It’s time to play pro cycling shuffle
Who got hired, who got fired, and who is out of luck.
a secret that the team is built around Fabs for 2014. The Swiss showed he can be a force in the Classics and the Schlecks, well that is a touchy subject. Andy has shown flashes of returning strength but is it too little too late? And then there’s Frank. His suspension has been served, but he hasn’t had any racing time for months. I can’t see Frank being much of a force in 2014. The smart move by Trek was to put all their chips on Cancellara and combine it with the popular narrative of Voigt to sell some bikes! I suspect we’ll see a strong marketing push with Trek’s Domane series.
More Americans are making the move to the WorldTour stage. Lawson Craddock (Bontrager Cycling Team) and Chad Haga (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) are joining the Dutch squad Argos-Shimano. Not a general classification squad, Argos-Shimano is a great team for those guys to start on and earn their stripes. Craddock and Haga have the possibility of shining during the Classics.
Another American who already has made a mark for himself and is going to win a Classic at least once during his career is Taylor Phinney. It was announced that his current team BMC locked him down for another two years. That’s a smart move by BMC. Phinney has the potential to win a Classic and a stage in a tour like he did in the Tour of Poland. Joining Phinney is his buddy Peter Stetina. With Phinney locked down and many of their supporting riders still in the red and black kits, BMC needs to re-evaluate their general classification dreams. Cadel Evans isn’t going to win the Tour de France again. Tejay van Garderen shows potential, but that might be a couple of years down the line still. For the short term BMC needs to focus on Phinney and Philippe Gilbert for stage and classic wins. In 2015 BMC could go shopping for stronger GC contenders.
Speaking about teams with bad luck Omega Pharma – Quick Step announced Tom Boonen was done for the season. He’s had a perineum cyst that won’t go away. Boonen hoped to recover for the world championships, but his undercarriage just isn’t ready for the saddle time. Also, Mark Cavendish hasn’t had the season we’re all used to him having. Yes, I know he won two stages in this year’s Tour de France, but I doubt the Manx Missile was happy being beaten by riders he regularly trounced. On top of it they lost super domestic Sylvain Chavanel. Whenever there was work to be done during the Tour (or anywhere) Chavanel was at the front, stringing it out. IAM Cycling was lucky to get the Frenchman’s signature for 2014.
Team Garmin-Sharp is also gaining some talent. It’s been public for a while that Phil Gaimon is heading to the Argyle Army. Another addition is Nate Brown who is currently riding for Bontrager-Livestrong. Jonathan Vaughters has a knack for spotting young talent and I think he’s done well with Brown. On the flip side