CSC team boss Bjarne Riis and his team are all set for the Pro Tour, but the Dane is not entirely ha
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE With the new season looming on the horizon the teams have begun the puzzle of putting together race schedules for their riders. With the introduction of the new Pro Tour calendar that is beginning to prove a difficult task. One of the managers currently trying to work that out is Team CSC’s Bjarne Riis and despite being generally in favour of the Pro Tour the Dane is not entirely happy, writes Susanne Horsdal. “When you take a closer look at the Pro Tour calendar one realises how little importance have been put on the one-day races. The Classics part of the season simply weighs less than before. The big Classics will always get the attention they deserve, but they’re almost the only one-day races on the Pro Tour calendar and that’s very few compared to the number of stage races. “Especially in March you find a lot of big Belgian one-day races that are not on the Pro Tour and whose importance for the Classics is huge, which means that we’ll ride them anyway. But at the same time we have to participate in a lot of stage races and that makes it difficult to put the puzzle together. The Belgians are angry, and I understand them. In my opinion more one-day races should have been included in the Pro Tour,” says Riis. As a consequence of the new calendar Riis has put more emphasis on gathering a team that consists of riders who are predominantly stage race riders. “If more races like the GP E3 Harelbeke had been on the calendar I would’ve been even sadder to let a rider like Frank Hoj go,” says Riis with regard to the Danish rider who’s left Team CSC for Gerolsteiner.