After a brief post-Tour hiatus to race bikes and encounter misfortune (though it could have been worse), I have returned to a cycling news cycle driven by rumor. Transfer season is upon us in full force, and Bjarne Riis is making a special announcement tomorrow—no bonus points for guessing who the top name on everyone’s list is.
Podium Cafe and the Boulder Report have had some good summaries and scenarios on how the chips might fall since the end of the TdF; as a late-comer to this game, I’ll just await Riis’ announcement and make some inferences from there.
Not that there’s a lack of races to cover at this time of year—Greipel stacked up another “meaningless” win at the Tour of Poland—but the results taken now likely won’t have a major impact on where riders end up next season. Despite the UCI’s flimsy “no official comment” rule, the lion’s share of negotiating contracts, securing sponsors and preparing rosters for next year seems to happen—without any “official” confirmation to the press—well ahead of or immediately following the Tour de France.
And, of course, everyone is tired of race news after (or fully in withdrawl from) the Tour de France, so speculation makes a nice change of pace for the media and fan base alike. The attentive or cynical reader might suss out the same effect in the plethora of doping–related stories bubbling their way into the post-Tour spotlight—outside of the Lance case, of course. As a story, the scope and appeal of that story is so far-reaching that it has already moved from cycling, through the mainstream media, and into a host of other niche markets.