Hereâ€™s this weekâ€™s Monday Musette.
1. The 2010 Vuelta Espana kicked-off this weekend with a midnight team time trial through the streets of Seville.Â 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.Â For HTC-Columbia, the win was reminiscent of the 2009 Giro dâ€™Italia, when Cavendish pulled-on the pink jersey following the teamâ€™s Venetian TTT victory.Â (Garmin was the big loser that day too, if you recall.)
On Sunday, we expected Cavendish, Garminâ€™s Tyler Farrar, and Lampreâ€™s Alessandro Petacchi to rekindle their exciting sprint battle from this summerâ€™s Tour de Franceâ€”except someone forgot to tell FDJâ€™s Yauheni Hutarovich.Â Hutarovich decisively beat his three heralded colleaguesâ€”is he this yearâ€™s Borut Bozic?
But the real excitement came at the end of todayâ€™s Stage 3, when Philippe Gilbert sent a message to those hoping to contend at Worlds in October.Â For his [teamâ€™s] efforts, he got the stage and the red jersey.Â Behind, the GC saw itâ€™s first re-shuffling, with overall favorites coming to the fore on the uphill finish in Malaga.
While we donâ€™t expect Gilbert to contend for the overall victory, itâ€™s interesting to see Rodriguez and Nibali race so aggressively at the beginning of the first week.Â Menchov, Mosquera, Frank Schleck, and Van Garderen all held their own as well.
Two quick notes: watch-out for Filippo Pozatto and Grega Bole at Worlds later this year.Â Pozattoâ€™s someone we have come to expect to be at the top of his game, but Boleâ€™s proven himself to be a very talented rider over the past months.Â When Oscar Freire won his first world title, he was a relatively unknown small bunch sprinter.Â Romans Vainsteins won his title in a group sprint as wellâ€”with little team support.Â To make a long story short: if youâ€™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 weekendâ€™s other big news was the demise of the CervÃ©lo TestTeam and CervÃ©loâ€™s new agreement with Team Garmin.Â Weâ€™ll cover this at length later in the week, but for right now it seems thereâ€™s a moral to the story: gone are the days when bike manufacturers can afford title sponsorships.Â CervÃ©lo 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 dataâ€”and publicityâ€”that money could buy.Â Unfortunately, while admirable, the venture proved too costly.
Luckily for CervÃ©lo, there just happened to be an Anglo-American team that just so happened to not have its contract renewed with its bike supplier.Â (This team also happens to employ three of the worldâ€™s best Canadian cyclists.)Â So after a quick bit of â€œInsert Bike Company Tab A into Pro Tour Team Slot Bâ€, we have Garmin-CervÃ©lo.Â 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.Â Your thoughts?
3. And last but not least, I was quite impressed with the third and final installment of Raphaâ€™s RSA Film Series.Â Fridayâ€™s Dâ€™Acciaio offered a close look into the mind and workshop of the legendary Dario Pegoretti. Â The man seems to eat, sleep, and breathe his craft.Â If you missed it, I feel sorry for you.Â It also offers the best use of metaphorâ€”in Italianâ€”since Il Postino.Â (Sorry, but I couldnâ€™t find it with subtitoli.)
Which brings me to my final question: do you or someone you know ride a Pegoretti?Â If yes, drop me a line and tell me about itâ€”Iâ€™d love to hear your opinions.Â Just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.Â Thanks!
Enjoy your Monday!