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[PCT'21] Jura - Fiat | WC Update & Season End
The jump from CT to PCT is a hard one, if you are used to winning races the year prior. When you have high expectations and come up with bad results it sucks. I kinda had that last year with Beltran underperforming half the year and Saber having a bad season. I wasn't in a great mood at times last year.

But bad luck eventually turns around. Perhaps you have to recalibrate expectations and ask yourself where it went wrong. Stepping away for a moment is definitely not the wrong approach to take. Come back whenever it feels right.

And FYI, I only did a full season of updating my HQ last year in my 3rd season. So you've been putting in much more effort than I have on that front Wink


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
Thanks for all the kind words.

You may have noticed that I came back to commenting in race threads after my last HQ post - which I kept up until Nairo had another stinker in Tour de Romandie, thereby failing even the easiest goal of the season...
I'll try to go through the latest results by hopefully keeping some distance and not getting too angry again, as my last race comment wasn't exactly very productive...
But if the by far strongest and highest paid rider of your team (20th OVL in PCT - which makes his performances so far really look ridiculous) just constantly underperforms, and the 2nd best does no better (and even much worse than last season for no apparent reason), well, that's not exactly motivating, either ^^

I don't know what to expect, so I don't know what you can expect here. But with the Avenir nominations thread popping up I had to at least react anyway, so I think I'll come back until the end of the season at least. I think if something could make me stay, it's my Swiss talents with Mäder, Bissegger and now Schmid, although I'll never have the money to make them top class riders I guess...
Some thoughts about the team's future

You have probably noticed that I haven't updated the HQ since that time-out announcement. I have however commented on the races sometimes; often in a bad mood, rarely satisfied. I have often said as well that I'm done with PCM20, which is even more true after some ridiculous results lately (not necessarily just in the PCT races).

Well, that sounds like the team will disband. I currently don't think so, though. I do still love the managerial part of the game. I'd love to see my talents grow into somewhat useful riders. And I do have the illusion that some PCM version will finally do things a bit more realistically. So, I currently plan to continue the team; however with much less effort put into the game than in the last couple of seasons. The PCM behaviour just annoys me too much, so I think it'll be necessary to keep some distance and not get too much involved emotionally. You surely all noticed that I still am a pretty emotional being, despite my 35 years ^^

What hurt morale as well was the fact that I had to realize it's close to impossible to build up a competitive team consisting mainly out of Swiss riders. The problem there is not even that there aren't enough (objectively) decent riders - the problem is that they don't fit into PCM's mechanics.
Let's take for instance Fabian Lienhard. There was even quite some hype around him when I joined the game, and he had a great 1st PCT season as a level 3 rider. Now as a maxed rider, he looks like a perfect breakaway rider - decent hill, decent sprint, high fighter stat. But he doesn't join breakaways. Not a single one this year iirc. Which makes him completely useless; he only scored single-digit points during the entire season. Now, some have told me that FTR has nothing to do with how often a rider joins breakaways - which is unfortunately true according to the experience. So the German translation (Ausreisser -> escapee/baroudeur) is completely misleading. Another frustration to get over.
Cyrille Thièry, who is pretty similar (although stronger in the mountains), has done slightly better this year, but given that he doesn't join breakaways, either, he's pretty useless as well.

Or take Manuel Stocker. He did an amazing job as a leadout in the past two years, and I'm sure Guillén and Reinhardt would have scored less points without him in the train that they did with him. Now, we all know that leadouts mostly are a kiss of death in PCM20 - so that's another rider getting completely useless (as not strong enough to be the main sprinter at any level). The same goes for talent Robin Froidevaux, who I intended to build into the next Stocker - plans obviously had to be changed there, so there's still a little bit of hope he'll become at least partly useful.

Or Stefan Bissegger. He'll be one of those random 78TTers, who may occasionally have a good day and actually score some points. I knew that when I signed him, but it's still frustrating to see him win PT races IRL and be relatively weak in MG. Well, at least he might be someone worth training - although I guess you have to build a Zmorka-like rider to really make training worthwile...

Mirco Saggiorato is on the decline; nothing I can do about that, but another good rider who has become completely anonymous this year. Other 76 climbers have done far better, no clue what the issue was with him. After the next decline, he'll definitely no longer be attractive. At least, Gino Mäder replaces him as a decent Swiss climber - with much better TT, but weaker on the hills. Surely no rider who will win races, and not even one that will be worth spending training money on, given his absent Acc. For a rider who finished 2nd in TdR IRL, that's not a great maxed skillset tbh. (yeah, I'm saying that some Swiss guys have been added too weak, but that's another issue ^^)

So that leaves me with Mauro Schmid - the only Swiss on my team who really has the potential to get up to elite level. If others have been added too weak, he's surely too strong, but at least he could be the guy I could really build up a team around. But he'll be maxed in 3 years only, and until then there's no real perspective to get a competitive Switzerland-focused team.

So what's most likely today is that the team continues, but a change of focus will be required. With only one pretty useful Swiss rider on board next year (Mäder), there's no point in keeping that focus - which is yet another frustration I'll have to live with. Which is another reason why I'll be probably much less involved next season. But we'll see; a full stop is still an option I'm considering, but not the one I'd prefer taking. You'll surely find out when the new registration thread comes up ^^

@redordead: I'm definitely asking where it went wrong; I've found some points, but there's still a lot I can't explain. If you want to give me some hints what to look at and why some riders just don't work at all, feel free ^^

Bye-bye Fiat?

