I can’t pick a single topic for the blog today so here are a few smaller points which are worth a mention.
French company Mavic has a clunky website but the content is super-imposed on some nice background images. If you’d like the image above, click on it to open a full size version which you can then use for your computer’s wallpaper. It’s the Col d’Izoard by the way (EDIT: at the time of writing it was the Izoard but Mavic are rotating the images so if you’re looking at this again, it’s probably another climb)
Spanish newspaper As is reporting Alberto Contador’s case going to be taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It’s been a likely outcome for some time but AS.com says the Spanish federation and its legal advisor are now resigned to this happening soon. Apparently they were congratulated by UCI President Pat McQuaid for their work but warned over political influence. If this is going to happen, I just hope it can happen as soon as possible. Contador is already winning races and were he to get a ban, these results would be stripped. Records already show Alejandro Valverde deleted from the results and I’ve written before about the farce of the Giro being determined by the courts.
Garmin-Cervélo signed a sponsorship deal with New Balance for shoes and compression wear. The ink had hardly dried before riders started tweeting about New Balance products, take Dave Zabriskie or Christian VandeVelde. Such messages from riders come across, to me at least, as contrived and fake. Which isn’t a great idea image for any brand.
If some of us shout “boo” at Di Luca, it was great to see Cadel Evans winning yesterday. Sometimes I’ve thought BMC never quite worked like a team but this time the likes of Ballan gave it everything. If anything they did too much too soon as Evans was left isolated in the closing moments of the race. But the Aussie just turned on the power, covering almost every move by his rivals and then barging Visconti on the last corner to lead out the sprint and blast everyone off this wheel. If someone makes a “highlight of 2011” DVD, this has to be included. I had Twitter open and Evan’s wife was sending out a range of messages: “300 metres“… “Hubbie there“… “GOOOO CADELLLL!!!“… “YEEEEEAHHHH!!!!!“. Now I suspect she’s biased but seeing Evans win and his wife’s delight, it’s this sort of thing that makes you forget Di Luca. Thanks Cadel.
No wins, no ride?
With Evans’s win yesterday, it leaves Euskaltel-Euskadi as the only top pro team without a win. It’s not a big deal because these guys are a fixture of summer racing and once the mountain passes open up, they’ll have their chance. But there’s a long term consideration here, namely that the team doesn’t have many proven winners. Samuel Sanchez is ageing and when a rider gets talented, he gets poached, see Benat Intxausti’s, now with Movistar. Joe Lindsey in The Boulder Report does a great job in explaining the consequences for the team, that if they don’t win more this year then they could be out of the World Tour.
Like many news bulletins, I’ll finish with the weather. The forecast this week for the Italian coast from Genoa to Sanremo says lots of rain. See for yourself via a webcam.
This means a wet Milan-Sanremo could be on the cards and if there’s some wind then this might split the race up a bit more. But we’re only Tuesday here, don’t give too much weight to this. The more direct consequence is that riders testing themselves on the route are more likely to hold back a bit this week meaning they’ll start on Saturday with a tiny bit more insecurity in their mind but perhaps a little bit more zip in their legs.