Well, the Classics season really got off with a great start. Milan-San Remo showed anyone why cycling is a truly an exciting sport. Let’s review:
The Good- First up, Paolo Bettini. What a show of determination and pure guts. His ride up the Cipressa was the stuff legends are made of. I am so used the riders of Classics taking the shortcut home when dropped near the end. Paolo and his never give up attitude serves as great motivation.
Unibet.com at the start line was good to see. I think the fact they have a license to have operations in Italy made the blackballing difficult since teams such as Fdjeux.com have no such license. Way to go boys!
Cycling in Italy. Italians love racing in their backyard. The pace and attacks were awesome. No riding piano here!
The Bad- My predictions. I expected a feast for the pure sprinters. All looked to be on track until the final kilometer. The strong teams closed the gap and started the leadout trains for their teams. Then Oscar Freire took it. It was good to see him win one outright. His 2004 win was more of a loss by Eric Zabel than a win by Freier.
Cycling.tv had some technical difficulties in launching its new site at absolutly the worst time. I had the opportunity to be a beta tester and it seemed pretty solid. Take your time boys and get it right. It will be worth the wait.
The Ugly - The weather and crashes. Just enough rain to make the roads treacherous. With riders pushing the limit to stay at the front, yielded some really horrendous spills.
The course. Parked cars on the road? At a ProTour event? If the weather was not bad enough, putting obstacles in the way of an angry peloton is just criminal.