Canada is putting itself on the cycling map starting at the same level a certain Slipstream team did just 5 years ago. The team has the backing of businesses that love and adore cycling first; see it as a vehicle for advertising their product second. Of course they need to make their businesses viable, but the fact their backing it is not purely a boardroom decision really helps Steve Bauer get this project up and running. And the project is very similar to Team Sky’s UK dream all be it smaller scale; get to Le Tour as a Canadian team.
As far as Bauer is concerned, let’s face it, he is the only guy in Canada capable of pulling this off with any semblance of credibility. He is Canadian cycling. I grew up reading of Steve Bauer as the Fenwick Flyer out of Stoney Creek. I was 13 jumping up and down in my living room with his epic ride at the 1984 Olympics. They showed a montage of video last night and it was amazing how a guy from Stoney Creek made it in Europe. And Steve looks like he can get on a bike and crush all of us tomorrow.
Also, he has some riders that are good and of course that is critical! Gilbert, Roth, and Randell will get some results but everyone really keep your eyes on Euser.http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/euser-signs-on-with-spidertech-presented-by-planet-energy-in-2010 He can put out the numbers after talking with him last night and he really respects what the team is trying to do. He was chatting with us about how he learned of Planet Energy last year and it was that race experience that made him listen to Bauer. It’s a win-win for Euser, he gets to rebuild his career and Bauer gets a rider of immense talent for at least 1 year.
The team will have some major challenges getting past UCI rules on pro tour races. They are by UCI rules not invited to the 2 pro tour races in Quebec in September but Serge the race organizer, and Bauer himself, have considerable clout with the UCI and are working with them to get a deal done. The Tour of California seems a certainty for the team and they must be front and center there on the TV camera to make a push into the media.
If this team can get a run of results and more importantly, a run of media spots this summer, the dream to build to the Tour in 2012 or 2013 is possible.
Personally I really hope it works and builds our sport towards a more professional and business focused future.
Please click www.pedalmag.com to read the write up of the event.