Monday Musette – Danielson, Worlds, and Reading

Here’s a round-up of some of the most important news from the past few days:

1. In case you were wondering about that high-pitched squeal echoing through the atmosphere on Saturday afternoon, it was Jonathan Vaughters getting positively giddy about Tom Danielson winning a bike race. (I wonder if JV dropped his designer specs.) Anyway, it could prove to be a case of too little, too late. At some point, Vaughters needs to send a message to some of his riders that riding clean and looking good in orange and blue argyle isn’t enough anymore. Letting Danielson go might remind the rest that Vaughters is their Boss, NOT their friend, big brother, teammate, or fashion guru. Danielson has done very little to reward his benefactors for their patience. All this win did was likely help him secure a ride with another team–like SKY. (Yup, you heard it here first.)

2. Alessandro Ballan won the Tour of Poland Saturday. One can’t help but wonder what could have been had Ballan been in shape this past spring. He and Cunego will make a formidable tandem come World Championship time.

3. And speaking of Worlds and Poland, does anyone else think Edvald Boassen Hagen is the odds-on favorite to win the race? Now I know what you’re thinking: but he rides for Norway. Yes, he does, but he’ll have a full team of riders entirely devoted to getting him the title. If he can find a chance for some rest between now and his final build-up, thus saving some form, look for EGH to be one of the race’s major protagonists. Hopefully he’ll have the added benefit of a rider as talented and as savvy as Kurt-Asle Arvesen at his side.

4. While we’re on the subject of Worlds participation, did you hear the news that France and Holland–due to their placement outside the Top-10 on the UCI’s World Rankings–will be allowed to start only 6 riders in the World Championship road race? (Nations in the Top-10 will be starting 9.) Does this bother you? Well, it bothers me–so much so that I’m making it the subject of my Wednesday feature. Come back then for more.

Other morsels for your Monday:

5. Here’s a terrific review of John Wilcockson’s new Lance book.

Needless to say, I doubt I’ll be reading it–unless they want to send me a copy (hint, hint). To me, Daniel Coyle’s Lance Armstrong’s War is the best book on the subject of Lance, mainly for its coining of the spot-on term the “Belgian woof shrug”. And for the fact that it seems to look at through the lens of someone not already one of his friends.

6. Bicycling has a great piece on the enigma that is Greg Lemond. You can read it here, but buy the print edition for the great vintage-style photos accompanying the writing.

That’s it for today! What’s on your mind? Share your comments below.

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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