Don’t listen to Chris Horner. Yeah, sure, he’s a successful cyclist and gets all these interviews, but the man does not like riding in the snow, and it’s well known that riding in the snow makes you a better person. In fact, it seems he doesn’t like anything that isn’t dry pavement. See what I mean? (ps – Chris, if you’re reading this, there’s something out there called a ‘cross bike – see if you can spot the differences between this and a regular road bike. Yeah, they’re different sports, too. How about that?) OK, I’m sorry, that was mean. But, and this is not a knock on the guy’s intellect, I just don’t feel he’s a good role model for the little kids. Why? Because unlike Christian Vande Velde or Michael Berry, he doesn’t write frequently. And, as Levi Leipheimer has decided, essay writing ought to be the greatest factor in bike racing success. I mean, think about it: Oscar Freire, currently still laid up with a bad sit bone, could write you 500 of the tightest words you ever read (in Spanish) about how if he hadn’t won the 1999 World Title, he’d be working in a factory right now. That would probably smoke any of the “bike racer vs. investment banker” polemics the Montanan is likely to receive.
In other news, Ivan Basso is down for next season’s Milan-San Remo, a race he claims to be attempting to win. It’s also Tom Boonen’s (who, BTW, won another award this week) first goal for ’06, and the new course should test both of them rather nicely. Even with the changes, MSR seems an unlikely title for Gibo Simoni, but yesterday, during study hall, between the Top 10 Hottest Freshman Girls and the Top 10 Thrash Metal Bands of All Time, the two-time Giro champ did crank out a list of his Giro Dream Team Teammates. #1 was Ivan Basso (OMG!) and #2 was Eddy Mazzolini, probably because he’s dating Ivan’s Hot Sister (2nd from left). And now, for something completely different, Rory Sutherland, and Australian riding for Rabobank, has been suspended for 15 months after testing positive for clomiphene during the Tour of Germany. No big deal, right? Well, kinda. See, clomiphere has no real performance enhancing effect (it “might” reduce muscle damage), and is primarily “designed to help women get pregnant” by reducing estrogen levels. Real good to hear that one’s on the WADA banned list; lord knows what would happen to the sport if pro cyclists started turning up preggers mid-season.