I’ve made one pick this far this season—that Greipel wouldn’t be able to hold his GC lead at the TDU—and the Gorilla made me look foolish. If this is how good he’s going in January, he’s either peaking way too early, or on track for a groundbreaking 2010.
The TDU—all three recaps I saw of it, anyway—seemed like a great early-season event. Footon managed to get some press—looking down on Valverde and the rainbow jersey makes a good podium shot—and as an added bonus, Manuel Cardoso’s Portugese National Champ kit doesn’t look half as ugly their normal uniform.
Johan Bruyneel went away empty-handed but wasn’t sad about it. Despite an Armstrong flier and some close calls from Gert Steegmans—back in action after a seven-month-long layoff for refusing to sign an anti-doping clause—I don’t think RadioShack were really banking on some results at the TDU.
Given Bruyneel’s miserable record at the classics (two wins—’01 Weveglem, ’05 Het Volk—in ten years), his concession speech may just be practice for later in the year. Certainly, Quick.Step doesn’t look they’ll be cutting the rest of the peloton any slack this spring.
And finally, Team Sky takes their first ProTour win. Bonus style points for rocking the skinsuit—the stage may have only been 90k long, but ProTour sprint victories without the jersey hem are extra sweet. It’s always good for a squad to get wins, but I still think Sky’s got a ways to go before the fill the Man U boots Brad Wiggins stitched up for them.