Poland Rained Out, Tour of Britan, Vuelta

Sep 10 2007

God, sometimes this blog thing is too easy: didja hear the one about the Polish bike race? No, seriously, they held a bike race in Poland, but then it rained really, really hard. So they let everyone go off and risk breaking their necks, and then neutralized the results. Safety first! And in a way, that makes last-placed Team CSC the winner of that event – someone credit Bjarne Riis with another brilliant tactical decision.

Anyway, for a 78 year old ProTour event, the Tour of Poland gets relatively little coverage: no photos on Cyclingnews, even. Part of this might be the Vuelta overlap, but there’s also the Tour of Britan, just finished with its second stage and still looking for a winner other than Mark Cavendish. It’s cool that people speak English in Britain and all, but shouldn’t the ProTour event take precedence? Even word that Oscar Freire “abandoned” the Tour of Spain gets billing ahead of the Eastern Bloc race.

But back the Vuelta, September’s marquee event (except for Worlds, which people consistently “abandon” the Vuelta to train for). Today’s stage finished atop Arcalis, which I think is too easy a climb for any race calling itself a “queen stage”, even after 214km. I mean, Jan Ullrich shredded the thing back at the Tour in ’97, and today’s seven-up sprint was about what I expected. I was surprised that Sammy Sanchez didn’t take the win, though I can’t say I’ve ever seen him fighting for a win on top of an HC climb, either. Could a change in focus be the explanation for the Spaniard’s relatively barren classics season?

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