This was a better weekend for riding bikes than paying attention to races. Tour of Luxemborg ends Gregory Rast of Astana gets the last stage and overall. Euskal Bizikleta wrapped up with Constantino Zaballa getting the last stage and overall as well. So many Puerto linked riders were in this race that it was serious bum out.
The good news is that in the Philly International Championship, JJ Haedo got the win!! No US riders in the top five -guess it was really "international"!
Getting his butt kicked in Italy must have been just the training he needed. He will be a sprinter to watch next year.
Bradley Wiggins grabbed the win in the Dauphine Libere's 4.2K prologue Leiphemer and Kashechkin in 2nd and 3rd. Boonen and Hushovd should have a chance at the leader's jersey tomorrow -looks like one for the sprinters in an otherwise mountainous race. ITT on stage 3 followed by Mt.Ventoux on stage 4 should set up the winners, but several hard mountain stages follow so a bad day could end you chances.
Pellizoti kept the Liquigas winnings streak going at Mercatone Uno - Memorial Pantani-4th year for this race. Gone but not forgotten is the troubled climber. DiLuca started the race, but bailed early enough to be dressed like this at the finish..... His victory vacation has started.
If Discovery fails to get a title sponsor, what happens to Hincapie? Does he have the palmares to get a leadership role on a classics oriented team(and remember Cofidis are gone next year so more classics guys will be available)? Seems hard to believe-especially when teams like Quickstep will pick up former winners to be super domestiques in the big onedays. So what does GH do? I postulate that if Slipstream is serious about stepping up to the Pro-Tour they will try and snatch George or some other American(s) with UCI points to further their development. If something like that doesn't pan out, George better try and sell his skills as a road captian ala Piepoli -someone who can shepard a young up and comer to success.
Tom Danielson might be another guy ready to jump ship with Contador and Brajkovic putting in strong performances will he be able to claim a leadership role at Disco or would he be better of at Slipstream?