Friday, August 24, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

Aussie 1-2 in Olympic test TT

What does it mean? Not a lot. Evans was 2nd in the test RR and now Evans and Rogers are 1 and 2 in the test TT. Against good but not the best competition. As a result it shows little but as a test of how Beijing will cope with the road cycling events it's a step forward. The Aussies weer there to test the facilities and scope the course, so it's job done. It at least means they know the course more intimately than the likely top-flight competition.

CN reports here on the 23km TT.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Speculation and all that: Leaping Levi to Lotto?

Well there are plenty of good riders up for grabs, and they may be prepared to bargain... but why would Predictor-Lotto suddenly have the wherewithal to grab a rider of Levi's quality? Is it for real? If so, it makes some sense, in that old 1-2 fashion. Can they afford 3 stars? Will they let someone go? Hmmm.

From CN: Belgium-based squad Predictor-Lotto is interested in having the signature of American Levi Leipheimer, third in the recent edition of the Tour de France. The 33 year-old is looking for a new team after it was announced that current team Discovery Channel will be folding its operations at the end of 2007.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Aussie ProTour pipedream?

There's been talk but little action. Now we see Yahoo and CN are reporting some pretty weak but hyped news, though: " has shed some light on its ProTour intensions, after announcing earlier this week it would throw $20 million dollars behind an Australian ProTour team. The Australian company, owned by former Australian Rules footballer turned businessmen Tony Smith, has revealed its eight figure pledge will be made over a period of five years, meaning another estimated $15 million in additional funding is required to make the plan viable."


Roamfree is an online accommodation service, so we can see the links here. An Aussie ProTour team would certainly need to roam around a bit. And the travel links nicely into tourism and government support. But do we need this? Why an Aussie team? What's wrong with just a Aussie corporate ProTour team of mixed nationality? Why not beef up one of the existing Aussie-based Continental pro teams? I'm all for giving Australians a chance to race as pro cyclists, and I like the idea of improving the image of cycling in Australia, but I really think that national teams are a side issue and a distraction.

National squads are a convenient label that we have become used to, especially at the Olympics, but they attract as much flag-waving-nutter hypocrisy as genuine support. It could become just another political lever for a government. A lever that is as easy to push to "off" as it is to "on". Instead let's distance ourselves from politics and nationalism and ground our professional cycling teams on rock, not shifting sands. If there is some bedrock under this suggestion, let's see that commitment.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Joe Lewis gets gastro, wins 100 Euros

From, an excellent read from Joe Lewis. It's a gripping tale of gastro followed by some smart attacking after the prime to win the race. This is not an Aussie crit.

Good result for Meadley in HKS Tour

I forgot to mention that Jelly Belly's James Meadley picked up a win in the Hong Kong-Shanghai Tour...

A win for Gilmore, McGee still up there

Speedy Gilmore had another win... and Brad's obviously flying at the moment. It was Zabel's 13th D-Tour win and Voigt retained yellow, btw.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Sprinting in straight lines - Tour of Denmark

Yes, I hate the 'fast switchers' too. One moment they are here, now they are there, searching for that elusive best wheel or open space. I understand it, I've probably done it. I've crossed wheels with one and came down hard. But gee Graeme Brown cops a few too many disquals over this, doesn't he? Is he targeted as a bad boy? He's had that reputation, sure, and he'd agree that sometimes it's a fair cop, but... so many others switch lines, too. I guess the test is 'was it dangerous'. Oh well, at least Matt Hayman got fifth.

2007 Criterium De Bethel

Ahhh, helmet cam... every crit should be neutralised in the middle 8 like this one was...