Monday, March 29, 2010

Postcards from Cali! (...and bye-bye Mr. Balls)

-That was quick. Shortly after I mentioned the ASO one-upping the Giro by pushing the Tour of California to May, Cav has decided he's going, going, back, back, to Cali, Cali!

First off, I love Italy and the Giro really does it for me. The last two years have been outstanding. Ricco's attacks (both on the bike and verbally) made for a riveting 2008 Giro. (The post-2008 Giro show where half the Italians were busted for EPO was also quite riveting). Then, Menchov's relentless defense of the maglia rosa in 2009 was truly inspiring, especially on the final day in Rome (if you haven't seen that you must).

But, when forced to choose, between flying 5000 miles to see Cav (and Lance) in May and walking 5 minutes to Hwy 1, I'll stay put.

(Speaking of, check out this course map of the stage from SF to SC. This year they'll go up Tunitas, down King's Road, then back up Old La Honda!! Last year, I saw them come up Tunitas and despite my dreams of pushing the sprinters up the hill Alp d'Huez style, they flew by in the big ring. This year, is going to be sick. King's Road is a winding descent that will be unreal to see them come down. I digest, but more on this later.)

Zomegnan (journalist turned Giro Race Dictator), you got your wish. No one will be protesting or talking back to you this year about any of your poor decisions. Instead, they just won't be there. One asinine decision after another you'll take the Giro from being the most exciting race since the Tour, to another Vuelta. (But at least Cuddles may finally have a shot at winning a Grand Tour.)

Long Live the Tour of Cali!!!

-In other news, Rock & Republic has rocked its way into bankruptcy. According to the article, it's "not clear what this [means] for the cycling team." Of course not! It never has been clear what anything you're doing, Mr. Ball, means for the cycling team. That's the kick.

Rock Racing, despite all Mr. Balls' [sic] purported concern for the riders and what not, has always been about the Rock & Republic show. Now, with Rock & Republic no longer 'rocking,' it looks like they'll be looking for contracts. (Just like Baden Cooke and Michael Creed had to do last year--I'm sure there were more.)

Just to be clear, I supported Rock. I pulled for them when the Tour of Georgia stuck them and others tried to. I said, 'Hey! These guys are good for cycling!' And for a time, I think they were...ok I can't do this. I liked them for a time, saw how they treated their riders, then could care less. Period. Besides, was it not obvious this was coming? Anyone who survivedJnco's knows that jeans, no matter how cool, only have a year, maybe two before they're OUT.

So, goodbye Rock, I'll miss seeing your killer kits (no sarcasm), your Scotts, I mean De Rosas, no wait, Fujis, no, Kestrels, wait, no Rock Racing bikes (sarcasm) at races. (For those of you who've followed Rock over the past few years, this is a hysterical post.)

-More importantly, Vania Rossi is innocent! Or at least now she's only guilty by association. I wonder if they'll be getting back together. What a shame, they were such a cute couple!

-So apparently the Shiv is now legal to ride (see bottom of this post). I wrote about this not long ago. Looks like the UCI realized having Specialized NOT manufacture one of the sickest TT bikes ever, wasn't, in fact, good for cycling. Go figure.

-PS Gent-Wevelgem is Sunday, so set your alarm clocks! Last year's is worth checking out too.

-Lastly, in case you have a hard time understanding Belgian cycling, here's a good guide. I would repost the map this guy made but it's so cool I just wouldn't feel right.

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