“Cometh the hour, cometh the man,” the hour was a sunny late September afternoon in Mendrisio, Switzerland, the man was Cadel Evans.
Al Hamilton mentioned Cadel’s name before the race and I concurred that he could be in the mix and worth a medal — but the winner?
The favourites in my eyes were Damiano Cunego, Alejandro Valverde and Samuel Sanchez. I thought that the 38 climbs would be too much for Cancellara.
Rodriguez and Kolobnev weren’t surprises, Rodriguez is always there when the road climbs and Kolobnev is a master of peaking in the day — I saw him win a medal at Stuttgart.
The Italians got the tactics right, in my opinion, but there comes a point when it’s down to your star rider — the squadra took Cunego to where he was meant to be but he couldn’t respond.
No shame to Ballerini or the team; Cunego didn’t deliver.
Spain played poker, hoping that Cancellara would take them up; but Rodriguez wasn’t going to beat Evans or Kolobnev and bronze was all they could hope for — and what they got.
Cancellara is hugely powerful and impressive but the Worlds isn’t Paris-Roubaix; brute strength doesn’t cure all when you’re running with all of those wily foxes.
Guys like Sanchez and Kolobnev can absolutely kill themselves if they know they’re in the mix and the finish is close.
Fifth sounds OK to us, but to Cancellara, it might as well be 55th – the Australian world sprint champion, Gordie Johnson once said; “Without the gold medal, you’re nothing — and if you’re not on the podium, you’re less than nothing!”
That’s how it as the top.
The GB team’s best finisher was Steve Cummings in 52nd at 05:20 when you consider that there were 94 DNF it’s not too bad a ride.
Steve had two big wins for Barloworld last season but this year the word is that Steve and Barloworld boss Claudio Corti can’t be in the same room together — my money would be on the Liverpool boy!
His morale hasn’t been good and no morale = no results.
I think it will be a different story at Sky next year; he was well thought of at Discovery — Contador was very impressed by him — and given a good programme and team management, I think he’ll do the biz in 2010.
Well, that’s the Worlds won and lost — the boys at Silence Lotto will be on the champagne and cigars this night!
Under the Colombo, ‘just one more t’ing sir’ rule – if Scotland on Sunday is to believed, then the London Olympics cycling programme will be the same for men and women and will comprise;
- team sprint
- team pursuit
Aussie, Leigh Howard is the current World Omnium champion — but you knew that.
There will be no madison, points race or pursuit.
I don’t know the rationale behind the change, but presumably it’s to make things more understandable to the general public — in the case of the madison and points, which can be about as exciting as watching paint dry if you’re not an aficionado.
But to bin the pursuit – Madness!