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[PCT] Xero Racing '22 | Deja Vu
jandal7
i.imgur.com/xuMKyVQ.png

Transfers Vol. 3: Final Touches

Another stagiaire, another talent, and a Pacific Islander. Just the usual at Xero Racing.

Darren Young | 31 | Maxed | 50,000
i.imgur.com/H64gtGU.jpg

Darren Young is a rider that has been on our radar for a while but never with the chance to sign, being a manager's favourite at Team Popo4Ever for a long time. The team's first ever Samoan, we are very pleased to welcome the part-time triathlete to the team, bringing his skills in time trials, cobbles and sprints to the fold
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCBSPACFTDHPL
71566174677271717272657074


Vito Braet | 22 | 1.00XP | 10,000
i.imgur.com/crRqX6o.jpg

Vito Braet is our second stagiaire of the window, making up the second half of our Flemish duo alongside Vandenabeele. Vito is more of the traditional rider from that area though, thriving in the cobbled classics and with a decent kick at the finish too, while being no slouch over shorter hills. Like with Vandenabeele we are not sure either way on if Vito is lined up for a full contract next year, but if he is he will be a valuable lieutenant for his fellow East Flandrien Florian Vermeersch for years to come.
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCBSPACFTDHPL
69606658707163686867626064
74606758757564757267626064


Ilan Van Wilder | 22 | 1.00XP | 130,000
i.imgur.com/gYqencC.jpg

A third Belgian signing of the window, bringing them up to our most common nationality, Ilan Van Wilder is the clear biggest signing of our transfers due to our fairly muted activity this year. Joining our legion of future climbers, Ilan has skills on short and long climbs and on the time trial bike and striking the balance between those during his development is something we have time to consider - below is one possible outcome. He will be a key lieutenant in the mountains and stage races in the future as well as a very useful scorer in his own right, and we can't wait to see him develop!
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCBSPACFTDHPL
65686868636864606768646667
68777375707371606769656774
 
Jakstar22
A few more nice signings! Excited to see what your squad looks like!
 
Croatia14
Good signings! I'm not sure if I like van Wilder more as a punchy climber though Smile
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Radsim'05: Quick-Step (since 2022) Astana (2018-2021)
Most Improved Team 2018 & 2019 // Manager of the Year 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021 // Team of the Year 2021
 
AbhishekLFC
Well my "40 minute to go overbid on a rider" loss is your gain Pfft Some great late pickups both for the present depth and the future!
 
jandal7
@Jakstar - Thank you Grin Hope to do a squad presentation at some point soon Smile

@Croatia - Considered it and sure I will do again but between the likes of Fouche, Kipkemboi and Strong coming through (plus Pidcock) for that role I think he's more useful as a part of the whole squad with that higher RES for dom work and the 75TT. Cheers Smile

@Abhi - Yeah felt really awful for you there Sad Thanks a lot, nothing on your transfers though Pfft
 
jandal7
i.imgur.com/xuMKyVQ.png

Transfers Vol.4: Where Did All the Money Go?

Day three of transfers opened with Xero Racing accumulating a huge amount of money. They then went the rest of the window only spending 40,000 (bar the huge renewals fine), leaving many to speculate where the money would go towards. Training yes, but which rider? Ok... maybe that was a little obvious. But which area would he be training in? The team went back and forth and held one position for a long time, but at the very last minute switched the plans and sent the rider to a different training camp in, in a very un-Xero like way, hopes of better short-term success over the long-term fit. So, re-introducing the all-new-and-improved...

i.imgur.com/FrvSUIN.jpg

Joseph Areruya
26 | Maxed | 530,000
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCBSPACFTDHPL
72797965767879536876756065
↓↓↓
72798165767879536876756065
 
Fabianski
Love that training! With the climbers being so stacked and the puncheurs field much thinner than last year, I guess it's the right move. Being the youngest 80+ puncheur of the division, one can only imagine where Joseph will end up one day Pfft
Training his Mo would have made him very similar to Bennett, so it's great to see you added a bit of variety and a real threat for hilly races now! Have fun watching him Smile
 
whitejersey
Did someone say younger Beltran Grin
 
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Nemolito
Areruya is crazy. I wouldn't go to any PTHC classics with him though in bands 1, 4 and 5. Don't think they suit him very well, if I'm being totally honest.
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AbhishekLFC
Beast-eruya!!
 
