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Tour teams announced

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Mar 12, 2009
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Niv Libner said:
Hi, I think that ASO is acting pretty hypocrisy by keeping Pro-Tour teams out- Astana last year and Fuji-Servetto this year.
Why would they invite other teams that been caught in the 2008 tour de france?
Liquigas, with Manuel Beltran that was caught for doping in the 2008 tour
Agritubel, that their rider Jimmy Casper was suspended after he failed to renew his exemption for glucocorticoids.

The only differences is that Saunier-Duval has chosen to not to ignore the long time problem of our sport, and fight against doping as hard as they can, starting at exiting the 2008 tour, and start having an internal highly sophisticated anti-doping program, in order to have a clean team, in the way for a clean new world of cycling


Agree, some teams are punished others not. I also understand it's a French race but honestly Cofidis seem to have got away with far worse issues.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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I don't see the problem with Cofidis. Moreni was caught for a "lesser" offense of testosterone and he walked out of the race without contesting anything. Days later the team left the race. Moreni was acting alone and the team has done a lot to clean up.

But it's a shame Barloworld won't be there, I'd like to see them in the mountains. It's the annual problem though, that some teams have to be excluded. That said, Skill-Shimano look pretty lightweight.

Still, all is not fixed yet. It only takes a scandal, many riders and teams are eminently capable of shooting themselves in the foot and their team pulls out. For example, I know that if Valverde is banned, the Caisse d'Epargne may well pull out. Riders could be paid their salary but the team could vanish mid-season. And so opens another door...
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Are you kidding?

Skil-Shimano is not lightweight!! No more lighweight than Barloworld was a couple of years ago. Jonathan Hivert got 8th in Paris Nice and second in the young rider competition...Tom Veelers took 4th in a stage and was at the front for quite a bit...Piet Rooijakkers showed himself well in early stage breaks...Theo Eltink has top 20 finished in grand tours...Kenny van Hummel is a very fast sprinter who may break out this season. Garmin gets all the anti doping press...but Skil has been just as proactive and anti doping as anyone and deserves to get the invitation.

I too am upset to not see Barloworld, but reading their early press releases, they didn't expect to get an invite and have set their sites on the Giro.

Here is to a great race...and hopefully a small/young team like Skil showing itself well!!
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I seem to recall that Astana had about three or four doping positives in 2007, don't forget that Kashechkin and Mazzolini got caught too, cannot recall who else, but it was not a single once off incident in the year as it was for Cofidis and the new T-Mobile (who never get mentioned, funnily enough) of the year.

Last year, Saunier Duval both managed to have two positives the race itself - a major mocking of the ASO race, especially seeing as they had made a deal of getting their own testers in. That was always going to be heavily punished.

Barloworld are unlucky, but to be honest, if it were not for Soler and Robbie Hunter, they would have no major names (much and all as I admire Cummings and Augustyn). They are, after all, only eligible for a discretionary invite. I'd certainly place Cervélo above them, and probably Agritubal too, and in a French race, having the past two French champions in their roster helps. Perhaps some may feel that Skil-Shimano are fortunate, but they have consistently been in everything and have had some good results in major races, I had thought that they might be included last year.
 
Interesting the support for Barloworld, but little for Fuji.
There is room for one more, as only 20 teams have been named, but I wouldn't hold your breathe.
Barloworld will be missed, judging from their showing in the past two editions.

As for the two wildcards, it might be a competition to see which will be the most invisible.
Skil are a great team for the one day Classic style races and had an incredible result in last week's Paris-Nice from Jonathan Hivert.
I think the Tour will stretch their resources too far, however.
Agritubel? Depends upon whether Moreau's had another tip off, or not.

Also, agree with several of the other posts.
Where are the legions of angry cyclingfans demanding Fuji's inclusion and bad mouthing the ASO's stance on past doping offences?
Their silence, unsurprisingly, is deafening.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Mellow Velo said:
As for the two wildcards, it might be a competition to see which will be the most invisible.
Skil are a great team for the one day Classic style races and had an incredible result in last week's Paris-Nice from Jonathan Hivert.
I think the Tour will stretch their resources too far, however.
Agritubel? Depends upon whether Moreau's had another tip off, or not.

