Episode 62: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad / Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 2017
No, your eyes do not deceive you—that is indeed the Cyclingnews logo on our latest podcast, and Dane Cash and I do not disappoint on our new platform as we preview what is (regardless of what anyone else says) the REAL opening of the 2017 road cycling season.
Why it seems like just two months ago Dane Cash and I were recapping the 2016 season…because it was. And now suddenly there are WorldTour bike races again. I have feelings about this, and about the number of self-advertising Persian Gulf countries in the pro peloton, and about how the lack of a swimming stage puts Richie Porte at a distinct disadvantage. And you can hear all of it in the latest Recon Ride podcast.
As has been said many times, there’s always next year. Dane Cash and I take a look into rider transfers, rule changes, and team realignments, as well as making a brief look back on the year that was in the professional road scene.
The UCI World Championships Elite Men’s Road Race finds itself in a very unusual location this time around—though Qatar is not *entirely* foreign to the sport. With Andy Hood calling in on-site from the venue, Dane Cash and I talk about the not-exactly-ordinary course, conditions, and culture offered by Doha, and toss out the usual race predictions.
Though the World Championships does fall later on the calendar this year, Lombardia remains a last-chance saloon of sorts for one-day riders seeking a top tier win. As Dane Cash and I discuss—with a guest appearance by Ciclismo Internacional’s Pablo Martín Palermo—the race doesn’t need any drama to bring it further presence on the calendar, but the continuing saga of UCI points and World Tour relegation do highten the tension this time around.
No one disputes that the Spring Classics are awesome, and the ENECO Tour smartly re-packages them into a week-long stage race in September. As the WorldTour draws to a close, Dane Cash and I discuss the likely favorites and the surprising conclusion to the season, which could see the winningest squad from this year’s Tour de France dropped from the top tier of the sport. You should also read Dane’s extended essay on why that’s exactly how the WorldTour is supposed to work.
The UCI WorldTour comes to Noth America and Dane Cash himself heads up to Canada to score interviews with BMC’s Greg van Avermaet and reigning Montreal champ Tim Wellens of Lotto-Soudal. Oh right—and Dane and I discuss and prognosticate on these unique, underrated, and perhaps slightly misplaced one-day events.
As we head into the third week, the unpredictability has continued, but Quintana has also solidified his lead. Dane Cash and I go over the last chances for the Movistar rider’s competitors, and discuss the controversies and remaining racing with Eurosport’s Felix Lowe.
All I can really say is I’d love to have been watching more of this race live. Dane Cash go through the entertaining twists and turns of the first 10 days, and preview the hills and excursions into France slated for this second week.
Not exactly sure why I even bother to put a date after the ever-changing name of this event, but poor event branding not withstanding, while Dane Cash and I have comparatively little to say on this largely underrated race, the overwhelming majority of it is pretty positive.