Holm bemoans anti-Columbia sentiment
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Monday, November 23, 2009

Holm bemoans anti-Columbia sentiment

by Conal Andrews at 7:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Columbia-HTC director Brian Holm predicts a strong 2010 for the team, but expresses his frustration with the sentiment in the bunch towards his riders. Perhaps due to the fact that the team has clocked up over 150 wins in two years, he admits that other squads are very willing to let his riders do all the work.

"We don’t have many friends in the peloton,” he told Feltet.dk. “We saw this already in the Tour de France this year, where other teams would not cooperate with us. Also, we had a strange experience in the Vuelta. When Borut Bozic from Vacansoleil won the sixth stage in a mass sprint after we had won some [other] stages, some other riders yelled "Ha ha". The [Columbia] riders were furious in the team bus, but it proves just what we are up against.”

The dominance of the team in the sprints is one reason why other teams are unwilling to contribute to the pacesetting. Others such as Cervélo and Milram have ridden in the past, only to lose out to Mark Cavendish or Andre Greipel when it came to the final gallop.

It’s likely that things could be a little more difficult in 2010, though, as some of the big guns have now left. Those heading elsewhere include Kim Kirchen, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Michael Barry, George Hincapie and Thomas Lövkvist. Young riders such as Jan Ghyselinck, Rasmus Guldhammer and Martin and Peter Velits have been signed.

"Of course I am sorry to lose some of the riders,” admitted Holm. “Riders like Edvald Boasson – a really big talent, Thomas Lövkvist and George Hincapie, I’ll miss their qualities on the bikes, but certainly also them for the people they are.

“But I feel we still have a broad mix of winning riders, so we'll get over 50 wins again. Both Andre Greipel and Mark Cavendish will play their part, and I wonder if the others also are ready to step up.”

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