Monday Musette: The World Championships

Fotoreporter Sirotti

For today’s Monday Musette, we’ve got the World Championships on our mind. Here’s what we’re chewing on:

  • So, Mark Cavendish is now the road racing World Champion. Those who love to hate Cavendish might have a sour taste in their mouths, but as Fabian Cancellara pointed out in a post-race interview, it was a sprinter’s course, and the fastest sprinter in the world won the race. That is appropriate in its own way. 
  • Credit Cav with being committed to winning this race, despite his Vuelta disappointment and any pre-race vaccilation or avoiding his usual bombast. Clad in a skinsuit and with some sort of prophylactic-looking helmet cover, he was geared up to make himself as fast and as slippery as possible. 
  • The course had a bit of elevation and a bit of technical intrigue – not the least of which was the uphill drag to the finish line that led to a number of slow-motion sprints over the past week – but even after 270 kilometers, its bumps and turns weren’t enough to cause damage and a group of 82 rode to the finish together. A crash half-way through had split the field, leaving riders including Thor Hushovd and Tony Martin stuck behind, but other than that, there was little meaningful attrition.
  • It seemed as though much of the peloton had let the course determine the race long before the race was finished. Thomas Voeckler, Niki Sorenson, and Klaas Lodewijk’s late attack was joined by Johnny Hoogerland, but there was much looking around in between pull-taking.
  •  Though Mark Cavendish was gracious in thanking his Great Britain teammates, including Bradley Wiggins and David Millar (both of whom did the lion’s share in the final laps), it’s worth noting that the late members of his looked to be a bit more multi-national. There’s some clucking on Twitter that Cav’s late lead-out train was comprised of members of Team Sky, thus circumventing the national affair of the World Championships, and tipping Cav’s home for the 2012 season. We’re unconvinced, but unsure. 
  • Matthew Goss deserves kudos for a fine sprint, but from an overhead replay it looks like his patience in launching the sprint was at the expense of an opportunity to box Cavendish in. Behind those two, Andre Greipel beat Fabian Cancellara photo finish for 3rd place. Cancellara, it’s worth noting, was sprinting from the hoods. Far be it from me to teach Sparticus how to ride a bike, but were he in his drops, he could be disappointed with a bronz medal right now.
  • Think there’ll be another crisis of Italian team  management after this year’s WC?

That’s what we noticed yesterday morning. What did you notice? Share your thoughts below.

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3 Responses to Monday Musette: The World Championships

  1. Julius says:

    Bettini must be losing what little hair he has left – London 2012 looms large and is less than one year away. After the debacle of Beijing 2008 with Rebellin's failure to deliver and his subsequent doping positive, he's in a precarious position. But I argue that it's unfair to blame Bettini: he simply has no viable candidates this time around. The younger sprinters are much more exciting, but they are still well, young.

    The Belgians got totally screwed in the crash, it weakened the race and made it easier to control. Plus they lost their designated sprinter / all-around guy Van Avermaet. Gilbert put in a late push but it was too late, looks like he started from a bad position in the pack and had to spend an arrow to move up.

    Kudos to Team GB. They benefited from common interest of Team Germany (reminiscent of 1965, anybody?) and Team Oz, who had a nice lead-out train for a while.

    Also kudos to Cancellara, where the heck did he come from??? I thought that he or Gilbert will have had attacked when Team Oz's tempo slowed for a bit int he last 3 k.

  2. Gadi says:

    Well, sometimes I feel that You all in the Pave, leave us nothing to comment about – it's just so accurate (including 'love to hate')- you just put it perfect!

  3. Martin W says:

    "There’s some clucking on Twitter that Cav’s late lead-out train was comprised of members of Team Sky, thus circumventing the national affair of the World Championships"

    That might make more sense if Cavendish himself rode for Sky and had some experience with that group of riders, surely? Also it was the final stages in which he got boxed and nearly lost it, so it's hard to argue that he gained any advantage from that "late lead-out train".

    From a multinational point of view, if this were the Commonwealth Games then Millar, Wiggins, Thomas and Cavendish would all be riding for different teams. No real point, just a curiosity.

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