Looking to defend its ‘World’s Least Contiguous Stage Race” title, the Tour de Georgia announced it’s 2006 race course today. The route forms a rough northbound stepladder from Macon to Tennessee, staggering East/West like a drunken redneck all the way. Details and the biggest photo I could find here. It’s all the same to Gibo Simoni, though, as he’ll be too busy doing Giro prep to care. But in February, the lastest victim of the Saunier Duval contract-a-thon will poke his head out in the Tour of California. I’d say he’s “going-going back-back to Cali,” but I can’t say if he’s ever been before. It is, however, classic Gibo to get the year going with a week-long foreign stage race.
Continuing the “Where’s Igor?” news thread, Velochimp believes the ’03 World Champ is still unsigned, and cites an ’06 Liquigas roster as evidence. ProCycling has since updated its page, but has published no corection of it’s earlier report that Astarloa would be in celeste next year. Meanwhile, the current world champ, Tom Boonen, who looks be on Quick.Step ’til he retires, recieved the Velo d’Or prize for year’s best rider today. From Eurosport:
“If I have won this VÃ©lo D’Or, it can also explain to some riders who have programmed their season around the month of July, that there is life outside the Tour,” said the Quick Step rider.
So, who was that poorly-worded remark directed at? Lance is retired, Basso crushed the Tour of Denmark this year, and Ullrich is gunning for the Tour of Germany the next. Vino won Liege, Cadel Evans took a stage in Germany while Liepheimer won the overall, and Floyd Landis was a conteder at Georgia, winning the long time trial. Maybe he’s taking a shot at Rasmussen? Whatever. Anyway, what do Wolverine and former maillot jaune Dave Zabriskie have in common? MGD!