Thursday, July 05, 2012

Embattled 'Shack actually doing well everywhere - France, Austria... TdF

The flipside of controversy and disruption is - perhaps ironically - team bonding? It's hard to imagine a worse scenario for RadioShack-Nissan, with several current and past members of the team embroiled in their individual doping allegations, pay disputes, injuries and seemingly unending speculation about the team's future. You'd think that losing master tactician Bruyneel (Armstrong-related doping allegations), plus last year's TdF 2nd place rider Andy Schleck (through injury) would be enough but no, they also have Fuglsang fuming about being overlooked for the TdF and a number of riders awaiting overdue pay. Yet here they are leading 2 stage races at once!

However it isn't all rosy.

Fuglsang is at least partly trying to prove (I imagine, as I haven't asked him personally) that the team made the wrong decision in sending him to Austria when he deserved to be racing in France instead. In doing so he's inadvertently 'proving' that the team was actually right - he's currently leading the race he was sent to! He may well be motivated by the 'snub' but he's doing exactly the job intended. Whilst it's motivational genius it's hardly surprising...

And isn't Cancellara just doing what Spartacus does? Win the prologue, hold onto the yellow jersey for as long as possible (first mountain stage, perhaps?). He is above all of the controversy and simply doing his job. Self-motivated, really. Yes, the team is there to support the yellow jersey but guys like Jens Voigt will simply do their job, irrespective, so again it's "situation normal".

The real test for RadioShack-Nissan will come when Cancellara eventually finds lifting his weightier TT-er body over the mountains too much. And teh team will turn to Kloden and Frank Schleck to deliver. Can they? Will they? It'll be fun to find out! 
Fuglsang Earns Overall Lead At Tour Of Austria |
Left off the RadioShack-Nissan roster for the Tour de France, Jakob Fuglsang has fought back at the Tour of Austria, winning stage 4 and moving into the overall lead.

It was the team's second yellow jersey of the day on Wednesday with Fabian Cancellara not threatened at the Tour de France.

"I'm super happy with this win and the overall," said Fuglsang following the 141.3km stage. "It is certainly defendable and we're going to do everything we can to bring the yellow home. It's cool that the team has the yellow jersey in two different stage races."

Bruyneel Asserts Innocence Regarding USADA Doping Allegations |
"I have never participated in any doping activity and I am innocent of all charges," read a statement on Bruyneel's personal website. "I am dismayed that once again doping allegations have been raised against me, this time by USADA.

Tour De France 2012: Stage 4 Results |
The top of general classification remains unchanged as Fabian Cancellara continues in the yellow jersey with a seven-second lead over Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).