Hmm, third week in March…I seem to recall there was some sort of big thing in cycling around this time…OMD! – that’s “OMG” en franÃ§ais – it’s the “just over three months to the Tour de France” mark! Better track down and interview a race favorite! Seriously, though, Reuters was probably better off running a TdF story than coming out with an MSR preview as doofy as ProCycling’s. Allow me to highlight an offending paragraph:
“The sprinters have often had it their way in recent years, as long as they have the legs to last nearly 300km. Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) and Oscar Freire (Rabobank) won it in 2005 and 2004, while Tom Boonen (Quick.Step), Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto), Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) are all solid favourites.”
I wouldn’t say the sprinters have generally “had it their way” on the via Roma – four of the past ten Sanremos have been taken from a break or suicide attack. Furthermore, Petacchi hasn’t been sterling thus far, Hushovd’s looked flat out bad, Boonen’s sick and failed to take even a stage at P-N, and McEwen’s never even approached competitive at Sanremo. That leaves ’04 winner Oscar Freire, who ProCycling’s own April ’07 cover calls “a walking disaster”. Favorites indeed.
Velonews interviews another non-favorite today in Cofidis’ Tyler Farrar (that’s him, second helmet from the right, getting annihilated at KBK). While the win is a longshot, Farrar could definitely prove to be the ace up Nick Nuyens’ sleeve this weekend, which would be pretty cool. Let’s hope, unlike the last American who did well at San Remo, that he doesn’t end up leading out Romans Vainsteins for he next two years.
Podium Cafe has tracked down a few MSR previews that might not suck (haven’t checked – too lazy), and Cycling4All has a provisional start list up. Notably absent are the number one and two rated cyclists in the UCI ProTour standings – it’s like they don’t even care about keeping that white jersey, or something. Anyway, until better previews come up, you can entertain yourself with more Operacion Puerto fun.