Big Donkey

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Robyklebt
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Re: Big Donkey

Post by Robyklebt » Sun Aug 01, 2021 10:01 am

July

2nd in D1 with 13'954 points. Won the TdF, Tim Eiffel obviously, plus 3rd place with Apicella and the team classification. 6 stage wins in the TdF, 4 of them in July, 3 Eiffel, 1 Apicella. Another 4 wins after the Tour, 2 stages of the Tour of Wallonie (the 2 I thought I had no chance, thought the other 3 looked much better), Löffel and Coderch, 3rd in GC for Coderch there. Then a fantasy race with Löffel and finally San Sebastian with Eiffel again. Eiffel and Löffel now both with 9 wins, One more for each to enter the exclusive 10 win club. Eiffel though wins the more important races. So surely a successful season. Even if it sounds better than it was in some respect, no real opponents for Eiffel at the Tour, San Sebastian ok, there, but somehow the win was not that exciting since I had no clue or plan for most of the race. More fun to win, or lose more often, when you spend your time thinking, making plans etc, not just being there like the Donkey in San Sebastian.

Rider of the month: Tim Eiffel
Tour win, even if it was an unexciting one. 3 stages, San Sebastian, 1 win of the 10 win list (but will be hard for him to reach 10 wins) and he took over the position as Donkey rider with most points ever, 17'589 overtaking Zipoli's 17'551. And possibly the first Donkey rider ever to lead the eternal points for active riders. For once we found time to interview team, well actually Tim just appeared on the screen and demanded an interview, otherwise he wouldn't leave.
-Tim, rider of the month again, how many times is it now?
-The 5th time. Shows how underappreciated I am here. Conti and Zipoli won it 8 times, Zafzaf 7. I have 5 now.
-Conti, Zipoli, Zafzaf... ah, the good times!
-See?
-Didn't mean it's not good times with you, if you'll be mentioned later I'll say good times too!
-But only 5 times rider of the month so far? As eternal no 1 of Donkeys?
-Well, you couldn't ride the Andes, you didn't win the December tour, so nothing there, both Zipoli and Zafzaf won in in November. Then Baaba winning Pais Vasco of course. It's just the way it is.
-Last month? Apicella? It's clear, the Donkey is afraid of giving me my due! Even this month until yesterday there was talk of Löffel getting the award. Scandalous, I won the Tour, 3 stages.
-But you won! Anyway, congratulations! Giro-Tour double, successful!
-Thanks.
-So a great career.
-Yes... and no. I won the U23 title, Strade Bianche and now San Sebastian, 3 wins I never expected. In addition won Tirreno, Romandie, the Giro, TdS and the Tour. But we all know my goals were bigger.
-Yes, but that's the way it turned out, we're still satisfied with that.
- The goal was Andes-Dec Tour-Jan Tour, Tirreno-Catalunya-Pais Vasco-Romandie-Giro-TdS-TdF-Vuelta. In the end I won the 2 most important ones, but somehow more seemed possible.
- Yes, but you can't blame us or yourself for the Andes. Only 2 teams starting, cancelled. December Tour finally just a bit too hard for you, there we tried, even if Apicella probably would have been the more logical leader. Then we didn't ride the January Tour. Catalunya wasn't offered in the afternoon. Pais Vasco, Baaba won. There wasn't much more we could win. And as a team of course we're satisfied with Faye's win in Pais Vasco.
-I didn't blame anybody, just saying. as a plus I have 1 day races, but regrets too, since I hoped to win more stage races. in the end thogh I'm ok with it as it is. Winning 2 classics is fantastic.
-So no regrets for your career?
-Well, real regret one, Lombardia, got second, I was the strongest there, we rode well, Belhassen waited for me, despite some chances in front, but in the end I lost the sprint despite being stronger.
-And now?
-I don't know. The Donkey hasn't told me if I ride the Vuelta yet.
-Would you like to ride?
-Of course. Yes, I'm getting older, feel it a bit in the mountains already, but why not try. Michele of course wants his own chance and Ardila to get experience, but I deserve a chance to do the triple.
-Do you think you will ride it or was San Sebastian your last race?
-Before San Sebastian the Donkey had basically said it would be Apicella-Ardila. After San Sebastian he said let's look at the training in August. I'm confident I can keep my level, so....
-Otherwise it's retirement?
-Think so yes. Vuelta or no more races.
-Anyway, congrats to your outstanding July, and let's hope we somehow win the Vuelta, either with you or with Apicella-Ardila!
-With me please!

Training Löffel! Espariat still at 70, angry at no Tour probably. Quaghebeur 86! Trewlove 88. Both good for the Vuelta then. Rest forgot, ah, Gabel-Baas a bit more flat would have been nice.

