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Old 10-17-02, 12:06 PM   #1
lotek
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The state of Spanish Racing

So whats with Spanish teams since the Vuelta?
Friere goes to a Dutch team.
iBanesto is rumored to be folding after the next season.
Kelme is absolutely imploding after Aitor (rhymes with traitor)
wins Vuelta.
Once seems to be pretty quiet (albeit licking their
wounds after not winning any grand tours)
I expect to see moves after the season but this
seem to be a bit much.

Marty
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Old 10-18-02, 12:09 AM   #2
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Kelme seems to have Sevilla locked up, and probably Botero (who is becoming one of my favorite riders). Other than that, what have they done to rate the description "imploding"? They were to cut several riders anyway to cut costs next year, so it looks about like working to plan. I am just happy to see them survive after their apparent financial problems earlier in the season.

As for Botero, I like the "what you see is what you get" and "race with the heart and not always with the mind" attitudes he displays. As well as his unassuming personality. Unlike a certain Italian rider of note.

Cheers...Gary
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Old 10-18-02, 04:46 AM   #3
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While they were pretty diplomatic about it in the American press, I read some items in the French press about USPS and Once and some of the trash talking Once did during the TdF. It was pretty funny and only gave USPS more incentive. In fact, the latest CycleSport had a pre-Vuelta story about the "rematch" between Once, Kelme and USPS.

Kelme has had financial problems for some time. In fact, Sevilla threatened to file a grievance with UCI because the riders had not been paid. They wanted UCI to go into the guarantee fund that each team has to put up..but Kelme has two leaders..not good. At least at USPS, Heras knows that in the TdF, what is job is..

I hadn't heard this about iBanesto. Possibly financial??

The most disappointing team was Euskatel...they were non-existent in the TdF after at least getting stage wins in the past.
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Old 10-18-02, 09:13 AM   #4
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Kelme is back in the financial mess again, or at least the
riders haven't gotten paid for Sept.
I guess the implode statement was a response on my
part about the whole Vuelta debacle. I think Aitors
plan was go for the win the entire time, team be
damned.
iBanesto (the bank) announced yesterday they will not
be sponsering the team after 2003.
I think Santi Botero is a class act, he isn't below
working for other team members. The buzz now is he
is being courted by Telcom (who could be a real
powerhous given all the riders they signed).
I like Euskatel, they're a gutsy small team who
I'd love to see do better.
Once and trash talking, I kind of think that is
par for the course, yeah it backfired, but I think
that the psychological part of the game gets ignored
in alot of discussions. At least Once didn't self destruct
with multiple leaders competing within the team.
again, just my .02 worth
Marty
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Old 10-18-02, 10:38 AM   #5
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I remember one incident with Botero - climber turned TT man (though he still does both pretty well) - that exemplifies why I like him.

I think it was during the Tour this year, after he won the TT, when I saw him playing pure domestique, shuttling water bottles up to the rest of the team from the car.

Let me see, I am sure I have seen Cippo do that, haven't I?

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Old 10-19-02, 04:12 PM   #6
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Apparently Gonzales (Aitor) is going to Fassa. I do like Sevilla and Botero- he's a classy guy, and I also like Galdeano and would like to see him win the Vuelta. As for Cipo, it seems that he does not take his teammate's work for granted- he seems to have the attitude that his victory is their victory as well. Their job is to work for him and they all know it- it's not like he takes all the credit, just the opposite.
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Old 10-22-02, 10:11 AM   #7
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Spanish cycling is doing great.

Kelme simply overblown rumors lately. Kelme is a very solid company and sponsor and always gets a team out there. Some riders may get a bigger head like Aitor and may want the world but that is simply life.

iBanesto since when Indurain left and Echevarri stopped being a big player has gone 'bad'. iBanesto simply needs to change a bit their director scene. There is talent there, just no motivation.

ONCE is doing great. They have always been solid due to the complete hold of Manolo.

Relax and Jazztel are simply smaller squads. They too seem to be doing good and glad to see them in the field.

Euskadi is doing great also. This may change as far as top ride but the same solid guys are there year after year.

Problem with spanish cycling is they concentrate on stage racing. So we do not see much of the teams in TV when many classics are showed. Also many teams again went for the Tour and forgot about the Giro. Later in the Vuelta we saw a great showing, but sadly not very popular here in the states as the Tour.

