Vlaanderen Plot Thickens; Cunego, Vino' Take Leads.

Mar 23 2006

Remember yesterday’s post, when I was critical of the race management at Dwars door Vlaanderen? Well, get this: the dude driving the Shimano neutral support car and blocking the chase this Saturday was the same freakin’ guy who pulled a similar stunt at last year’s Gent-Wevelgem! What the fµ¢& is he still doing driving neutral support vehicles? I’m no fan of the UCI, and it sure looks bad for them to have this guy still driving in their races (riders who cheat to win races get a two-year ban; drivers who cheat get a 200 Swiss Francs fine), but the people who really come out of this looking like total bunch of dickheads are the folks at Shimano. They fired this clown last year (search “Shimano”), to erase any “doubts about the neutrality of [their] vehicles” and now he’s right back behind the wheel. I’ve emailed the Big S asking for an explanation; who wants to bet I never hear back?

Moving on to somewhat less fishy results, Damiano Cunego scored a nice win at Coppi & Bartali today, snaring the overall lead by two seconds in the process. Cunego, seemingly the only Italian rider not in Belgium this month (add Luca Paolini to the Northbound list), won the sprint with ease and looks good for the Grand Tours. Another Tour contender, Alexandre Vinokourov has apparently wrapped up the win at Castilla y Leon, without really doing all that much. Though the Kazakh remains focused on July, it seems he can’t resist the allure of defending his LBL title. In the Tour of Normandy, TIAA-CREF finally relinquished the lead, after a tough two-stage defense yesterday, that included a late crash. And finally, for those of you who don’t already know it by heart, here is The Tyler Hamilton Story (from 1990-something to now) in two revealing installments; hopefully, the UCI will not suspended the interviewer for participating in an unsanctioned event with a currently banned rider.

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