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Tiny Nation Hosts Huge Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project with the Schlecks, Cancellara, O'Grady, Voigt

roadskater's picture

Get ready to cheer for the mouse that roars (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053084/) as Fränk Schleck and Andy Schleck plus former Saxo Bank riders (and others) will be joining them for a super team that looks pretty exciting. Other squads are looking strong, too, especially with some of the recent consolidation of major teams. 

Adding Fabian Cancellara is a huge boost for their team, since he's not only a world champion time trialist, but he is also very strong in one-day and one-week events, and a versatile top Tour de France rider. He is enough of a threat to require some expenditure of effort and attention from other teams, and he seems very intelligent and articulate, as well as a happy member to have in your group. 

Other notables for me (even if I can't say exactly why right now) in the Luxembourg group are Daniele Bennati, Linus Gerdemann, Fabian Wegmann and the seasoned veterans, Stuart O'Grady and Jens Voigt (the latter my favorite champion of usually-but-not-always-lost-cause attacks and brilliant, analytical, humorous, incisive observations). What I like about this team is that it is not just one superstar or even two brotherstars, but also has former and current great riders, with wisdom and loyalty to share, in Voigt and Cancellara. It's a young team, with Voigt, at 39, at least nine years older than the rest. It's OK. He's durable. We know that. And given a chance, he'll go on a flyer with some youngsters many days, out of boredom, madness, or genius. Who knows and who cares? Where Jens is, there's a chance even an uninteresting stage could turn out to be a great day to watch. 

The team may end up being called Leopard True Racing (http://www.leopard.lu/), or thus writ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxembourg_Pro_Cycling_Project.

Other interesting stuff on pro cycling 2011 and the teams...

So who do you think was the top rider, from what nation, on what team? What nation had the most in the top 10? 

How about 4 Spaniards in the top 10, 3 of the top 4 (for now at least), the top rider being Joaquim Rodríguez (huh? ha! awesome) for the Russian Team Katusha (Катюша). No other country had 2 or more top in the top 10. The only team with 2 in the 10 was Garmin-Transitions with a Canadian and a USAmerican, and the only other non-European was and Australian on the USAmerican team, BMC Racing. 2 for the last name Sánchez, 1 for huge nations! I like this ranking as it rewards lots of different styles of road racing skills. Contador and Evans are impressive as grand tour contenders placing well. Evans is impressive as one who has been around a while and still does well, if not as well as many expect sometimes. 

1 Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP)Team Katusha551
2 Alberto Contador (ESP)Astana482
3 Philippe Gilbert (BEL)Omega Pharma-Lotto437
4 Luis León Sánchez (ESP)Caisse d'Epargne403
5 Cadel Evans (AUS)BMC Racing Team390
 Vincenzo Nibali (ITA)Liquigas-Doimo390
7 Robert Gesink (NED)Rabobank369
8 Ryder Hesjedal (CAN)Garmin-Transitions307
9 Tyler Farrar (USA)Garmin-Transitions306
10 Samuel Sánchez (ESP)Euskaltel-Euskadi301

In the event listings, I note the two September one-day not yet classics Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal in Canada. Too bad one of these is not hosted in Ottawa, as that would be a nice pairing with Montréal...two beautiful old cities (as North America goes, that is).  And the USA still hasn't managed a tour of significance for the world rankings, but hopefully we'll keep trying. 

