Nygaard: Riders were told to take a train home after team time trial
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Friday, March 16, 2012

Nygaard: Riders were told to take a train home after team time trial

by VeloNation Press at 7:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Former Leopard Trek general manager speaks of frustrations

Brian NygaardBrian Nygaard has held off for quite a while about speaking about his time with the Leopard Trek team last year but now, several months after being released from his post as general manager, the Dane has spoken of a lack of understanding about cycling from those who backed the team.

Nygaard gave details to the Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten newspaper, with one anecdote showing a bizarre approach. It relates to the team time trial in last year’s Tirreno Adriatico, where the stacked lineup could only finish seventh.

He said that he received a call immediately afterwards ‘from management’, and was asked the reason for the team’s modest showing. He said that it was down two riders as Joost Posthuma and Tom Stamsnijder had been dropped during the test.

That happens a lot in such efforts, but the response he was given was staggering. “Okay. Take them to the train station and send them home. If they cannot sit on wheels, then they are not good enough,” he relates. “They can come back [to competition] when they are strong enough.”

Nygaard is frustrated by what he said were a series of similar incidents.

"The people who backed the team were not from inside the sport, and therefore there was no understanding that we did not win all the races that we took part in,” he explained.

The person who made the call was not identified, but the team’s chief backer was the businessman Flavio Becca. He remains a big part of the team, although RadioShack, Nissan and Trek are also putting cash into the squad.

The team includes riders such as Andy and Frank Schleck, Fabian Cancellara, Chris Horner and Jens Voigt.

Nygaard is now the chief media officer with the new GreenEdge team.
 

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