It’s time to play pro cycling shuffle
Who got hired, who got fired, and who is out of luck.
It’s that time of year again – transfer season! The unofficial start to the transfer season was during the Tour de France. Of course there are official UCI rules that prohibit riders from entering into talks with another team, but you can make some educated guesses by who is coming out of another team’s bus before a stage.
Some teams have no big surprises. Case in point, Chris Froome is still a Team Sky member. A little bit of a surprise is Bradley Wiggins will continue to wear the black and blue of Sky in 2014. A larger surprise is that Wiggins has thrown his arms up and resigned himself to defeat in regards to racing in the Tour de France.
In an interview with The Times newspaper Wiggins said he will race on the road in 2014, but then focus on the track for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
This turnaround is from a General Classification contender who we thought would win multiple grand tours to a guy who said “F-it.” He doesn’t want to try to come back from the knee injury that forced him to abandon this year’s Giro d’Italia. The sacrifices made were too much he told the paper. He’s getting older, has a family, and he accomplished everything he wanted to do. However, I suspect Sir Wiggo just didn’t have the mentality needed to be a fighter every single year and focus on destroying the competition. Love him or hate him, Lance Armstrong was a fighter who relished battling with his competitors, both on and off the road.
Another veteran rider is Danny Pate and he extended his contract with Sky. While he rarely breaks the top 50 in a race, Pate is the consummate rider willing to take those monster pulls like he did in the Giro. Sky isn’t paying him to win races, they’re paying him to make sure Sky wins races.
As we all know Trek is taking over the World Tour license of RadioShack. Some riders are staying, others are hitting the bricks. Personally there’s one rider I’m glad to see purged from the team in 2014 – Andreas Klöden. The German has more skeletons in his closet than a serial killer. I’m always amazed when I see him racing and can’t think how the heck he escaped the doping drama. I’m guessing because he kept his head down and just raced his bike. There’s a rumor he is going to IAM Cycling, but seriously, any team that takes him on really should take a look at themselves in the mirror.
One German that is staying and ending his career on a Trek bike is the crowd favorite Jens Voigt. He made the announcement on his Twitter account that he was going to finish his professional cycling career at the conclusion of the 2014 season. He’s a huge fan favorite and will be missed by the public when he does hang up his cleats close to the Roadcycling.com headquarters.
Another big signing for Trek is Fabian Cancellara. Trek hasn’t made it