Catching Up After the Weekend

Aug 17 2009

farrarAh, back from a relaxing weekend of stage racing at the Tour de Millersburg. While I’m not a fan of 3/4 fields—I should have just done the P/1/2/3 race and taken my beating—the event is fun, supremely well-organized, and enjoys a ton of community support. Well-worth the long ride down from Boston; if you’re closer than that, it’s a must-have for next year’s schedule.

The big news, at least for American cycling fans, was that Tyler Farrar and Garmin finally got a big win at Vattenfall Cyclassics. I think many outlets have been spinning it as *the* big win, but my standards for the definite article are Gent-Wevegem, Grand Tour stage, or higher. Podium Cafe claims significance because it’s the “first true sprinters’ win by an American in a classic”; I say, which other storied fast men did Farrar best in this sprinters’ race, exactly?

As usual, the event was accompanied by a string of ludicrously low-resolution photos on Garmin’s Flickr stream. I can’t even tell what sweet new ink Farrar was protecting from the sun during his win. Are there really that many royalties to be lost from people using your images without attribution/making their own high-res prints? The eye-punishing size and restrictive licensing of these photos virtually eliminates their value as promotional materials—which, if the “blog this” link above them is any indication, they are meant to be.

Possibly because of this affront to the Internet Gods, the Vattenfalls win was bumped rudely from sports headlines in the “Etc.” section—politely termed “Olympic” by ESPN—by two stories. The first was Lance Armstrong’s addle-pated demolition of the Leadville 100 record, the latest in a continuing week of nonsense from the Texan, who may or may not have implied that said George Hincapie would be riding with him next year. The other was Usain Bolt’s 9.58 100m dash, on which I’ll have more to say later.

So now the cycling season rolls into its deepest malaise, after the post-Tour rush, but before the Vuelta. Rider dairies are all blathery about trying to stay fired up when so many others are getting worn down or tossing out the anchor. One could stay active by keeping abreast of the ENECO Tour or awaiting Jens Voigt’s return—provided one wasn’t stuck in a cubicle all day or already busy daydreaming about ‘cross.

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