Johan Bruyneel, the team manager for RadioShack, states that the team’s focus will be on getting the general classification wins, as always, and that there will be no lead-out train provided for sprinter Gert Steegmans similar to that of Team Sky or Team HTC-Columbia.
Despite signing up Steegmans for the 2010 season, Bruyneel thinks that remaking the strategies and team dynamics to work around a sprinter will be too big of a change. He adds that the team has already proven that it can be successful in the stage races, so the plan is to keep on doing what’s working out for them.
“He’s going to get some protection, but this is not a team known for creating a lead-out train. If we have a sprinter… who can win a race now and then, that’s a good extra and very welcome,” Bruyneel adds. The Belgian has run a team that enjoyed nine victories in the Tour de France, so he knows from experience what’s best for Team RadioShack.
However, he still expects Gert Steegmans to be able to notch up some stage wins, despite the absence of a dedicated lead-out train. Bruyneel says that Steegmans can beat any of the strong sprinters when conditions are right, and that they can provide a few riders to give protection or get the sprinter into position, but they will always be a team that is more focused on stage races.