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Welcome to the latest edition of The Prologue, the weekly summary of news from your friends at VeloNews.com.
If you’ve checked in to VeloNews.com over the past day, you will notice that we’ve made the formal switch over to our new site structure, the system we gave you a first look at a couple of weeks ago. We’ve taken your input to heart and made a few changes over the past days. It’s an ongoing process, so if you see something you like – or don’t like – let us know.
I just returned from a trip to Treviso, Italy, on Monday after covering the world cyclocross championships over the weekend. It was a spectacular venue and the weather gods smiled on northern Italy as well. It turned into a fast weekend, with four very different races shaping up on a course designed by former world champion Adrie Van der Poel. Have a look at our complete coverage
While the ‘cross season is just about to wrap up, the road season is just getting underway, with the Tour of Qatar taking place in the Persian Gulf. Our European correspondent Andrew Hood is there and sending back daily reports from one of cycling’s most unusual races.
Meanwhile, over here in the U.S. domestic and ProTour teams are getting ready for the season by holding training camps. Johan Bruyneel brought the restructured Astana team to a chilly Albuquerque, New Mexico. VeloNews editor Ben Delaney was there and used the trip as a chance to check in with Levi Leipheimer. Photographer Casey Gibson also showed up and was able to follow along on a very chilly New Mexican training ride.
Just as we were getting today’s newsletter ready, however, we learned that Giro organizers will not be inviting the Astana or High Road teams to this year’s race. Indeed, the Giro is admitting only 14 ProTour teams to this year’s race. Among the other excluded ProTour squads is France’s Credit Agricole team. Among the seven non ProTour teams invited this year is the American Slipstream squad, organized by former pro Jonathan Vaughters. Both that invitation and the notable exclusions could be a sign of things to come when the Tour announces its picks later this year. Stay tuned. It should be an interesting year.
Back at VeloNews, we’re all ramping up for the upcoming Tour of California. Be sure to check in for race previews and coverage in the weeks leading up to the first stage on February 17.