What's Cool In Road Cycling

Friday Tidbits

Seems like a good day to take stock of what’s what in our two wheeled world. The Giro gives us a mix of new amidst the Same-old, the Tour draws closer, and we do our part to make sense of it all…

GIRO: A Lead-Up To The TDF?
Everything, including the Giro is still being described as a “lead up” to the Tour… It’s unfortunate that Petacchi can knock off 8 stages (so far), and people like Simoni’s manager are still talking about Simoni attacking in the mountains at the Tour. God forbid someone remember the last few times he was going to “attack Lance in the mountains”. Simoni is top notch and maybe it happens this year, but if history is an indicator, he better be waiting outside the Berry floor team bus at the bottom of Alpe D H with a big knife. And what’s the risk, his bike is supposedly illegal, so it’s a short jump to a weapon that might work better. One thing is for sure; he won’t send Cunego up the road as bait again… Ever.

And speaking of …

History Repeating Itself
This will be the 5th year in a row (except for the missed year) that Jan has been described as “5 kilo’s lighter and far more focused than the year before”. I find it interesting that the accompanying picture that always goes with the headline shows Jan looking like he has a ground squirrel tucked in each cheek. But according to calculations, if this is the 5th year that he is lighter, Jan will start the Tour weighing just 8 pounds, so look out Lance! Even if he’s just Normal Jan, it’s gotta happen some time, and nobody expected Bjarne to leave Big Mig for pack filler (except Bjarne…).

Speaking of Lance
Has anyone been watching the Chronicles on OLN? Good stuff. The most interesting thing for me isn’t seeing him test his position for the 50th time, or to learn for the 102nd time that he rides a lot and reconnoiters the Mountain stages (or uses what could be Assos Chamois Cream, but won’t actually say it), but seeing how the man lives. It’s with a capital L. For the wanks like me that keep bitching about Lance being too focused on the Tour, what the Chronicles gives me most of all is a healthy serving of Shut the F^*K up! There probably is not a single rider in the Peloton that wouldn’t want what Lance has, and wouldn’t trade their results and income for Lance’s appreciation of Life.

Not to say, “told you so”
But Kelme is on the verge of loosing Valverde… That makes perfect sense, as Heras, Sevilla, Botero and anyone else that does something good just can’t stay at Kelme (although maybe Aitor Gonzo should have…). The fact that the end may be near for the oldest team in the Pro ranks is a shame, and the fact that it was driven by rumor (regardless of how credible) just sucks. Point the finger at the Tour if Kelme go away. The fact that Cofidis is still in the mix while Kelme are not is bullshit. Maybe it was the self-imposed suspension of a couple of weeks that made the difference… Nothing like tossing WADA another bag of ammunition, and not suspending them does just that.

McGee’s Pissed at the Giro…
For receiving a mystery penalty for allegedly hanging on a team car… And why is he surprised? This is the Giro, a race that caused the rule for Minimum distance that Helicopters can come to the race because they used to let a couple Italians out front and then “Prop Blast” the chasing Peloton… His advice to Lance not to come next year isn’t warranted though, as Lance is well liked in Italy (not that Brad isn’t), and, if he is serious, will be a less likely target for BS penalties…

Modern Era Records?
Where in the hell does the media get off calling Petacchi’s stage win count a “post war” record? Did we suddenly find the need to trivialize the entire history of the sport? Don’t care who you are, but you don’t get a record unless you beat one, and the fact that the sport is hurting for “Big events” doesn’t mean we get to make up shit. Peta needs a couple more wins, bottom line, or he’s simply won a lot of stages at the Giro.

Motor Pacing At The Giro
Robbie Mc though might need a little more food and rest and to sharpen the chainsaw and polish the baseball bat he used to consistently get the wheel of Peta the Great. I have seen less contact in a Jackie Chan movie than has taken place on the flat stages behind Petacchi, and, given his results (did anyone else notice the people drafting Peta to the line were losing ground near the line instead of gaining?), Robbie may have been better off not fighting for that wheel.

But something worth a fight…

Cunego the next “Pantani”?
At least they didn’t call him the next VDB (who will also miss the Tour now). “Frank”ly, I would rather be Marco in his current state than VDB… But Call the kid the next Charlie Gaul or Bahamontes or Coppi for crying out loud! It’s bad enough that they dressed in Prison garb for a stage, but don’t go sticking a bandana on his head and giving him Ear surgery!

What Do You Think?
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