Nature Valley Grand Prix announced yesterday that they were only accepting 6 rider teams for their race in 2012. Dave LaPorte, the director of Nature Valley, has always been at the forefront of leading changes that are good for the sport of cycling. I don’t know how much, if any, I had to do with this, but Dave has been bouncing ideas off me for the last few years and this has been one of my main themes. I absolutely hate it how each and every stage race in the United States has turned into a tempo session for nearly every stage. This isn’t European bike racing through the Alps where the terrain splits up the fields. It is sometimes as short as a weekend event, with the same teams setting tempo the whole race and a bunch of field sprints occur. This new rule will make this race much more exciting hopefully.
Some more North American guys are getting popped for EPO. A Master’s National Champion, a young guy from Canada. I honestly think that they are catching maybe 2% of the cheaters, so it is pretty ugly still.
I’ve often wondered about why the American riders that race in Europe tend to be GC riders in stage racing while the Australia riders that race internationally, minus Cadel now, tend to be sprinters and green jersey contenders. What makes me think this is strange is because we ride a ton criteriums in the US and most the races in Australia are road races and stage races. You’d think that we’d be producing the fast sprinter types and they would have the GC riders. I have no idea why it is like this, but it is.
Okay. Just putting some thoughts down here. That’s it for now.