23 July, 2009

The Livestrong-Radio Shack Team Debuts in 2010

While I can't believe, like many, Radio Shack is still in business, they are and are using their ad budget to sponsor a team led by Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel.

Here's the LA Times Story. Lance, ever ahead of the press, made an announcement via his vlog on his Livestrong site.

Not exactly a forward-thinking brand that has an "it" factor. But maybe that's why they're making the deal.

It's a given that the team will also have supplying sponsors Trek, Nike, SRAM, Oakley, Giro, Carmichael Training Systems. Lance will probably also have some deep-pocketed friends chipping in here and there.

The question for cycling fans, is what kind of team will it be? Are they going to build a complete team that competes at the classics, one-week stage races, and grand tours?

Or, since it's an american sponsor, they can do whatever at all Euro races, save the Tour. They're almost certainly going to drop Alberto Contador, Andreas Kloden, and all the Kazakh riders. Will Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner come along knowing that they can have personal ambitions at most races, just not the Tour? Gotta wonder if that will be the carrot for whomever else they sign--you can do whatever for the rest of the year, but you have to be at 100% and be ready to give 110% of that for Lance at Tour time. No more of Lance having to compete with an equal.

There will probably also be a small American development component, led by phenom Taylor Phinney. Not sure what will become of that.

Some are already speculating if the team will be known as Liveshack? I'm wondering if it will be Lanceshack.

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