Hard to pinpoint the top story of today; guess I’ll start with the racing, which was the final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, in which Alessandro Petacchi, with a little help from 4 (and almost 5)-time winner Erik Zabel, fired the final shot in the pre-San Remo skirmishes. Tom Boonen, the bookmaker’s choice for la Primavera, has made it clear that he’s done his homework (scroll down), and is as ready to go this weekend as he’s gonna be. Meanwhile, Boonen’s teammate and potential MSR spoiler Paolo Bettini (a steal at 30:1 for a win) has announced he’ll be on the start line come Saturday, and will give it all he can, making me wonder if these pain faces weren’t an attempt to get T-A organizers a red card for racing in dangerous conditions. Somewhere in all this slop, young Dutchman Thomas Dekker (no relation to teammate Erik) took the overall title, perhaps with a little help from a weather-altered Stage 5. And, finishing up with the joke I used to kick off this race, though T-A is done with cycling for ’06, cycling is by no means done with T&A.
So let’s see – what else is there, really? San Remo pregame dominates the headlines everywhere (everywhere that is, except ProCycling, which seems to have vanished entirely), and Unibet (it’s the link under “bookmaker” above) runs down the favorites as well as anyone (though the firm is no doubt bitter the team they sponsor was not invited). On the tech end, there’s more drivel about Shimano’s new electric gruppo, including a dubious claim to be developing a “brake by wire” system. Below that in the same link, you’ll see some new wheels from Hed, which secured itself even more free advertising in this long-winded feature over at VeloNews. Floyd, apparently catching wind of my earlier confusion (scroll to bottom), has announced he’ll be taking it easy from now until the Tour, while Alberto Contador, one of the riders who could have challenged Landis a few days back at Paris-Nice, has an interesting little story at Cyclingnews. Finally, some sort of cancer funding bill must be up for a vote, because Velogal is urging you to contact your elected representatives and support it.