It’s not often we fans get to descend a Grand Tour mountain pass with the pros, even rarer that we almost take out a pro while descending said pass, and completely unheard of that we share the tale of our own reckless riding with fans the world over. Until now…
Say Arrivederci to the Giro as it’s almost Bonjour to Le Tour. We’ve got the latest on the ASO/UCI punch-up as well as the tune up events in Luxembourg and France. Stateside, it’s Philly and a full-up Nature Valley as well as Johan serving up some bedtime reading. It’s a global ET and it’s full today.
As it becomes increasingly likely that Rabobank's 'Russian Emperor', Denis Menchov will be crowned in Madrid on Sunday, the lesser knights continue to joust for lesser, but still desirable trophies. In the thick of the action yet again, is our champion, Magnus Backstedt.
On the penultimate occasion we spoke to the Swedish road race champion, he had been playing the roll of 'baroudeur', as the French term the man who tries for the win the hard-way, from the all-day breakaway; the last time we spoke, he was a 'chrono-man', rolling 55 x 11 across the plains; now he's a 'sprinteur' with three top drawer finishes, right-up there with Zabel, Petacchi, Bennati and all the other guys with the fast-twitch muscles.
Today I went to the start and then drove the whole course to the finish, saw the lot, but in some ways I wished I hadn’t, but then I wouldn’t have seen some of the worst roads and rain that I have ever encountered, or had a really nice breakfast (early lunch) and met some interesting people.
Magnus Backstedt is back riding a Grand Tour and our man Ed Hood catches up with Maggy on his thoughts on the Vuelta so far, what's to come, what a sprinter's stage may or not be, and the future. It's always a good time with Maggy, so read on...
The 2007 La Vuelta route was announced yesterday, so I hot-tailed it down to the center of cycling chit-chat and hub of the PEZ Spanish Bureau, my local pub, the Bar Pol-Mar to get the first impressions of next year's race.