2008: The Year of the French

Feb 10 2008

Het Volk isn’t until March 1st this year, but it’s never too soon to start dredging the murky channels of cycling to see what fetid gunk comes up. First sloppy bucketload – some guy whose name I can’t pronounce won a race I can’t pronounce. This sort of thing would normally make me feel like an unlearned American, but since no one can agree on how Monsiour Trofimov spells his name, I’m giving myself a pass.

The Bouygues Telecom rider’s win is yet another rhinestone in the neckless of knock-off wins strung together by French teams this pre-season. Jeremy Hunt added another at the TdL to go with Matthieu Sprick’s win on Stage 1, and the only win of significance thus far, Phillipe Gilbert’s win at the non-stage race stage race in Mallorca.

As a result, I now officially declare that the 2008 TdF, for the first time in 23 years, will be won by a Frenchman – and not just because no one else will be invited. Drug scandals aside, the ’07 Tour was one of the worst in history for the host nation; their highest finisher was 27th, over an hour back. And when the obviously hesitant heads of state betrayed the effectiveness of the doping ejections, there was no more excuse of a peloton at two speeds. Someone will finally take Fignon’s adivce to heart this season, and put on a show come July.

Hopping back over to the US of A, Velonews finally launched their new website, and I must say I agree whole-heartedly with their design team: those jiggly Wrench Science ads weren’t nearly annoying enough in the right sidebar. Smack dab in the middle of text is the perfect spot. On a related note, I’ve revised the blogroll over to your left, and added a feed ripper from the blog I get paid for. I get a traffic bonus if I draw enough hits; more money for me is more content for you, so spread the word and check back frequently.

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