Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Oh you little ray of sunshine

Back on that track, right?

Amongst the many and obvious highlights of this last weekends World Cup at Manchester were the return to the boards of a couple of 'old faces'.
Andy Tennant in the team pursuit and Matt Brammeier in the points and scratch, both have spent a couple of years in the proverbial cycling wilderness. Now I don't know where this wilderness is, but it must be bloody crowded, there seems to be a continual stream of cyclists in and out of it, but Andy and Matt have escaped and it was great to see them back in action.

Both are ex members of the BC academy, Andy had been a junior world champion, whilst Matt was in the first group of riders to join Rod Ellingworths 'boot camp', that first flowering at the academy included both Ed Clancy and Mark Cavendish, so just think yourself lucky that you were too old and too crap to ride with that lot.

Both had suffered illness & injury and whilst lesser riders would have thrown in the towel they continued riding and hopefully both have come through their dark night. And man did they come back in style? Andy rode to the 2nd fastest TP time ever and Matt whilst looking totally knackered showed that all those months riding the boards at Manchester were not wasted as he showed great positional sense and timing of a natural racer to make the winning break and come in 4th, a great result for him and a great result for the Irish team.

Oh and whilst I'm on the subject it was great to see a decent size Irish squad, riders in the womens points and scratch, riders in the mens points and scratch, riders in the IP and a TP squad. Come on, built a track in Dublin guys.

Didn't see that one coming did you!

Cadel Evans wins the worlds, how unexpected was that? Well, maybe not as unexpected as you would think, Cadel was clearly in stonking form after Spain and if the Gods of cycling were awake then he would have won his first GT. Sadly the curse of the English speaker befell him, but he was clearly on great form. So a top 10 place would have been a decent bet, but it's Cadel, come on Cadel would have to attack to win the worlds and well, you know, it's Cadel, right?
Well wrong, I for one was cheering and shouting at the screen when he went and IMHO it was a totally brilliant win, Cadel backed himself and proved that he is a winner, it was a great result and one I thoroughly enjoyed - Thank you Cadel, it brought a big smile to my day.

So, how many of you were surprised when he pitched up at BMC? Almost as many I'd guess, we all knew that Lotto wasn't the best team for Cadel so a move was always on the cards. The problem with Lotto was that they had a potential GT winner on their books but with a couple of exceptions the team was built for Spring Rain and not Summer Sun.
Signing Cadel was an odd move, I mean how can you sign a GT podium rider and not pack the team with climbers and TTT fast boys? No I don't know either, and it appears neither did Cadel or the Lotto management and as a result Cadel spent too many years lacking the support that he needed. So good luck at BMC Cadel, lets hope they get a few skinny blokes on their books to keep you company when the road goes up.


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