Pro Cycling News – Raisin Wins at Langkawi, Besseges Wraps Up, Challenge Balears Gets Going

Feb 6 2006

Geez, man. Can’t take a break at all in this business. I don’t post yesterday and what happens? Saul Raisin, a 23-year old American, takes a sweet stage win on the climb to Cameron Highlands in the 3rd Stage of the TdL. (Would have been even sweeter if the dude had answered the interview questions I sent him two weeks ago…ah well.) Anyway, in the battle for the overall, Stage 3’s second place finisher, David George of Team South Africa, has taken the lead in the event, with Selle Italia’s Gabriele Missaglia lurking 40 seconds behind, and Cesar Grajales a minute-forty further down. None of that changed much in today’s action, either, as Selle Italia’s Jose Serpa soloed in from an 8-man move while the field rolled in 3 minutes back. Who is Jose Serpa? Good question.

Jumping back in time again to yesterday, Etoile de Besseges wrapped up with another victory for Jaan “The Maan” Kirsipuu, while Frederik Willems carried the GC, as I prematurely (but not inaccurately, it turns out) reported here. Unfortunately, the conclusion of Besseges will not end the annoying early wake-up results penalty, as it has been replaced by a more interesting but farther East event, the legendary Challenge Illes Balears. It’s a kind of hippie stage race, where each stage is really an individual event, and a prize is given for combined time across all the individual races. So, don’t feel like racing one morning? Eh, no big deal. Also, the roads are apparently a bit slick. Someone better pass that memo on to Caisse/Balears’ Isaac Galvez, the Stage 1 winner who famously took Cipo’ out of the ’03 Giro by attempting an impossible inside line on a rainslicked corner, essentially capping Re Leone‘s Giro stage win total at 42. I would point out again that these are yesterday’s results – if you want to be the first to know about today, these guys are probably your best bet.

So what else do I have for you? Well, there’s the continuing saga of Jose Rujano, who’s looking (in my eyes, anyway) awfully cheeky for a dude with only one serious victory on his palmares. Another ongoing saga that’s hopefully coming to an end is that of Oscar Freire’s backside (scroll down). The three-time world champ returned to racing at the aforementioned Illes Balears Challenge (see paragraph two), and says he hopes to get all freaky-deaky on the classics this year. In tech news, I’m hoping that this integrated seatpost business isn’t catching on, because, honestly, I change my seat height pretty much every week. And apparently, all that bowling and all those hours of bike riding haven’t tired the TIAA-CREF guys out nearly enough. Then there’s this video file that contains all of the Elite Men’s race at ‘Cross Worlds. Not nifty enough? How about this new transmission that SRAM just bought the rights to?

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