Monday, November 02, 2009

We suck, so can you

The only thing about Lotto that surprises me is that they actually manage to win a big race every year. I chalk that up to the rider (Van Petegem, Gilbert, McEwen, Tchmil) more than the management.

The most impressive thing to me about cycling in the last 10 years isn't Johann Bruyneel's ability to apply the principles of arbitage to to cycling tactics and win big. It's the lack of the rest of the cycling world to adapt. With the exception of the use of race radios by all teams and CSC/Saxo Banks own tactics, the rest of the cycling world seems to view 15+ grand tour wins as some kind of fluke.

So when I hear Lotto say they were shocked and it's ok cause he sucked anyway I can on;y count the days until Evans finished top 5 again and Lotto is once again the winner of 1 big race all year. I mean, here's a team that had a potential tour winner on roster and for 4 years consistently sent 1 or 2 guys to the tour who were legitimate helpers. And this was proceeded by having one of the great sprinters (McEwen) and classics specialists (PVP) who similarly lacked any real team support and worse often had to fend off rivals within the team.

It's popular to blame Cadel for his lack of charisma and popularity. It's true that the guy is weird. And to blame Cadel for clashing with everyone on the team is also a lame excuse. That's Lotto's line for everything.

I think the reality is Lotto lacks any leadership. It's not Cadel's team. To criticize him for not getting on with people is crap. People famaously think Lance Armstrong is a grade 1 d-bag. But they like riding for him because the organization tells them their jobs, builds winning *teams* and marches forward with clear goals. Sure, a lot is Armstrong. But it's also Bruyneel and his organization. Or look at Saxo Bank. That's another team that has a strong leadership.

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