New Canadian Cycling Team?

Jul 18, 2009
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The Globe and Mail reported this morning that Canadian cycling legend Steve Bauer has acquired the support of billionaire Jim Balsillie to start a new Canadian cycling team, with the goal of competing in the Tour de France in the next few years.

According to the article, an email from Lance Armstrong prompted Balsillie, the co-owner of RIM, Blackberry billionaire, and avid cyclist, to go for several rides with Bauer, who finished 4th in the 1988 Tour de France and was only the second Canadian to wear the Yellow Jersey.

Bauer's team, named for major sponsor Spider-Tech, will hold a press conference today, and he has already recruited 15 Canadian riders for the team. I've tried to attach the link below.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/steve-bauer-to-start-up-canadian-cycling-team/article1446845/
 
Sweet, I can finally pitch in on all the debates involving nationalist fervour. Look out, Brits, Aussies and Americans! We've got Svein Tuft, or at least we will when we buy out his contract with Garmin and make him our GT guy.
 
Jul 9, 2009
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skidmark said:
Sweet, I can finally pitch in on all the debates involving nationalist fervour. Look out, Brits, Aussies and Americans! We've got Svein Tuft, or at least we will when we buy out his contract with Garmin and make him our GT guy.
First though you'll have to change your user name to canuckcyclefan94.:D
 
Jan 30, 2010
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Won't the Canadian Team be toooo sloowww eeeyyy? :D

Aussies, now Canadians want Tour invite...

Globalisation of this sport I still support tho!

More pressure on underperforming teams to step the **** up!!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I find that article very interesting, probably clinic territory, the final two paragraphs referring to armstrong and doping in the sport but "before that" Bauer getting his 4th place clean. Finally he now thinks a clean rider could once more win the tour.. says a lot about his thoughts on the 20 years in between..
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Inner Peace said:
Won't the Canadian Team be toooo sloowww eeeyyy? :D

Aussies, now Canadians want Tour invite...

Globalisation of this sport I still support tho!

More pressure on underperforming teams to step the **** up!!
Cycling Aus are trying to get one in for next year but because we are a small country population based we don't have the big enough companies to support cycling or companies that want to invest in a cycling team for their own european sales.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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I think this is great news. Our sport needs new interest and new sponsors, and our country needs this kind of program to develop cyclists and stimulate interest in the sport. Jim Balsillie is an interesting character. He made headlines with his failed attempts to purchase a NHL franchise. He is new money, and he rubs the old guard the wrong way. He tried to buy a struggling franchise instead of paying twice the price for an expansion franchise. What gall! But I don't think we're getting another Michael Ball here. I don't care if a team wraps themselves in a nation's flag or if they are represented by a company - as long as they promote ethical and competitive cycling I'm for it.
 
Sep 10, 2009
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this is not a new team, it's the planet energy squad from last year, only with more money available. almost all the same riders with a few new additions.

Bauer is the man, but get your facts straight.

after their showing in Missouri last year they might ruffle a few feathers in California if they get an invite and I can't wait to see how they will perform vs the ProTour guys in Quebec City and Montreal in September, it will be a great test for comparison of where their level is at.
 
BroDeal said:
WTF is it with all these pseudo national teams?
Tapping into nationalistic fervour is the only way to generate interest in a sport that barely registers on the radar.
News of the launch of Spider Tech wouldn't have been noticed by a single sports editor in Canada
 
Jan 27, 2010
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What is with people carving up a potential full or mixed Canadian Cycling team? Isn't it good enough that a highly decorated previous Pro like Bauer can find a new sponser to help sustain cycling on the big stage? Humm.

Steve was a Canadian who, with A. Hampsten, and LeMond paved the way for guys like Lance, Leipheimer and Landis.


A few Canadian stats:
1. Canada's Alex Stieda was the first North American to wear the yellow jersey, on Stage 2 of the 1986 Tour de France.

2. Steve Bauer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Bauer)
1989 : 1st Championship of Zurich, SUI
1990 : 2nd Paris Roubaix, FRA
1991 : 4th Paris Roubaix, FRA

Tour de France ( total of 14 days in the Yellow Jersey)
1985 — 10th, Wore the White Jersey (Best Young Riders Jersey) for most of the Tour.

Days in Yellow
Lemond: 22
Bauer: 14
Armstrong: 83
Zabriskie: 3
Hamilton: 0
Landis: 0

Ogrady: 9
P. Anderson: 9
C. Evans: 5
B. McGee: 3

I'm just saying, lets go easy on Canadians, eh! We've invested in this beautiful sport and its bloody cold up here for 5 months of the year. If Bauer can bring in another stable sponser in RIM, then we all benefit.

