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And Now For a Brief Programming Note...

Fotoreporter Sirotti

... because that's all I have time for this week. It's just as well, this being the only legitimately dead period of the cycling calendar. So dead that this constitutes news:

Milano-Sanremo and the Giro di Lombardia (is it really "Il Lombardia"? That looks like a typo) have moved from Saturday to Sunday.

Yup. That's news. Actually, it does carry some significance. Italy being a Catholic nation, by and large, and the Pope being... not exactly in Italy, as Vatican City has its own zip code, but let's just say when he goes out for a cup of espresso or pops by his favorite trattoria in Trastevere, he's in Italy. Anyway, either the Pope has signaled, at long last, that Sundays aren't so sacrosanct after all (Serie A on line two for his Holiness), or cycling has decided it doesn't care as much what the Pope thinks.

How does it matter? For that we turn, of course, to Flanders. The change might actually shrink the pool of top riders for Dwars door Vlaanderen, a fantastic race that happens every year on the Wednesday after MSR. Under the old system, guys had a few days to pack up from their Italian vacation, fly to Brussels, and change over to heavier rims while surveying the Haaghoek a few times and adjusting their definition of the word "road." With one less day, perhaps a few guys will decide it's not worth the effort, and with E3 Prijs on Friday, they can make their Cobbles debut (or re-debut, with the Omloop in the past) in Harelbeke. Will that happen? Maybe, maybe not. If it does, Cuddles will not be amused. And neither will I.

As for the Lombardia date change, nobody cares. Whoever is still racing then is in Italy for the duration.