Wednesday, May 22, 2024
HomeNuggetsThe VV View: Contract Negotiations and Grand Tour Podiums

The VV View: Contract Negotiations and Grand Tour Podiums


I was coming down the ‘parachutes’ in the Transit on Friday – the old East 25 course – when I got the text message from Dave; ‘Garcia and Hesjedal away with two K to go’ and heading for a “Grand Tour Podium”.

I was talking to Ryder only last night about his great ride on stage 9, when he was second to Simon Gerrans; then the next text came in; ‘Your man has won!’

When one of the riders that you have built up a relationship with has big win, it’s a nice feeling – not just another cyclist winning another race — something warm, close to the heart.

Nice one, Ryder, you deserve it — you made my day, dude.

Grand Tour Podium
Ryder Hesjedal wins big!

‘Sky fever’ — I’ve got it too and we’ll shortly have Scott Sunderland on the site telling us the inside story about the recruitment – as soon as all the names are out.

We’ve been hearing the rumours — and facts — for days now, but in the end we decided to keep quiet about them; we could have landed a few folk in hot water if we’d published them.

And since it’s been printed in the press; the big rumour is that Brad goes to Sky — but here’s the sweetener — Bert goes to Garmin.

But we didn’t tell you.

Grand Tour Podium
So, it’s official. Or is it?

We knew most of the riders and the bike sponsor around ten days ago; we know honourable equipment sponsor too, but we’re not telling!

Grand Tour Podium
We don’t like them negative waves either.

The Guardian ran a big piece yesterday on Team Sky, complete with a colour pic of Brad.

But here’s the thing — why so much coverage of Team Sky when the third biggest race on the planet is in full swing and hardly a word is said about it?

Ah yes, of course: it’s not the Tour, there hasn’t been a drugs scandal yet — let’s hope it stays that way — Lance isn’t riding it, and Team Sky isn’t riding it.

It was the Donald Sutherland character, ‘Oddball’, in the movie Kelly’s Heroes who didn’t like; ‘them negative waves!”

But I have to say that I hope that this ‘Brad Mania’ is well founded — being fourth in a Grand Tour is one thing, getting on the podium is another, but winning is a different ballgame altogether.

Grand Tour Podium
Bert will be riding Specialized next season. Photo©Martin Williamson

‘Now,’ is Contador’s time — no one can beat him in the Tour; and it’s damn certain that whichever team he goes to, he’ll have a band of dedicated Spaniards around him who won’t have any problems with divided loyalties.

He’s not at the top of his powers yet and he won the 2009 Tour with half a team and in a war zone; rather than the atmosphere of harmony and tranquillity that an athlete ideally needs to excel.

Laurent Dufaux, Christophe Rinero, Christophe Moreau, Santiago Botero; all of these riders have placed fourth in the Tour – Bobby Julich made the podium, but Tour winners…