Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Falling down and moving on...Americans in motion

As we mentioned on Monday, some interesting developments have occured thus far in the Vuelta. First and most notably was the sprint victory of Yauheni Hutarovich in Stage 2.  You'd think that for a relative unknown, breaking onto the big stage would be a prime opportunity to show some class and be recognized as a future how did Yauheni accept his accolades?
Maybe this is some kind of custom in Belarus?

And stage 3 saw the Grand Tour cursed Christian Vande Velde (Garmin) kiss asphalt yet again (all too reminiscent of the Tour de France this year and the Giro previously.  This time, apparently it was some spilled olive oil from a nearby orchard that was to blame.

"It was on a rough section of road near an olive factory, so the road was very slippery...." Garmin sport director Johnny Weltz told VeloNews.

I suppose that a crash is a crash no matter what is bringing you down, but there is just something more refined about losing your wheels in a puddle of spanish olive oil than on an armadillo.  The good news is that Vande Velde is fine and now riding in support of Tom Danielson who is sitting in 16th at the conclusion of yesterday's Stage 4.  Of course the American that is really performing well is 22 year old Tejay Van Garderen of HTC-Columbia who finished stage 4 in 6th place and is sitting 6th overall, just 29 seconds down.
It will be interesting to see if Stapleton will loosen the domestique leash on Tejay and conserve his energy a bit to see how he can perform as a GC'er over the days to come, instead of making him tow the lead-out line role for Cavendouche.

And back to Garmin for a moment.  Either both Transitions Lenses and POM Wonderful are selling a shitload of glasses and pomegranate juice and sending more money to Garmin, or Vaughters' clothing budget has been slashed, because the team just shelled out the money for 6 new recruits from the folding Cervelo Test Team Squad including Thor Hushovd, Heinrich Haussler, Brett Lancaster, Roger Hammond, Dan Lloyd, Adreas Klier and Gabriel Rasch.  With these mostly European additions, the American based squad is becoming less American all the time.  They will no question have a stronger presence in next year's spring classics, but one has to wonder who will be cut to make room for the new additions.

And in news of the other American teams....BMC is reportedly in negotiations with "Mini-Phinney" in what may be an attempt to swipe him away from RadioShack.  The 'Shack's stagiare had an impressive performance at this year's Tour of Utah and is clearly a hot commodity.  BMC has been trying to expand their competitiveness overseas which this move would certainly help. This had me wondering if LA and Bruyneel's panties were getting caught in a wad over this little coup.  Only one way to know...better check in with the most recent Day's of our Lance episode:

1 comment:

  1. The actual "mini-phinney" in the case is the father. I think Taylor is that good. He's a complete monster on the bike. He's already a world champion for the individual pursuit and currently holds the American Kilometer record. He's only 20 and...... he's probably going to get faster.