Monday, October 11, 2010

Let the Leaves Fall

This weekend 26 teams - yes, including Radioshack, the apparent bad boys of racing - take to the start in Milano before riding north, looping the gorgeous Lake Como and finishing in the lake town of Como after climbing up from the lake shore and summiting the climb to Madonna del Ghisallo. They will ride through the falling leaves, la Classica della Foglie Morte, the Classic of the Falling Leaves. If I were a pro this is the one race every year I would ride for the sheer joy of riding my bike - and then end my season and stay in Bellagio for a few weeks.

And when I think of riding my bike for joy's sake Chris Horner often comes to mind. Horner loves this little race as well, and fairing quite well in it over the past few seasons - four tries and always top 15 with a best 7th. His participation in this year's race of the falling leaves looked in doubt when organizers RCS once again played punitive politics and "woops" left Radioshack off their start list. Something about some Italian dog eating the invitation, or something. Off that is until the Shack threatened to sue in the CAS and the UCI jumped in (part in the paternalness to insure next year's Pro Tour gets off to a credible start.)

After investigating the news, VeloNews has learned that the team will indeed be on the start line of the Lombardy race October 17. “There was an oversight by the organizers,” an inside source told this VeloNews. “A letter confirming the invitation was lost apparently. And so they are working with the UCI to work things out so the team can start the race.”

And to prove there is a cycling god the finale of the Classics season will be broadcast in America. To also prove that god has a sense of humor and a bit of devil in them, it will be televised on Universal Sports. But for the wise, know that you can turn the two US blithering idiots off and get a live Eurosport feed for some insightful, culturally intelligent and civilized commentary.

More about the fall Classic can be found in the new book published by VeloNews The Spring Classics. An adaptation of The Spring Classics: Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races can be found here.

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