Written by USA Postal Services at 10:51 12/5-2020|
A transition (Butterfly turnabout)
I love this time of the season, it’s like back in time huh?
US Postal had a very particular season. After failing goals from S51, manager Armstrong decided to do a full makeover. It wasn’t easy, the only good rider in the team was Miroslav Sievers and as sidekick Beau Ryan . The other guy on the team, Leonards Podnieks was just fodder support. It was clear after those sells (387.000$) it wasn’t enough to proceed with a good cobblestone squad, however the experience with financial engineering was enough to succeed like in the previous attempts (with McCain and Sievers).
But there was a problem, to get extra funds, the team needed a real miracle. Not like Jesus coming for the second time, but close. Then Hollow Man (Nick The Lissner) did it and the staff sighed in relief. Sponsors were the answer… first, with the starting and limited funds we bought Max Douglas for 100k, it was a good auction. At the same time, we did maybe not so smart move when we bided at Henry Johnson for 52k. Not expensive, but we clearly understood it wasn’t a smart move so we hold our breaths and thought in a great plan to get rid of him and get a good number at the same time.
By that time, the failure with Frederick Markussen was evident. Maxing at 40 wasn’t part of the plan, so we move on to Douglas; but the lack of funds was clear at that moment of the season (Day 60). So before training Douglas, the manager trained Johnson and at the same time put him on sale, with the money from the auction and the training cost we acquired a nice check of 123.450k from Team Jayco. A good transfer that left us positive numbers (hiring and training, 68k, 123k sell; 55k gain) to proceed with Douglas at least, and trusting in our sponsors.
Meanwhile, the manager went on a raging search on Hire List, trying to find a nice talent to sell and get some kidneys. Armstrong and scout-men couldn’t find him but one day we spotted Dylan Lombard . A curious talent from Africa, the second home of human race, of course mother continent is Asia, we all know that. With few results during the season (3) and no wins, the main focus of the squad was its cyclists; despite the riders listed, manager Armstrong needed something else. A sprinter. And the negotiators moved quickly in the market, after seeing a public message from a new fresh Mali Mountain Men we secured its newest talent from Academy, Sylváin Kabbah for 100k.
At the same time, another new team, Velosipedska offered us another sprinter; Metodija Aksentiev but we declined him. Is a good rider, we can’t deny it, but with the current spend of funds on Kabbah and Douglas, the wage was really thin; anyways good luck to him. With more than 250k from sponsors/jobs/merchandise/prize we keep pushing hard, and we decided to welcome back Podnieks to support the team with experience and his skill.
In the last days we received another sponsor that will feed our dreams the next season (325.000$). That’s a good impulse for the ambitions.
In the last phase of the training of Douglas the management is designing his calendar for S53. Targeting all possible cobble races and money available for him, and if luck is by our side, fighting again for Brebes – Brebes. If we miss the sign up, is not a big problem, our main target now is to finish the rebuild.
This Season 53 is special. It will be our 10th season in OCM and to celebrate it, the cyclists will use a special jersey design for the whole season.
Here’s a small balance in numbers from S52.
Top 10: 8
Price Money: 33.500$
Total Money: 297.270$
Total Wins: 0
Leonards Podnieks: 1 (2nd) Nerja Criterium #26: Total money (8.500$)
Andrej Busch: 1 (6th) Conakry - Coyah (U23): Total money (500$)
Geirólfur Steinólfursson: 1 (4th) Brebes – Brebes: Total money (7.000$)
Frederick Markussen: 3 (3rd) Ba - Sigatoka: Total money (13.000$)
Max Douglas: 2 (6th) Porto Novo TT (U23): Total money (4.500$)
Total victories: 0
Total results: 3
Now an individual resume of our cyclists.
