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Ask Johan - 12/27/2006

The following column by Johan was written for

From Sally: When will you announce the complete 2007 Discovery Channel Roster?

We will announce the complete roster very soon, probably straight after the New Year. There are one or two more names still to come...

From Jerry: There have been some cyclists and Directors that have opening criticized Discovery for signing Ivan Basso. Over the past several years this team has made very smart moves so I can't imagine this decision was made without much research and consideration. Can you help put the criticisms to rest?

As I have said before, the decision to sign Ivan was not an overnight decision... Wwe have studied the case very carefully, had experts and lawyers advise us and we know that we did everything right. "Everybody" (other directors...) is free to have his own opinion, but I have the feeling that those who are criticizing us are acting more from a personal point of view (i.e. conflict with me...)... I know we have done the right thing: Ivan has been cleared by his federation - after a deep investigation from the CONI (the Italian Olympic Committee) - and I see no reason why an official institution as the Italian fed and CONI would make that kind of decision if they we're not convinced of it.

From Andrew: I think it is great that Discovery signed Ivan Basso, but with him in the picture now, what will happen to Levi? I know many people wanted to see Levi in a team leadership position.

Levi has been aware of the possible signing of Basso. We want a team that is able to win the biggest bike races, and with Levi and Ivan together I'm sure that we our chances to win will be a lot bigger than with Levi alone or with Ivan alone.

From Sonjay: Tom Danielson had a bit of a strange Vuelta: a seemingly disappointing first half, then a resurgent second half. How did this affect his schedule for next year and how you see him as a rider?

Tom has made another step forward in his development as a rider. He won his first European stage race (the Tour of Austria), finished 6th in the 2006 Vuelta and won a stage, too. I think that he can make another step up next year as well. We will concentrate on one-week stage races in the first part of the season with Tom, and he will be in the pre-selection team for the Tour de France.

From Stefan: Johan, I am a bit confused - did I read recently that Discovery Channel might not get a Pro Tour license for 2007?

No we didn't !!! There have been false reports in the media after a meeting of the IPCT (an independent commercial company separate from the UCI and the Pro Tour) where there were suggestions that the Discovery Channel Team should step out of that company. This has not happened, and even if it would happen, it wouldn't affect our Pro Tour license nor our participation in all Pro Tour events.

From Tina: Johan, I read the first chapter of your new book on your web site and really liked it. Can you tell me more about what's in the rest of the book?

The book is going to be titled: "You Might as Well Win!" It follows in the tradition of business and inspirational books written for a mass audience by sports coaches. I believe the ability to translate success in sports into success in life is a powerful and proven attraction for readers interested in improving their business, social and personal performance. "You Might as Well Win!" will expand on these points and I hope everyone will like it.

10/12/2007 Bruyneel to Manage Team Astana
8/8/2007 Post TdF Inteview
3/8/2007 Paris-Nice Preview
1/5/2007 January thoughts: a time of hope
12/27/2006 Ask Johan column
12/20/2006 Welcome to my Web Site!
10/13/2006 Johan previews Lombardy