Finances
+2'927'426
Still no financial trouble...

New rider
Dario Meucci from Firenze, 48-74-49-48-47, 39 reg for 1'208'021. Pure cheap flat rider, pavé 66,8, so will never be a star there either. Since Tran has 47 reg, Baas pavé, wanted a cheap flat one. Meucci fits the bill. Training flat, mountain up to 50 ok, not more. Rest the same, why not go to 50 downhill-sprint if there's open training units. Dario will debut soon, flat races before the Vuelta. And then train to be already useful and at 79 flat when the Vuelta ends.

Retirements:

Izatullah Totakhyl: 01.01.2020-07.07.2021: Starting skills 55-64-79-52-52, 68,2 pavé and 35 reg. Topskills 72-75-80-50-52, 75,9 pavé. 4 wins in 167 races, 2865 eternal points. Thanks to a certain aptitude on cobblestones the team was never too sure about how to train him, always left wondering if we should have gone for more pavé, but probably changed little, even with 80 flat his pavé would only have been 79,4, nice, but then less mountain, without much flat and 52 sprint, he probably never would have played a big role in the hilly pavé races. Thanks to Izatullah we had 4 decent classics in the team at the same time for a short while, new experience, opens up new attacking possibilites, we had fun for a few weeks. Izatullah has left the team and is training refugees in cycling now.

Goals for August:
Vuelta By now pretty sure we'll start, just the team isn't decided yet. Löffel-Trewlove-Apicella-Stakhanov are sure to be there. Eiffel or Ardila, Coderch-Espariat-Lambert all hope, 1 or 2 should go, Gabel wants to go, Quaghebeur too. Moretti-Teixeira as well...
Kraftsystemrevision! Include the distance!
Basics reform: Give blue a chance!
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Robyklebt
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Re: Big Donkey

Post by Robyklebt » Sat Sep 04, 2021 5:19 pm

August

3rd place in D1, 12'985 points. 3 wins, 2 Vuelta stages with Gabel and Apicella and Messerli with a fantasy race before the Vuelta. Vuelta, at the end of the month in second place in GC, highly unlikely to go higher, it will be second or third, seems clear.
Good month, very happy to win 2 stages, Gabel his first stage win, Apicella continues his category 5 wins.

Rider of the month: Michele Apicella. SEcond in GC and the stage enough to beat Gabel. Apicella doesn't win much, first time as leader in a stage race since Provence in February, where he failed miserably. Still managed to win 3 Tour stages, the Flèche Wallonne and now a Vuelta stage. 5 category 5 wins, good. And is basically assured of the podium here too. Which is worth more than the one at the Tour.
Since he's still riding the Vuelta no time for an interview.

Finances: +359'352, while riding the Vuelta that's good enough, September will be much higher thanks to the end of tour money.

Training: The thing that dominates here is Ardila at 23 who didn't train a single time. Still 81 mountain. I seem to mismanage him badly, seems frustrated at not riding the Tour and now overwhelmed at the Vuelta, the result that he doesn't train. Let's hope he does better in September. Rest forgotten, probably ok.

New rider: Asier Basterretxea from Bermeo on the atlantic coas in the Basque country, Spain. 73-53-73-51-48 with 59 reg for 3'078'703. So the second climber for 2022, the plan is to have Ardila as Leader for the Giro, possibly the Tour, after that Basterretxea for the Vuelta, possibly the Andes. But first he has to train, he most likely will give his debut only in October, Emilia, Lombardia, around there.

Retirements:
Oisin Swift 01.02.2020-06.08.2021. flat rider. Starting skills: 47-73-55-48-51, 50 reg. Top skills: 50-86-55-48-51. A very reliable flat rider, due to his reg often used early. But he even developed into a 86 flat guy, so on some occasions he could relax and ride later. He rode 339 races for the team, joins the 300+ races club, 12th place for him there. Only 774 eternal points, so he failed in the quest for 1000, which is what we hope for every rider to achieve. But with his reg he was an early helper too often, so ok. Swift now is back in Ireland and helps his cousin on his horse breeding farm.

Goals for September:
Finish the Vuelta as well as possible, then just do well in the 1 day races, try to win one of the classics/semi classics.
Kraftsystemrevision! Include the distance!
Basics reform: Give blue a chance!
Don't punish bugusers. We all have to use bugs, since most of them are declared as "features"!

