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LA VUELTA! JUST A MEMORY… AND SO SOON September 25, 2008

Posted by wetalkhablamos in team astana, vuelta a espana.
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I really want to love Team Astana so much. For Chechu’s sake.

But they’re making it very hard today.

Just days ago, a new flash page opened the team’s website, celebrating the success of Alberto Contador and the team at the Vuelta on Sunday. It was a bit naff but it was fun.

Just three days later, and with conspicuous haste, it’s gone.

An homage to Lance Armstrong replaces it. Photos of Lance. And Lance and Johan. No Levi or Chechu or Benjamin or Benoit, all of whom raced with Lance. No Lance and Andreas embracing on the TdF podium. No acknowledgement of the quality of his new team.

I do love Lance, and I’ve missed him. He is forever in my heart. When cancer took away my parents, Lance gave me hope. I’ve raised money for him and wear his wristband every day.

But this is not right.

In the next few years, Alberto Contador will be “the greatest cyclist in history”. I have no doubt. He will have multiple Giro, Vuelta and the Tour titles. With new testing programmes, we will know for sure that he has done it clean. In that, he will be unique in history. He is the future. Let’s show our support to him today.

Nicky

PS.

Here’s the Astana bus in Segovia, the livery is outstanding. The best.

I stalked it for three days, hoping to see some race cards. I’d been assured that they are available to fans at races in Europe, not just in the US. I guess they’d run out in Spain.

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Comments»

1. Anikó Szász - September 25, 2008

Hi Nicky,

we just can agre with you! I have found it out just after few minutes of Lance’s anouncement, that the Vuelta intro gone and a new Lance intro replaced it! I was shocked! Also showed it to my best friend Bea ( hope you still remember her) and she made some angry comments, too! Both of us are very sad, that as Lance entered the team, the others were forgotten already! Both of us became cycling fans because of Lance, but at this moment we are not that happy, that he returned and that he made it with team Astana! We just can hope that Alberto is wise enough to solve the situation the best possible way! He is the real future of the team, not Lance!

2. Nicky - September 26, 2008

In fairness to the team, Rebecca received a response to an email to Astana.

They apologised for disappointing us, but said that the problem was the closeness in time of Lance’s announcement to the Vuelta win. To quote, “…there is no hiding the fact that Lance’s comeback is the biggest announcement for the team, sport, and global cancer community. Maybe it was a lose-lose situation, because if we just posted an article that said “Welcome Lance” people would have been just as easily disturbed that we didn’t give the greatest cyclist in history a proper welcome.

“Despite this, I hope you will continue to support the Team. We are certainly proud of both Alberto and Lance.”

Interesting, but it still seems clumsy. They knew about Lance’s announcement before Sunday. If it was so vital to have these graphics on Wednesday, they shouldn’t have put up the Vuelta one for just a few days. We wouldn’t have known any different. It looked bad for Contador and his fans.

This isn’t just me moaning … again! I believe there’s a bigger issue.

Cycling needs to find a new way of engaging with its fans. I’ve just spent three days at the Vuelta. The fan experience is lousy in Spain. I’ll talk about this more on the website in a few days.

Teams and race organisers will need us very soon. There is a new issue facing cycling, bigger than doping.

In the next few years, governments around the world will be forced to introduce tough environmental legislation. Transport-heavy events, like the Vuelta and the Tour, will be unsustainable and/or too expensive.

To survive, cycling organisations must look outwards now, starting with better, more thoughtful communications with their fans.

That’s why this issue is important. I think!


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