Tuesday, 29 September 2009

more than the tdf

while it's true the vuelta left me a bit cold this year i did enjoy both the tour of ireland and the tour of britain even if neither matched up to the spectacle of the tour de france. that said i have turned t to the dark side of bike race viewing, maybe it's the men in shorts, so much so i think she may make the trip into london.

so i put the men's world championship road race on with little expectation on sunday having spent way too much time watching the women's event after work on saturday morning! nicole cook, a shame, but emma pooley looking forward to stepping into those shoes.

anyway, so i watched the beginning, we had breakfast, lolled about and the cycling men did their thing. i meant to go out on the bike but i'm struggling with the training miles at the moment so did several other things which weren't that. then came back to where the peloton were still doing their thing. than again later to watch different coverage, much to t's chagrin, because the last couple of laps really were that good.

fabien cancellara. what a star. having, unsurprisingly, aced the time trial, he was well up for a win in the road race as well. the noise of the crowd when he hit the front was tremendous. so much for the dour swiss! but it was a race in which the italians and the spanish, particularly the spanish, raced not to lose to cancellara rather than win for themselves. you could see the frustration as they marked him out of the race, both covering his repeated attacks and then refusing, or more charitably, unable, to attack themselves. what a performance from cancellara, and zorg for getting him up there. what a shame he was to be frustrated.

kolubnev launched himself out for a gap and while he was on his own, just like cancellara, he isn;t cancellara. the move was covered by rodrigues, who couldn't or wouldn't work. kolubnev kept his head down, focused. cancellara made a couple of half hearted stabs but you sensed that he knew as well as us his race was over.

then all of a sudden a familiar figure. cadel evans, for it was he, had toiled to get into the lead group, now all of a sudden he was out of it, accelerating, attacking! stupidly, dunderheadedly the group gazed bovinely at each other. quite rightly cancellara just shrugged, why should he be the one? and evans was gone. gone up to kolubnev and rodrigues. past that pair and up the road. mr second place, yesterday's man had a gap, then a bigger gap. the eurosport guys were beside themselves. could evans finally do what he just hasn't been doing? actually win?

the gap grew bigger. would he have a mechanical? would he, a la vuelta, puncture and get swept up? would somehow his notoriously fragile personality, for which the words mercurial and eccentric seem to have been made, kick into play? none of the above. he coasted it. over the line and a brief kiss to the crowd and that was it. evans wins!

to their shame, and despite some quality protesting from david harmon for which it would be a travesty if he was disciplined, neither eurosport or the bbc managed a decent post race interview. it would've been great to have seen the fragile evans happy for once. at least he can say no-one will ever criticise him for not attacking again! it may be he'll never be the easiest character in the peloton, tho having seen the circus that surrounds the likes of armstrong, i strongly suspect i'd be the same but i can't help feeling, as with so many, he's deserved more out of his career. it may not be a grand tour but the rainbow stripes are at least something, a recognition.

chapeau, cadel evans. at last!

me? the rain pours down. i have to fix some brakes then settle down on the trainer. the joys!

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