Apart from family, what could be more important than wine and bikes? Of course, there might be the odd rant about other topics on here too...

Friday, July 29, 2005

Life without Lance

I'm just back from the Denver/Boulder area in Colorado and feeling very fat and sluggish having not had the opportunity to do any altitude training... While I was working out there I was thinking about life without Lance and have decided to give up blogging because there's just no point any more!

OK, I'm kidding, but I was thinking about what this means and I think it's great on a number of levels:

American cycling has never been so strong. 3 in the top 10 of the Tour; 5 in the top 20; every day except one in Yellow; 3 US stage wins (not counting the TTT) and three US stage winners; even ignoring Lance, there are star riders/leaders from the US on teams from several countries - Switzerland (Landis), Germany (Leipheimer), Spain (Horner), Denmark (Julich and Zabriskie), Belgium (Rodriguez was a star lead out man for McEwan); as well as the strength of the one US team - nice timing for Discovery to take over! Lets hope it all translates into a continued interest from OLN...

Discovery - Lance will no doubt remain heavily involved in the team, but with and without him, this year has been amazing - the Giro, The Tour de Georgia, the Volta Catalunya, Kurne, the Tour and three stages from three riders as well as a host of smaller races and very significant placings (Paris-Roubaix). Bodes very, very well for the post-Lance era.

The Tour - It's hard to see anyone beating Basso give his form this year, his dedication year round and his support from a very savvy Bjarne Riis. Now that Ullrich's primary motivation is gone, I'm not convinced we'll see him on the podium again...

Ex-Mountain Bikers - some very highly placed fat tire riders this year, including some top-10 finishers - Rasmussen, Evans, Landis

Exciting riding - there are a few riders coming through that are being heralded as potential tour winners that have a great deal of all-round skill - Valverde, Cunego, DiLuca, etc. have the potential to out-Vino Vino and turn any stage race on its head, from hills to sprints these guys are just exciting to watch whether in stage races or full-on classics.