Lots of rumors have been around lately, after some admittedly abysmal performances of the team. On the verge of the season's closing race - which will decide on the team's fate in terms of 2022 divisions - we felt that it was time to bring those speculations to an end.

The good news is: Jura will remain the team's main sponsor for next season, no matter what. They are still committed to the idea of building up a team based mainly on a core of Swiss riders - well concious of the fact that it will still take several years to really get there. Which means that the team definitely does have a future, and that riders like Gino Mäder, Stefan Bissegger or Mauro Schmid will get renewal offers that will hopefully convince them to continue this project with us!

Secondly, it is true that the GP Emilia might be the last race having Fiat as our secondary sponsors. After three more or less successful seasons, with several Italians playing a main role on the team, Fiat have decided that a continuation of their sponsorship won't be interesting enough in the Continental Tour. On the other hand, they will stay on board if we somehow manage to stay in the PCT division - so finally it's in the riders' hands (or legs) to decide on Fiat's future with the team.
Besides the lack of attractivity of the CT division for a global enterprise, Fiat have been heavily disappointed with the latest abysmal performances of both Gianni Moscon (Balkans) and Fausto Masnada (Morocco), culminating in a complete no-show in PT race GP Cyclistes (Canada). Both have shown solid performances before, but as usual, it's the last impression that counts - and that one was admittedly really bad. One more race for both of them to show the world (and our secondary sponsor) that tehy're still alive!

Little to no change will happen in terms of our other sponsors. GIANTS Software will continue to support us, just like BMC and Wander AG. So the open question is if Fiat will stay on board or not - we definitely hope they will, as the Swiss-Italian cooperation has been pretty fruitful these last few years!

Jura - Fiat
Post-Season press conference

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our post-season press conference. We would have obvoiusly preferred a brighter outcome of the season, but it is what it is.
With all the rumours around lately, as well as a press release by Fiat announcing their likely departure, we felt that it was time to get the CEO of our head sponsor, Jura, to talk about the team's future today. Please welcome Mr. Emanuel Probst.

*clap clap clap*

Thank you, Mr. Fabianski. And thank you all for coming here, ladies and gentlemen.

First, a sidenote to all reporters present: Please ask your questions in written form. Depending on the content, Mr. Probst, myself or D.S. Rubens Bertogliati will answer them later during a Q&A session towards the end of the event.

Mr. Probst, first things first: Is there a future for team Jura - Fiat?

Yes and no. I can confirm that Jura Elektroapparate AG will continue as a main sponsor of the team.
However, as has been leaked before the last race of the season - which led us to still release an official statement - Fiat will sadly no longer be part of our project.

While the first part is definitely good news for our riders and staff - and hopefully the fans out there - Fiat's departure needs some clarification. Did it come as unexpected as it looked like to the "outside world"?

No, definitely not. As you might remember, Fiat only renewed their contract thanks to the perspective of supporting a PCT team; they would have stopped already last season had the team not promoted.
And so, after the first couple of ranking updates didn't look bright for us, Fiat confirmed that they would only stay with the team if relegation can be avoided, given their perceived lack of attractivity of the CT division.

Does this mean that Fiat's potential departure was known by the team management and the sponsors?

This is indeed the case. We would have loved to continue our great Swiss-Italian project, but everyone was aware of the fact that the Fiat part of the story would come to an end with the relegation.

Which sadly means that after only three years, we part ways with our Italian friends. And it also means that what started as Centovalli - Fiat in 2019 is no longer Centovalli nor Fiat - a clear cut in the team's history.

Thanks again to Torino, it was a pleasure having you on board all this time, and we'll definitely miss you! Hopefully we'll meet again during Milano - Torino next year!

*clap clap clap*

We will come to the past again later - more precisely to the season review based on the actual results - but now, let's talk about the future.
Mr. Probst, you mentioned that Jura will continue as our main sponsor. Please tell us some more details about the 2022 project.

Sure. I am happy to announce that GIANTS Software will now be our lone secondary sponsor, taking the role they'd already have taken for this season if the team hadn't promoted. The 2022 team name will hence be Jura - GIANTS.

Does this mean that the team will 100% focus on Switzerland in the future?

This is indeed the long-term goal, yes. But we all know that it is not currently possible to build up a team with exclusively Swiss riders - especially with our friends from Sauber and UBS around, competing with us for the strongest Swiss talents.

The main focus for non-Swiss riders was obviously Italy. Now that Fiat is no longer on board, will this change? Do our Italian riders have to be afraid of the renewals period?

While it is true that the secondary focus nation was Italy, the focus area was actually extended to the countries around Switzerland; we do have three riders from France on board (plus one loan-in), one from Germany, one from Austria, and even one from Liechtenstein. What until was the "extended focus" now simply becomes our secondary focus.

What about Columbia, Poland or Eritrea?

Dear Mr. Fabianski, you do exactly know that you're responsible for contract renewals, so I won't go into any more details. But for sure, we don't just need local riders - we need quality as well, else racing doesn't make too much sense. And it isn't fun.

I think the lack of fun is a good keyword to switch to the next subject - the performance review.

Mr. Probst, thanks a lot for your detailed explanation about what happened and what the future might look like - and see you again on stage later!

*clap clap clap*

Ladies and gentlemen, we'll take a short coffee break here and we'll be back with the season review later. See you then!

Jura - Fiat
Season Performance Review

Welcome back to our post-season press conference. We've heard some good news already, meaning that the team will continue even in CT next year - and we've had some sad news with the departure of Fiat, too.

Now, Rubens - let's move on with some more bad news. Let's take a brief look at the goals - but make it really brief, please, as it's an unpleasant view...

