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Ambitious? Yes, maybe. But how refreshing for a british sports team to be aiming high! You must remember this is being started by the same people that turned the GB track team fron the laughing stock of track cycling into the most crushingly successful team from any sport in a few short years.
We british are too cynical and always looking for the downside to everything, the forums are already full of people moaning about this deal.:mad2: What is there to complain about! Its fantastic news for british cycling which is finally on the way up. Still can't see High Road letting Cav go though!
 

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Anyone looking to invest in a cycling team in this economy is a good thing!

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How successful the team is will ultimately depend on finding a rider with a big enough engine, but I think that Dave Brailsford has decided that the Tour is something that can be tackled using his very analytical approach. Look at how they operate on the track - in the events that come down to numbers and times (the pursuit, the sprints and the kilo/500 m), they are very successful - knowing the Bradley Wiggins is capable of riding a certain time means that they know he should win gold. In the mass start endurance events where tactics play a bigger role, Britain are good, but not so great.

On the road, this approach is probably easier to apply to a Grand Tour than a one day event, as a 3 week race typically rewards consistency - be the fastest time trialler, and don't get dropped in the mountains, and you will probably win - this is exactly the approach that Armstrong used. Of course, luck plays a part, but by being very very organised, you make your own luck to a certain extent - the Brits show this on the track, Armstrong showed this in the Tour. The big question is whether there is a British rider who is physiologically capable of rising to that level in the next 5 years - Dave Brailsford obviously thinks so, I guess most skeptics think not.

In theory, this approach shouldn't work in one day racing, but the Brits showed with Nicole Cooke's Olympic/World Championship double that with a good enough rider, a strong enough support team, and enough attention to detail, they can make it work there too. Apparently Dave Brailsford wants Mark Cavendish to win the world championships in 2010 (in Melbourne, which will be a flat course), and they are already planning a similar approach there - building a strong enough team of British riders to provide Cav with the support he needs to become world champ.
 

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iamnotfilip said:
"A new [British] cycling team is to be set up with the aim of creating a British winner of the Tour de France by 2014.".
Will be interesting to see if they pursue Cavendish, Millar, Hammond, and Dan Martin. If there was such a 2014 Tour podium candidate, I'd think Martin would be the man. But, nationalism usually comes in second or third place in team selection, and I'm not sure these younger guys like Cav and Martin would want to leave the good thing they already have going.
 

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ultimobici said:
Why not? Postal took a mere 3 years.
Not strictly correct... the structure of Postal was largely in place for many years before it had Tour success through its previous incarnations as Motorola and 7-11.
 

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Tugboat said:
Not strictly correct... the structure of Postal was largely in place for many years before it had Tour success through its previous incarnations as Motorola and 7-11.
Postal was not part of Motorola or 7-11. They grew out of an Eddie B/Thom Weisel team.

moonmoth said:
Will be interesting to see if they pursue Cavendish, Millar, Hammond, and Dan Martin. If there was such a 2014 Tour podium candidate, I'd think Martin would be the man.
While Dan started his career in Britain he has changed back to Irish nationality has said he will represent them for the rest of his career.:thumbsup: He is a legit Tour podium contender.....and when he does you will see me in my Emerald Green Speedo running next him on Alp d'Huez!
 

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bigpinkt said:
Postal was not part of Motorola or 7-11. They grew out of an Eddie B/Thom Weisel team.
Technically Postal was a new team because the licence changed hands but effectively it was the same team as Motorola after taking the core of riders, support staff and management when Motorola ended their sponsorship. Had that not happened then US Postal wouldn't have entered the sport (at least not at the top level).
 

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Tugboat said:
Technically Postal was a new team because the licence changed hands but effectively it was the same team as Motorola after taking the core of riders, support staff and management when Motorola ended their sponsorship. Had that not happened then US Postal wouldn't have entered the sport (at least not at the top level).
No, it wasn't. US Postal was already a team in 1996 when Motorola announced they were leaving the sport the following season. Lance, Kevin, Bobby and Frankie all went to Cofidis when Motorola folded. Yates retired and managed Linda Macartney team. Och went to work in Weisel's office as a banker. Sciandri went to FDJ, Alex went to Polti.......The only guys who went to US Postal were George Hincapie and Freddie the soigneur.
 

