“Stuey has wanted to be a part of this project since we first went public with wanting to put a team at the Tour de France, back in Adelaide last January… …We’ll be rolling out more big-name signings in the days and weeks ahead.“
That’s the headline screengrab plus a quote from an article in The Australian, the biggest selling-newspaper Down Under. Only it seems to be premature at best.
Here’s Stuart O’Grady via twitter:
“Just for the record, I have NOT SIGNED any contracts. Don’t believe everything you read.”
Without wanting to hold a running commentary on individual names – as this would only spotlight the rider instead of the newspaper or the team – it seems a couple riders linked to the new Australian squad have decided not to join.
Sinning by pride?
Let’s hope this is just a PR-problem of an excitable team owner name-dropping before the ink is dry on rider contracts, what the French call “sinning by pride” (pécher par orgueil), to get too boastful about riders joining before the deal is sealed rather than anything more serious.
Gerry Ryan is very wealthy and perfectly able to fund the team. This Green Edge team has been very careful to build a structure, to put funding in place and even to woo the UCI and race organisers like ASO with impressive admin skills. They’ve even got the team bus. Although the team’s also hired the seemingly-cursed Neil “Stevo” Stephens.
If the country’s biggest newspaper is getting mixed messages then that’s not ideal, especially given the squad is hunting for corporate backers. Still, this team has wealthy backers and even an entire nation – or at least the Australian Institute of Sport – behind it, not to mention high ambitions to suit potential sponsors. As such some good news about new riders joining will get the message back on track.