Germany is the center of the racing world these days, but there's action a-plenty around Europe.
- At the D-Tour: Astana takes its first win for the glory of the Brotherland! Assan Bazayev outwitted fellow U-27 Project member Danilo Napolitano and Erik Zabel on the line for the first sprint finish. The first 136 riders were all together, and nobody of consequence saw their GC standing change. Vlad Gusev maintains his wafer-thin edge over Linus Gerdemann. VN with the first details. T-Mob site has some reaction too.
- At the other D-Tour, a/k/a Danmark Rundt, Aitor Galdos Alonso of the Ceramica folks edged intrepid Rene Haselbacher for the stage 1 sprint. Apparently these two and Stuart O'Grady jumped the field and won by 14 seconds over the peloton.
Some pictures up on the official race site. For English, Pez steps up with a preview.
- CN's roundup includes news that the Vuelta has kept a place warm for Astana. "According to Unipublic's ethical code, riders cannot be ruled out until doping investigations have been finalized and UCI bans imposed." Hm, sounds dangerously close to "innocent til proven guilty." So far the focus is on Denis Menchov and a few dozen Spaniards, but a Vino sighting can't be ruled out. Carlos Sastre might sit out after finishing the Giro and Tour. Oh, and apparently Cycling.tv will be carrying the race. No news on their site yet, but Anthony spilled the beans.
- Back to today's action: with Astana Wurth cleared to race, and as I've mentioned rested and ready, it'd be nice to know more about them. Here's their website. Hm, Wikipedia has a history writeup but doesn't list Bazayev on the roster. Ah well, stay tuned, I suspect we'll be hearing plenty from them in the next six weeks.