Will fans give the new kit a “+” or a “-“

November 30, 2006

Omega Pharmaceuticals has decided to change sponsorship brands for the 2007 cycling seasons. Instead of highlighting their Davitamon vitamin line, Omega is changing the brand to their Predictor pregnancy test kit. Thus the team will now ride under the Predictor-Lotto name.

predictorpackshot.jpg

So what does that mean to the kit? Well, the kit will reflect the new product’s color scheme. Pink. Actually it is called salmon but I’m a guy and my color palette is not that diverse.

This is a case of being careful of what you are asking for because, you might just get it. I lamented the overwhelming blue color scheme in the peloton. Quick Step, Discovery, Gerolsteiner, Lampre, Boygues Telecom, and Milram. Now we have a sea of pink arriving in 2007. I know, magenta and salmon.

I don’t think that the new Predictor-Lotto kits will be flying out of the bicycle shops and onto your average road warrior any day soon. You need to be real confident to straddle your bike an the foot of your driveway while neighbors pass.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Advertisements

UCI leaks letter written to complain about leaks

November 30, 2006

CyclingNews is reporting that it has obtained a copy of UCI boss Pat McQuaid’s letter to Spanish minister of sport, Jaime Lissavetzky. In the letter, Pat blames the Spanish government for cycling’s poor image, his inability to investigate and punish evil doping riders, and probably high energy prices.

The cause of all this? Leaks. Pat McQuaid, Mr. Principle, is saying that leaks are damaging to the sport. Leaks lower the image of cycling by putting out unsubstantiated information. When information is leaked, there is no retort, no examination of evidence, it just ruins someone’s reputation.

“You understand, as we have discussed previously, this affair is doing enormous damage to the credibility of our sport,” writes McQuaid. “This began with the continuous leaks to the media of material related to the investigation all through 2006.

We cannot, as we would dearly like to do, use the information to discipline and sanction riders involved. Indeed we must legally allow these riders to continue to race throughout 2007 until this investigation concludes at which time we might, and I say might, be supplied with enough evidence to go after those riders allegedly involved.”

Thanks for the insight Pat. I’m really glad you leaked that letter. Did you cc the WADA? Floyd Landis?


Room for one more?

November 29, 2006

Every morning, I make the rounds of the cycling world. News sites then blogs. From reading here, you know that Trust but Verify is my first stop for a Floyd update and Rant Your Head off is my sight for thoughtful commentary. Is there room for one more?

What if that addition to the cycling blog world is a corporate entity? A cycling magazine? Procycling magazine just launched its own blog. Obviously there is a lot of cycling expertise in the halls of procycling. And I’m sure that there is no shortage of opinions there as well.

I do look at corporate blogs with a little scepticism since there is a temptation to sanitize everything on the blog, or use the blog as an advertisement not a source of opinion and commentary. There is quite a bit of precedent here, most companies have started blogs. One of my favorite corporate cycling blogs is the Masi Guy blog. This is a blog done right. Which means, some posts must give the brass a little squirm factor.

I will be watching the procycling blog to see who writes it. The lawyers, the marketing team, or those who love the sport warts and all and are not afraid to say it.


Floyd Landis is not the only one who wants more data

November 28, 2006

Eurosport is reporting that suspended cyclist Roberto Heras has never been afforded the opportunity to examine the results of his ‘B’ sample test.

“They gave me 20 pages of details of the analysis of the ‘A’ sample, but not for the ‘B’ analysis and I feel defenceless as a result.

“We’ve requested it four times and now we are going to ask for it for a fifth, but we still haven’t had an answer.”

Roberto feels abandoned by Manolo Saiz and he whole Liberty Seguros team when the reports hit that he had tested positive.


UCI sets the 2007 ProTour Schedule

November 27, 2006

The UCI announced the 2007 ProTour schedule of races. Added to the list this year is the Tour de Romandie. All in all, there are 27 races on the calendar that teams will be required to attend and points will be earned towards the white UCI ProTour leader.

The ProTour will start it’s third year under some serious storm clouds. Tensions between the Grand Tours and the UCI continue to mount. Some public spats include the Vuelta de Espana refusing to acknowledge Alejandro Valverde as the ProTour leader during race presentations at the conclusion of the Vuelta.

Where could this lead? Well look closer at the schedule. If there is a break from the Grand Tours, it would be much worse than a classics calendar and a Grand Tour Calendar. The organizers of the Grand Tours also organize many of the premiere classics on the ProTour Schedule. Eleven of the 27 races on the ProTour calendar are organized by the Grand Tours. Take a look:

ASO

  • Paris-Nice
  • Paris-Roubaix
  • Le Fleche Wallone
  • Liege-Bastrgne-Liege
  • Tour de France
  • Paris-Tours

RCS

  • Tirreno-Adriatico
  • Milan-San Remo
  • Giro d’Italia
  • Giro di Lombardia

Unipublic

  • Vuelta a Espana

If these pull out and form a competing organization to the UCI, what happens to cycling?


Caisse d’Epargne rider killed

November 26, 2006

Thirty-one year old Isaac Galvez of Spain was killed in a crash at the Six Days of Ghent track race. The race was stopped and all remaining races cancelled for the event.

MSNBC reports that Galvez crashed against the Railing during the Madison event. Galvez was World Champion on the track and finished second to Robbie McEwen on Stage 4 of this year’s Tour de France into Saint-Quentin.

Our prayers go out to his family.

par599423alt.jpg


Three teams, one license

November 25, 2006

Well, it seems that a ProTour license is now harder to get than a liquor license in Manhattan.

Unibet, Astana, and Barloworld are all competing for the license left open by Phonak. All other licenses have been confirmed. It seems that both Unibet and Astana have very strong cases as they are filled with ProTour caliber talent.

I am currently unclear on one issue. Astana is competing for the Phonak license. Manolo Saiz holds a license from the Liberty Seguros days. Who will be racing under that license? Will there be one less squad? I can’t see Manolo in the Director’s car fielding a team given all the controversy surrounding his name. Could that mean that another license is up for grabs for two of the three teams that are on the outside looking in?

Stay tuned.