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[PCT '22] Volcanica - Fox / Tour Down Under
Will be a tough fight against relegation if you can't get Ahlstrand to work, but if you do I see you heading up high. I think your team misses a nice leadout-rider for Ahlstrand (with Enkhtavian you have a great 3rd man for the train that was also the best rider available for 50k late in transfers imo), but none of your riders really fits an Ahlstrand leadout imo.

Still, Ahlstrand could or should be the best PCT sprinter this year, and Kump for the races Ahlstrand can't go to is also very nice. I very much enjoy your balance of quality leaders and regional focus.
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Ahlstrand puts up 1000 points you're probably fine, but given recent sprinting history in the PCT I fear he'll be much closer to 500. Kump could well be the key to survival if planned well.
But this teams future is a couple of seasons down the road with a nice range of regional youngsters to bring through.
Love to see Amador back with you and bringing in Quintana, definitely makes the team fun to follow. You have a solid set of leaders and I think this year will be great for your squad, though next year may be tough with your top 4 riders beginning to decline. Best of luck!
1917, what a movie Grin

Love the regional focus and the Kump signing - think others have assessed you quite well, think Ahlstrand will bring it together for you though Smile
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Thank you all! Smile

@jaxika Thank you! Yep, I always seem to leave cobbles for last and then forgotten altogether. Fortunately, my calendar features very few such races.

@Laurens147 Thank you! I hope the transfers translate well into the season.

@liefwarrior Indeed the leaders are older and they might be for 1 or 2 more years. In the meantime I am trying to develop the regional talents in worthy riders.

@cunego59 The survival definitely depends on good results. And indeed it's a big squad with plenty of regional riders. However, if we survive or not the aim is to develop further the regional talents and build a team around them. Hopefully that would turn out to be satisfying long term.

@Croatia14 Thank you! I tried to give Ahlstrand some good lead-outs as best I could. It didn't turn out as I imagined, but I am keeping my fingers crossed he'll mirror Boivin in some races since the Canadian managed some nice results without much help last season. Of course, that remains to be seen.

@TheManxMissile The future is my main focus and I do hope to build a very nice regional team. The development of those youngsters is my main concern for the years ahead, but I am not the one to mind if I get some nice results in the process though.

@Bushwackers I am satisfied with the leaders I have on different terrains. Indeed they're not young, but if I survive this year the development of the team would be boosted. If not it will take a little longer, but that is not much of a problem.

@jandal7 I love that movie! Wink Although he is not one of the leaders I hope Kump can deliver some good results too. But like I already said the regional development is my main objective. Let's see what the future has in store.



“I come from a land down under
Where beer does flow and men chunder”

Men at Work – Down Under

Volcanica – Fox travels to Australia to make its debut as a PCT team at Tour Down Under, but we’re didn't come for the beer as much as it flows here, according to the song, or to chunder, unless it’s from the effort made in the attempt to reach a high position in the GC, as high as possible. The race starts in Norwood and finishes in Adelaide and as the early settler Edward Stephens, who arrived in the colony in 1839, wrote: "Norwood and Kent Town were unknown then. The site of the present Norwood was then a magnificent gum forest, with an undergrowth of kangaroo grass, too high in places for a man to see over; in fact persons lost their way in going from Adelaide to Kensington in those days, through attempting a short or near cut across the country". But our riders are definitely hoping not to get lost between Norwood and Adelaide.


The first stage was uneventful, the team managed to finish in the front group without making its presence felt. On the 2nd stage however the team suffered a first blow, as the peloton was riding hard a split appeared with approximately 25 km to the finish and Marko Kump was caught in it, ending with a 2’24 gap to the winner of the stage. It seemed that Volcanica – Fox’s hopes for a good GC finish rely only on Esteban Chaves now. On the 3rd stage Chaves kept those hopes alive, although not challenging the stage he finished in the main front group of 34 riders, 14 seconds behind the winner, Jay McCarthy. But on the next day saw a switch of fortunes, Kump and Chaves changed their situations with the Colombian missing the decisive move and leaving our GC hopes in tatters. The 5th stage put the last nail in our coffin with the same scenario as on the previous day, which left our leaders permanently lost in GC limbo. All these events took the wind out of our sails and the last day was ridden in a rather gloomy atmosphere. Although the 6th stage brought our best result in the race, the 6th place achieved by Marko Kump, it was too little way too late and we cannot shake the feeling that Esteban Chaves finishing 24th in the GC is more on the disappointing side than anything else.


GCLos ZorrosTime to WBest stage resultStage
24 Johan Esteban Chaves+ 2'20"163
59 Marko Kump+ 3'46"66
116 Walter Trillini+ 5'25"701
132 Axel Zingle+ 5'25"974
137 Jason Huertas+ 6'02"213
148 Henry Antonio Rojas+ 6'47"811
184 Sergio Chumil+ 9'34"871
189 Sergio Arias Villanueva+ 14'14"592

Oof, that is a rough start! For both Kump and Chaves to hit bad days and the wrong splits is just supremely unlucky. But lets not overlook some positive riding from Huertas.
Stay positive, still a long season ahead - I can attest that the TDU isn't that representative of the season as a whole.
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