Delusions of Tom Danielson

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by musette, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. musette

    musette New Member

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    http://durangoherald.com/asp-bin/ar...ts&article_path=/sports/06/sports061224_1.htm

    Some gems from Danielson's recent statements about having Basso and Leipheimer on DC:

    "'Now is the time to develop myself as a figure in American cycling.' [comment: The word "develop" is key there, meaning he obviously is not a figure in American cycling currently] ... "My goal this year is to pick up where I left off in the Vuelta," Danielson said. "I started the last week (of that tour) as one of the best three guys in the race. [comment: only in TD's mind] I want to apply that experience this year, and apply it as early as the Tour of California."... "The Tour of California is not a good place to showcase that I can win the big race," [comment, I'm sure Leipheimer and Bruyneel are planning for Levi to be team leader there, so, yeah, Danielson, it's not a good place to showcase you will win the race because you will be working largely for Levi] he said, "but a good place to showcase what 2007 means to me as a cyclist." Also new in 2007 are a couple of big names on the Discovery Channel roster. The team has added Italian rider Ivan Basso, 29, winner of the 2006 Giro d'Italia, and American Levi Leipheimer to an already-potent 2007 lineup, and Danielson said he welcomes the additions. "Signing Levi and Ivan, two big-time riders, changes things from a media standpoint, I guess, but it really doesn't change the basic dynamics of cycling," he said. "If I'm the strongest rider on a tour, then they [comment: Does Danielson mean the team, or Levi and Basso specifically? If the latter, that's a joke!] will support me. If I'm not [comment: what makes Danielson think he will ever be the strongest rider when Levi and Basso are around as leaders?], then I support the strongest rider in the race. [comment: here is where his delusions of grandeur are evident] "But I plan on being the strongest rider in the race. That's how I plan to be the whole year." [comment: I'm sure Basso will have something to say about that, as well as Levi, Popo, Cantador if he is signed, Bruyneel, Demol, etc.] Cycling aficionados may dismiss that as some healthy trash-talk among teammates, but Danielson is sincere in putting out the welcome mat for Leipheimer and a rider known better to many by his nickname, "Ivan the Terrible." "Back in my Saturn days, when the team was full of great riders, that's when I really improved as a cyclist" he said. "A lot of teams have one good rider surrounded by lesser riders, but that doesn't really help you. If you do that, you can develop a false sense of security. But if you put with excellence with excellence [comment: the excellence of Basso and Leipheimer is, unfortunately, not matched by anywhere close to excellent for Danielson], then you can really skyrocket." "I welcome the addition of Ivan and Levi to the team because I'm striving for international excellence, not intrasquad excellence." [comment: Danielson won't be excellent intrasquad as a leader at most races, that's just a given. Look at his competition -- he can, however, strive for excellence as a domestique in most situations, including Tour of California!]
     
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  2. Walrus

    Walrus New Member

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    To me it sounds like Bruyneel is feeding this stuff to Danielson to i) keep him positive, ii) keep him in the team, and iii) keep the peace. If he told Danielson that he'll never be strong enough to lead the team with Levi and Ivan around, what do you think TD's motivation levels would be like? So Bruyneel tells him that he'll get the support of the team if Levi and Ivan are not riding as strongly (which we all know is highly unlikely)...and this acts as a carrot to keep TD hungry and in the team, giving Bruyneel a "super-domestique" for his stars. In Bruyneel's mind, it's better to have Danielson riding for Levi and Basso than for CSC or T-Mobile...that's my take on it anyway...:cool:
     
  3. rule62

    rule62 New Member

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    musette...I hate to break this to you but you have no future in coaching. :D
     
  4. musette

    musette New Member

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    But if one day I am a stronger cyclist than Basso or Leipheimer and I could somehow get on the DC team, then my team and my teammates will naturally allow me to become team leader immediately and Bruyneel will tell Basso and Leipheimer to become my domestiques (or, if I am nice, I will let them be known as my lieutenants). :p :D

    I have been learning motivation principles from Bruyneel. I hire a star whom I promise Tour and other leadership. But then a bigger star that I have always coveted becomes available and I decide to:

    1) Not consult the original star that I am planning to hire the bigger star.

    2) Post an article on my team's website making it clear that the original star is being relegated for the benefit of the bigger star:

    http://www.thepaceline.com/members/featureditem.aspx?cid=2867

    The article is entitled "original star adjusts to new role"

    Say in the article: "Asked how he thought original star would handle the changed team hierarchy, DS replied: "These guys are professionals. They're realistic. They know the difference between riders. From what I saw in the training camp, original star and bigger star were fine with each other."

    3) Have a press conference for a charity event involving the bike sponsor in the home town of my retired greatest star where I sit between him and the bigger (current) star, and relegate the original star to a little add-on table at the end.
     
  5. musette

    musette New Member

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    From a late October interview of Leipheimer, before Basso's signing:

    "TWR: Please tell us about your role on the [DC] team. Were you promised a leadership role at the Tour de France?

    LL: Yes, I was. But depending upon who else they sign, it might be a co-leadership role, which isn't a bad thing. They might sign another high profile rider before the end of the year and if so, we'll share the leadership. But there are other races that I target as well that I'll be the leader for, like the Tour of California, (Tour of ) Georgia, the Dauphine Libere, and the Tour of Germany, which I love as well. I think I can do well at or win those races."

    http://www.thepaceline.com/members/featureditem.aspx?cid=2784

    If I were Leipheimer, I would be really upset at Basso's signing. But, more importantly, I would talk to Bruyneel and tell him that it is imperative that I got sole team leadership for California, Georgia, Dauphne Libere and Tour of Germany. I would say that I was concerned about having to compete with Danielson, who has a track record of not resigning himself to the domestique role and who is so vocal about it.

    Leipheimer has to be less "low key" about things. He has to contend with Popo, wo, if he gains better form next year than this one, Leipheimer has to keep below him in te team hierarchy.
     
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