If they would do a bit more classics and really race the Giro, we would see Spanish teams more and more. I guarantee you there are some really good classic riders in these teams.
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Old 10-22-02, 01:20 PM   #8
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Xavier,

Thanks for the response, its always nice to get an
answer from someone who actually knows whats
going on.

Marty
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Old 10-23-02, 11:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Xavier
Spanish cycling is doing great.

Kelme simply overblown rumors lately. Kelme is a very solid company and sponsor and always gets a team out there. Some riders may get a bigger head like Aitor and may want the world but that is simply life.

iBanesto since when Indurain left and Echevarri stopped being a big player has gone 'bad'. iBanesto simply needs to change a bit their director scene. There is talent there, just no motivation.

ONCE is doing great. They have always been solid due to the complete hold of Manolo.

Relax and Jazztel are simply smaller squads. They too seem to be doing good and glad to see them in the field.

Euskadi is doing great also. This may change as far as top ride but the same solid guys are there year after year.

Problem with spanish cycling is they concentrate on stage racing. So we do not see much of the teams in TV when many classics are showed. Also many teams again went for the Tour and forgot about the Giro. Later in the Vuelta we saw a great showing, but sadly not very popular here in the states as the Tour.

If they would do a bit more classics and really race the Giro, we would see Spanish teams more and more. I guarantee you there are some really good classic riders in these teams.

I'll bet IF they put the Giro on TV in Spain, the Spanish teams would race there again. It does not make a lot of sense to spend the sponsor's money to not have the sponsor's logo viewed in the area where they do business. As I recall, the lack of TV in Spain had to do with rights fees the Italians wanted to charge, the teams backed out after learning the race would not be on the tube.
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Old 10-28-02, 12:58 PM   #10
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What ever happened to iBanesto's Mercado? As I recall, he was awesome in the '01 Vuelta, winning several mountain stages. I expected more from him this year.

It seems like french cycling is struggling more than the spanish. Big teams with mediocre results. Where would the french be without JaJa? At least you can see talent and potential among the spanish, and ONCE is a top-tier team, for sure.
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Old 10-28-02, 02:53 PM   #11
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Very true on the Giro being not televised. Seems the Giro wants far too much for the rights. I do not know anything on that business end so I have no idea why the TVE or a private channel televises it but yet OLN in the USA manages to televise.

French cycling - Yes, it has always amazed me why they are not as big as other countries. But truth is they have a more squads and openings than spanish cycling. So in that aspect it is very good.
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Old 10-29-02, 07:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by WoodyUpstate
It seems like french cycling is struggling more than the spanish. Big teams with mediocre results. Where would the french be without JaJa
Yeah, what's up with that? It seems like the French could spawn more grand tour contenders than they have in the last 10 or so years since Fignon. If they could field a team/rider that could honestly contest for the win, maybe LeBlanc wouldn't have to manipulate the TdF field.
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Old 10-29-02, 07:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by gmason
Let me see, I am sure I have seen Cippo do that, haven't I?
And you won't. It's just not compatible with an ego/image so large that he won't even ride after there are no longer stages in which he can contend for a win. Good work if you can get it. Give him his due... he's the best at what he does.

An aside... the other day I was surfing around and came across a German cycling board, similar to this. They were all very down on Zabel. So, I would surmise you can be the second fastest sprinter in the world, a h#ll of a good guy, team player in for a dollar or a dime, but you're still the first loser.
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Old 10-30-02, 07:39 AM   #14
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Yep - what you said about Cippolini, which is diametrically opposed to Zabel. Unfortunately, many people can't get by the glitz and glamor to see what, IMHO, really counts.

Cheers...Gary
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Old 10-30-02, 07:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by roadbuzz
Yeah, what's up with that? It seems like the French could spawn more grand tour contenders than they have in the last 10 or so years since Fignon. If they could field a team/rider that could honestly contest for the win, maybe LeBlanc wouldn't have to manipulate the TdF field.
]

Perhaps the french have too many division I teams and, therefore, their resources - talent and financial - are diluted. They might enjoy more success if they had a few super teams instead of a collection of mediocre ones.
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