepinsCycling Team Wallonie-Bruxelless.t.


Then it was time for the World Tour Classics. First was Flèche Wallonne. (we missed a wildcard for the Amstel, unfortunately). Roets had good legs and we made him co-leader for the day. He made it in the pack until the final climb of the Mur de Huy, but he was badly positioned for the climb. He did his best to move up places, but it was tough.
In the end, he had to be happy with a 27th place. We think it's a very promising spot for his first time here. He was less happy.

Flèche Wallonne - Top 30
1Daniel OssBORA - hansgrohe4h55'57
2Julian AlaphilippeDeceuninck-Quick Step+ 12
3Alex KirschTrek - Segafredos.t.
4Sergio Luis HenaoUAE Team Emiratess.t.
5Alejandro ValverdeMovistar Teams.t.
6Bert-Jan LindemanTeam Jumbo-Vismas.t.
7Michael WoodsEF Education First p/b Cannondales.t.
8Mathieu Van der PoelCorendon - Circuss.t.
9Rui Alberto CostaUAE Team Emiratess.t.
10Dylan TeunsBahrain - Meridas.t.
11Patrick KonradBORA - hansgrohes.t.
12Pavel KochetkovTeam Katusha- Alpecins.t.
13Thomas DegandBahrain - Meridas.t.
14Enric MasDeceuninck-Quick Steps.t.
15Daniel MartinUAE Team Emiratess.t.
16Marco FrapportiAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermecs.t.
17Enrico GasparottoTeam Dimension Datas.t.
18Vincenzo NibaliBahrain - Meridas.t.
19Romain BardetAg2r La Mondiales.t.
20Jelle VanendertLotto Soudals.t.
21Wilco KeldermanTeam Sunwebs.t.
22Wout PoelsTeam Skys.t.
23Tim WellensLotto Soudals.t.
24Michael MatthewsTeam Sunwebs.t.
25Maxime BouetArkéa - Samsics.t.
26Simon YatesMitchelton-Scotts.t.
27Arthur RoetsWanty - Gobert Cycling Teams.t.
28Bob JungelsDeceuninck-Quick Steps.t.
29Cesare BenedettiBORA - hansgrohes.t.
30Lilian CalmejaneDirect Energies.t.


And finally, Liège - Bastogne - Liège.
Remember what I said about form? We start every race with 6 or 7 riders, and we almost never have a clear leader in our head before the start. Instead, we rely on the riders' feelings to guide them, to be honest with each other and let the form of the day decide who'll be protected near the finale.

Today, Louis Gaerdelen fairly quickly came over the radio, saying: I have the best legs I've ever had! You gotta trust me.
Obviously, we did. Our entire team trusted him and everyone went to work for Louis. It was incredible to see all egos shoved aside for a team member.

And, you know what, the gamble totally payed off. Louis was iron strong and never let the peloton go! He hung on, sometimes barely, until the final climb, the final kilometer!

Only at the very last acceleration, the one leading up to the sprint, he had to leave a gap. He was totally spent. But we can only be proud of him. A 17th spot in our 2nd monument. Congratulations, Louis.
Roets was our second best rider, coming in at a 45th position.

Liège - Bastogne - Liège - Top 25
1Julian AlaphilippeDeceuninck-Quick Step7h07'36
2Enrico GasparottoTeam Dimension Datas.t.
3Michael WoodsEF Education First p/b Cannondale+ 7
4Daniel MartinUAE Team Emiratess.t.
5Fabio AruUAE Team Emiratess.t.
6Alejandro ValverdeMovistar Teams.t.
7Sergio Luis HenaoUAE Team Emiratess.t.
8Jelle VanendertLotto Soudals.t.
9Michael MatthewsTeam Sunwebs.t.
10Dylan TeunsBahrain - Meridas.t.
11Wout PoelsTeam Skys.t.
12Patrick KonradBORA - hansgrohes.t.
13Rui Alberto CostaUAE Team Emiratess.t.
14Domenico PozzovivoBahrain - Meridas.t.
15Davide FormoloBORA - hansgrohes.t.
16Wilco KeldermanTeam Sunwebs.t.
17Louis GaerdelenWanty - Gobert Cycling Team+ 33
18Roman KreuzigerTeam Dimension Data+ 1'07
19Rigoberto UranEF Education First p/b Cannondale+ 1'17
20Simon YatesMitchelton-Scotts.t.
21Tim WellensLotto Soudals.t.
22Bjorg LambrechtLotto Soudals.t.
23Bob JungelsDeceuninck-Quick Steps.t.
24Thomas De GendtLotto Soudals.t.
25Andrey AmadorMovistar Teams.t.


