A few snippets and observations this morning.
I get plenty of press releases from teams and suppliers these days. Many are useful and informative for the news they bring. Some can include fake-sounding attributed quotes and a few are borderline spam along the lines of “X won Y race because of Z” product. No they didn’t.
But there’s a helpful one from BMC’s kit supplier Hincapie Sports. The US company will continue its sponsorship of the squad for 2012 and their press release stated as such, including beaming quotes from those involved. So far, so normal…
But it also went on to explain that a rider gets 300 pieces of clothing a year, the kind of information you don’t normally find. There are three types of armwarmer and six types of glove. In addition they explain several riders get custom kit tailored for them, for example Alessandro Ballan “has very long arms which calls for special jerseys, jackets and arm warmers“.
Velocast asks the UCI
The Velocast were the first to go public with the story of the UCI resorting to threatening letters sent direct to sponsors. The UCI first denied this via their spokesman who said “I can only firmly deny UCI took such initiative”, then President McQuaid said the matter was closed and didn’t want to comment, then days later he was talking about “fighting fire with fire“.
Having been misled by an official spokesman, The Velocast is trying politely to get some answers but even this process sees the UCI getting in a tangle. I’ve long said the UCI needs to be more confident, to explain its actions better and here’s a good chance to do this.
Cobo’s golden ticket
After winning the Vuelta a Espana Juanjo Cobo is a man in demand. He’s in talks with his Geox-TMC team about a new contract. Right now Astana, Vacansoleil, Ag2r, Katusha and Geox are close on the rankings meaning who ever signs him should get into World Tour and the golden ticket to ride the Tour de France. Yesterday the Spanish media reported he was linked to several teams including Vacansoleil but the Dutch squad promptly issued a denial. It could be Cobo and his agent are deploying the “I could go elsewhere” negotiation tactic to play one team off against another. But either way he still holds the cards, riding the Tour is so valuable in publicity terms that it usually eclipses the rest of the season. The transfer season closes in 10 days.
There’s a new website that aims to list every incident of doping in cycling called dopeology.org. It’s similar to the French language cyclisme-dopage . Obviously we’d probably prefer if these websites didn’t exist because there was no doping. But given we’re not there, they’re a handy reference allow the facts of any case to be recalled.
Formerly known as the Giro di Piemonte, the Gran Piemonte race is on today. One of the very last races of the year, it’s always got an exciting finish thanks to a 6% climb just 2km from the finish. The Piedmont region of Italy is a scenic place with varied terrain that goes from the high mountains to rice fields and is famous for its food and wine, from truffles to barolo wine. It was also the home to Fausto Coppi.
You might be more interested in Saturday’s race in Lombardy but the finish of this race is lively in itself but a useful pointer for Il Lombardia too. And on a cautionary note, there are very few races left this season so watch them whilst you can. Hopefully a video stream is available later and the final moments should be on youtube soon after.