Monday, January 24, 2011

Cross purposes

The Belgian cyclocross selection for Sankt Wendel is off to a bad start. First Vantornout complained about Sven Nys' behavior last year. Then Nys replied essentially saying he did nothing wrong by going after his teammate and bringing (the eventual champion) Stybar along. Nys added he did not want to give up his chances in lap 2. Now Niels Albert threw some more oil on the fire by saying, "I will ride my own race."

Favorite Niels Albert, there is apparently an I in team after all

Finally national coach Rudy De Bie had to step in to calm the waters. "We will have to sit the team down together this week," he said, "but not to preach, that is pointless." Instead De Bie, who says he understands the realities of sponsorship wants to remind the team members that it is the Belgian public that is ultimately paying their bills. Without the massive public support of Belgian fans, who show up in droves week after week, there would be no cyclocross.

Rudy De Bie: more headaches?

And in more high profile news, Lance made a rather low profile exit this week. He finished the Tour Down Under in the middle of the pack. One day Lance was part of a breakaway but he was outsprinted at the end. Although he clearly tried, he did not manage to capture much headlines, other than the new Sports Illustrated allegations regarding doping. He did woo the Australian public by going on an impromptu "Twitter" ride in Brisbane to benefit the flood victims.

All this bad publicity put Lance in a subdued mood. He refused to address the press after the final stage in Adelaide, where he was sure to be confronted with more doping questions. He did attend the closing ceremony though, where he was given a pair of walking boots.

Armstrong also bailed out of Ironman and the chances of seeing him compete in Kona this year appear slim to nil. In a brief chat with cyclingnews the former Tour de France winner conceded that he does not know what he will do next.

No more wetsuit for me..
Meanwhile the weather here in the San Francisco bay area continues to be spectacular. With temperatures in the mid to high sixties (some areas well into the seventies) and plenty of sunshine there is no better place to be for spring training. While the rest of the country and much of Europe continues to shovel snow, we are enjoying our new weather pattern tremendously-- although it may wreak havoc on our ongoing water supplies. Bike riders and runners are out in force this year. Hopefully the weather will stay good and we will not see a repeat of previous year's Tour of California weather.

The only two deciduous trees close to our house
The trees are as confused with this new pattern as we are. Of the only two deciduous trees near my house, one is full Fall colors while the other is nearing the end of winter and getting ready for Spring.

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