RadioShack team manager Johan Bruyneel will leave Australia happy with the squad’s ProTour debut, despite leaving Tour Down Under empty handed. The Belgian had spoken, as had key rider Lance Armstrong, about the importance of RadioShack securing a stage victory at its debut event, something that the outfit was unable to achieve.
“I’m happy with the way the team worked together,” said Bruyneel. “We saw a few good things, we had a plan every single day and we tried to execute that plan but of course you know in bike racing it doesn’t always work. But overall I’m happy. I’m happy with the physical condition of everybody.”
Despite his pre-race comments Bruyneel was quick to point out the team’s first season is still in its early phases and the team has plenty of time to achieve results. He praised Team Sky, which was also making its debut in Adelaide, South Australia, for its results which included two victories in the pre-race criterium and the Adelaide circuit race.
“All the guys did the perfect job, everybody did their best and let’s not forget it’s only January so it’s very early in the season,” he said. “Some of the sponsors were here, the big wigs of RadioShack were here so it was good to see them really involved in the team.
“But overall I think it’s been good, it’s been good,” said Bruyneel. “I’m happy with the team. I’m very impressed with Andre Greipel and also with Team Sky. In their first race as a new team two times they were one and two; very impressive. They’ve obviously done their homework and were ready for this race.”
RadioShack had several members of its executive team in Australia to see the team debut. Throughout the week Bruyneel had its Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Marketing Officer in the team car.
“It’s their first experience in a race so close by and they were really having a good time,” said Bruyneel. “I think it’s good to see sponsors who are really involved and want to come and see what we’re doing with the sponsorship and what they can do with the sponsorship. They’re learning of course but it’s a good feeling.”
RadioShack’s chances of securing a stage victory at Tour Down Under were hampered by the team’s lack of a leadout train of the quality of a Team Sky and HTC-Columbia for sprinter Gert Steegmans. Bruyneel said the riders will now return home to prepare for the European season.
“Now everybody is obviously ready to go back to Europe, some of them to the United States and really prepare for the season because Tour Down Under is an exception," he said. "We normally start racing in February and now we have a training camp. Our big training camp is about to start and it’s a bit weird to see us starting our training camp but yet we have our first race already behind us.”