It’s been a good week if you read the Guardian’s cycling coverage and like a rant.
‘I’m better than Armstrong now,’ says Wiggins – reads the headline; of all the bike riders in the world that one should not make that statement about, Lance Armstrong is the absolute top of the list.
Martin will no doubt fill in the blank here, but the man from Plano will have one of those feeds which alert him every time his name is mentioned on the ‘net. [Probably an Atom or RSS feed, or a Google filter Ed!]
I hope he didn’t read that over his 47.3 grams of organic muesli — messy!
Brad’s name will have moved from the ‘potential rivals’ file to the ‘black book list’ normally reserved for Paul Kimmage and David Walsh — you can see why I keep clear of those press conferences.
To add to Garmin and Katyusha then, we’ve got The Shack, all refusing to work in Sky breaks and pulling like hell to get them back.
Garmin, ah yes, the team that took Brad on, paid him good money, believed in him and rode their hearts out for him in the Tour — only for our boy to compare them to Wigan Athletic.
We heard that the deal had been done, months ago, but then it all went quiet; we believe that this was so as not to rock the boat whilst Garmin were doing the deal with Transitions. But as soon as that was done, it was time to sign.
There was an interview with David Millar on Cyclingnews on Friday past, give it a read, his comments ring true, to me.
The jist of it is that Sky are rocking the boat, and before a wheel has turned in anger, are heaping pressure upon themselves.
Also in that piece is a New York Times quote from Jonathan Vaughters; ‘The way the deal went through is very disrespectful,’ are his words. No favours from Garmin, either, then.
‘I didn’t go out to piss people off,’ David Brailsford said, according to the Guardian. ‘But we’ve got thick skins. And once the racing starts, the talking will stop.’
Two observations here, if that’s him not trying, I can’t wait to see what happens when he does try — and the talking will certainly not stop, once the season starts.
Whilst the British Media may not be well clued up on pro bike racing, but they know what a win is; and given the buzz that has surrounded this team, nothing but wins will do – and not from guys with funny names, it’ll have to be good old Brits.
And let’s not forget Ben Swift; he’s probably glad of the Brad hype to take the heat off his case — but we hear a settlement is close, thank goodness. We want to see Ben moving on with his career, the man has so much potential.
And finally, I thought ‘Gender Parity’ was an Amish folk singer until the last few months, but no, it’s a burning issue and is responsible for the removal of the pursuit from the Olympic agenda.
A few years ago, one of the 12, or maybe even 24 time trial guys said to John Woodburn that he should start riding those ‘man’s events’ and forget 25 mile time trials. Woodburn replied that it’s competition that makes a race hard to win, not duration.
With this thought in mind, why introduce more women’s events?
If you check the UCI web site (taking Continental listings from 2009) you will find 18 Pro Tour teams, 19 Pro Continental and somewhere around 120 Continental teams; a total of 155 or-so teams.
There are a total of 25 women’s teams; and some of these are adjuncts to the men’s teams from above — Columbia and Cervelo for example.
I fail to see how a sport which has one sixth the registered teams of its male equivalent should have parity.
And the distances should be the same, in athletics the women don’t run a 66 metre sprint instead of 100; the distance shouldn’t be messed with in the team sprint.
I think the main reason for having only two girls is that most nations would struggle to get sufficient numbers to put three up for the event.
And the omnium – good luck to the commentators explaining that one; I read that there’s a move afoot to take the omnium up to six events, instead of five — presumably to make it even more complicated.
Tradition, the rider’s views, the fan’s views, none of these things matter any more; no wonder I can’t wait for Het Volk — ok, ok, I mean Het Nieuwsblad.
It’s enough to turn you to golf; there are no scandals there.