i.imgur.com/T9i1VcD.jpg


So, some ups and some downs in these races. In these longer races, you can see age does matter. Louis is one of the older boys in the squad, and he performs best here.
We have no doubt about the capacities of our squad, though. They'll all get there.

Currently we hold the 5th place in the Continental Team Rankings, and 22nd in the CQ Team Rankings.

See you later!
- Ian
 
VoetsT
Some very good results! This squad will definitely achieve something big in the future
 
Kiserlovski01
Can't believe how many beautiful results I've missed already! Truly impressive racing on some occasions, keep it up!
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valverde321
Hopefully Alaphilippe can repeat those results at LBL in my story Pfft

Great result at RvV, and not bad elsewhere.
 
tsmoha
Well, at this pace, I already have to do a catch-up this weekend Smile
 
the_hoyle
The classics providing some fine results for the team. The young guns are really performing well some bigger name opposition
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sutty68
The team are getting some nice top ten finishes Wink
 
Jakstar22
Amazing start to the season and the story for the team!!

I love the idea of this story and always your writing Ian!

Welcome back!! Can not wait to see more of this story!
 
Tamijo
Louis Gaerdelen on fire !

Nice variation with a story where the hierarchy is flat, as oppose to the World Tour story’s me and others do where things are set in stone.

 
Ian Butler
Wow, everyone. Thanks so much for the overwhelming support. This reminds me of the time I was doing my first stories. It feels great to get so much back from you, writing this!
Thanks! Smile


VoetsT - I hope so. Some definitely have not missed their start, that's for sure!

Kiserlovski01 - Thanks very much Smile

valverde321 - Either Alaphilippe will win in your story, or someone from Wanty Grin

tsmoha - Yeah, sorry about that Wink but after a blitz start, things will take a much more casual flow now!

the_hoyle - Some are certainly knocking on the door of some WT team already. If we don't get to WT ourselves within a few seaons, it might be hard to keep the squad together.

sutty68 - We value those greatly! They'll turn into more wins eventually Wink

Jakstar22 - Thanks a lot, man, I really appreciate it!

Tamijo - Cheers! Yes, that's exactly what I like about it, too, playing. I'm very used to playing with a team with 1 or 2 star riders and focusing on them. Now, a lot of these guys are very similar in abilities (though not in potential), and every race is a new chance for anyone to show themselves.
It also allows me to use daily form best. For example, Louis Gaerdelen had a +5 daily form in Liège, hence his great result.

I expect that the flat hierarchy will continue for 1 or 2 seasons. After that, potential'll probably come into play and the difference between riders will become more clear, and I think we'll go to a more traditional set-up, with a few leaders.
But until then, every man has a shot at being a leader!


Also, I'm already thinking ahead about the first GT next year. Let me know if anyone has good ideas. I think TDF is out, because too much pressure, too much circus. Let the boys start more casually in a GT. I'm thinking Vuelta or Giro, or perhaps try to get wildcards for both and send 2 different teams.
 
VoetsT
I would go for the Giro. It's is the perfect Grand Tour to start imo. Not to much pressure like TdF and the Vuelta is more for climbers. I think a young team has more chance of success on a Giro route.
 
jandal7
Ian, you're right, this is like a classic Ian story with pace and love from the followers, I've been thinking - it's missing something: I wonder what TMM would think about Dierickx's stats to get so good in RVV? Pfft
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Ian Butler
VoetsT - Excellent suggestion. Giro is also generally more fun than Vuelta, and like you said, more chances there. Vuelta, especially in PCM, is mostly top climbers winning.

jandal7 - Thanks for the love Cool the pace started wild, but as you can clearly see, my "break/holiday" from work is over and now I hope to bring 1-2 updates per week, it won't be more.
Still, it's fun to be back, with this squad.
Dierickx 85, obviously! Wink
 
Ian Butler
i.imgur.com/cao4s1H.jpg

19th of May, 2019

Another few races have finished, and we're slowly looking towards the bigger stage races. Especially around July, we'll enter in some races with real mountains, and we hope there our boys will shine!

