Who knew my high school German would actually get so much use because of Cycling? Anyway, some farewell thoughts, and daily links, as we say auf wiedersehen to the World Championships.
Departing thoughts: From BiciRace comes the best information of how the race was won in the DS car. Italian manager Franco Ballerini played his cards masterfully, plain and simple. The biggest danger on the road were breakaways by strongmen like Vinokourov and Cancellara, but these guys were neutralized by superior sprinters Alessandro Ballan and Filippo Pozzato, and were softened up by Davide Rebellin's fliers -- turns out he was racing for Italy, not Argentina. Then the Squadra Azzurri held the pack together for the final sprint, itself a danger and a near disaster if McEwen hadn't been blocked out of the last-km separation. From Ballerini:
Much, much more on the flip:
First off, the game stories:
- Cool post-race quotes from the Anglo contingent.
- The usual and entertaining Pez-goes-backstage story.
- From the Italian media: Il Prez calls Paolo to congratulate. Also Bettini confirms that the rainbow will be on parade immediately, at both Zurich and Lombardia. No word on Paris-Tours next weekend just yet.
- If you only click on one link, ever, this one should be the one. Nice to see he's gained a good six inches of height since then.
- More Italian media: the Gazzetta cover.
- Just when he thought he was out, the Peloton pulls him back in...
- A few interviews/generic profiles: Bettini in victory, and before the storm. Also a look at wunderkind Gerald Ciolek.
- OK, poaching liberally now from CN's post-race quote files...
Zabel: coulda used a team...
Boonen: Had a team, but it didn't matter...
- Basso to be cleared? Dutch media on the scoop.
- Landis: No dismissal. Not sure if that's anything more than, you don't get off that cheaply.