OBSERVED| As Sam Welsford Prevails, Challenges Unfold for BORA-Hansgrohe

Sam Welsford’s impressive tally of three victories in the Tour Down Under undeniably highlights his prowess on the cycling stage. The collaboration between Welsford, Danny van Poppel, and Ryan Mullen stands out as a shining example, showcasing a promising synergy within the team. However, as the week progresses, team manager Ralph Denk may find himself contemplating the delicate balance within his team.

Jordi Meeus, a pre-existing team member, secured a Tour de France stage win last year, affirming his capabilities as a top-tier sprinter. Nevertheless, the team faces a significant challenge due to the limited number of riders available for the sprint leadout train—a crucial element for success in flat stages.

An examination of the short list of potential leadout train members for BORA – Hansgrohe, featuring Danny van Poppel, Marco Haller, Nico Denz, and Ryan Mullen, raises valid concerns. With two of these four riders already committed to the upcoming Tour, where they are supporting Primoz Roglic rather than a sprinter, the team appears to have a shortage of riders suitable for flat terrain. Furthermore, considering the likelihood of van Poppel and Haller participating in spring classics, the team’s options become even more restricted, not to mention the potential for one of these riders becoming unavailable due to injury.

Looking ahead to the season, it becomes apparent that BORA may encounter difficulties in consistently providing support for its sprinters throughout the racing calendar. The internal rivalry between Welsford and Meeus introduces an additional layer of intrigue, and it will be exciting to witness who emerges as the more dominant sprinter.

As we eagerly await the unfolding of the season, the question remains: How will BORA – Hansgrohe address and overcome these challenges? Will the team successfully forge a formidable leadout train, or will internal competition impact their overall performance? Jordi Meeus or Sam Welsford? Share your thoughts and predictions in the comments below!

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