Good day to you once again. This week our roundup covers the team selection for the Tour of California, Pat McQuaid being ‘blackmailed’ and initiatives to clean up the sport of cycling (and no, we’re not talking about doping). We’ve also added plenty of exciting new product to our website this week including the Garmin-Cervelo and Sky Team kits! Scroll down for some links to grab yours now. Also, don’t forget to check out our pictures and videos of the week and also let us know about anything exciting you’ve got planned this weekend!
The Week’s News in Brief:
Teams selected for the 2011 Amgen Tour of California:
The Amgen Tour of California will consist of 19 teams when it commences on the 15th of May. All the big ProTeams will be present such as HTC-Highroad, Garmin-Cervelo, Sky, Rabobank, Liquigas-Cannondale, Saxo Bank SunGard, Leopard Trek, BMC and RadioShack. A mix of Professional Continental and Continental teams such as Team Type 1, Spidertech and Movistar will fill out the remaining places.
HTC-Highroad, being based in California, is likely to field its best riders in an attempt to make its mark on the competition. Matt Goss has already impressed so far this season and will undoubtedly be looking to showcase his sprinting abilities and secure some further stage wins at the very least.
Team Garmin-Cervelo will be more than likely to bring Americans David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde as they go on the hunt for some stage wins themselves.
Levi Leipheimer will be hopeful of making an impression given the fact that he’s already won the race three times since its inception.
Finally, Sky will be sure to bring last year’s winner Michael Rogers along in the hope of making it two in a row.
Several teams have already stated how important the race will be for them, therefore suggesting that we can expect some exciting racing in some seriously stunning scenery.
Pat hails boycott threat as tantamount to blackmail:
Pat McQuaid met with the Professional Cycling Council this week with plans to discuss the ongoing radio debate. However, the meeting commenced without Jonathan Vaughters and Gianni Bugno from the teams’ (AIGCP) and rider’s associations (CPA) respectively. Because of this, the council discussed extending bans for doping, but it did not cover the ban on race radios.
Following threats from the AIGCP and CPA of a boycott on the Tour of Beijing, Pat told them to decide between the boycott and the talks. The apparent no-show seems to speak volumes.
Pat has reiterated that the UCI have the final say on the rule and they are not required to take notice of any particular stakeholder. Pat appears to be continuing to stand firm, but it remains to be seen who will back down first.
Cycling gets clean:
Our internet travels brought an interesting article on inrng.com to our attention this week, regarding the cleaning up of cycling. And no, this isn’t another doping article, it’s actually looking at the litter and waste which follows the peloton around like a dubious bodily odour.
Despite the fact that cycling itself is very ecologically friendly, the convoys of team cars, and the tons of used bottles and food wrappers that end up littered at the roadside don’t send out a great message to the sports onlookers.
In an attempt to resolve this ailing image, there are now plans in place to make the sport a little greener. ASO trialled special ‘collection zones’ at the Paris-Nice where riders can throw away their rubbish following a feed zone, safe in the knowledge that it will be collected soon after.
There’s no obligation on riders to use these ‘collection zones’ but we don’t see any reason why riders wouldn’t utilise the new zones.
While this doesn’t resolve the issue of the huge convoys of team cars that will continue to follow the peloton around, it’s certainly a step in the right direction of cleaning up the sport.
This weekend, whatever you’ve got planned, consider making a little time for the Milan-San Remo. On Saturday the 102nd version will take place with riders covering 298km from Milan, to the Ligurian Coast in Italy. It’s one of, if not the best Classics around and it has been the source of some of the most memorable victories of all time, including Coppi’s 147km solo-breakaway in 1946 shortly after he’d cycled home from a prisoner of war camp.
Although it has become more of a sprinters race in recent years with victories from the likes of Mark Cavendish and Oscar Freire, watch out for World Champion Thor Hushovd who is in imperious form. We think he could give it a very good go and we’re not sure how many riders can stay with him. Other riders to watch include Cavendish, Tom Boonen, Oscar Freire, Robbie McEwen, Tyler Farrar, Heinrich Haussler and Matt Goss. Whatever happens, it’s likely to come down to the line and this year more than ever it could be anyone’s race.
Pictures of the Week:
Video of the Week:
Clinging to the fringes of cycling related entertainment this week is a video that combines the Muppets and cycling in one slightly odd, but surprisingly enthralling 3 minute masterpiece.
If the Muppets don’t do it for you then maybe this footage from the 1967 Milan-San Remo is your thing. Perfect preparation for the 2011 edition this weekend!
Pick of the Week’s New Products:
Giro Shoes have landed at PBK, to see the full range check here and check out the PBK Blog Review too. In the meantime, here’s the Factor, we think this is going to be very popular!
It’s been team kit crazy here at PBK this week. Here’s the very popular Garmin Cervelo team kit:
Pick of the range would of course be the Aero Race jersey and a pair of Bodypaint bibs to complete the look.
As always the garments are designed with speed in mind and they also don’t forgo the neat touches which you’ll appreciate while out and about. The seamless leg grippers and sleeves will sit comfortably for hours on end, the chamois is leagues ahead of what most competitors can offer and though some say it looks too like Sky the blue is a very distinctive shade which is easy to spot in a crowd.
We have a close-up gallery on our Facebook fan page (www.facebook.com/probikekit) which is worth checking out so that you can really appreciate the Castelli quality and attention to detail.
Just so that you can compare the two very aptly the Sky 2011 team kit arrived yesterday.
Although not wildly different to last years they have some new sponsors and the quality remains top notch. Adidas have taken this cycling game very seriously and you can tell by looking at the kit and how much effort they’ve put into developing their range of sunglasses.
These two teams bring the team total up to a lucky 13 teams. With Leopard Trek on its way (we have a sneaky preview jersey here in the office and it looks good!)
What are we up to this weekend?
- Chris is going kite flying!
- Anthony is having a quiet one.
- John is living it large at his old University.
- Grant is going for a spot of swimming and to the pictures!