Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Duck Season! Wabbit Season! No--It's Contract Season!

So Leipheimer's going home to Discovery after Gerolsteiner let him go with his middling Tour. I'm happy for Leipheimer (no hard feelings against Gerolsteiner, who rode the best they could for him and the very fine Georg Totschnig), but what the hell is Bruyneel going to do with him? Send him around to win the short but prestigious multi-stage races at which he excels, like Dauphine and the Tour of Germany? Use his prior great Vuelta and Tour results to commit the team around him as a leader, in the two or so years left he has to be a grand tour contender? Where then does that leave tour-stage-winner/successor-in-residence Popo, and have they doomed George to the role of perpetual superdomestique except in the one-day classics he rides so beautifully and the occasional tt win? And if there's anything to the rumors that Ullrich's been talking to Discovery (and that he'll be able to come back even if they want him, which Leipheimer seems unconcerned about, with damned good reason I think), did Levi ditch team leadership (however rollercoaster the results) only to become a latter-day Hincapie? And will Bruyneel have the ability to craft an actual working post-Lance strategy for next year besides "let's see who doesn't tank too much first?"

So Kessler seems to be in contact with Astana, though everybody's pretty much in contact with everybody at this point I think. I would think that T-Mobile would bust their @#$ to keep him after his breakthrough tour, especially give their crap luck lately. More to come I'm sure!

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