jandal7
@Fabianski - Yeah it's something I debated a long time with many factors like OVL, the fit with Stannard and the rest of the team, short-term vs long-term, potential further plans all coming into play, and I am not going to reveal all my thoughts of course but I wasn't lying in that post that it was definitively 81MO for a long long time up until submission - to the point where he and Bennett have been planned and our bands and C1 selections made around that version of him Pfft

With Stannard, Pidcock, Vermeersch and more (and my lack of skills playing moneyball or willingness to part with my riders) I have no set in stone future training plans but indeed there is a strong base there a 26 to build something really special - right now I love him where he is at and would be happy having seven seasons of 79/81. Indeed though the fit with Stannard from next year on isn't perfect, the fit with Bennett is very complementary in the here and now and yeah, looking forward to it a lot Grin

@whitejersey - Did somebody say Beltran with +16 energy stats?

@Nemolito - Luckily we are only in Band 4 of those or I might have accidentally sent him to San Sebastian which would have been just awful Pfft

@Abhishek - Love the intent, hate the execution. Doesn't work at all :lol:
 
knockout
Enough training right there. You should check out the OVR for further training and realize its just not worth it Pfft

Absolute beast with those stats!
A Big Thank You To All MG Reporters!

pcmdaily.com/images/awards/2015/Manteam.pngpcmdaily.com/images/mg/Awards2020/mgmanager.png
 
jandal7
@knockout - Wow, thanks for looking out for us, love to know you have my best interests at heart Pfft Thanks, going to be testing him out at different races and see how he goes, but we sure hope he can live up to this beast label he's getting tagged with :lol:
 
jandal7
i.imgur.com/xuMKyVQ.png

Xero Squad Presentation 2022 | The Class of '23

A couple of days before the Xero squad presentation, men and women in Octagon or team polo shirts usher skinny young men with muscly legs into an electrically colourful room, a few at a time. Some look bemused by the whole act, a couple look nervous, some are mucking around and some are already cheerfully chatting with our cameraman. The format doesn't change, the background remains the same, the team design, back for another year because it works. It is the team's signature navy blue with streaks of red, white, light blue, and gren, just as with their jerseys. The props are there - the bikes, the bouncy balls, the deck of cards, the team caps. This isn't the madhouse it might look like, but it isn't your average team photoshoot either - Octagon always do their best to showcase the fun, likeable side of the team. This year the team has done their squad presentation in multiple parts, showcasing either vague units of the team or individual riders. First up is the "Class of 2023", four riders all reaching the end of their development and peaking from next year.

i.imgur.com/qxvojlG.png

FLMOHITTSTRSRCCBSPACFGDHPR
Robert Stannard7272776773757367687672686824
James Fouche6676736971727562617373656924
Bachirou Nikiema6969756271737165707573716325
Salim Kipkemboi6773755767727155637471685924

Robert Stannard, James Fouche, Bachirou Nikiema and Salim Kipkemboi are four young regional prospects entering their third, or in Fouche's case fourth, season with Xero and after rising through the ranks are ready to begin making their impact felt. Robert Stannard will take on a leadership role in some races while James Fouche prepares to be a key lieutenant to Bennett and Areruya, and Bachirou Nikiema and Salim Kipkemboi are readying themselves for being handed the reigns for the team's 10 C2 race days. The latter two also are proud to be National Champions in their country, racing in the wonderful jerseys created by Ezeefreak based on the_hoyle's design, as seen below.

All four stand as important members of the team's second tier scorers, with Stannard hoping to break through and be a bit more than that when he gets his own chances.

However, what is more interesting is the impact the quartet will have next year in the hills, mountains, and everything in between as they all reach their potential together:

Robert Stannard7274796774767567687874696825
James Fouche6678756972737762617575656925
Bachirou Nikiema6970776272747265707674716326
Salim Kipkemboi6775775768737355637673685925

The boost in contribution this quartet can make from 2023 onwards, being added to a team already containing Areruya, Bennett and Habtemichael, cannot be overstated, both in terms of the U25 points and just in general. Stannard becomes a great second-tier puncheur in the PCT and will have heavy conversations being had about how he can further emerge from the shadow of Joseph Areruya. Fouche will surely look to use his punch for his own opportunities to chase second place behind Pogacar in U25 competitions, while Nikiema and Kipkemboi become top KOM and stage hunters as well as very valuable domestiques.

