/ 7 person teams - good or bad ?
I'm yet to be convinced that a proposed 7 rider rosta is making grand tours any more open. What it is doing is forcing teams to be very focused on single objectives - so Caleb Ewan misses out for Mitchelton Scotts 8 man team this year. It also makes the team support for the weaker teams that much more vulnerable to single injuries. Sky might manage one or even two strong domestiques down but other teams won't.
Thought it was eight down from the previous nine ?
It is sorry, just edited to make it clearer. There are proposals for 7 man teams, but even reducing 9 to 8 is having an impact on team's ability to chase different interests and 7 would be entirely counterproductive IMO
I had an idea that they could start awarding bonus seconds for sprint finishes to the sprinters entire team, so that GC teams might thing they were a useful member of the team rather than an extra bottle carrier on flat stages.
That's an interesting idea. Might stop all teams all coming down to GC leader plus domestiques.
I wonder how many bonus seconds, minutes or perhaps even hours a sprinter would need to be competitive on GC?
> I wonder how many bonus seconds, minutes or perhaps even hours a sprinter would need to be competitive on GC?
The sprinter themselves is unlikely to ever be a GC contender - even if they are a Sagan, but if their entire team (including their GC contender) benefits from the win then all of a sudden a sprinter on a team becomes a great option for the team's GC aspirations.
Does it though? Let's look at the latest Giro, which was won by 46 seconds (a somewhat tight margin). Even if sunweb had taken a sprinter, and presuming the existing 10 bonus seconds for a stage win was mirrored across the entire team, they would still have needed five stage wins to overhaul Froome/Sky, presuming that sky didn't pick up a single bonus second in this fashion (which they almost certainly would try to do).
Back to the OP: I liked 9 man teams and never saw an issue with them. N=1 and all that, but 8 man teams didn't make much difference in the Giro on the face of it.
> Does it though?
Well admittedly it becomes a less useful strategy as the number of team members drops because as teams can't afford to be spread too thin. 8 just about worked at the Giro because I don't think anyone lost a significant domestique, did they ?
I think something needs to be done, though, to prevent all teams (not just the likes of Sky) from totally polarising into sprint/stage points teams and GC teams.
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