Neither Oscar Freire nor Heinrich Haussler will ride the Tour this year. No real surprise there: Rabo are going all out for Gesink, and the Dream Team roster is packed. However, the announcement has prompted some outspoken remarks from the usually mild-mannered Oscar in a velonation interview.
The Tour is the most boring race of the year. In the flat stages, you have a breakaway, then a sprint. In the mountain stages, the same riders are at the front every time.
And the polemica doesn't stop there.
Oscar prefers this:
(Oscar and George Hincapie at the Tour of Flanders, 2008)
The Tour of Flanders: that is a real race...
It would benefit the sport if the Classics were raced in the summer.
Has Oscar been perusing PDC, and come across our secret plan devised in the post-Roubaix malaise to cobble the Alpe?
Is Classics in summer a serious suggestion? My preferred interpretation is more classics rather than disrupting the glorious Spring calendar. I agree that for the past decade the Tour has been very boring (maybe 2003 was the last exciting one?). I'm still always thrilled with anticipation in the buildup, only to feel disappointment at the predictability year after year. The Giro does not have this problem. Perhaps keeping away from the painful race radios topic, should something about the Tour be changed?
[picture credits: l'Alpe d'Huez, VerTdeTerre; Oscar Freire at RVV 2008, Mette]