UCI Bans Bouyer, Americans Ride Well, Racing Heads North

Mar 21 2006

*Sigh* – I knew I should have posted yesterday morning. But then I got all caught up in doing stuff and now it’s today. So I missed talking about some new Australian beating a few notables (Eeckhout, Cooke) to win some French race, where, on the start line, folks were upset that the UCI won’t let Franck Bouyer race because his narcolepsy medicine is on the banned list. Apparently, a rider passing the f*ck out in the middle of a bunch sprint and taking down half the field is less damaging to the sport than a guy using drugs to lead a normal life. Ah well. Today’s racing is way more important, anyway, since an American team went 1-2 at Castilla y Leon. In France, details are sketchy, and the report somewhat apocryphal (coming from the winning team’s DS) but it looks like TIAA-CREF has scored its first big European win. And, to complete the American trifecta, here’s Road Cycling’s latest Team Discovery Channel report.

Looking ahead, the racing heads North for a bit, and this excellent preview should fill you in on all your classics needs. The rustic pavé may have a a definite Italian flavor this year, as everyone from Petacchi to Bettini to Pozzatto is looking to reclaim the legacy of such legendary Italian hard men as Francesco Moser and Andrea Tafi. Of course, don’t expect the battle to be easy: this year’s classics events look stacked with talent, and I, for one, am glad to see more riders mixing it up with the flahutes. Of course, my joy in this is somewhat countered by the RCS’ caving to riders demands (scroll down) that half stages be removed from this year’s Giro. Yes, I can understand the riders’ complaint, and while I’ll never be able to experience the exhaustion of a Grand Tour to properly judge whether they’re being whimps or not, cycling just seemed so much more epic back when men were men.

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