Monday Musette – Vuelta, Garmin-Cervelo, and Metaphors

2010 Vuelta Espana - Gilbert in Red Jersey After Stage 3

Fotoreporter Sirotti

Here’s this week’s Monday Musette.

1. The 2010 Vuelta Espana kicked-off this weekend with a midnight team time trial through the streets of Seville.  By the end of the evening, Mark Cavendish was wearing the red jersey as leader of the race, after his HTC-Columbia team took the stage victory.  For HTC-Columbia, the win was reminiscent of the 2009 Giro d’Italia, when Cavendish pulled-on the pink jersey following the team’s Venetian TTT victory.  (Garmin was the big loser that day too, if you recall.)

2010 Vuelta Espana - HTC-Columbia Wins Stage 1

Fotoreporter Sirotti

On Sunday, we expected Cavendish, Garmin’s Tyler Farrar, and Lampre’s Alessandro Petacchi to rekindle their exciting sprint battle from this summer’s Tour de France—except someone forgot to tell FDJ’s Yauheni Hutarovich.  Hutarovich decisively beat his three heralded colleagues—is he this year’s Borut Bozic?

2010 Vuelta Espana - Hutarovich Wins Stage 2

Fotoreporter Sirotti

But the real excitement came at the end of today’s Stage 3, when Philippe Gilbert sent a message to those hoping to contend at Worlds in October.  For his [team’s] efforts, he got the stage and the red jersey.  Behind, the GC saw it’s first re-shuffling, with overall favorites coming to the fore on the uphill finish in Malaga.

2010 Vuelta Espana - Gilbert Wins Stage 3

Fotoreporter Sirotti

While we don’t expect Gilbert to contend for the overall victory, it’s interesting to see Rodriguez and Nibali race so aggressively at the beginning of the first week.  Menchov, Mosquera, Frank Schleck, and Van Garderen all held their own as well.

2010 Vuelta Espana - Grega Bole in Stage 3

Fotoreporter Sirotti

Two quick notes: watch-out for Filippo Pozatto and Grega Bole at Worlds later this year.  Pozatto’s someone we have come to expect to be at the top of his game, but Bole’s proven himself to be a very talented rider over the past months.  When Oscar Freire won his first world title, he was a relatively unknown small bunch sprinter.  Romans Vainsteins won his title in a group sprint as well—with little team support.  To make a long story short: if you’re a betting person, save at least one small wager for the young Slovenian.

What are your thoughts after the first 3 days of the Spanish grand tour?

2. This weekend’s other big news was the demise of the Cervélo TestTeam and Cervélo’s new agreement with Team Garmin.  We’ll cover this at length later in the week, but for right now it seems there’s a moral to the story: gone are the days when bike manufacturers can afford title sponsorships.  Cervélo had a great idea in bringing together a group of passionate and like-minded companies to create a sort of travelling laboratory in which to gather the best R&D data—and publicity—that money could buy.  Unfortunately, while admirable, the venture proved too costly.

Luckily for Cervélo, there just happened to be an Anglo-American team that just so happened to not have its contract renewed with its bike supplier.  (This team also happens to employ three of the world’s best Canadian cyclists.)  So after a quick bit of “Insert Bike Company Tab A into Pro Tour Team Slot B”, we have Garmin-Cervélo.  Now the real fun begins as Garmin attempts to build the best possible roster without breaking/buying-out too many current contracts.

This ought to be good.  Your thoughts?

3. And last but not least, I was quite impressed with the third and final installment of Rapha’s RSA Film Series.  Friday’s D’Acciaio offered a close look into the mind and workshop of the legendary Dario Pegoretti.  The man seems to eat, sleep, and breathe his craft.  If you missed it, I feel sorry for you.  It also offers the best use of metaphor—in Italian—since Il Postino.  (Sorry, but I couldn’t find it with subtitoli.)

Which brings me to my final question: do you or someone you know ride a Pegoretti?  If yes, drop me a line and tell me about it—I’d love to hear your opinions.  Just shoot an email to  Thanks!

Enjoy your Monday!

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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4 Responses to Monday Musette – Vuelta, Garmin-Cervelo, and Metaphors

  1. gmar says:

    that’s “sottotitoli”

  2. Eddy says:

    This week’s Boulder Report has a great piece on Garmin-Cervelo.
    My first thoughts on the Vuelta so far are that I love how so much is decided by time bonuses on the line. Anton and Nibali dug deep for those precious seconds yesterday even after the stage win was impossible. Imagine if there had been bonus seconds on the line at this years Tourmalet, it may not have looked so nuetralized between the two.

  3. Mattd says:

    Gotta give it to the organisers of the Vuelta, that night TTT had great atmosphere. It made for great pre-ride viewing at 6am Sunday morning (for us downunder). I really hope Gilbert can hold his form for the Worlds. The Geelong circuit is really going to suit a tactically astute rider who can get over the short, punchy climbs and finish the job from a small group. Gilbert, Pozzato, Kolobnev, Gerrans and their ilk are the riders to watch. Valverde would have been a shoe inmattd

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