The worldwide economic crisis has had its first casualty of the 2012 cycling season with Radioshack-Nissan in the unfortunate position of cutting back its classics season, bypassing both Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
“Due to the financial situation with our main title sponsor, RadioShack, we’ve had to dedicate our nine classics riders to a shortened program. We’re hoping that these austerity cuts will not have to deepen, but since the electronics company footing our bill has fallen on hard times, there are no guarantees,” commented team management consultant Johan Bruyneel.
This announcement came on the heels of RadioShack’s disastrous 4th quarter performance, where the American retailer’s net income per share was down to 12 cents from 48 cents the quarter year prior. However, part-time executive vice president of marketing/full-time Trainright customer/silly cycling cheerleader Lee Applbaum was slightly more optimistic on the performance.
“Hey, look, it’s better than no cents. The opportunity for us to have no cents is great based upon the world situation and most of our corporate culture. I mean, the entire country of Greece is either buried under an avalance of olives or is on fire. So I’ll take some cents over no cents, even though most of what I say is of the latter,” commented Applbaum.
When asked to comment on the tightening purse strings at the cycling team’s headquarters, Applbaum was candid, “Hey look, none of Johan’s teams did any racing outside of the Tour de France, and Chris Carmichael says that nothing else matters except the Tour, so I don’t think it’s any loss. I just view it akin to closing a bunch of retail operations and putting those tiny little kiosks in Targets all over the country.”
Bruyneel concurred, “Our best investment right now is the Schlecks at the Tour, and in keeping Cancellara fresh for the Tour. We still haven’t made a decision on Roubaix, but most likely we’ll be there with our nine guys. Otherwise, I might piss off Fabian enough for him to make me drink what I’ve been giving him for the past month.”
There was no official reaction from the UCI on the matter, however, sources were quoted as saying that considering that neither race was on the Elite men’s calendar, the organization “didn’t give two shites about what race they do as long as they’re on the start line at Paris-Nice.”
However, most of the other WorldTour teams were quite happy to see the “fashion train wreck take the weekend off,” including SaxoBank’s Bjarne Riis.
“A day that I don’t have to see that smiling jackass at a race is a good f***ing day,” stated Riis.
The remainder of RadioShack’s schedule outside of WorldTour events remains up in air. Neither Applbaum nor Bruyneel would confirm participation in any races outside of the WorldTour calendar. Applebaum hopes to have the funding worked out prior to Paris-Nice.