Teams in the 2010 Grand Tours
Last Post 10/21/2009 07:11 PM by Alexandra Edge. 4 Replies.
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Nosleep

Posts:82

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10/14/2009 09:47 PM
This is gonna be one long-ass post, so be forewarned.

Okay. Who do we think will be in the 2010 Giro d'Italia, Tour de France, and Vuelta a Espana? No diacritics makes me a sad panda, but I'll push on.

GIRO D'ITALIA

2009 teams:

Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo
Ag2r-La Mondiale
Astana
Barloworld
Bbox Bouygues Telecom
Caisse d'Epargne
Cervelo TestTeam
Diquigiovanni-Androni
Fuji-Servetto
Garmin-Slipstream
ISD
Lampre-NGC
Liquigas
LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini
Quick Step
Rabobank
Silence-Lotto
Team Columbia-High Road
Team Katusha
Team Milram
Team Saxo Bank
Xacobeo-Galicia

Teams who will definitely return:

Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo: Whether Garzelli is back for another Giro or not, this is a strong enough team to get invites the top tier teams get around the world, so coming to the Giro should be something they expect. They're also, along with Cervelo TestTeam and Diquigiovanni-Androni, getting the "everything but the name" ProTour status for 2010.

Caisse d'Epargne: They didn't win anything in this year's Giro, but 11th overall is at least respectable, and Contador or no Contador, Valverde or no Valverde, they'll be able to send a strong squad with Soler, Moreau, Bruseghin, and/or Arroyo.

Cervelo TestTeam: Can't deny a reinvite to a team that won four stages in this year's race. I don't expect Sastre will be back, but the team's plenty deep enough to send an impressive squad.

Diquigiovanni-Androni: A proud Italian team with three stage wins from this year can safely bank on coming back next year.

Garmin-Slipstream: Tyler Farrar's only getting better, and is fast becoming one of the world's premier sprinters. The 2010 Giro begins in the Netherlands just as the 2009 Vuelta did, and those will be sprinters' days again.

Lampre-NGC: Hopefully I don't even have to say why this team's a shoo-in to get invited to the Giro.

Liquigas: Same, especially considering Pellizotti's successes this year.

Quick Step: I imagine the Giro's organizers will want to see if Seeldraeyers continues to improve. Quick Step also took two minor awards this year, making them plenty successful.

Rabobank: The defending champion's team can punch their tickets.

Omega Pharma-Lotto: I'm a bit equivocal saying they'll "definitely" return, but it is overwhelmingly likely that they will. With a stage win in this year's Giro, the world champion, and just generally a perception of being one of the premier teams in the world should get them the nod.

Team Columbia-HTC: Even with the departure of several prominent riders after this season, Team Columbia can pretty much RSVP to any event on the planet.

Team Katusha: If they have to, they'll buy their way in! (tongue slightly in cheek)

Team Saxo Bank: It's surprising to think of it, considering how well they did at the Tour and the Vuelta, but this team won zilch in this year's Giro. A rare flub from one of the strongest teams, top-to-bottom, in the world.

Teams who may or may not return:

Ag2r-La Mondiale: Maybe Cofidis and FDJ were on to something this season by declining to even go to the Giro. This team won a whopping 2 World Rankings points in this year's Giro.

Astana: Seems incredible to doubt the return of Astana, but every indication is that they'll be a one-horse rodeo next season, and while many riders did compete in the Giro and the Tour this year, Contador will probably be saved for the Tour so they'll be guaranteed an invite there. Puts their appearance in the Giro in at least a slight bit of doubt.

Fuji-Servetto: It's not yet clear this team will even exist next season, or if they will, if they'll have ProTour status. Much maligned and relegated were Bbox Bouygues Telecom and Cofidis because of their dismal scoring in World Ranking events, but Fuji actually under-performed both of them.

ISD-NERI: Statistically, this team was even less successful than Ag2r in this year's race, but they made almost every breakaway, and tried to make the break in every stage. If the Giro had a combativity award like the Tour does, it certainly would have gone to Andriy Hryvko or Leonardo Scarselli.

Team Milram: Every indication is that 2010 is going to be it for Milram, and while they will have ProTour status, the fact remains that they didn't get a single World Ranking point in this year's race, so one has to doubt whether RCS will think them competitive enough to get an invite to 2010's race.

Xacobeo-Galicia: This team had trouble even making breakaway in this year's race, but after their impressive Vuelta a Espana, they deserve to be in consideration.

Teams who definitely will not return:

Barloworld: This team is folding after the 2009 season

Bbox Bouygues Telecom: Without ProTour status, it's expected that this team will have a hard time getting invited to much of anything outside France in 2010.

LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini: LPR may fold after 2009, but even if they don't, the Giro's almost certainly going to give this team the Emanuele Sella treatment for 2010.



