Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Hushovd's move to BMC - punishment in place?

Yesterday Team BMC and reigning World Champion Hushovd confirmed the rumours that have been debated in the cycling community - he leaves Garmin-Cervelo for BMC. Hushovd signed a three year deal and will be closely followed during training in Monaco, something he says was important to him. At the same time, this indicates that he wasn't given the same follow-up while in Garmin. Team BMC will have people supporting Hushovd at several key training periods in Monaco, with a designated team car pacing him in the hilly mountains surrounding Monaco.

Hushovd's arrival at Garmin was debated back in the day, and many questioned tha fact that there were too many leaders in competing positions, something that could ignite some confusion within the team. I wrote a post about this in April, you can read that here.

Solo wins from Hushovd - a sight we'll be familiar with?.

The Vuelta
Last year, Hushovd did what many sprinters do, used the Vuelta as spesific training towards the Worlds. We all know how that went. Hushovd's personal coach told me before the season that Hushovd and he had three peaks as target for the 2011 season: the first week of April (RVV & P-R), the Tour and the Worlds. The two of them have identified that the Vuelta is a key factor for building and peaking the race form for the Worlds. Earlier this week, Hushovd's personal coach, Atle Kvålsvoll, said to that he fears Hushovd will be punished for not continuing riding for Garmin. Kvålsvoll says that if Hushovd's not allowed to race the Vuelta, the US Pro Cycling Challenge is a possible alternative.

However, as of yet, nothing is decided. Jonathan Vaughters has not commented on the matter. The fact that Hushovd did a superb tdf and is the WC could mean that his position in the Vuelta is secure, but history says that riders who won't contribute next year isn't always getting their number one priorities. Vaughters has been clear that in Garmin-Cervelo, the word "team" is the most important one, not individuality. Will Vaughters prioritize to have sprinters leaving the Vuelta half-way, or focus on a possible top five GC? On the other hand, the organisers and team sponsors will probably want the reigning WC in the Vuelta for publicity.

I guess time will tell.

Photocredit: Sirotti, downloaded here.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you were right.

    If Vaughters had shown any respect this year Thor would probably might have stayed at G-C Having failed to pay the promised world cup bonus, forcrd him to do Tour of califirnia which he did not want to do, ignored his success in Tour de France he has the nerve to punish Thor for leaving and puts his chance of retaining WC into jeopardy.

    Pity that pro tour teams have automatic entry into Veulta. If relied on invites, I am sure the organisers would have insisted the WC comes along or no team entry. The current system allows team managers to play god.

    I am sure the spectators would like to have seen the WC as well.