Australian-based professional cycling team

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by JAPANic, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. JAPANic

    JAPANic New Member

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    Evans welcomes Australian team idea

    Cadel Evans could envisage being on the same team as fellow Australian Tour de France star Michael Rogers, but adds only one of them can be leader.

    Evans is encouraged by Tuesday's news that travel company Roamfree.com is prepared to contribute $20 million over four years towards the creation of an Australian-based professional cycling team.

    The main goal of the team would be to contest the Tour de France, a long-held goal in Australian cycling.

    Evans made history last month when he finished second, the best result by an Australian in Tour history.

    Rogers, who was 10th last year, was in contention for the yellow jersey when he crashed in stage eight, suffering a shoulder injury that forced him out of the race.

    The backers of the Australian team concept are keen to unite Evans and Rogers in the same team.

    Evans currently rides for Belgian team Predictor-Lotto and Rogers is a key rider for German powerhouse T-Mobile.

    "My idea of a team is that the guy who has the best chance to win the Tour de France, everyone in the team works for him - whether it's him (Rogers) or me, I don't have a problem with that," Evans said.

    Over the next few days in Beijing, Evans and Rogers will be able to discuss the idea of becoming full-time team-mates.

    They will be part of an Australian squad that will compete in two test events over the Olympic road courses.

    Evans is enthusiastic about the Australian team concept, but stresses much has to be done before the idea becomes reality.

    The backers plan to have the team operating in 2009 and have called for another major financial backer, plus federal government support.

    They will need a budget of about $15 million per year to run the team properly.

    "There's been a lot of talk, but finally there's something strong in it and a real step forward," Evans said.

    "All the talk in the world doesn't amount to much, but this is one step in the right direction.

    "While it's still a long way from having an Australian team in the Tour de France, we're a lot closer than what we were before."

    Evans added he will have a lot to think about next year if the Australian team starts bidding for his services.

    His contract with Predictor-Lotto expires at the end of next season.

    Evans has enjoyed three pivotal years at Predictor-Lotto, making his long-awaited Tour de France debut in 2005.

    He finished eighth in his first Tour, then fifth and now runner-up to Spaniard Alberto Contador.

    "The team will be aware of that (the prospect of an Australian team) now as well and thinking about it," Evans said.

    "We'll see what comes of it, probably in the middle of next year.

    "I've put a lot of work and effort into making it more of a general classification team.

    "As we saw in the Tour, we're just starting to get there now - it's been three years of my energy and time and the team's time and resources."

    Evans' Predictor-Lotto team-mate Robbie McEwen also comes out of contract late next year and has been a key figure in the development of the Australian team idea.

    © 2007 AAP
     
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  2. tafi

    tafi Member

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    If the article comes from an Australian paper and it's about cycling then it's likely to be rubbish.

    Journalists here think that the Tour is the only race in the entire world (O'Grady's win in Roubaix didn't even rate a decent mention in the Herald).

    Remember that the Australians tend to be leaders of their respective teams at one time or other. Bringing them all together will be a massive ego issue and cost a lot more than $20 million. Can you imagine Mark Renshaw, McEwen, Al Davis, CJ Sutton and Baden Cooke being good teammates for each other? I don't think so.

    Personally I don't believe that a cycling team is something the federal government should be interested in either. There are plenty of better places where public money should be spent. Professional sports should be among the last to get government assistance.
     
  3. Scotttri

    Scotttri Member

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    I agree and disagree. Yeah it would be hard to see all those guys working for each other, but who said they'd all be in the team. Maybe a couple of sprinters, The likes of evans and Rodgers working together could work, throw in O-Grady ( Not sure Mcewen and him would work ) Magee and you have the start of a good team, and there is a lot of young talent around.

    As for money well spent I think the South Australian.com team has proven there can be alot of Tourism generated from the ight marketing
     
  4. tafi

    tafi Member

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    I'm sorry but you cant tell me that the South Australia team was a big hit with the average Aussie punter.

    SA is a nice place which was already well visited before the tourism bureau decided to sponsor a team, and if you asked the average visitor why they went there, I'm pretty sure the team wouldn't rank as a very good marketing ploy.

    Th real racing is in Europe and that is where you need to move to if you want to get on. To that end anyone setting up a team needs to have something to sell to Europe.

    Until we get a decent race here every year, which average people are going to pay attention to, there won't be any point to a national team.
     
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