FABIAN CANCELLARA SAYS he may leave RadioShack-Nissan if team boss Johan Bruyneel cannot explain his links to Lance Armstrong.
Bruyneel managed Armstrong’s US Postal squad from 1999 to 2007 and has been named 129 times in the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) report on the former cycling team’s systematic use of performance-enhancing drugs and blood doping.
Cancellara has demanded an explanation from Bruyneel and has claimed he may not be able to work with the Belgian team manager again after the doping allegations.
“I want to know what happened,” Cancellara told reporters. ”I don’t know if I can work with Johan. I don’t know what the future brings, either for Bruyneel, or for the team. It’s not in my hands.”
Armstrong raced for RadioShack in 2010 and 2011, linking up with Bruyneel again, but Cancellara was adamant the former American cyclist is no longer associated with the team. The Swiss time-trial specialist also claimed cycling had moved past Armstrong’s era.
“Armstrong has nothing more to do with this team,” Cancellara said. ”Lance was apparently a systematic doper; he doped on a scale that cycling has never seen before. He has really destroyed a lot. I hope now that Armstrong was the ‘Last of the Mohicans,’ the last keeper of the generation.”
While he has not read USADA’s report yet, Cancellara still believes Bruyneel’s inclusion in the document is not a good sign for RadioShack-Nissan. Bruyneel has notched 13 grand tour victories as team manager, including seven Tour de France titles with Armstrong and four more wins with Alberto Contador, who has been stripped of another yellow-jersey triumph for a failed drug test.
Cancellara has hinted Bruyneel’s bad publicity might convince RadioShack-Nissan owner Flavio Becca to make some changes.
“I don’t know how the team owner, Flavio Becca, will react,” Cancellara said. ”In the past two years, he’s had a lot of problems with the team. He’s losing money, not getting wins, and is suffering problems with his image. Any normal businessman would have thrown in the towel by now but I don’t think Becca will.”