We’re still letting the mud settle from this past weekend’s US National Cyclocross Championships. But in the meantime, here’s this week’s Monday Musette.
1. By far the weekend’s biggest non-CX news was the announcement that Pegasus Sports has lost its main backer, prompting immediate reports of the team’s demise. Team manager Chris White has apparently denied rumors that the team is folding, but it’s safe to say that things don’t look good. (I wonder how long before we hear word of the first former-Pegasus rider to have signed a contract elsewhere.)
2. The Pegasus news comes close on the heels of ominous rumors surrounding Team Geox. Apparently, Geox, an Italian shoe company, was none too pleased to have been denied categorization as a UCI Pro Team, prompting speculation that they would back-out of its 3-year deal. While those rumors have weakened in the past week, it’s still a scary sign. Why managers are still making promises they can’t keep is beyond me.
3. Speaking of new teams without sponsors, it’s time for your latest TEAM. LUX. UPDATE! Apparently, the new team will be called Team Leopard, the name of General Manager Bryan Nygaard’s management company. Now before you start asking the questions you should be asking, remember that Garmin once operated as Slipstream and HTC as High Road, the names of their respective management firms. That said, both of those programs announced new title sponsors soon after the season began—will Team Leopard?
4. And speaking of HTC-High Road, can you believe there are websites with the audacity to leak photos of team kit and bikes before the teams themselves are ready for the unveiling? The nerve of some people.
5. Regarding bikes: in its latest attempt to completely mis-micromanage everything, the UCI has just announced a new process by which frames and forks will be officially approved for competition. Apparently a list will be created of all UCI-accepted framesets. I hope it lends itself nicely to the formation of an acronym—something like the “List of Approved Mechanical Enhancements” would work (please share your suggestions below). Maybe the UCI should spend more time double-checking the financial security of its teams before they move on to equipment.
6. Oh, I almost forgot: they also want to cut the length of the Giro and Vuelta. Better win the Giro this year, Vincenzo–it might be your last chance.
7. Last but not least, the USA crowned its newest batch of national champions this past weekend. We’ll declare the Jeff the winner as he correctly picked all five riders in the top-5 (but in a different order)—although he completely failed to mention Katie Compton in his initial submission. As for me, anybody who’s anybody knows never to take my domestic cyclocross picks seriously. Shame on you.
8. In Europe, Sven Nijs continued his rampage, while Zdenek Stybar is reportedly mulling over an offer of over half a million euro to join Quick Step. (Insert Belgian woof-shrug here.)
And share your comments below.