Monday Musette – Sprinters, Specialized, & A Funeral

Photo by Luc Claessen/ISPA


Here’s this week’s (mini) Monday Musette:

1. With next Sunday’s Paris-Tours looming on the horizon, several sprinters used this past weekend to put the finishing touches on their fitness. Radio Shack’s Robbie McEwen won two stages and the overall at the Circuit Franco-Belge (aka, the Tour de Wallone-Picarde), while Skil-Shimano’s Marcel Kittel took his 15th of the win of the season at Germany’s Munsterland Giro.

McEwen heads to Paris next weekend (Kittel’s not on the preliminary start list) as an outside contender for the victory, but he’ll face much tougher competition to win the autumn classic—including new world champion Mark Cavendish. My money’s on John Degenkolb—Kittel’s future teammate at Project 1t4i-Shimano. Look for a full race preview later this week.

2. Speaking of Cavendish, a bit of a stir was created when rumors surfaced of the Brit’s transfer to Omega Pharma-Quick Step. Apparently Cav likes his Venge, and wants his new team to provide them. (The Inner Ring provides a great rundown of the situation.) Frankly, I’m tired of Cavendish and his antics. If he wanted to ride a Specialized so badly, why not do more to help Bob Stapleton secure a new sponsor at HTC-HighRoad?

3. We’re putting the final touches on a new web store where we’ll be selling caps and socks. We also have a few sets of kit left (jersey and bibs), email if you’re interested in picking some up.

4. Special thanks go to Competitive Cyclist who despite moving to Salt Lake City, Utah has graciously offered to support our cyclocross coverage. If you have a spare minute, click on through to check out their latest offerings. We’re proud to be one of only a handful of independent blogs that pays for permission to post photos from some of the sport’s finest professional photographers—like Luc Claessen this upcoming CX season. The support we receive helps us make those ends meet. You can help our help our supporters justify their investment with a click and a purchase.

5. There was a funeral for the Muur over the weekend. (I’m still too upset to talk about it.)

6. Last but not least, 3 bikes were stolen during this weekend’s events in Gloucester: a Trek XO1 with SRAM Red, a Focus Mares with SRAM Force, and a Stevens Carbon Cross. If you happen to see anyone riding and or selling one these who shouldn’t be, drop us a line and we’ll put you in touch with the right people.

That’s it for us–what’s on your mind this week?

Share your comments below.


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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5 Responses to Monday Musette – Sprinters, Specialized, & A Funeral

  1. steve t says:

    Cavendish is a big baby, without his lead out tema he wouldn't have won as many races.

    • bmj says:

      You may be right about Cavendish's attitutde, but I think he's proved he is greater than the sum of his train this season. He's won several sprints where he was isolated and not neatly delivered to the front with 500m to go.

  2. Julius says:

    Don't forget that whoever gets Cavendish has a good chance to earn an Olympic Gold. Brailsford is rightfully "bitter" about the prospect of having to have his GB squad back a GB rider riding for a foreign team.

    The stakes in sponsorship are very high because most cycling fans are obsessed with the Tour and very few other races. Companies the size of Trek and Specialized are taking greater stakes in sponsorship and of course they want the investment to pay off.

    For Quick-Step it makes perfect sense to hire Cavendish, even if it will cost them serious money. They had hired Chicchi and Ciolek, supposedly to win sprints in minor races, but I think they both had zero total this past season. With Boonen perennially injured, and bad luck plaguing Chavanel, they don't have many options. Stybar can win here and there, but remember he's the golden boy of their co-sponsor and they don't want to pressure him too much. If he leaves, so will the big chunk of Czech money.

  3. Julius says:

    Also, the bike theft thing sucks ass. I can't remember something like this happening at a race. It is such a bummer given how friendly the atmosphere usually is at the races: everybody knows everybody or at least somebody who knows somebody. What a way to throw a wrench into the brotherhood and sisterhood that is amateur racing. To quote a friend, "May [the thieves] be whipped to death with chains and stabbed with carbon spokes!"

  4. r4 card says:

    Funny thing, I’m here in France for Roc d’Azur and talking to the Specialized guys when they say “hey, we’ll have something new launching in Kona for the Ironman World Championships” when what should appear in the ol’ inbox? Why, spy shots of course!!!

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