Today’s post is all about second chances. Why? Because thematic continuity is important. Anyway, our first second-chance case is Ivan Quaranta. What, that link doesn’t go anywhere? Maybe that’s because he hasn’t had a major win since 2001. Yes, the boastful Italian was once a dark horse pick to win the longest sprint leadout in history, otherwise known as the 2002 World Road Championships. But it was not to be for “the Cheetah”, who spend most of ’02 Giro vacillating off the back of the field, even on the flattest stages. His Vuelta appearance in ’03 lasted a mere 3 kilometers (in a TTT!) and by ’04, live commentary writers were placing bets on how far from the line he’d be dropped. I think the only time he was ever mentioned by anyone last year was here, by Bob Roll. But apparently, people out there are still willing to take a chance on him. He’d better pray the Giro’s willing to take a chance on Universal Caffe, too.
Remember David Millar? He made us all so sad in the ’03 Tour, robbing Tyler Hamilton of a second consecutive win on Stage 19. He was also (briefly) the last person not named “Mick Rogers” to win a World Championships TT. Then it turned out he had been on drugs, and we all felt bad for Tyler. Then…well, you can see where I’m going with that. Anyway, while T-Ham remains embroilled in a battle of appeals, Millar is already back in action, preparing to meet up with teammates for some wind tunnel action in San Diego after the Tour of Cali. And I’ve already told you about Meirhaeghe, the former MTB World Champ, back at Landboucredit-Colnago. One dude who might not be getting a second try is Luc Gheysens. The former Gent-Wevelgem director (“oh, that Luc Gheysens…”) has been suspended for the ’06 event, and the UCI is continuing to investigate last year’s finish, which was fishy, to say the least.