By Tick of
The season is underway! This morning (well, morning our time!) 93 riders
chased each other for 50 km around a park in Adelaide. For most of us it was the
beginning of THE SEASON, and deserves to be celebrated. You have to feel sorry
for Brad McGee, though. There you are, all ready for the first stage of the
first race of the season? You end up hugging the toilet instead!
The team presentations are continuing and the Germans are on this week.
Yesterday T-Mobile sent its riders down into a no-longer-in-use quarry, and they
walked out on to the stage through the Stargate to the accompaniment of lasers,
fog machines and techno music. Most of the riders gave the definite impression
that they would rather be somewhere else, like on their bikes, training.
The star of the show, of course, was Chubby Cheeks Ullrich, who proclaimed --
are you ready for this? -- that he wants to win the Tour de France this year! By
the way, Ullrich had the flu at the beginning of this month, which put him
behind in his training, which means that he won't be starting his season in
February as planned, but in March instead....this sounds all too depressingly
familiar to the German fans....
Oh, yes, the T-Mobile guys also gave the impression of not being overly
thrilled with their new jerseys -- a rather shrill magenta-pink affair with cute
little white sleeves. They'll make a nice contrast to their counterparts on the
Gerolsteiner team -- the sparkling water boys are allegedly going to be
head-to-toe in baby blue this year!
Nothing new on the "Polish Connection," except that everybody is denying
everything. Everyone connected with Cofidis is shocked and aghast and doesn't
know anything about anything, and especially not about drugs. Even Rutkiewicz is
claiming that he is as innocent as the proverbial lamb, and that all they found
in his house were vitamins and herbal teas ... remind me not to have a "cuppa"
Kelme got saved at quite the last minute and so will still be with us for at
least one more year, even if it is as Division II. And how surprising that no
one is willing to cough up 2.5 million Euros required to release Alejandro
Valverde from his contract...