Yeah, I have to admit that it indeed is. Here's our sponsor goals review for the 2021 season:


Team StandingsTop 1023rd
Giro dell'Emelia (HC)Win21st ( Gianni Moscon)
Pro Hallstatt Classic (PTHC)Top 540th ( Hermann Pernsteiner)
Int. Österreich Rundfahrt (HC)Top 53rd ( Nairo Quintana)
Tour de Romandie (C1)Top 57th ( Nairo Quintana)

What hurts most is obviously the team standings goal, as 23rd place means relegation. You all know this by now I guess.

The complete no-show in Austria at the Pro Hallstatt Classic was an early bummer, too. Especially our team leader Nairo Quintana was nowhere near his top shape and wasn't even our highest finisher. Those two goals are definitely 0% reached.

We can give maybe 5% for the Emelia goal, but definitely no more. Sealing the relegation in Italy with an underperformance of an Italian making us lose our Italian co-sponsor - pretty much worst-case, too.

Then, we at least have an almost reached goal, narrowly missing out on the target Top5 in our home Tour in Romandie. Nairo again wasn't up to his task on one stage - only to strike back on the next. In total, it wasn't sufficient to fulfill the goal to 100%, but 7th is a good result nonetheless.

The biggest surprise though was Nairo Quintana's 3rd place in the Tour of Austria, which he earned thanks to a great TT! 100% satisfaction on this one - but mathematically speaking, 5th in Austria and 5th in Romandie would have given us even more sponsor satisfaction.

Was that brief enough?

Yeah, thanks. But it still hurt...

What is pretty worrying with those goals, however, is that there's some kind of a pattern throughout the season - our worst goal race was a PTHC one, followed by an HC race. Tell us about that issue, Rubens.

Unwillingly. But yeah, you're unfortunately right - the higher the scoring potential, the worse we did on average. Take a look at this table:


Given the potential points, the PpRD value should be higher the higher the race category. So it's perfectly fine to have the lowest average at the C2 level - even more given that we weren't allowed to send our strongest riders there.

However, the fact that the PTHC PpRD is our second lowest one is catastrophic. Our competitors often clearly outscored us in those races. Especially the final two 8-day stage races were really bad in that respect, as we scored far below even 10 PpRD in those.

Other stage races were fine, especially Tour d'Afrique and - despite doing well below expectations in the mountain stage - East Java. All in all, we were really looking forward to those races - and often ended up very disappointed.

At least the HC races were slightly better - but really just slightly. The 0-pointers in Omloop or E3 were expected, but the one in Strade Bianche was disappointing - as were the 5 measly points in Emelia. Austria, Lithuania and Pologne were the outliers on the other side of the scale, bringing us up to a reasonable 11.18 PpRD in this category - but still below what it would take to avoid relegation.

Fortunately, there were the C1 races as well. Obviously, we had a few bummers there as well - especially the Lugano/M-T clash with a total of 4 points. Jelajah was bad, too, but else we rarely got less than 10 PpRD. Japan obviously was the big outlier, with more than 30 PpRD - and the main reason that we could hope to stay up until the very last day.

Yeah, we did hope - but we were disappointed. What can we read from this table, Rubens?

It's pretty obvious that the team wasn't ready for PCT. The tougher the competition, the less we were visible - and often didn't even try anything. That's simply not enough.

That sounds cruel.

Sure, but you have to face truth. I mean, most people saw us on the lowest spot pre-season, so finishing 3 places higher probably is a surprise to most of them.

A surprise, maybe - but still a disappointment for us. Did really everything go wrong? Where were our biggest deficits?

We'll find out after a short coffee break, when we'll continue with the rider performance analysis. Stay tuned!

1 year to lick your wounds, and then straight back up.
Stay calm sir Smile
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1 year to lick your wounds, and then straight back up.
Stay calm sir Smile
I'm confident you will bounce back next year! Wink
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Jura - Fiat
Rider Performance Review

We're back for part 3 - maybe the most interesting one for many of you. But before we really dive into those numbers, just an additional information. Someone asked us if there really was just coffee available, or if they could get some alcohol, too.

What a question! I mean, we're a sports organization, right? I doubt that science has meanwhile concluded that alcoholic beverages are the best for athletes...
And moreover, the guy who asked for it - one of your fellow managers - surely is just here to get amused by watching us lick our wounds!

Take it easy, Rubens. It's the end of the season, so I guess an exception here and there is OK.
But yeah, there's only a couple of beers and no champaign - as we don't have much to celebrate. And while we appreciate other managers' interest in our press conference, it's certainly not the right place for them to celebrate their own success.

By the way, we would rather like to encourage you to taste the lime-flavored Isostar drink provided by our nutrition sponsor Wander AG.

Definitely. By the looks of it, Isostar - Lime actually seems to be a great recipe for success lately. Maybe our riders should drink more of it next season...

For most of them, it certainly wouldn't hurt their performance, given that it wasn't amazing this year.

