Q - No Tour de Georgia coverage at all? What’s wrong with you, Yankee?
Fair enough. I hate the New York Yankees baseball team, but I don’t mind being called a Yankee. I love carrots, but I hate carrot soup. And I hate peas, but I love pea soup.
First of all, my lack of recent commentary is primarily a function of increased activity at the Job Spot, not a result of any lack of interest in our beloved sport. Or Georgia for that matter. Especially when we have the opportunity to see the US National Champion (Levi) and a guy on the most popular US Professional team (Lowe, Slipstream) look at each other while some other dude hardly anyone has ever heard of rides away at the most critical time of the entire race.
With that said, sometimes I think they should make the Tour de Georgia into a series of single-day events and not a stage race. It’s gotten to be like an NBA basketball game, where you can just watch the last quarter and pretty much see everything you need. Perhaps they should just make Brasstown Bald a hill-climb event like Mt. Washington, Mt. Evans or Mt. Tam.
But if the alternative to an inevitable showdown on Brasstown is a breakaway that gains huge chunks of time like last year with Janez (aka Yanni) Brajkovichszcxsck, then maybe the current format is okay. I am not sure anyone wants to see a repeat of 2007 again.
Anyway, I fear for the future of the TdG if they keep having random foreign guys with unpronounceable names (at least for most Southerners – sorry, that was offsides) taking victories over popular Americans (see VandeVelde, Leipheimer). Not to be too much of a Homer, but American races need American winners to grow the sport. Especially in the South. Am I wrong?
Q - How many kids in Georgia are running around with their autographed Kanstantin Sivtsov jerseys? Do you think they outnumber the ones with their autographed Kanstantsin Siutsou jerseys?
This whole multiple name spelling deal continues to bother me. I haven’t had the time or patience to research this more thoroughly but I feel bad for a guy who wins one of the biggest races in the country and has both his first and last names spelled no less than three different ways in various major cycling publications.
Now, I understand that there are sometimes necessary alterations to account for ümlauts and whatnot, but still, isn’t there a name on the start list that matches his UCI license or something? I can’t help but feel that it is somewhat disrespectful to not honor the acknowledged, preferred spelling of the guy’s name. Is that crazy and hyper-sensitive? I would be annoyed if I were Kanstantin Sivtsov. Or Kanstantsin Siutou.
Q - How cool is it that Christian VandeVelde got the maglia rosa on the twentieth anniversary edition of Andy Hampsten’s 1988 Giro d’Italia victory?
It is very cool.
In a crazy confluence of events, I ended up in Chicago on the weekend that CvV got the jersey. For those who don’t know, CvV is a native of the Chicagoland area and I couldn’t help but think how cool it is that a guy from the Midwest would be pulling on the leader’s jersey of the Tour of Italy.
Interestingly, I had a fairly lengthy discussion with a gaggle of soon-to-be Aunts the night before Slipstream won the TTT and found out that a soon-to-be Cousin-In-Law used to race with Christian back in the day. We talked about what a good guy he is (I first met CvV when he lived in Boulder) and how cool it was that he and the team were in Italy for the Giro. Then I checked the InterWebs the next morning and saw that he had taken the maglia rosa.
Very cool indeed.
Q - Could you beat the Schleck Brothers in a game of poker?
Well, I don’t personally know the Schleck Brothers, but yes, I think I could beat them in a game of poker.
Maybe they couldn’t have done anything against Valverde in the finale but I honestly think that everyone on the planet knew that they were going to try to spring Andy as a decoy and Frank would attack when they reeled him in. It was Bike Racing Tactics 101 but there was absolutely NO element of surprise when Frank counterattacked. I think they got too anxious and predictable.
Do they have casinos in Luxembourg?
Q - Seriously, what’s with the all-white kits? I mean, really?
Ugh. I wish I knew the answer to that question as it has been perplexing me for a few years now.
One of the most disappointing things about the Giro d’Italia this year is that Paolo Bettini has gone back to wearing the white shorts again. You may recall that The Cricket had actually procured some pretty cool shorts for Milan-Sanremo that were black in the junk-area and had white panels with the World Champion stripes. Then, inexplicably, he shows up for the Giro in all-white again. Devastating.
I would say that the all-white kit is a Euro thing but Ryan Trebon called that theory into question a while back with his USGP leader’s kit. Far be it for me to critique Treefarm and David Millar on anything but still…you guys should leave the all-white style to the Italians and the Imperial Stormtroopers from Star Wars.
Q – Should Petacchi have been suspended for taking too much asthma medicine?
I have always thought that the whole “Therapeutic Use Exemption” thing was weird because we all know that, given proper money/fame/etc, one can get a prescription for just about anything. Unless, of course, you have insurance through Kaiser.
I guess at the end of the day, I’ll base my opinion off of the various insults I received after admitting that I ride with an iPod recently. As a testament to my apparent lack of intelligence, I say we keep the radios and continue to experience the fun of watching guys tape earplugs onto their heads before races.
I just hope they get to listen to something other than “Venga! Venga! Venga!” all the time.