Apologies to the Virtual Musette, but it's time for the Feedbag to go native... [Oh, and credit to Sui Juris for my classy new column icon!]
Best news of the day: Pez is back online! Here at the Cafe we've been lucky to limit our one major outage to hours, not days, so I truly appreciate what a long week it's been for one of Cycling's most entertaining institutions. Don't miss their review of Dura Ace 2009, where Japan's gift to Cycling looks more like Record than ever!
No shortage of folks professed wonderment at Alejandro Valverde's ITT win yesterday, along the lines of "where did he pull that from?" Cycling Weekly tries to answer the question.
VN gives some details on the proposed Sochi Tour, set to make its debut in May, 2009. Another calendar matter: there will be no Pro Tour grand finale event for '08, as had been contemplated, but the UCI are still plotting something for '09.
Boonen-Gate updates: The headline at Tom's website reads Tom Apologizes, and you can get the whole statement, along with a note that the Quick Step team has re-upped with its title sponsor and its marquee rider for three more years. His Mom's Blog hasn't been updated in a month, but her most recent entry continues the subtext of the entire blog: that their lives are too stressful. Not to make excuses, but I suspect that if the "why Tom?" is ever answered, it will be attributed to their rather abnormal lives.
Finally, don't forget that the 2008 Tour de France Virtual Directeur Sportif Competition is open for business. Deadline (July 2) is still nearly three weeks away, so this is hardly an urgent reminder.