Let's take a look at how well the individual riders did - not only in terms of points scored, but also by putting those points in relation with their wage and used RDs. Here's the overview:

RankRiderRDsWagePointsPpRDWage / Point
21Nairo Quintana41€ 600'00056313.71'066
54Gianni Moscon50€ 195'0003837.7509
92Theo Reinhardt49€ 260'0002505.11'040
117Fausto Masnada53€ 120'0001663.1723
170Alfredo Balloni63€ 50'0001081.7463
229Andrea Manfredi56€ 55'000651.2846
234Mikiel Habtom55€ 55'000631.1873
238Mauro Schmid79€ 150'000610.82'459
263Cyrile Thiery66€ 60'000530.81'132
277Hermann Pernsteiner64€ 80'000480.81'667
300Leonardo Basso45€ 55'000400.91'375
301Thomas Boudat59€ 90'000390.72'308
329Manuel Stocker59€ 50'000330.61'515
352Benedikt Mundle9€ 55'000273.02'037
362Szymon Rekita72€ 100'000260.43'846
399Stefan Bissegger60€ 50'000180.32'778
414Mirco Saggiorato69€ 55'000150.23'667
434Emmanuel Morin48€ 50'000110.24'545
445Robin Froidevaux65€ 50'000100.25'000
466Giorgi Tediashvili79€ 70'00080.18'750
481Fabian Lienhard61€ 90'00060.115'000
491Alexys Brunel64€ 50'00050.110'000
494Aaron Van Poucke55€ 50'00050.110'000
n/aBrent Van Moer54€ 55'00000.0n/a
n/aJason Tesson15€ 10'00000.0n/a

I guess we can say it's not Nairo's fault that we're going down, right?

Sure thing. In general, we can't blame any single rider - or almost every single rider, as many of them had the potential of getting 20-odd points more. But Nairo definitely delivered; he has the 20th OVL value in the division and finished 21st, that's a good performance!

And it's definitely safe to say that all those who have a wage-per-point ratio of less than 1'000 did a good job. There are 4 Italians in that group, along with our beloved Eritrean - but no Swiss...

Don't tell that Mr. Probst, please...
No, we do of course know that many of our Swiss riders are still progressing - and especially the signing of Schmid was quite an investment for us, so we can't expect the same performance numbers just yet.

Still, if we look at the highest Wage/Points number up there...

Yes, we all know by now that Lienhard had a horrible season. But we'll talk about that later, OK?

Alright. Let's then move on to the individual rider analysis, taking a look at everyone's highlights - if they had any, that is.

Nairo Quintana
563 points

Tour of JapanStage Win, GC Win, KoM Win, 2nd Points
Int. Österreich Rundfahrt3rd GC, 1x Stage Top 10
Tour de Romandie7th GC, 1x Stage Podium
Tour d'Andorra6th GC, 1x Stage Podium, 3x Stage Top 10
Kenya Mountain Classic6th
Apex Mountain Classic7th

It's definitely safe to call Nairo our Rider of the Year! Although he didn't quite manage to beat Reinhardt's team record for most points in a season (563 vs. 596), he generally did a good job, thereby accomplishing our only successful sponsor goal.

However, his PTHC races were quite a nightmare; a 4th place in stage 1 of Vuelta a Colombia was his lone highlight at this level. Overall, we still think he's a rock-solid scorer in PTHC when sent to the right races and taking into account his weaknesses - we'll see if we can fit him in a CT roster next year!

Gianni Moscon
383 points

Tour of South AfricaStage Win, 7th GC, 2x Stage Top 10
Tour of ChileStage Win
Tour of BritainStage Win
Tour of Lithuania8th GC, 1x Stage Podium
Tour of Southland8th GC, 2x Stage Top 10
Tour de Pologne7th GC, 1x Stage Top 10

Admittedly, Gianni's results don't look as nice as they did last year - but the competition in PCT was definitely massive this year. Had he repeated his 459 points from the 2020 season, we'd have survived.

Unfortunately, he was far too often far away from the right spots in the race finale, especially in PTHC races, but it was a general problem all season long. It looks like the theory that we weren't quite ready for PCT is confirmed here. We'll surely try to keep him for at least one more year - where those 459 points would be the benchmark for the next CT season!

Theo Reinhardt
250 points

Tour de RomandieStage Win, 2x Stage Podium, 4th Points
Tour de VineyardsStage Win, 3x Stage Top 10, 5th Points
Tour of Southland1x Stage Podium, 2x Stage Top 10
Balkans International1x Stage Podium
Tour of Qatar4x Stage Top 10

"From Hero to Zero" would definitely sound too harsh, but Theo scored less than half as many points as last season - despite often riding in the same races, against similar competition. We don't really know what it was, but his performance took a big hit this offseason - clearly not justifying his massive raise. Only 2 wins all season long isn't enough.

He clearly won't ride in CT for 260k - let's see if we can convince him to get back to reasonable demands. He rocked CT last year, taking 3rd in the individual standings - but he'll definitely need to get back some of his magic to get somewhat close to this mark.

Fausto Masnada
166 points

Hong Kong Challenge1x Stage Podium, 2x Stage Top 10, 9th GC
Tour de Suisse6th GC, 3x Stage Top 10
Tour of Eritrea9th GC, 1x Stage Top 10
Tour de Vineyards10th GC

Fausto came back from his PT loan as a solid hybrid - and he overall did a solid job. Unfortunately, he showed his by far strongest performance in a race where it didn't count anything, in the Tour de Suisse. 6th GC is far more than he could realistically achieve - and unfortunately, he wasn't able to achieve similar results in races where it would have been important.

Especially the PTHC races probably were one level too high for him - although it needs to be said that he rode half of his RDs as a domestique for Nairo. With that in mind, his Wage/Points ratio of 723 is actually great - meaning we had a great helper costing us less than 1k for each point he scored. Let's see what he can get in CT when he'll surely have a little more freedom next year!

