Jun 23 2007
So after mountains of insurance paperwork, follow-up medical care, driving all over New England in search of a Cannondale dealer and previewing the first stage at Fitchburg (note to organizers – next year, you need to give the fat kids a reason to show up), I have returned! News – Vlad Gusev isn’t just for Paris- Roubaix anymore. The Russian stormed out of his breakaway and onto the top step of a Suisse Tour podium, through weather described as “freezing mist”, so having a little cobblestoned grinta probably didn’t hurt. Chris Horner (no gloves, BTW) came across two minutes later, just to remind American race fans that he is still around.
Today’s stage was taken in a late move by Columbian 20-year-old Rigoberto Uran. It would have been quite the coup for his marginalized Unibet squad, had the neophyte rider simply remembered to zip his jersey, but since he didn’t, he looks like just another Columbian pan-flash. Of far more interest to me is the race behind the race; that is to say, the TdF contenders. Lest we forget, the big show in the July is the primary reason teams come to this silly Apline ramble, and over the past two days, Andreas Kloden (2nd, 3rd) has really shown mettle. I am looking forward to seeing his performance in tomorrow’s TT, especially given his team’s past performances this season.
Of course, there are those less excited about those surprising Astana performances. Vino and the boys in Robin’s Egg Blue have defended themselves vehemently, but apparently there have already been some “non-negatives”. Impressive that we haven’t heard names for any of them yet, as the UCI is known to have more leaks than the Iraqi Navy (man, I wish I could take credit for that phrase). Hanging out on the obverse of the anti-doping coin (that’s “tails” for all you non-numismatists out there) is Team CSC, who recently released the results (PDF) of their in-house testing program. It’s kinda cool to look at, but I have a few questions; most pressingly, why do some of the lines just stop in mid-April?