What's going to happen in 2005? Who is going to win what? You may
think that no one knows, but after consulting the tea leaves, the
crystal ball and the Kitty Kibble pieces that the cat left in her bowl,
I have come up with the following predictions for the 2005 pro cycling
At some point before the Tour de
France, Jan Ullrich will be
overweight and have a cold. Lance Armstrong won't. And even if he
does, he won't admit it.
The Vuelta won't be as
interesting as we all hope it will be. (It
Damiano Cunego will win the Giro,
Lance Armstrong will win the Tour
and Roberto Heras will win the Vuelta. Heck, it worked in 2004, why not
do it again?
A "big name" will be caught
doping. He may or may not admit it, and
he will certainly regret it, but mainly he will regret being caught.
Mario Cipollini will announce his
retirement. Again. This time he
may even mean it.
I'm really going to go out on a
limb with this one, but I'm going to
predict that Gerolsteiner's Rene Haselbacher will finish the Tour this
year. Yes, actually make it all three weeks and arrive in Paris! He'll
probably crash along the way and inflict some minor injuries on himself
(and others?) but he will not have to drop out. I hope it, anyway!
No one will understand the new
Pro Tour rules and points, the UCI
least of all.
This year's crop of new team
jerseys will be either the best or
worst ever, or some of each.
A youngster that no one ever
heard of will surprise everyone by
winning something big. An "old hand" that everyone thought had retired
years ago will also win something big, going out in a blaze of glory.
There will be the usual
assortment of ridiculous excuses from those
caught doping. Some of them will involve relatives. Others will
involve animals. In some cases it will be difficult to tell the difference.
In at least one race, the
apparent winner will celebrate too soon
and lose the race. It will NOT be Erik Zabel again.
The 2005 season will bring its
share of excitement, action and
surprises, just like every year, and make all of us glad to be cycling fans!
Note: I am going on vacation, a week on the beach in Egypt, on the Red
Sea. Tick's Blick will resume January 12.