Alfredo Balloni
108 points

Tour de PologneStage Win, 4th Points
Int. Österreich Rundfahrt1x Stage Podium, 9th Points
Jelajah SKL1x Stage Podium, 10th Points
Vilnius GP10th

This is a name you'd definitely not expect that high up in the internal rankings. But Alfredo actually did a great job - however, not primarily in his prime discipline (TT), but as an attacker. His stage win and the podium in Austria both came from a breakaway, with the podium in Jelajah being the only really good TT result all season long.

Alfredo also was an important part of the TTT lineup - but given the fact that our two TT talents will now unfortunately need a PT loan next year, we're not yet sure if we'll consider TTTs at all. Plus, Balloni will turn 33, meaning that he'll definitely not get stronger anymore. All in all, his future on the team is not quite secure yet, despite a great season with the best Wage/Point value of the entire team!

Andrea Manfredi
65 points

Sakartvelo TrophyWin
Vuelta a Colombia1x Stage Top 10
Tour of Ukraine6th KoM
Tour of Eritrea 6th KoM

We take a rather big jump downwards, as Balloni was our final rider above 100 points. Manfredi has been a rather consistent scorer during all 3 seasons with us, however scoring more points in CT than now in PCT. At least, he came up with one of our rare season highlights, taking our sole classic win of the year - in a C2 race.

As we said, he usually did quite well in CT - however, given his one-dimensionality along with Gino Mäder's return to the team after his PT loan, it remains to be seen if he finds a spot on next year's reduced roster.

Mikiel Habtom
63 points

Circulo de JuarezStage Win
Tour de Maroc1x Stage Podium, 3x Stage Top 10

For a leadout, Mikiel did a good job collecting more points than our second main sprinter Boudat. His win in Juarez was memorable, as we sent him there as a leadout for Reinhardt - but as his leader wasn't in place, he just went on to take the first stage. Which wasn't optimal for the overall race, though, as it somehow kept Theo from sprinting later on...

Unfortunately, it was a running gag that sprinters with solid leadout riders often completely mistimed their sprint - and so Mikiel's work often wasn't as successful as we were hoping for. He might do a better job in CT though - where he should also get more chances as our main sprinter. He did pretty well in the only stage race he had this role this season, in Morocco. Making him our final rider who scored more than one point per 1k wage - meaning he had a Wage/Point value of less than 1'000.

Mauro Schmid
61 points

Tour de Pologne1x Stage Podium, 6th KoM, 6th U25
Tour of Eritrea2nd KoM, 6th U25
Hong Kong Challenge2nd U25

Seeing the name of a neo-pro in 8th place of the internal rankings should cause several more experienced riders - and the team management - some headaches. Of course, Mauro did a great job - but he definitely shouldn't be our 8th best scorer. Well, he was, and this came mainly through good placings in U25 rankings, as well as his great 2nd place on a stage in Poland - obviously from the breakaway.

Mauro's points came at a certain price, given the offer required to secure him during transfers, but we're confident he'll agree on a wage better adapted to his actual capacities in the offseason. Then, we hope we can provide him enough exciting races to continue his development - we'd like to avoid a loan-out already next year.

Cyrille Thièry
53 points

Badaling International6th
Tour de Maroc1x Stage Top 10
Tour of Japan1x Stage Top 10

Cyrille is the first out of only 4 riders - all Swiss, by the way - who scored more points than last season (53 vs. 50). He went to most C2 races, which is also where he got his most valuable result of the season from.

Else, he usually was on domestique duties or had a free role - he unfortunately was pretty invisible in both situations. We expected him to join many more breakaways that he actually did - but at least he still slightly increased his total scoring. With him turning 32, we'll have to see if there's enough space for an old hand, though.

Hermann Pernsteiner
48 points

Hong Kong Challenge10th KoM

What a disappointing season for a rider who was our number 5 scorer a year ago, collecting 110 points back then! Admittedly, unlike last year he didn't really get any chances of leading the team this time - but back in 2020 he performed best as a domestique anyway.

We can't really explain why he didn't even perform in C1 races this time - his leaders struggling more is surely one point, but clearly not the entire truth. His last CT season looked promising, so we'll see if we can find a roster spot for the soon-to-be 32y.o. - if he gets back to 2020 mode, he can definitely be a big plus for us!

Leonardo Basso
40 points

Vilnius GP10th
Rheden GP32nd

Leo has always been and will always be a solid helper on almost every terrain - from hills over TTs to cobbles. Well, actually that's only partially true, as he still was our cobbles "leader" - taking our only points of the year on this terrain in Rheden GP.

Given that we had lots of development to do this season, Leo unfortunately didn't get too many race days - let's see if that again changes next year. We'd definitely regret to lose our "Swiss Army Knife" - and maybe we'll even finally sign a cobbles leader he could support.

Thomas Boudat
39 points

Tour de Suisse1x Stage Podium, 3x Stage Top 10
Tour of Eritrea1x Stage Podium
Tour of Lithuania1x Stage Podium
Tour of Japan2x Stage Top 10
Int. Österreich Rundfahrt2x Stage Top 10

After two years of being loaned out, Thomas finally joined us for our inaugural PCT season. It's needless to say that we're not happy with his performance. Similar sprinters have taken one or more stage wins, and similar prologue riders have won stages, too. He made very poor use of his skillset.

Given the abundance of sprinters on the market, he'll have a hard time convincing us why we should pay him more than the minimum salary. It's a really disappointing experience for us to develop a rider during 2 years and then getting less from him than from a certain level 1 rider...

Manuel Stocker
33 points

Frankfurt Eschborn7th
Vilnius GP10th

Manuel definitely enjoyed riding in his Swiss NC jersey, more than doubling his points from last year! Although he only had one Top 10 result all season long, he picked up minor points here and there - especially in sprinter stage races - to still reach a score that's fine for a leadout rider.

