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Old 12-20-06, 09:48 AM   #1
Prodigy4299
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How to choose which team to follow

Hello everyone,

Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question.... cause it kind of is....

But how did you choose which ProTour team to follow?

Reason I ask is that 2007 will be my first season following pro cycling, and I really feel like I want to root for one team. Now, is that how most of you do it? Do you pick one team, or are you a 'fan of the sport' and just enjoy watching the races as they happen - no matter who wins.

Now, do you choose the teams according to:

1. Bike sponsorship. In my case, I ride a Cannondale, so I'd be a Liquigas fan.

2. One specific rider you like - For example, choose a team that has a strong Canadian rider (in this case T-Mobile with Michael Barry) and follow them.

3. Overall team philosophy - Team CSC appeals to me with their five key principles.

4. Something totally random - I like Disco's site, CSC has a whole bunch of cool wallpapers on their site, I saw 'Wired to Win', which featured two FD Jeux team members...


I understand that there may be as many ways as there are fans (of choosing whom to follow) but I just want to get a sense of what is most common.



PS: Obviously, being from Canada, I cannot play the 'nationalist' card and follow a Canadian team, as there is none.
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Old 12-20-06, 09:57 AM   #2
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Don't take this the wrong way, but you might be overthinking this just a hair. Watch some races and see who you like.

Only the racers carry cards that say what team they're attached to...
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Old 12-20-06, 10:02 AM   #3
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i'm following Disco for two reasons: Fuyu. Li.
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Old 12-20-06, 10:09 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=DrPete]Don't take this the wrong way, but you might be overthinking this just a hair. Watch some races and see who you like.

i agree....and it's hard enough to follow europrocycling when there's so little televised coverage (tdf aside). i try to follow stateside cycling because it's a lot more accessible (i can actually go to races occasionally) and underappreciated IMO. that said, the teams i follow usually have to do with team philosophy (and philosophy of sponsors) and as for individual riders, i usually root for those that do road and cyclocross
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Old 12-20-06, 10:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecnetsixe
Are there any Canadians that ride the TDF? I wouldnt know.
I do not think that Michael Barry rode the TdF last year - correct me if I am wrong here.

And as for anyone else... *doing a mad Wikipedia search* Come on there has to be someone else too!




Right, so Saunier Duval-Prodir has Charles Dionne - a 'neo-pro', meaning that he will probably not do the TdF.


AND.... that's it!

So, everyone, keep your eyes open for Barry and Dionne to (hopefully) ride the TdF.
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Old 12-20-06, 10:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecnetsixe
I think this is a really good thread. It is interesting how everyone chooses who they like and why.

Personally as I dream of one day there being a 'aussie' only team in the TDF (like postal/disco concept is for US i guess even though its turned into euro guns for hire now..) I tend to follow the team with the strongest aussie rider...which will be cadel in 07.
Did you have a chance to see the IMAX movie 'Wired to Win'? They follow two FD Jeux riders at the 2003 TdF, one of them Baden Cooke. VERY cool movie, recommend it highly.
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Old 12-20-06, 10:47 AM   #7
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Pretty colors always works.
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Old 12-20-06, 10:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by voltman
Pretty colors always works.
+1. I myself fancy the team that has that one rider that wear a yellow colored jersey. Who's their sponsor, do you know? The Yellowpages?
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Old 12-20-06, 10:51 AM   #9
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I don't pick teams I pick riders. Classics, Boonen and Bettini (which makes the team thing easy). Stage races Basso, Valverde, and Levi.
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Old 12-20-06, 10:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodigy4299
But how did you choose which ProTour team to follow?
FWIW I prefer to follow riders rather than teams. Although it is a team sport, and some people to enjoy sporting team kit , I can't see many reasons to root for one team over another.

A lot of people like Discovery because of its association with Armstrong, and because they are a top-notch American team. I believe there are some CSC fans whose interest transcends the individual riders. But that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

In this specific context, it probably doesn't help that the team names are now based on the sponsors, which are almost always corporate entities. The general arrangement works out OK (teams get financial support, sponsors get noticed). But I don't feel a big allegiance to a mediocre cable channel, a pharmaceutical product or the Belgian lottery....
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Old 12-20-06, 11:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPete
Don't take this the wrong way, but you might be overthinking this just a hair. Watch some races and see who you like.

Only the racers carry cards that say what team they're attached to...
I agree. Just watch, see who has class and guts and cheer for that rider. In time you may find that one team tends to attract the kind of rider you think has class, then cheer for the team. But otherwise just find riders you like, and watching races and perhaps listening to interviews is the way to find out.

