Do pro teams do anything special (besides offer big money) to attract riders to their teams? If I were a promising young rider, I think my deciding factors might look like this (feel free to add or rearrange):
1. Money- obvious
2. Role- more attractive to be team leader vs. sprint specialist/climbing specialist
3. Quality of Team- Then again, it would be rough as a team leader without good coaches and teammates.
4. Location- It would be nice to ride for an American team, but I'm not as patriotic as a lot of guys.
5. Team History- You want to make sure that big check will cash.
I'm sure there are other factors involved here. In basketball, teams try to lure players by having nice locker rooms with TVs and video games, fancy practice facilities, the best private jets, and so on. Teams are pretty competitive in trying to have the best of these things. Do pro cycling teams try to have the best bus and following cars or something like that? I was reading a book and a certain rider was saying how he had to stay in crappy little hotels in France. Why don't teams have big huge tour buses like rock stars? Maybe these would be too expensive? Or maybe a tour bus wouldn't make much better of a room than a tiny French Hotel.
And here are two more questions:
1. Historically, which team has been #1 in signing the best free agents?
2. Do you think riders care about what bike a certain team rides? My gut tells me no since these are guys with pride/ego in abundance who think they can win on any bike.