TotW: Strade triumphant, pipped Pozzato and diabolical takeovers

This week’s subjects: Strade Bianche, Brailsford’s breakaway cycling, Cancellara’s unluck and Bernie as an ungod.

This is how traditions are made

Strade Bianche has only been in existence for six years, yet it has the feel of an historic race. And it was just as exciting this year as last, with a surprise winner and a Velvet Samurai powering into second. This set of photographs gives a feel of the run-up to the race and the day itself.

Strade BMC pics

Strade BMC pix 2

Soigneur 1

Soigneur 2

Soigneur 3

This was a race that My Beloved Cancellara wanted to win for the third time, not least because it would mean that one of the white sectors would be named after riders who have won the race thrice.

Fabs stretch the lakes Fabs stretch the lakes 2

Soigneur 4

Stade Jered pic

Fabs reaction unluck

Before anyone starts talking about Fabs whining about being man-marked (and you know who you are …), can I just say that in all the interviews he did after the race, he acknowledged that the best team won. I liked the above tweet because he used ‘unluck’ again – I find that I use that word all the time and I’ve even heard one of my friends use it (and they wouldn’t know Fabs if he came up and slapped their face). But I also love his last sentence: ‘The race was hard and awesome” Yes it was.

Soigneur 5

Strade reaction 1 Strade reaction 2 Strade reaction 3 Strade reaction 4

BMC’s Manuel Quinziato even made a playlist for the race. Lucky for us, he’s a sharer.

Strade Quinziato playlist A Strade Quinziato playlist B

All of last week, Panache and I were having a bit of a sibling spat about who would win Strade. He wanted BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet, I of course wanted someone else (neither of us were right). This spilled over into Saturday’s tweetfest.

Panache and Dan Lloyd Strade

Roma Maxima

Ah, it’s the perfect backdrop to a beautiful race. The Coliseum in the background, a beautiful sunny day, an Italian rider for an Italian team throwing his hands up in victory … um, except Filippo Pozzato got it a bit wrong.

Roma Maximus Pozzato

Roma Maximus Pozzato 2 Roma Pippo soigneur hiding

Roma Maxima 1

And speaking of Italian races and cycling passion

Italian Passion film

But the French know a bit about cycling passion as well

TDF film

But does BSkyB?

The subject of World Series Cycling has come up again – something heinous like four-day races that have time trials, climbs, sprints, et cetera and they just travel around doing this over and over again. Perhaps that’s too general and biased a summary (this is the Cycling News report on it), but where do you get any tradition if all of the races are the same? Not to mention, doesn’t cycling have enough problems to solve first before they look at tinkering with race schedules and formats? Like, I don’t know, doping? UCI leadership? But that’s just me … What did everyone else say about it last week? So what is this breakaway league all about?

Sky cycling breakaway A

Sky cycling B

Sky involvement C

Sky cycling break 4

Frith St 1 Frith St 2 Frith St 4

There were a lot more arguments around this on Twitter and no doubt there will be a lot more in the future. In fact, I foresee a Tweets of the Week Special: Brailsford Takes Over All Of Cycling and Makes It Dull As Ditchwater (Sorry. Marginal gains just don’t do it for me …) But seriously, as Velocast says – isn’t there a huge conflict of interest here? And don’t we have enough of those already?

Tweetastic roundup

Some questions we’d like answered …

Why is Purito asking the Twitterati if he should cut off his thumb with a cigar cutter?

Rodriguez

What exactly is that gigantic tattoo of on Chava‘s leg?

PN Boonen and Chava

Is that what David Harmon meant when he said this during Paris-Nice coverage? (He also said Robert Gesink “looked like a bag of spanners”, which got a good response from the tweeters.)

Winter covering

Is this the only picture of Bernie Eisel that makes him look … unlike a god (or, in Fabianese, an ungod)?

Bernie as owl

Why is Andy smiling – and isn’t it nice to see? Check out the guy’s shorts in front of him – they are inside out. (We hope to see Andy smiling a lot this season. We’ve been giving him a hard time but we really do want him to get in the races and do well.)

Andy happy

What the f…?

This is just wrong

And again, what the f…?

Virenque Festina

And the last word goes to …

Spartacus.

Fabs never give up

Until next week, tweeties.

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