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Walter 07-19-03 10:04 AM

If you were Bianchi team management
Who do you look to sign next year?

Ullrich has shown that he's dealt with his personal demons and has a very real shot at winning this year, essentially w/o team support.

I think most would dispassionately agree that if Bianchi was anywhere near on par with USPS the GC would probably be different.

Ullrich is thinking about mountains and one more TT but I'm sure team management is looking ahead.

Bianchi has reasonably deep pockets and one of the very top riders. So who do they try to add for next year?

~LongRider~ 07-19-03 11:07 AM

A couple climbers would do wonders for their team. They have the time trials covered pretty well.

don d. 07-19-03 07:26 PM

This is old info. Sorry. I didn't look at the date. I read something recently about Mercatone Uno and Bianchi getting together again but I can't find it.'s search engine is not working right. I think i read it there. Anyway, how about Pantani and Ullrich on the same team? Mercatone Uno is committed to Pantani if he comes back. But not really sure about it. I'll post here if I find it.

lotek 07-19-03 08:59 PM

Don d. I don't think it would work, Pantani still
thinks he has the legs to dominate a grand tour
and I don't see him sitting second to anyone, even
Ullrich. I think Bianchi needs to look at a few of the
spanish riders to support Jan and in turn learn
TT. (similiar to Heras and USPS).


don d. 07-19-03 09:33 PM

It does seem like a marriage made in hell, but...

...IF Ullrich even stays with Bianchi, and there are no guarantees that will happen, and...

...IF Mercatone Uno and Bianchi get back together, Mercatone Uno is committed to Pantani, and Ullrich and Pantani do get along; Pantani was more than willing to ride this Tour with Jan, just for the chance to give Lance grief; and Pantani could ride for stages instead of GC while Ullrich rode for GC. Jan already has Casero who has won the Vuelta.

I'm not saying this is going to happen. I also don't think Bianchi is going to go it alone next year as sole sponsor. This year's solo sponsorship is a rescue operation.

I don't know if anyone remembers that Marcel Wust, the Team Manager for Coast, quit in protest after Bianchi took over because Bianchi "renegotiated" everyones salaries way down. So there could still be residual fallout from Bianchi's handling of this whole rescue operation . The whole situation there is not real stable.

I just saw an article and thought I'd stir things up. I wish I could find it now.:) :confused: :)

easyrider 07-19-03 10:08 PM

Pantani attacked teammate Garzelli when he was winning the Giro a few years ago. No way in heck this deal ever goes through. Pantani can't help Ullrich when he is minutes behind him on a climb and probably wouldn't even if he could. Pantani is all about Pantani. Can anyone name a time he rode to help someone else?

Jaimie65 07-22-03 07:34 PM

Now that the world knows that Ullrich is the real deal again, speculation on where to from here will continue to mount - particularly given the quality of this year's race and the popularity that is being generated world wide.
As for Pantani's future, who know's, anything could happen between now and the finalisation of next year's contracts. He knows that there are no Tour podiums left in his legs yet his fans appear not ready to release him.
Will Ullrich leave Bianchi? I hope not. Ideally a marriage between a Division 1 Team that desperately needs a class grand tour GC man and Bianchi can happen. There will be some teams doing a bit of Grand Tour soul searching after this year's tour and Ullrich effectively brings Div 1 status to wherever he joins. I wonder.....
My guess is the celeste jersey next year may have a little more printing on it.

k2bikerider 07-22-03 08:12 PM

I agree that Ullrich would have a better shot if he had the team support, Hopefully he will stay with Bianchi, and team mgt recruit some team members to assist in supporting Ullrich.

dumpstervegan 07-22-03 08:15 PM

If I were Team Bianchi I would (in this order):

1) Sign me and give me a handsome signing bonus.

2) Provide me with a nice new bike.

3) Force Ullrich to be my personal coach.

4) Make me ride my ass off all day, every day.

Hunter 07-23-03 06:58 AM

I would never have signed Ulrich to begin with. Given tha mount of money professional athletes make, if you act as he has I would not risk the negative publicity of having that problem. Same goes for any other sport.
Lets get real there are many occupations that if you fail a drug test or are found with them you are done. Same should be for athletes no exceptions.

pgreene 07-23-03 07:41 AM

seems like what bianchi needs, postal gots. jan needs beltran back. i bet posties grabbed him both to help in the mountains and to keep him from helping jan.

FOG 07-23-03 08:36 AM

How about one of the winners of the giro or vuelte. Jan can really help there, and get help in the TdF. The quid pro quo between talented riders would be similar to what USPS does for Heras, except that Ullrich might actulaay ride and help in the other two races.

Walter 07-23-03 09:08 AM

The thing is could Ullrich ride the Giro well enough to actually help Simoni and still ride the Tour. As I've said elsewhere I'm old school enough to where I think "champions" should contest the whole season. However, that day is passing.

I'm not sure the knock on Heras is completely fair. He's had some bad days this year no doubt but was crucial last year, riding Beloki down. Now if you're talking about LA not riding the Vuelta for Heras, I'll grant you that point.

Hunter, I'm in one of those professions (teacher) where a failed drug test would probably end my career. However, I remember what it's like to be young (it wasn't THAT long ago) and I'll congratulate Jan for moving past all of that and getting his life and career going again.

Beltran riding for Bianchi might have made a difference. He picked up for Heras who's had a bad Tour and helped USPS no doubt..

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