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[PT] Festina - OAKA (2021)
SotD wrote:

I Can almost feature a complete Greek PT team in a couple og years. One that will relegate in style but still :-D

After your comments on the MG Survey this makes me smile :lol:
However i imagine you'll be able to work the SotD magic and somehow win the PT 100% Greek in 5-years Pfft
Nice depth riders once developed. Festina continues to invest a lot into Greek cycling and builds the nation up nicely Grin

New signing

Welcome once more to a brief presentation of a new rider. For once he isn't greek, but rather Austrian. We have had an Austrian rider within the team almost every single year since the founding of the team for some reason.

Markus Kopfauf 4.44 25yo Timetriallist €60.000
Fl Mo Hi TT St Rs Rc Co Sp Ac Fi Dh Pr

Markus is a odd fit for the French-Greek collaboration, and is seen as a bit of a moneyball project. Only 2 riders in the world is better than Kopfauf in prologues and still U25 eligeble, and only one more is level. And while Kopfauf is easily the weakest overall rider of the 4, he does have 113 PR Racedays, compared to the others who are at 48, 65 and 66. So he will likely have his shot at some races where there is a shot at taking some U25 points and then defend his value.

Markus is also unmaxed, so next season he will become 81 PRL, which propels him up as one of the 10 best PRL riders in the world across ages.

Whether or not the project is succesful or not is yet to be seen, but the gamle is cheap. That, and he could potentially work as an OK leadout option. Whether or not we wish to gamble too much with Coquard is unsure though.
Edited by SotD on 27-09-2021 09:19

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Posted on 28-10-2021 00:40
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Prologue specialists huh? Grin
Yeah I see they will never move above 55K i wage no matter how good they become :-P

Schomber feels validated!
Some nice signings so far as you keep the Greek economy going!
.: Manager of :.
.: My Awards :.
knockout wrote:
Prologue specialists huh? Grin

I wonder where that trend started...
Thanks for all the nice comments so far Smile


Festina loan-outs 2021

With a staggering amount of young talents (12 in total unmaxed) we have to loan some out. This season we have 4 riders out on loan, and wish them all the best. Let's have a look at how they will look when they get back from a hopefully good season.

Georgios Stavrakakis 3 -> 4 23yo Cobbler €50.000
Fl Mo Hi TT St Rs Rc Co Sp Ac Fi Dh Pr

Georgios Stavrakakis is widely regarded as the most talented cobbler out of Greece ever. With a skillset more wellrounded thant Karatzios he is expected to lead the team in a couple of years. This year Stavrakakis will be riding at Binance Cycling at PCT level to get important experience, but it is expected that he will be the teams cobbled lieutenaint already next season. Stavrakakis is seen as the teams big Tour of Northern Europe specialist, but whether he will be there in 1-2 years time is yet to be discovered.

Pangiotis Christapopoulos 2 -> 3 26yo TimeTriallist €60.000
Fl Mo Hi TT St Rs Rc Co Sp Ac Fi Dh Pr

Pangiotis Christapopoulos is the biggest Greek TT talent since Vlatos, and with his strong abilities on hills he will be a very interesting rider to follow. This season he will be riding at newly founded Danish CT setup Pas Normal Studios - Mikkeller, where he will likely have a lot of freedom to develop his quality.

Dimitrios Christakos 1 -> 3 22yo StageRacer €50.000
Fl Mo Hi TT St Rs Rc Co Sp Ac Fi Dh Pr

Dimitrios Christakos is one of already many Greek Stage Racer talents, also counting Giannoutsos, Mavrikakis, Spanopoulos, Ioannidis and Kiriakidis. He is fairly well rounded, and can develop into multiple paths. One path was presented earlier when he signed, but it seems likely that he will take a different path to further enhance his climbing abilities. Christakos will ride at cycleYorkshire in the upcoming season as a domestique.

Victor Lafay 3 -> 4 25yo Puncheur €50.000
Fl Mo Hi TT St Rs Rc Co Sp Ac Fi Dh Pr

Victor Lafay is the only non-greek rider to be loaned out this season, as he will turn out for Philips - Force India at the PCT. Lafay is regarded as one of the top french puncheur domestiques, and should have a bright future ahead of him. He's not likely a future Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner, but we believe that he will land many stagewins in the future - maybe already next year with a very well-rounded skill set.

