The bis. The Giro/Tour double. One of the trickier feats in cycling. Last one to do it was il Pirata in 1998, and he still needed a little help from EPO (though not – at least it hasn’t been proven – in the way you’d expect) to pull off the Tour part. And he got immoralized on a t-shirt. Indurain, who weighed in recently on the Heras Affair did it twice, back in 1992 and 1993. And now, despite the fact that his CSC team is allegedly sequestered at a paramilitary survival camp, word comes out that Ivan Basso is going for it. More from on it from Tuttobici via Velochimp. Apparently, Basso is not scared of the big, bad split stage that has Dario Cioni’s chamois in a bunch. Seems to me that Cioni, with his naturally illegal hematocrit, and thus significant recovery advantage, should welcome a longer, more grueling race.
How can you tell it’s the holiday season? Well, end-of-season awards help, but my favorite tell is the “articles’ start showing up on training camps that you can pay money to go on, or win in promotional events. Not quite what I’d call “news”, but I guess that how some people play the game. It is pretty sweet to imagine what it’d be like to go on pro winter training camp, though unless you’re a convicted doper (scroll to “Hondo attorney”), it’s teammates only. I’m still waiting for a tour company to start offering the Cat 3/4 CSC-style camp. But maybe a good ‘cross race (muddy like this, not all whimpy like this) is all the exposure most bike-tour buying riders need.