Yet we are still racing in the neighbourhood at the moment, and our boys are already shining, especially in the lower-category races.
La Flèche Ardennaise was the perfect race for some of our boys to show themselves. and show themselves they did, with no less than 4 riders in the top 20!

La Flèche Ardennaise - Top 20
1Ivar SlikMonkey Town – à Bloc CT3h53'45
2Toon AertsTelenet Fidea Lionss.t.
3Chang LiWanty - Gobert Cycling Teams.t.
4Kirill PozdnyakovTarteletto - Isorex+ 46
5Daniel SilvaRadio Popular - Boavistas.t.
6Antonio SantoroMonkey Town – à Bloc CTs.t.
7Bart De ClercqSport Vlaanderen - Baloises.t.
8Jonathan ClarkeFloyd's Pro Cycling+ 59
9Joris CuyperWanty - Gobert Cycling Teams.t.
10Daniel PearsonCanyon dhb p/b Bloor Homess.t.
11Keegan SwirbulFloyd's Pro Cyclings.t.
12Andreas LeknessundUno-X Norwegian Development Team+ 1'09
13Maximilian StedmanCanyon dhb p/b Bloor Homess.t.
14Damien MichaudWanty - Gobert Cycling Teams.t.
15Noah PoulinWanty - Gobert Cycling Teams.t.
16Mathieu Van der PoelCorendon - Circus+ 1'25
17Alexander KriegerLeopard Pro Cyclings.t.
18Pierre GouaultNatura4Ever - Roubaix Lille MĂ©tropoles.t.
19Lennert TeugelsCibel - Cebons.t.
20Maxime VantommeTarteletto - Isorexs.t.


A great performance from our Hero from China!

On to 5 Jours de Dunkerque. What was remarkable there? Well, Sagan won 5/6 stages and came in 3rd on the other, so a mediocre performance from him.
Our boys didn't really stand out, beside two accounts of being in the breakaway of the day.
Roel Huyge managed to finish inside the top 10 twice in the sprint, but only just.
However, Dierickx did perform at a constant level and managed to finish 11th overall. Not in a most glorious fashion, but a result nonetheless. Especially looking at some of the names before and just behind him.

5 jours de Dunkerque - GC - Top 15
1Peter SaganBORA - hansgrohe23h29'51
2Marc SarreauGroupama - FDJ+ 55
3Pawel BernasCCC Teams.t.
4Lilian CalmejaneDirect Energie+ 57
5Nathan Van HooydonckCCC Team+ 59
6Ramon SinkeldamGroupama - FDJ+ 1'01
7Silvan DillierAg2r La Mondiales.t.
8Jan-Willem Van SchipRoompot-Charless.t.
9Stefan KĂĽngGroupama - FDJs.t.
10Dries DevenynsDeceuninck-Quick Steps.t.
11Daniel DierickxWanty - Gobert Cycling Teams.t.
12Damien GaudinDirect Energies.t.
13Fabio JakobsenDeceuninck-Quick Step+ 1'02
14Preben Van HeckeSport Vlaanderen - Baloise+ 1'20
15Søren Kragh AndersenTeam Sunweb+ 1'30
 
Tamijo
Nice podium for Chang Li, but I guess Dierickx actually raced better in Dunkerque, just on a very different competitive level.
 
tsmoha
Nice podium for Li and respectable results in Dunkerque. Looking forward to your stage races then!
 
the_hoyle
Podium is great for Li and Dunkerque is always going to be hard with a Top 10 like that
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sutty68
Nice to see Li grab a podium in La Flèche Ardennaise Smile
 
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