Monday, June 27, 2011

No More Giro for Zomegnan?

--Is Zomegnan on the way out as the Giro race director? Despite all the success he's had at the Giro, he's also stirred up quite a bit of controversy.

In 2009 it was the Milan stage. There were parked cars and train tracks on the course so the riders protested and nullified the stage. This year there was the descent of the Crostis which was cancelled. After each incident Zomegnan lashed out at the riders in the press. While making enemies within the peloton, apparently he also made a few enemies within the race organization, RCS Sport.

I've enjoyed the Giro the last few years while Zomegnan has been running it. But I'm also tired of the way he treats the riders. Each time there's an issue--and it's got to be huge for PROs to protest--he responds by telling the riders to man up. First off, this guy never even raced as a PRO. He was a journalist. So to tell the riders to shut up and ride, is crap. Second, this gives a good idea how he likely treats others who don't agree. I'm okay if they axe him, and I think the riders are, too.

--Speaking of the Giro, Merckx didn't like the way Contador gave away stages at this year's Giro. He says, "It's not very healthy, and it's disrespectful to the public. A great champion owes it to himself to race with more panache." I wonder if he was upset when Lance gave away Mont Ventoux to Pantani?

--This weekend wrapped up the national championships. Here's the list of new road champs:

Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)
Sylvain Chavanel (France)
Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania)
Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)
Frank Schleck (Luxembourg)
Robert Wagner (Germany)
Giovanni Visconti (Italy)
Tomaz Marczynski (Poland)
Svein Tuft (Canada)
Pim Ligthart (The Netherlands)
Joao Cabreira (Portugal)
Peter Sagan (Slovakia)
Alexander Kristoff (Norway)
Grega Bole (Slovenia)
Martin Trautmans (Latvia)
Petr Bencik (Czech Republic)
Pavel Brutt (Russia)
Matthew Brammeier (Ireland)
Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)
José Joaquín Rojas (Spain)
Nikki Sørensen (Denmark)

Here's a complete index with more countries, TTs, and women.

--The FDA has concluded that there are no safe doses of EPO (not even just a little to get you up the climbs faster). This doesn't really affect cycling except that Amgen makes EPO and its contract with the Tour of Cali just ran out. If this FDA news is going to affect its sales, which I can assume it will, it might not re-up with the Tour of Cali.

--Looks like more than just Europcar is interested in Hushovd. Apparently eight teams are interested in the world champ. He wouldn't confirm who the teams were but he did say that most of the French teams are interested. My bet is he leaves Garmin. Lesser teams will be willing to pay better money for him than Garmin.

--Outside magazine had an article recently about the Lance v. Landis Twitter war. It has interviews with Landis about why he started Tweeting as well the creation of Grey Manrod (@graymanrod), the fictitious law firm he made to correspond with the UCI. It talks about and how they quoted Grey Manrod's Tweets as evidence.

The article also mentions that Lance is paying Fabiani $40k a month!

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