A piece by regular Cycling Central contributor Anthony Tan about the women's road race in Ponferrada, yesterday, touched a nerve. While we defend its publication, and believe it to be a valid personal opinion, we also understand how it could be seen as divisive. In that spirit we welcome this response by Tom Palmer.
Impetuosity: the quality or character of being impetuous; sudden or violent energy of movement, action
Yesterday’s blog by Anthony Tan made a case for more of this stuff in the racing strategies of top women cyclists. Anthony said the women didn’t entertain him, stating “it was like watching paint dry”. He argued that every rider who didn’t win “got what they deserved” because of their wrongheaded tactics.
The women's road race at the UCI Road World Championships has certainly whipped up a hornet's nest online while several opinion pieces has kept discussions simmering.
In the days leading up to the live coverage from Ponferrada, the SBS commentary team was genuinely excited at bringing the elite women's event to Australian television screens.
By inviting Olivia Gollan and Henk Vogels onto the panel to share their expert opinion, experience and vast knowledge, we were satisfied the balance was right.
Seven kilometres from the Ponferrada finish, Michal Kwiatkowski, dared to dream.
Breaking clear on the back-end of the descent before the Mirador, the Pole closed the gap to the remaining escapees, then pressed on alone for the win. This was where the race was won, but its foundations were built far earlier.
The course, 14 laps of an 18.2km loop around Ponferrada, was an enigmatic one. In the weeks leading into the world championships, in the recon done by the teams in the days leading to roll-out, opinions differed in the scenarios likely to unfold, and the riders who would be vying for the win.
The underwhelming nature of the elite women's road race in Ponferrada, Spain is a clarion call to throw caution to the wind and bring back impetuosity, writes Anthony Tan.
With just under two laps remaining in the elite women's road world championship, as lone escapee Alison Powers held a slender 21-second advantage to the peloton, the conversation in the SBS Television studio between Cycling Central host Mike Tomalaris and pundits Olivia Gollan and Henk Vogels went something like this...
Tomalaris: Well, the laps are running out in the women's road race... Under two laps to go and we've got an attack from an American, Alison Powers... Liv, we've been waiting for this for a long, long time, haven't we?
Has anyone given much thought to what might happen if, by some twist of fate, Cadel Evans wins Sunday's world championship road race? Because according to Anthony Tan, the situation isn't entirely impossible.
There was one rather significant omission in Friday's news story that confirmed widespread speculation Cadel Evans would retire at his eponymous bike race on February 1 next year, 13 days before celebrating his 38th birthday.
It came from a press release I received from his BMC Racing Team in the early hours of Friday morning, headlined 'Evans's Future Includes BMC Ambassador Role'.