Inside the RadioShack Camp And Lance’s New Bike

Now that Lance is back in charge of his own team, he has resorted to his earlier Discovery era practice of holding an early season team camp which doubles as an informal mixer for all the new riders to enjoy a little meet and greet with each other, the staff and the new equipment. Due to their contractual obligations (and the fact that the 2010 RadioShack kit isn’t even finished yet), all the new riders show up wearing their 2009 team uniforms.

Although the atmosphere at the high-end Loews Ventana Canyon resort was on the casual side, everyone knew that their first big race of the 2010 season will be the Tour Down Under which was less than two months away so there would inevitably be some hard rides put in. Lance said the Tuscon area is a great destination for both road and off-road cyclists.

Not making the trip was Fumiyuki Beppu who is still at contractual loggerheads with his 2009 Skil/Shimano squad. The Japanese champion, and former Discovery team rider, seems to have two valid contracts for 2010 so Fumi stayed home to sort it all out. Also missing in action was the final version of the 2010 team bike which wasn’t completed until the day after the media camp when the Trek Project One paint group was able to roll a still drying bike in front of the camera. The Trek factory in Wisconsin will be hard at it through December building and hand painting the team bikes before they are shipped off to the team headquarters in Belgium where they will be assembled and then shipped to Australia for the start of the Tour Down Under.

Hold on to your hats kids, we are on the threshold of another fabulous year of racing. Until then, here’s a bit more of what I saw at the RadioShack team camp.

Favorite Lance Quotes from the RadioShack Camp
“The days of a team built around me are over. We have to look at Levi, Kloden and the tactics. I’m 38 years old! RadioShack wants to be here (as a sponsor) in five years so we have to do well and bring those guys (U-23 Trek/Livestrong development team) up. Having a development team isn’t enough – you have to be successful”

“Why don’t we have any Italian’s on the team? I guess we didn’t find one. That’s not a good answer. You’d have to ask Johan about that – I’m going to avoid that question.” I will say that (rider) nationalities have never been part of the discussion with RadioShack, they were with Discovery.”

“You know what they call a doctor who graduates last in his class? A doctor! Doctors hate it when I tell that joke! Look, I had 50-plus (doping) controls this year…we’ll rely on the biological passport system.”

“As soon as he (Contador) rode away on Verbier I was like ‘alright, that’s it, he’s the best.”

“I’m not a fool, I’ve sized up plenty of competition  in my day. It’s tough to beat someone who can climb and TT as well as he can. Contador is the best talent right now. Maybe the best we’ve ever seen.”

“This is a simple existence for me. I’m having a good time and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

“This December feels different for me than last December. I struggled with my position all year. You may have noticed I was not the usual obsessive type running around with a tape measure and that was a mistake. I like the new bike, but it’s different with the sloping top tube. I’ve raised my seat 2-centimeters since the Tour so I feel much better on the bike now.”

“No hour record – ever! Doing the Worlds in an interesting idea. It’s easy to say yes, but probably not.”

“It’s a good idea (the 2012 Giro starting in Washington, D.C.). I would support it because I know I won’t be on that (transfer) airplane.”

Images From Inside the RadioShack Camp

You’d be hard pressed to find two other guys on the planet who have the Tour de France track record and base of knowledge that Lance and Johan Bruyneel have. It’s obvious that they have a special relationship, one that will no doubt prove formidable once again when we roll into July.

Thirty bikes were built up for the camp and 28 riders ended up making the trip.

First on the scene as a Discovery rider, Jani Brajkovic made the switch to Astana, and knowing a good thing when he sees it, he decided to follow Lance and Johan to RadioShack. Smart kid! (Note his stem height)

With a big contingent of U.S. and Euro press in attendance, it was an all-out scrum for position when the training ride left the hotel.

Although the day started out cold and dreary, it turned out nice and the riders decided to stay out longer – leaving the media contingent to stand around in the parking lot waiting like the losers we are.  

One of the more exciting components of the whole Lance affair is the U-23 development program. Here the teenage groms return from their own training ride.

If you have a million dollars, go ahead and bet it all on this kid. Taylor Phinney is already a proven star and an RBA columnist too.

Iowa’s Jason McCartney previously rode with Lance for Discovery and was brought back into the fold due to his work ethic, reliability and team effort. Jason is 36 years old – cheer for him!

Like all elite athletes, the riders watch their consumption of fattening foods…still, they are not without temptation.

With his Blackberry never far away, Lance finished the ride and immediately checked his messages. This one obviously gave him a good laugh!

A Look at Lance’s Madone

Lance’s 58cm OCLV Carbon 6 Series Madone. Just like the production bikes, all the team bikes are still made at the Trek factory in Wisconsin.  In the background is the radical Speed Concept TT bike that the team will also be putting to good use next year. Look for a revamped production version in the spring.

The day’s ride marked the first time in years that Lance was not using a Shimano pedal. Look’s new carbon pedal got the nod. Every team bike was fitted with a Sram/SRM combo.

Lance normally uses a 44-centimeter Bontrager Race XXX Lite carbon bar, but he is now on a 42-centimeter Race Lite VR bar. Most of the team was riding on Race X Lite aluminum stems, but as with Lance’s bike at camp, they too will be using the new Race XXX Lite carbon stem (Lance runs a 120-millimeter) which is lighter, stiffer and more shock absorbing than the aluminum models. Being an old guy and all, Lance was also running Bontrager Bzzzkill handlebar inserts that also help dampen road shock.

This according to Bontrager product manager Chris Clinton: “The team will be on Bontrager Aeolus 5.0 carbon wheels most of the time, Race XXX Lite carbon wheels on climbing days and they tend to use a tubular version of our Classics wheels for training. The Classics on Lance’s bike were the older versions with black hubs and 32 spokes. The new versions used by the team (and sold to the public) have a silver hub and 28 spokes. These are the same wheels they use for spring pave rides and the same models used by Taylor Phinney to win the Espoir Paris Roubaix. As for tires, they ran Hutchinson for a long time, ran Bontrager tubular for a year and a half and are now back on Hutchinson. Knowing they have hundreds of both brands in their warehouse and this being a pre-season camp, I’m not sure what they had on their bikes. Yellow stripes from Bontrager means clincher tires and most likely the Race X Lite AC. If it’s a single white stripe, it would be a Bontrager Race XXX Lite tubular. He tends to get a lot of clinchers from us as we offer them with colors so they can be tied into the color scheme of this bike when it is presented. Racing with the team is only done on tubulars though.” For more on Lance’s bike and what he uses, head to Bontrager’s Lance Page

2010 Team RadioShack Roster
Lance Armstrong (USA)
Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn)
Sam Bewley (NZl)
Jani Brajkovic (Slo)
Matthew Busche (USA)
Ben Hermans (Bel)
Chris Horner (USA)
Daryl Impey (RSA)
Markel Irizar (Spa)
Andreas Kl”den (Ger)
Levi Leipheimer (USA)
Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra)
Fuyu Li (Chn)
Tiago Machado (Por)
Jason McCartney (USA)
Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz)
S‚rgio Paulinho (Por)
Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr)
Gregory Rast (Swi)
S‚bastien Rosseler (Bel)
Ivan Rovny (Rus)
Jos‚ Luis Rubiera (Spa)
Bjorn Selander (USA)
Gert Steegmans (Bel)
Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu)
Haimar Zubeldia (Spa)

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