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Date Posted: 12:15:58 08/27/04 Fri
Author: LAHobo
Subject: Re: Anyone Else Want An American Team?
In reply to: perseguidor 's message, "Re: Anyone Else Want An American Team?" on 11:45:56 08/27/04 Fri

>I don't understand this. Surely the situation is this:
>USPS/Discovery have a limited number of development
>slots for young riders and they may also not be a good
>"fit" with some young riders and what they want to do
>(same is true for any team). If some of the young US
>riders go to other teams, it means that more US riders
>will get the chance to turn (properly, Division 1 not
>local) pro and also that they can maybe go to a team
>where they think they will do better. So, whilst it's
>obvious why you want USPS/Discovery to carry on
>developing US riders and that's fair enough, I really
>don't get why it's a problem for them to go to other
>teams as well. If Discovery aren't the primary
>development team for US riders, that would be a
>fantastic thing for US cycling (you'd have to have
>loads of riders in the peloton).

I wasn't really thinking of development in the context of neo-pros or really young guys like that. More along the lines of strong domestic racers who are ready to make the jump to the European racing scene. My thought is really that, all other things being equal, an American team is probably the best place for a young American rider to get integrated into European racing. To go from domestic racing to European racing is a pretty big adjustment and, IMO, would be much harder if the change meant going to a team with a different culture/language. Would Landis have developed as well had he gone directly to T-mobile, Cofidis, Kelme or some other team? Maybe, but I doubt it.

I would like to see an American team feel a sense of obligation to really try to sign a guy like Danielson (yes, I know that USPS had some sponsorship issues at the time) so he could become acclimated to European racing without worrying about being able to communicate with teammates or the DS. If after a couple of years he feels comfortable enough in Europe to move to a foreign team then that's ok. In the long run I think his chance for success would be improved.

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