Enough of this globetrotting, baggage-losing, bum-rushing, air-horn-blowing madness! Time to get back to pre-chewing the gristly bits of cycling news so you don’t have to spend 15 minutes afterwards trying to floss them out. First item of business: Tom Boonen, World Champ on a bum stomach (perhaps not dissimilar to the twsited stomach that afflicted Santa’s Little Helper on Episode 8F17 of “The Simpsons”.) Gastroenterology aside, pretty much everyone was impressed with Boonen’s performance on Sunday. Everyone, that is, except Robbie McEwen, whose post-race commentary makes me wonder exactly which Worlds race he was watching over the last two laps. Maybe he was just too far back to see all the Belgians up front?
Petacchi and Zabel, meanwhile, neither of whom were anywhere close to a World Title, are now on the same team, called Milram. It’s what Domina Vacanze’s turning into next season, which is a real shame. Why, you ask? Becasue the distinctive Domina kit is being replaced by another freakin’ light blue jersey, so we can get them confused with Quick.Step, Disco, Gerolsteiner, Bouygues Telecom, Liberty Seguros, Skil-Moser, Mr. Bookmaker and god knows how many other European light blue sqauds. Speaking of Mr. Bookmaker, they’ll be known as Unibet.com next season, and will be taking a gamble [get it?] on TdF ’03 maillot vert Baden Cooke, who’s been on a bit of a skid these past two seasons. Also going all-in [I’m so good!] on a risky anglophone is Saunier Duval, offical employers of EPO-popping chrono-man David Millar for 2006. The Scot’s two-year doping suspension ends just in time for the next season’s TdF. Oh, yeah, and Brad Wiggins will be signing with Cofidis next year. [Sorry, that has nothing to do with gambling.]
Finally, today, some news from the younger crowd. Remember this guy? He’s U23 World Champ Dmytro Grabovskyy. He absolutely beat down the field on Saturday, and what makes it even sweeter, he got to ride on on Andrea Tafi’s own Scott CR1 to do it. Yeah. That’s gotta feel good. No suprise if he signs with Saunier Duval next season. Meanwhile, another U23, American Saul Raisin, has coninued his contract with Credit Agricole to 2008. After his nasty early move during Sunday’s race, not to mention wininng the baby dots, it seems like a good call by one of the oldest French teams in cycling, even if he does race with a hydration pack.