1-Alex Merckx – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 39th Copa Ciclismo Campeche (U23)
2-Andrej Busch – results: 0 – top 10: 1 – best result: 6th Conakry-Coyah (U23)
3-Fredrik Rønningen – results: 0 – top 10: 1 – best result: 10th Conakry-Coyah (U23)
4-Frederick Markussen – results: 1 – top 10: 4 – best result: 3rd Ba-Sigatoka
5-Geirólfur Steinólfursson – results: 1 – top 10: 1 – best result: 4th Brebes-Brebes
6-Henning Ahnfeldt-Mollerup – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 17th Porto Novo TT (U23)
7-Henry Johnson – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 24th Huntsville Route
8-Lukas Bruyninckx – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 10th Ba-Sigatoka
9-Leonards Podnieks – results: 1 – top 10: 1 – best result: 2nd Nerja Criterium
10-Niels Gravesen – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 26th Criterium Tartu
11-Ivar Skoglund – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 12th Copa Ciclismo Campeche (U23)
12-Mick Van Poppel – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 37th Copa Ciclismo Campeche (U23)
13-Mikey McCain – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 20th GP Isle of Wight
14-Nikodem Hawryluk – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 15th Conakry-Coyah
15-Neil Musgrave – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 19th Ba-Sigatoka
16-Natal Sarmiento – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 13th Porto Novo TT
17-Rich Dillon – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 17th Abalessa-Tamanrasset (U23)
18-Wayne Battle – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 20th Arecibo-Mayaguez
19-Sylváin Kabbah – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 14th Vuelta al Valle (U23)
20-Sébastian Vandenburie – results: 0 – top 10: 1 – best result: 10th Ba-Sigatoka
21-Max Douglas – results: 0 – top 10: 1 – best result: 6th Porto Novo TT
22-Kuzman Konstantinov – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 29th Vuelta al Valle (U23)
23-Jacob Hughson – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 20th Turrialba-Irazu Volcano (U23)
24-Kasper Van den Bergh – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 13th Vuelta al Valle (U23)
25-Dylan Lombard – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 11th Vuelta al Valle (U23)
26-Denis Hama – results: 0 – top 10: 0 – best result: 31th Vuelta al Valle (U23)
With 3 results, and racing Tour of the Sanreizan , S52 was a good season considering our limited condition. A surprising and good news for the upcoming season is the return of Leonards Podnieks to our team, signing a two-season deal.
Now in name of all US Postal staff and cyclists, a detailed introduction of the team that will fight in S53.
Lance Armstrong – Team Manager
Louis Davenport – Press Chief
Edgar Grandin – Team Advisor
Porfirio Garcilaso – Team Trainer (Cobblers)
Glenn Nyholm – Team Trainer (Sprinters)
Henry Christian – Team Trainer (Sprinters)
1-Max Douglas – Team Captain (Cobblestones)
2-Leonards Podnieks – Team Captain (Sprints)* (until Kabbah is ready)
3-Sylváin Kabbah – Team Captain (Sprints)
4-Dylan Lombard – Free Role (Cobblestones)
5-Sébastian Vandenburie – Team Mate (Cobblestones)
6-Kasper Van den Bergh – Team Mate (Cobblestones)
7-Jacob Hughson – Team Mate (Cobblestones)
8-Wayne Battle – Team Mate (Sprints)
9-Denis Hama – Team Mate (Sprints)
10-Kuzman Konstantinov – Free Role (Break Aways)
Our target this season is to get some wins and if possible, reach Division 5 again at the end of season; climbing up slowly and steadily. Another go on Sanreizan would be great, not sure if competing for the SC would be possible, maybe is too soon for that but the squad has seen the light in front of the tunnel.
‘’I have no words right now… I never thought I could lead a team…’’ Max Douglas said, new captain of US Postal, ‘’Of course I need a lot to learn and maybe I will not win every race I target, Miron Tredyakovsky didn’t won every single race,’’ Douglas said with a shy smile, ‘’He was my favorite cyclist, I saw him racing when I was young and what can I say, I hope to be close to his level,’’ he concluded.
In similar terms Leonards Podnieks talked about S53, ‘’I’m glad to be here again. My role basically will be leading in certain sprints in the beginning, while Sylváin gets in shape, then switch roles with him. Armstrong also told me that I could have some important role supporting Max in the sprints,’’ stated Podnieks. The 33 year-old Latvian didn’t answer the question about the incident with Frederick Markussen during S52, that resulted in his release, ‘’I don’t want to talk about it. The most important thing is that I’m back here and ready to help,’’ he said.
‘’Sharing roles with Douglas and Podnieks is really good for me, takes some pressure away, hehe…’’ Sylváin Kabbah commented when asked about sharing the leadership, ‘’My first goal this season is to get enough technique to fight in the massive sprints. Then why not, racing for the National Team and grabbed the national jersey would be incredible, but not this season,’’ he confessed.
And we are done with this summary of S52. We hope to climb up soon and fight again for the wins; we hope you like our new special ‘maillot’ after Day 1, cheers people and good luck during this season.
Nah, only 6 pages in an Word format, something short and detailed. 90 days resumed in 6 pages is not long, unless you want a fully detailed PR with every day ;)
Seriously, that‘s a book and not a press release :-)
Well, with elephant memory and imagination I can do it. Good luck with Aksentiev, I hope to challenge him soon.
Long read indeed, but fun nontheless! As single nation team I don't get much transfer excitement like this, almost makes me wonder... Glad Aksentiev is still with me though. GL next season!
Waiting on another training session (FR maxed at 78)
Looking forward to the Kiwi domination!
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