Friday, June 29, 2007

Drop by and take some 'training'

Everyone needs to drop by a doctor like this one. You just drop in (presumably no waiting, which in itself is remarkable) and receive some 'training'. Excellent. Must go 'training' more often.

Meanwhile Petacchi sits and waits, hoping that CONI can deal with his asthma medication issue before the start of Le Tour. It would be a shame to lose a key sprinter from Le Tour just because of poor timing, presuming he has the required doctor's certificates in place for an ongoing asthma issue, of course.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The men in black

It's almost tour time so we can expect a few things to happen. These may include...
  • Confident assertions of innocence: "This result is for me inexplicable and I will immediately require a second assessment," said Kessler according to his team (from Cyclingnews)
  • Bizarre accusations: "Gripper said that "We have information that they train in strange places." The controllers refer to the riders as the "Men in Black", because they wear neutral clothing on their training rides, rather than their team kit, which helps them avoid attention by the UCI controllers", again from a CN report
  • More confident assertions: "More importantly, Team CSC is making genuine efforts to change its team culture so that riders no longer feel the need or pressure to dope. The combination of CSC's strong antidoping programme with their equally strong culture of hard, clean riding is certainly an example for other pro teams to follow," said McQuaid. And "The Astana Cycling Team does not wish to enter this game and wants to clarify the following: If during the present season, it was tolerated very occasionally that certain riders train in an anonymous way, this is so that the professionals of Astana are not continuously disturbed by the many cyclotourists - in particular on the Côte d'Azur – and not in wishing to hide something." Both here.
Hopefully that's the end of it, that Kessler's B-sample is negative, that Astana are not the MIB and that we can all enjoy the racing. Alternatively a few riders, maybe even a complete team, could be excluded from the start of Le Tour and we can play the 2006 sudden exclusion game again. Let's hope not, and better still let's hope we don't see major players (or anyone, really) cop mid-race positives, either. Unless they deserve it, of course.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Friday, June 22, 2007

6 out of 20 ain't bad

Not when it's 6 riders from Oz in the top 20 of the stage 1 crit, anyway. Alas, it's not Le Tour. It's the Nature Valley, umm, Grand Prix. Vogels the best of the Aussies. It's a bit of a boilover in Switzerland, with Dekker taking a storm-shortened stage. Rogers remains best Aussie, but back quite a bit.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

FNWTR - Velocraft Wheelrace

Catch this great chase... it's the latest Wheelrace vid from the Friday Night Winter track racing at Dunc Gray velodrome, Bass Hill, Sydney... 15 June 2007.

McEwen takes a stage, Schleck leads overall

Phew. In the lead up to Le Tour it's always good to see Robbie McEwen taking a long, hard and slightly uphill sprint in the Tour de Suisse. Kind of warms the heart to see McEwen, Bennati and Zabel up there, battling it out. Notable also that Frank Schleck has kept his leader's jersey - his first as a pro.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Oh for the want of 14 seconds...

Dramatic, exciting, close and maybe even a touch dangerous.... what more could you want? The Dauphine Libere pulled some surprises this year. Moreau on Ventoux. Haussler's sprint. Astana's broad strength. And not only did Moreau get the GC, we had a dramatic final stage where Leipheimer got away, only to crash, leaving Vino alone to win the stage. And overall it was Cadel Evans just 14 secs back from the winner.

Meanwhile in Switzerland Zabel is flying! Another stage win, with a Cat 3 col taking the sting out of McEwen's legs. Bring on Le Tour!

And Ben Day won Beauce on GC in what was an impressive defensive action by the Navigators squad.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tour de Beauce, Basso and more

Aussie Ben Day has stamped his authority all over the TT in Canada's Tour de Beauce, taking the lead on GC as well. That's the good news. Meanwhile Italian star Ivan Basso has copped the maximum fine for his doping offence - the one he did but didn't do, if you'll recall. That's probably also good news. And plenty of Aussies doing well in Spain's Circuito Montanes. What can I say? It's all good, surely?

And in other news there's no word on Ullrich admitting anything. Just letting you know.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Heinrich Haussler: almost an Aussie

Born in Inverell, NSW but raised on a diet of German cycling from age 14, Heinrich Haussler is clearly representing Germany these days, but... it's still nice to see him beat Boonen and Co at the Dauphine Libere. I've nothing against German-Australians, after all. Boonen was 2nd, Brown 3rd. Hushovd had excuses based on Boonen's lack of punch - but Boonen was still ahead at the finish. Wiggins leads Leipheimer overall.

Meanwhile Olivia Gollan is doing well overall in the Tour de Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Tours of Luxembourg, Montreal

Aussies Mark Renshaw and Aaron Kemps are doing OK at the Tour of Luxembourg. Rabo's Flecha leads on GC but Renshaw is just a second back and Kemps 10secs.

And Aussie Oenone Wood leads the pack in Montreal with the T-Mobile team again looking strong.

Good results in China

Good result for Belinda Goss here in China... Final GC in the Tour of Chong Ming, although she was leading so it wasn't exactly what she would've wanted (Katie Brown did well, too, it must be said). It looks like a 23 second break for Meifang on the last stage, coupled with Van Dijk's spint bonus points made the difference:

1 Li Meifang (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling Team
2 Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland
3 Belinda Goss (Aus) Australian National Team
4 Chrissie Viljoen (RSA) South African National Team

Monday, June 04, 2007

Petacchi, DiLuca romp home in Milano

It was a big sprint win by Alessandro Petacchi who stormed into Milano, launched by his team to victory. And Danilo DiLuca did everything right to take the overall Giro win. It was a fascinating contest with some memorable wins by not just these 2 riders but the Saunier Duval team as well. All up, a great Giro. But no pointer to Le Tour, really. Petacchi will have to back up after a big effort of finishing a Grand Tour, whilst Boonen (injured, but back with a win in the Tour of Belgium) and McEwen (having retired before the Giro's big mountain stages) have been taking it relatively easy in the last week or so and will inevitably be a little fresher. And the big TdeF GC guns are still hidden away...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Did I mention...

  • Hilton Clarke's win at Somerville?
  • Or that it was Karpets first, then Rogers 2nd overall at Catalunya?
  • Or that the most honest and perhaps briefest of EPO-users, Erik Zabel, has both won a stage and taken the lead at the Bayern Rundfahrt?
  • Or that DiLuca is still out in front on GC at the Giro?
I should have mentioned all of that, anyway.