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This is more than a links edition; more like several short posts in one. How's that for value?

  • From both VN and the CN notes, the UCI is drawing another line in the sand in round 1,267 of its heavyweight battle with the Grand Tours. This time they are insisting that all Pro Tour teams be allowed to race at Paris-Nice in March. Or else... something. McQuaid is convinced that the Grand Tours are going all-in, to use overly hip-sounding poker terminology. So much for the spirit of compromise. If it's the death-struggle, then expect it to play out soon. I'm not sure what the Pro Tour teams can do besides boycott. I don't fully understand this threat that ASO be kicked out of Paris-Nice, which it owns.

Doping and other pleasant subjects, on the flip:

  • So Operacion Puerto has long tentacles indeed, even if its effects seem a bit selective. The Ivan Bassos, whose cases have been taken as far as they can (for now), get to ride. But lesser riders, or guys whose cases haven't been dealth with, are getting blackballed. The latest examples are Carlos Garcia Quesada at Unibet and Jorg Jaksche, formerly a Saiz guy and hunting for a continental squad. The brewing backlash by the races is having a preemptive effect on the guys who don't have iron-clad contracts yet.