SRAM and Lance Armstrong get together again at Team RadioShack
SRAM named as equipment supplier, so what about the bikes and that Pro Tour licence?
“SRAM RED is my favourite componentry – Lance Armstrong, in fact he likes it so much that last year Armstrong invested some serious money in to the company. So no surprise then that SRAM have been announced as RadioShack's official component supplier and will provide complete drivetrain, brakes, as well as chains, cables and housing.
According to SRAM the move was institagated by Lance Armstrong “who was intent on bringing SRAM to the new team. The seven-time Tour winner prefers the lightest gruppo in the world for its firm braking, positive shifts, ergonomic fit, as well as SRAM's intelligent product development.”
They've got the drivetrain and componenets now Team RadioShack just need some bike's to hang it on although given both Armstrong and team manager, Johan Bruyneel's, long time association with Trek it will be a surprise if the US bike company which supplied all the bikes which Armstrong rode to victory in the Tour de France wasn't the chosen supplier… even if those victories weren't about the bike.
Armstrong on another bike brand might seem like an odd idea, but it should be remembered that prior to his comeback he had enjoyed a long and fruitful association with Shimano who equipped all of his Tour winning bikes.
In the meantime RadioShack are still waiting to find out whether the UCI will grant them a Pro Tour licence for next year. Earlier this week cycle sport's governing body granted licences to the Italian teams; Milram (for the 2010 season only) and Lampre (through to 2013) at the same time two French teams; Cofidis and Bbox Bouygues Télécom lost out. In the statement announcing their decision the UCI License commission said that they would: “Continue to examine the file submitted by the new American team Radio Shack. It will announce its decision at a later date.”
To some extent a Pro Tour licence is less important to a team like RadioShack than to Britain's Team Sky, with Armstrong on board and a strong supporting cast they are not going to miss out on invitations to the races that matter. According to reports from the US they have already been offered a place at next year's Tour de France and have already confirmed that they will ride the Amgen Tour of California, another Pro Tour event. All that said a Pro Tour licence would help and given that Armstrong's problems have never really been with the UCI it's a fair bet that it is a matter of when not if the UCI will grant one.