New FACT: the previous FACT is no longer a reality.
FACT was the acronym for the Fernando Alonso Cycling Team, which Senõr Alonso was planning to put together for the 2015 WorldTour season.
As of last week he had no sponsor or riders or infrastructure — other than the Cricket Paolo Bettini as team manager — but was still making the PR rounds in Dubai and talking big and keeping the intrigue hot.
Only Alonso — who first failed in his mission to work a rescue plan for the Euskatel-Eusaki team — discovered that creating a top level pro formation from scratch is no small task.
There’s fantasy and then there’s reality and even with millions to play with, reality ain’t easy.
Alonso made the same discovery as Russian tycoon Oleg Tinkof who took his millions away from Saxo and Bjarne Riis only to come to the conclusion that the start-up work was just too daunting. And that’s even with all the free beer on offer.
Tinkof had his flirtation with Cannondale before returning to the table in Denmark and buying out Riis and Saxo.
Now it seems that Alonso has also added up the numbers on the Excel spread sheet and realized that purchasing a stake in Cannondale makes far more sense that building an entire team. He doesn’t have to try and hire away Peter Sagan because Sagan is already there.
FACT is no more.
Fact is now CAT — Cannondale-Alonso Team. Not as jazzy an acronym but he doesn’t have to write so many paychecks. He was planning to bring a Formula 1 attitude to the peloton but the new formula is the tried and true one: buy into an existing squad.