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Fred Rodriguez' contract status(3 posts)

Fred Rodriguez' contract statusNeedSpeed
Jul 23, 2002 7:59 PM
With the impending Lotto-Domo team starting up next season, I was wondering:

1. what are the terms of Rodriguez' Domo contract. When does it expire? Will the new team absorb current riders' contracts or do they all essentially become "free agents" available to other teams? Does Domo-Lotto have the "right of first refusal?"

2. If Rodriguez can sign with other teams, doesn't it make sense for USPS to go after him? He had two or three podium finishes in the Spring Classics this year and would make a ridiculously strong Postal Classics engine next to Hincapie and Boonen. Damn, that's a scary thought. And finally, Fred would be a strong American sprinter on an American team that lacks homegrown sprinters. And don't forget that Hincapie and Rodriguez are best friends and that Hincapie was best man at Fred's wedding last year.

3. If Fred hasn't been able to be a GC Grand Tour leader, having to support Virenque and Axel, couldn't he join Postal for a couple of years to be another foot soldier for Lance?

It seems as though the only thing certain about this Lotto-Domo merger is that Litespeed is left holding the short end of the stick. From all I've heard, whomever joins the teams will be riding Eddy's pride and joy.
re: Fred Rodriguez' contract statusTJeanloz
Jul 24, 2002 4:30 AM
1. Their contracts will all certainly be intact. He will have a contract with the new team (unless his runs out at the end of the year).

2. No, it doesn't make sense for USPS to go after him. Why not? Postal, in general, doesn't care particularly much about classics wins. They care a little bit, but not enough to build a team around Rodriguez, particularly when they have two other capable classics team leaders (Hincapie, and now Boonen, who we can probably expect to see in a Lotto-Domo kit soon). Hincapie and Rodriguez are both capable of winning classics- it doesn't make a lot of sense for them to be teammates.

3. Fred isn't a great grand tour rider, and I don't know what he'd bring in terms of support to USPS. He generally hasn't been there on the climbs, and isn't particularly strong in the time trials- I don't really see how he'd help Armstrong win more than the current stable.

I like Fred, and I think he's in the best possible situation for himself, on a classics-oriented team, where he can develop as a classics rider.
re: Fred Rodriguez' contract statusmr_spin
Jul 24, 2002 9:07 AM
USPS was pursuing Robbie Hunter from Mapei, who is a sprinter, but it looks like he will go to Rabobank. Therefore, Rodriguez would seem to be the obvious next choice, given his close friendship with George, his American citizenship, and his good showings in the classics. He would probably cost more than Hunter, given his stronger results.

If USPS got him, I doubt he would make the Tour team, but he could help Hincapie and Boonen in the spring classics. He did very well as a worker for Mapei in the Tour in 2000, but that team was set up to win stages, not the overall.