And the winner of today’s Paris-Nice crapshoot is…Alexandr Kolobnev. I’ll overlook his inability to spell his own name aside, and instead glumly focus on the fact that he won in a breakaway while using a Carbon Soloist – intolerable train of Cycling.TV Cervelo ads, here we come.
Fortunately, there was another ProTour event today at Tirreno Adriatico; not sure why the UCI needs two races – pehaps they think it cruel to make Italians race in the cold. Anyway, the superstars came through, as Robbie Mac and his Ridley pulled a Pozzatto, avenging a two-year-old loss at the site. Don’t be too impressed; he stole the idea from Paolo Bettini, just using curves instead of hills.
Meanwhile, even in death, Operation Puerto refuses to die. Every individual who’s seen the documents seems to think there was doping involved, yet every governing body that evaluates it objectively finds no grounds to convict. What’s the deal here? Corruption in the mafia countries? Or the still-upsetting truth that the accused is innocent until proven guilty? The French have always stuggled with that one. They’ve yet to loose their grasp of realpolitik, however – TdF Director Christian Prudhomme quickly saddled the onus for Puerto riders’ return on his current arch-rivals:
“These people were caught red-handed and it is inconceivable that they return to the world of cycling. I cannot imagine that the International Cycling Union will let them return.”
Of course, it’s not all cloves and lemons between the the UCI and the Cartel. Giro organizer RCS extended an olive branch to ProTour pariah Team Unibet.com in the form of a Milan-Sanremo invite – a race they actually have a chance of winning. Could the Giro be next? Is this a sign of peace to come, or simply a Nomuran reassurance to distract us from the coming war? Find out next time on “As The Wheel Turns”.