Why does all the interesting stuff happen on the weekends? Ah well. Let’s begin with Paris-Nice where absolutely nothing happened, and save the interesting stuff for later. Floyd Landis went on to win the race pretty much uncontested; ok, yeah, a few breakaways won stages, a French director sportif pretty much said “No, I don’t want to keep my job” (scroll to “The Cofidis question”), Tom Boonen, after riding exceptionally well, dropped out on the last day to train for Milan-San Remo, but all in all, nothing interesting happened. This is probably because Tirreno-Adriatico was hogging all the action for itself: there was Bettini’s tumble, which I predicted (though Bettini himself saw portents of doom), there was Stuart O’Grady getting smashed up right before his targeted races, for the second time in three years, there was CSC’s first (ok – second) win of the ’06 season, there was Oscar Freire’s return (with Astarloa just behind him), and there was Petacchi losing twice; once getting burned by a suicide attack, and once getting flat out beat by Thor Hushovd. What more could you ask for?
Well, apparently, the people at Cyclingnews seem to think you could ask for more interviews, because there is no lack thereof on their webpage right now. Everyone’s waiting for word on if Bettini, a winner there in 2003, will start San Remo, but we’ll all have to wait ’til Wednesday to find out. Those awaiting word on when Jan Ullrich will get his ’06 season underway now have an answer, as the ’97 Tour winner has penciled in Circuit de la Sarthe as his first start. Velochimp has a full rundown of the past week’s notable injuries, while Velonews reports that another Phonak rider is facing drug charges (scroll down). Rory Sutherland presents some food for thought to the rabid anti-doping crowd, and for the CAS, whose “due process” he is afraid to follow, as it might worsen the sanctions against him. And finally, Mario Cipollini is looking to get back into the bike game, this time as a team manager, though the prospect of Cipo’ functioning behind the scenes is almost too ludicrous to imagine.