Weather in Belgium looks pretty average for tomorrow's big event: sorta cold, windy and grey. Nothing severe in any respect. But then, the Kemmelberg was dry last year, and we all saw how that worked out.
- Actually, if you didn't see it, check out CyclingWeekly's Gent-Wevelgem preview, one of the best. They actually embedded youtube video from the last several editions, including scenes from Doodsmak-fest '07. They also group the contenders in eerily familiar ways, and run down the break-vs.-sprint record.
- Oh, and if you think moving the Kemmelberg descent off the cobbles makes it easy, think again. OK, maybe it won't be a pileup, but that looks like a footpath.
- Milram's crappy season continues. Yesterday manager Gerry van Gerwen scolded his team: "When riders present themselves in a race as part of our team did Saturday in the Netherlands, then they need to re-think not only their own performance but also their whole attitude toward their profession." Yikes. Now comes confirmation that Petacchi is out, though as they say in Flanders, "Hij had een excuus." Milram currently sits 18th in the Cycling Quotient team rankings, behind Slipstream and Serramenti.
- Oh, that other race. At the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Kim Kirchen stole Paolo Bettini's chance for his inaugural win in his second World Champs jersey, leaving the Cricket stuck on one win total from more than 18 months now in the rainbow stripes. No change in the overall.
- Also on the road, at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Anthony Ravard (AGT) outdueled Tommy Voeckler after a two-man break on stage 1.
- CyclingQuotient's 2008 Rider Rankings do the industry's best job of telling the story of the season thus far. As opposed to, say, the UCI Pro Tour, still crowning Andre Greipel their best rider thanks to a series of sprints in January. The top ten:
JJ Rojas Gil
- And then there are the team rankings:
High Road... etc.
- And Eddy Mazzoleni... see above. At 34 years old, he can pretty much kiss his career goodbye.