Oh by the way, check out this photo of Luxembourg with castles...and a crane, ha. http://road.cc/content/news/25932-luxembourg-pro-team-taking-shape-four-new-signings

This is a bunch I can pull for, along with the USAmericans who are coming along nicely on the Garmin-Transitions team (which I think merged with what was Cervelo TestTeam). Garmin-Transitions has Christian Vande Velde, Tyler Farrar, Julian Dean, David Zabriskie and notable Canadian, Svein Tuft. This team is hyperpacked, also including Dan Martin, David Millar, Johan Van Summeren, Robbie Hunter, and Tom Danielson. They may have problems picking who gets to roll when and where with so much talent. For more, see: http://www.slipstreamsports.com/garmin-slipstream-pro-team

Let's not forget HTC-Columbia and RadioShack, while considering the USA-based teams. Also we can pull for LeakyGas (Liquigas) young star Vincenzo Nibali in the Giro, as Basso seems set on another hack at the Tour de France (I don't see it happening with that team, but I'm not an expert). Alberto Contador has some waiting to do to find out if he'll roll with Saxo Bank or have lots of time off to do his own food shopping. Great rider, but I have to say, not so easy to pull for sometimes, probably as much as anything due to not being so eloquent in English, and me not being so earaquent in Spanish. 

Let's hope for some great competition and my vote is to not announce the winner of the Tour de Anything, Giro d'Anything or Vuelta Ciclista a Anything for enough months to figure out who they think cheated. I guess I should add Tour Down Under Anything if it is set to be considered a grand tour (not sure about that thought). Let's pull for less than superhumans who don't get too good or come back too fast to believe. And remember, don't take gifts of Spanish Beef from strangers, even if they are from your country. 

The Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project team, along with Fabian Cancellara: 

Fränk and Andy Schleck, Daniele Bennati, Will Clarke, Stefan Denifl, Brice Feillu, Jakob Fuglsang, Linus Gerdemann, Dominic Klemme, Anders Lund, Maxime Monfort, Martin Mortensen, Giacomo Nizzolo, Stuart O’Grady, Martin Pedersen, Bruno Pires, Joost Posthuma, Tom Stamsneijder, Davide Viganò, Jens Voigt, Robert Wagner, Fabian Wegmann, Wouter Weylandt and Oliver Zaugg.

Cancellara confirmed with Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project - Cyclingnews.com -

The Guardian

Cancellara confirmed with Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project
Fabian Cancellara has confirmed that he will ride for the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project in 2011. He confirmed his signing to Sporza at a ceremony in ...
It's official: Fabian Cancellara to Luxembourg Pro Cycling ProjectVeloNation
It's official: Fabian Cancellara joins the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Projectroad.cc
Cancellara joins Lux ProjectSkySports
Times of India -msnbc.com -BBC Sport
all 65 news articles »

[Pro Cycling & Bicycle Racing]


49° 36' 36.0144" N, 6° 7' 46.5456" E


eebee's picture

So it's a team, not a race

I was sitting here wondering where the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project was going to take place...

("Is this the party to whom I am speaking?")

They could still do a bit of damage to those 1,000 sq miles, though, and rather quickly too. 

My only other input to the subject is Frank Schleck's umlaut! This'd make it more Frenk-sounding, rather than Fronk-sounding. But they don't really mean Frenk; more of a cross between ah and eh, like the 'a' in apple - which is also a Christian name now, if your parents are Gwyneth and Chris - or the 'a' in Andy, as in Schleck.

I have a Dutch co-worker named Frenk. That's how his parents got around the issue.

roadskater's picture

Sorry for the confusion about Team de Lux

OK I am not worried if I used de in a wrong way. I'm sure I did. I just didn't help it. It was just a play on deluxe. And yeah it was kind of confusing what in the world I was yakking about. I meant to make a brief note and got carried away wikily by it all. I mean to go back and study those rider ranks again. Interesting outcomes and a good way to get to know a few names for next year's viewing pleasure. 

Regarding Frenk. I'm a Frenkophile. He's a nice guy. I guess Fraenk would be another way to write out the umlaut, but then I'd say it in some bad Scottish or Pirate accent. But I might do that anywee! 

There's much to learn between now and next season, but I am hoping to have some mild heroes who win sometimes, lose others, and maybe ride clean. Better yet how about I just not think of them as heroes, as they are just athletes after all, and how much can one expect from any humanimal we don't know at all, anyway? Hmm. 

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