Sunday, I did my hour on the bike this morning; had my shower, washed me vest and hat – time to amble down to the newsagents to pick up The Observer. Just to see the prologue result in print; there might even be a paragraph or two, a mention of Iñigo Cuesta… but no – “nada.”
As far as the press goes, there’s the Tour and the Olympics – and drugs, of course.
There was a cool piece of info tucked away in yesterday’s Cervélo press release; “The prologue held special significance for Cervélo’s veteran Spanish rider Iñigo Cuesta, who started a record 16th Vuelta,” – wow !
Zoetemelk finished 15 Tours, I don’t know if Cuesta has finished all 16 of those Vueltas – if he has, I think that must be a Grand Tour record.
But being the saddo that I am – I had to check it, didn’t I?
I make it 11 finishes – well, practically anyone could finish 11 Vueltas.
Ciolek the stage win – I wouldn’t have bet on that one, but it’s like Charly Wegelius said; “Cav has eclipsed everyone this season.”
In 2005 at the age of 18, ‘Gerry’ beat Zabel to win the German elite road race – it caused a sensation at the time.
I was at Salzburg when he won the Under 23 Worlds as a Wiesenhof pro in 2006.
A good contract was inevitable after that and he signed with T-Mobile for 2007, he took 10 wins for them, all in Germany or Austria, including three in the Deutschland Tour.
Last year he was a victim of Cav’s success – part of the Manxman’s High Road train; despite that he took seven wins – again, all in Germany.
This year should have seen him blossom, freed of his responsibilities to Cav and a protected rider with home team, Milram.
But up until Sunday, he’d only lifted one bouquet and that was way back at the Trofeo Calvia in Palmanova.
Third at the Hamburg Classic (despite poor positioning on the run-in) showed that the form was coming.
Watch for him at Paris – Tours.
Ciolek, Sabatini and Hammond – you’d have got long odds on that top three.
Greipel fourth, Tyler fifth and Tom eighth – it’s getting hard to predict them sprints.
Unless Cav’s there, of course!