2015 Tour de France

newie
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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby newie » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:10 pm

On a more positive note. Super happy to see Greipel win - one of my favourite riders. Such a gentleman off the bike and "the gorilla" on it. Great to see Rohan Dennis giving it a red hot go too.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby silentC » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:15 pm

It made it a different sport to what the amateurs competed in

Yup and what goes on at Bathurst is quite a bit different to what goes on at your local speedway. You can't just rock up in your family sedan any more. While we are sitting here navel-gazing, there are probably thousands of people out there trying to screw another microsecond out of something. It's not without benefit to society either because a lot of the discoveries made to get someone over the finish line faster have fed back into consumer goods. I think it has been a very long time since sport was 'pure'. You'd probably have to go back to naked Greeks throwing spears! :)
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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Xplora » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:34 pm

A lot of good valid points... salary cap for World Tour teams is fraught with danger, because the squad is much much bigger than the 9 who start the TdF. They have ITTs, TTTs, Classics, the Giro and Vuelte... it's a lot to cover and reducing your budget isn't going to help much, especially since you could potentially put a non pro into these races for free if you allowed it. I would love to have a crack!

It is a simple argument. Australians do not like "buying victory". The top baseball and soccer teams pay salaries that make your eyes water. Buying victory. The aim is not victory, but entertainment. Brutal domination of the sport is not interesting for anyone except the winners and their supporters. F1 is absolutely guilty of this with a billion dollars spent by some teams each year. That's ridiculous.

The best argument against this dominance concept was this - do you think the New York Yankees would pull the same crowds if they simply played their games as the Yankee A team vs the Yankee B team? (their B team would have been competitive, their roster was incredible and the B team cost more than other Major League teams)
If you don't make teams competitive across the sport, it's not exciting and the sport will be less profitable. It is in the Yankees' interest to have a salary cap so that the bottom teams can compete.

Cycling is much more even than many other sports, but the above question has to be asked. We need the sport to be competitive otherwise it just isn't interesting, and there is nothing interesting about a merciless grind by Sky every day in a World Tour.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby silentC » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:51 pm

It was the races within the race that I enjoyed. The yellow jersey is not really that interesting :)
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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby tcdev » Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:09 pm

im_no_pro wrote:I cant help but wonder if taking away things like race radios (yeah, I went there and yes, I know everyone has them) ...

I have to agree here; there's no doubt technology like race radios in cycling and motor sports, for example, change how the race unfolds dramatically. Now it's not just the cyclist that is responsible for deciding on a strategy mid-race, it's the whole team. When you don't know whether your nearest rival is 20s behind, or 4 mins behind, there's no question it changes how you race when you do know. Obviously Froome knew the title was his well before Quintana crossed the line, so he wasn't really riding for his title on that stage as he would have if he had no idea where Quintana was.

Do we give race radios to marathon runners next?
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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby heay » Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:31 pm

CKinnard wrote:
biker jk wrote:Since you mentioned doping in this thread I thought I'd respond in the name of balance. Team Sky employed a known doping doctor. Is this the science that Team Sky uses to win? Is that how Froome was transformed from pack fodder, struggling up hills and being a poor in the ITT to the world's best cycling almost instantly at the 2011 Vuelta?

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/jan/22/geert-leinders-life-ban-team-sky-doctor


Froome has been arguably subjected to more testing than everyone else, and has never tested positive.

The suspicion about Froome is based on ignorance of sports science and physiology.
The guy's physique has changed profoundly with his successes, as has TS's team tactics.



I nearly choked on my lunch when I read this..... Have we not heard this before with a certain cyclist that has been banned for life due to not having a positive test?????

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Chuck » Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:55 pm

CKinnard wrote:Froome has been arguably subjected to more testing than everyone else, and has never tested positive.


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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Chuck » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:17 pm

Did anyone who was watching Froome awkwardly toast with the team car on wet cobbles think that it could all end in tears ? Months of preparation and 3 weeks of hard yacker all up in smoke if he slips and breaks a collarbone for the sake of a photo opportunity.

