Supporting a specific team

Discussion in 'Pro Cycling (Road and Track Racing)' started by Skip Madness, 30 Jun 2008.

  1. Skip Madness

    Skip Madness New Member

    I did a search, but I couldn't find another topic about this.

    Cycling is often seen as a sport where fans are fairly non-partisan. Sure, we all have riders and personalities who we like and support and those who we don't, but we offer encouragement and praise to pretty much all and sundry regardless of the colours they wear. Even the famously vocal and fanatic Basque supporters, who go stark-raving nuts for the boys in orange, will get behind more or less anyone on the cols of the Pyrenees.

    I think part of the reason for this is that teams generally don't have the historic identities that they do in other sports. They are mostly named after sponsors, they turn over reasonably quickly - it's hard to build up strong emotional attachments in those circumstances. Cheering on a company name just sounds plain bizarre. The abovementioned Basque fans are the exception, but look at their team - it is a quasi-political outfit in the vein of the Basque-only football teams in Spain, and has the strongest identity of all and with it the most loyal fans.

    Another thing is that in other sports it is easy to knock athletes for being out-of-touch with their followers. But as spectator sports go, cycling is one of the most raw. Lance Armstrong may be worth millions, but he still had to lug himself over the ordinary French roads that everyone else uses, only able to do so with the self-restraint of the parting crowds. Even if it's someone you don't like - I personally have never taken to Danilo Di Luca - it can be hard not to tip your hat to everyone for just getting the thing done.

    But in spite of all those things, do you ever find yourself rooting for a particular team? You like the way they ride, or you have a loyalty to a certain rider that you extend to his or her teammates? I think this year that High Road/Columbia seems to have picked up a bit of a following among Brits due to the three we have in their ranks. There's a lot of popular support for Slipstream, too, which I put down to the manner in which they have been founded and what they stand for.

    For my part, I am very fond of the Saunier Duval team and am always happy to see them win. This stems from an article I read back in 2005 or 2006 about how for every kilometer that every one of their riders would ride in races during the season, they would plant a tree in Mali. I don't know if they are still persisting with it, but I'm sure they were as recently as last year. The other thing that made me take to them was that they got their riders to each represent one of the human rights in the UN declaration, and send them off to speak at conferences promoting such rights.

    Plus, what's not to like about those yellow and white jerseys?

    I have only been following women's cycling seriously from this year, but I have grown affectionate towards the Chirio Forno d'Asolo team - partially because they have some common links with the Saunier Duval team. I like their aggressive riders like Stiajkina, the Fernandes girls and the sisters Polikeviciute. Something I find interesting is that there are probably more ethnic minority riders in their team than I have ever seen in men's and women's road racing in Europe combined. I also quite like the simplicity of their set-up - guy wants to set up women's cycling team, uses his own ice-cream company as the main sponsor, gets his family to help with the business side of things.

    So, does anyone else have a particular team they like to get behind for any reason at all?
  2. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    For reasons I can't explain I took an istant dislike to Astana when they started a couple of years ago and was not happy if they won anything. However now with the new set up and the unjust treatment they've had to endure this season I'm always pleased to see them get a good result!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    I always liked ONCE, and continued to back their subsequent incarnations until it all got a bit complicated.

    You do have a point though, with the inconsistency it's difficult to stick by a team, so I'll just go for nice colours!
  4. yello

    yello Legendary Member

    Bouygues Télécom, but only because they were Brioches La Boulangère (the fabulous baker boys).
  5. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Quick-Step, and High Road for me.
  6. Chuffy

    Chuffy Veteran

    Anyone who Cadel Evans doesn't ride for...:smile:
  7. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    I've always been a t-mobile (team telekom) fan, and liquigas as I love the kit mainly
  8. Disgruntled Goat

    Disgruntled Goat New Member

    Slipstream for their anti-drugs stance and practice - and for introducing plaid cycling shirts.
  9. Flying_Monkey

    Flying_Monkey Toll Collector on the Road to Nowhere

    I tend to follow riders rather than teams. There's so few teams that actually maintain any kind of identity or distinctiveness for very long these days anyway. For that reason, I quite like Slipstream's quirkiness, but I bet that won't last either... so I suppose I like the idea of all those French semi-pro teams like Auber 93 which have been around for years. But I don't follow any...
  10. monnet

    monnet Über Member

    I'm definitely a fan of Euskaltel, but thatmight be because I've spent time living in the Basque country. I was always a fan of Once too. I like most of the French teams to do well, no idea why, I couldn't name many of their riders.
  11. Dave5N

    Dave5N Über Member

    ANyone with short, succinct posts does it for me...
  12. OP
    Skip Madness

    Skip Madness New Member


    I always have had mixed feelings about Ricardo Riccò - on the one hand I actually like the way he animates the racing with his bad-boy talk and such, but he is a bit of a cold character. I am gutted about Leonardo Piepoli, though - I know he hasn't tested positive for anything (yet) but obviously since he has now been sacked it does not look good. I really hope it is not an institutional operation within the team - David Millar says he believes Mauro Gianetti is a good guy who has been taken advantage of. The one heartening thing that might point to it not being a team operation is that Riccò and Piepoli were both last-minute call-ups and so it is possible that they were using it to counteract the lack of training they had been doing between the Giro and the Tour (although who knows if they were clean in those races or any others, either?). I hope the team doesn't fall apart, anyway. I guess we'll see over the next few days.
  13. OP
    Skip Madness

    Skip Madness New Member

    Just a bump to say that happily (for me) Scott have pledged to continue supporting their team until the end of the season despite Saunier Duval's withdrawal of sponsorship. It's interesting to note that they have been told they aren't welcome at the Tour of Germany and yet there is presently no news on whether or not Liquigas will be invited.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice