Mar 19 2007
How all occasions do inform against me! First, snow appears from nowhere and puts the kibosh on the weekend’s racing. Then my internet goes out and robs me of the live action I might have otherwise seen. Oh, and ZeFrank goes off the air, I leave my bike at work, the T breaks down, I get stranded at the freezing cold Harvard Busway for 85 minutes, and pretty much everything else you can imagine going wrong this weekend, does.
Oh, to be young and European instead. Continuing the trend most rightly sounded out by Cyclocosm poster “fish-e”, it seems that a new generation of stars, most younger than I am, is coming to the fore (and I ain’t old). Today’s new face – Lampre’s Matteo Bono (nice U2 reference from Eurosport), who hung on from the break over the peloton-splintering climb Monte Della Laga. Moments later, Andreas Kloden, who’s generally only good once every four years or so, vaulted past compatriot and overnight leader Stefan Schumacher to take the GC driver’s seat.
Yes, it seems these fresh young lads are popping up everywhere. Cyclingnews has features on a few of the big ones: Disco’s Alberto Contador, Saunier Duval’s Riccardo Ricco, and Tinkoff’s Mikhail Ignatiev. But when the cycling publication of record spoke to P-N prologue runner-up Roman Kreuziger, who’s been compared to Lance Armstrong in many respects – though fortunately not this one – I began to wonder if these young guns hadn’t traded a bit of education for their precocious legs. Some selected quotes from the young Czech:
“I want[ed] to win at least the white jersey of Paris-Nice…I’m a little bit disappointed about that but Alberto Contador was too strong for me”
[And everyone else in the peloton, seeing as he won the race. But 17 places back, it’s not like you two were going punch for punch. -ed.]
“…[M]y Dad was a professional cyclist as well – only for one year, but he won the Tour of Austria twice.”
[Winning the same race twice in a single season – now that’s talent. -ed.]
No matter, though. With the sins of the previous generations still very much apparent in the sport, it’s nice to be able to just kick back and watch some kiddies fly. Maybe even take in a few sights along the race course. Heck, pretty soon these tots will have their own, brand new electro-shifting kits, that’ll make the junk Boardman and Zulle rode on look like a teletype machine. And when, exactly, will this glorious new technology be ready? When it’s ready, Junior! So just sit down, shut up, and stop kicking the back of the seat.