October 5/06 3:44 am - Michael Barry Interview
Posted by Editor on 10/5/06
Michael Barry Interview
Michael Barry will be leaving Discovery after this year to go to a re-vamped T-Mobile squad, where he has a two year contract. Barry has spent the past five seasons with Discovery (previously US Postal), and the news of his departure came as a surprise to many. We caught up with Michael at his European home in Girona for a chat about his move to T-Mobile.
Canadian Cyclist - This move caught a lot of us by surprise, since you seemed to be quite comfortable at Discovery.
Michael Barry - Yes, well I felt I needed a change and it was a good opportunity. After five years with US Postal and Discovery I felt that I needed a new environment for racing, and a different schedule.
CC - You were never included in the Tour (de France) squad at Discovery; is that part of the reason for the move?
MB - It wasn't even in the negotiations (at T-Mobile), it wasn't considered. It's up to me to perform and get on the Tour team. Bob Stapleton (the new director of the T-Mobile program) was Dede's (Demet-Barry, Michael's wife) team manager during her career, so I know him well. The (T-Mobile) team is starting with a clean slate; a new attitude towards doping that I am really pleased about. The team is English-speaking, they got rid of the old German riders like Ullrich and Kessler.
CC - Discovery has announced that it is dropping a lot of riders. Could you have stayed with the team if you wanted to?
MB - Yes, Discovery offered me a two year contract, but this year I realized that I needed to change direction. I re-analyzed where I was going with my career. Then, I made a really hard effort to make the Tour team, and still didn't make it.
CC - I know you have a lot of friends on the (Discovery) team, so how did it go when you told them you were leaving?
MB - George (Hincapie) had a good idea; he was really supportive but he wanted me to stay with the team. So, he was shocked a little bit, I think, when I told him. That was the toughest part for me, with the good friends I have there, and it made the decision to leave hard.
CC - Do you know yet what schedule is going to be with the team; at least for the early part of the season?
MB - I still don't know. We are meeting early October to discuss some of this stuff. I imagine that I will be doing some racing in America, but I will find out more at the camp.
CC - So maybe the Tour of California?
MB - I hope so.