It's been a busy week, hasn't it? The season, which slowly sliding out of sight with little more than Paris-Tours and the oh-so-exciting Tour of Beijing to pique interest until February. Or, Sunday for cross season. But I won't do that to you... yet. But while racing has been more subdued outside smaller one-day races in Italy, Belgium, France, and Germany, we've been busy in other areas this week. Some people are indulging in all the typical off-season activities, from tasting the forbidden fruits of the race season to cross-training to strengthen those weak cyclist arms by signing contracts.
- We had mansplaining. Shane Sutton took offense at some astute remarks from Emma Pooley about the problems in women's cycling. Maybe you should take some time off, remember why you like this sport, Sutton suggested. Because, you know, addressing grievances is too hard.
- Women's transfer season is picking up steam. This week, Hitec - Mistral Products went on a spree, picking up Emilia Fahlin, Chloe Hosking, Rossella Ratto, and Rachel Neylan for 2013. That's a silver medalist at Worlds, one of the fastest sprinters in the women's peleton, a burgeoning 19-year-old with a 6th place at worlds, and ever-improving all-rounder. Impressive stuff there. In other news, TIBCO - To The Top is adding international experience with Claudia Häusler, Shelley Olds, and Chantal Blaak. The women's transfer season generally begins later than the men's, so keep watching as squads start to take form over the next two months.
- We waited with not-so-bated breath to watch Cavendish go to Omega Pharma - Quickstep. The [supposed] upcoming transfer, which would end Cavendish's term at Sky one year before the end of his contract, is second only in the worst kept secret competition to Cav's move to Sky last fall. Can't you just get it over with already, guys?
- More transfer news? Why not! Sky is on a buying frenzy, picking up young but uber-talented climber kids Joe Dombrowski and Ian Boswell. And just added Jonathan Tiernan-Locke. Geeze, I wonder where they got all that money from...
- Last transfer note, promise! If you want to keep up to date, check out a new feature we have - the transfer story stream.
- GIRO!!! The route for the 2013 Giro d'Italia was announced last Sunday. As expected, it is a climbers' party with so, so, so many big climbs in the last week. But! There is also a 55km individual time trial in the final week. Maybe Italy wants a dose of Bradley Wiggins next year. But, really, if they wanted Wiggo, all those climbs are a bit much, no? Instead, I bet we get to see the awkward battle of which climber can lose the least amount of time on Nibali.
- Speaking of the Giro, one cannot help but wonder if the intra-team politics are already beginning at Sky. Shane Sutton thinks Wiggins would become a real legend if he won the Giro and the Vuelta last year... which would, of course, leave le Tour open for Chris Froome to take a crack at. I wonder how Wiggins feels about this.
- Oh, and cyclocross season officially kicked off. In the US, we have had the first of four US Grand Prix of Cyclocross rounds and several other iconic races, including the
New England World ChampionshipsGrand Prix of Glouster. And the Superprestige series in the mother land starts on Sunday. SUNDAY, people. Break out the mud boots.