A fairly busy first part to the week was broken by an enjoyable trip up to Oxenhope for the first night ride of the year that didn’t require lights. It’s so satisfying to be out riding in a scenic place like that watching a fantastic sunset and finishing up at a pub. With a bit of luck I’ll be off up to Hollingworth tonight for another ride on trails that are new to me.
Le Tour has been fairly interesting, I even had a personal mention on Eurosport. My fame was brief… You have to wonder what the thinking behind the new timing structure for the team time trial is. I can understand the fact that there may be a need to minimise the time loss for the slower teams, but the stepped method that has been adopted just seems ridiculous.
Why not just say the maximum time any team can lose is three minutes, or just go back to the way it was? It seems farcical that US Postal put over a minute into Phonak, but then Hamilton only loses 20 seconds. I don’t think that’s helping things. And then the day before they include two sections of pavÃ© which really threw the cat amongst the pigeons and lead to some big time losses. As Hamilton said:
“Cobbles shouldn’t be part of the Tour de France. It was survival, nothing more. I just bounced from cobble to cobble but managed to stay in the front group. I have to thank my team mates a lot; they worked very hard to put me in a good position before the cobbles. Why are there cobbles in the Tour de France? It’s not like there are big climbs in Paris-Roubaix!” (from Cyclingnews).
Steve Peat might have only place third at the last weekend’s round of the Mountain Bike World cup, but he’s now 263 points ahead of second-placed Sam Hill in the overall standings and with only 250 points up for grabs for first place in the final event, Peat is already the 2004 UCI Downhill World Cup Champion. Filip Meirhaeghe won at both Mont Ste Anne and again in Calgary, finishing 3:28 ahead of defending champ Christoph Sauser. He is now 100 points clear in the championship. More here.
Finally it’s not just metal shortages slowing production out in Taiwan, now there could be further delays due to acts of god.