One of the more intriguing match-ups this spring in Northern Europe will be Quick Step vs Team CSC. It's easy to forget that CSC walked away with two Spring Classic wins last year and several high finishes as well. I look for that trend to continue in 2007, and perhaps Bjarne and co will celebrate even more victories than in '06.
In the early season, with the focus more on Paris Nice last year, CSC did not make a huge splash at K-B-K and Het Volk, save some solid performances by Lars Michaelsen, Matti Breschel and the tough-as-nails Kurt-Asle Arvesen. Once April rolled around, they were firing on all cylinders. CSC celebrated high placings in every race, including a win in Amstel by Frank Schleck and Fabian Cancellara winning the grand-daddy of them all, Paris Roubaix.
Other results of note would include:
La Ronde: Cancellara (6th) and Karsten Kroon (8th)
Gent-Wevelgem: Cancellara (6th), Arveson (10th)
La Fleche: Kroon (3rd), Frank Schleck 4th
L-B-L: Frank Schleck (7th)
Right off the bat it's easy to see that CSC is loaded with uber-talented youngsters that will only get stronger. Stuey and Jens will continue to provide rock-solid support, or perhaps even get free for their own glory. Add to that, the fact that the team will not endure the pressures of having to support a GT favorite, and there is really no limit to what this Danish team can accomplish.
Don't order that Quick Step team color Specialized Roubaix frame just yet..
[editor's note, by chris] As for the money... CSC used to cry poor, but now they're up around $9 million, roughly the top third. But IIRC that's a recent development, and the fact that their roster is heavy on young studs reflects their old low-budget ways.
Oh, and they have one of the best team websites on the Pro Tour. In case you didn't know.