I must confess I'm not a fan of the way the last stage plays out nowadays.
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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby rpmspinman » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:00 pm

Chuck wrote:Did anyone who was watching Froome awkwardly toast with the team car on wet cobbles think that it could all end in tears ? Months of preparation and 3 weeks of hard yacker all up in smoke if he slips and breaks a collarbone for the sake of a photo opportunity.

I must confess I'm not a fan of the way the last stage plays out nowadays.


Yes I cringed at the moment too thinking it looked a little risky. I too think the last stage is bit too processional. But it's the way it's been done for years so am I to whinge about it.
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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby InTheWoods » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:11 pm

Chuck wrote:Did anyone who was watching Froome awkwardly toast with the team car on wet cobbles think that it could all end in tears ? Months of preparation and 3 weeks of hard yacker all up in smoke if he slips and breaks a collarbone for the sake of a photo opportunity.

I must confess I'm not a fan of the way the last stage plays out nowadays.


Was it Porte who was having trouble riding no hands with linked arms with riders on either side? I was worried he was going to take the whole team down!

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Derny Driver » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:19 pm

InTheWoods wrote:
Chuck wrote:Did anyone who was watching Froome awkwardly toast with the team car on wet cobbles think that it could all end in tears ? Months of preparation and 3 weeks of hard yacker all up in smoke if he slips and breaks a collarbone for the sake of a photo opportunity.

I must confess I'm not a fan of the way the last stage plays out nowadays.


Was it Porte who was having trouble riding no hands with linked arms with riders on either side? I was worried he was going to take the whole team down!

Yes.
He was trying to ride no hands but the arms on either side of him were bending his upper body forward. You cant ride no hands while bend over the handlebars. You need to sit upright or lay back slightly.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:38 pm

Interesting tour ... I certainly enjoyed it!.
Some crazy scenes on the road side ... thankfully no real issues, think it is only a matter of time though.
Glad to be back home!!!.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby CKinnard » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:47 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:It's about triple the budget of the only two French world tour teams, Ag2r La Mondiale and FDJ, triple that of Cofidis, and four times that of Europcar. French team's ability to spend is worsened by operating in one of the highest tax regimes in the world. Riders on AG2R have to buy their own power meters.

The next biggest budget team is likely BMC at ~2/3rds of Sky, and then teams like Katusha, Astana and Tinkoff-Saxo are less.

Sky's budget is at least double Movistar's budget.

Given their financial dominance, Sky's win ratio is pretty ordinary if you ask me.

British Cycling's budget is insane compared to other nations. BC spend more on their elite paracycling program than does any other nation in total on high performance cycling. Their total spend hugely outweighs all other nations. That is Great Britain's choice, i.e. to massively fund elite cycling via lottery receipts, instead of funding other things.

The science is great and definitely a contributor (especially on the track - $250,000 bikes anyone?), but in reality paying to hire and keep talent on the track is far more important.


Sky's 31.1M "Euro" budget is very much inflated by the fact the team is sponsored in British pounds, which is subject to foreign exchange rate variability vs the Euro, which has more recently favored the pound. Any comparative analysis would have to factor in fx for expenditure too.

Analysis of Team Sky's annual budgets since inception shows there's been no consistent budget advantage.

The truth is more likely that Team Sky have allocated their budget smarter, and applied sports science and probability analysis to racing tactics smarter,
Other teams have been around for years if not decades. If they were more objective and science based in their approach, they'd have learned well from their mistakes.

Anyway, there's unlikely to be a Team Sky past 2016, so ex and current dopers won't have as much to whine about.
Last edited by CKinnard on Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby gabrielle260 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:55 pm

Is there a list of the advances or innovations that Team Sky has brought to cycling?
Here's what I've seen/read;
1. Warming up before road stages
2. Warming down after road stages
3. Ice jackets in cold weather
4. Taking riders' mattresses from hotel to hotel
5. Structured altitude training
6. Riding to a power level - not by feel.

Feel free to add more.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:06 pm

gabrielle260 wrote:I
1. Warming up before road stages
2. Warming down after road stages

There's nothing new about that idea
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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:33 pm

CKinnard wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:It's about triple the budget of the only two French world tour teams, Ag2r La Mondiale and FDJ, triple that of Cofidis, and four times that of Europcar. French team's ability to spend is worsened by operating in one of the highest tax regimes in the world. Riders on AG2R have to buy their own power meters.

