By Tick of
So Erik Zabel does still know how to win! Ok, Rund um Köln isn't
Milan-San Remo, but it is the first German race of the year and
therefore important to the German riders. It was clear at the end that
it would come down to a sprint between Zabel and Danilo Hondo, and
Zabel's determination gave him that extra burst of speed that he has so
often missed this season.
Last year's winner Jan Ullrich finished comfortably back in the pack.
Eddy Merckx said Jan hasn't worked hard enough and is still too chubby.
Now isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? Have you all seen Eddy
lately? And haven't we had just about enough of this "Is Jan too fat or
not?" discussion? I sure have!
A final observation from RuK: it will be a long time before we forget
the horrifying pictures of Paolo Savoldelli flat out on the pavement,
dead to the world. I can't be the only one who feared the worst.
Today's latest reports indicate that the injuries are not nearly as bad
as first assumed, let's hope that holds true. I assume he is in the
last year of his contract with T-Mobile and if I were him, I would start
looking now for a new employer. His time in Germany has been brought
him nothing but injuries, sickness and bad luck. And on a more
practical note, he certainly can never expect to ever ride for himself
as long as he is on the same team as Jan Ullrich.
We got spoiled this weekend with tv race coverage. Sunday Eurosport
brought us five hours of Paris-Roubaix. Monday a local station provided
start-to-finish coverage of Rund um Köln. And then? Nothing for the
rest of the week! I'm already starting to have withdrawal symptoms!
We just can't get away from the doping stories this year. After stories
appeared in French newspapers naming names within the Cofidis team --
the team manager, sporting director, team doctor, even riders such as
Lelli and Millar -- the sponsor decided it had had enough and pulled the
plug on the team until it can figure out just what the heck is going
on. And if that's not enough, yet another French paper is printing
documents claiming Baden Cooke has used amphetimines -- better known as
speed -- for recreational purposes.....
I guess I'd rather stick with the Ullrich weight discussion after all!