If you’re like most cycling fans, you probably watched a bike race today. It probably took place in France and ran from roughly Paris to roughly Roubaix — although curiously, not exactly in either of those locations. I did that too, but I preceded my time in front of the TV, err… computer with a strong ride with some strong dudes. If you’re like a small fraction of those bike-race-watchers today, you may have noticed that I didn’t take the start despite previously being among those listed. If you noticed, I thank you. If you didn’t, I trust your world has not just now been rocked.
Clocks change. Chameleons change. Change change…es? (yeaaaah, that one was a stretch.) Race schedules change too. Initially, yes, I was on for Paris-Roubaix. We have rocked up to the spring classics with a squad of nine and each of these races take eight from each team. When the whole team made it through a simply absurd Gent-Wevelgem relatively unscathed and as I was a reserve for Flanders, I had the opportunity to return home to Spain, train in fantastic weather, and get ready for the final two Classics week races, Scheldeprijs and the crown jewel, P’Roubaix. Si por favor, casa, dulce casa. But things change. We have a tremendously talented and incredibly young Classics team built for the future, so with a good showing in Flanders, those eight were slated for Roubaix. I returned to Belgium earlier this week, escaped the catastrophic — but totally predictable — crash in the finale of Scheldeprijs, reconned the stones of France which you’ll see below, and with a healthy team going into this weekend, those eight were set for the start today and I was set for home. So it goes, that’s the ever-fluid spread sheet called a racing schedule.
Thanks to Jared Gruber for these pictures. Here, the Cannondale Garmin Pro Team tackles Paris-Roubaix recon. This was Thursday, the day after Scheldeprijs and four days before the Hell of the North.
You think you know, but you have no (no no) idea.