Saturday, June 7, 2008

Here we go again

I woke up this morning with a sore throat, and generally feeling kak! I really don't want to get sick again, but I guess I'm going to be off the bike again for a couple of days.

Howick Classic

Locally, the Howick Classic MTB race is tomorrow (Sunday 8 June). This is one of the best events in the country, with some of the sweetest single track you'll ever have the pleasure to ride. Good luck to everyone riding, and enjoy!

Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré

The 60th running Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré starts on Sunday 8 June with a 5.6km prologue from Le Pontet to Avignon. The race includes a Time Trial on Wednesday, and several Pyrennes mountain stages before the finish in Grenoble on Sunday 15 June. The Dauphiné Libéré is the traditional warm-up for the Tour de France, and all the main contenders will be there, although it's unlikely any will risk showing off their true form. However, Lance Armstrong won in 2002 and 2003, right in the middle of his 7 TdF titles, so it's not unknown for riders to test their legs. One man that will be ready to show off his form will be 2006 winner, American Levi Leipheimer. The Dauphiné Libéré is very much a UCI race, and it is limited to the 18 ProTour teams. Thus, Astana will be there, with their man Levi as leader for this race. Alberto Contador won't be there; this race comes too soon after the Giro, but you can be sure that the whole Astana team will be out there trying to prove a point, yet again. Ironically, last year's winner, Frenchman Christophe Moreau, will not be in the starting line-up. This year he is riding for the Professional Continental team Agritubel, so he was not invited.