Its 2011. Its January. And its time to go road racing.
We’re just days away from the kicking off the Pro Road racing season, starting with the Santos Tour Down Under. We’ve got to get our fill too, because the UCI calendar has a gap between the TdU and the start of racing in Europe at Paris-Nice.
Early indications are that the Australian race will be picked up by Versus, giving all us Yankees a chance to get an early start on our love/hate relationship with the network. Presumably we will get, at best, a 30 minute nightly recap of the days events, and at worst a 60 minute summary of the whole week on Sunday.
As usual, www.cyclingfans.com is keeping us apprised of broadcasts – both on television and the web.
The 17 7-man teams are known. The “retired” Armstrong will be there, and Saxo Bank will be there sans Contador. BMC will also be there, with their shiny new ProTour license. The gutted Astana team brings Allan Davis, the only rider to have competed in all 13 Tour Down Under races, and Team Sky comes with two former TdU winners (Simon Gerrans and Michael Rogers.)
While the big stage race names are missing from the rosters, this race provides a great opportunity for many of the world’s top sprinters to flex their muscles. From that list, however, Tyler Farrar is conspicuously absent – mostly because the entire Garmin-Cervelo team is conspicuously absent.
Personally, I can’t wait.