1. The routes for the 2011 Tour de France and Giro d’Italia have been announced amid much fanfare. Jeremy will be providing some in-depth coverage later in the week, but for now I’ll leave you with this. What’s not to get excited about?
2. An interesting side note from the Giro announcement Saturday was the first public appearance of Campagnolo’s new 11-speed electronic group. Details are sketchy at this point, but Movistar will be testing the new stuff throughout 2011.
3. Along with the route announcement for the 2011 Tour, ASO has announced not one but three interesting sportive options for those craving a bit of their own glory. First, the traditional one-day l’Etape du Tour has been expanded to two days. The first (July 11) covers the 109-kilometer Stage 19 including the Télégraphe, Galibier, and Alpe d’Huez, while the second (July 17) takes riders over Stage 9’s 208-kilometer route from Issoire to Saint-Flour. On paper, the 3 massive cols of the first étape seem the more difficult, but the latter of the looks to be the toughest at twice the length and with nary a flat road to be found.
4. But the real news—for Pavé fans at least—is the “official” announcement of the ASO-organized Paris-Roubaix Challenge, a sportive to take place on the eve of the Hell of the North. Beginning in St. Quentin and ending at or near the Roubaix Velodrome (details are still fuzzy), the 135-kilometer trek plans to cover 30 kilometers of the race’s most legendary cobbled sectors. It remains to be seen how this event will compare to the traditional Roubaix sportive run every other June (and offering a full course option). Regardless, fans now have the option to participate in the ultimate classics vacation with both the Ronde and Roubaix offering sportive options the day before the monuments themselves. Perhaps a Pavé-organized field trip is in order?
5. Sticking with Roubaix for a moment, rumors surfaced last week that the 2011 edition would be run without the legendary trip through the forest of Arenberg. ASO has yet to confirm or deny the rumor leaked by Joel Lainé, organizer of the Roubaix Challenge. The “Queen of the Classics” last skipped Arenberg in 2005 when Tom Boonen took his first of 3 titles.
6. By the way, is there any race with more nicknames than Roubaix? Seriously—Hell of the North, Queen of the Classics—am I missing others? It might be a fun—albeit pointless—off-season activity to compile a list of as many race nicknames as we can think of. I’ll let you start the ball rolling if you’re so inclined. Once we have enough, we can set about filling in the blanks with some of our own—maybe there’s a Pavé cap in store for the person who creates the best.
7. Brian Nygaard, the general manager of Team Luxembourg, added more fuel to the fire of speculation surrounding the new team when he tweeted the address of a website that appears to be the squad’s internet home. While twitterati are spending their time debating whether the team really will be called “Team Leopard True Racing” (I doubt it), I’m more interested in learning if Rapha will be the team’s official graphic and web design sponsor.
8. And speaking of Rapha, have you downloaded the new Rendezvous iPhone App? While I have yet to explore it deeply, it looks promising. What do you think?
9. We’re getting our stones in a row for Pavé’s 2011 kit. If you interested in being kept abreast of any news about when and how to order, drop me an email at email@example.com. Look for a new design and possibly a new manufacturer.
10. For you cross fans, Zdenek Stybar made it a perfect 7 for 7 on Sunday by winning Round Two of the World Cup before home fans in Plzen. But ever the ambitious champion, Stybar wants more. What are his chances? There’s a big difference between racing for an hour and racing for six, but as Lars Boom has proven, it’s possible.
11. Last but not least, if you haven’t read it yet, Ryan at The Service Course has once again nailed-it with his review of the new Paved Magazine. While I’m excited to see a resurgence in the availability of high-quality print media (Paved and Peloton look certain to raise the bar), I can’t help but wonder if I’m entitled to feel a bit flattered by “Paved” magazine calling what looks to be one of its regular columns “Musette”. Interesting.
And that’s it for the 46th edition (since its inception on July 20, 2009) of Pavé’s “Monday Musette”.
Have a great week!