There was some dispute in the comments section (#4) of the last post about whether or not nationalism was good business in cycling. While I think there’s something to be said on either side of the issue, I maintain that its influence will become increasingly detrimental in an ever-more-international sport.
Consider Rabobank—though widely considered a de facto Dutch national squad, they’ve made large and successful investments in foreign athletes. Since the retirements of Erik Dekker and Michael Boogerd, nearly all of their major victories have come courtesy of the Spaniard Oscar Freire or the soon-to-depart Russian Denis Menchov. It’s not like the team has suffered for the outsourcing, with the two riders bringing in a Giro, two Vueltas, two Tour podiums, several Tour stages, a Green Jersey, three San Remos and a gaggle of other assorted trophies.