Pro Cycling News – Silent Protest, Manolo and Lance skipping of '06 Tour?

Dec 17 2005

You may have noticed I did not post yesterday. This was to protest the alleged “news” proferred to you readers by the mainstream cycling media. “Millar confirms with Saunier-Duval.” Pffft. That’s months old. Sure, I guess it wasn’t official yet, but with the amount of press given it, including an interview with Millar himself in this month’s ProCycling, I’d say it was pretty much a given. And “Petacchi in Doubt for Giro,” honestly, people, do you think everyone has forgotten the contentious ’06 Giro Route announcement? Or the running “How will Milram work out the Zabel/Petacchi situation?” Add that to US ‘cross nats retrospectives, interviews with formerly relevant GC racers and reader mail, and it makes for some decidedly bland stew. I won’t insult you by providing links to these stories; if they interest you, you’re as good at using Google as I am.

Since yesterday, a few bits of news have accumulated. I got an email alerting me to this Dutch story, which seems to say Manolo Saiz may skip next year’s Tour. Babelfish isn’t much help, but “wil Tour de France boycotten” seems pretty intuitive to me. Armstrong has two stories, each orginally Dutch/Flemish as well, in which he claims (shocker) that the French are pursuing him unfairly and his response will be (shocker) simply to ignore it. Johan Bruyneel weighs in here on the ProTour/Grand Tours debate, but hold onto a bit of that trademark poker face, coming out diplomatically but firmly in favor of the ProTour. And finally, there’s this story, kind of human interest and generally outside the scope of what I cover, but still, marking the return of the only American MTB/’cross racer of any consequence in the last decade or so. Welcome back and best of luck, Mr. Kelly.

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