Kind of a strange little hiatus, here. Two biggish races and then a little gap before the ProTour gets rolling at Paris-Nice. True, Lance is racing again, but I don’t find the early season warm-up all that compelling—certainly not when I can spend my time sussing out the various mind games at work.
It’s probably just that I’m looking for it, but does it seem like Armstrong is “looking great” a lot more often these days, and even managing to “eliminate some riders“. I seem to recall the Texan of old being far more coy during his prep races, though he has engaged in the age-old tactic of labeling someone else the favorite. I guess we’ll see what’s really up during Friday’s time trial.
I almost get the feeling that there’s something about cycling that lends itself to this sort of intrigue and posturing. The fact that hours of racing hinge on the actions of a few seconds seems to have inculcated instincts in everyone associated with the sport to work for every possible advantage, on and off the bike. And, of course, the politics also make a convenient scapegoat.
Thomas Dekker got the mandated two-year suspension for doping while Ricco got off with a reduced sentence? Ah, victim of politics. Didn’t get even a basic pro license because your squad makes Team Lada look like a rigorously-drilled drumline? Friggin’ politics!
But right when you’re about write it all off as a convenient excuse, something happens that makes so little sense that there can be no other explanation.