Well, the curtain is all the way up on the season. Obviously many of us were present and accounted for this weekend for the Belgian openers, but there was action everywhere else in the Cycling world it seems, and much more on the way:
- JJ Haedo scored an impressive win over an as-yet-unimpressive Oscar Freire at the Clásica de Almería. I've been avoiding this race because the word "Almería" has the potential to set off raucous mariachi horns and gravelly brogue in my head all day [name that tune!], but too late for that. Anyway, CSC says it's because Haedo is better than ever. Personally, I think Freire may be laying low, given that it's an Olympic year, but that's a wild guess. He usually has the flu for at least half of March too.
- If you missed Philippe Gilbert's solo win at Het Volk, relive the madness here. Apparently this is no time for refraining from Merckx comparisons.
- In Italia-Switzerland, Andrea Nocentini won the GP Lugano over Davide Rebellin and a host of chasers. Rebellin won at the Haut Var last week, and appears to be well on pace for another solid spring. I haven't re-read all the VDS breakdowns yet, but IMHO this guy is money.
- I completely dropped the ball on the Communidad Valenciana last week, but CN didn't. Sounds like some good sprints at least.
- Update [2008-3-3 15:58:16 by chris]: h/t Chief Commissaire: the domestic scene got underway too with Eric Wolberg winning the Merco Classic in breakaway fashion.
- Next up: Vuelta a Murcia, Alejandro Valverde's home race. The startlist is half-empty so far, so stay tuned. But the Green Bullet is scheduled to defend his crown, so there's your early storyline.