Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cavendish Leaving HTC?

--Cav's on the move??!! Cyclingnews has reported that the Daily Mail has reported that Cav is going to sign with Team Sky. Just to be clear, the riders can't announce or sign anything until August 1. Now is prime time for talking, though. In fact, if they haven't found a home by the Tour, it's not looking good. This also explains a lot of the kamikaze breakaways and attacks you see. Often guys are looking to get on camera and in the minds of DSs in hopes of scoring a deal.

The report says he's getting 1.5m GBP a year (roughly $2.45m), which is double his current contract. I think his current salary is a bit low, but HTC says they will fight for him. I'm not so sure that if they matched Team Sky that Cav would still stay. He's been Greipeling about his contract since last year's Commonwealth games and I think he has a bit of chip on his shoulder. I mean, if you've gone to the press about your salary it's safe to say relations with your employer could be better.

At the end of the day my bet is he goes to Team Sky. I think he'll be looking for a change if he has the Tour I see him having. That is, winning 3-5 but not all the sprint stages and without the dominance of a couple years ago. I think Cipo had it closest to the truth about Cav in that he's just not as hungry as he was.

Plus, If Team Sky is in the bidding it's going to be high. They've got deep pockets and it wouldn't surprise me if they brought along Renshaw as well.

--The latest from the UCI is a ban on anyone who has been convicted of doping from working for a cycling team. McQuaid says this is about the future but the Italian cycling federation has already said it will affect current riders, such as Petacchi.

The first problem is this only affects those who got caught, or confessed. So all the guys who doped but never got caught, they're all fine.

Also, these are the ones who have already served two years for doping. Two full years! That's an eternity compared to the slap on the wrist by all other major sports. In addition, you're telling them their livelihood is at risk for the rest of their life? This is just excessive and unlikely to cause any change. The last thing a guy is thinking about when debating whether to dope is what he'll do after cycling.

If consequences made any difference in doping the two year ban would be sufficient. The issue is, they don't. The UCI (Pat McQuaid) should stop wasting its time on overly punitive rules which will only punish those who have, by definition, already been punished and start focusing on things that would actually have an affect. The first thing that comes to mind is listening to whistleblowers instead of making personal attacks at them. I guess it's a bit much, though, to expect any integrity out of the UCI as long as McQuaid is at the helm.

--The Vuelta is the latest grand tour to consider a US start. They mentioned New York as a possibility but say the numbers don't add up.

At the end of the day I think it's less about the riders and more about the cost. They'd had to charter a fleet of jets in addition to the MASSIVE amount of gear required to support the teams. The bill for that first stage alone would probably be $10m+. With stage races it's not just the teams, which themselves are quite large, it's also the rest of the caravan. The race staff alone is quite substantial. In addition, all the european TV crews would have to fly over. Another logistical hurdle is customs for all those involved. Not to mention coming to the US would rule out all the ex-Postal guys who are afraid of coming to the US of A for fear of being sopenaed!

--Think the Contador case is taking a long time? Ullrich's case from five years ago is still pending by CAS.

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