The next biggest budget team is likely BMC at ~2/3rds of Sky, and then teams like Katusha, Astana and Tinkoff-Saxo are less.

Sky's budget is at least double Movistar's budget.

Given their financial dominance, Sky's win ratio is pretty ordinary if you ask me.

British Cycling's budget is insane compared to other nations. BC spend more on their elite paracycling program than does any other nation in total on high performance cycling. Their total spend hugely outweighs all other nations. That is Great Britain's choice, i.e. to massively fund elite cycling via lottery receipts, instead of funding other things.

The science is great and definitely a contributor (especially on the track - $250,000 bikes anyone?), but in reality paying to hire and keep talent on the track is far more important.


Sky's 31.1M "Euro" budget is very much inflated by the fact the team is sponsored in British pounds, which is subject to foreign exchange rate variability vs the Euro, which has more recently favored the pound. Any comparative analysis would have to factor in fx for expenditure too.

Analysis of Team Sky's annual budgets since inception shows there's been no consistent budget advantage.

The truth is more likely that Team Sky have allocated their budget smarter, and applied sports science and probability analysis to racing tactics smarter,
Other teams have been around for years if not decades. If they were more objective and science based in their approach, they'd have learned well from their mistakes.

Anyway, there's unlikely to be a Team Sky past 2016, so ex and current dopers won't have as much to whine about.

Sky's budget has significantly outstripped other teams for several years.

You asked for comparisons, I gave comparison in the currency used by the French teams. Even with FX changes, it still has a massive financial advantage. It means a far higher proportion of their money can be spent on riders.

Even so, superior science couldn't manage good old fashioned ego disputes over the last two years :D

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:38 pm

gabrielle260 wrote:Is there a list of the advances or innovations that Team Sky has brought to cycling?
Here's what I've seen/read;
1. Warming up before road stages
2. Warming down after road stages
3. Ice jackets in cold weather
4. Taking riders' mattresses from hotel to hotel
5. Structured altitude training
6. Riding to a power level - not by feel.

Feel free to add more.

Assume you mean ice jackets in hot weather.

Not sure about mattresses one but none of the others were Sky innovations.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby biker jk » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:06 pm

gabrielle260 wrote:Is there a list of the advances or innovations that Team Sky has brought to cycling?
Here's what I've seen/read;
1. Warming up before road stages
2. Warming down after road stages
3. Ice jackets in cold weather
4. Taking riders' mattresses from hotel to hotel
5. Structured altitude training
6. Riding to a power level - not by feel.

Feel free to add more.


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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby CKinnard » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:12 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Sky's budget has significantly outstripped other teams for several years.

You asked for comparisons, I gave comparison in the currency used by the French teams. Even with FX changes, it still has a massive financial advantage. It means a far higher proportion of their money can be spent on riders.

Even so, superior science couldn't manage good old fashioned ego disputes over the last two years :D



Whatever, Team Sky didn't exist 7 years ago.
Froome wasn't a world class talent when he was taken on by TS. They didn't buy talent. They recognized potential and developed it.
Froome's improvement may have been in great part due to being treated for schistosomiasis.
If Team Sky pays its cyclists more, it is only because other teams bid the price up.
If Team Sky has a higher number of superior cyclists, other nations could emulate by pooling sponsorship dollars into fewer teams. Britain has only one team, the French has had 4 or 5.
Many have said for some years that 200 odd riders is way too many for the TdF.
Look at the trend in AFL and rugby league. Teams are funded by larger population bases than 40-50 years ago.
The application of science has rendered many pro cycling traditions anachronistic, especially doping!

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Xplora » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:34 pm

CKinnard wrote:Whatever, Team Sky didn't exist 7 years ago.

Please work on the delivery of your comments. Cheers.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:05 am

CKinnard wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Sky's budget has significantly outstripped other teams for several years.

You asked for comparisons, I gave comparison in the currency used by the French teams. Even with FX changes, it still has a massive financial advantage. It means a far higher proportion of their money can be spent on riders.