Overall we want to thank the 4 teams that will work on our talents in the upcoming season and wish both teams and riders the very best of luck!
Edited by SotD on 27-09-2021 09:19


Welcome David de la Cruz!

For 5 consecutive seasons the manager of Festina - OAKA (Previously Festina-Dexia) have been targeted a certain spanish GC rider. And finally (just before decline) we managed to finally land him.

David de la Cruz 4.00 32yo StageRacer €180.000
Fl Mo Hi TT St Rs Rc Co Sp Ac Fi Dh Pr

After the loss of former secondary GC rider, Francesco Bongiorno and David Boily, David de la Cruz will have some big shoes to fill out, but if any rider within a wage cap of ~200K can do that, David de la Cruz is a very good bet! With a very solid stat combination, and some strong acceleration compared to other GC riders of his nature, we expect to see him do well in multiple races. We expect him to fight for top 10 GC results when riding passively, and maybe target KOM, stageresults and decent GC results too when the competition is too fierce for him to follow.

The loss of Bongiorno and Boily see us lose a total of 581 points compared to last season. Similar riders to David de la Cruz have singlehandedly managed to score that in the past season, and we have been looking towards riders like:

#41 William Chiarello 751 pts
#42 Dion Smith 746 pts
#53 Domen Novak 612 pts
#60 Andrew Talansky 557 pts
#67 Ignacio Jesus Prado 509 pts

Whether or not David de la Cruz will mingle in the higher airs of those riders is yet to be decided, but the common feature of those is good allround capabilities and and acceleration stat of aproximately 70-74.

The past 3 seasons at PCT level David de la Cruz have managed the following:

2020 | #81 David de la Cruz 302 pts
2019 | #113 David de la Cruz 175 pts
2018 | # 89 David de la Cruz 222 pts

An average of 233 points, may not seem all that impressive, but with less points in general to fight for, we feel content that some micromanagement could see him reach around 500-650 points, and thus cover the loss of Bongiorno and Boily. The tendency from last season atleast show, that he can be very solid. Time will tell how solid!

For now. A big warm welcome to David de la Cruz.
Edited by SotD on 27-09-2021 09:20

I really like signing de la Cruz as the secondary stage racer. He definitely was on my radar for that role too but didnt really make sense to go for him the way other deals were shaping up during the early days (e.g. getting Cort Nielsen or Lunke as options for that roster spot while also being in the hunt for Taaramae).

Not sure if its gonna be 500-650 points but he has a nice skill set that should score well with the right races on his schedule Wink
I agree with knockout, DLC seems like a great fit and I like him as a rider a lot 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
Pleased we managed to do a deal that meant DLC could ride for you. Hope he goes as well for you as he did for me. Was quite surprised he renewed for my first offer, pretty good points per dollar potential.

Looking forward to seeing Boily adding to the Kraftwerk hill depth this season.
Manager of Suntory [ICL]
Manager of Kraftwerk Man Machine [Man Game]
David de la Cruz is an awesome signing, I love that quite a lot! I am going to keep an eye on him to see how he performs this season. Smile
Know you were looking for a secondary GC guy. De la Cruz is one of the best. Great job snagging the useful Greeks too. Happy to have my first Greek rider this year in Bouglas, though it's unfortunate that only happened cause of the sprinter wage bubble.
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy

The 2021 transfer season is over, and this means we can have a status on how it all progressed. A total of 7 riders left us during the transferperiod, while also Georgios Bouglas left during renewals. Two stagiares: Alexandre Delettre and Simon Guglielmi also were left without a contract.

Let's have a look at the rest.