However, his future on the team is not sure at all. As we already said for Habtom, leadout riders are having a really hard time lately - and Stocker is unfortunately a bit too slow to be used as a main sprinter in races other than C2. We'll see what we can do, as he's been an incredibly valuable rider in our sprint train in our first two CT seasons!

Benedikt Mundle
27 points

SAA Tour d'Afrique7th KoM

Benedikt's total score dropped a lot compared to last season (70 vs. 27) - but that is hardly just his own fault. Due to development reasons - and given the experiences with him often jeopardizing his own sprinters in flat classics - he only raced a measly 9 RDs this season. And scored a remarkable 3.0 PpRD!

And when he was racing, he was the same aggressive rider as last year. Given that we had disappointingly few breakaway appearances all season long, Benedikt does have some realistic chances for a renewal - despite this year's lack of racing.

Szymon Rekita
26 points

Tour of Britain1x Stage Top 10
Hong Kong Challenge1x Stage Top 10
Vilnius GP10th

Szymon did have a rather difficult first season with us - but as a developing pure TTer, this is rather normal in PCT. He tried his luck in some breakaways, but unlike fellow TTer Balloni wasn't quite as successful. He was however an important part of our TTT setup - and will hopefully be for some years to come, if we still focus on that discipline.

With his final step of development, he should be among the Continental division's strongest pure time trialists - he would've been #1 with 79TT this year. This should also mean we'll finally participate in TT-heavy races, and we'd be really disappointed if he couldn't significantly increase his score next year.

Stefan Bissegger
18 points

Tour Down Under6th KoM
Jelajah SKL7th KoM
Tour de Romandie1x Stage Top 10
Vilnius GP10th

Stefan is even one level further down than Szymon in his development process - an is on track of becoming a similarly gifted TT rider. However, unlike the Pole he handles inclined roads pretty well - which is confirmed by the fact that he scored some of his points from KoM standings.

Our plan was to participate in a GT next year to make him our first completely home-grown rider - well, those plans went down the drain in Emelia. He'll need a P(C)T loan next year, and we're pretty confident that it shouldn't be too hard to find a nice place for him. He will be one of the team's future core riders, unless he comes up with insane wage demands now.

Mirco Saggiorato
15 points

None Sad

This one really, really hurts. Mirco was our 4th best rider last year, scoring 128 points - and now only got a fraction of that number. Sure, he had a first decline, but we thought he'd still be a very solid rider and valuable domestique on uphill stages. But it wasn't to be, not even in C2 races.

Unfortunately, Mirco looked to have nothing left, and probably should have put an end to his career after the 2020 season already. Despite the great contribution he brought us in his first two seasons, we don't see a future on the team for the soon-to-be 34y.o. Thanks for everything, Mirco, and all the best for the future!

Emmanuel Morin
11 points


Emmanuel joined us from BWT to get a year of experience at PCT level. Although he's "just" a level 3 rider, we admit that we're not fully satisfied by this loan deal. We wanted him to join some breakaways and fight for KoM points, given his pretty good punch - but he didn't even really try.

He'll return to BWT as an even better puncheur - let's see how he'll fare when riding against us instead of for us.

Robin Froidevaux
10 points

Arab Tour3rd KoM
Tour of Southland6th U25

It looks like neo-pros often are better breakaway riders than level 3/4 ones - at least they dare attacking. Robin was in quite a few breakaways, and while often being among the weaker riders there, he still managed to score a couple of points.

Initially, our plan was to guide his development so he'd become the replacement for Manuel Stocker once the current NC gets older. However, with leadouts failing so often lately, we're not quite sure about this path anymore. We'll see if we can find a way of developing him that would make it worthwile to keep him on the team - which we'd be happy with, of course.

Giorgi Tediashvili
8 points

Vilnius GP10th

Giorgi tried his luck in quite some breakaways, but was less successful than our two other neo-pros. In hindsight, we aren't quite sure if this loan deal just came up so he could bring his boss' curse over us, or if he really was here for development purposes.

We don't believe the curse thing actually worked, we just didn't do well enough during the first and last month of the year. We'll see what he can do next year for his actual team. Given his manager's statements, we can't really send him home with the best wishes, though...

Fabian Lienhard
6 points

Tour de Suisse1x Stage Top 10

Well, it had to come sooner or later - let's move on to our Most disappointing Rider of the Year. Honestly, we don't know what was wrong with this rider - he is good on the hills, has a nice acceleration and good sprint, is pretty strong on the flat and has a high fighting spirit.

And he did absolutely nothing. Not one breakaway attempt. Not one attempt of joining a sprint in flat-ending hilly races. No notable support. Just once, when it didn't amount to anything points-wise, he had a good day, during the Tour de Suisse.

So he was capable of lowering last season's disappointing count of 52 points even more - by 90%. He was mediocre in CT, he was plain awful in PCT - dear Fabian, we've got no clue what you need to perform. We'd probably have to sell him to Isostar, and he'd instantly win some KoM jerseys and stages, but he seems to be uncapable of doing so with us. Probably the biggest disappointment in team history so far.

Alexys Brunel
5 points

Vilnius GP10th
Tour of South Africa10th U25

Alexys was even more disappointing than Fabian in terms of points - but as a developing TT specialist, as said before, that's OK in the PCT division. And to be honest, taking 10th in the U25 standings in a hilly race like ToSA is actually a good performance.

