On the Ball

More over at velonews.com about Rock Racing and their effervescent (and I mean it in the vivacious, gay, lively, sparkling sense of the word) check signer Michael Ball:

Less than two weeks after Ball signed a scandal-tinged Tyler Hamilton, Landis’s email address was included on an internal team message relaying details of an upcoming January 18-31 training camp in Malibu, California.

But beyond visiting the camp, Landis risks having his two-year doping suspension extended if he violates section 10.9 of the World Anti-Doping Code, which prohibits him from participating in “any capacity,” be it in competition or other activities “authorized or organized by any signatory or signatory’s member organization.”

…Reached by phone Monday, Ball discussed the status of his relationships with Landis and Andreu, confirmed signing Sevilla, and expressed surprise over rules that exclude UCI-registered continental teams from marquee events such as Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders.

…Rock Racing’s revamped 2008 roster stemmed from Ball’s interests, both marketing and sporting wise, to compete in Europe. With 2002 Milan-San Remo winner Mario Cipollini and that year’s runner up Freddie Rodriguez on staff, Ball held an outside hope for an invite to La Primavera. However team managers Haldane Morris and Mitch Sebolsky applied for UCI continental, rather than continental professional, status – likely precluding the team from the sport’s biggest events.

UCI rules dictate that continental teams cannot compete at events rated above 1.1 or 2.1. ProTour events such as Milan-San Remo are ranked 1.HC or 2.HC, above classification. Continental professional status requires an extra $150,000 in registration fees, as well as minimum rider salaries and medical monitoring expenses, but opens doors to top-tier race invitations.

When asked about the discrepancy between his stated goals and his team’s registered status, Ball seemed both indifferent and uninformed.

“No shit? Well I’ve got look into that right away,” he said with a laugh. “That would be shame if we did get invited [to ProTour caliber events] and we couldn’t go.”

And regarding Frankie Andreu’s recent departure from being the team’s director sportif:

“Frankie and I didn’t have a lot of contact with each other,” Ball said. “Obviously he wasn’t getting the nod in making decisions within this company, within this team, and that’s got to be difficult.”

“This is new to me,” Ball said. “He’s been living (cycling) his whole life. We didn’t mesh in the sense that I don’t know what a director sportif’s traditional role is.

And then he really gets rolling:

“HED left specifically because of Tyler being on the team,” Ball said. “They were giving us a full ride, and we were going to work with them and help them build their brand as much as ours.

“Nope. See ya. Gone. So be it. I’ll go out and buy that company and do my own wheels. I’ll make my own wheels. I don’t need your wheels. I’ll make better wheels. I’ll make cooler wheels, that’s for sure.”

“We just got another phone call from another sponsor who is wavering. And go! See ya. I don’t care. I’ll buy all the equipment. I’ll make my own. Next! And guess what? I’ll make it better, cooler, and I’ll take your market share. Next! If that’s the way you really feel about this sport, and it’s just an opportunity, then you shouldn’t be in the sport. There’s more to it than the opportunity. Absolutely I’m in it for the opportunity, but there is more to it. There are people, there are lives. So no, you can go and disappear, HED, but guess what? Tyler is still racing for me.”

I hope you buy the whole world.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather

About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

16 thoughts on “On the Ball

  1. Well, now there IS no difference between WWF and cycling.

    We have our first true Vince McMahon, Tyler playing the role of Hulk Hogan …. bla bla bal

    It’s a fucking joke. Pro Cycling is now officially a fucking joke. It’s been a joke for a long time, but now they’ve signed the Joke Agreement of Commitment, with Intention to Develop Roid Based Characters down at WWF headquarters.

  2. man. this is weird. i think i met michael ball in an earlier life. he was that kid, remember? the one that got the shit kicked out of him in the sandbox, age 5….

  3. It sounds like Michael Ball wants to do to cycling what Rupert Murdoch has done to the media…and how did that go? Answer: ck out the documentary “OutFoxed”.

  4. …ah, yes…”the ugly american” w/ apologies to e.burdick & w.lederer wherein america is losing its battle to communism in south-east asia—– “because of arrogance & failure to understand the local culture”…

  5. …..great, just fucking great….we need a guy like that in cycling like we need a guy like Huckabee for president….goddam fucktard dickslap…..

  6. I love the part where the interviewer points out that he f’d up and got the wrong kind of uci license, and Ball had no idea. doh! clearly a great reason to not communicate at all with your DS. guess he may want to drop some of those extra bucks he’s fond of flaunting so that the international cats he promised big races to can actually compete – the upgrade is 150k plus guaranteed rider salaries and, this may be the deal breaker, an established and comprehensive dopetest program.

  7. I hope he does open a bike company. It’ll be a rude awakening when he discovers no one wants to buy a $3000 pair of pre-distressed “vintage” wheels.

  8. …guess we’ll find out just how deep those pockets run…

    …i will admit to having a small begrudging respect for micheal ball’s maverick style but then he always manages to denigrate any positive steps he takes…

    …ball exemplifies the definition of chutzpah::: the youth who, having murdered his parents, then begs the mercy of the court, because he is now an orphan…

  9. reading that i think about Marvin Z’s tool box thing today over at PEZ.

    Defect or Cooperate.

    Integrity is important.

    Lets see Ball make his own wheels – that’s be great. One easy way to spot the cyclists who support Dopage. Those that do are riding Balls.
    huh huh
    Balls.

    Speaking of Balls. How’d your hairy sack heal up?

  10. …jeez, gewilli…i’d rather micheal ball’s rock n’ roids team wins the tour next year, than to be exposed to more of jonny’s balls…

  11. “With a 5 year Rock & Republic sponsorship commitment this team can set aggressive goals. In 2008 the team plans to be the number one cycling team in the US participating in UCI, NRC, World Cup Track Races and the upcoming Olympics in Beijing.”

    from the rock racing webbysite

    I guess they are forming their own country and are entering the olympics too.

    If that doesnt work he will build his own olympics. better than your stupid olympics.

    time to change the douche fluid boys.

  12. Pingback: a crossed thread is a tight thread