I’d hate to be a national coach this year. With the Worlds taking place in Australia in October, every rider (and his wife) wants to take part, since they can get a free business class ticket out there… and back. Your phone will be ringing all the time, your inbox will be jammed. Thanks to the Worlds being right at the end of the season – I’d put them in late August but that’s for another day – loads of riders will fancy an all expenses paid trip to Melbourne and then to tag a nice end of season holiday on the back of it. Any rider who so much as finishes a race will feel they have a bona fide reason to go Down Under.
The French media have already mentioned how Cofidis rider Samuel Dumoulin has personally telephoned French selector Laurent Jalabert to express interest in going to Australia. Now Dumoulin tops the rankings in terms of races won this year but he’s not exactly been worrying Cancellara. And similarly when it comes to the Worlds, he’s not going to figure. He rode in 2003 and 2006 and was an illustrious DNF.