Neil Stephens
Neil Stephens.

I had one of my secret meetings with Ivan yesterday — I can’t tell you when or where, in case the Moderator from Velo Riders tries to arrange a ‘hit!’

The man from behind the Urals was telling me that we didn’t see on Eurosport, after Cadel’s win, was the press conference he gave.

He ripped into Team Manager Neil Stephens, words to the effect;

“This was my win, no one else’s, it has nothing to do with the Australian team; despite my podium at the Vuelta, it was Simon Gerrans who was given protected status and I was told that I would get my chance if it didn’t work out for Gerrans.”

I think if I was Neil Stephens – given the season that Gerrans has had – I’d have made the same decision; but that’s Cadel for you, not a man to say the ‘right’ thing.

Meanwhile when the press tried to winkle negs from Pozzato about Cunego’s missing of the mark, the Italian champion’s reply was along the lines; ‘shit happens!

And here was me thinking that it would be those volatile Italians giving it the verbals about their team mates’ failure to deliver, whilst those fiercely patriotic Aussies would be tight lipped and united in victory — ah, but of course Cadel lives in Italy, that’ll be it!: : : 

I was talking to Kris the other day, in anticipation of the VeloVeritas 2009/2010 six day campaign — the man we work for, Franco Marvulli is flying, apparently.

Winning the Tour of Thailand last year was a highlight for Alex.
Winning the Tour of Thailand last year was a highlight for Alex.

He won a stage, the points and the combine classifications in the Tour of New Caledonia. This got me to thinking that whilst Europe is the heartland and our summer is when it all happens; there’s a heck of a lot of racing going on all around the world.

I get email updates from the Aussie Drapac squad, their schedule looks like this:

  • 29:09 to 04:10 — Tour of Tasmania
  • 11:10 to 17:10 — Jayco Sun Tour, Australia
  • 24:10 — Melbourne to Warnambool (that’s 265 k !): 
  • 25:10 – Japan Cup
  • 07 to 08:11 – Tour of Okinawa

And Alex Coutts is just back from a stage race in Crete; ‘Mondialisation’ is here already; maybe the UCI just hasn’t noticed?

And on the subject of Mr. Coutts, he’s very motivated for next year, hugely experienced in international races, a good team man and looking for a start — any offers?: 

[And did I mention la Vuelta a Chihuaha in Mexico from 04:10 to 10:10 ?]