Froome on Cannondale’s financial difficulty: race harder?

Cannondale lazy?

Bizarre Vuelta rest day comments from Chris Froome on the news that the Cannondale-Drapac World Tour squad might have to fold due to a $7 million budget shortfall.

While lamenting the possible demise of the American team, Froome first dismissed any commentary about the huge disparity of budget between the two teams. While Team Sky has a budget estimated as high as $30 million compared to the $16 million for Cannondale, Froome underplayed the disparity. “It is in some ways ‘unfair’ the support we have in general at Team Sky compared to other teams,” said Froome. “If you take that away, what do teams have to strive for? Why are you working harder? To win more races? To take that away, it’s almost as if we are becoming communists.”

I’m a little baffled by that statement. It sounds like he’s saying, well, it’s great that my team has a budget twice the size of teams like Cannondale-Drapac because it gives those little fish something to aim for. It’s like the billionaire with all the advantages telling the poor kid from the ghetto, hey, just work a little harder — and ain’t I a shiny role model?

Froome’s quote felt like an insult and also showed his unwillingness to concede he greatly benefits from a significant number of competitive advantages that other teams can’t hope to equal or overcome. It’s was a Gosh, sorry we’re rich, what do you expect — we’re not communists. This on the team that puts at least three grand tour, captain-worthy domestiques at his disposal for the Tour de France.

On top of that odd-ball and somewhat clueless statement, was his follow-up on Cannondale-Drapac’s financial difficulties. “I do think it’s a huge shame that Cannondale are in trouble for next year,” Froome said. “But certainly the way they rode yesterday, I haven’t seen Cannondale ride like that for ages. I think they can take a lot away from that. They put their faith in Woods. He didn’t win, but it was an amazing performance. I’d like to see more of that from them.”

Is Froome suggesting that part of Cannondales’s sponsorship problems are because up until yesterday, they weren’t trying hard enough in the races? Really? Yeah, buddy, tough to control races and be aggressive on half the budget and half the star riders on your start roster.” Seriously, that statement is a slap in the face for Cannondale-Drapac.

Usually, Chris Froome comes off as serious, informed and thoughtful — was his brain also taking a rest day in the Vuelta?






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