Still waiting on that wonderful new UCI anti-doping plan. Hopefully it isn't predicated on getting more files from Operacion Puerto...
- Vuelta a Murcia: Graeme Brown pips Baden Cooke and, uh, Alejandro Valverde(!) in the bunch sprint. Apparently they don't do time bonuses, because 42 guys are tied for the lead on GC, officially given for now to Cookie. Rabobank are off to a nice start this year.
- Jimmy Casper nipped Nico Eeckhoudt and Wouter Weylandt for stage 1 at Three Days of West Flanders. Casper won the GP Samyn yesterday, making for a fine week.
- Apparently the favorite for the Danmark Tour is Jose Rujano.
- Update [2007-3-9 14:51:26 by chris]: I'm not entirely sure what this means, but according to Eurosport, the UCI has essentially parted ways with the Grand Tours, allowing them to use their own selection criteria and not the UCI regulations. Presumably this would allow the Tour de France to bar Ivan Basso for his association with Operacion Puerto. Le Tour director Christian Prudhomme has been making veiled threats to unilaterally exclude any rider who doesn't suit their tastes, and now the UCI apparently has decided not to fight them. Best case scenario: the Tour issues actual criteria and applies them with some integrity. Worst case: suspicion = exclusion.
- Unibet are going to make ASO squirm for a while. The CN notes have them claiming Paris-Nice approached their predecessor Mr. Bookmaker to sponsor a jersey. The previous sponsor -- PMU, who run horse races for, yep, wagering -- wanted to focus its sponsorship on the Tour de France green jersey.
Look, I don't fault the French for having a law that says no outside gambling interests can advertise. If the state wants to limit gambling, fine, it's a vice. But in the context of cycling alone, the hypocritical approach is what deprives them of all moral authority. And that's before one considers that, Unibet or no, anyone could park at a wifi hotspot in Paris and gamble away their life savings on their laptop. So picking this particular fight is just nonsense.