The latest UCI team rankings are out and the big winner is: Matt White of GreenEdge. Revenge is a dish best served up in Milan San Remo and the Volta a Catalunya. Fresh out the gate and in their first year of existence as a ProTeam, GreenEdge leads Jonathan Vaughters’ Garmin squad in the rankings by eight victories to six.
White was the popular and successful director sportif of Garmin when the whole ugly Trent Lowe issue blew up in his face. White had made the sloppy decision to send Lowe to see Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral for physiological testing. Del Moral had a dodgey doping past as Floyd Landis asserted the Spaniard was part of the organized doping program within US Postal and Discovery.
Given the squeaky clean reputation and zero tolerance policy, team boss Jonathan Vaughters took a painful hardline and fired White. At the time Cervelo co-founder Gerard Vrooman was impressed with the move: “It’s easy to take a tough stance when there are no consequences, it’s much more impressive when a team is willing to take a bullet to protect its philosophy and the cycling sport in general.”
Well, we’re just heading into April but the latest UCI team rankings must be gratifying for Matt White. Most critics looked at the sprinter-heavy team and suggested it would be a rough first year. That may yet be true but up to now it’s been a dream season. Simon Gerrans won the Tour Down Under and Milan San Remo, the first monument of the season, while Michael Albasini took out the overall in the Volta a Catalunya.
Team Sky had a rocky first year but things are going much for smoothly for GreenEdge. Part of that credit has to go to White and head man Shayne Bannan.
Meanwhile, White’s old team, the newly christened Garmin-Barracuda, trails GreenEdge by two wins. We expect that won’t last once the big stage races kick in but White is back in the game and riding high. Trent Lowe and Dr. Del Moral are a distant memory.
Chapeau, Mr. White.