Discovery is done! Update: Hincapie joins t-Mobile

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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by jipperd

T-mobile is willing to contract Gianni Meersman. Meersman puts T-mobile on number one of his wish-list. They have already been speaking but no contract what so ever have been signed. He want's things to be clear asap. (source

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by santacruzxt

RollinOn27s wrote:
eurostar wrote:People shouldn't be upset about Tailwind folding. It's an important victory in the battle against doping. (I celebrated it with my first drink since March.) It proves to all the team managers, riders and sponsors that you can't survive in pro cycling unless you're willing to prove, week in, week out, that you're clean. Bruyneel did nothing to combat the doping culture. All he did was sit there saying 'we've never failed a test'. Big deal. If he'd signed up with ACE instead of Basso he would still be in business. Why didn't he? Complacency? Or did he have too much to hide? My money's on the latter. With luck, Bruyneel's failure will push ASO or ACE or somebody to take control away from the idiots at the UCI and save the sport before it's too late.

One would think that never failing a drug test in the 10 or so years as a team would indicate this. Or maybe that's just me...

So why aren't you so fervent about getting Patrick Lefevre out of the sport, then? Isn't he the HEAD of the ProTour teams council? One word for you: MAPEI.

(Not that I think Disco is clean...I just fail to see how a perfect record against doping positives stands for nothing against...words. People can say all they want about their anti-doping stance, but in some cases, like Sinkewitz/T-Mobile, what does that really even mean?)

+1 thank you. Why celebrate when Disco disolves? Are they seriously the worst in pro cycling? Let's say even before Puerto, who were the riders involved and what teams did they ride for? I don't remember one being on Disco. It was a mistake to make some of the hires they did, but come on, saying that disco is the dirtiest team in cycling is ridiculous.
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by eurostar

Let me put it another way. I used to do the PR for Oracle, which was reportedly one of the companies which might have replaced Discovery. If I was advising them now, this is the logic that my views would be based on:

1. Sponsorship is PR. Big sponsors who pay the $45m that Tailwind wanted are paying it out of their PR budget. They're not in the bicycle industry: they're in IT, telecoms, food, floorcoverings, hearing aids, whatever. They don't give a damn about bicycles. If cycling doesn't give them the right press coverage they choose golf or sailing.

2. Cycling has a nightmare PR problem: doping scandals. If you can't fix this problem, pro cycling will soon be stuck with bicycle industry sponsors only.

3. UCI and Wada are not fixing this problem. Maybe they can't. There is little they can do unless all the team managers actively help to catch the dopers and the sponsors pay for some of the testing bills.

4. Vaughters is the only DS who has taken this on board. He's had incredible PR even though he doesn't even have a Pro Tour team. He and Doug Ellis have pulled off a masterstroke. (It's a shame that this coverage has been for the team, not the sponsor. Oops.)

5. CSC and T-Mobile have tried to copy Vaughters with a little external supervision of their anti-doping programmes, and the French teams think they already have enough external supervision through the French federation. It's a start. But really CSC, T-Mobile and the French need to accept that Vaughters has raised the bar, and get up there to join him. Prudhomme has also recognised this.

6. Bruyneel, as manager of the most successful team, should have helped lead the clean-up campaign. Instead he hired Basso, did nothing about helping to raise the bar and was thrown out of the AIGCP.

7. Even if we accept that Bruyneel's team was clean - and maybe it really was - his business plan was stunningly naive so he deserved to fail.

8. The failure of Bruyneel to get a sponsor proves to all the managers that Vaughters was right and that Bruyneel was an idiot or a cheat or both. The collapse of Tailwind will, I predict, come to be seen as the turning point which forced the AIGCP, ASO, the national federations and the ACE to work out a unified approach to catching the dopers. That's my reason to celebrate.

9. A few riders will continue to dope, so there will always be scandals. In 2007 and 2006 there were just too many scandals so the whole sport became a joke, which risked every sponsor's investment. But at least the scandals got the sport a massive boost in coverage. In 2008 there's an opportunity for sponsors to get massive audiences for a good price IF they are perceived as strict on anti-doping. It's a great opportunity to buy some positive ethical brand values. Usually the most a sponsor can hope for is sheer brand awareness and perhaps a perception of being a winner, or having a big fat cheque book.