Even so, superior science couldn't manage good old fashioned ego disputes over the last two years :D



Whatever, Team Sky didn't exist 7 years ago.
Froome wasn't a world class talent when he was taken on by TS. They didn't buy talent. They recognized potential and developed it.
Froome's improvement may have been in great part due to being treated for schistosomiasis.
If Team Sky pays its cyclists more, it is only because other teams bid the price up.
If Team Sky has a higher number of superior cyclists, other nations could emulate by pooling sponsorship dollars into fewer teams. Britain has only one team, the French has had 4 or 5.
Many have said for some years that 200 odd riders is way too many for the TdF.
Look at the trend in AFL and rugby league. Teams are funded by larger population bases than 40-50 years ago.
The application of science has rendered many pro cycling traditions anachronistic, especially doping!

Team Sky is based in GB but the vast majority of its roster is not British but British riders do make up the largest single national group, with average of a bit less than 1/3rd of its roster.

A classic example of this:
There wasn't even a British rider on Sky at the Giro this year.

Here are Team Sky's annual rosters over the past six years in case you had forgotten how much talent they buy:

2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015

Unfortunately in that lot they also bought some tainted meat, just like everyone else has, with seven known former dopers on their rosters, plus six of their support staff with known doping history, some of it disgraceful. Hence the "purge of 2013". They could have used a bit of HR recruitment and media relations science. :wink: For a media backed team, they have crummy PR.

As for development, I'm not sure I buy your argument in whole but yes they do provide more support and assistance with training planning than most teams*, fancy buses, the occasional wind tunnel visit and organised camps and so on (because they can afford it). Nothing really all that novel though.

You talk about Froome as a development example. But just ask how well they developed Jonathan Tiernan Locke? They didn't develop him, they bought him, then they left him to hang out to dry rather than support an obviously troubled young man. That's not science, that's just lousy work. And what was their motive in buying Cavendish? It wan't to develop him.

Team Sky's primary "development" was transition of a few GB track riders into their road team. That's hardly novel. Australians, Dutch, Italians, Russians, and even the Kiwis have been doing that for a long time.

Pro Teams are not particularly developmental in nature. It's cut throat by that stage. Many riders are treated like commodities. It's a big reason why doping has been and still is a scourge of the sport (same with most pro sports to be fair). I've worked with riders whose cycling careers have been ruined by the doping culture because they wouldn't play that game, or tried to play it clean and lost. Spat out when sucked dry of any value. If you think it isn't still a part of the game, then you are naive.

I will say though that some of the hysterics written and said about Sky are somewhat overblown but pure as the driven snow they ain't. There are far worse people still involved in the sport than those currently at Sky, but its a low bar to look good.


*they actually do some good stuff with this but to be frank, they are only catching up to what has been developed and applied at amateur levels for many years (people on this forum have been using tools more advanced than Sky has since before they existed) and they are still behind in many ways - which gives some idea of just how badly pro riders are looked after in general.

Edit: typo
Last edited by Alex Simmons/RST on Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby g-boaf » Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:30 am

newie wrote:Last night’s stage epitomised all the things that I find wonderful about watching cycling. Up front you have a bearded grown man in tears because after all the years of sacrifice and hard work he has finally achieved a childhood dream. Meanwhile, down the back you have another young man in tears from the devastation of realising that all his sacrifice and hard work is coming to naught. And in the middle you have the complex interplay between tactics, skills, luck and talent leaving you wondering how it will all unfold and afterwards contemplating how things might have gone if the tactics or lady luck had been different.


That was pretty good seeing Simon Geschke win. Didn't mind Pinot's victory either.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Derny Driver » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:07 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
CKinnard wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Sky's budget has significantly outstripped other teams for several years.

You asked for comparisons, I gave comparison in the currency used by the French teams. Even with FX changes, it still has a massive financial advantage. It means a far higher proportion of their money can be spent on riders.

Even so, superior science couldn't manage good old fashioned ego disputes over the last two years :D



Whatever, Team Sky didn't exist 7 years ago.
Froome wasn't a world class talent when he was taken on by TS. They didn't buy talent. They recognized potential and developed it.
Froome's improvement may have been in great part due to being treated for schistosomiasis.
If Team Sky pays its cyclists more, it is only because other teams bid the price up.
If Team Sky has a higher number of superior cyclists, other nations could emulate by pooling sponsorship dollars into fewer teams. Britain has only one team, the French has had 4 or 5.
Many have said for some years that 200 odd riders is way too many for the TdF.
Look at the trend in AFL and rugby league. Teams are funded by larger population bases than 40-50 years ago.
The application of science has rendered many pro cycling traditions anachronistic, especially doping!

