Next up... a slightly more interesting grassy circuit around a Czech park! Plzen (rhymes with thrllzen and spllzen) (and generously gave the world Pilsener beer) is the rich stepchild of the Czech double, coming after last weekend's Tabor race, and while it's still a fast and not especially daunting parcours, it's got some fun features. First, there are some hills, which don't mean much in good weather, but add in enough inches of rain (and yards of pilsener)and you've got a party. And then there's the giant ramp. It's a tad gimmicky, but they put a couple S-turns before it (or have), which means you come into it with little speed. Translation: you're going to burn a match or two each lap getting up that thing. Frankly, I would be worried about making it, but that's why I am nowhere near the world of real crossers.
Last year Sven Nys outfoxed Zdenek Stybar (2010 winner here) and Kevin Pauwels, who has never won on this course. Niels Albert is a former winner here too. So I guess it favors everyone but Pauwels. The forecast calls for rain tomorrow, nothing much on Sunday, so unless it really pours, we could see another fast course.
Anyway, here's tgsgirl's take:
28: Plzen (WC)
- Type: meadow. staircase. possibility of snow
- Previous podium: Nys, Pauwels, Stybar
- TV: Sporza, 15h
Now that we're in the Czech Republic anyway, why don't we hang around for a while? Plzen and Tabor are pretty alike, and Tabor is probably the more interesting of the too. Let's hope it snows - snow races rock. Last year, the UCI jury made a bit of a mess of things by having people lounging about on the startline, very much hindering part of the peloton including Niels Albert, and then pretending nothing happened by not stopping the race and not calling for a restart. Please don't sue me Pat. I don't have any money.
And a little Youtubbery: