Well, if you watched Brabantse Pijl on Sunday morning, you were treated to a pretty good show. Oscar Freire bridged up to one late selection, then instigated a four-man move with a teammate, helped to draw back a 2-man attack with 5k to go, and then won the sprint. But this wasn’t enough for Nick Nuyens, who still thinks Freire shouldn’t have won (search “strongest”). Of course, Nuyens also wondered why CSC’s Karsten Kroon tried to break away with him late in the race; apparently the young Belgian isn’t familiar with the idea that two riders can be faster than one. I can’t blame the guy for being a little bitter, but should count his blessings that he wasn’t one of the poor saps chasing for Davitamon Lotto after it missed pretty much every move of the day. Cycling TV’s coverage of the race was pretty good, but it neglected to mention the burgeoning drug scandal that struck this week.
At Criterium International, Ivan Basso fired the first shots of his 2006 campaign for the Giro/Tour double, and already, the Giro hype is on. Meanwhile, Floyd Landis has now decided he’s not doing the Italian Grand Tour. Details from his official page are sparse, and the reader is referred to”www.velonews.com” for more details, which is just another nail in the coffin for that page’s claim to be the “World’s Best Pro Blog”. Please. The goateed Pennsylvanian’s Cyclingnews diary was more blog than FloydLandis.com. Look at that third-person narration, those unspeakably banal posts, and the complete lack of personal insight. This is a pro blog. Or I guess kinda was a pro blog. But it might be again, sometime in the near future. Anyway, Oscar Freire has also caught the race skipping bug (scroll to “No Flanders”), though Alessandro Petacchi remains intent on mixing it up at the Ronde. Tom Boonen’s also hanging tough and sticking with his decision to race at the upcoming Three Days of Pain (and yes, I know the name doesn’t mean that).