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Jokull said:
How successful the team is will ultimately depend on finding a rider with a big enough engine, but I think that Dave Brailsford has decided that the Tour is something that can be tackled using his very analytical approach. Look at how they operate on the track - in the events that come down to numbers and times (the pursuit, the sprints and the kilo/500 m), they are very successful - knowing the Bradley Wiggins is capable of riding a certain time means that they know he should win gold. In the mass start endurance events where tactics play a bigger role, Britain are good, but not so great.

On the road, this approach is probably easier to apply to a Grand Tour than a one day event, as a 3 week race typically rewards consistency - be the fastest time trialler, and don't get dropped in the mountains, and you will probably win - this is exactly the approach that Armstrong used. Of course, luck plays a part, but by being very very organised, you make your own luck to a certain extent - the Brits show this on the track, Armstrong showed this in the Tour. The big question is whether there is a British rider who is physiologically capable of rising to that level in the next 5 years - Dave Brailsford obviously thinks so, I guess most skeptics think not.

In theory, this approach shouldn't work in one day racing, but the Brits showed with Nicole Cooke's Olympic/World Championship double that with a good enough rider, a strong enough support team, and enough attention to detail, they can make it work there too. Apparently Dave Brailsford wants Mark Cavendish to win the world championships in 2010 (in Melbourne, which will be a flat course), and they are already planning a similar approach there - building a strong enough team of British riders to provide Cav with the support he needs to become world champ.
Many of Armstrong's Tour wins came with the strategy of attacking on the first mountain climb, and proving to be the strongest climber. Simply not getting dropped only worked after he had taken significant time out of everyone. Plus, the team needs to have support riders who can climb with the best, a team strong enough to keep any an all challengers in check, chasing them down through as much of two weeks of racing, leading the peleton by default, etc.
There are already problems if Cavendish is on the team. How much success have we seen from a team that tries to split the focus between winning sprints and supporting a GC contender?
Wishes are nice, but considering this team doesn't even EXIST yet, I think they should tackle the goal of making to a single mass start event before even talking about selection to a grand tour, much less winning one.
 

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It is just me or do most of the major British players in the world cycling scene come from the track or a sprinters background with no major climbers that I know of? That is the major issue holding back said British invasion of the tour. They can get wins but not in the mountains.
 

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jtw1n said:
It is just me or do most of the major British players in the world cycling scene come from the track or a sprinters background with no major climbers that I know of? That is the major issue holding back said British invasion of the tour. They can get wins but not in the mountains.
In the current group yes, but Robert Miller was a great climber.

The UK has turned out great TT riders. For years mass start races were not allowed in most places in the UK so all the big races were TT's
 

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Jesse D Smith said:
Many of Armstrong's Tour wins came with the strategy of attacking on the first mountain climb, and proving to be the strongest climber. Simply not getting dropped only worked after he had taken significant time out of everyone. Plus, the team needs to have support riders who can climb with the best, a team strong enough to keep any an all challengers in check, chasing them down through as much of two weeks of racing, leading the peleton by default, etc.
There are already problems if Cavendish is on the team. How much success have we seen from a team that tries to split the focus between winning sprints and supporting a GC contender?
Wishes are nice, but considering this team doesn't even EXIST yet, I think they should tackle the goal of making to a single mass start event before even talking about selection to a grand tour, much less winning one.
I'm inclined to agree - seeing how all this pans out is going to be interesting because there a lot of factors that must come together. What I wrote wasn't so much what I think, but what I think must be going through Dave Brailsford's mind that makes him think it is possible to produce a Tour contender in 4-5 years time. It is easy looking at this to be sceptical, but the team behind this aren't stupid (I assume), so if they're saying they have a plan, then I'm interested to see what it is (and will follow it with interest over the coming years).

I completely agree about Cavendish - if he is on the team, the only benefit would be to get quick publicity - he would add nothing to the long term aim of winning the Tour, and would probably take away from it. OTOH, he will always be entitled to wear a GB jersey at the world championships, so I am sure the plan to have him focus on the 2010 worlds will happen, irrespective of what trade team he is riding for.
 

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Cavendish will leave columbia when his contract is next up. I almost guarantee it.

With that being said, I think it's great that GB is putting together a road team. They really need to find someone who is already great at 19-20 years old, though, if they want to win in 5 years.
 
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