Phinney leaves Radioshack

I am the future now

Sometimes things can be obvious but you don’t say them. Maybe it’s because it’s polite not to point, other times just because it’s obvious. But that doesn’t mean you can’t say it. So here’s a reference on Twitter from user wesko:

no one seems to be commenting on a talented young rider’s need/desire to turn away from Radioshack

Quite. I didn’t feel like raising the idea as sometimes the mention of Armstrong can bore me. But the reminder on Twitter has changed my mind. Even if it’s obvious, it’s worth stating: Taylor Phinney has walked away from Team Radioshack.

As I mentioned earlier today, the prodigy was poached from under Jonathan Vaughters’ sophisticated nose to join the Trek-Livestrong team. Lance Armstrong made big personal efforts to lure Phinney and clearly went out of his way to literally make him feel at home; at one point Phinney was driving around in a classic sports car belonging to Armstrong. Then after time spent on this squad he moved up to the pro team, with a debut in Denmark. In the intervening period Radioshack sign other Trek-Livestrong riders like Ben King and Jesse Sergent… only their biggest talent is silent.

Now I can’t speak for Phinney and I haven’t got hold of him to discuss this, so what follows is speculation. But with Armstrong under investigation and reduced to a damage limitation strategy, would you want to join this team. Especially knowing the sponsor wasn’t going to be hanging around for long. Add to that the fact that Bruyneel has already retired once from the sport already, not to mention his reputation. All told, if you represent the future of US cycling, why hook up with someone who represents the past. Time for a fresh start.


3 thoughts on “Phinney leaves Radioshack”

  1. it certainly looks like the relationship has soured, between lance and phinney, i fully expected him to be groomed into a pro with the shack. I guess when image is everything being associated with the shack is enough to send you running into the arms of bmc who certainly have the cash available to hand out contracts for multiple years.

  2. He didn't stray far as the kits are nearly identical. Lance aside, and even if the investigation wasn't going on, with the Olympics coming up and RS funding only through 2011, why would he stick around? I would have to assume at some level that the waters were tested with RadioShack during this attempted signing process to see if they were willing to commit beyond 2011 with the prospect of having a huge talent such as TP on board. The fact that they weren't able to sign Taylor says something to me about RS's sponsorship longevity. I would assume they are a bit soured by the experience so far, as they haven't even been in it for a full season, yet their name is tossed around amidst the allegations swirling around Armstrong. However, the doping drama isn't far away from BMC either! Who knows what is going to be revealed about Hincapie and Rihs? Oh, and if memory serves correctly, Ballan's name has been linked to doping during this season. Also… this is the managerial force that Floyd operated & thrived under while in the throws of an alleged fully sponsored doping program. The bright spot of the BMC offer is Cadel Evans and that would make all the risks worthwhile to ride with a class act like him. He has honored the rainbow jersey so well over the past year and strikes me as the type of rider that a young rider could really learn from and be inspired by.

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