The national championships offered
genuinely thrilling racing, plus a welcome double for GreenEDGE
courtesy of Simon Gerrans and Amanda Spratt. After the men's race, a
Victoria police officer distinguished himself by apparently being
surprised to discover that cycling championships involved a high number
of cyclists, calling Michael Rogers "a stupid f@#$%*g bike rider". Matt Lloyd returned, in agreeable fuschia.
from Ballarat and over the pond, Garmin found a new sponsor and
simultaneously became the 2012 pro team most likely for fans to
subconsciously associate with Sarah Palin. Garmin-Barracuda's new kit is
pretty much the same as the old kit, except with a Barracuda logo. Saxo
Bank, in other kit news, have brought back the policy under which all riders must agree to have their appendixes pecked out by the team eagle.
The team formerly known as RaShNiTreProCT but now as the monkishly austere RadioShack-Nissan-Trek had their 'rock and roll' launch party,
and it was falsely advertised unless you count one of the blokes who
used to be in Kraftwerk. The host broadcasters rated his performance so
highly they cut the live stream before he was finished. Comedy duties
were left to Andreas Kloden, who branded Andy Schleck "a little clown",
although Johan Bruyneel's team did also provide chuckles by attempting
to rebrand their domestiques as 'indispensables'.
Liquigas Cannondale didn't even try, holding their 2012 team presentation at the headquarters of a car company. That left Pro Continental outfit Farnese Vini to show how to do these things properly.
Remember when January used to be a quiet month?
Sky blue, Pope wears enormous hat, bear decides against travelling into town to use portaloo and opts for woods
You're going to want to sit down for this one. The decision on Alberto Contador's clenbuterol case might be delayed.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport's final* ruling was expected this
week, but according to the Spanish daily El Mundo could now be postponed
until next week or beyond because of concerns by the three attorneys on
CAS's ruling panel that their report is not yet watertight.
for hankie-squeezing cycling fans still concerned that the whole thing
might be concluded before we are all swept up in the Rapture, both
parties have the right to appeal.
*not necessarily final
The week in ...
Vuelta a Espana is often regarded as the runt of the year's three grand
tours, the Dean Waugh to the Tour de France's Steve and the Giro
d'Italia's flashier Mark. So it's congratulations to Vuelta organisers
for keeping pace with their colleagues in France and Italy by
successfully leaking details of the 2012 race route. Full stage details
for this year's Tour de France, you will recall, were revealed eight
days ahead of launch after they were inadvertently published on the
Tour's official website. The Giro route slipped out via an unprotected
page on the site's English language section.
The Spanish daily
AS was first with this year's Vuelta route, nicely torpedoing
Wednesday's official announcement by publishing one day earlier. As for
the route? Let's just say if you like your roads tilting upwards, it is right up your callejon.
Vos has the Olympics to keep her interested this year, plus the World
Championships on home soil, but Rabobank women's team manager Jeroen
Bleijlevens is worried about the future. When 2013 rolls around, how
will the rider who has won almost everything manage to compete without
frequently drifting off the road, her eyes glazed like frosted window
panes at the prospect of yet another humdrum victory?
Bleijlevens has the answer, and it is for Vos, 24, to race against men.
Vos's object would "not be to win", he added, wisely foreseeing the
kind of excitable Battle of the Sexes media coverage that was all well
and interesting when it was Billie Jean King but was pushing it when it
was Annika Sorenstam. "But she can improve herself, become even better."
Plan B, reportedly, involves a best-of-three series against a horse.
Dispatches from the Twitterverse
does gerro get a vintage cadillac now? - @Bridie_OD
How nice of the Drug Testers to give me an early morning Birthday present. - @cammeyercyclist