Here's what's on Pavé's mind this Monday:
1. The twitterati were abuzz this past weekend with news of Cadel Evans' transfer to BMC. Twitter's an interesting phenomenon as it allows you to witness the evolution of the news as it broke. First it was revealed that Evans did not re-sign with Silence-Lotto; then came the lists of teams with which he might land including SKY, Garmin, Radio Shack, Astana, and AG2R. Teams soon began taking themselves out of the running--with Garmin making a particular effort to clear its name (maybe to prevent Wiggo from growing more hostile?) from the list--until BMC was finally announced and confirmed as his destination.
It's yet another in a series of bold moves for BMC who--despite my comments a week ago--apparently has aspirations for a Tour invite in 2010. Evans gives them a strong GC-rider and man for the hillier classics. It will be interesting to see how they use him: will he shoot for smaller stage races and the Ardennes classics before heading to the Giro for the win; or will the team earn an early invitation to the Tour, allowing Cadel his traditional build-up to the race he would so dearly love to win? I know I've said it before, but I think Evans (among others) would be well-served by a change in focus; he could easily win Paris-Nice, the Ardennes classics, Romandie, and the Dauphiné if he so desired. A Tour stage win or two would be possible before making another late-season assault on the Vuelta and the fall monuments. Of course, Evans will probably again place his eggs in the Tour's basket again, but maybe BMC can convince him to do otherwise--if they want him to.
2. And while were talking transfers, SKY is announcing its complete roster this Friday. Consequently, we might finally gain some clarity regarding the future of Bradley Wiggins. If he indeed leaves, will Garmin move to have Contador take his place?
3. Following on the heels of news that Gent-Wevelgem has been moved to the Sunday before the Tour of Flanders comes the report that it's being lengthened as well--from 200 to about 250km. And why shouldn't it be longer? It's no longer sandwiched on the Wednesday between Flanders and Roubaix, thus giving the organizers the luxury of adding some distance to attract teams eager to use it as preparation for the following weekend. What remains to be seen is how the teams treat the E3 Prijs--the traditional Flanders testing ground--the day before. We'll have more on this in a future column, but for now, it's some intriguing food for thought.
4. For those that have asked, the final few pieces of Pavé kit are being finalized this week. We'll announce the rest of the designs and ordering information soon. Thanks to all for expressing interest--we're looking forward to the legions of Pavé riders hitting the road next year.
5. And speaking of hitting the road, Fxdwhl took us on another terrific ride through his neighborhood on Saturday. Falling leaves, crisp weather, and some muddy singletrack were the days main courses (along with a pile of dog s--- I just couldn't seem able to avoid). You can see for yourself over at lockring.not.included.
That's it for today. For more reading, feel free to head to Embrocation Cycling Journal for the latest from Pavé as well as terrific pieces from some like-minded souls.
Enjoy your week! And as always, share your comments below.