In case you’re hadn’t noticed, I don’t care much for the ProTour. But the previous system (and, no, not the World Cup or Super Pernod or all that other crap that came before it) of counting wins was really even worse. Take a look at this year’s standings. Rocket Robbie and Ale-Jet looks awfully close, right? Only 4 wins apart? No. Petacchi has 3 non-UCI wins, and McEwen has 8. So more like 9 wins apart. “What’s a non-UCI race, then?” you ask? Generally, though not always, these.
In the sport’s second tier, which is horribly and almost completely seperated from its first (did I mention I don’t like theProTour?) Brazillian hotshot Murilo Fisher walked away with the European Continental Tour title, by a margin of 748-503 margin over large-forheaded doping suspect Stephen VanDijk. Rounding out the top 3 was Dwars door Vlanderen (the name translates to something like “Diagonally Across Flanders” so I’m gonna leave it in Dutch) winner Nico Eeckhout. A strange revelation of the Continental Tour points tabulation was that Panaria, home to a disproportionate number of sprinters (Paride Grillo, Ruben Bongioro, Brett Lancaster, Graeme Brown), actually beat Ag2r for the Team Title by a small but significant margin. So why is Ag2r the only new candidate for next season’s ProTour? Well, I guess money talks, mais il parle plus bruyant s’il parle le franÃ§ais.
Pretty much all the other news that’s out there is old. Sure, there’s stuff like Grillo breaking his wrist and Casero retiring (same link), or the London cycle show, or even Sheldon Brown’s Interbike report (yeah, it’s old, but no one else covered it), but mostly it’s junk like DiLuca wins ProTour. I mean, come on, dude, we were pretty sure of it in May, we were definately sure of it after Zurich, but we had to hear about it again at Paris-Tours and again at Lombardy, and now, after the ProTour is done, it’s still news? Get outta here. Then there’s the “duh” stories, like “Sony-Ericsson riders need new jobs’. Well, duh. That’s not news. “Sony Ericsson rider gets news job”, that’s news.