Wednesday, 10 September 2008

New bikes please.

Now that was a great days racing. Peloton ripped apart three Brits and Dan Martin all finishing in the top group, a lone winner, bloody awful weather, brilliant.

But even I have to feel sorry for the Tyler Hamilton twins, the poor fellas came off and due the Rock Racing team car not carrying any spare bikes had to borrow one from neutral service and then one from team GB. What is the point of having a team car that doesn't carry spare bikes? Surely that's the primary function of a team car? Organisation? nah, lets just get a flashy looking car and forget the bikes.

Still once again a day animated by the Brits, Cummings and Freeman looked strong and when they were joined by three more riders continued to set the pace. Again Ian Stannard was impressive, working hard and getting dropped on the biggest climb of the day, where he fought back and rejoined the group, a very impressive ride. Stannard still only in his first season as a pro is winning plaudits in Belgium for his performances in the classics, finishing P-r and Flanders in your first season and finishing them well bodes well for the future. Cav is being spoken of as a classics winner, but I also think that Ian Stannard will win one day.

ITV 4 have finally cottoned onto the idea that intermediate sprints and KoM's are worth watching, but they need a 2nd or even 3rd bike, it's OK to stay with the leaders, but it would be nice to see a chase getting underway and jumping across. But I shouldn't quibble, in Anthony Mccrossan they have the best race caller there is, I know he's probably working on a tape for ITV4, but his and indeed Martins work for CTV is of the highest order, show them an obscure Belgian pro and they'll know who it is, now this is either very, very impressive or slightly worrying, depending of course on your viewpoint. Me? I'd say impressive.

Across Le pond, Cav is still winning in Missouri, win 16 for the season and whilst he's on the podium a quick look at Le tour de Missouri will reveal, via the cycling glossary on the web site, that saddle is the bike seat and that puncture is a flat tyre.

Whilst we're there, good ol' Lance is making a comeback, I truly have no idea what to make of that, I really don't. I was actually more intrigued by Dave Millars comment 'He could do a lot of good for us'
So which races will he ride? Well looks like Le Tour is flagged up, and he knows how to prepare for that one and there have been older riders finishing on the podium in the past. Firmin Lambot is the oldest winner at 36, but of course you wouldn't put anything past Lance would you. Team wise it will be interesting, will he go to Astana? Or start a new team? It's a bit late for the latter, all the contracts for 09 will have been signed, so that leaves joining an existing squad. Lance will doubtlessly bring his own sponsors on board, so extra finance shouldn't be a problem, the question will be how will this be interpreted by the riders already in the team? Signing a contract saying you're team leader for Le Tour only to be told two months later that you're riding for Lance might be a bit of a blow to the ego and as we all know there are one or two of them about.
Maybe he'll join Rock Racing? He'll have to bring his own bike rack though.

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