Turkey for Me, Turkey for You…

I’m still reeling from the video of yesterday’s final stage of the Tour of Turkey. What a way to bring the sport to new audiences! I hope ESPN includes it in this week’s “Plays of the Week”. Maybe they can create a montage combining this footage with pictures of Tyler Hamilton winning Gold in Athens and Michael Ball firing riders to cut costs. (Don’t you hate it when a pet needs more care than you thought it did? “But Mommy, he looked soooo cute in the window.”)

And we complain when our sport isn’t taken seriously.

While we’re at it, let’s take a minute to honor another example of field sprint shenanigans, this time courtesy of Sir Tom Steels. (And note the highlight at the end announcing Abdu’s positive test. A nice touch!)

But back to Turkey, Theo Bos (the Rabobank rider) says it wasn’t deliberate. I can’t see how we are to believe him. There’s a difference between a tap on the thigh to let a rider know you’re there and grabbing a jersey and pulling it across your front wheel. Daryl Impey (Barloworld) fractured a vertabra and lost a tooth in the fall; but hey, Robbie McEwan’s willing to vouch for Bos, so maybe I should reconsider my stance. (Yes, that’s sarcasm.)

Speaking of dopes, read “The Dope Show” at The Service Course. Ryan continues to astound me with his wit and writing style. This post is a classic to be read and shared by all.

Do you know the Boulder resident of which he speaks? I think I do.

More things to consider:

1. Rule #1 when picking race winners: always go with your first instinct. It’s lip service now, but when looking over the Start List prior to Amstel, Ivanov’s named jumped out at me. Alas, I talked myself out of including him. Next time, when my gut tells me something, I’ll listen. (Unless it might result in me breaking someone’s back and teeth.)

2. If you haven’t been paying attention, Jeremy over at the Embrocation blog was in Belgium and France for the cobbled classics. He’s been posting terrific photos and videos from his travels. Click here for a brief but exciting video from the caravan at Roubaix. (Brings back memories for me. Remind me to tell you the story sometime of the Italian DS who threatened to run me off the road during a stage in Malaysia in 2001.)

3. Jeremy also took part in Rouleur‘s latest version of The Crazy Bet. The goal: to ride the entire courses of Flanders, Ghent, and Roubaix the day before each classic. They failed on Day 1, but the stories are still worth a look. My favorite is here, and details their experiences over the last 90km or so of Roubaix with Katusha.

4. Battenkill was this past weekend. I’ll give something–once we have Pavé logos on something–to the first person to provide us with a Pavé-exclusive 1st-person account and photos. Here’s an example.

5. And if you’re in the Mid-Atlantic, be sure to head over to Ridelugged and check out the Spring Opener. It’s certain to be a great day!

Enjoy your week!

About Whit

My experiences might easily fit many cycling fans' definitions of “living the dream.” Since getting hooked on the sport watching Lance Armstrong win the 1993 U.S. Pro Championship, I've raced as an amateur on Belgian cobbles, traveled Europe to help build a European pro team, and piloted that team from Malaysia to Mont Ventoux. As a former assistant director sportif with Mercury-Viatel, I've also seen the less dreamy side of the sport – the side rife with broken contracts, infighting, and positive dope tests. These days, I live with my lovely wife in Pennsylvania and share my experiences and views on the sport at Bicycling Magazine, the Embrocation Cycling Journal, and at my own site, Pavé.
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