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Hm, two feedbags in a row. Starting to live up to its name again. That's a sure sign that tires are hitting the road again.

  • Speaking of hitting the road, CN's notes have a rather unpleasant exchange concerning Graehme Brown's supposed take-down of Tom Steels yesterday (I'm not taking sides). Steels will be off the bike for a week or so with a broken collarbone. And yes, "week" is not a typo. If I ever use some variant of "wuss" to describe a pro tour rider, slap me.

Much more on the flip...

  • CN also has a nice feature of the Toyota-United Pro squad and its 2007 outlook. They nabbed Henk Vogels from Davitamon, with Chris Wherry, Chris Baldwin and Ivan Dominguez the other headliners after JJ Haedo's departure to CSC. The writer, CN's Steve Medcroft, also checks in on the T-UP business model, where fans join the team, the team sells its own bike, etc., all aimed to survive changes in sponsorship. Sounds like a work in progress, but with a good outlook.
  • Back to the notes, Shane Stokes quotes Pat McQuaid as saying the Tour Down Under is a candidate for the Pro Tour. Unfortunately, the Pro Tour appears to have contracts with teams requiring them to start some kind of squad at all events. And McQuaid thinks Lampre wants to send a delegation to Australia in January? More and more, I like the opt-out idea for the Pro Tour calendar. The TdU is cool, but you can't force teams to plan for January racing, can you?
  • From the first edition, Bart Wellens is still saying he's going to sue the UCI over his crash at the Cross worlds. Wellens crashed when an official motorcycle clipped a barrier and Wellens crashed over the debris. I don't speak for 'Cross, and anyone who ever crashed in a race will tell you what a pisser it is... but is Wellens serious? Usually you win these kind of suits by showing you had a reasonable expectation of, say, not breaking your wrist/collarbone/neck/etc. Even club riders hav e difficulty meeting that standard, I'd guess.
  • Reading between the lines here, it sounds like Christian Prudhomme is reserving judgment on Ivan Basso's case before announcing whether he can race the Tour. Do people expect another shoe to drop from Operacion Puerto?
  • Pez gets Sidi to send them free shoes in exchange for a product review. Note to Sidi: if you send me your winter shoes with the electric toe warmers (size 42 wide), I promise far more effusive praise than Pez gave you. You won't be sorry.