Highlights of 2011 – Part I

I’m going to pick five moments from 2011. They are a personal choice like any list sometimes you omit more than you include but I’ll explain each moment. They’re presented in no particular order.

Hushovd Lourdes

First up is Stage 13 of the Tour de France from Pau to Lourdes. Allow me to set the scene. We had Thomas Voeckler in yellow and a relatively short stage across the Pyrenees dominated by the hors catégorie Col d’Aubisque. Revisiting my preview of the stage I called things quite well predicting a breakaway and pointing out the descent would suit risk takers. But few thought Thor Hushovd was going to win.

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Many more readers come to this blog during the week as opposed to the weekends. So in case you missed some things over the weekend, here are a few short items to catch up on.

Green edge jersey

Greenedge will unveil their new jersey but last night there was a storm in teacup over the design. The image comes via Mark Beretta. The design certainly doesn’t look inspiring but I don’t think it’s the real jersey. A well-informed correspondent has emailed to say the design isn’t finished and as a couple of others pointed out, the team is set for a proper launch on the eve of the Tour Down Under.

Taste is always subjective but when designing a jersey, it’s not just how cool it looks at the café stop. It must be visible, both when racers look for team mates but also for TV viewers on helicopter shots. Visibility and identification are what matter, only yesterday in the Vuelta and the GP Plouay I heard TV commentators getting Sky and Garmin-Cervélo mixed up thanks to their black kit. As you probably know the job of a commentator isn’t easy, with images on a small monitor but at the same time they’re broadcast pros. If they can’t spot the difference, how can an average viewer? Each false reference to the team is a valuable loss of publicity.

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BMC get Gilbert… but what next?

Gilbert BMC
Phil prepares to tow a BMC car up to the bunch

If the headlines are about Gilbert, I just wanted to ask some questions about the move and the future of the BMC Racing team. Because if the answers are hard to come by, thinking aloud does allow some reflection on the matters ahead.

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Rainbow warrior

It’s been an incredible year for Cadel Evans. His success a year ago in Mendrisio, Switzerland was a home win with his European home is minutes away from the circuit. Coincidently his Australian home is also minutes from the circuit in Geelong. The world title in 2009 transformed him, something that’s been pointed out by … Read more

Never say die!

Cycling fans might have been close to despair this week. Contador’s news was an earthquake and Mosquera and others were big aftershocks. On top of this we’ve seen UCI bumbling and Armstrong’s case continues to attract headlines for the wrong reasons. It’s been a terrible week. But the sun also shone this weekend. First up … Read more

Poor Thor

Spare a thought for Thor Hushovd. Voted by his peers as the best descender in the pro peloton, the Norwegian champion demonstrated the famous bike-handling skills by staying upright today. And more, since the bulky classics contender was at the front of the race whilst the rivals for the Green Jersey went out of the … Read more

Sastre doesn’t top Cervelo’s Tour squad

Cervélo Test Team have announced their team for the Tour de France and the surprise good news is the presence of Carlos Sastre. But it was a late inclusion. As late as last night it was not sure that the 2008 winner would take part. He might not be in the best of form but … Read more