Robyklebt
Posts: 8855
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:50 pm
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Re: Big Donkey

Post by Robyklebt » Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:41 am

September

Place 6 in D1, 10'059 points in 28 races. 3 wins. Löffel a Vuelta stage and a fantasy race, Gabel GP van Petegem. The Vuelta finally 3rd place for Apicella. Team classification and youth jersey for I. Ardila.
The classics and semi-classics after the Vuelta went ok, but lots of placements, no wins. Ok, Van Petegem if you count it as semi-classic, but I don't.
Québec: 4 Löffel
Fourmies: 2 Messerli
Montreal: 2 Eiffel
GP Wallonie: 2 Moretti
Coppa Sabatini: 2. Stakhanov
Coppa Agostoni: 3. Löffel

Some of those races were in super small groups, so 2nd really worth nothing there, the 3 classics though were in groups of a decent size.

Rider of the season:
Johann Löffel, he got his 10th career win at the Vuelta, winning stage 19, even without the fantasy race win later in the month that would have been ok. With this win Johnny joins the exclusive 10 win club, depressingly few Donkeys have managed to join that, including the still active Messserli and Löffel only 11. Short interview:

- Johnny, rider of the month! Congratulations
- Thanks!
- How important was it for you to win your 10th race?
- Very, but more important was winning a Vuelta stage. I had been left out of the Giro and Tour, so was my first chance and took it. Same as Moritz, we showed that maybe we would have deserved more opportunities.
- But your palmares before the Vuelta while being quite impressive in quantity, really lacked a lot in quality. 9 wins, many vs small groups
- Well, that's not completely true, if you actually look at my wins only 1 was in 2 team group. And it was against Team Seven Down, so that still is a strong field. I won the races right before and after the Giro, vs decent groups, I showed the form was there, if I had gotten the chance, I might have gotten a GT win earlier. Or helped Messerli get one. Being 2 helped us a lot during the Vuelta, Messerli was alone.
-950 points in September, by far the most in your career. Are you really starting to get going now?
-No, I was there the whole time. I didn't get 9 wins by chance until the end of August. Apart from my wins I was 3rd in Gent, 4th in Dwars door Vlaanderen, 4th in Québec, 3rd Agostoni. So I'm there, not only in September.
-But with Messerli getting older now more pressure is on your shoulders.
-Messerli is still sprinting strong, so not much changes really.
-What are your goals for October?
-October is a month that looks quite nice for me honestly. I really hope to win another important race, no matter if it's Beghelli, Bernocchi or something else.
-And for the rest of your career?
-Well, win as much as possible. October, then November possibly I ride the Andes then the December tour, and fantasy classics of course.
- Milano Sanremo 22?
-Well... I'll be 37. Of course I think about it, I would be lying if I said otherwise. But I don't know how well I'll feel then, how good my legs will be in the climbs, so I'm certainly not making plans for Sanremo now. Now I concentrate on the next race, Beghelli today.
-Good luck then
- Thanks

Finance

+2'673'234

End of the Vuelta of course big here, August-September finally around 1,5 million average, so pretty normal month lately.

Training
Ardila 1 from 4. so 1 from 8 at 23-24. 82 mountain at the end of 24, my worst training climber ever. Prospects for leadership in the Giro don't look too good for him anymore, Basterretxea more likely now. 77-55 for him, +4+2, really one more flat would have been nice, but can't complain anyway, not compared to Ardila.
The rest ok, Gabel 2 flat, Lambert and Espariat one mountain each, Quaghebeur to 88 flat. Good training for them. Tran rather disappointing with only 1 flat at 23.
So finally a mixed bag, but Ardila's August-September clearly is bad and creates problems for 2022

