Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bad taste for Bruyneel, what about us?

If Le Tour was a win for Disco and Contador it still left some bad tastes in many mouths... and for Disco's win to be followed by the sponsorship pullout and total disbandment of the team verges on... well, it's unusual, to say the least. And Bruyneel himself moving to the trouble-plagued Astana outfit? Possibly with Contador? Does anyone feel uneasy at all, whether justified or not?

Johan Bruyneel had some interesting things to say to CN here: Johan Bruyneel accompanies his star rider Alberto Contador to the USA for the Discovery Channel team's final race this weekend, the Tour of Missouri, bringing the Tour de France champion and a tinge of bitterness along for the end of an era. After eight years directing the organisation which was more successful than any team in modern memory, Bruyneel has eight Tour de France victories to remember but leaves with a bad taste in his mouth. Bruyneel became familiar with the whispers of doping which follow every modern Tour winner, having stood by Lance Armstrong as he fended off one doping accusation after another through press releases and lawsuits, but this year's Tour was too much."They have not let me enjoy Contador's victory in the Tour," the Belgian told Marca, complaining of the accusations of involvement with OperaciĆ³n Puerto which followed the Spaniard's victory. "With that atmosphere, it has been the worse Tour of my life," Bruyneel lamented. Not one month after the end of the Tour, the team's owner, Tailwind Sports, announced it would end its bid for a new title sponsor, effectively disbanding the organisation. Bruyneel hastily announced his retirement along with the news. He blamed the atmosphere surrounding Contador's win for his decision. "All of that was the main reasons why I did not desire to continue.