Two for two in Cali for the world's most harmonious outfit. What's Danish for "mannschaft?" Let's go winners/losers style...
- JJ Haedo: The Winner
Start with the easy one. He did his job flawlessly today, keeping a low profile while not missing the split in the pack or wasting himself in the leadout to the final meters, when he left everyone in his dust. Just like they drew it up.
- Quick Step Train: Loser
Speaking of drawing it up... Quick Step really botched that one. No prob, it's February, they are probably content to work out the kinks this week. People are pointing out that Boonen was on form in Qatar, so he should be here too. But today was a curvy, difficult conclusion, and obviously Quick Step aren't quite ready to succeed Milram in the leadout train business.
- Tyler Farrar: Winner!
Pulling off some intermediate sprints is nothing to sneeze at, especially when it moves you up a podium place. Face it, the TOC is likely to be decided by pretty slim margins, and positioning among the guys bunched within seconds of each other isn't irrelevant the way it would be in a three week race or a Spanish climbfest. So the intermediate sprints count, and everyone knows it. Farrar moved up to second, which is better than anyone else can say.
- Fabian Cancellara: Winner!
Actually, his rather conspicuous and early victory salute is more literally a victory for cycling than for him. Boonen has a few moments like this as well. Not a lot of sports can say their biggest stars are known to celebrate the success of their lesser-known (or paid) teammates so genuinely.
- Mark Cavendish: Loser...
I have to believe there's an internal competition at High Road among the many, many talented young sprinters on the team. Well, it's only February, so he shouldn't lose any sleep, but Cavendish isn't off to a great start. First, Edvald Boasson Hagen took fourth in the prologue, an impressive debut. Today, Gerald Ciolek took second while Cavendish missed the sprint altogether, left behind when the peloton calved. Boasson Hagen missed it too, but he can claim rookie misjudgment, or perhaps he was chatting with Cavendish. Either way, this isn't a good trend for Cav.