Mar 20 2007
Stick a fork in the ’07 pre-season, kids – it’s done. Down-again/up-again Andreas Kloden held on to win Tirreno-Adriatico, perhaps reminding Team Astana’s enemies in The Cartel that the Kazakh squad’s talent more than outweighs Rene Haselbacher’s incessant crashes. Anyway, Het Volk, Paris-Nice and T-A are big, important events, but the season begins in earnest this week. I’m serious. Even the Belgians agree with me on this; Nokere Koerse, the first of the Flandrian classics, takes place Wednesday – though the main event is, and has been for the past 100 years, this Saturday in Milan.
It would be an understatement to say that this year’s been surprising so far. New names coming up, unusual old names looking good, the usual old names looking beat up. Honestly, this Saturday’s MSR is the most open in years. Robbie McEwen’s tipping his chances for the race, despite the fact that the Aussie’s got as many Sanremo top tens as he does ovaries. He does have a teammate who’s done ok there, but he happens to be sick. McEwen’s countryman Stuart O’Grady is also gunning for la primavera this year; big talk from someone who just got pwned by a Basque.
Anyway, when things get this wide-open and hot, it’s just hard not to watch. But there seems to be some confusion about whether or not the race will be broadcast live in the USA. Cycling.TV says yes; people trying to use Cycling.TV say “how?”; I say “I better not have to pay the effing Versus channel any money because I hate them”. And I don’t care what kind of field they’ve invited – watching the Tour de Georgia is not going to make up for missing this Sanremo. I’m just hoping I’ll find out if I can see the dang thing sometime before FSA releases it’s first parts kit.