Bruyneel finalises chief team staff and lays out initial schedule for RadioShack-Nissan team
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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bruyneel finalises chief team staff and lays out initial schedule for RadioShack-Nissan team

by VeloNation Press at 11:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Three training camps to take place between now and January

Johan BruyneelJohan Bruyneel has confirmed the staff who will work alongside him as part of the RadioShack-Nissan team in 2012, as well as giving the initial schedule for those and the riders who will form part of the squad.

He will work alongside the current chief directeur sportif, Kim Andersen, although it is expected that Bruyneel will make the main tactical decisions in the major races, as well as Jose Azevedo, Dirk Demol, Alain Gallopin, Luca Guercilena and Lars Michaelsen. These met as a group for the first time last Sunday in Milan, one day after Il Lombardia, along with the technical manager Ricardo Scheidecker and logistics manager Barbara Van Maeldergem.

“Only time will tell on how the team will perform on the road next year, but based on our first meeting with the directors, I have a great feeling,” he said on his personal blog. “The nervousness is gone, replaced with excitement for the new season, the formation of a new team and the dreams and possibilities of achieving goals.”

The Belgian said that he took feedback from those who were part of the Leopard Trek this year in order to judge the best way to improve things. “A big part of my job is to listen. And I felt this meeting, more than ever, was a time for me to listen and understand, especially from Kim, Lars, Luca & Ricardo. What they thought went well last year. What they think needs to be improved upon. How can the team be better, stronger and more successful. It's not something that will happen overnight, but listening and understanding are the first steps.”

The first team get-together will take place from Tuesday to Thursday of next week in Spa – Francorchamps in Belgium. Those staff members plus the riders will be there, although there won’t be any on-bike training. As is the case with many teams, the first such meeting is about organising things for the following season and getting to know each other as a group.

“We'll meet as a group, as well as individually with each rider to talk about the past 2011 season, what they liked about their program and then some of their goals for the coming year,” he said. A draft programme will then be drawn up by the time of the next training camp, to take place in Spain in December. A third camp will take place in Mallorca in January.

Bruyneel commented further on the 2012 Tour de France route, acknowledging that it will be a challenge for his riders but also that the team was fully committed to trying to win the race. “With close to 100 km of individual time trialing, no team time trial and not many big mountain top finishes, it's a very different Tour. But we're not discouraged. We'll go with a very strong team, make the race hard and go into the time-trials in the best position possible. Knowing what happened in last year's final time trial and knowing the amount of time-trialing in 2012, I think we'll see some improvements from Andy. It's a big focus of ours.”

Despite being part of an ongoing investigation into the US Postal Service team, Bruyneel has been brought on board by Flavio Becca, chief sponsor of the current Leopard Trek setup. Several riders from the RadioShack team are moving across with Bruyneel, including Chris Horner and Andreas Klöden.


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