Oy! So much going on now... but you wouldn't know it from my participation here. Tomorrow we will be rolling out the Podium Cafe Buyers' Club with a fundamentally excellent offer... stay tuned. I spent the weekend at the Seattle Bike Expo trying to market the site and scoping out tandems to ride with DS Little Bear when his legs grow another 20 percent. I'll chime in with some info about purveyors of Pro Tour gear and nostalgia, i.e. people who should be advertising here, given our community. All of this, plus the horrors of daylight savings, and Cycling.TV's morning outages have kept me away from Paris-Nice so far... and it doesn't get any better this week since I'll be on travel. Could be worse, like when I went on a remote mountain vacation during week 3 of last year's Tour (they said they had cable).
- For all the Paris-Nice hype, the most intriguing development of the weekend has to be Il Killer's return to form at Milano-Torino. If this is a sign of Danilo DiLuca's '05 form returning, the Ardennes classics may have as many subplots as Flanders. For all the talk of how the season could be destroyed, right now we're looking at one of the most competitive Cobbled Classics seasons ever. [hands shaking...]
- Big props to Cycling Revealed, the Cycling web historians IMHO, especially where the Classics are involved. The piece on the Monuments is great for newcomers and nostalgiacs alike. And they just wound up their countdown of the top 20 Classics ever!
- At Murcia, it's tempting to see Alejandro Valverde's time trial win as a minor development given all that's happening. But it was in fact his first-ever time trial win. Think about it: if this guy is going to start winning time trials, is there any mystery as to where this is headed?
- Curious piece over at CN, where Les Woodland, forensic scientist, uncovers the gruesome and mysterious death of Ottavio Bottecchia. I may have to switch Va fa Napoli from riding Bassos to Bottecchias in tribute.
- Pez on Fabian Cancellara. With no Tony Montana references at all. I'm shocked; I had the over/under at five and a half.
- We've covered this a bit, but if you want to know why Operacion Puerco isn't dead yet, let Pat McQuaid explain it to you. If you dare.
- Tirreno-Adriatico, a/k/a Le Due Mare, is days away, and we will be putting up a preview as soon as I can (contributions welcomed). For now, some rosters:
T-Mobile: Gerdemann's show...
CSC: Jensie and co!
Lampre... no direct link, so I'll cut-and-paste: Alessandro Ballan, Matteo Bono, Paolo Bossoni, Marzio Bruseghin, Paolo Fornaciari, Enrico Franzoi, Danilo Napolitano e Gorazd Stangelj
Ditto for Liquigas: Leonardo Bertagnolli, Danilo Di Luca, Enrico Gasparotto, Vincenzo Nibali, Roberto Petito, Filippo Pozzato, Manuel Quinziato and Alessandro Spezialetti.
- Over at the Paceline, mostly just daily who-what-where, but you can catch JB's thoughts on Paris-Nice, including his less than solid support of Contador.