The world of Cycling is pretty much on fire in at least three countries. This is no time for children and day jobs.
- The weather doesn't suck in Brussels, so despite some ominous warnings and the shutdown of the Rund um Koln today, I am not expecting any of the upcoming Belgian classics to be canceled due to snow. The organizers of the first Flemish race, Wednesday's Dwars door Vlaanderen (Straight Across Flanders), aren't sounding especially worried either: [warning: sherlock translation]
It continues, with something about a reserve plan, where they skip some of the more treacherous parts, if snow shows up on race day. Look for actual translations and news soon.
- Cobbles or no, the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon would be worth tuning in, if there were a place to do so. Today, in fact, they're riding to Ávila, scene of some great days in the Vuelta including last year's stage 18 and 19... but that's about where the resemblance ends. Thursday looks like the It stage. If anyone knows about live video, fill us in.
- Critérium International is an ASO race, which helps explain why Astana are going all out in Spain right now. Anyway, this is one of the last true training races of the spring; it's mostly all business after this weekend. Crit-Int is a pretty good place for the Ardennes contenders to warm up their form, with three stages in two days, a long bumpy run Saturday and a short 98km climbfest, followed by an 8.3km time trial, on Sunday. Valverde, Cunego, the Schlecks, and defending champ Jens! Voigt will headline, but no Gerolsteiner, Quick Step or Lotto in attendance.
- I'm not seeing any "what's wrong with Boonen?" articles, which I assume means the answer is "nothing." Het Nieuwsblad didn't have anything on its sports pages, though I may have missed the special "what's wrong with Tom?" pullout section by mistake. Anyway, E3 Prijs is usually where he announces his form, but it didn't do him any good last year, so perhaps he's got a completely different approach now? He is getting into his upper 20s, after all.