Vuelta a Murcia preview

The effects of the global economic crisis have impacted on Spain much more than most other countries and have forced the organisers of the Tour of Murcia – now more dependent on private funding – to progressively reduce the length of their race from five days in 2010, to three last year and now to two – a mountain-top finish and an individual time trial in the city of Murcia. The time trial is being financed by and named after Cash Europa. [If only – Ed.]

Taking part in this weekend’s 32nd edition of the Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia – Trofeo Alfonzo Guzman – to give the race its full title – will be 19 teams composed of seven riders apiece, four of whom have ProTeam status: Movistar, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Rabobank and Vacansoleil-DCM. The remaining teams include two national squads from Spain and Russia.

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Friday Feature: Lies, damned lies and statistics

Being of an analytical nature – my best friend at school was an Excel spreadsheet – I’ve been pondering about how best to quantifiably rank sprinters. The result of my various investigations? There is no one definitive ranking. Every method I tried led me to a ranking order which fell apart under even the slightest scrutiny.

It reminded me of the famous expression commonly attributed to former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli:

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.

He was a smart fellow, old Ben.

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Igor Anton pozik urtebetetzea

Birthday boy (image courtesy of Euskaltel-Euskadi website)

Igor Anton pozik urtebetetzea 29an nahian.

That’s me wishing birthday boy Igor Anton “Happy Birthday” in Basque. Yes the boy from Galdakao in Vizcaya, celebrates his 29th birthday today. So please raise a glass of txakoli and pass around the pintxos to the man nicknamed ‘Fuji’. No, it’s not a comment on his exuberant use of hair gel, it’s a reference to the bike he had as youngster where he racked up 13 victories before passing through the ranks of the Euskaltel feeder squad and into the main team.

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