With the cycling season officially underway, the Tour Down Under completed a few weeks back, and our attention turning to the Grand tours: the Giro de Italia (Tour of Italy) in May, the Tour de France in July and the Vuelta a Espana (Tour of Spain) in Septemeber.

The comeback of Lance Armstrong to the Pro Peleton has definitely caused some buzz in the cycling world, and his presence at the Tour Down Under was noticeable not only on the road, but with the record breaking number of spectators that came to see him in action.

The team seemed to be working well as a unit, and Team Manager Johan Bruyneel was happy with their performance.

The big question being asked now is who will be the "Team Leader"?

With the likes of Alberto Contador and Levi Leipheimer as candidates to take the overall title as '09 Tour de France champion, the challenge will be choosing the best strategy on deciding who the team leader will be.

Traditionally there have been 2 approaches:

Option 1: Before the race begins, one individual is designated "leader" and the rest of the team commit all of their energy and effort to get ht "leader" to Paris in yellow.

Option 2: Teams, would wait to see who is firing the best a few days into the race, and then assign the "leader" title to that individual.

For the first time this year, Lance Armstrong might not fall into the first category. With Contador (winner of 2007 edition of the Tour de France, and winner of the 2008 Giro and Vuelta) and Leipheimer, who has placed top 10 in 2002, 2004 and 2005 Tours de France (and assisted Contador to his 07 win), there is the possibility for any one of these 3 cyclists to win the tour.

It looks like the decision will have to be made on the road (possibly in the Giro de Italia which Armstrong wants to win).Keep in mind that Contador is the defending Giro champion - things should definitely heat up in May.

James Greenwood is a competitive tri and multisport athlete currently training for Ironman Canada 2009. A level 1 Triathlon Coach, he holds a post graduate degree in Exercise Science, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. James is also currently the resident health and fitness programs expert at MyPypeline.com, and has starred in a number of multisport specific fitness videos.
blog comments powered by Disqus