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The last half: A review of the ProTour teams' seasons

By:
Ben Atkins
Published:
November 06, 2008, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 19:41 BST
Edition:
Latest Cycling News, November 6, 2008
Carlos Sastre achieved his dream by winning the Tour de France

Carlos Sastre achieved his dream by winning the Tour de France

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What was the last half of the 2008 season like for the 18 ProTour teams, and how did the whole year...

What was the last half of the 2008 season like for the 18 ProTour teams, and how did the whole year turn out? As the Cyclingnews staff asked, "What went right and what went wrong?"

Here is the third and final part of a team-by-team analysis, with the teams listed in no particular order.

CSC Saxo Bank

By Ben Atkins

What went right: The biggest target of any team was finally hit by CSC Saxo Bank with Carlos Sastre's victory in the Tour de France. For a while it was uncertain which team member would take yellow to Paris as Fränk Schleck held the jersey at the foot of Alpe d'Huez; but Sastre had it by the top and saw off the challenge from Silenco-Lotto's Cadel Evans all the way to the finish.

Not to be outdone, the team's hero from the spring, Fabian Cancellara, took the time trial at the Beijing Olympics, albeit in the national strip of Switzerland rather than CSC Saxo Bank.

Similar to the mid-term report, the team has secured a new co-sponsor in the shape of a Danish software company for 2009 when it will be know as Saxo Bank - IT Factory.

What went wrong: Besides the Tour de France - and Cancellara's Olympic gold - it's been pretty quiet for the Danish super-team; other major prizes have been pretty few and far between. The team rode a pretty anonymous Vuelta, Sastre's third place could be seen as a success, but you hardly knew he was there most of the time.

The big bad news story though was the linking of Luxembourg champion Fränk Schleck to Operación Puerto's Eufemiano Fuentes, and that he paid over 7,000 euro to the disgraced doctor's Swiss bank account. Currently it's not known whether Schleck will face any long-term sanction over this, but it's certainly not a good situation.

Read the last part of our team's season reviews.

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