I try to stick with what the rider himself does. It is too easy to dislike riders because of foolish things their fans say and do.
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Old 12-20-06, 12:15 PM   #12
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I'm a fan of CSC. How I picked them I guess I can't say. I guess I started rooting for Ivan Basso in 2005 and just kind of extended that to CSC and as I watched more races I started to like several of the riders on CSC. Basso is gone to discovery now, but I'm sticking with CSC.
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Old 12-20-06, 12:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodigy4299
I do not think that Michael Barry rode the TdF last year - correct me if I am wrong here.
you are not wrong. barry has never done a TdF. the last canadian to ride in the tour IIRC, was steve bauer.
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Old 12-20-06, 01:44 PM   #14
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I dig Paulo Bettini's style (nobody can read a race better IMO), and I'm rooting for Boonen to get back on form in the grand tours in 2007, so Quick Step. World champions 2 years in a row and a great classics team.

CSC is my other favorite - especially Zabriske and Schleck. I'm glad Basso is outta there.

I would really like to see Hincapie win Paris-Roubaix but other than that I expect Discovery to be pretty predictable in 2007, as in if they can test clean and work as a team they could mop the floor with everyone else in the grand tours.

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Old 12-20-06, 01:47 PM   #15
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I'm a big Jens Voigt fan, too. If I were to pick a favorite rider, it would be him.
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Old 12-20-06, 02:10 PM   #16
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I just follow Levi Leipheimer. My favourite team switches with him, I have Gerolsteiner and Discovery kit now . Some good runners up include Vinokourov, Boonen, Zabriskie, Valverde, and Bettini.
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Old 12-20-06, 02:46 PM   #17
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Are you more into the one-days or the tours?

I prefer the cobbled classics and love racing in the wind, so I have always followed the Dutch and Belgian teams, specifically anything Patrick Lefeveres has going. Quick-Step the last few years.
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Old 12-20-06, 03:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botto
you are not wrong. barry has never done a TdF. the last canadian to ride in the tour IIRC, was steve bauer.
Close. His last TDF was 1995. Gord Fraser rode in the Tour in 1997. Number 205 and abandoned as of stage 9.

And NO I do not remember this. I'm just reasonably creative in looking stuff up. The lead turned out to be in a list of Englsih speaking riders. Hope I didn't miss a French-Canadian who rode after Gord.
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Old 12-20-06, 04:20 PM   #19
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Jens and Vino are fun to watch/root for.

I'm also always excited to see an American doing well in Europe.
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Old 12-20-06, 04:21 PM   #20
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Oscar Freire and Micheal Boogard are two of my favorite riders; thus Rabobank is a team I like.

Mr. Freirie because he has big brass balls and will win in any number of ways, going in the sprint, out of a break, from 1k out, 3k out, bunny hopping a curb out of a break to take the short way around a traffic circle, etc.

Boogard because he's a slave for the chase. Hard, hard dude.
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Old 12-20-06, 04:26 PM   #21
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Definitely just watch a race or two and see what happens. You will usually find a couple of riders that you just seem to like.

Don't ask me why, but I seemed to just start paying attention to Jan Ullrich a few years ago. I guess I felt bad that he was never able to beat Lance Armstrong. (Let's not get started on the showing up out of shape, getting popped for using drugs, etc.)

Go Der Kaiser!
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Old 12-20-06, 05:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcheung
i'm following Disco for two reasons: Fuyu. Li.
Me Too...But for George. No one has given so much to make one team a force. I like George, reminds me of life...lots of sacrifice and not a lot of glory. Plus I like his fascination with the classics, especially Paris Roubaix.
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Old 12-20-06, 07:20 PM   #23
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Well I would say watch some races; also, follow some news sites on the internet and read as many interviews as possible. That way, you'll come to understand both a rider's racing style, and his personality. From there it should be easy to pick favourites. I have both favourite riders, and a team (CSC). I tend to prefer all-arounders who like to attack and animate races: Vino, Voigt, Di Luca, Valverde are all favourites. But I also now have a sense of personality from surfing the sites, and so Zabriskie has become a favourite because of his conviction to not take himself or the sport too seriously. I like that. As far as team ethos, CSC really appeals to me. I think what T-Mobile is developing this year looks pretty good too; although, I'll have to see how it plays out in the actual races.
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Old 12-20-06, 08:39 PM   #24
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I tend to watch the races for the racing. That said, I've found that I am starting to route more for riders than teams. Brajkovič and Levi on Discovery; Voight, Vandevelde and Zabriskie on CSC; and now (since they are riding Cannondales) the Liquigas team.
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Old 12-21-06, 03:58 AM   #25
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Just follow the team with only "clean" riders..... they will be the team at the back of the peleton
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