10. If a sponsor wants to take advantage of this, he has to find a DS who will go after the dopers - or at least be seen to go after them, and not be let down by a star rider. Vaughters is a great choice, except for the little problem that he won't win anything next year. Bruyneel was the worst choice because his price was very high and he thought that results were all that mattered. We can only hope that the AIGCP members and Prudhomme can learn from Vaughters and Bruyneel and get their act together. They don't have time to wait for McQuaid to think of something. He's irrelevant now.
Last edited by eurostar on Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by drjones96

I kinda agree....They tested non-positive time after time after time. They proved themselves to be clean under the dope control system that is in place.


Non-positive doesn't mean all that much. All it means is that USPS/Disco probably had better docs and internal testing and blood and urine management than anyone else.

OK....was just thinking the other day. What if the UCI/WADA/USADA or some other authority had in their possession solid proof that they had been duped all these years by USPS/Disco. What if they pressured them to close up shop or face ridicule on a scale never before seen. Can you imagine if they had solid proof that Lance doped in every tour? I don't think anyone other than EURO or DocRay would like to see that happen. It would just cast a huge cloud over the last decade of the sport.

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by jay cee

is it the same Doug Ellis?

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by RollinOn27s

Eurostar: I still fail to see why you are so convinced that they failed to find a sponsor. While some people might not believe Bruyneel an honest person, why would they lie about being "90% at terms of finding a sponsor"? What purpose would that serve them? Why even mention it if it weren't true?

In my mind, I think that they found several willing suitors, but hadn't knocked out the final details or signed anything yet. I have a hard time believing that the most successful team in cycling (think WORLD view: TdF wins) in the past 10 years would have trouble finding a sponsor, despite the doom and gloom around cycling. T-Mobile hasn't done sh!t lately, nor have Cofidis, CA, etc., yet they're all back for next year.

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by BW

jay cee wrote:is it the same Doug Ellis?

it must be :?

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by eurostar

OK, suppose the 90% story is true, and Tailwind was following its conscience by acting in the potential sponsor's best interests to call off the deal. In that case Bruyneel would have been saying 'we're clean, but the sport has been tarnished by those morons at Astana, and Sinkewitz and Moreni'. It's still Bruyneel's fault that Contador was not applauded as a clean winner and the saviour of cycling. If Bruyneel had taken some anti-doping initiatives over the last year Contador would be a hero, instead of a suspect and a reject who isn't wanted at the Cyclassics. Bruyneel's had a whole year to get his star distanced from Puerto and he's done sod all except make Disco look even more dodgy than it already did by hiring Basso. He has to take a lot of the blame for the fact that yet again the Tour winner is suspected of being dirty. Contador is so young and appealing that he could have easily been positioned with the new wave of supposedly clean heroes like Gerdemann. Bruyneel's thrown away a brilliant opportunity. Why? Again, I can only see two explanations - either he's stupid, or a cheat.

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by eurostar

BW wrote:
jay cee wrote:is it the same Doug Ellis?

it must be :?

Here's Doug. He seems to be the brains behind Slipstream

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by flying

Turning all of this into another Disco was on drugs thread misses the bigger points.
Today it is Unibet for all the *other* reasons.....aka: political egotistical stupidity.

Dope or not cycling is in a sorry state & not worthy of most companies sponsorship dollars. Sorry state of affairs really.

Breaks my heart really. It took many decades to get pro cycling to where it was in terms of visibility & rider wages. If anyone thinks this is working out just great.....just watch the next few years. As this market gets flooded with out of work riders & accessory workers. Sponsors leave resulting in fewer legit teams. Guess what happens to wages of all at that point?

Folks like eurostar who celebrate all of this I really do not understand your short thinking at all.

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by drjones96

It's going to take years.....maybe a decade to build pro cycling's reputation back up.

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