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Daily Feedbag: Insane Variety Edition!

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This may not be the most informative feedbag ever, but you have to admire the originality.

  • First off, I rarely talk in terms of "liking" a doping story, but there's something special about the Stefan Schumacher saga, painfully detailed over at CN. Here's the talking points version:
  • Irregular blood values in September "explained" by stomach virus?
  • Crashed car during post-Worlds late-nite odyssey spent searching aimlessly for his girlfriend.
  • Now found to have traces of amphetamines (non-PED) in blood, which he says (with some sincerity) that he can't explain. Someone slipped him a mickey?
I'm not sure any of this means he's another cheat, but it does sound like a sitcom. Also, Germany's blood-alcohol level is 0.05%... aren't there towns in Bavaria where you could trip that standard just by breathing the air? Anyway, we haven't seen a scandal like this since Ullrich's last ecstasy dalliance, which ended with him knocking over some bikes, and purchasing several tech-house CDs later found to be unlistenable. The former offense, at least, was deemed firable.
  • On a slightly more serious note, our friend Anthony McCrossan has left his official post at Cycling.TV, though so far it looks like he'll be continuing on in the commentary box. There's a nice interview here, where A-Mac talks about wanting to go freelance with his commenting, forming a new company (stay tuned for details), and having done what he set out to with Cycling.TV in terms of its initial development and sale. Not sure I understand everything, but it sounds like his heart is really in the commentary work, with Brian, and though it's not official he hints that he'll still be C.TV's guy. In any event, he's made a name for himself and is likely to be one of the sport's primary English voices for a long time. Check out his website, replete with some very comforting audio.
  • I know it's early, but with only 40 days to go before the Tour of California Stanford prologue, I'd love to know who's thinking of attending.
  • CN looks into the Bennati-Pozzato relationship: sounds like Bennati is the fastman and Pippo the Classics guy. Kind of obvious, really, even if both riders have some class in the other's discipline. Bennati is headed to the Giro, for only the second time. His comment that Lampre kept denying him a start in the Giro lends a little insight into his decision to switch teams.
  • Finally, are you looking for a bike vacation? This article is a marketing piece, but it's a pretty good list of ideas and fun trips to contemplate. Especially for a beleaguered dad stuck in rain-ville.

Update [2008-1-8 20:6:46 by chris]: A road race item! Is this insane variety or what?

  • The first elite road race of the year (IMHO) kicks off this weekend: it's the Aussie Road Championships! Detailed preview and top quality start list over at CN. Anyone know about video coverage?