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[CT'22] Jura GIANTS | Chile
Good luck for the upcoming month! We'll see each other in Romandie and Chile, but as we're not really in the same division, that should'nt come in a fight.

And glad to see that even with some frustrating results, you easily top the division.

Good luck for the coming races.
We keep meeting Pfft

Some mixed fortune lately but still leading the division and the promotion challenge is going very well. Will be interesting to see how Stussi does in his home race. We'll hopefully be nearby watching! We'll also meet in Chile.
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Race Review | Tour de Romandie (C1)

Here we are. Our only home stage race this year, as we aren't allowed to participate in Tour de Suisse as a CT team. And not only home race, but of course goal race as well! Just like last year, our sponsors expected a 5th place GC finish from us - remember that a year ago, Nairo Quintana missed out on this goal by taking 7th after having missed one decisive split.
We knew beforehand that reaching this goal would be even hard this time, with Colin Stüssi clearly being a less strong pure climber than Nairo. On the other hand, we brought some great mountain support for him with Gino Mäder and Fausto Masnada. Furthermore, we had a much stronger TTT setup this time, led by Szymon Rektia and Krzysztof Marchewka and rounded off by Erick Rowsell and Leo Basso. And there was also Marcel Aregger, targetting his first stage win of the year.

The TTT on the first day was too short to create decisive gaps, but every second gained there was a second gained anyway. And for the first time ever, we even were among the favorite teams in a C1 TTT!
But unfortunately, the TV stations apparently didn't take us seriously, as there are absolutely no images of our boys from stage one. Which is a shame, as they were very, very fast - and in the end missed out on the stage win (and the leader jersey) by just 2", taking a great 2nd place! A great start - but the fact that so little was missing for the win still hurt a bit. Maybe on one of the remaing five stages?

Stage 2 was the first out of two opportunities for sprinter Marcel Aregger - who was seen as one of the day's top favorites by the bookmakers, probably also due to his good hills skills and the couple of bumps on the closing kilometers.
But while he chose the right wheel during sprint preparations, he always left a small gap to the rider ahead of him - and in the end didn't even manage to outsprint him. Given that this rider was one who usually is considerably slower, this must be considered a bad performance - and 4th place indeed isn't what we were hoping for. One more chance left.


Marcel Aregger finishing only 4th on day 2.

Day 3 was the one we dreaded the most, because of its hilly finish. Not exactly the main strength of Colin Stüssi - instead, Fausto Masnada was considered to be among the stage favorites!
However, either the latter didn't believe the bookies, had just absolutely horrible legs, or didn't really care. He missed out on a split pretty early in the race - just like Gino Mäder, who did so even earlier. Both of our main support riders distances - we had to bid goodbye to a decent team and depth result early on, which was definitely disappointing and would need some talking post-stage.
At least, Colin Stüssi was attentive and was safe in the main group, seconded mainly by Leo Basso and Erick Rowsell. And while the two helpers were eventually gapped as well, Stüssi seemed to have quite a lot left in the tank, and even joined the sprint for the stage win - just to fall short of the podium. That's two 4th places in as many days - and especially those inches missing for Stüssi really hurt, as some bonus seconds would have been really great to take.


Colin Stüssi narrowly missing out on a podium finish on day 3.

So, half of the race was done, and Colin Stüssi was up to 2nd in the GC - but the gaps were so small that even dropping outside the Top 20 could have easily happened with a bad day on stage 4, the big mountain stage.
One again, our full focus was on Colin, and none of our riders even tried to join the breakaway of the day. Meaning that winning the KoM jersey like back in 2019 probably wasn't an option - instead, we were still hoping for a GC podium!

And Colin did a great job all day long, always staying with the main group, without wasting any energy for pointless moves. Which turned out to be the right strategy, given that a group of 21 riders reached the top of the Col de la Croix - the final climb of the day - together. And even Fausto Masnada was inside that group, after having been dropped and caught up again!
Unsurprisingly, it finally was Masnada who got our best result of the day, given that he's definitely more explosive and hence better suited for reduced bunch sprints than Stüssi. 8th place it was this time - we'd have happily taken a higher spot, but definitely couldn't complain about our 4th Top 10 finish in as many days.

And most importantly, Colin Stüssi still held onto a podium spot; while he was overtaken by stage winner Padun, he was able to keep all others behind him. Except for Taaramäe obviously, who was ahead anyway. So we had a great situation going into the decisive stage - a mountain time trial, where we have always been doing well so far! Our best result was a 3rd place by Nairo Quintana last year - so we were hoping for at least a Top 10 finish by Stüssi to secure a Top 5 spot!

But first came all our other riders. And unfortunately, their performances didn't give us a lot of hope - as both Gino Mäder and even more Fausto Masnada were miles off their usual pace! Just to compare - Masnada finished 17th on this stage last year - he was down in 63rd place this time! And Mäder wasn't much better - 5" and 16 spots to be precise. A huge disappointment by those two!
But it was just a foreshadowing of what could be expected from Stüssi - not much. He lost 37", and he lost out to some riders he shouldn't (the extreme case being 16" to Costagli!), and dropped all the way down to 7th in the GC. 7th. What a bummer, what an awful performance by the entire climbing team. Sponsor goal failed - literally thrown out of the window, given away for free. Needless to say that they weren't amused...

Obviously, the general mood in the team was really bad on the last day. Everyone knew that we hadn't done our job well, and Stüssi knew it best. Obviously, taking a 7th place GC finish in this stacked field would be a great result - but it isn't with the standings after stage 4, and especially not after this bad performance on stage 5. Knowing that he wasn't the worst of the top climbers didn't really help, we just failed.

