Saturday, February 9, 2013


After some decent results on Mont Faron in the past, Jean Chistophe Peraud has today won on top of the Tour de Mediterranean's signature climb.  The peloton caught the break before the foot of the climb to the stage four finish, and Peraud was quick to attack early on the climb. He held off all comers and crossed the line for his first win since 2009. I am doubly happy to congratulate the 35 year-old French time trial [mostly] specialist because his win helped one of my fantasy teams to win the stage today. Check it out, these were the rankings today, I'm "bkSuperba":

You may also notice that I am currently wearing three race jerseys. That's my brag for the day.

"First Loser" is a moniker sometimes applied to the person who comes in second in any race...

First Place:                                                                   Second Place:

Francesco Reda, 19 seconds behind the winner
Peraud after the win

But Francesco Reda has ridden a very good race for his Pro-Continental team Androni Giocattoli, finishing second on the queen stage today...

Unfortunately the Mediterranean Tour was disrupted again today. After stage three was cancelled due to "logistical problems" and "safety issues" in Marseilles, stage four began today without the entire Garmin-Sharp team. Depending on the source, they had between 16 and 18 road bikes and a bunch of gear stolen from their team truck last night worth an approximate 100,000 to 500,000 Euros (the estimated value seems to be climbing as the day goes on).

As this is far from the first episode of its kind I am left to wonder why teams do not insist on better security. A team car parked in front of the truck door was moved (again) to gain entry. While it was generous for other teams to offer their extra bikes to the Garmin boys today, Garmin chief Jonathan Vaughters ultimately chose to pull out prior to the stage because the size and other adjustments were not deemed feasible.

I revisit a notion I had two years ago when the young Team Type-1 bikes were stolen on another Friday night during the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali: for less than 1% of the value of just one of those bikes why not hire a security guard to watch your gear. Half a million dollars worth of integral equipment to your jobs is not worthy of better protection than a car window? That is all that stood between their precious equipment and the sticky hands of "unscrupulous local scallywags" as soigneur Matt Rabin put it, "…the car was parked up against the back of the truck as is standard". The thieves simply had to move the car back away from the truck; a task easily accomplished by breaking a window and putting the car in neutral or reverse.

Here's a picture their Soigneur took of the emptied truck that I got from CyclingNews:

Or better yet, why doesn't the UCI use some of their ill-gotten gains to PROVIDE security for the teams at races. Or the teams could vote on an amount to spend on security for the year and cough up a share each.

All I'm saying is that teams need to improve security. It is in their interest. Garmin had Andrew Talnsky and Raimunas Navardauskas in 11th and 12th place, both potential candidates for the overall win. They had to surrender any valuable points they might have won in the following stages. And, oh yeah, they now need to replace half a million Euros worth of gear. I know a guy who will watch your stuff overnight for fifty bucks.

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