In spite of their flash, publicity and high profile, I’ve boycotted mention of Rock Racing on this blog until now. The team cars and podium girls are something else and I like part of what Rock Racing does with their flair, excitement and showmanship, but cultivating the bad boy image and signing dopers to their roster is the antithesis of what pro cycling organizers are trying to do. Maybe they’re all clean, but these days image and perception counts for a lot.
This news that Rock Racing team director Frankie Andreu ended his contract with Rock Racing caught my attention. Andreu was team captain of the USPS cycling team with Lance Armstrong from 1998 to 2000. In 2006, Andreu attracted controversy when he and his wife revealed that Lance Armstrong admitted in their presence of doping with EPO. He was fired shortly afterwards as director of the Toyota-United Team. After that, Andreu came clean himself and admitted to doping with EPO before the 1999 Tour de France.
I have no idea of Andreu’s motives here. Reading between the lines, it might be a personality conflict between him and team sponsor Michael Ball. It must be frustrating when the sponsor makes team decisions without the team director’s input. Or it could be that Andreu is standing up for principles and clean sport, as this cycling fan proposes.
What do you think? Did Frankie Andreu quit because of principles? Or was he ticked for being bypassed on decisions that belong to him? Maybe he understood what Rock Racing stood for, thought he could handle it but then found out he was in over his head?