Stuck in my head: If I were in Richmond, yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby [ed.: dibby] dum...
Alas, the real action isn't there quite yet, though it is currently the world capital of running into famous cyclists out for a training ride.
All Things Richmond...
Are you headed there? Even if not, there may be some value to knowing some or all of the foregoing:
- World championships? There's an app for that. And it looks pretty useful. Basically it's everything you could get on their website, plus notifications. We'll see how much I enjoy those. Probably more than most of what pops up on my not-very-well-defended-from-my-kids iPhone.
- Socializing: We are honing in on a meet-up event on Saturday night, after the Women's race. Details aren't final yet but it will be at a public eating and drinking establishment, won't require a reservation, won't imperil Drew's security deposit, and won't require you to travel outside downtown Richmond. Mark your calendars now!
- Other PdC news... Twitter will probably prove to be useful for stuff like saying where people are gathering to watch races or go for rides. Use the #PdCinRVA hashtag for not only receiving communications from Cafe "leadership" but for passing on stuff of your own, e.g. where you are, whether you're joining us at our meet-up, post pics and videos, etc. All the things people do with Twitter that other people appreciate.
- OK, to the races... not every one is final but we are seeing more startlists take shape for the Men's World Championship Team Time Trial. Some names... Sep Vanmarcke made the cut with the otherwise very Dutch LottoNL squad. Benna got dropped by Tinkoff-Saxo. I may regret not propping up Giant-Alpecin. Several of the bigger teams still haven't done their final cut, such as BMC, Astana, Movistar and Vino4Ever. Etixx-Quick Step has their team all set and training, though it hasn't been entirely smooth sailing.
- For the Women's WC TTT the startlist is a bit closer to final, with only United Healthcare, Pepper Palace and Twenty 16 yet to announce their final six. CyclingTips has a solid preview, and their picks are split among Rabo-Liv, Boels-Dolmans, and Velocio-Sram. Not that you can trust these picks since at least some if not all of them are influenced by the writer's FSA DS team hopes. Not that you can't blame them.
Meanwhile, Outside of Richmond
- Catch any of CrossVegas last night? I did, technically, but in a state of bizarre sleepiness that robbed me of the chance to process anything. I guess if I'm going to drink a beer and watch cycling late at night, I need to be standing at the barriers rather than sitting on a couch, and the UCI World Cup status did nothing to change that. Anyway, Wout Van Aert took the honors for the hombres, signaling that he's ready to step in and kick ass this year, at least when Mathieu van der Poel isn't around. The World Champion won't be missed for long, as he's resting a couple mildly sore knees and will be at Neerpelt in nine days.
- On the women's side, Katerina Nash won for the fourth time, making the grassy fields of Vegas her personal playground once again. How does a Czech woman become a CXVegas super-champ? Well, she went to college in Reno and has lived in the US a fair amount over the last decade. Nash doesn't often compete in Europe, so we will see if plans change now that she's the World Cup leader for the time being.
- ICYMI, Cannondale-Garmin announced two rather intriguing signings for 2016, Lawson Craddock and MATTI BRESCHEL!!! OK, fine, Breschel may never be the classics mega-champion he looked like for two weeks back in 2010, but it's a sign that the team -- which once went hard after the cobbles -- is taking up the chase for muddy glory again. Kiel Reijnen, fresh off two stage wins at the USA Pro Challenge, is going to Trek.
- Vincenzo Nibali is still back in Italy, though not for long. He was named to the Italian nazionale today, as he was scoring a win in the Coppa Bernocchi. Yesterday he lost to a guy who's nearly my age (Davide Rebellin) in the Coppa Agostoni, but I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation.
- Friday fun: it's the Championship of Flanders, where you can win a really cool jersey. Saturday's schedule is also packed, with the GP Impanis in Belgium and the Memorial Marco Pantani in Italy. It's getting a bit late for the big names to cross the Atlantic, however, so look for slimmed down startlists in those events.