So that's three definite vacancies, and a possibilty of as many as six more, by my reckoning. In order, here are the nine teams who would seem likeliest to fill the holes:

Team Sky: They've got ProTour status, and they're fucking stacked. 'Nuff said.

Team RadioShack: Jury's still out on ProTour status, and there's no guarantee Lance wants another Giro (the tifosi would sure love it, though). Leipheimer may also skip the 2010 Giro, as it will conflict with his most dominant race, the Tour of California in 2010. So that means the team would have to rally around Kloden, Zubeldia, or Popovych for GC, with Steegmans in the sprints. I feel soooooooo bad for them

CSF Group-Navigare: They're a premier Italian team, and even with Sella being a dumbass in 2008, it was controversial that they were excluded in 2009. Sella is no longer associated with the team, so one year's exclusion should be plenty.

BMC Racing Team: This team made some eye-popping signings earlier this "silly season," and it wouldn't surprise me to see them in all three Grands next year.

Ceramica Flaminia - Bossina Docce: It was a pretty huge controversy for this year's Giro when the team of the then-reigning Italian national road race champion Filippo Simeoni was excluded. The maglia tricolore now rests on the shoulders of Katusha's Filippo Pozzato (perhaps a better reason they're a shoo-in), but Ceramica Flaminia remains a reasonably successful Italian Pro Continental team who might not be first on the list of teams to invite for 2010, but they're in the mix.

Vacansoleil: This team really began impressing as the 2009 season wore on, and got some strong results in the 2009 Vuelta after a late invite. They are a Dutch team, and the Giro begins in the Netherlands in 2010.

Skil-Shimano: Another reasonably successful Dutch team who might get the nod for much the same reason.

Cofidis: Call me crazy, but Cofidis had moderate success in both the Tour and Vuelta this year, and never even planned on going to the Giro. They shouldn't plan on going next year, and in all fairness don't seem particularly likely to be in line for an invite, but they'd do more with it than some other teams. They're certainly likelier than Euskaltel, whose Tour successes this season were brought down by EPO.

Amica Chips-Knauf: Wild guess for the unlikely ninth vacancy, but a ProContinental team who, though technically registered in San Marino, have a definite Italian heritage.

TOUR DE FRANCE

2009 teams:

Ag2r-La Mondiale
Agritubel
Astana
Bbox Bouygues Telecom
Caisse d'Epargne
Cervelo TestTeam
Cofidis
Euskaltel-Euskadi
Francaise des Jeux
Garmin-Slipstream
Lampre-NGC
Liquigas
Quick Step
Rabobank
Silence-Lotto
Skil-Shimano
Team Columbia-HTC
Team Katusha
Team Milram
Team Saxo Bank

Teams who will definitely return:

Ag2r-La Mondiale: A French ProTour team shouldn't have to worry about getting a Tour de France invite.

Bbox Bouygues Telecom: If we're to believe them, they've been assured by the ASO that they've got a standing invite to the Tour. And there's no reason not to believe them. Two stage wins this year also speak well for them.

Caisse d'Epargne: ASO is sooooo hoping they sign Contador. One of the world's strongest teams, and a stage winner this year. They're in good standing.

Cervelo TestTeam: I'm a fan, yes, but I don't think you can fail to invite the team of the green jersey winner for this year.

Cofidis: Much like Bbox, they say they've got a standing invite.

Francaise des Jeux: Much like Ag2r, simply no reason not to think they're in good standing with ASO.

Garmin-Slipstream: Bradley Wiggins' 2009 Tour successes should get his team an invite, as with Farrar's successes elsewhere in the 2009 calendar.

Liquigas: With just Pellizotti's successes this season, they should be in fine standing, but Vincenzo Nibali and Roman Kreuziger were pretty quietly 7th and 9th overall this year and should be fun to watch next year.

Rabobank: Denis Menchov was a huge dud this Tour, and Robert Gesink wasn't as competitive as anyone would have liked, either (not entirely his fault, though). But if nothing else, taking down the queen stage last year should have them on good footing for 2010.

Omega Pharma-Lotto: ASO's gonna want the rainbow jersey in the Tour.

Team Columbia-HTC: The number 6 comes to mind. With the 2010 Tour looking more like the Tours of old, Cavendish could conceivably rattle off that many in a row next year.

Team Katusha: A powerful ProTour team, and a stage winner from 2009. No problems here.

Team Saxo Bank: With a prologue time trial next year, Fabian Cancellara should be the odds-on favorite to take it and gain a yellow jersey in a fourth Tour, something that would put him in the company of only 13 riders in history. Multi stage winner this year.

Teams who may or may not return:

Astana: I almost included them in the above list, thinking that you can't possibly disinvite the team of the defending champion, but remember, they did just that last year. Contador will probably still be with Astana next season and they'll want to enter him in the Tour, so chances are very good they'll be in the race, but they shouldn't count on it.

