Bob Roll once wrote, when ticking through his cycling alphabet, that “V is for VeloNews, without which we would know nothing.” My, oh my indeed how things have changed. Because today is a relatively slow one, let’s briefly examine how. On Cyclingnews, you could read an interview with Allan Peiper, where he describes living in squalor to make it as a pro, or an interview with Tim Johnson, who talks about how hard coming back from Europe can be, or you could learn about RaceinEurope.com, an organization that tries to make that difficult European transition a little easier. Or, you could go to VeloNews‘ “Cycling in the News” section, and see this. Now, that linked site is, I will admit, funny in its own way, but the “Cycling in the News” section (according to VeloNews) is supposed to be about, well, cycling in the news. Stories like this one, “about competitive cyclists and cycling that appear in the mainstream media.” And I can’t recall reading about ineedaprocontract.com in the Durham Herald-Sun recently. Imagine the terror of having this organization as our only defender against complete and total cycling ignorance!
Indeed, then, let us thank divine providence that things have changed since Bob Roll’s day. We are now free to search the information superhighway for whatever tidbits of cycling wisdom strike our fancy. We can consult the wise and powerful Andy Hampsten, Bob’s former master, on this year’s Giro (he, by the way, agrees with me that “it’s gonna be awesome,” though I guess he’s not exactly impartial as he needs to sell bike tours). We can foolishly entrust our knowledge of the intricacies of anti-doping enforcement to McPaper, or we can wonder whether Jens Voigt is really anti-split stages or just filling his roll as head of the riders’ union. We can observe the birth of a new Spanish team, or listen intently to the secrets of established American pros. Or, you can waste your day away laughing at all the horrible, horrible photoshopped versions of marshmallow-headed Torino ’06 mascots, Neve and Gliz. Such wonderous freedom of choice, and not a stitch of it from VeloNews. Not since Ivan Quaranta (search “DNF”) have I been so happy to see Bob Roll be wrong.