Racing and Cycling Update: News, Rumors and Whatnot

chrissie-wellington-ironman-win

Yes, we still plugging away at our Interbike coverage…we think we hit more booths than any other media outlet, but it’s mainly just me (Tyler) editing and uploading everything along with covering everything else going on in the cycling world, so it’s like a J.J Abrams series…you never know when or how it’ll end.

But, the world turns on, and there’s plenty more going on in the cycling world. What else is going on?  Well, here are a few bits of news, some old, some new:

  • Duh Sponsorship: SRAM will sponsor Team Radio Shack.
  • Also Duh: Johan Bruyneel will direct the team, and Levi Leipheimer joined the team.
  • The team will debut in the Tour Down Under, then race the Tour of California before turning their attention to the Tour de France.
  • In other news, British Cannondale rider Chrissie Wellington (photo above) smashed the 17-year-old Ironman world record this past weekend at Kona with a finish time of 8:54:02, besting Paula Newby-Fraser’s 8:55:28 set in 1992.  This was Wellington’s third straight win at Kona.  Only 22 men finished in front of her (the winning men’s time was 8:20:21, by Craig Alexander of Australia)
  • The 2010 Tour de France schedule and route map have been announced and here’s what some of the pros are saying:
    • “My authentic rival is Andy Schleck. Looking at the time trial, it’s better for me than last year. This Tour is better for me than last year, especially with a stage finish atop a climb so difficult as the Tourmalet. I see Andy Schleck, myself and Armstrong as the favorites. I won’t look just to Lance, but rather watch all my rivals.” - Alberto Contador
    • “I think it’s going to be a lot more open than last year. There isn’t the team time trial and a lot of guys will be missing that…(The rivalry with Contador) is good for cycling, but honestly, I think he and I could do without it. It’s good for the events. The buildup to the Tour, in April, May and June, will be really intense. I think the Schleck brothers will be good and I think Wiggins can come back.” - Lance Armstrong
    • “At first glance, the entire Tour looks hard. The first week with the classics-type courses will require special attention. The second week, we’re already in the mountains with the Jura and Alps. Those stages will be harder than they look on paper. And the third week is brutal. Tourmalet is a classic, big climb, which I like better anyway. The final time trial doesn’t suit my abilities, but I am improving and I will have to adapt. Contador will be the man to beat.” - Andy Schleck
    • “I think it will be hard to win six stages again next year. I see a maximum of eight stages that could be sprints, but that’s not counting breakaways and other factors. It’s a hard Tour than last year and it will be harder for me to get through the Pyrenees, but I will have to make it to Paris if I hope to win the green jersey. I should have won the green jersey this year, so of course that’s a goal. I won’t sacrifice stage victories to chase the green jersey. Winning stages is the priority. We’ve lost some big riders, but I believe the sprint train is still intact and we’ll be even more focused next year for the sprints.” - Mark Cavendish
    • “This year’s Tour is even better for me to try to win the green jersey again because the final week is very hard. The Pyrenees will prove too hard for some of the sprinters, so that will help. I think it’s a good Tour. The first week is very demanding, almost like classics. The cobblestones will make for an interesting stage. We will return like last year, with Carlos (Sastre) for the GC and myself and Heinrich (Haussler) trying to win stages. I’d like to win at least one stage, maybe more, but (Mark) Cavendish is hard to beat.” - Thor Hushovd
    • Looks more suitable to climbers than in the past. Err….can I finish the ’09 season first?” – Cadel Evans

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