Things are starting to get busy... teams on the road, VDS selection (the highlight of the year), and even a Paolo Bettini's ego sighting.
- First, an update on the Podium Cafe Virtual Directeur Sportif 2008 competition: the Official Spreadsheet Entry Form seems to be functioning properly. A couple dozen of you couldn't stand to wait and have already submitted entries; thanks and keep 'em coming.
- Paolo Bettini is already dreaming of
fratricideFlanders, according to L'Equipe. Oh, I suppose there's a way forward for Il Grillo in de Ronde, but it involves something terrible happening to Boonen which is in no way Bettini's fault. And I ask you, if something terrible happens to Boonen, will anyone really believe Bettini had nothing to do with it?
- Pretty odd story about Evans re-upping with Lotto. He sounded pretty disgruntled with his employers this offseason. Maybe the Yaro-Pop addition outweighs losing Horner. Maybe he's intrigued by Omega Pharmaceuticals' rotating names and can't wait to see what comes after Stop Snoring.
- Back to the road... while the TdU has gotten plenty of attention, the more fun Tour of Qatar kicks off next week and will feature the usual course and familiar faces. The official website goes through the trouble of pointing out who all the favorites are, so we don't have to immerse ourselves in the nuances of cycling. Fortunately, we already knew: Boonen... and a few other guys. OK, Greg Van Avermaet, Nick Nuyens, Leif Hoste, Danilo Napolitano, Nico Eeckhoudt and a few other notables will be around. No Ale-Jet though.
- Pez ran an interesting feature yesterday on bike handling. Which reminds me... could there be a weirder story in Cycle Sport than their feature on Tom Danielson's new program focusing the spring on tricky courses to improve his bike-handling? I'm not going to denigrate Danielson, having no skills myself and no need to talk about something he's been dealing with throughout his European career. But it seems odd to see a rider of his experience still fighting to find comfort in the pro peloton. Should he be a world class triathlete instead?