This isn’t a science but I’ve listed the Greenedge recruits for 2012 by what sort of rider they are. If you think the label is wrong, and there’s plenty of overlap, leave a comment and I can change it, part of the fun of the blog is the comment and interaction from readers.
What stands out is the sheer speed of the team. Sprinters, lead out guys with a track pursuit background, you name it this is certainly a squad that should make an impact early in the season. Just look at today, Chris Sutton has won Stage 2 of the Tour de Wallonie-Picardie whilst yesterday’s winner was Robbie McEwen. Both will be wearing green next year. And today Lithuanian sprinter Aidis Kruopis said he’s joining too.
Even if Mark Cavendish will win many sprints the Manx can’t be everywhere and Greenedge should, by sheer numbers, land several wins. This is vital for any new team. Look at how stressed Leopard was until Dominic Klemme won in the GP Le Samyn. And imagine how they could do in a short team time trial.
Much of this is not by accident. Australia has had a track conveyor belt, since (sort of) copied by Britain whereby talent was identified early and the endurance riders, for example in the pursuit or madison, have often flourish on the road. In other words most of the successful Aussies have a background in riding fast on the flat. The ones who are better in the high mountains have not come from this system.
Looking down the roster things might prove harder once the roads start going uphill from late April onwards. Peter Weening, Simon Gerrans and Wesley Sulzberger should help but I’ve never seen a squad so stacked towards sprinting and there are of course plenty of flatter opportunities in almost every stage race. If HTC was the “most winning” team, this was in part because they had so many options in the sprint.
|Brett Lancaster||Lead out|
|Travis Meyer||Lead out|
|Julian Dean||Lead out|
|Luke Robers||Lead out|
|Cameron Meyer||Lead out|
|Mitchell Docker||Classics rider|
|Stuart O’Grady||Classics rider|
|Jens Mouris||Classics rider|
|Tomas Vaitkus||Classics rider|
|Sebastian Langeveld||Classics rider|
|Simon Clarke||Classics rider|
|Wesley Sulzberger||All rounder|
|Michael Albasini||All rounder|
|Fumiyuki Beppu||All rounder|
|Matthew Wilson||All rounder|
|Simon Gerrans||All rounder|
|Svein Tuft||Time Trial|
|Jack Bobridge||Time trial|
|Daniel Teklahaimanot||Neo pro|
|Michael Hepburn||Neo pro|
|Luke Durbridge||Neo pro|