What follows is a random collection of points but following the abrupt withdrawal of the team, I wish I was at the team’s press conference this afternoon to put these points:
- Why did Brett Lancaster start tweeting about house hunting in Girona in late July? Did he fancy moving to a country where he doesn’t speak the lingo… or had he got wind that Cervélo was pulling out and that he was Garmin-bound?
- The UCI rule changes were announced back in June. How come riders weren’t informed until now? Yes it takes time to work out what to do but July and August mark the highpoint of the “transfer season” and some rosters are full, a few riders will either be out of work or bounced into accepting low-ball offers because this decision was delivered quite late.
- Did Carlos Sastre’s demands for a contract renewal, and the subsequent rejection by Cervélo, flush out the fact that the team wasn’t going to last?
- Even if the rules are changed and the team is caught out, why not honour the contracts and solider on for a year? Yes the team might not get into all the races it wants but for the team that styled itself as “more than just racing”, doing a runner from the pro peloton doesn’t look good.
- Why are Slipstream Sports, the guys behind the Garmin-Transitions team, being so quiet? They’ve blocked three new signings, shunting them to the development team (a good team in itself but the trio were deemed ready for the pro ranks yesterday). Is it simply because they are negotiating with Cervélo about the bike deal and possible rider contracts, not to mention interviewing the riders and checking their biopassports are ok?
- Finally, is it solely about rules and budgets? I’d like to ask if there’s been anything else in recent months that has given the sponsors any cause for concern?