The fact that all four are from the team's focus regions and have been home-grown since day one is extra special. All four will pass into the team's Top 10 leaders in days raced for the team last year, currently sitting 13th, 14th, 15th and 17th. Nikiema is already 5th in breakaways, with Stannard 7th and Fouche tied for 8th. Xero are known for their desire to build its home core up from within the team, to embed them in the Lionheart culture and spirit, and this quartet growing together exemplify that better than anything else.

i.imgur.com/PSgXHDR.png

Bachirou Nikiema - Burkina Faso, RR


i.imgur.com/3noGqp0.png

Salim Kipkemboi - Kenya, RR
 
Croatia14
Damn you'll be in all of that sweet wage trouble next year if you don't promote Grin what a crop of riders coming through once more!
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jandal7
Croatia14 wrote:
Damn you'll be in all of that sweet wage trouble next year if you don't promote Grin what a crop of riders coming through once more!

We'll cross that bridge when we come to it I guess Pfft Thank you, I really like that quartet as well as all our other youngsters of course, a group with great ACC/FTR combos as well as 73+RES and 11/12 green energy stats is a big yes for me Grin
 
jandal7
i.imgur.com/xuMKyVQ.png

Xero Squad Presentation 2022 | Daniel Habtemichael

A couple of days before the Xero squad presentation, men and women in Octagon or team polo shirts usher skinny young men with muscly legs into an electrically colourful room, a few at a time. Some look bemused by the whole act, a couple look nervous, some are mucking around and some are already cheerfully chatting with our cameraman. The format doesn't change, the background remains the same, the team design, back for another year because it works. It is the team's signature navy blue with streaks of red, white, light blue, and gren, just as with their jerseys. The props are there - the bikes, the bouncy balls, the deck of cards, the team caps. This isn't the madhouse it might look like, but it isn't your average team photoshoot either - Octagon always do their best to showcase the fun, likeable side of the team. This year the team has done their squad presentation in multiple parts, showcasing either vague units of the team or individual riders. Next is Daniel Habtemichael, in his first year with leadership opportunities!

i.imgur.com/0NVivUy.jpg

Daniel Habtemichael
25 | Maxed | 125,000
FLMOHITTSTRSRCCBSPACFTDHPL
67787474747376525966686974

Daniel Habtemichael's first season in cycling wasn't with Xero Racing, despite being signed by the team for what in today's market seems like a bargain of €65,000. He instead rode out on loan with McCormick Pro Cycling, where he became a manager and fan's darling through his many many breakaways culminating in the KoM win at the Tour of Bulgaria. Since that season he has never found himself in the spotlight again, amassing a quiet profile as a loyal domestique and great teammate, before bursting back into it in at least a local way with a somewhat upset victory in the Eritrean Road Race Championships ahead of many more favoured riders, including one Merhawi Kudus.

"It was the best moment of my career." says Habtemichael without hesitation, and with a broad smile. "With my family and friends watching, to earn the chance to wear this special jersey and represent my country to the world - that has always been a dream of mine."

Another dream of the young stage racer is to be a leader for a team in mountainous stage races, and, particularly since the departure of Sergio Higuita, that is a role that Habtemichael will see a fair bit of in 2022, alongside his duties helping George Bennett and Joseph Areruya. No race planning is ready to be shared yet, but the excitement is palpable for Daniel Habtemichael. With his full potential now reached and the next decade ahead of him at Xero Racing, he now has an opportunity to define what his role will be at the team for years to come. Chasing his own chances or as the team's best lieutenant, expectations are high for Daniel Habtemichael after the years of waiting.

i.imgur.com/GfUzWl0.png
 
Nemolito
65k seems like a great pickup indeed back in the day. A great Eritrean champion, and I hope he can prove himself in the races where he will get the freedom this year Smile
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AbhishekLFC
Those four developing talents plus Kipkemboi make for a great future quintet for the team. The future looks promising for Xero indeed Smile
 
jandal7
@Nemolito - Yeah was happy with it then and happier with it now - him and Fouche were 125k combined I believe in that transfers! Was so happy with that win with his 76/73 MO/HI over Kudus, and hope he can step up and grab his chances to showcase the beautiful jersey Smile

@Abhishek - Kipkemboi is one of those four, not sure if you meant to say Pidcock or someone instead Pfft Thank you, hope so indeed Smile
 
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