Retirement
Tim Eiffel retired on 13.09.21. 9 stage or 1 day race wins, U23 Road race WC 20, Strade Bianche and San Sebastian the 3 most important 1 day races. 5 stage races, Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour de Romandie, Giro d'Italia, Tour de Suisse and Tour de France, 2 points jerseys, Pais Vasco and Tour de Suisse. 132 races, 18'044 points, so most ever in the team. A successful career but a different one that was envisioned. He joined the team 01.07., with the following skills: 70-56-79-60-56 with 45 reg. Top skills 84-64-79-62-55. So surprisingly good flat training, while we hoped for 1 or 2 more points in the mountain really.
An untypical Donkey climber, TT, normally we get guys with around 50 TT. So the goal for Eiffel were the double triple and the quintuple, Giro-Tour-Vuelta the first triple, Andes-Dec Tour-January Tour the second triple, PN/TA-Catalunya-PV-TdR-Dauphiné/TdS. Didn't work, Andes only 2 teams at the start, cancelled, December Tour despite starting as leader he was overtaken by his teammate Apicella later and finished third, Apicella second, and we didn't even bother with the January Tour anymore after that.
The chase for the quintuple started off better. Tirreno won, but then Catalunya wasn't offered in the afternoon, so couldn't ride it. Pais Vasco, while Eiffel looked set to get second place the team attempted to win the tour with somebody else, Baaba Faye, it miraculously worked, Eiffel 4th, but Faye first. Romandie then was won again, as was the Giro, an entirely forgettable Giro really, but a win is a win. Tour de Suisse, Tour de France, here the machine was working as planned. But downtraining started early, so we decided to skip the Vuelta with him, he wouldn't have had a chance anyway most likely. So while it sounds strange, as a stage rider in the end Eiffel was a slight disappointment. 2 GTs, 3 cat 4 stage races...but with 84 and 62 TT more seemed possible. Even if looking at the races in retrospect there's not many races he could have done better. But on paper at the start of his career we hoped for even more. Still, 5 stage race, all high category, number 2 after Zafzaf in the team, only the 4th of our riders to win more than 2 stage races. So not complaining.
But Tim Eiffel's career still was great, thanks to his unexpected flat strength, that he developed more or less by accident, never more than covered after his first season. That combined with his above average sprint for a Donkey-climber made him competitive in 1 day races too. It started with the U24 World Championship, although not guided by the Donkey. Then his most bitter defeat, second place at Lombardia, stronger in the sprint,, weaker in flat, starts from the back, can't overtake his opponent. Then his win at STrade Bianche really kickstarted his career, beating Sindarov, as became usual for him, after a rather difficult winter. And to end his career he won San Sebastian and got second place in Montréal in his last 2 races. He rode sparingly after the TdF..
So, great stage racing career, but not the greatest, great one day race career judging from the low expectations at the start.

Tim Eiffel now lives in Liechtenstein but we are not completely sure what he actually is doing.

New rider

Silvio Bieri from Schwarzenburg: We were looking for a future 60-80, then heard about this talent from Schwarzenburg, 56-69-79-48-60 with 43 reg, not what we were looking for, but for 95%, 1'745'471, we didn't say no and hired him. First as usual we don't expect much, training is enough. After that with his sprint skill we hope to develop him into a winning rider. Training as of now still rather unclear, mountain of course, but then what? At first some flat, but later we might change to sprint to get him up to 65+. But results won't be expected before December/January anyway. If he trains well though next sprint we could have a strong contender for the hilly races in our team.

Goals for October
Lots of goals, almost every day for the first 10 days is something we want to win. From Beghelli (ok, not that important) to Paris-Tours. Main goal Lombardia of course, followed by Paris-Tours. But we'd happily take Emilia,Tre Valli, Milano Torino, Piemonte, or the Italian cat 3 or even cat 2 races very happily. Less inspiring second half of the month, probably that's when we'll finally win something...
Kraftsystemrevision! Include the distance!
Basics reform: Give blue a chance!
Don't punish bugusers. We all have to use bugs, since most of them are declared as "features"!

Robyklebt
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Re: Big Donkey

Post by Robyklebt » Sun Oct 17, 2021 4:02 pm

End of the real season

With today's Veneto Classic, cat 2, the real season comes to an end, time for a short recap.

Stage races:

-Giro and Tour won with Tim Eiffel
-Tirreno Adriatico, Tour de Romandie, Tour de Suisse won by Team Eiffel, Pais Vasco won by Baaba Faye
In addition a third place by Apicella in the Vuelta. The third places he got in Tirreno and the Tour qualify more as substraction than addition, shows that the opposition wasn't that strong...

So of course satisfied, 2 of 3 GTs, 4 of 5 possible cat 4 races, 4 of 4 of the ones offered in the afternoon. Only way to do better would be to win the Vuelta. But we've never done that, so better not to break with traditions probably.

One day races:
Monuments:
MSR: In the end a group for pure sprinters, we never had a chance to keep them away for Messerli. 7th place for Messerli, in a 18 team group.
RVV: Lanz 15th. Not our race, was never going to be. Lanz dropped too early, after following and ill-advised attack. Dropped one hellingen before the Oude Kwaremont, had he hold on till then we could have started to hope, but like this then it was over.
PR: 2nd Lanz. Good race, but on the final pavé Lanz too optimistic, attacks himself instead of just following Tyler Medaglia. 1" back, no chance to catch up, 8" behind and second place finally. Should have sprinted for the win vs Medaglia, but...
LBL: Coderch 4th, we don't remember much, or anything? Kind of early attack somewhere? Yes, km 180, Coderch attacks, with Freudenfeuer then went on, caught by a group of 80-70 and similar near the end, so 4th.
Lombardia: 3rd Apicella, but after a rather early attack by Ardila and Espariat we really had to hope for big mistakes by others, didn't happen.

