FanPost

Giro '08: Team Captains

I understand that during every race, things are happening fast. Really fast. And I know that before the race, each team plans a rough strategy for the day.

But things happen fast. And radios don't always work, or riders take them out and don't use them (Devo.) Guys get sick, or have mechanicals. Or crash. Or your team car is 20th in line, way back.

Thinking about all this, I am intrigued by the question of who the on-the-road team captains are on each Giro team this year.

I'm talking about the on-the-road captain, the super-domestique or sprinter who manages his team on the road. The smart guy, who knows where certain riders are all the time, notices when another rider has good legs, or when another becomes tired. The guy who studies the stage a little closer than anyone else, gives quiet advice to his teammates with a quick gesture, who counsels thier own young riders. The guy who communicates the best with the DS before, during and after the race.

I know that some sprinter teams, with no GC guy, rely on their sprinter to be that guy. But though McEwen & Bettini are patrons, does that make them "in charge" on the road?

I've read that some riders are natural captains, like Boogie and Hoste were in the TdF last year. Like CVV (I've read) is in this year's Giro for the Slippies.

I was a big fan of Lars Michaelson, former road captain at CSC. Who is the captain there now?

I'm enjoying the process of mulling it over, team by team. Who do you think are the captains on the road for the GC Teams this year? The stage-hunting teams?

Or, conversely, as a non-racing fan, am I romanticizing this whole concept of Road Captain all out of proportion? As I plead guilty to this, what do you think?
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