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Pozzato Takes It!

I never did see it live, and since you can read the text updates as well as me, I'll be brief.

  • The organizers got what they deserved. Historically they have gone to great lengths to dispel the notion that Milan-San Remo is a sprinter's race, but rumors abound that, faced with the prospect of native son/boring sprinter Alessandro Petacchi defending his crown, the organizers quietly dropped plans to add a third major climb near the finish. In exchange for this lowering of the bar at his behest, Petacchi allegedly said he'd ride the Giro (organized by the same people). So what did we get? A sprint finish, more or less, albeit jumped by the canny Pozzato. Very little action before the Via Roma.
  • Petacchi, for his part, got a respectable second, but that doesn't count much to a defending champion, especially since Tom Boonen didn't contest the sprint with his teammate riding away. So in essence, Petacchi got nothing, and it's all because his weak Milram team couldn't reel in the breaks on their own. Milram are looking very old right now, not only in age and legs but in design. What's the big train worth now in the PCT era? A few Tour stages perhaps, but maybe that's it.
  • Do Quick Step have some future trouble brewing? They now feature two Italian Classics champs, which is one more than most Italian teams could manage, let alone a Belgian one, and that's before considering the top banana. With Bettini hurting, things appear to have worked out OK today, maybe even according to plan. Bettini did some critical sacrificial work down the stretch, Boonen was cruising along in sprint contention, and Pozzato was available to try something in a break if one got away late. Judging from Boonen's reaction (apparently he missed a podium spot because he was too busy celebrating), things went well. Boonen was no doubt plan A, but only if plan B (Pozzato) didn't materialize.

But with three Classics champions on one squad, it will be difficult to keep ambitions in order for the rest of the season. Boonen just might deserve credit for recognizing this and being somewhat deferential in Italy, knowing that by letting them have their home race, his Italian mates all owe him in Flanders and Roubaix next month. He is well set up for the next three weeks of action, which include Dwars Door Vlaanderen, Prijs Vlaanderen and Brabantse Pijl before the major Classics start. But afterwards, divvying up the spoils among at least three stars will eventually be too much. Someone's gonna pay Pippo a king's ransom next fall.

  • How many early/mid-twentysomething stars are required before we can declare this a new golden age of Cycling? I can't wait to actually see the video... in just 28 hours!