I sat here at the computer Tuesday afternoon and thought hard what I should
write for this Blick... and had very few ideas. I decided to wait for Wednesday
morning and hope that inspiration would strike, or that something that would be
worth writing about would happen in the cycling world. Well, something did
happen, and I think it came as a big surprise to just about everyone.
The Lion King is retiring! What a surprise, or perhaps only the timing is a
surprise. To many he is the embodiment of an Italian man - self-assured, even
arrogant, handsome - and unquestionably talented, and he dearly loved his home
race, the Giro d'Italia. It is therefore all the more astonishing that he chose
this point in time, so close to the Giro start, to announce that his great
career is over. But when it's time, then it's time. Perhaps he sensed that his
time was over and that he would accomplish nothing in the upcoming Giro. It's
always better to go out with the head held high than bowed down in shame and
embarassment. We bid goodbye to a great personality and a great athlete, who
will be sorely missed.
L-B-L on Sunday was an outstanding race and one of the greatest finishes I
ever saw. How many kilometers did we suffer along with Vino and Voigt - would
they make it? Would the peloton catch them? And then at the very end when it
became clear that one of them would win, it was equally nerve-wracking. Who
would have the greatest sprinting skill, the most strength left, perhaps the
most mental and emotional strength, to be able to take the win? Voigt, the
master of the breakaway and a most sympathetic man? Or Vinokourov, seeking his
form for the Tour and looking for T-Mobile's first season victory? Most fans in
Germany would happily have accepted either as winner.