Fly-V has been a useful Australian team that’s also been operating in America to publicise its sponsor, an Australian airline, V Australia. Only now the team is stepping up and gunning for a UCI ProTour licence. I’m excited and supportive of this. Here’s the roster of riders announced by the new squad, courtesy of Cycling Weekly:
Clinton Avery, Jonathan Cantwell, Jai Crawford, Ben Day, Rohan Dennis, Robert Hunter (from Garmin-Transitions), Daryl Impey (RadioShack), Aaron Kemps, Sergey Klimov (Katusha), Christian Knees (Milram), Darren Lill, Trent Lowe (Garmin-Transitions), Robbie McEwen (Katusha), Luke Roberts (Milram), Thomas Rohregger (Milram), Bernie Sulzberger, Jay Thomson, Bobbie Traksel (Vacansoleil), Svein Tuft (Garmin-Transitions), Phil Zajicek
And since that list was published yesterday, they’ve also announced the signing of Polish champion Jacek Morajko from Mroz. Only look at the names, there are a few you recognise but collectively they have not won many races. Robbie McEwen’s a great guy but his best days are behind him, signing him for sentimental reasons suggests a lack of ambition. Traksel, Tuft and Knees are probably the best riders but they’re not exactly sure-fire contenders. All told, the team has the look of Milram: a collection of decent riders and nice guys… but lacking anyone certain to win a classic or grand tour stage.
There’s talk of signing a big rider at the Worlds and it’s true the likes of Cancellara have yet to pick their team for 2011. Still, let’s remember this is a new team and it’ll take time to get it working. Perhaps it’s better to save the budget for 2012? I said on Twitter yesterday that the team had the makings of the next Milram and a respondent said this could be the new Team Sky, namely a big team with expensive signings that delivers little in return for the money.