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Holy Week II: The Kickoff!

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Nuthin beats Flanders-Roubaix week? You'd get a pretty good argument for Amstel-Fleche-Liege, at least from the smaller guys. And while I'd be lying if I said it got kicked off in grand style Sunday at the AGR, at least we can see that the competition is incredibly -- almost paralyzingly -- fierce.

  • Plenty of coverage everywhere about the Amstel Gold Race... but as usual, the Pez coverage does the best job of calling it like it is and bringing the race to life. As for what it was, I felt like I was watching a Grand Tour stage, where the heads of state felt Stefan Schumacher was too far behind on GC and didn't bother to chase, when doing so might give their rivals a chance to grab a few seconds. What's odd is that Schumacher is making a case for head-of-state status himself, as opposed to some random interloper. Anyway, the recriminations could be interesting; so far Valverde has claimed he was the only one working to bring Schumi back. But there are two more precious races, so maybe we'll all just move on.
  • Many hearty thanks to our own Sui Juris for his on-scene coverage of the Tour de Georgia, splattered all over this site and his own Flickr photo cache. Fabulous work, an odd race, but a strong winner in Janez Brajkovic... certainly the strongest team.
  • Aside from watching the road, we'll all be reading the tea leaves this week on the unfolding drama concerning ASO's suggestion that it will exclude Ivan Basso and other OP-accused riders. Over at CN Bruyneel is playing cagey, saying Levi Leipheimer is his man for the Tour, and otherwise no comment.
  • I'll be on travel Monday until the evening, so all, please contribute heartily as you see fit. Drew or Pete, promote whatever looks good. Thanks!