Team Sky is based in GB but the vast majority of its roster is not British but British riders do make up the largest single national group, with average of a bit less than 1/3rd of it's roster.

A classic example of this:
There wasn't even a British rider on Sky at the Giro this year.

Here are Team Sky's annual rosters over the past six years in case you had forgotten how much talent they buy:

2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015

Unfortunately in that lot they also bought some tainted meat, just like everyone else has, with seven known former dopers on their rosters, plus six of their support staff with known doping history, some of it disgraceful. Hence the "purge of 2013". They could have used a bit of HR recruitment and media relations science. :wink: For a media backed team, they have crummy PR.

As for development, I'm not sure I buy your argument in whole but yes they do provide more support and assistance with training planning than most teams*, fancy buses, the occasional wind tunnel visit and organised camps and so on (because they can afford it). Nothing really all that novel though.

You talk about Froome as a development example. But just ask how well they developed Jonathan Tiernan Locke? They didn't develop him, they bought him, then they left him to hang out to dry rather than support an obviously troubled young man. That's not science, that's just lousy work. And what was their motive in buying Cavendish? It wan't to develop him.

Team Sky's primary "development" was transition of a few GB track riders into their road team. That's hardly novel. Australians, Dutch, Italians, Russians, and even the Kiwis have been doing that for a long time.

Pro Teams are not particularly developmental in nature. It's cut throat by that stage. Many riders are treated like commodities. It's a big reason why doping has been and still is a scourge of the sport (same with most pro sports to be fair). I've worked with riders whose cycling careers have been ruined by the doping culture because they wouldn't play that game, or tried to play it clean and lost. Spat out when sucked dry of any value. If you think it isn't still a part of the game, then you are naive.

I will say though that some of the hysterics written and said about Sky are somewhat overblown but pure as the driven snow they ain't. There are far worse people still involved in the sport than those currently at Sky, but its a low bar to look good.


*they actually do some good stuff with this but to be frank, they are only catching up to what has been developed and applied at amateur levels for many years (people on this forum have been using tools more advanced than Sky has since before they existed) and they are still behind in many ways - which gives some idea of just how badly pro riders are looked after in general.

I hate agreeing with you all the time Alex :D

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby fat and old » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:00 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:And what was their motive in buying Cavendish? It wan't to develop him.


Wasn't it to have "the world's best sprinter" who happened to be British on a British team....much the same as persevering with Wiggans? It worked. Wasted him at the TDF, but publicity wise it worked.

Someone here mentioned that they couldn't control egos...referring I assume to the Froome/Wiggans split. Lots of criticism heaped on them there, especially by the british press.....but I reckon that they actually did a good job of controlling their riders. The press, the forums and blogs that were all going ballistic over Wiggans being passed over in 2013....they couldn't control that. But they stuck with Froome, who was the obvious bet....even when Wiggans was still there. There was no way Wiggans was going to ride the 2013 TDF, especially after his dummy spit collapse at the Giro where he was exposed for what he was (imo)....a talented time trial rider who could keep up as long as he had support. Much the same as Porte appears to be (minus the quality of Wiggans TT ability).

It's always been about the narrative at Sky. Just ask Boasson Hagen.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby GAV!N » Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:47 pm

Well, all in all a pretty good tour I thought. Froome certainly didn't have it 'in the bag' the whole time, which led to some pretty interesting racing.

I was rooting for Quintana on stage 20 to get that time back, but he just couldn't get there. Still, at 25, I think we're yet to see them best of him. Him and Valverde together were the highlights of the tour for me. Great to see Valverde matching it in the top 3, giving Movistar that golden ticket of two options for attacks. In the end in it didn't pay off though. Sky left all of their riders on the rode in sacrifice, and it paid off.

In other thoughts, Richie Porte off to 'Somewhere' next year. I saw his interview at the end of stage 21. He's sick of being called a 'Domestique' and wants to be a leader. Is he up for it??

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