Sep 30 2005
Well, normally, the World Championships marks the end of the season, leaving hordes of cycling fans as hungover as Tom Boonen in a Madrid hotel room wondering where the fork he left his rainbow jersey (speaking of ole’ Blackout Boonen, apparently, he “forks” on the first date). But, thanks to the ProTour, there’s more racing to be had. The Championships of Zurich, one-day, a flat-but-hilly, long, could-go-any-which-way affair, are this weekend, and provide current ProTour leader a chance to clinch the title (not that he hasn’t already; it would take three consecutive wins by Alexandre Vinokourov, plus an outbreak of bubonic plauge confined entirely to Danilo diLuca to keep the Liquigas man from claiming the title). Last year’s event, run in late August, saw Juan Antonio Flecha inexplicably win a 20-man group sprint, much to the dissapointment of everyone, since it left him unable to execute his trademarked victory salute.
Meanwhile, my arch-nemeses at VeloNews have chosen once again to skimp on actual bike racing coverage to bring you 78 reports a day from Interbike. Bit easier to rewrite press releases than do watch races and do research, I suppose. Industry tyrant cyclingnews has also been in Vegas this week, providing the world with somewhat blurrier pictures of the event. My favorite so far has been this Serotta, which, had Team CSC not just announced its continued partnership with Cervelo would make me think the American custom builder was making its triumphant return to the pro peloton. Also deciding to hang in with Bjarne Riis and Co. are Spanish climbing fiend Carlos “Dee-” Sastre, and whiny-but-likeable American Christian Vande Velde, each slated to ride with the Red Storm ’til at least the end of 2006. Oh, and Aitor Gonazalez is (unsuprisingly, given that the penalty for admiting you dope and lying about not doping are the same) denying the charges made against him by l’Equipe of a still-yet-to-be-officially-announced positive test result.