|HC||Liquigas||Credible leaders for all big races (ex. P-R), recognisable kit - takes all big races seriously|
|Tier One||Omega Pharma Quick Step||First rate classics team - comfortable with weight of favourites. Strong stage threat / shorter week races. Old skool - can play dirty peloton politics. Lefevre|
Negatives: Nowhere near as good post April, but no whining...!
|Sky||Strong all round team - Stage winning machine with Cavendish - big week long races covered with Wiggins. |
Negatives: Gimpy, chimps, marginal gains etc. Making out EBH is better than Merckx. Never really dominate - like to shut races down for Cav - DUUULL
|BMC||In theory, the best roster of riders by miles, with a classy tour winner, classy all round flatlander (Hushovd) and the best Ardenne rider for a while.|
Negatives: Can't actually seem to win anything. Seem to think that's ok. It's not.
|Tier Two||Movistar||Solid all round team, with exception of cobbles classics. No outright favourites for big races anymore. Shite kit.|
|Radioshack||The Schlecks, Cancellara. In theory, all the big races covered. Horner to clean up the pointless week long races:|
Negatives: The Schleck combo, Horner (waay too gimpy.) Bruyneel (sloan ranger bastard).
|Lampre||Good set of riders for GTs, hilly classics. Can pull of pink & blue without looking like gimps.|
Negatives: Positives are limited to Italian races. Cunego whines too much.
|Greenedge||Positives: Seem to win lots of races, unexpectedly.|
Negatives: They're all english speaking and say stuff like "surf's up" and eat "shrimps on the barbie". Just. Not. Cool.
|Euskatel||Positives: Bigging up the opressed seperatism through cool sport. The best example of cycling's beautiful European anachronisms. |
Negatives: Never win anything, especially not in the Pyrenees in the Tour, despite every commentator & pundit saying they'll be up for it. Crash a lot "bleeding carrots etc"
|Katusha||Probably a good bunch of riders, or a good bunch of doctors and scary men with macs, brief cases and concealed weapons. Oscar Freire|
Negatives: The above, except Freire.
|Astana||See above - but with slighty better riders, but no Freire. Probably a vehicle for a shady gov't. Never been European enough for me to bother finding out|
|Rabobank||Only squeeze into tier two by sheer force of will and cash. Richest team, been around a while, are great grassroots supporters.|
Negatives: full of riders with promise, no actual results. Have been tactically bizarre so often, it's now known as "doing a rabo". Pure rabo PTP picks will leave you very near last. A bad sign. Especially with their cash.
|Vaconsolei||Ridiculously agressive racing. We like. No riders good enough to win anything of note though. Good fun.|
Negatives: Their riders could probably win more if they stopped dicking about ( yes yes, I see the contradiction). Thought Ricco was a good idea.
|Garmin||Positives: The squeeky clean, shown before 5pm team. Millar.|
Negatives: Way too much whining. A DS that spends most of his time getting frisky with Festinagirl on twitter. Too much attention for their palmares. New skool
|Tier Three||AG2R||Pros - Gadret, Dupont, good kit.|
Negatives: French. They're all old skool and European, which should be good, but they're so rubbish it counts against them.
|Saxo bank||Pros - were once a good team. Contador won them stuff.|
Negatives: The only good thing about them was Contador, who was already under scrutiny. Nuyens doesn't come across as a hard man enough to count as anything worthwhile, and he got lucky anyway. Sans Contador they are beyond bad.
|FDJ||Like AG2R, only with worse riders. Had a good kit, bit BigMat ruined it. Probably clean|
|Lotto||Great kit. The leftovers of the QS OP merge. Feels like it's a bunch of amateurs helping out Greipel and Jelle Vanendert. Meersman seems a good rider|