RadioShack-Nissan-Trek Professional Cycling Team is born !
I've been going on and on about this, but I am really excited about witnessing another "super team" in our great sport of cycling. It takes me back to the days of mid 80's with "La Vie Claire" and Greg LeMond, a team that was just stacked with talent. It feels good to read something about pro cycling without the word "doping" involved. Its refreshing and adds to the excitement of the 2012 season. Johan Bruyneel will be the Director Sportif. Amidst what all the haters say, Bruyneel's record stands alone. Name me a more successful director sportif who has 9 Tour victories with 7 tours won in a row ???? Let's face facts, the man knows how to win. I think he's the most brilliant director sportif of the modern era of cycling. I think Andy Schleck will finally learn "how to win" the tour. I remember the last mastermind of the peloton who garnered similar respect, which was Cyrille Guimard. These guys just have what it takes to spot the talent, and turn them into winners. So overall, I like the merger and it will no doubt help Andy win his first tour. I think Johan will free Andy from his brother and make him his "own man." Andy has become a "tour bridesmaid" and I'm sure that is going to change under Johan's tutiledge. I remember back in 1985/1986 the media said similar things about a young american who doesn't know how to win the tour, and we all know what that resulted in. But we do live in different times, and the sport has changed so much. To see a Tour contender riding Paris Roubaix like LeMond used to, would certainly raise some eyebrows. I'm sure Andy will not be around come 2012 Spring Classics, and will be doing "Tour recon" rides until he gets sick of them :-) I would love to see a film crew go and make a new "Road to Paris" series ? Any takers ? I'm available Johan.
Sorry to Brian, Kim, Lars et al, but your winning record just doesn't measure up, like Bruyneel's management. I can't wait to see Johan take this new team by the horns and teach them how to win. Andy if you are reading, you are certainly in for a completely revamped program for 2012. But a "proper program" you will finally be given. But with such a merger, brings added pressure. I hope they can produce the goods quicker than Garmin-Cervelo did. I can't wait for 2012!!
I'm sure there are other riders who would want in and will be envious of the Schlecks working with Bruyneel. I think 2012 will be the gateway to yet another new era in pro cycling.
But lets not forget Dirk de Mol bringing up the charges in the classics. I think with we may very well see a "double" in the classics next year in that wonderful week of April. I have no doubt that Fabian Cancellera will be among the favourites heading in and will be guided with better team tactics than last year, so he won't have any "wheel suckers" to toe to any finish line :-)
I hope Johan can settle the bit of unrest from the announcement and be allowed to get on with the job. I think he and the team will be under immense pressure moreso than entering a 5 consecutive tour victory. I know i will be watching with his every move with anticipation as the season unfolds. Only time will tell if Andy is truly is "Driven by Yellow" because he finally has the guidance now to ensure he wears it in Paris.