Team Radio Shack announces Tour Down Under lineup

Team Radio Shack has just announced their team lineup for the Santos Tour Down Under to be held in Austrailia in January.  That includes or still-not-quite-retired rider Lance Armstrong, who will also be participating in the Cancer Council Classic.

The full team for the first race of the 2011 Pro Tour is made up of (in alphabetical order):

  • Lance Armstrong
  • Manuel Cardoso
  • Ben Hermans
  • Markel Irizar
  • Robbie McEwen
  • Gregory Rast
  • Sébastien Rosseler
That’s right – Robbie McEwen.

Rumors of Shclecks, Radio Shack and fallback plans

Rumors abound.  I know it.  You know it.  And when the Tour de France ends, all cycling fans suddenly know it.  Yea – even here at JustAnotherCyclist it is easy to fall prey to a rumor (or two.)

But on the other hand – who can pass on a good rumor.

And what better way to feed a rumor than with a plausible failure scenario.  That is exactly what Frank and Andy Schleck are facing with their new Luxembourg team.  There are no guarantees that a new team will receive a UCI pro license and actually be able to race in major event.  Hell, even if you do get a pro license these days there are no gaurantees that you’ll be able to race – as Bruyneel learned when Team Radio Shack was denied entry into the forthcoming Veulta a Espana.

So the possibility that the new Schleck team won’t get a pro license is very real.  So what will the second place finisher in this year’s Tour de France do if that happens?  Apparently he and his brother will invoke their fall-back contracts and ride for Team Radio Shack, potentially filling the shoes of the now retired (again) Lance Armstrong.

Well, that’s the rumor at least.

Chechu Rubiera with significant road rash after crash

The evening after the crash that completely disrupted the start of Stage 5 of the Amgen Tour of California, reports were coming in about some of the other riders.  Of course, news of Lance Armstrong was quick to come to light.  In fact, Bicycling magazine even came out with video of the conversations between Lance Armstrong and Johan Buryneel – filmed from the team car – from the point of the crash to the decision for Lance Armstrong to abandon.

Unfortunately – but not surprising for the Lance-centric American media coverage of cycling – details on the other riders were few and scarce.  Sometime after 9pm, details on another Radio Shack rider that was taken out in the crash – Chechu Rubiera – appeared on twitter from the @TeamRadioShack stream:

Update: Chechu is very banged up & covered with road rash, but he was managing a smile at dinner and looked to have a good appetite!

Not long after that – Viatcheslav Ekimov posted a photo of the very much road rashed Chechu:

Chechu's road rash after Stage 5 crash.

At this point I’ve not been able to find out the status of Stuart O’Grady – another rider that abandoned – or to get a list of all the riders that were unable to complete the stage due to injuries in that crash.  Unfortunately I think the noise created by Floyd Landis and his accusations of pretty much anyone in American pro cycling that he has ever had contact with probably derailed the coverage of thiseven more than the fact that Armstrong involvement normally would have.