Francesco Bongiorno79 MO75 HI
David Boily78 HI76 MO
Giacomo Nizzolo80 SPR79 ACC
Riccardo Zoidl75 TT74 MO
Juan Osorio74 MO70 SPR
Hector Carretero Millan74 MO69 HI
Emmanuel Morin74 HI73 ACC

David de la Cruz78 MO75 HI
Gyung Gu Jang76 MO76 HI
Markus Kopfauf79 PRL73 SPR
Pangiotis Christopopoulos72 TT71 PRL
Dimitrios Christakos69 MO67 HI

On paper Francesco Bongiorno, David Boily and Giacomo Nizzolo are great losses, and to some extent they are. Nizzolo, though had a very dissapointing 2020 despite primarily riding his own chances, so if was always evident that he would be on his way. Bongiorno was part of the selection that secured Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier his first ever Grand Tour title, when he landed the 2020 Vuelta a EspaΓ±a. On a personal level, however the 2020 season was very underwhelming fro Bongiorno, especially considering his normal level. Bongiorno has been directly replaced by the one year older David de la Cruz, who is slightly more versatile, and hopefully offers a better points outing.

David Boily was our leader in the difficult puncheur area, but we feel he is fairly competently covered by the combination of an improved Aidan van Niekerk aswell as the signing of South Korean Gyung Gu Jang.

The mountains/puncheur depth lost with Zoidl, Osorio, Carretero Millan and Morin feels covered by the improvements of Mavrikakis, Spanopoulos, Giannoutsos, Rochas, Miltiadis, Kiriakidis and Vila aswell as the signing of Jang.

One place where we have slight concerns though is in the sprinting department. While Nizzolo never really offered any domestiques roles for Coquard, Bouglas always did. We hope that with the development of Farantakis to almost similar stats, he will take over that role, while the combination of Kortsidakis and Karatzios can prove enough to control the setup before the final dash. We do, however fear that the signing of Kopfauf, should have been handled differently and maybe another 77-78SPR rider could have been key to the succes of Coquard. Only time will tell. Speaking of Kopfauf he joined the party with the hope that he could make use of his PRL stat and U25 nature to score a bit of points that would otherwise not have been up for grabs. Having 68FL and 67HI combined with 73SPR isn't all that bad either in a breakaway attempt.

Finally our team will look like this. Feel free to comment below.


Edited by SotD on 27-09-2021 09:20


2021 Training

We didn't manage to secure the amount of money for training we had hoped for during this transferperiod, but fortunately we did make enough to secure the one training we had promised ourselves. And there was just enough to make another small training aswell.

Aidan van Niekerk 4.100 24yo Puncheur €130.000
Fl Mo Hi TT St Rs Rc Co Sp Ac Fi Dh Pr

Aidan van Niekerk moves from being a super domestique and breakaway rider into being one of our secondary leaders with a lot of responsibility towards performance.

Despite being just 24 years old, Aidan van Niekerk already has an impressive palmares, which we hope will only grow in the upcoming season.

Aidan van Niekerk, Palmares:
Stagewin, Tour de France 2020
Stagewin, Vuelta a EspaΓ±a 2019
Stagewin, Tour de Suisse 2020
3rd U25, Tirreno-Adriatico 2020
3rd stage, Giro d'Italia 2019
3rd stage, Vuelta a EspaΓ±a 2019
6th KOM, Paris-Nice 2019
10th PTS, Vuelta a EspaΓ±a 2019
4 days in KOM, Vuelta a EspaΓ±a 2019

Bryan Coquard 4.100 29yo Sprinter €600.000
Fl Mo Hi TT St Rs Rc Co Sp Ac Fi Dh Pr

Our supersprinter, Bryan Coquard also got his last small fee training towards being a more well-rounded survivor. We would have liked to give him +2MO, but unfortunately just couldn't find the needed money for it.
Edited by SotD on 27-09-2021 09:23

Love this training for Aidan Smile he's been a beast and it's really fun to see a manager really rally behind 1 rider but obviously much more fun given it's Aidan haha

Team is looking just as strong as last year arguably despite the cash spent on training, and happy to see a Carrefour allumni in Jang joining your ranks!
Nice to get a short sneek peak into the training already while we wait for the big list Smile

I love to see that you follow your words and invest into Aidans training! Cant wait for him to grow into legitimate worldclass over the next years Smile
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