So no monuments wins, only PR was close enough.

But we did better in category 4+5 races
Fleche Wallonne with Apicella, San Sebastian with Eiffel, Paris-Tours with Gabel. If we could chose 3 cat 5 races to win this year, it would have been FW and PT plus probably Gent-Wevelgem. Or Harelbeke since we never won it. So more than satisfied with those 3.
Strade Bianche with Eiffel, Emilia with Apicella for cat 4. Strade Bianche.
So finally fully satisfied with the classics too. The "wall double" with the Flèche and Emilia. The gravel double with Strade Bianche and Paris Tours. + San Sebastian that we don't really care much, but cat 5 so it's nice.

Another 4 category 3 races, maybe there a bit more would be nice.

In other news we just fired our scout Teppei Umesao. Samuel Lanz who retired this month and Izatullah Totakhyl who quit his job as cycling trainer for refugees in Germany are our new scouts.
Kraftsystemrevision! Include the distance!
Basics reform: Give blue a chance!
Don't punish bugusers. We all have to use bugs, since most of them are declared as "features"!

Robyklebt
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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:50 pm
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Re: Big Donkey

Post by Robyklebt » Wed Nov 17, 2021 6:23 pm

October

Late, so we try short. Place 3 in D1 with 12'265 points. 7 wins. The most important clearly Paris-Tours, career goal for our great Moritz Gabel, he delivered. Sprint win from an 11 riders containing remaining peloton.
Other wins, Apicella Emilia, very nice, even if it destroyed his pure palmares of only cat 5 wins. Cat 4 in there too now, but we'll take it.
Löffel with Beghelli and Veneto, both category 3 the 2 other wins in the real season.
Fantasy season then Messerli a 1 day race, Baas and Lambert a stage of the pavé tour each. Pavé tour we won the team classification too, so finally a successful tour.

Lombardia: 3rd with Apicella, but after trying an early attack that didn't work we really were out of ideas and in the end rode rather pointlessly and badly. The bad thing was that we knew how it was going to end for us but still kept riding.
Piemonte another story, 2nd and 3rd for Messerli and Gabel, but we really should have just ridden for Gabel there, and do a better sprint too, should have won that.

Rider of the season: Clearly Moritz Gabel. His third win and what will probably be the most important one of his career, Paris-Tours. He still has only wins at cat 3 or higher, we hope he does some cat 1 winning in the future too, some quantity after the quality. Unfortunately Moritz isn't available for an interview, the boss said riders are allowed to do that only until the 10th of the month nowadays.

Finances

+1'238'349. Could be higher, but we absolutely have no money problems lately, no problem.

Training:

Are we supposed to remember that? We don't. Check the training thread....

Retirements:

Samuel Lanz: 01.04.2020-14.10.2021 Pavéstar, great training. Starting skills 50-68-56-49-48 with 71.3 pavé and 35 reg. So an internal pavé skill of 79. He trained exceedingly well, going up to 56-88 and 85.3 pavé. So not only +20 flat, but also +6 mountain. In 213 races he got 4 wins and 2460 points. His main goal Paris-Roubaix, he got a group where he and Tyler Medaglia from Bear were favorites, despite their low sprint. But both having similar sprint skills 48-47 but vastly superior pavé skills made them the favorites, they could work together. They did, siebs by Lanz, but then in the attacking km he instad of following Medaglia was confident enough to try to get away himself. he did, but Medaglia was 1 second further. An advantage he then extended second by second, he was 8" back in the end but saved second place by 3". Normally if we don't win then second or 5th doesn't matter much, but here after riding a good race except that km where we should just have followed, second place somehow was important. 4 wins in his career finally, but the big one eluded him.
Samuel now joined the team as a scout.

New rider:

Archibald Short from Balmain, a suburb of Sydney. His skills 48-74-76-49-44 with 54 reg. His goal is to become a 60-80 or something similar in time for the Giro. The first months of course he'll be far from those skills, so will mostly be there to do early tempo or nothing at all, just get used to riding in the peloton. From January on his role most likely will expand a bit.
Kraftsystemrevision! Include the distance!
Basics reform: Give blue a chance!
Don't punish bugusers. We all have to use bugs, since most of them are declared as "features"!

Bear
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Re: Big Donkey

Post by Bear » Wed Nov 17, 2021 10:45 pm

Congrats to a nice career of Samuel. PR2021 is one of those races I really loved. Not just because Tyler won, it was also a tough race with lots of exciting moments. Samuel played a big role in this race!

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