Friday, 17 October 2008

Have you spoken to Lance recently?

So the Tour de Britain route is announced for 09 and with it the news that they have invited Lance to ride. Good idea, I mean he's gonna be short on miles come September and I'm sure he'd love to risk life and limb riding round the UK's semi closed roads. My club is thinking of sending him a mail, we've got a time trial that could do with a shot of extra publicity and Lance must have a free Sunday in July now.

Still the ToB joins what must be a bulging in box over at Lance towers, surely there can't be a race in the world that hasn't invited Lance to ride. The only way he'll be able to fulfill all the requests is to indulge in a spot of cloning, currently not on the UCI list of banned activities, but soon to be added I suspect if Lance gets interested. Now I may well have misunderstood what was said, but aren't the Tyler Hamilton twins a product of a cloning experiment gone horribly wrong?

A match made in heaven.

I don't know, you wait all you life for a gold medal and then two come along at once. Nicole Cook has announced her new team for 2009, it was an announcement that took just about every cycling pundit in the business (all 2 of 'em) by surprise. There had been speculation about who she'd ride for following the withdrawal of Halfords from womens racing, which in it's self was a strange move you'd have thought. But I don't think anyone saw the link up with Swift racing. Talk about 'left field' (apologies to my US readers if I got the phrase wrong.).

Nicole's press release is here Vision 1 Racing
In it she talks about it being 'time to give something back to the sport' . Which must make Nicole the first person under the age of 30 to say they are giving something back, it's normally a euphemism for 'I'm too old to race, I'll promote an event and do some coaching' (well it is in my case :-) )

The right one.

It's a great, great move. One for which I can't quite find enough praise. One that when you look at it logically makes a lot of sense for everybody concerned.
First the link up with Swift: I mentioned last week that Swift were offering you the chance to help fund their team for 09 ( Own Our Team ), Swift are a great team and they are doing things the right way, they have a base in Belgium and live the whole season out there training hard and showing total commitment to bike racing, they deserve a lot of success.
Second for Nicole: In Swift / Vision 1 there's the perfect match up in terms of up and coming riders, a great ethos and a management structure that shares Nicole's aims and ambitions. There is no doubt that she will have excellent support in races, but equally there is no doubt that the set-up will prove poivitol in the development of British riders with a view to 2012 and beyond.
Financially it makes sense for everybody. For Swift it will help generate extra sponsors and for Nicole it will give her a stable base for the next four years. There's not a lot of money in womens bike racing, even with double gold as a calling card I doubt that Nicole would be commanding a salary much above that of the average team rider, so as money is not an issue there are other things that make a team the right one.

But it's the prospect of rider development that appeals to me. The girls that rode with Nicole in Halfords / GB colours this year undoubtedly benefited immensely and to be able to have a continuity over several years in that development will pay dividends for all concerned.

Finches, as an alternative to those long winter miles.

Excited by yesterdays finch related news? Want to get into singing finches? (It involves less training than bike racing, so could be appealing).
You need to go here. The home of finch related sporting equipment.

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