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Pride of Britain

 A cool looking Cav with Peta Todd at the Pride of Britain awards

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Oscar says send slackers home

Ever since his amazing first rainbow jersey at Verona I have been a big fan of Oscar Freire. What’s more he often seems to talk sense so when he  recently suggested that there should be no reinstatement of  riders eliminated from the TDF  I took notice.

Freire was asked about Cavendish’s green jersey at the Tour de France despite finishing outside the time limit on consecutive days in the Alps. The size of the laughing group  meant that Cavendish and the other riders involved were not eliminated from the race, but were punished by being docked 20 points from their tallies in the points classification on each occasion. Freire believes that the rules need to be revisited.

As for the green jersey, there are rules that say that when a lot of riders finish outside the time limit, they are allowed back in,” Freire noted. “Those are the rules, but it seems wrong to me that those outside the time limit are allowed back in. It’s sometimes happened that riders who finish hors delai win the following the day. If you’re sick or you fall, they don’t let you back in, but if you finish in a group, they do. It’s not good, I don’t understand it. They should change the rule.”

Well said Oscar. From memory I think that one day there were seventy riders in Cav’s group of slackers, which is a joke. Of course the organisers wouldn’t want to send that many home but if the riders knew that the rule would be enforced regardless there would be far fewer taking a “rest day”  Perhaps they could try a “no reprieve in the last week” rule to see how that works.

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John Degenkolb wins G.P Frankfurt

I have always had a soft spot for the Frankfurt Grand Prix (Henninger Turn) if only because it has been in cycling for about as long as I have. another reason is that, so I was told, the race featured in the World Cup just once in 1995 because the organiser wouldn’t move to a Sunday from his 1st May date. As the World Cup was a major curse on the sport that has to be a good thing.

Back in the sixties and seventies the winners could, in the main, have graced any of The Monuments but latterly things have gone downhill. This year the winner, from a bunch sprint, was John Degenkolb of HTC who it must be admitted has passed under the greenjersey radar. Cav, with race number 13, unsurprisingly failed to finish.

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Bad news for Cav, Oscarito to focus on Worlds 2011

Three time World Champion Oscar Freire is to give the TDF a miss in 2011 so that he reaches the start line in Copenhagen in perfect form. Oscar believes that he can add a fourth rainbow jersey that will lift him clear of the other three time winners Binda, Van Steenbergen and Merckx.

There is more bad news for Cav as Freire plans to postpone his retirement so he can ride at the London Olympics in 2012. By 2012 Oscarito will be 36 and Cav will be stronger and hopefully just as fast so if it comes to a sprint it will be quite a battle.  Until today I thought the Olympic road race was a non event but if Oscar says it is special that is good enough for me. Bring it on.

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Cav dates Peta Todd

The Manx spurter is planning to take his latest flame, the glamour model Peta Todd, to the Sports Personality of the Year event on Sunday. Miss Todd who was born in Newham, east London is a big fan of West Ham united her local team.

Football is not her only sport as in 2008, she cycled 400 miles (640 km) in seven days raising over £3,000 through sponsorship and a further £4000 by auctioning her bicycle and cycling shorts on the last day of her ride for the “Help the Heroes” charity. It is rumoured that her bike realised £230 with her shorts (unwashed) making up the balance.

It must be stressed that the photo was taken years before Cav had even met the southern stunner.

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Bettini thinks Petacchi can win at Copenhagen

Italian coach Paolo Bettini was yesterday in Copenhagen to check out the Worlds course. He says that it is similar to Madrid and that the only Italian who can win after 250km is Alessandro Petacchi. I am not sure he is right as in 2005 when Boonen won in Madrid the whole Italian team (and two Brits) worked for Petacchi and he still couldn’t hang on to the front group.

Bettini feels that the course is ideal for Cavendish but the lack of a strong team to prepare the sprint will be a big handicap for the Manxman. My first thought is that he needs to be speaking to his HTC team mates but on reflection an international lead out train would be too obvious. I was at Lasarte in 1965 when Tom Simpson won and I have booked my flight for Copenhagen and I still think Cav can do it.


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Cav checks out course, says little chance of jersey

Cav had high hopes of taking the rainbow jersey until he looked at the course for the 263km race.  After a start at Melbourne the riders will cover the 15.9km circuit at Geelong eleven times.

“According to what people had been telling me beforehand the rainbow jersey was a possibility, but now that I’ve been able to check it out for myself, I’ll have to revise my ambitions,” Cavendish said. In the unlikely event that the Manx spurter can survive the two short but steep climbs each lap he will be faced with a finishing straight rising steadily for 700 metres to the line.

Sadly it may be that the race will also be too hard for Oscar but I am hoping that he can take his fourth title. If not Oscar my money is on Philippe Gilbert.

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