Thursday, May 11, 2006

Short Shelf Leif

Leif (pronounced "life", not as in 80's Tiger Beat sensation Leif (leaf) Garrett) Hoste is reported to be leaving the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling team at season's end. According to cyclingnews.com and sportswereld.be, Hoste has significant offers from 5 different teams, Davitamon-Lotto, Unibet.com, and three unidentified French teams. With the rumors of PVP headed to Quick-Step, a return to Belgium and Davitamon-Lotto seems to be the most likely move for Hoste.


Johan Bruyneel has already stated that Discovery will not match any offers, as it has been Postal/Discovery's modus operandi in letting Leipheimer, Boonen, Hamilton, Heras, and others leave the ranks. After such a strong Spring campaign from Hoste (winning De Panne, finishing 2nd in the Ronde and riding strongly in Paris-Roubaix), you may be questioning where that leaves Discovery's Classics team? It's still in extremely capable hands with Hincapie, Hammond, and Gusev. Plus, expect to see a personal favorite in Stijn Devolder, finally fulfill his promise next season.

Call me old school, an idealist, or even naive, but it pains me to no end to hear about sport being reduced to business decisions. Several years back, if you'll recall, the US Postal Cycling (eventually Discovery) squad took a chance in bringing over a young and inconsistent rider who was no longer wanted by his current team. After years of tutelage and standing by him, Hoste is now ready to repay Discovery by leaving for supposedly greener pastures. Most people may not find fault in Hoste, or any person for that matter, bettering his lot in life, but when did the word "loyalty" become synonymous with unsatisfactory.

4 comments:

Tour of '03 said...

It was my impression that Hincapie was unhappy with Hoste's aggressiveness in the Ronde, so this doesn't totally surprise me. How old is Hoste? And how bad a thing is it to develop young riders. Finally, you didn't mention Floyd Landis in your list of Discovery departures ...

Granny's 30 said...

Hoste is still relatively young, I believe 26...so he's leaving at the early stages of his prime. And when did it become another ProTour team's job to develop young riders to see them leave once they've become good. There are continental teams to do that...I didn't mention Landis because he left because he had a difference of opinion with the Boss himself, not because there was a great deal of interest in him.

Tour of '03 said...

I didn't realize there wasn't much if any interest in Landis when he left. What a shame he did leave; but I wonder it anyone other than Hincapie was going to get the team lead, at least for a year, after Lance left. I also think it is to Brunyeel's credit that he develops young riders. Cycling doesn't have the big money that golf or Formula 1 does; you have to go where the money is. My guess is that that is what Hoste is doing. It's a shame, but you can hardly blame him. Or can you? ... :)

Ride on Rider said...

a very impressive spring indeed (his Flanders ride was awesome!!), and we'll very possibly see his name in the Classic ranks for the next several years ...

money is always a draw, but I wonder if 'boss' isn't the key word as that seems to be defined incredibly narrowly by Discovery compared with most of the European teams (which are fairly narrow themselves)?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Short Shelf Leif

Leif (pronounced "life", not as in 80's Tiger Beat sensation Leif (leaf) Garrett) Hoste is reported to be leaving the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling team at season's end. According to cyclingnews.com and sportswereld.be, Hoste has significant offers from 5 different teams, Davitamon-Lotto, Unibet.com, and three unidentified French teams. With the rumors of PVP headed to Quick-Step, a return to Belgium and Davitamon-Lotto seems to be the most likely move for Hoste.


Johan Bruyneel has already stated that Discovery will not match any offers, as it has been Postal/Discovery's modus operandi in letting Leipheimer, Boonen, Hamilton, Heras, and others leave the ranks. After such a strong Spring campaign from Hoste (winning De Panne, finishing 2nd in the Ronde and riding strongly in Paris-Roubaix), you may be questioning where that leaves Discovery's Classics team? It's still in extremely capable hands with Hincapie, Hammond, and Gusev. Plus, expect to see a personal favorite in Stijn Devolder, finally fulfill his promise next season.

Call me old school, an idealist, or even naive, but it pains me to no end to hear about sport being reduced to business decisions. Several years back, if you'll recall, the US Postal Cycling (eventually Discovery) squad took a chance in bringing over a young and inconsistent rider who was no longer wanted by his current team. After years of tutelage and standing by him, Hoste is now ready to repay Discovery by leaving for supposedly greener pastures. Most people may not find fault in Hoste, or any person for that matter, bettering his lot in life, but when did the word "loyalty" become synonymous with unsatisfactory.

4 comments:

Tour of '03 said...

It was my impression that Hincapie was unhappy with Hoste's aggressiveness in the Ronde, so this doesn't totally surprise me. How old is Hoste? And how bad a thing is it to develop young riders. Finally, you didn't mention Floyd Landis in your list of Discovery departures ...

Granny's 30 said...

Hoste is still relatively young, I believe 26...so he's leaving at the early stages of his prime. And when did it become another ProTour team's job to develop young riders to see them leave once they've become good. There are continental teams to do that...I didn't mention Landis because he left because he had a difference of opinion with the Boss himself, not because there was a great deal of interest in him.

Tour of '03 said...

I didn't realize there wasn't much if any interest in Landis when he left. What a shame he did leave; but I wonder it anyone other than Hincapie was going to get the team lead, at least for a year, after Lance left. I also think it is to Brunyeel's credit that he develops young riders. Cycling doesn't have the big money that golf or Formula 1 does; you have to go where the money is. My guess is that that is what Hoste is doing. It's a shame, but you can hardly blame him. Or can you? ... :)

Ride on Rider said...

a very impressive spring indeed (his Flanders ride was awesome!!), and we'll very possibly see his name in the Classic ranks for the next several years ...

money is always a draw, but I wonder if 'boss' isn't the key word as that seems to be defined incredibly narrowly by Discovery compared with most of the European teams (which are fairly narrow themselves)?