Dunno about that. Skil Shimano will be pushed to the limit, but I can see a couple of top five finishes and a couple of long breaks, probably most likely in the transition stages. I do agree that they will be stretched to their limits, but they've been around a couple of years, they won't be another ANC Halfords.

Agritubal are not a one man team. Feillu is a former (incredibly brief) wearer of the Maillot Jaune, Lequartre and Vogondy are handy racers, and Kevin Ista has already a win of the season and was second in the Het Nieuwsblad. If anything, the expectation of something from Moreau would hold them back.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I'd like to see Fuji try to appeal this decision to CAS, as it did for P-N et al. But only because I love a good laugh.
Trying to arbitrate ASO's decision-making, when ASO has the UCI-approved authority to be as one-sided and biased as they damn well please, is completely ludicrous. Especially when your legal argument is that it "isn't fair."
As a cycling fan, I feel outraged on behalf of the teams getting screwed over, especially the ones who will feel the squeeze of disappointed sponsors in a flagging economy.
As a fan of business, I would hate to see the ASO--a for-profit enterprise--surrender one iota of its autonomy.
Vive La Capitalism!
 
Mar 11, 2009
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antoine said:
Why haven't I seen any "it's not the same team as last year" or "it's just payback for 3 spanish riders winning in a row" complaints regarding Fuji yet? People were pretty critical last year when..., oh, I see, this time around it doesn't involve lance in the least. Interesting. Sorry to stir the pudding, but I took so much crap last year for defending ASO that it was just too hard to resist.

a
Are you being serious with this statement? Because it's like comparing apples to oranges. Astana had the defending tour champion on their squad and was considered one of the best teams in bike racing last year.

What does Fuji have on their side? They had lackluster results in the early part of the season, and have won no major races since. They do not have a defending tour champ or really anyone that is vying for the GC title. Skil-Shimano is a much better choice than Fuji.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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ingsve said:
It would have been interesting to see what would have happened to Gerolsteiner if they had still existed as a team...An exclusion of them would have been more in line with the Astana exclusion than excluding Fuji is.

Dunno about that - both Kohl and Schumacher were both off anyway before the results were out, so it was not as though the big names were still around. It would have been the same in that there were two positives, and that is no different to SD/Fuji. The management would have remained the same, again more like the Fuji case. The biggest difference is that Gerolsteiner were broadly perceived as having the biggest anti-doping stance prior to Slipstream, and I think Holczer was genuinely the most vocally anti-doping manager in the Protour in his time, and his practices seemed to match his verbal stance. He did employ a man with a dubious history though, and that is a mark that he has to take on the chin.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Racerveza said:
Does anyone foresee a "too many Pharaohs, not enough Egyptians" scenario developing at Astana?

Of course. The greater questions are, Does Bruyneel think so? and What do the Astana members plan on doing about their team's de-evolution?
 
Mar 10, 2009
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tifosa said:
What do the Astana members plan on doing about their team's de-evolution?

Will Jocko Homo's Uncontrolable Urge lead him to treat the Speed Racer like a Mongoloid until he is given Freedom of Choice? Or will the Secret Agent Man crack that whip and stop the Cold War, and announce Time Out For Fun when they twist away those Gates of Steel?

It's Not Right.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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apples and oranges

nightfend - I can see how there are differences between astana and fuji, their jerseys are different colors, for one. There are also many similarities, like having major doping scandals in the previous tour, for one. Just because they had the defending champ does not negate the similarities with Fuji. Just because someone is good shouldn't have anything to do with how they are treated as a cyclist. Rules should apply to everyone. Yes the situation are not exactly the same, but the major similarities are what I was referring to. Are you saying that since fuji does not have as good of results as astana that they should be treated differently?
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Bluebeard said:
Will Jocko Homo's Uncontrolable Urge lead him to treat the Speed Racer like a Mongoloid until he is given Freedom of Choice? Or will the Secret Agent Man crack that whip and stop the Cold War, and announce Time Out For Fun when they twist away those Gates of Steel?

It's Not Right.

You've won control of my heart.
 
Racerveza said:
Does anyone foresee a "too many Pharaohs, not enough Egyptians" scenario developing at Astana?

If you don't follow orders on a team run by Bruyneel/Armstrong then bad things happen to you. Ask FLandis.

So the "too many Pharaohs" problem--which is a metaphor I don't think I have read before but I thank you for adding it to my repertoire--will not be a problem come July.
 

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