Lots of valid points, but I would note some established/long standing ProConti teams wouldn't have the commitment from sponsors needed for the step up to PT (and we've seen from HTC that finding big sponsors in cycling isn't necessarily easy).Libertine Seguros said:I don't understand? Having teams closely aligned to the Olympics cos they're borderline national teams helps the UCI control things?
But the thing is - what was wrong with the current method? It's not like Australians weren't being supported in their professional ambitions. LOTS of Australians in the pro péloton.
And how many of these Jayco-AIS youngsters are you expecting to see on the squad?
Responding to the 3 quotes above (sorry, Im a muppet so don't know how to split quotes)
It would be my view the borderline national teams are closely aligned to Olympic ambitions of the nation (not just TdF), and with gold medal dreams, the UCI is the link between the national squads and the IOC as the recognised administrator of the sport. The politics of IOC/UCI/National teams may even be more entangled than the UCI/PT!
There are lots of Australian pro's in the peloton, but its not always the case that their ambitions are being supported. There's a long history of this, (and its not just Australian's who suffer from it) but an example would be Cadel at Lotto where he noted when VdB was rising up that he felt the team/sponsor would prefer to have a Belgian win a stage than have him finish on the podium. A rider like Wes Sulzberger probably deserves a few more chances then he's currently getting (and this predates his being linked to GE), I'm not suggesting he should have been on the TdF roster, but he deserves a bit more support than some of the riders in his team who seem to proceed him. Ditto Simon Clarke.
I would only expect probably 3 (4 most) riders to come up from the AIS team in the first year (for as you say, too many would weaken the squad), and probably be Durbridge (U23 TT runner up), Hepburn and maybe Dyball or Lang. There's been a number of riders who've stepped straight from AIS to PT (without GE forcing it) including Bobridge and the Meyer brothers (all of who's road results have been held back by track ambitions, but have all claimed road wins since the jump), Matthews (as you pointed out) and goes back as far as Jens Voight and Stuey coming out of the fore-runner of the Jayco squad many many years ago (Jens first team was ZVVZ-AIS after T-Mobile showed no interest).