And we also failed on the last day, in a race that will be remembered as "The race of the near misses". 2nd by 2" on day 1, 4th on days 2 and 3, 7th in the GC in a Top 5 goal race. And 3rd on the final stage by Marcel Aregger, after a good leadout by our team. Again beaten by a clearly slower sprinter - perfectly reflecting our race.
And what's worst to know by now is that it would've been enough for Stüssi to take 3rd instead of 4th on stage 3; with these bonus seconds, he'd have finished 5th... Almost, almost, almost - all the race long. Frustrating.

To be fair, in any other stage race against this competition, we'd be happy with what we achieved here. But we can't be happy with this in our home race, in a sponsor goal race. Still, thanks to every rider for trying. We failed again - may we succeed next time!


Marcel Aregger ending up 3rd on the final stage.

If your leaders focus on C2, I guess I saw Boswell's twin brother a couple of times this year in C1/HC Pfft
You had an amazing start to the month with Keough winning in Thailand - looks like we just countered that in Romandie by using up 3x more RDs... So I'm not that sure about a solid lead yet - if you get some great stage results in Olympia, that could well be worth more than a lower Top 10 GC result or so...

Thanks Smile Good luck to you as well Smile

You're definitely right in terms of promotion challenge - but with that team we definitely have to promote. With some better luck - especially in longer TTs and on hills lately - we'd even have a solid lead, but alas it's a duel with McCormick now. Which is obviously nicer from a neutral perspective Pfft
I think Stüssi did well in his home race, just not well enough. This time you were watching from behind - in Chile that's probably going to be us Wink

Edited by Fabianski on 16-01-2023 07:58
I'd love to fail the way you did here Pfft
Nice showing in Romandie 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
I can understand your frustration after Romandie. Great showing though, but you deserved the icing on the cake Wink
ICL - Latvijas Balzams - Olainfarm
MG - Crabbe-CC Chevigny
Race Review | Tour of Chile (C1)

After a bitter-sweet ending of the Tour de Romandie, the riders didn't get a long break until they tackled the next C1 stage race. Another short one, another one for the "hybrids" - those who are strong on both longer and shorter climbs. Hence, another perfect opportunity for Fausto Masnada to shine, as he already did in Hong Kong.
Furthermore, Gianni Moscon came back to Chile carrying some good memories in his bag, having won a stage here last year.

But on day one, it was sprinter time - according to the profile, at least. And so we brought Grzegorz Stepniak, who got some great support from Noam Cohen and Manuel Stocker.
However, that stage went to the breakaway last year, so we were expecting to have guite a big workload awaiting us to actually compete in the bunch sprint.
But something went lost in translation - our riders clearly misunderstood our orders, with not a single one of them actually helping with the chase. Even worse - all of our sprinters didn't care about sprinting at all!
As a result, the stage once again went to the breakaway - and our highest placed sprinter on day 1 was Grzegorz Stepniak in 82nd place... We're still trying to figure out what went wrong, but something indeed did go completely wrong.
At least Fausto Masnada was attentive, finishing 21st and being safe in the pack.

Stage 2 was the one we had the best memories of. Gianni Moscon won that one last year with a late attack over the last hill.
And for once, he also seemed to have good legs on this day, as despite not being on the official favorites list, he asked his teammates to do some work for him! He was very present throughout the stage, even taking 2nd on a KoM sprint.
That KoM sprint also was the starting signal for Mauro Schmid to set a horrendous pace, causing splits over and over, leaving other team leaders isolated by gapping their domestiques.
And so, once the remainders of the peloton reached the final hill, guess what happened - exactly, Gianni Moscon attacked again! And like last year, the others thought that he wasn't dangerous enough in terms of GC to jump after him - which allowed him to open up a decisive gap and win this stage once again! He has never been on a stage podium this season before this day - and now he just wins a stage in style! And takes over the GC lead - just like last year...

The only downer on this day was Fausto Masnada not caring at all and finishing 52nd (behind Mauro Schmid) - it really looks like the two Italians just are unable to cooperate unfortunately.


Gianni Moscon gets back-to-back wins on stage 2 of Tour of Chile!

Given the time loss of Masnada and Schmid, we knew that we had to give everything we had to support Gianni as well as we could on stage 3, in order to secure a decent GC result. But given that even top climber Nairo Quintana only managed to finish 14th, a Top 20 finish would have been a great result.
Unlike the day before, Gianni Moscon was never close to the front throughout the entire stage - but on the upside, that also meant he didn't waste energy being in the wind.
He did get dropped, of course - but not by a whole lot of riders, and he didn't lose a lot of time! While he took the expected drop in the GC, he only fell down to 12th - which is a new best for us in this tour anyway!

So while Gianni Moscon rightfully received a lot of criticism earlier on in this season, he showed a completely different face in Chile, singlehandedly getting us a really decent points haul! Thanks to Gianni and to those who supported him during the race! Well done!

By the way, he also took 7th in the points standings - and Mauro Schmid added another point by finishing 7th in the U25 classification. Our most disappointing riders here were Fausto Masnada, who just didn't care on a course that should have suited him well, and Grzegorz Stepniak, who ignored the only stage he came here for. But the good news is that even if two of your designated leaders disappoint, sometimes there's another one who can step up - and Moscon definitely did!

A fail is a fail, right? As I said, it was a good race, but a failed sponsor goal is a failed sponsor goal - and that's no good news for next year's budget.
But I'm hoping for you that you'll fail like we did in your next races - or even better, not fail at all Smile

Thanks. Yeah, it was a good race for sure, but we'll have to find some icing next year then Pfft

Nice bounce back for Moscon.


"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
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