Thursday, September 1, 2011

No More RadioShack??

--First, it was rumors about Leipheimer leaving RadioShack for Quick Step. That was big news in itself given where he's at in his career and the season he just had.

On top of that, there are now rumors that RadioShack will merge with Leopard Trek. Gerard Vroomen had two posts recently addressing the issue. The first post says that Bruyneel never said he re-upped with RadioShack specifically, just "our current partners."

He also mentions that Trek likely spends 3-5m Euro on each team and a consolidation would definitely help its bottom line. In addition, there have apparently been some issues with the financing of Leopard Trek.

In the second post he goes on to say that only 13 riders have been signed for RadioShack and we're already halfway through the Vuelta. If RadioShack weren't merging, why would Bruyneel have only signed half a team? On the contrary, Leopard Trek has signed 27 riders. Maybe the merger came up after they'd already filled the team?

He's not the only one commenting on a possible merger, looks like the rumors have even gotten to Contador. The Spaniard fears another super team in the hunt for grand tour wins.

The bigger issue here is the continued consolidation of the sport. The "middle class" of cycling teams is totally disappearing. Give it a few more years and all competition will be gone. There will be the super teams dominating and the have nots going for stage wins.

--Good news, the Golden Gate Bridge project is wrapping up two weeks early! What a surprise! After the project was delayed months--it was supposed to happen last November--I never expected it to be done on time.

--Bettini had to make an emergency landing the other day in an ultralight aircraft. Just last year his long time friend Franco Ballerini died in a rally car accident.

--The Tour of Beijing is about to kick of and Velonews has some killer pics up of the parcours and the locals.

--It looks like Richmond is going forward with its campaign for the 2015 worlds.

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