Cyclingnews has been doing this dream team thing for the past few weeks. They have asked a bunch of retired pros what team they would create if they could pick some former team mates, from any team they rode on, to make up their ultimate perfect team. So far they have had a bunch of English speaking guys like Allan Peiper, Robert Millar, Phil Anderson, then the token Spaniard with Carlos Sastré. Plus, like yesterday’s post addresses, David Millar. I guess British Cycling isn’t that thrilled about David’s picks, as I wasn’t yesterday. Or Lee at Crankpunk. He has some choice opinions, of course.
Anyway, I thought I’d make up my own dream team. Here it is, in no particular order.
Enough said. The best cyclist I’ve ever personally witnessed race. By far. Just having him as his own one man team would beat David Millar’s whole team in most races. I’d take Greg’s form from anytime from when he was 17 to when he was shot in 1987, so to when he was 26.
Bernard could fill in as a GC rider when Greg wanted to vacation. Otherwise, he would have to be a climbing domestique the rest of the time. I don’t think that would sit that well with Bernard, but since he has to ride on my team, then that would be his place.
Since Andy is a Grand Tour winner, he gets to ride for GC too sometimes. But in reality, he gets to go up the road on suicide breaks to cherry pick mountain stages so Greg can relax. Plus Andy knows where the highest quality food and wine is just about anywhere in the world, so I’d use him to refine my palate.
Super domestique and classics guy. He knew where to ride at all times in nearly every situation. He positioned himself better in the field than any rider I’ve seen. He would be the guy to negotiate any deals that needed to be made on the road.
You might not know of Michael, but I rode with him for a few years, lived with him in Boulder and know him about as well as anyone, I think. He could climb with the best riders in the world. Better sometimes. I personally witnessed him ride wheel to wheel with the best riders in the world at various times in his career. He would be a climbing domestique. I think racing in Europe would of been better for him than the States, but he never really had the opportunity for that. Another plus, he is well read, so he could be my current book to read picker.
Brian is a current team mate of mine. He has been for the past decade. He has more power than he knows what to do with. He came over to the US from Denmark as a long distance runner. He started cycling relatively late compared to most of us, in his mid 20’s. Brian can set tempo like no one I’ve seen. He would be responsible for all the flat riding. His wattage is off the charts, as anyone that has had the “pleasure” of being in a break with him can attest to.
Roy and I go way back. He is like Brian, a ton of power and always looking for somewhere to expend it. He was and is so crazy about the sport it is contagious. Roy and Brian setting tempo would kill the rest of the field.
Hardly any of you know of Tim. He is from Ames, Iowa and was an alternate on the 1984 Olympic Track team when he was a junior. He has 3 medals from Junior World Championships, but really never had a chance to see how great of a cyclist he could have been. Tim is one of my best friends and since that is the case, I pick him to ride with me on my team.
I have to be on my own team. I wouldn’t miss it. I like racing and I think I could keep these personalities in line, somewhat. Maybe not Andy. Or Bernard. These guys all have their own quirks and all could use some direction.
Team Director – Michael Fatka
Michael isn’t what you would think of as a normal team director. He is sort of an inventor and organizer. He let the riders make nearly all the decisions about any given race. I figure if you have the right guys on your team, there really isn’t anything someone in a car can offer. Michael took care of his riders better than any modern day team director I’ve known.
So that is the Cyclingnews 9 rider team. But since this is my post, not Cyclingnews’, I don’t have to follow Cyclingnew’s rules, so I want a few more.
So I’d take 5 more guys –
Hugh Walton. Hugh was faster than he even thought he was and just needed a few opportunities and could have won a ton of major races that finished in a sprint.
Davis Phinney. Davis is nearly like Lemond. He did what he did about better than anyone else. He could win US criteriums and stages of the Tour.
Ron Kiefel. Ron would compliment Brian and Roy during their pull fests. Plus, he could ride with Phil at the classics. Super strong and loyal rider.
Michel Vaarten. He was also super fast like Hugh. Was World Champion in the Kerin, but when he put in the miles, he was a force on the road. Plus, a super nice and funny guy. Great to hang with, so I would, hang with him.
Thurlow Rogers. Thurlow and I rode a long time together with Roy, Andy and Tim, so it would be a shame not having him around. He could do just about anything he wanted on a bike. He couldn’t climb with the best, but good enough to make it to hard finishes. Get him to the front with 3 km to go and let him go and the field would be hatin’ it. Super leadout guy.
Okay, that is it. Davis and Ron are kind of a stretch since we only really rode on the same team for one race, Cyclocross National Championships in Pacifica California. But, that still works. Actually I think Ron rode the Coors Classic for SRC in 1979 ( I didn’t get selected and rode for Anchor Steam Beer). I need Davis and Ron because I like to ride criteriums, so along with Hugh and Michel, we would have an unbeatable criterium team. UHC wouldn’t stand a chance.