Strange News While I'm Off The Grid

Mar 18 2010

Man, I go off the grid for a second and the whole world goes bananas. I don’t even know where to begin.

First, Versus (Comcast, really) and DirecTV get into yet another idiotic conflict over carriage rates. Versus temporarily disappears from DirecTV, words are exchanged, and predictably, the modern-day frog war is resolved.

Strangely, Velonews, the leading cycling publication in the only country that this nonsense affects, has nothing to report about it beyond the same press release that everyone else got. Apparently, VS is how most Americans get their cycling—and you guys have nothing to say about it?

Then Nokere Koerse—a 70 man bunch sprint on cobbles? I understand that it’s among the smallest of the semi-classics, but still, the domination by smaller/non-classics teams is astounding. The first QuickStep rider was way back in 14th! I wish I’d seen it so I could say more, but certainly not your typical March race.

Things are always a little odd in the run-up to San Remo, I suppose. It’s a tough race to predict. You can be mathematical about it, but honestly, this is probably just as good. What’s really important in a race preview is that your website scales to fit different screen sizes so people can actually see pictures of the contenders.

Personally, I’ll just submit to the gambler’s fallacy and say that Linus Gerdemann will win MSR because the race hasn’t seen a real late break in a few years, and both he and his team are “due”. I also won’t have to suffer the ignominy of watching my pick turn to dust live this year (still in North Carolina) so I’m willing to be a bit more bold.

In a final bit of oddness, it appears that Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador will both compete at a newly-Corsican version of Criterium Internationale, a race better known as the GP Jens Voigt, until the German decided to take it off his schedule this season.

It feels like a decided change from the way I remember things in Lance’s dominant years, as he and Ullrich would seemingly plot their training on parellel courses, but avoid face-to-face meetups. Perhaps the Texan is looking to make a statement following Contador’s February TT victory.

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