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Annandag Jul Open Thread: Larske Wins; Wild Cards Happening

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Patrick Verhoest

Happy Day After/Boxing Day/St. Stephens Day! There's a lot of action on and off the bikes, so I'll get this started.

I overslept (damn you, bourbon) but apparently it was a bit of a Dutch treat for cyclocross fans, as both Lars van der Haar and Marianne Vos went off on solo adventures to win the Zolder World Cup -- Vos on the last lap, van der Haar much earlier on.

The Giro d'Italia issued five wild cards today, four to Italian teams -- usual suspects Bardiani, Androni Giocatolli, Vini Fantini and newish Neri Sottoli -- and one reserved for a foreign team to be named later. Cycling News has a rundown of who they think might be involved, and why MTN Qhubeka aren't it.

Sporza reports that Roompot have been invited to all of the spring Classics minus those run by ASO, which include Paris-Roubaix, La Fleche Wallonne, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege and which have yet to announce anything. Anyway, except for their Sunday in Hell, Roompot are good to go through Brabantse Pijl. The Ronde van Vlaanderen happens on April 5 this year. And with the passing of Christmas we are officially under 100 days on the Countdown Clock!

Speaking of de Ronde, Fabian Cancellara is making noise about only racing for two more years. Sporza has a short interview. Not really news, except for confirmation that he doesn't plan to prolong his career indefinitely, which isn't a shock. He's Swiss (meaning the big races aren't near his house, like the Belgian guys who race til they're 40 because they can be home for dinner afterward), and he seems pretty aware of his legacy too. So yeah, no big shocker.

OK, off to ride. Remember, Annandag Jul, which literally means the Day After Christmas, is your last day to drink with Swedes until the weekend. Enjoy!