PavÃ©â€™s back after two weeks of business trips and family vacationsâ€”the price I had to pay for blocking-out 3 weeks of July.Â To get back in the swing of things, hereâ€™s the first summer installment of the Monday Musette.Â Enjoy!
1. So I was a bit off with my prediction for the Tour of Polandâ€”Stijn Devolder came nowhere close to taking the win.Â But Sylvester Szmyd, Grega Bole, Alessandro Ballan, and Andre Greipel all performed as expected.Â Peter Saganâ€™s abandon due to â€œgastric problemsâ€ was a disappointmentâ€”hopefully the wunderkind can get his s*** together in time for this weekendâ€™s German Pro Tour event.Â Garminâ€™s Dan Martin won the overall title afting taking the hilly Stage 5 and then defending his lead all the way to Krakow.Â With Martin, Tom Danielson, and possibly Ryder Hesjedal setting their sights on this yearâ€™s Tour of Spain, it could be an exciting fall for the boys in blue and orange.
2. In Denmark, Jakob Fuglsang won his third consecutive title in his national tour, beating Garminâ€™s Svein Tuft and Radio Shackâ€™s Matt Busche in the 5-day, six stage event.Â Tuftâ€™s win in the ITT continued the beginning of what looks to be another outstanding August for a team that has everyone asking, â€œwhy canâ€™t they win races one month earlier?â€Â For Fuglsang, the focus now turns to his destination in 2011.Â He says heâ€™s leaving Bjarne Riisâ€™ Sunguard-Saxo Bank squad, but the destination remains unclear.Â The new team from Luxembourg seems to be a likely landing spot for the Danish up-and-comer, but rumors abound that the new formation might be more of a mirage than an oasis.
3. In Spain, Euskaltelâ€™s Samuel Sanchez won the Tour of Burgos, beating Vuelta contender Ezequiel Mosquera and Giro star, Vincenzo Nibali.Â Sanchez won two stages on the way to his overall victory, an impressive haul for a rider who claims to be suffering the effects of his crash during the Tourâ€™s third week.Â Heâ€™s listed as a reserve for his teamâ€™s Vuelta squad at the moment, but itâ€™s easy to see him as a last-minute addition should his form continue at this level.Â Take a break, Sammy, then go for the win in your home tour!
4. A question: in your opinion, which have been historyâ€™s most dominant teams?Â In terms of sprinting, I think you have to give HTC-Columbia the nod. On the heels of Cavendishâ€™s Tour exploits, the team took 5 sprint wins this past weekâ€”with four different riders.Â Thatâ€™s a pretty impressive haul for a team in which bunch-finish depth abounds.Â Has there ever been a more successful squad in a given discipline?Â Discuss.
5. And speaking of sprinters, does Andre Greipelâ€™s move to Omega Pharma-Lotto mean the end of Jurgen Van den Broeckâ€™s 2011 Tour de France podium hopes? Â VDBekeâ€™s success in this yearâ€™s race made possible thanks to a team that was unified in its support of one captain.Â Look for the addition of Greipel and his lead-out men to damage the teamâ€™s ability to support the big Belgian in his quest for a spot on the Tourâ€™s podium next year.Â In fact, Telekom is the only modern-era team I can recall that found both GC and sprint success in the same Tourâ€”Erik Zabel was a green jersey-winning fixture of the Telekomâ€™s Tour-winning teams in 1996 and 1997.Â Have there been others?
6. Iâ€™m intrigued by Mavicâ€™s 2011 SSC line of high-end wheel sets.Â When I started racing in the mid-1990â€™s, Mavic was the only brand I looked to for performance and cutting-edge technology.Â The carbon rim trend caught them napping a bit, as companies like Zipp, Shimano, and others jumped ahead in popularity and esteem.Â For 2011, Mavic seems to have upped the ante with a line of carbon and alloy-rimmed wheel sets aimed at competing with the industryâ€™s finest.Â While carbonâ€™s a bit out of my price-range, Iâ€™m hoping to try a set with alloy rims using the companyâ€™s new Exalith rim treatment.Â So hereâ€™s my question for you: is anyone out there riding a set of R-Sys wheels?Â Iâ€™ll admit, Iâ€™m a bit leery given the well-documented recallâ€”are Ksyriums a better choice?Â Share your thoughts below.
7. And last but not least, what happened to VeloNews at the newsstand?Â I picked-up the September issue last night, and thereâ€™s little to no coverage of this yearâ€™s Tour de France!Â Will I really need to wait until the beginning of September for the VNâ€™s Tour report and commentary?Â I understand the push toward web-based coverage, but at what cost?Â It is becoming harder and harder for me to buy each monthâ€™s new issueâ€”itâ€™s a purchase made more out of a feeling of nostalgia than anything else.
And thatâ€™s it for today.Â Share your comments, thoughts, and feedback below.