h/t to several of you who pointed out the Cycling Weekly article where Giro d'Italia director Angelo Zomegnan admits that High Road are still contenders for the last remaining entry into this year's Italian climbfest. Zomegnan apparently wants proof that the team has broken with its sordid past, but if he gets it, sanity may well prevail. Apparently Astana's case, by contrast, is closed.
[So the Sinking Joke fallout continues. T-Mobile, High Road's predecessor, were the first and most aggressive team to institute what I thought were truly visionary internal doping controls last year, and cleared out most of their pre-2007 roster as well. But one idiot put a testosterone patch on his arm and they're an outlaw organization? I digress.]
Also of note is that apparently High Road has re-registered as an American team. H/t DZI (got a source?) While it doesn't change anything on the road, this is a huge move in terms of its effect on Cycling culture. T-Mobile was the first signature German team of the modern era, one which saw Cycling really take hold in the Fatherland. T-Mobile gave us two Tour winners including the first German, the enigmatic Ullrich, as well as the greatest sprinting/classics ace in the country's history, Erik Zabel. T-Mobile were as geographically connected as any of these vagabond outfits... but the telecom giant quit the sport in disgust and now High Road have fulfilled the rumors and darkest fears of German fans by shifting its identity to California. This is Dodgers-to-LA or Colts-to-Indy stuff. Huge. And yet, I suspect the hysteria there was what drove them out. Stay tuned.
Team High Road will officially present itself at the Tour of Cali on Friday eve. I'll add in the details from my email in a bit. Not sure if it's public but maybe y'all can crash it.