Monday Musette – Ballan Spills the Beans

1. Congratualtions to George Hincapie for taking another Stars and Stripes jersey in South Carolina yesterday. (Dave Z. took one too in the ITT.) It’s looking more and more like George will be wearing his new kit next year for BMC. Early reports had Levi Leipheimer making the switch as well. Could it be true? Or will The Shack’s call be too strong? We’ll know more for certain after tomorrow–when transfer announcements can become official.

2. Alessandro Ballan has apparently spilled the beans already about the rest of the line-up at BMC in 2010. At first I couldn’t understand why someone like Hincapie would want to ride for a team that–on paper–would offer him little support in the races of which he’s most fond. But throw-in Ballan, Marcus Burghart and Karsten Kroon, and BMC has the makings to be an immediate classics powerhouse. Ballan put it best himself, comparing BMC to this year’s Cervelo TestTeam, a squad that didn’t need a Pro Tour license to make an impact.

3. As for the Vuelta, Fabian Cancellara won the Stage 1 ITT, as expected. Tom Boonen and Tyler Farrar rounded-out the Top-3, putting themselves in good position to take the leader’s jersey later in the week. Roman Kreuziger won the battle of the GC favorites (albeit by 2 seconds). Could he come good on our hopes for him in July with a victory in September? Basso, Valverde, Evans, and Gerdemann were all close by. Might this year’s Vuelta be one of the most exciting in recent memory?

Stage 2 was won by Gerald Ciolek of Milram. While the win’s good for him and his team, I’m sure they can’t help but wish they could do something similar in the Tour.

Today’s Stage 3 was taken by Greg Henderson. Things got a bit chaotic at the end apparently, with Andre Greipel missing the lead-out. Good thing Henderson’s a more than capable sprinter in his own right. Tomorrow takes the riders through the Ardennes, hitting some famous hills from Amstel and L-B-L along the way. Could it be a day for local boy Philippe Gilbert, or will Alejandro Valverde take a stab at returning to Spain in yellow?

4.) In product news: Rapha’s Fall Collection is about to be announced; the sneak peaks are revealing some very interesting new products and designs. And for the sake of full disclosure: they offer no support to myself or Pavé; I just enjoy the product and what they’re about.

But would we turn down offers? Would you?

5.) Speaking of terrific companies, Rivendell has just announced the release of the Roadeo, a lightweight, steel road bike, perfectly suited for wide tires, rough roads, and all the sorts of the riding I know you enjoy. If you’re in the market for something classic and fun, give them a chance to sell you a bike–you won’t be disappointed. You can read more about it here.

That’s it for today. What’s on your mind as September beckons? Share 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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