World Champs: the day after!

Friday, 30th September, 2011


Cavendish and the whole team were brilliant, full stop. 

There can be no 'buts' or 'maybes' - his team took the race on from what we thought was way too early, controlled it to the end and deserve unreserved praise.

For me, Cav will be a champion in the Cipollini mould, the rainbow jersey should lift him to ride out of his comfort zone - remember Cipo winning Gent-Wevelgem from the break ?

But my amigos Vik and Dave reckon that Cav can't really be a worthy world champion because his range of skillsets is so narrow; he's not a man for the cobbled classics - thus far at least, maybe the rainbow jersey will change things ? - he'll never be a man of the Ardennes or the late season Italian races. 

What's left ?

The Primavera - I'd put money him to win that, now. 

Gent-Wevelgem, The Scheldeprijs (a giant kermis according to Vik), Grand Tour stages and Paris-Tours. 

For me, that's fine - he's a pure sprinter like Cipo, and in my eyes is much more of a worthy world champion than the likes of Leblanc, Brochard, Camenzind and Astarloa. 

And cycling is changing, contracts are bigger so riders don't have to worry so much about start and prize money. 

Seasons are shorter and much more specific - the days of Merckx, De Vlaeminck and Gimondi racing from February to October are long gone. 

One thing I do agree with Dave on is that the rush to have the Worlds scattered all over the globe should be arrested. 

Cycling is a European sport, the heartlands are France, Belgium, Holland, Spain and Italy. 

These should be the predominant venues - I like Copenhagen and have many Danish friends, but the ambiance here wasn't right. 

The Danes are nice folk, but conservative, if this campsite had been in Plouay or Bassano there would have been much more friendliness and banter - visiting the showers in the morning was painful, no one speaks, eye contact isn't allowed. 

There were a lot of folks here, but it wasn't a celebration, somehow. 

These Worlds didn't embrace you - we were here and we were part of it but somehow it didn't reach into my soul. 

But maybe the problem is with guys like me and Dave and Vik; we're dinosaurs - we'll be extinct soon. 

Article and images courtesy of Ed Hood




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