Man, I go off the grid for a second and the whole world goes bananas. I don’t even know where to begin.
First, Versus (Comcast, really) and DirecTV get into yet another idiotic conflict over carriage rates. Versus temporarily disappears from DirecTV, words are exchanged, and predictably, the modern-day frog war is resolved.
Strangely, Velonews, the leading cycling publication in the only country that this nonsense affects, has nothing to report about it beyond the same press release that everyone else got. Apparently, VS is how most Americans get their cycling—and you guys have nothing to say about it?
Then Nokere Koerse—a 70 man bunch sprint on cobbles? I understand that it’s among the smallest of the semi-classics, but still, the domination by smaller/non-classics teams is astounding. The first QuickStep rider was way back in 14th! I wish I’d seen it so I could say more, but certainly not your typical March race.
Things are always a little odd in the run-up to San Remo, I suppose. It’s a tough race to predict. You can be mathematical about it, but honestly, this is probably just as good. What’s really important in a race preview is that your website scales to fit different screen sizes so people can actually see pictures of the contenders.
Personally, I’ll just submit to the gambler’s fallacy and say that Linus Gerdemann will win MSR because the race hasn’t seen a real late break in a few years, and both he and his team are “due”. I also won’t have to suffer the ignominy of watching my pick turn to dust live this year (still in North Carolina) so I’m willing to be a bit more bold.
In a final bit of oddness, it appears that Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador will both compete at a newly-Corsican version of Criterium Internationale, a race better known as the GP Jens Voigt, until the German decided to take it off his schedule this season.
It feels like a decided change from the way I remember things in Lance’s dominant years, as he and Ullrich would seemingly plot their training on parellel courses, but avoid face-to-face meetups. Perhaps the Texan is looking to make a statement following Contador’s February TT victory.
thoughts on “Strange News While I'm Off The Grid”
Wasn’t it AC who changed his schedule to face an already-comitted LA?
Yes, Contador was originally intending to ride the Volta a Catalunya but switched to face Armstrong.
My pick for MSR is Boasson Hagen to break away and win by a few seconds, btw.
Nokere-Koerse is supposed to be like this. Short and not really hard. Nokereberg isn’t that long and the cobbles are pretty nice plus it’s short enough to allow the bunchsprinters to finish it.
It’s like a poor man’s Sanremo: Attackers have chances, but most times it’s a sprint of hard men.
…because they are too busy rocking the coffee shop in boulder….
@Anon, Sam Allen: That’d make sense. Contador has seemed pretty into the mind games since Lance essentially bought last years’ Tour team out from underhim.
Contador is of course mostly mild-mannered, but he’s good at the occasional ballsy gesture that puts Lance awkardly on the spot. This last-minute decision to ride the C.I. reminds me of that awkward handshake with which he ambushed Armstrong at last year’s Tour route presentation.
LA will be no show, with lingering Gastroentirius that has spred beyond his yellow jursey to his belly.
i don’t see lance caring at all what contador decides to do. this will be just another training day fro lance and a failed attempt by contador to distract him. it actually benefits lance more to see contador give his best while he trains. data that will be used later.
@e3, I don’t think Armstrong will be able to do anything to stop Contador anyway, at either CI, or the TdF..
Voigt on having no team for the CI: “Can’t I just start alone? I don’t need a team. All I need is a mechanic and a car!” I’m sure that one registers a pretty high Jens Factor.
Now Lance is starting to publicly express his doubts about his ability to get the job done at the Tour (interviews at the Tour of California)