Monday, April 23, 2012


Who could have predicted that one?. I sure as heck didn't have Astana's Maxim Iglisnkiy on my list of favorites, although the Kazakh rider is known for putting on some strong rides. Instead, it was left to the usual suspects to battle it out for the top podium spots. And my guess here is that the weather wrecked havoc amongst the peloton, because most of the riders looked pretty shattered with 30kms to go.
Nibali grabbed the bull by the horns, and used one of his biggest weapons, a descend, to put some daylight between himself and the rest of what was left of the peloton. And at some point, he built a gap, that according to the television broadcaster, was something along the 42 second mark. Meanwhile, at the back of the pack, the Schelck brothers were showing no signs of improving form, despite the fact that the english voice of cycling commentary, kept giving both guys accolades left, right and center.
Back to racing, BMC looked for a minute to have things under control, until Astana showed up to spoiled the party. With strength in numbers, Iglinskiy sat off in pursuit of Nibali, discarding in the process, Fleche Wallone's hero, Joaquim Rodriguez. Nibali looked strong and in control of his destiny, but when the camera mounted on the helicopter above zoomed out, it revealed doom for the italian. Iglinskiy was a mere 8 seconds behind and closing fast. The Liquigas Cannondale man, swung his bike to the right, and locked eyes with Iglinskiy, who then shifted and accelerated up the last drag to the finish.
What I learned from watching the race:

1. The Schleck brothers will never, ever, win the Tour de France.
2. Nibali is a madman when it comes to going downhill.
3. Iglisnkiy has what it takes to win the big races.
4. Riding in the cold and rain sucks, even for the pros.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

La Fleche Wallone

Every cycling "expert" had mentioned it since Sunday...that "Purito" Rodriguez would win La Fleche Wallone on Sunday. Not that there weren't any other worthy possibilities, but since Phillipe Gilbert's form has taken its sweet time to appear, "Purito" was a good choice. And he didn't dissapoint. Launching a devastating attack on the steepest part of the Mur de Huy, the spaniard stamped his authority and clenched his well sought victory.
Ryder Hesdejal showed that his form is coming along just fine ahead of his big target, the Giro d'Italia, and who knows, the tall canadian may surprise us all this coming Sunday in Liege. But, he will have to deal with an on form and very motivated Rodriguez and with a Gilbert, who's form, may have finally arrived, just in time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Back at It

Back in business after going into the non writing wilderness...but hopefully now I can write a little more every now and then about some pro races that I get to watch, and some of my thoughts while riding, or should I say, trying not to get dropped on rides.