Team RadioShack-Nissan-Trek has one clear goal for 2012: “Yellow in Paris.” New team manager Johan Bruyneel has already taken the first steps towards that goal, holding a meeting with the team' six sports directors and planning three team meetings and training camps.
The day after the Giro di Lombardia, Bruyneel met in Milan with Kim Andersen, Jose Azevedo, Dirk Demol, Alain Gallopin, Luca Guercilena, and Lars Michaelsen. “I have a great feeling,” Bruyneel said on his website, citing “excitement for the new season, the formation of a new team and the dreams and possibilities of achieving goals. It is a motivated group of directors, mixed with experience (myself, Kim, Dirk & Alain) and 'youth' (Lars, Jose & Luca).”
The “younger guys” have the advantages of a better connection to the riders, he said. “Being a rider is fresher in their minds. They know and remember what it's like to suffer.”
The whole team will gather next week, October 25 to 27, in Spa – Francorchamps, Belgium, for “meetings and team-building activities.” In addition, the staff will talk with each rider about their tentative racing programme for the coming year, and Bruyneel said that by then the final team roster would be publicly announced.
The team will also hold two training camps, “One in December in Spain and one in January on the Spanish island of Mallorca.”
Looking forward to the races of 2012, he noted that the Tour de France is “a very different Tour. But we're not discouraged. We'll go with a very strong team, make the race hard and go into the time-trials in the best position possible.
“Knowing what happened in last year's final time trial and knowing the amount of time-trialing in 2012, I think we'll see some improvements from Andy (Schleck). It's a big focus of ours. But as I said the other day and every year, the riders make the race, and we have good riders. We know our strengths - strong team, strong in the mountains and strong with our strategy. We will maximize these strengths. And we will make sure our focus remains unchanged: Yellow in Paris.”