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adamastor 07-16-06 03:00 AM

Coalition Discovery / Rabobank
I am seeing various comments from retired cyclists, that there might be a coalition between Rabo and Disco to counter Floyd Landis.

The origin comes from the day before yesterday when Oscar Freire, by far the better sprinter, refused to chase Popovych, and always had Ballan do the job, until he gave up.

The deal would be for Rabobank letting stage victory(ies) to Disco against a little help in the mountains from Discovery to Menchov.

Big question now: WHY?

Well, two possibilities:
Johan Bruyneel and Erik Breukink rode together with ONCE
Landis and Armstrong never were in good terms. Armstrong was not happy, when Landis signed with Phonak. He wouldn't be happy to see him win the Tour either [by the way, find me a nice comment from Armstrong about Floyd Landis after 2005, and during this Tour].

Your thoughts on this? Or have you seen/heard/read something I missed?

Hitchy 07-16-06 05:55 AM

(sigh)...I could give you any number of reasons why this conspiracy scenario is unlikely (or at least no more likely than any other 2 teams getting together), but I can't be bothered...suffice to let the peleton say 'I told you so'

EURO 07-17-06 06:00 AM


or at least no more likely than any other 2 teams getting together
Hmmmmm. This happens all the time. DS from one team speaking to DS from another team on the cell phone - happens all the time.

CyLowe97 07-17-06 06:11 AM

CycleSport had a few articles last winter outlining how Alan Peiper (sp) of Davitamon-Lotto and Sean Yates of Discovery worked together to help keep Paolo Salvodelli in the Maglia Rosa in the 2005 Giro.

Sounds like there is a lot of give and take in the peloton.

Some speculation has it that Phonak 'gave away' the yellow jersey to Oscar Periero, as he is a former Phonak rider, as well as perhaps some agreements that Periero assist Phonak in the Alps. Is it worth Periero's while in the Maillot Jaune for a few days knowing that he may just be giving it back in a few days? It may sound fishy, but I'm guessing Casse d'Epargne/Illes Balears don't mind flashing their names at the top of the GC for a while...

adamastor 07-17-06 06:26 AM

it will be interesting though to analyse the 3 coming stages. You could also see a coalition Phonak / Caisse d'Epargne, if Pereiro cannot follow in the mountain stages, in other words:

Disco helping Rabo for Menchov
Caisse d'Epargne helping Phonak for Landis ( Pereiro is an ex-Phonak rider )

In the famous stage won by Popovych:

1) off cameras, Popo had a long chat with Freire
2) Ballan said after stage "Freire told me, he was not allowed to chase"
3) according to QuickStep team, Freire disappeared after stage, looking angry. Later he said: "I couldn't follow, I wasn't strong enough, not strong enough,..."

Coalitions are very common, I agree. Let's see how this develops.

Hitchy 07-18-06 04:30 AM


Originally Posted by adamastor
Coalitions are very common, I agree. Let's see how this develops.

agree totally, but in order for an 'arrangement of mutual benefit' to work, both sides need to have something to offer. In the 'coalition' you've proposed, Disco have nothing Rabo want or need. Rabo will be stronger in the mountains than disco, with Menchev, Chicken & the boogieman all being stronger than anything Disco can muster...doesn't make any sense to form a 'coalition' with a team that has little or nothing to offer. Hell Rabo may as well make a coalition with me....I promise to drink lots of beer on their behalf :D

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