My Selection Process, Saunier, Amstel Previews

Apr 19 2007

You’ve probably wondered how I decide which races I’m gonna talk about here on Cyclocosm. Well, there’s a method to my madness; I call it the “HR Department Solution”. Obviously, at this point in the season, there are more races than I have time to cover, so when some race I’ve never heard of before, like Paris-Camembert, appears on my computer screen, this is my process:

  1. It’s sounds foreign, but not so foreign that it might be in Asia or Africa. So I’ll keep reading.
  2. “huh, isn’t Camembert a type of cheese?” Food names, like Amstel Gold or Classica Haribo, are good signs.
  3. Click the link and go immediately to results – What? A French podium sweep?
  4. Obivously, a good candidate for the circular file.

I’ve been doing this with the Tour de Georgia all week. Yes, I have heard of it before, but it’s not foreign, doesn’t sound like food, and it’s been having funding issues. Plus there’s no real subtext to it (no seething feuds, no armada of TdF contenders – just this guy) so I feel ok passing on the flat stages. I’m gonna give the nod to yesterday’s stage, however, because it marks the emergence of yet another Disco prospect (Danielson in ’05, Brajkoivc in ’06, Gianni Meersman in ’07) in the hills of Dixie. That, and Johann Bruyneel got busted for speeding. Current Disco rockstar Levi Leipheimer also showed good legs in Today’s TT, putting mad time into runner-up Dave Zabriskie.

Another race I neglected to cover was the Tour of the Basque Country, mostly because there are <IMHO>too many Spanish 3-7 day stage races that have no bearing on anything</IMHO>. But it was a sort of coming out party for one Juan Jose Cobo, of Saunier Duval. Cobo’s the second new breakthrough for Saunier Duval this year, and the team has been going quite well as of late. Did I mention that there were rumors a certain Doctor had returned to his practice? I certainly hope there’s no connection between the two – for David Millar’s sake.

Anyway, Richardo Ricco, Saunier Duval’s first surprise of the season will be back in action for Amstel this weekend (pick your favorite here!). ProCycling has already got their preview up, while Pez presents a historical look at the relatively new race – though someone really ought to tell them what the phrase “Dutch Treat” actually means. The start list is nearly filled out, and France’s least favorite pro cycling sponsor – whose team WILL be racing this weekend – is already taking bets.

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