Just like Bissegger, we had hoped to keep him on the team next season to improve our TTT strength - but he'll need a loan-out as well if he stays on the team. We hope we'll be able to afford him, though - so we'd have a pretty heavy-hitting TT department in 2023. And while Bissegger will have sprints as his secondary competence, Brunel should be even harder to drop on uphill slopes.

Aaron Van Poucke
5 points

Tour de Maroc1x Stage Top 10, 9th U25

The second of our three level 3 loanees only showed up at the very end of the season, in Morocco. He did a great job taking the final point of the stage from a partly swallowed breakaway. Plus, he had a good Tour de l'Avenir - which he however rode with his actual team Gjensidige.

We hope that his manager is satisfied with his development this year; we would have hoped to see him in even more breakaways, but that was a general issue of the team which we can't really blame him for.

Brent Van Moer
0 points

Vilnius GP10th

Yet another Gjensidige loanee, and yet another level 3 TT apprentice. This one didn't manage to score any points at all - which obviously isn't cool for him, but not dramatic, either. He was part of our standard TTT lineup - and as such also part of the team that finished 10th in Vilnius GP. Had he been among the first 5 riders crossing the line, he'd have some points now, so it's definitely not like he didn't do anything useful!

We wish him, Van Poucke and the entire team Gjensidige all the best in their PCT adventure next year - and let's see if we'll conclude a loan deal the other way round next season Wink

Jason Tesson
0 points


Jason was actually a rather old level 1 rider, having been a stagiaire already last season - and again this year. This time, he gained enough experience to actually get to the next development level, but with only 15 race days he didn't have a lot of opportunities to actually score.

He mainly supported our C2 leaders this year - let's see if we can find a place for him to do the same again next season.

Thanks for those insights, Rubens. I'm glad to see that some riders did unexpectedly well, giving the team a real shot at staying up. But it's definitely frustrating to see certain riders score almost nothing at all.

By the way, let's not forget the two riders who were out on loan this year. Can you tell us something about their achievements?

Sure. Gino Mäder scored 139 points for Generali and finished 229th in the individual rankings. This is a bit lower than what Masnada got for the same team last year (186 points, 188th), but his development still looks promising. I noticed that he improved both his mountain and TT skills, which will make him a great domestique in mountain stage races including a TTT.

Gergely Szarka on the other hand is only at the beginning of his development path, after having been a stagiaire for us last year. He managed to score 3 points for BWT, ending up 239th in the individual standings.

Thanks for the update, Rubens. Gino will definitely be one of our core riders in the next few years, so it's great to see him do a good job already! And let's see if we can find a spot for Szarka, who looks to become a flat-beast-sprinter.

We'll take a look at those (potential) development path in a later press conference, so let's not speculate too much about this now.

You're right. Which means that we've come to the end of our post-season press conference. Thank you all for attending - it was a pleasure to have you here, although we'd have preferred having some more pleasure talking about our 2021 performance.

See you next time! And if you still would like to ask some questions, don't hesitate - we'll answer them before or during our next press conference.

Ulrich Ulriksen
Welcome back to the CT, sure that isn't a welcome you wanted.

I feel like maybe you paid a little from staying loyal to some CT riders in a year when the FA market was cheap. But not sure your analysis bears that out as many carry overs did fine. And I appreciate you staying loyal to the team concept.
Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
Thank you for taking in our Belgian lads this season, and sorry they didnt do much for you. But we are very happy with the conclusion of their stay Smile
Fabianski wrote:
I doubt that science has meanwhile concluded that alcoholic beverages are the best for athletes...

*starts to leave the room*

Fabianski wrote:
I guess an exception here and there is OK.

*comes back to his seat with a good looking pint*

First of all the most important question. What kind of beer am I drinking? Tastes... interesting.

As always a monumental write-up of the season here. Conmiserations for the very close relegation, definitely after it looked you would be staying up a couple of days/weeks ago. Looking forward to the development post. At least the good thing is you'll be able to keep Schmid in the team and level him up, even in CT. He's been a very interesting rider to follow, almost always choosing the attack in my reports Smile
Thanks. Not much time to lick the wounds, though, as we need to be well prepared for transfers. Given who's still in CT, getting back up won't be a walk in the park!
Glad I could help you develop your talents, they sure have a bright future ahead! Congrats on your promotion, guess it came at the right time Smile

Thank you; as I just wrote, I don't think it'll be that easy. The other relegating teams will try to get back up, too, and then there are long-running projects like McCormick that will start blooming sooner or later.
Congrats on your first-season promotion, by the way - I remember I was really far away from those spots back then... And you've got a really fun team, hope you can build up on this great foundation!

Thanks. Yeah, I'd definitely have preferred staying up, but it is what it is.
It's definitely the case that staying loyal to the project was a disadvantage. I just looked at the rosters of LPH and Bralirwa - if I counted correctly, they have 7 respectively 8 riders from last season, while I've got 16 (including two loan-outs).
One reason is that there's no market for Swiss riders. 3 teams going after them is obviously too much - but I'll still try to at least have kind of a Swiss core.
But if there's a guy who does a bad season, then gets a completely unjustified rather major OVL increase, goes bonkers during renewals and finally does nothing at all the next year, it's hard to justify giving him yet another chance...
I'll definitely try to continue the project, looking after riders from Switzerland and neighboring countries primarily - but if I should get back up to PCT, I guess I'll need to leave some of that loyalty behind :S

