2012 Tour de France: The Dream Team

We’ve got Tour de France Fever, and the only remedy is to talk about the Tour. With all the pro teams weighing their options and announcing their Tour selections in the next few days, kolo t.c. will announce the Dream Team Tour squad.

We’ve taken a few liberties with selections. The scenario is only slightly far-fetched: after six months of impeccable coverage of Michigan amateur cycling coverage, several multinational corporations hand over a few hundred million. Due to a hissy fit, RadioShack-Nissan dissolves entirely, and kolo t.c. takes over sponsorship with the ability to sign whoever we damn well please. It could happen.

This year’s Tour route is heavy on the time trials and relatively light on severe, decisive mountain top finishes. We’re going with one objective: win everything. With this budget, we should win the GC, a few stages and a few jerseys, too. kolo t.c. rules in the style King Henry the Fifth, which might be summed up as “we aren’t going to just beat the French, we’re going to make them feel bad about themselves”. Seriously.

Each week we will announce three of the riders. Feel free, nay, encouraged to share your opinions, outrages and constructive criticisms.

Week One- The Domestiques

Seizing and defending the yellow jersey is no small task. The team, called the kolo t.c.-EpicEinstein (thanks, sponsors), will be riding huge miles on the front over winding valley roads and over windy plains. It’s a massive test but one too many fans and even teams forget to consider. Sure, throwing a team with a bunch of climbers might seem like a good idea (read: Euskatel-Euskadi for the past 20 years) but it never really pays off in more than one or two stages wins, even with a solid GC guy (again, Euskatel’s Iban Mayo never lasted long). It’s a role a rider has to embrace and take pride in, and there’s two guys that jump to mind immediately.

Ted King, LiquiGas-Cannondale. The American has made a name for himself riding on the front for miles on end for the team. From the Tour de Swiss, Tour de California and every race he’s done in 2012, Tedly eats up miles for breakfast. He hasn’t started a Tour yet, but he’s made multiple Giro starts for the Cervelo TestTeam a few years back. Plus, he posts all his information on Strava, so fans can get an inside look to the torture that is the Tour.

Ian Stannard, Team Sky. Ian Stannard is the most underrated rider in the professional peloton. He’s the man on the front for Team Sky from a long ways out, lining up Mark Cavendish for the win. He was instrumental in countless chases in the Spring classics, working to yank along Cav, Edvald Boasson-Hagan and Juan Antonio Flecha and keep them in the hunt for the win. He’s also doubly versatile as a long-distance domestique and capable of heading a leadout train.

Jens Voight, RadioShack-Nissan. In a team with almost constant whining and shenanigans, the old man of the peloton has been an absolute rock. With the Schleckettes dropping like flies and Andy abandoning more races than he’s finished, the only positive aspect of the season was Fabian Cancellara. A second at Milan-San Remo and huge expectations at Flanders crumpled to pieces as his collarbone did the same. His win at Strade Bianche and his time trial win at Tirreno-Adriatico essentially are the victories of the year for RadioShack. Voight has been serving his captains loyally, making the odd breakaway and plugging along for the Schlecks at the Classics. He’s been very smart and could make tough calls on the road, as well. He’s on the squad.

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