In pro cycling as of late, it went from being really depressing to really inspiring. To begin:
The Garmin sprint train derailing daily in the opening stages of the Giro. Then Wouter Weylandt tragically dies in a crash- the only time I can recall a rider dying from trauma in a bike race. Close friend Tyler Farrar (Garmin sprinter extraordinaire and local boy) pulls out of the Giro in grief. Meanwhile Thor Hushovd pulls out of the Tour of California, ostensibly from sucking. To be fair, a sprinter of Hushovd's caliber is basically just expected to win, and that is hard to live up to. But Garmin's sprinters are both out of the picture and Christophe Le Mevel is steadily losing time to Clenbutador in the Giro.
But then redemption!
The reason I can't stand Contador (aside from being a cheater) is from the Tour de France a couple years back when he forced Chris Horner off the squad in favor of lesser riders that would ostensibly be loyal to Contador and not Armstrong if push came to shove. Its a shame because Horner is talented, a local guy, a cool person, a cyclocrosser, and not getting any younger! For once I would like to see Horner be the captain and see what happens. The following year in the Tour of France, Horner finished 12th (I think), solidly ahead of supposed team leaders Armstrong and Leipheimer- despite riding as a domestique.
So I was thrilled to see Horner win the Tour of California yesterday- at age 39 the oldest guy in the race. I'm also thrilled to hear that Horner is focusing on the Tour of France. With Lance out of the way, maybe it will be Horner's year.
If Horner can win the Tour of California at age 39- I'm not worrying about turning 34.
And in the Giro- although Clenbutador is putting time into everybody- John Gadret won a stage and is riding really well, currently in fourth place. For more on Gadret see bobkestrut.com. The reason I'm a Gadret fan is that he is also a cyclocrosser. When a road racer hits cyclocross races in the fall, it demonstrates a true love of riding and racing. Its no coincidence that my favorite pro riders- Horner, Farrar, Gadret- have been known to race cyclocross.