Emma Pooley linked with AA Drink-Leontien.nl as Garmin-Cervélo still sinking
  November 30, 2021 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Friday, December 2, 2011

Emma Pooley linked with AA Drink-Leontien.nl as Garmin-Cervélo still sinking

by Ben Atkins at 11:11 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Threatened team looks to be losing biggest name to Dutch squad

emma pooleyEmma Pooley, Garmin-Cervélo’s highest ranked rider, is linked to a possible move to AA Drink-Leontien.nl, according to wielerland.nl. The British rider is the latest to be rumoured to be heading elsewhere since it emerged that the team, which is sister to the US-registered ProTeam of the same name, has a massive budget shortfall. Dutch rouleur Iris Slappendel attended the Rabobank team camp earlier in the week, and looks highly likely to be heading to the new Dutch team.

Pooley, whose 2011 victories included a second Trofeo Alfredo Binda World Cup, a stage of the Giro d’Italia – where she finished second overall – and the Tour de l’Ardeche, ended the season with a surprise bronze medal in the World championship time trial, on a course which didn’t suit her. She ended the year seventh in the International Cycling Union (UCI) World ranking, accounting for almost half of Garmin-Cervélo’s points.

Should the rumour be true, and the former British champion is heading to the team of retired Dutch cycling legend Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel, she will be reunited with former Cervélo TestTeam teammate Kirsten Wild. With a number of riders set to leave the green and blue Dutch team – including Worlds time trial silver medallist Linda Villumsen, and Trixi Worrack – there are currently only eight riders confirmed for 2012 and Pooley would be a welcome addition.

Garmin-Cervélo boss Jonathan Vaughters has confirmed to Bicycling columnist Joe Lindsey that riders are free to negotiate elsewhere. “I am confident they’ll find other teams,” he said. Should Pooley leave, the rest of the riders will be virtually forced to, since the team would not attract the same invitations without her; even if it managed to scrape together the budget to attend.

Garmin-Cervélo is – was – one of the few teams, or possibly the only team, to have a minimum wage; introduced when the riders’ contracts were with the Cervélo TestTeam. Luckily for most, Vaughters told Lindsey that he would make up the shortfall if the riders could not negotiate the same rate with their new teams. This, the one blessing in the situation, means that none of the team will be forced to take a pay cut; it is also good for the teams that recruit the Garmin-Cervélo riders, since they know they won’t have to offer as much as they might otherwise.

Pooley, the team’s biggest name, along with British champion Lizzie Armitstead and Italian champion Noemi Cantele, will likely be able to find a spot on a good team for 2012; Slappendel – as one of the top ten Dutch riders – looks to be heading to Rabobank; the rest of the team though, may have a less easy time.

The problem for many of the team’s “lesser” riders, who carry few points with them since they spent most of the year working for their more famous teammates, is the same as that of the men when it comes to negotiating with teams. Without ranking points they bring little bargaining power; most, or all, of Garmin-Cervélo’s domestiques could well end up at the sport’s smaller teams, and would likely not get the same quality of racing that they would otherwise have had.


Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC