Small times and wildcards

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by Zinoviev Letter, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. Zinoviev Letter

    Zinoviev Letter New Member

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    (This is my first post here. I've watched the Tour de France for the last few years and pay attention to the results of other major races, but I don't have any huge in-depth knowledge of competitive cycling).

    What do all the posters think about the smaller teams, wildcards and otherwise? Who has done well, who has done poorly and who has done as expected?

    A linked issue, but hopefully not one that will dominate the thread or which will result in needlessly defamatory postings, is if the small teams have the same culture of doping as some of the larger ones seem to have. Now that the racers are tested within an inch of their lives, and the amount of scrutiny they are under from officials and police, and given the much lower budgets of these teams, can we hope that most of them aren't doped to their gills? (Please don't name individuals you think are doping or teams which you think are full of drug users, broad comments are all I'm looking for).


    My own pick of the small teams is predictable enough. I think that Barloworld have done an amazing job this year. They were the last wildcard pick and it looks as if they will finish the tour with the King of the Mountains jersey, two stage wins, a top fifteen GC position and second place in the points competition. That's a haul which all but two or three teams would be delighted with. Of their riders, Soler has been outstanding. An unusal style, a willingness to attack like crazy, offering water to the yellow jersey most of the way up a mountain, he's been great to see.
     
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  2. Zinoviev Letter

    Zinoviev Letter New Member

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    That should of course be "small teams" not "small times". Seriously, who has justified their place in the tour (forgive me for wanting to talk about something uplifting, the main race is just too depressing to talk about).
     
  3. Natara

    Natara New Member

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    It happens every year.
    Some team gets in on a wildcard and everyone is like :confused:. And then they proceed to go on and get something out of the tour.

    Barloworld have been great, one of the better ones I can remember.

    Then you have some ProTour teams who do nothing, no stage wins, no one up the top end in any category, cant even be arsed putting someone in a breakaway.
    Makes you wonder if some teams would be better off left out for another wildcard or two.

    Of course, you could argue that teams like barloworld have nothing to lose, no one excpects much, they dont have to worry about fielding teams in protour events all season long, etc etc.
     
  4. Zinoviev Letter

    Zinoviev Letter New Member

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    True enough about them having nothing to love, but surely their haul from the TdF this year must be beyond their wildest dreams. I also see that they've signed Soler up for two more years. Is that just so they have a better bargaining position when one of the big teams inevitably comes calling, or do they have serious ambitions of maybe building a protour team around him themselves? Surely they have to be in the Tour next year after their results this time around.
     
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