to which I say, who really gives a fuck? Not many because where was the sustained outcry when Mr. Saiz joined Spanish amateur outfit Cafes Baque team this year as a consultant? Sustained was the key word there because once people let a few weeks go by, shit goes back to normal. "Oh that Saiz...he needs to get out of cycling," they say before taking a sip of coffee and checking to see who favorited their coffee shop tweet from the other day.
That is the problem. Manolo Saiz facilitated the doping of riders on ONCE and Liberty Seguros. He is one of the people that should never be allowed around a professional cycling team ever again. I do not care how much he says how sorry he is, how he has changed and will lead young riders on the virtuous path. He lost his chance, in my opinion. He should have kept managing his restaurant and kept away from two wheels.
Here is the article from Cyclingnews in question.
Yet he got through part of this season without attracting too much attention. So people might say something here and there next season, if this team even does come about, but that will be the extent of it. Because there are plenty of other riders from the Puerto generation that are still active or in team management now so as long as Saiz apologizes and says that he has turned a new leaf, he will get a free pass. As long as society as a whole is more or less fine with doping or categorizes it as an issue of the past, Saiz will be able to raise the funds to have his own team and the UCI will not stop him.
I hope the team doesn't materialize. Spanish cycling isn't in a good place right now, especially on the development side of things, but brining in some paunchy guy from Cantabria will not help the situation in the least. He is bring with him David Etxebarria and Herminio Diaz Zabala, both of whom rode for ONCE and the former being involved in Operacion Puerto while Zabala was apart of the ONCE Tour team nearly every year. I am struggling to find a positive so far with this team.