Gift from the cycling gods. What’s in store for 2012?
A cycling CHristmas.
We’re in no-mans land caught between Christmas and the impending New Year in cycling.
Time to think about what presents we’d like from the Cycling Gods.
Here’s what we’re wishing for:
1 A Tour de France win for Andy Schleck. How sweet would it be that Schleck the Younger wins the 2012 Grande Boucle when it has 100k in time trialing. Besides having Bruyneel, Horner and Kloden on his side, how will he do it? Uhh, the guy who always beats him won’t be there.
2 The Court for Arbitration in Sports rules against Alberto Contador. A few things up front — we like Alberto Contador and he’s a fantastic rider and we’re not 100% sure is tainted steak claim isn’t true. That said, a rule is a rule and he broke it. We feel terrible for him but if the biggest guy in cycling goes free, there the fight against doping is back to square one and people outside cycling look at the sport as a drug farce.
3 I want to see Johan Van Summeren repeat his Paris-Roubaix win. How cool would that be? I’d like to see Hushovd and Cancellara mark each other and both lose to the 6′ 5″ Belgian. We won’t get the double treat of watching him propose to his girlfried but it will be worth it to hear Spartacus and Thor whine again.
4 I never want to hear the name Riccardo Ricco again. The man should be banned from the planet.
5 I want Big George Hincapie on the podium at Flanders or Roubaix. That’s a big ask. At age 38 the BMC road captain is past his classic best, but we can all hope that a last bit of magic is in the can. A classy guy deserves a true final farewell.
6 A great Tour de France for Christian Vande Velde. A nice guy who has worked super hard to get himself back into form, We’re hoping he can put in all together for at least a top 10.
7 An exclusive wine tasting and interview with Garmin’s Jonathan Vaughters. Yup, we want to crack open a few kick-ass bottles of Bordeaux with the sharpest guy in pro cycling.
8 An Italian wins Milan-San Remo. Because this is what’s supposed to happen.
9 A big win for Jonny Hoogerland. After his flying barb-wire disaster in Le Tour, he landed on our “Heroes Forever” list. It’s time to reward the man with a sweet and well-deserved victory.
10 Arab terrorists kidnap Edvald Boassen Hagen during the Tour of Qatar then set him free a day later for being just too impossibly dull.
11 Filippo Pozzato nails a podium in a classic. Master P is one of cycling’s punching bags. People love to make fun of him and his outlandish tattoo. But we actually feel sorry for the guy and he seems to wear his heart on his sleeve. He’s genuine and he has really suffered the last two seasons. Back riding for an Italian team, we think he’ll be back in the action.
12 Tejay Van Garderen decimates the field on a mountain stage in the Tour. He’s the only climber Cadel Evans has for help in France. We’d like to see Tejay step up and put the hammer down like Chechu Rubiero used to do for Lance.