Monday, 24 December 2012

Cyclings Christmas Winners And Losers

 
I'm taking two days off over Christmas but will be back on the 27th and will present my unorthodox season review before the new year. It's Christmas eve and though there is much to celebrate, not all of the riders are feeling the Christmas spirit. Here's this years Christmas winners and losers...

Christmas Winners

As we go into Christmas, some riders will be afforded a small break from their winter training schedule to spend time with family and even get a little merry, celebrating this year will be:
  • Allesandro Ballan may have just suffered the most horrific crash of his life and will miss his beloved Spring classics in 2013 but at InTheGC we like to look on the bright side - Ballan will get an extended break, and a few beers might help to soothe his lumps and bumps, and when all said and done, this Christmas Allesandro Ballan will be thankful for his life...
  • All of the riders who managed to secure a contract for 2013 will be celebrating this Christmas. Pro-cycling is a tough, unforgiving world and no matter how much hard work goes in, if you haven't got a contract then its a whole waste of effort..
  • Bradley Wiggins seems to have been celebrating since July and he's earned it, I'm even boring myself with compliments of Bradley Wiggins but it's hard not to fall into this trap - here is a man who conquered all this year, when he wanted to win he won and now the beer is flowing..
  • Saxobank will be glad of their WorldTour status for next year, after a miserable 12 months (barring the Vuelta) a fresh start is exactly what they need. The team has bolstered its roster and look stronger for next year though much of their season will still be based around Alberto Contador..
  • Talking of Alberto Contador, love or loathe him he announced his comeback in style and after a drawn out case and time out serving his suspension, what better way to end the year than winner of Spanish Grand Tour La Vuelta a Espana..
Christmas Losers

Just because it's Christmas doesn't mean everybody is full of cheer! The investigations keep rolling, the bad news keeps coming and Christmas week is no exception...
  • Geert Leinders found his name amongst the bad press again this week as Levi Leipheimer confirmed that the ex-Sky Doctor was the centre of all things doping at the Rabobank team. It could be a quiet new year for Leinders...
  • Lets face it, the atmosphere at Lance Armstrongs dinner table on Christmas day could be a little sombre. Now the winner of zero Tours de France and with very little commercial interest, Armstrongs kids might not get all of the presents they asked for this year: Only today the Sunday Times announced they were to sue Armstrong for 1.2 Million euros having made a libel payment Armstrong in 2006. Armstrong will know that the Times is likely to be just the first of many...
  • Joaquim Rodriguez will be having a mixed Christmas. Having found himself finishing the 2012 season as officially the World Number 1 he fell back to earth with a bump as the UCI refused Katusha a WorldTour licence for 2013. Rodriguez is desperate to race the Tour next year and thinks a win in on the cards at the age of 33. Problem is, without WorldTour status even riding in the Tour isn't guaranteed though Rodriguez has indicated he is prepared to leave the sinking Katusha ship in order to race for three weeks in France.
  • Frank Schleck still has a rather gloomy looking cloud hanging over his head this Christmas. He's been riding with the Radioshack team at their training camps in recent weeks, but whether he will be around to compete in 2013 has yet to be decided...
  • Spare a thought this Christmas for all those riders who couldn't bag a contract for 2013, times are indeed tough and some riders have been forced into retirement. A Christmas blow out is on the cards as there no training needs anymore, but some will be wanting to keep an eye on the bank balance...
It remains only for me to say, many thanks to everybody who has helped me with the blog since its humble beginnings in March and thank you to everybody who has taken the time to read it! Have a very merry Christmas! Your legs won't thank you for it in the new year...

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