NW
 
Jan 31, 2010
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Canadians don't have much invested in cycling, although those of us who do the Tour de Basement for the, what, eight months of winter would think otherwise. We have had some individual stars over the years like the great Mr. Bauer but a lot of others, especially in track racing, who have been pretty much ignored. Our image isn't helped by our inability to even put a women's UCI race together:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/canadian-womens-uci-races-canceled

Anything to support Canadian cycling is welcome, of course, but I think the preoccupation with national teams is kind of silly. It is hard enough to find sponsors and hard enough to put the right roster together but to get them all from one nation at the same time is pretty impossible. Even Armstrong's Discovery team had shed most of its Americans by the end compared to the first 1999 USPS Team. I like to think of pro cycling as more like classical music, where you go for the best performers overall, whatever their origin. I can be a fan of Fabian C. without being Swiss.

On the other hand, if the team is a rich man's hobby, none of this matters much. Jim Balsillie, who, with his RIM colleagues, paid the biggest insider trading fines in Canadian history, has enough money to do whatever he likes, except maybe buy an NHL team. I had a meeting once with him connected to business and I thought he was the most arrogant person I have ever met. Not someone I would ride myself!
 
Jan 27, 2010
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Sprocketboy said:
Canadians don't have much invested in cycling, although those of us who do the Tour de Basement for the, what, eight months of winter would think otherwise. We have had some individual stars over the years like the great Mr. Bauer but a lot of others, especially in track racing, who have been pretty much ignored. Our image isn't helped by our inability to even put a women's UCI race together:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/canadian-womens-uci-races-canceled

True about the womens poor race schedule in Canada

On the other hand, if the team is a rich man's hobby, none of this matters much. Jim Balsillie, who, with his RIM colleagues, paid the biggest insider trading fines in Canadian history, has enough money to do whatever he likes, except maybe buy an NHL team. I had a meeting once with him connected to business and I thought he was the most arrogant person I have ever met. Not someone I would ride myself!

Canadians do have a lot invested in cycling, per population and relative to how much time we actually have roads to ride on with a relative ambient temperature above 10 C. Look at the impact that Stieda, Lovell, E. Wahlberg, M. Barry, S. Tuft, Clara Hughes ... have made on cycling in Canada, and the world. Not bad for our cold, underfunded, underorganized/programmed country. Talk to these riders about getting funding to be the best they can be as a pro!

I think that RIM, or any big company, fronting money to let S. Bauer direct a team, mostly or all Canadian is fantastic. Regardless of the CEO and his financial history. Look at the Cervelo sales in Canada and internationally in the last 3 yrs.

The Jim Balsillie topic is complicated and beyond the scope of this thread. But, shortly, he tried to enter the NHL the way the country club boys asked him to, and then they changed the rules in Pittsburgh and then again in Nashville. So, being the 'business man' that he is he tried the side door. As you said you were doing business with him so he can't be all that bad. Jim was arrogant? How much time did you spend with him? Do you feel you had enough time to judge him? Maybe you are right and he is too confident, I don't know. I am not sure I care. He loves cycling, is willing to help support a team, and to get them into the TdF. It will only spawn interest in Canadian youngsters to want to ride and exercise, and to potentially experience this amazing sport. I love it.

NW
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Sprocketboy said:
...if the team is a rich man's hobby, none of this matters much.
I think all pro sports teams are the hobbies of rich men (and/or women).

I think this is great for Canadian cycling. I'm really looking forward to the two Pro Tour races here in Quebec.
 
Jan 31, 2010
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Murray said:
I think all pro sports teams are the hobbies of rich men (and/or women).

I think this is great for Canadian cycling. I'm really looking forward to the two Pro Tour races here in Quebec.

Oddly, European cycling teams, as far as I can tell, are an exception to the rich man's hobby thing. Most of the ProTour teams, as far as I can see, struggle for sponsorship. The only really wealthy person running a team is Bob Stapleton at Columbia-HTC, who ran VoiceStream, an IT company that was sold to T-Mobil.

Anyway, if there is more money for Canadian cycling, that would be a great thing.
 
Jan 31, 2010
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Neworld said:
Canadians do have a lot invested in cycling, per population and relative to how much time we actually have roads to ride on with a relative ambient temperature above 10 C. Look at the impact that Stieda, Lovell, E. Wahlberg, M. Barry, S. Tuft, Clara Hughes ... have made on cycling in Canada, and the world. Not bad for our cold, underfunded, underorganized/programmed country. Talk to these riders about getting funding to be the best they can be as a pro!
NW
This is always the problem with marginal sports. Government money for athletics is directed at where we have the best chance for medalling at the Olympics, so we will probably never have a covered velodrome or other necessary facilities. I just watched a DVD about Lori-Ann Muenzer, who won a gold medal in Athens more or less unsupported. I would argue that in the short time the sport has been around, Canadians have done far better in international triathlons than in cycling. You don't need a team, and at the higher levels of the sport the money is decent.
 
Jan 31, 2010
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I see that Cyclingnews has a nice report today about the big launch event for the SpiderTech team at the Royal Ontario Museum. Steve Bauer auctioned the final Maillot Jaune he won to raise money for the team and it brought in $23,500. I hope that he doesn't have to keep raiding his closet to keep the team going. Isn't this the point of having sponsors? I hope that the team gets into the Quebec ProTour events...
 

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