Who’s happy at Katusha about their underwhelming results in Liege-Bastogne-Leige?
Not Alexandr Kolobnev who admitted that he missed the biggest move on the race on the Cote de la Roche aux Faucons because he “wasn’t very focused.” Which is sort of like saying you weren’t paying attention in Roubaix because Arenberg didn’t seem that crucial.
Not Joaquim Rodriguez who had hoped to be on the podium but wen’t down for the count — the high pollen count. “It was a bad day. I can’t say why, but the fact is that today I felt empty, with no energy,” said Rodriquez. Try walking back to the team bus with that excuse in a major classic.
Not Danilo di Luca, the Killer without a syringe who put in an early dig but finished an invisible 41st. Yes, he’s riding for free and so far his results justify the salary. Back to the church with the school children for more praying.
No, the only person at Katusha, the Russian Global Cycling Shindig! who’s happy didn’t even ride Liege-Bastogne-Liege. And part of him was feeling pretty good about the debacle.
Filippo Pozzato is happy the team didn’t do much in the final Spring classic because now somebody else is in team manager Andre Tchmil’s dog house. Somebody else will be asked to examine their conscience. Other riders will get the stern look of disappointment from big bad Tchmil.
Pozzato must have been watching the race on TV, shouting “Yeah, you yell at him now. See, I’m not the only one with bad luck, I’m not the only one who hasn’t produced. Shoot him, too.”
The relationship between Pozzato and Katusha is what — strained, chilly, mutually disgusted? Now at least the Italian can take comfort in the underwhelming performance of others. Not to mention the team gaffe in Paris-Roubaix where Pippo’s race ended because the Katusha team car had a flat tire. By the time he got another bike, the day was over.
No, Pozzato is feeling just a little better about things at Katusha after Liege-Bastogne-Liege. He’s not happy, but he has the next best thing: he feels justified in his unhappiness.