Bikezilla

Ride the Puddles

Alberto Contador to Saxo Bank

Posted by bikezilla on August 3, 2010


VeloNews, Cycling News

Saxo Bank wasn’t happy with the bang for their buck when they had BOTH Schleck brothers and one of the strongest, most loved teams in all of cycling.

Backing a team that was a serious threat to win any race it entered, even with it’s B team, just wasn’t appealing.

But now that Alberto’s coming on board, half the team is fleeing to ride with Andy and Frank and Alberto’s personal squad of lackeys is coming on board it’s all good?

Crazy.

I guess one 3 time TdF winner who’s also won the Vuelta the Giro traveling with a merely adequate entourage trumps two potential Grand Tour winners and a bushel full of phenomenal support guys.

Is this the kind of disrespect Andy and Frank had to tolerate day in and day out? If so, is it any wonder that they’ve chosen to jump ship after what from the outside seems like a stellar run with Bjarne Riis?

Did Saxo’s management watch this year’s Tour? Did they maybe notice that Alberto seems to be a falling talent and Andy Schleck rising? Did they happen to pick up that coming into this Tour Frank Schleck seemed to potentially be the stronger brother?

Did they take a moment to analyze the strength of Saxo’s current domestiques vs the guys Alberto will bring in (a group, by the way, that won’t include Alexandre Vinokourov)?

I also wonder how long Richie Porte will be content to ride behind anyone else. Certainly through next season. But after that?

Will Jens Voigt ride his last season (he said last year that he wanted to race for two more years) riding for Bjarne? Or riding in support of Frank and Andy?

Fabian Cancellara can be forced to stay with Bjarne for one more season (because he’s still under contract). Can one really good season with Alberto convince him not to abandon Bjarne after that?

The one real bright spot for Alberto has to be the unity displayed by the entire Saxo Bank team even with the knowledge that the team was already set to self-destruct and with some seemingly strong inner turmoil related to that.

When has Alberto ever been surrounded with that level of professionalism?

It seems to me that though Alberto’s got the prestige, that Saxo is becoming a weaker team in this transition.

But I guess when you’re talking about the face of a company’s advertising, the guy with wins under his belt really does matter more than the guys who seem to be climbing as the champ is falling. It that world, the history of winning, especially recently winning, is more important than the potential for winning.

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