Well, I wanted to order some fine Belgian abbey beer, but you know, budget cuts also concern the beverages :S So Mr. Probst finally ordered a regional amber ale, brewed in Basel (some 40kms away from Niederbuchsiten, Jura's HQ). I hope that's fine.
Thanks for your kind words. I guess to be really successful in your first PCT season, you need to forget about regional focus for a moment and just go hunting for leaders - which you did in an amazing way. Affording Manninen, Spilak and Zmorka in one transfer window - wow, fantastic job! Good luck in PT, and may we not meet in PCT again in 2023 Wink
I hope you're right with your guess that I can keep Schmid on board next year. If there aren't any OVL adjustments this offseason, he should just have enough RDs available in CT to get him to lvl4, so let's see... And let's hope he's not like other riders who attack less the stronger they are Wink

Really well-done end of season report, lovely read (the way it was done, not the content of course; and yes, fans out there are happy about the continuation Wink ). I think you wrote somewhere else that you built a very strong CT team and then didn't adjust enough to PCT (something along those lines) and I think that's probably a fair assessment. Nairo did reasonably well, but there was just too little behind him, given where Moscon ranked in the PCT puncheur hierarchy (and Masnada for stage racers, I suppose).

You mentioned your confusion about Reinhardt's performance compared to last year and I think you've just been hit by variance there. What he did last season was at the very far end of the range of potential outcomes and he's simply regressed to the mean (whether below that is probably debatable). The fact that you chose to pay for that absolute top limit, speaks to your commitment like you've mentioned, as does your fairly large squad. You probably could have survived one or the other, but not both.

That said, I do think all of that sets you up very well for immediate promotion again. The core of the team is very strong and you should have plenty possibilities to generate some revenue if needed. I'm very curious to see how you will shape the team and I'll be cheering for you next year!
Ulrich Ulriksen
Fabianski wrote:

McCormick that will start blooming sooner or later.

I think later.
Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
A little bribe could go a long way towards reversing the curse !! All we need is a couple riders and should be good to go ! !
I guess we can say it's not Nairo's fault that we're going down, right?

Probably not, but I didn't like the Quintana buy tbh. I would say your rider of the year is Moscon.

I'll definitely try to continue the project, looking after riders from Switzerland and neighboring countries primarily - but if I should get back up to PCT, I guess I'll need to leave some of that loyalty behind :S

That's nice to hear Smile

That's also something that happened to me when I was promoted. I quickly realised that it's unrealistic to expect to have regional leaders at that level when they're mostly already at better and more established teams.
So I had to fill my regional quota with 'meh' talents for the most part and try to grow my own leaders long term. Schmid seems like a good start for that Smile


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, I indeed think that we weren't really ready for PCT. The fact that we scored less PpRD in higher category races - where the scoring potential is so much higher - is a rather clear indicator for this theory.

Reinhardt was certainly hit by variance, but I do still think that's only part of the truth. I do think that the importance of the individual stats has changed a bit between PCM18 and 20. The fact that sprinters like AKA or Bonifazio scored so much more points than last year at least for me indicates that Flat and/or Res have become more of a factor (and it seems like Res will be even more so in PCM22). Plus, I feel like the importance of Acc has decreased a bit (c.f. AKA). But I obviously haven't verified this scientifically.
But if all of that really did change, then it's just highly unlucky, given that Reinhardt got a significant OVL boost in the offseason - which was legitimate, given that he had worked really well in PCM18. In PCM20, however, that adapted OVL doesn't seem to be justified, given that he was now higher than AKA or even Kump (which is pretty ridiculous, given the latter's huge advantage on the hills).
So I guess I was pretty unlucky with him during renewals - I did of course think that sprints still work more or less the same, and so that he should perform similarly well, which in turn made me obviously go much higher with my offer than I'd have after the PCM20 experience I have now. So I guess I could've signed a higher scoring rider for the same money - which would probably have made me stay up. But yeah, loyalty and wrong assumptions can be costly ^^

Yeah, maybe your chances should be higher the year after - but I do think that you've got a solid base. And with a little more luck for Kuss you could've gotten into the promotion area. But even 9th place might be enough, given the already known disbands...

You wanted Pernsteiner, he was for sale, and then you still didn't want him - I'd rather stay cursed than give away riders for free Pfft

You're probably right that Moscon was the one performing most above his actual stats - especially given the insane puncheur field in PCT. I guess his decent Mo helped a lot, and if my feeling his more or less accurate, Res should've made an impact, too. But his total scoring was still lower than last year, which is probably the main reason for not labelling him Rider of the Year.
Plus, Nairo got us our first C1 GC win, and the first one in a mountain stage race. Which emotionally counts probably more than Moscon's rather consistent performances throughout the year (except for the last 1.5 months ^^).
But may I ask why you didn't like him? His wage is obviously too high, and I don't like his Acc tbh. But the other stage race candidates quickly went out of reach in terms of wage or pure price tag, and I definitely needed a strong rider for the mountains. And I honestly liked Alarcon even less - although he seems to be the guy proving my Res theory wrong; his mediocre energy stats didn't really seem to hold him back...
My #1 candidate was Cattaneo, but yeah, not easy to compete against a PT team during transfers Pfft

You're definitely right about Schmid being a good start for building a team based on regional riders. Bissegger and Mäder should be good assets, too, although definitely not leader material sadly ^^

Fabianski wrote:

But may I ask why you didn't like him? His wage is obviously too high, and I don't like his Acc tbh. But the other stage race candidates quickly went out of reach in terms of wage or pure price tag, and I definitely needed a strong rider for the mountains. And I honestly liked Alarcon even less - although he seems to be the guy proving my Res theory wrong; his mediocre energy stats didn't really seem to hold him back...

I think you pretty much answered your own question Pfft


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
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