What's Cool In Road Cycling

La Vuelta 2006: A La Pub!

Last week in Madrid the organizers of La Vuelta a Espaсa announced the 2006 route, and all the stars were there, except one. The PEZ Spanish Bureau couldn’t make it either, so we sent him deep into the bar to find out what average and authentic Spanish fans have to say about the route.

If At First You Don’t Succeed
I went down to my local bar, Pol-Mar, last year to see what the “lads” had to say about the 2005 Vuelta route, and the result was what I expected, a mish-mash of opinions and not all about the race, so this year I thought I’d try again, but keep them to the point in hand, next year’s Vuelta a Espaсa.

The welcoming Bar Pol-Mar – annex office of the PEZ Spanish Bureau, ….

It was a busy night, cards, dominos, drinking, smoking and talking at full volume, so it was difficult to get the ball rolling, so to speak. So what do you all think about next years Vuelta?

… and home to some of the region’s top cycling analysts.

Javi, our host, soon to be father and (strange for a Spaniard) getting into cyclo-cross, “it looks like a race for the climbers, with five summit finishes and a lot of climbs even though it doesn’t go to the Pyrenees, two individual TT’s and a team test for the prologue.” Vincent the young barman was more interested in “guapa” Rebecca, but she is Sergio’s “novia” so no chance!

The lovely Rebecca proved too distracting for barman Vincent.

Ximo still thinks Ulrich will win the Tour de France, but is not sure who will win the Vuelta. What everyone wants to know why are there no stages near here? Last year also nothing near here, two years ago the Valencia region sponsored the race and since then it’s stayed well away.

As last year Pedro still wants to know what is that “cabrуn” in France up to, he means Tour top-man Leblanc. So what do you think about the UCI, Pro-Tour, Grand Tours break up? “They are all as stupid as each other!”

The organizers have once again bypassed our region… but I’m sure it’s only coincidence.

OK so who is going to win? Most think Sevilla could do something (at last) if he has a quiet Tour de France; “Mancebo” Old Juan cries, “This will be his year or maybe Sastre? I think it’s wide open, not like that French race.”

Our panel of experts discuss the ’06 Vuelta route, and who’s buying the next round.

What about the case of Roberto Heras? Here opinion is split, some think he was caught red handed, others think he was set up, remember the Spanish team nearly weren’t allowed to ride the worlds in Madrid because (some say) of a Spaniard standing against the UCI choice of new president, and remember Aitor Gonzalez had a similar problem at the controls, as always there will be theories.

The rival pub, ”Casa Roberto”, was oddly closed at time of the Vuelta announcement.

Is it a good Vuelta route? Here everyone agrees, “it doesn’t matter, it’ll be a good race whatever, the Vuelta is always fast and exciting, this year won’t be any different.” “You don’t need the Pyrenees there are many other mountains” so that’s their opinion, for what its worth!

Stay tuned for an even more indepth look at the route this week on PezCycling.

The town of Polop de Marina – home to the PEZCycling Spanish Bureau.

Farewell Rab
To tell you how average people view cycling and cyclists, a strange thing happened earlier this week, my cat named Rab, which is Scottish for Roberto, a coincidence, was not well, I took him to the vet to have a blood test and things did not look good, she explained to me that he has problems with his kidneys, his hemoglobin is very low as is his hemocrit, the vet then said “we will probably have to give him EPO, you know like the cyclists do!” Well this brought a few things to mind, first when VDB said all the goodies he had in the medicine cabinet were for his dog, maybe there was some truth in it? I hope my cycling career (what career?) and personal life doesn’t go the same way as Frank’s and I’m keeping a look out for the UCI out of competition testers at my house.

Rab the Cat always knew a good wheel to follow.

Rab died on Saturday morning, he was a star, he needed EPO, and maybe it could have saved him if there hadn’t been other problems, EPO is for the sick of body not the sick of mind. Goodbye Rab you’ll be missed.

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