briztoon wrote:This is going to be long and convoluted.
Ok, I'm new to "following" cycling though I've watched the Tour de France on SBS for at least 11 or 12 years. I usually finish work around the time covereage starts on TV so always watched it while winding down at home.
My learning curve about the sport is rather steep. Apart from the TDF and the Olympics I never new anything about the other Tours or Classics, or that they even existed. Heck, I only first heard about the Giro a couple of years ago, and that was while watching the TDF.
If GreenEdge hadn't been mentioned during this years TDF coverage I wouldn't be on here right now. And mutch of my sporting interest in cycling is also because I have taken up riding to get fit and lose some weight since I quit smoking. (side question, why doesn't Avanti sponsor any major teams? Yeah I bought a new 2010 model entry level Avanti road bike as it was damn cheap compared to even 2011 stock and I can't justify to myself spending 1.5k - 2k on a bike yet)
So what are GE's aim at the Australian level? Anyone who has expereince with Australian sporting culture will understand that the average person on the street will have little interest after the answer to thier first question is "No, Cadel is not on the team", and the sporting public will have even less interest if (and when) the team blows in next years TDF.
Apart from League and Aussie Rules fanatics, Aussies don't follow losing teams, and the (small) majorities opinion on this forum seems to be that GE will, well not struggle, but not set the (cycling) world on fire. Unless you're in the same camp as ingsve, in which case GE will most definately blow.
Will SBS expand thier cycling coverage next season? For the sport to grow in Australia, and the GE brand to gain exposure, it really does need extensive local coverage. Personally I'd love to watch any GE teams at any events next year.
How will the Olympics impact on the GE squad next year? Will losing riders to the Olympic program negatively effect the teams ability to secure enough WT/PT (still learning all this stuff) points for the 2013 season and licensing. Will GE's commitment to the Aussie Olympic riders possiby increase our chances at Gold Medals in London next year? If so, is there a conflict of interest here? It has been mentioned already that the Olympics are bigger here in Australia than the Pro Tour, atleast where the average man on the street is concerned.
What are the real expectations for the team as it's currently constructed next year? What one day Classics, one week Tours, etc, does GE have a legit
shot at next season.
OK, can some one explain to me what a Neo-Pro is?
Well as for Avanti not sponsoring any major teams i guess they do not feel the need to.
My understanding of GE's aims is to develop a strong team base and attempt to promote cycling in Australia. Yes they will not have the best team in the next few years but they are aiming to set out strong foundations for what will be in the future a strong team. Not all teams can suddenly burst onto the scene and be successful (such as Leopard although they have not done as well as one would have expected this year). So for now they are setting out to create something the can build to be successful in the long term.
As an Aussie myself i understand that we do not really follow losing teams. However i would hope that most people who take the time to find out a bit more such as yourself may see that a brand new team cannot win everything and will take time to grow. Im sure they will get enough support from Australia anyhow as Cycling is growing at a very fast rate in Australia.
SBS have been expanding their coverage of cycling each year for the last few years. This year they have had daily highlights of every grand tour stage and shown live coverage of 6 Giro stages (i think), the whole tour, 8 Vuelta stages as well as Paris-Roubaix live. Next year i would assume they will continue to expand their coverage. Cadel wining the tour gave SBS huge ratings at the tour (700 000 people for the last 2 stages) which is 4%ish of the country and as it finishes at 2am on a Sunday night in one case that is huge ratings for the tour and knowing the other shows they play most likely their best. This i would expect would mean more races will be shown. They also live stream a number of races online at Cycling central.
The Olympics would undoubtedly impact on GE however management would have known this when signing riders. It may have an affect on their results but i doubt a major one and it will most likely have been factored into the teams plans for next year already. The team may increase chances of medals but not significantly, they only advantage i would see is that the Aussies would be much more used to riding with each other.
I dont think GE will have a strong chance of winning any of the classics next year, just an outside shot. And a neo-pro is a rider who is in his first year as a professional (so generally quite young) an example for this year would be Michael Matthews who has just had his first season as a professional with Rabobank.
Hope this helps