It’s a common thing back in The Netherlands, fantasy teams. Nearly everyone in the country will participate in one for the world or European cup of football (.. if The Netherlands participates that is). The Tour, however, is the biggest annual event that gets the fantasy team managers excited. In offices all over the country there is some guy that will create a small office-wide fantasy league. All friends and family are welcome to join of course.
A lot has been said by us about the men’s UCI World Tour. We’ve talked mostly about how it really isn’t a tour around the world at all. With only three races outside of Europe, it is kind of a stretch right? The same can be said about the Women’s world Tour by the way, only three races outside of Europe. Are we sure we aren’t comparing Apples with Oranges though?
There was a lot of commotion this week on the supposed help Démare got before his first monument win in Milan-Sanremo. One of the most interesting events that happened was the removal, and subsequent reposting, of the Strava data that was automatically published online during the ride. It makes you wonder, could we use data in other ways?
After moving to the US, it seemed infinitely harder to get some decent coverage of cycling events than what I was used to. All the major events were available to me on the free public broadcasting channel on TV, of course with simultaneous livestream on their site. Besides the Dutch national channel, I was usually able to get coverage from Eurosport and everyone’s favorite, the Belgian public broadcaster. Here in the US though, not so much. If you need a list this complicated, you’re never going to get people to tune in regularly.
Since I moved here to Oakland, I’ve gotten into the habit of running. I bought some lycra running pants, some decent exercise shirts, the full package. Whilst running, I was thinking of two things. First; why on earth is it raining here, this is not what I signed up for when I moved to California from Amsterdam. Second; I’m the crazy one out here running in the rain right now, but pro cyclists have to get out there no matter what the conditions are. Not training is not an option.
The 2016 cycling season started of pretty good, with the first doping case so early on in the year when Vorganov was caught using Meldonium early on in February. This news of course hit the front page of all sports related sites. Cycling is known by all as the black sheep of sports when it comes to doping. Lately though, the tide has been turning a bit. Not to a sport in particular, but to a country: Russia.
I'm sure a lot of you who are watching the Omloop het Nieuwsblad this opening weekend had the same thought; who was that guy again? In the main breakaway of the day we found Dutchman Kai Reus. He was riding a very good race all day - being in the attack basically from the opening kilometer - until he had to drop from the lead group in an unfortunate puncture on the final cobbles of the Paddenstraat. The group he was in made it to the finish, meaning he would have finished in the top 7 in the big opening race of the season. Instead he finished 71st somewhere in the middle of the second main bunch of about 50 riders.