Euskaltel-Euskadi: With Mikel Astarloza the only positive from this year's Tour, there's a reasonable chance ASO will want to make an example of this team. However, Egoi Martinez and Amets Txurruka and Igor Anton and Gorka Verdugo put in some scrappy performances akin to ISD in the Giro, perhaps keeping them in the good graces of the race organizers.

Lampre-NGC: It's incredible to say it, but this team won...nothing in the 2009 Tour. Not a single World Rankings point. Every other team, even Skil-Shimano, had at least one rider score points. They're losing some key riders next season but are still a strong team, so it's up in the air whether ASO will invite them in 2010.

Quick Step: Pretty piffling showing in the 2009 Tour, but....Contador??

Skil-Shimano: They weren't terribly competitive this year, but no one really thought they would be. They were clearly the 20th team in the 20-team peloton. Part of me wants to spare Kenny van Hummel from the Alps and the Pyrenees again.

Team Milram: Underwhelming showing in 2009, but nothing huge seems to count against them.

The only team that obviously will not be back in the Tour next year is Agritubel, since they're folding.



Which leaves us with only one definite vacancy. This is part of the reason I listed some high-profile teams as possible vacancies next season, because there's going to be a lot of teams trying to elbow their way in. Chances are fair at least one of Euskaltel, Lampre, or Milram won't be in the 2010 Tour. With a wildly unlikely seven potential vacancies, here are the teams that are likeliest to fill them.

Team RadioShack: They're likelier even than Team Sky here. ASO may not want to say it too loud, but they want Lance.

Team Sky: See above.

BMC Racing Team: Interestingly, George Hincapie's team may well be the next one in line, as he's become the elder statesman of the Tour and worthy of some respect in this way.

Vacansoleil: It's the brothers Feillu, along with Johnny Hoogerland, that might get this team a Tour nod in 2010. Romain is a one time former maillot jaune while Brice definitely caught the world's attention in 2009 for the soon-to-be-defunct Agritubel. Hoogerland similarly had a "coming out party" in the 2009 Vuelta, with his results actually quite a bit better, statistically speaking.

Diquigiovanni-Androni: They're the strongest team that you're not likely to think of when trying to name the world's strongest teams. Their de facto "ProTour" status for 2010 will get them in the discussion.

Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo: Same.

Fuji-Servetto: If they're around, and they're ProTour, they may get an invite. Ricco, Piepoli, and the rest of the Saunier Duval mess are fast fading away from everyone's memory.

VUELTA A ESPANA

2009 teams:

Ag2r-La Mondiale
Andalucia-Cajasur
Astana
Bbox Bouygues Telecom
Caisse d'Epargne
Cervelo TestTeam
Cofidis
Contentpolis-Ampo
Euskaltel-Euskadi
Francaise des Jeux
Fuji-Servetto
Garmin-Slipstream
Lampre-NGC
Liquigas
Quick Step
Rabobank
Silence-Lotto
Team Columbia-HTC
Team Milram
Team Saxo Bank
Vacansoleil
Xacobeo-Galicia

Teams who will definitely return:

Ag2r-La Mondiale: No compelling reason to think they'll be back, but a lot of other teams would get the ax first.

Astana: Okay, I'll pen Astana in to the Vuelta, if only because Contador and Vinokourov are both former winners, and chances are good at least one of them would be on Astana's Vuelta squad.

Caisse d'Epargne: Even if the ax falls on Valverde, his team will get an invite to the Vuelta.

Cofidis: I'm going a bit out on a limb here, but with two-time defending Vuelta King of the Mountains David Moncoutie coming back for at least one more year, I think they're on pretty safe ground.

Euskaltel-Euskadi: I'll give the politically correct reason Euskaltel will be back: Sammy Sanchez.

Francaise des Jeux: A stage winner in 2009 and a strong team generally. Depending on the exact makeup of their squad, they could even send a podium contender.

Garmin-Slipstream: Nowhere to go but up.

Lampre-NGC: It would take a squadouche like in the Tour to think of a team this caliber as anything but assured of a 2010 invite.

Liquigas: Clearly Italy's premier team, and has many options for the tour of Spain to contend for a high place.

Quick Step: Boonen's always done reasonably well in the Vuelta's first few flat stages as he prepares for worlds. No reason to mess with that.

Rabobank: I was all ready to say Oscar Freire is the reason Rabobank is a Vuelta lock, but really, Robert Gesink might be the better answer. He was one bad day from the podium this year, so watch out next year.

Omega Pharma-Lotto: Unipublic will want the rainbow jersey. Evans will probably only ride the Tour, but his presence on the team will get them invites to all three Grands, beyond question.

Team Columbia-HTC: If their third best sprinter is winning group sprints in a three week Grand Tour, yeah, they're getting an invite.

