--Another exciting Amstel and Flèche Wallone! Those races are made for Gilbert so it was good to see him win. He was fortunate enough to have avoided all the tacks on the course! That's right, apparently some disgruntled enviro-activists were putting tacks on the road. I guess they didn't realize that flats = more tires = more destruction of mother nature. Maybe next time they could just pick up the trash?
At Amstel lil' Schleck went pretty early with an attack at about 8k. I thought he was crazy when I saw him go but apparently that's where big Schleck went when he won it. I think if he--and Joaquim for that matter--had gone around the 1k mark they might have had a better chance. Still don't think they could have beat Gilbert, though.
During the commentary Sean Kelly mentioned he'd won a cow once at a race in Holland...
--The teams walked out of the recent UCI meeting as McQuaid continues to prove himself inadequate as a leader. In this video interview he claims first that it was a scheduling issue, that they didn't change the agenda. He says the teams alerted him too late. Again pulling attention away from the real issue of race radios.
He goes on to say that it's not a power issue, or wait, it is. The teams want power and to have a say in their governance and they can't, not in cycling, not in any international sport. Wait so teams want to actually have a say in how the sport is governed? Get out!
Oh and it gets better, from this article it looks like McQuaid even tried to blackmail the teams by saying that he had the Biological Passport data and isn't telling who's suspect.
--Cyclicio.us has a great post up about the Golden Gate Bridge speed limit issue. Looks like the Bridge bureaucrats commissioned a survey. If you look at the statistics it's pretty clear what they found: despite the thousands who traverse the bridge each year, or maybe in spite of the thousands, it's still EXTREMELY safe. I mean really, an average of 16 accidents per year? That's including both the clumsy tourist walking side and the bike side.
However, since they'd already funded the study, they had to do something. (Because in bureaucracy, the protocol is that a study must result in action. This gives the illusion of work being done.) For the "action" part, they made a blanket recommendation for speed limit which was done completely out of protocol with how typical speed limits are set. Classic.
Here's the study if you're looking to kill some time.
This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man.
--Freire had some kind words about the Tour of California!
"In California, there is a huge expectation that you don’t see at the European races,” he said. “That surprised me the first time I went over there, in 2008. Over there they don’t see cycling just as a sport, but as a spectacle. The problems that we have in Europe, all stories of doping, people don’t care about them there."
Freire is right on with the last part. We're Americans, WE DO DRUGS!!! (Okay was going to link to the really funny commentary I posted a while back but apparently the guy has closed his YouTube account. I guess with a title of "lance armstrong does drugs...duh..he rides bikes for a living" the Lance mafia was on him like a Livestrong bracelet on a cancer survivor...)
--Matthew Lloyd gets the boot from Omega Pharma for, um, "behavioral reasons" which is Aussie for drinking.
According to statements from Lloyd:
"If I've been bleeding in places you cant see, and feeling the affects of doors being locked, I’ve called the people who change the locks, and the gate is open...All I have to do is ‘open the gate’.."
--Okay, I'm going to go with the bad news first on this one. Looks like there's not going to be any carbon fiber on future iPads. I've been pulling for the "iTeam" for a while and was hoping adding carbon to products might get Apple comfortable with PRO cycling. Well, it hasn't happened yet.
The good news is that something carbon-y is in the works. Apple is hiring a carbon fiber engineer. Let the seeds grow...
--Ben King (@benking89) continues to prove what a fantastic writer he is, not to mention rider.