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Welcome to this week’s edition of The Prologue the summary of news from the world of competitive cycling by your friends at VeloNews.com.
It’s a big week in cycling with a host of big events catching our attention. Topping the list, of course, is the splashy unveiling of the 2008 Tour de France route VeloNews editorial director has been in Paris for the past few days to attend the big announcement and has taken a close look at each stage to see just who might benefit from the way next year’s race is structured. [More]
Tour organizers ASO took advantage of the gathering of big players in Paris to host a summit on the subject of doping in cycling. Gathering in Paris in the days ahead of the Tour announcement ASO, the UCI, WADA and team officials managed to hammer out a deal on the creation of a “biological passport” which will be used to establish medical baselines for riders, against which doping test results can be compared. The meeting offered a unique example of cooperation between factions that are often at odds, even featuring a moment when WADA president Dick Pound referred to UCI president Pat McQuaid as “mon ami McQuaid, my comrade.” Beelzebub may soon be shopping for ice skates if this keeps up.
On the bike, it’s been an interesting few days, with young Czech rider Zdenek Stybar surprised Belgium’s favorites on their home turf with a win in the opening round of the cyclo-cross World Cup in Kalmthout, Belgium, on Sunday. Stybar is hoping to repeat that win as he – and the World Cup – head to his home country, with round 2 slated for Saturday in Tabor. [More] While the up-and-coming Fidea star has high hopes, one guy you can’t rule out is defending World Cup champion Sven Nys, who dominated the 11-race series last year, scoring seven wins on his way to the overall title. Nys finished second last week, but the Belgian star is motivated and quite capable of putting in a big, big effort in Tabor. VeloNews.com’s Jason Sumner is there and will be sending in a complete report on Saturday, so check back with us for that.
Here in the U.S. our own major ‘cross series gets underway on Saturday, with the first of two days of USGP racing in Louisville, Kentucky. VeloNews editor Ben Delaney is on the scene and will be sending in reports all weekend.
Meanwhile, I want to encourage all of you to take a look at the latest gallery A lot of you have keen eyes out there and the VeloNews Photo Contest has grown to be one of my features on the site. Scan the images and, above all, make a point of submitting your own entries.
Finally, if you’re in the Denver area this weekend, make a point of stopping by the National Western Complex for the 19th annual Subaru Denver VeloSwap. It’s a rare opportunity to score some killer deals on bikes, parts and accessories and maybe even to meet a few of the staff from VeloNews. [More]
All the best,