Team Saxo Bank: Maybe Andy Schleck comes back. Maybe he doesn't. Maybe Cancellara comes back. Maybe he doesn't. The team can count on an invite, though.

Vacansoleil: This team had an unexpectedly excellent 2009 Vuelta, with a stage win and a very respectable 12th overall. I'd be surprised to see them left out next year.

Xacobeo-Galicia: Ezequiel Mosquera's still trying to get over the hump, but his continued near successes and the team's victory in the team classification look to have them pretty solid for 2010.

Teams who may or may not return:

Cervelo TestTeam: Deignan did well, but if his Stage 18 breakaway hadn't been given upwards of 10 minutes without any retaliation from the peloton, no way does he finish in the top ten overall and maybe he doesn't win the stage. Cervelo's other stage winner is the soon-departing Simon Gerrans. If it seems that Sastre (or maybe even Hushovd or Haussler) would be sent to the Vuelta, then of course they'll be invited, but otherwise it seems iffy.

Fuji-Servetto: If they're around, and they're ProTour, they'll get a Vuelta invite. Those just aren't definite yet.

Team Milram: They won't miss all three Grands. Chances are probably better than not that they'll still make all three, but they shouldn't be booking hotels just yet. They were one of the weakest ProTour teams this season, and even though they were a stage winner in this year's Vuelta, nothing seems to say they'd have to be back.

Teams who will definitely not return:

Andalucia-Cajasur: Simply put, Sky and RadioShack are making all three Grands. Somebody's gotta get cut.

Bbox Bouygues Telecom: They're going to have real troubles getting invites to anything outside France next year, and they had only one rider score in this year's Vuelta. Not looking good.

Contentpolis-Ampo: See above



Only six potential vacancies, per my figuring. Here are six teams that seem likely to fill the holes:

Team Sky: Yeah.

Team RadioShack: Yeah.

Team Katusha: I'm still kind of scratching my head as to why they weren't in this year's Vuelta. Did they not want in?

BMC Racing Team: If the ProTour weren't cutting back even from 18 for next season, I'd say BMC would have been likely to get a ProTour license. They're awfully stacked, too.

Diquigiovanni-Androni: They won't make all three Grands next season, but I think there's a chance they make two.

Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo: Same.



I'd have liked to say I saw  Vorarlberg-Corratec, Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, or Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator making it in to one of these races, but especially with the Vuelta, it's still likelier that even a team that doesn't seem definitely in a race will make it in than one of those teams.

What do you all think of the potential teams makeup of the 2010 Grand Tours?
steve

Posts:119

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10/15/2009 09:48 PM
I wonder if RadioShack will want to do the Giro...if they intend to have three legitimate leaders at the Tour to keep Contador on edge, Kloden should skip it.

If they do go the focus will be on stage wins - Steegmans will be part of it, but Cavendish will likely be there since it worked so well for his Tour prep this year - everyone knows what that means. RadioShack will aim for wins out of the breaks, and everyone else will hope Cavendish gets a flat in the last 2km (anything further, and he just might make it back!), or falls for the old "Goodrich Blimp" trick - would be nice to see Petacchi get over on him again, but that usually only works once! Granted, Farrar will be highly motivated over the winter, but with the way Cav rode it's just hard to see him being beat.
Nosleep

Posts:82

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10/17/2009 02:19 AM
Fuji actually has a ProTour license through next season...but they haven't signed anyone this offseason and they've lost a few riders to other teams. With their brutally bad 2009 (not entirely their fault, as the ASO disinvitation did them no favors), is it yet clear there will be a team Fuji Servetto in 2010?
miguelon

Posts:24

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10/18/2009 04:41 AM
I heard yesterday that bjoern thuray (son of didi) signed with Fuji recently. so at least they are hiring...
Nosleep

Posts:82

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10/21/2009 07:11 PM
So there will be no team Fuji-Servetto...it's going to be Footon-Servetto. They're being sponsored by a couch, I guess.

And it turns out I was right while I was wrong about Milram. They've got a binding agreement with all three Grands through 2011, but word is they're going to have to fight for wildcards to the non-ProTour World Rankings events (Grand Tours aside) in 2010, due to their brutally bad 18th place in this year's World Rankings (just barely better than the relegated Bbox and Cofidis). Sky and RadioShack are not guaranteed entry to the Grands, and RadioShack may not want to do the Giro due to it conflicting with Levi going for a fourth straight Tour of California next year. I think Sky's a lock for all three, and obviously RadioShack will be in at the absolute least the Tour.

Milram's response has been that if Davide Rebellin is removed from the rankings as Danilo Di Luca and others have been, Diquigiovanni-Androni will no longer outscore them and be a recipient of de facto ProTour status. Milram needs to learn basic math. Rebellin has 194 points - Diquigiovanni-Androni has 379 for the team. Milram finished the season with 182.


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