Late post today and my aplogies, but I was racing ‘cross in some classic New England conditions, and I will relate it all later in a race report. Right now, though, meaningful results: Damiano Cunego won the Japan Cup today, adding another event won in the past by his former team captain to his palmares. The young, unmarried father of one escaped late in the day with Francesco Mancebo, only to destroy the likable Franky Manky in a two-up sprint. Gotta spot Mancebo for picking a poor breakaway companion on that one. In one last bit of triva, Cunego’s victory marks the 5th time in 6 years that a Lampre rider has won the event. For those, however, who think cycling world is run by room full of aging, potbellied Europeans high in the mountains of Switzerland, the road season officially ended yesterday with the Firenze Pistoia. The 33k TT, the last road event on the offical UCI calendar, was dominated by Eastern Europeans, as these one-day chronos tend to be, with Ukrainians taking all but one of the Top 6 spots. Panaria’s Sergey Matveyev was the top rider on the day, which really made his year, as he’d been waiting on this event since last October.
Today also marked the opening of the 2005 Cyclocross World Cup. No prizes for guessing who the top two riders are (especially when I put that link to the results page in the previous sentence…). If you’re really stumped, just try and think of any names you’ve ever seen at the top of a ‘cross results page. No, it’s not Jonathan Page and Mark McCormack, but rather the Belgian duo of Sven Nijs (or Nys) and Bart Wellens. The two have been trading World Cups, Superprestiges, Belgian Tricolors and Rainbow Jerseys in the event for a few years now, and don’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. The lanky Nijs/Nys escaped for the solo win today, which was a good idea because he rarely seems to get the best of Wellens in the sprint. To be fair, though, Sven’s wife is pretty hot. I’d say to all my fellow Americans that we could watch a whole season’s worth of ‘cross action at Cycling.TV, but apparently, WCSN is America’s new source for cycling events. I (need I even say it?) remain skeptical.
Hey, guess what I’m gonna close with? Yeah, holy crap, you guessed it! More Interbike news! And it’s only, like, a month old! Heck, tomorrow’s headline? Let’s make it “Tom Boonen wins World Title!” Freakin’ tech news. It’s a got a shelf life longer than most of the products it advertizes (I mean, honestly, bamboo bikes? Why go halfway? Let’s see some wooden ones, too). Anyway, there is some new and interesting stuff out, like Reynolds 953 steel. yeah, NINE-five-three. Made to the exact dimensions of a Lightspeed Ghisallo (well, ok, the article doesn’t say specifically that, but I think it’s safe to say), a 953-tubed bike made by Baum Cycles weighs a mere 1000g (2.2lbs), and is presumably way freakin’ stiffer than that 770g wet noodle, while making a nicer “ping” sound when you flick the downtube with your finger. But don’t worry; it makes up for those sweet features by carrying a 4,000 AUD pricetag.