Bodies flying, Pat McQuaid foaming, and German guys wearing black wool pancakes on their heads... that's cycling.
- Jens Voigt won the honorary Txapila with a patented solo effort, scoring a 1:39 victory over the contenders on today's Pais Vasco queen stage. Unfortunately, Jens still has another 23 minutes to make up in
tomorrow's 14km time trialthe final two stages, so he may have to settle for stages in Spain. Just barely surviving today, Ángel Vicioso nonetheless still comfortably (1:46) leads José Angel Gomez Marchante on the overall with one hilly day and a flat ITT left. Game, set... match? Perhaps. The big boys (Cunego, Schleck, Valverde) are all some two minutes behind, dreaming of the Ardennes.
- I've been ignoring this race, but Andreas Klöden leads the Circuit de la Sarthe, thanks to his time trial win yesterday. One stage to go, and a two-second lead over Nicholas Vogondy in this historical but just-off-the-radar French race.
Does anyone (DZI?) know much about Frans Maassen and Adri van Houwelingen? They're Rabobank's designated leaders for Paris-Roubaix, despite Juan Antonio Flecha's success there (3rd last year) and Leon Van Bon's five top-ten finishes. Rabo continue to field a lot of talent...[editor's note, by chris] I misunderstood the CN piece, which referred to "leaders" instead of the usual DS title.
- Speaking of which, according to CN, Freire and Ventoso had a deal to work together in the Gent-Wevelgem finale? OK, why not? They were dueling with the limpet Mengin and two T-Mobbers... who got their tactics straight before Windy and the Champ could.
- Scroll down thru the early CN notes for an incoherent description of Cadel Evans getting into a fight.
- It's official... nobody likes the Kemmelberg, or at least not the descent. So of course journalists trap Pat McQuaid into defending it.
- Roger Hammond is on everyone's lips... and CN catches up with him.
- Pez kicks off its Paris-Roubaix run-up by interviewing Eric Vanderaerden.
- CN posts its standard Paris-Roubaix preview today.
- Sam Abt is still working, but he's wasting the Holy Week covering disgraced dopers rather than the action on the road. Maybe he's on vacation and the IHT is in reruns.