Gerolsteiner team manager, Hans-Michael Holczer, must still be smarting from the fact that he lost his star, Levi Leipheimer, to the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team. Today, he piled on Saturday's IPTC announcement that Discovery had been excluded from this association of Pro Tour teams by calling upon race organizers to exclude Discovery from upcoming Pro Tour races.
'Speaking exclusively to Cyclingnews, Holczer said: "This is a clear signal that the most important representatives of cycling are absolutely serious about the fight to make our sport believable."'
In my view, this is a clear signal that Gerolsteiner and other Pro Tour teams are concerned about the phenomenal team that Discovery has assembled. Hincapie and Devolder for the Classics. Basso, Leipheimer, Popovych and Danielson for the Grand Tours. Upstarts like Brajkovic, Martinez and Gusev doing damage elsewhere. As the French say - 'formidable.'
No wonder all the other Pro Tour teams are calling for Discovery's exclusion. Can't beat 'em, exclude 'em. I call it sour grapes. Gerolsteiner should stick with sparkling water!
(BTW, Discovery team manager, Johan Bruyneel, denies that Discovery has been excluded from the IPCT. In a press release posted on thepaceline.com today, 'Bruyneel stated, “There was no vote on Friday and we have not been expelled from the IPCT. Talk of our removal from the IPCT obviously concerns me on a variety of levels, and we intend to enter into immediate discussions with team representatives about their concerns.”')