Ride the Puddles

Notes on Stuff

Posted by bikezilla on September 20, 2010

Ben King (right, the American one) even after his amazing win at the U.S. championships recently, probably won’t get the respect that perhaps he should.

Come on, he’s 23 and has only just barely stuck his toe in the Pro pond.

But, damn, he is one tough mofo and he’s taking over the Stars and Stripes U.S. national road race champ jersey from George Hincapie.

Does he have the talent to be at the top of the elite game? Will he be a guy you hear about as part of a team’s Grand Tour squad and you instantly think “contender”? Or will he be the next Jens Voigt / George Hincapie?

As his father remarked, he may not have the “natural talent of Phinney”, but when a rider can suffer at the level that King can suffer, he can put some real fear in the guys who have to ride against him.

Taylor Phinney (who I keep calling “Tyler” and I don’t know why), 21 yrs old and tearing up both timetrials and sprints.

Is he gonna be a guy who can challenge the super elite of both disciplines? Will he be able to challenge Fabian Cancellara, as well as Mark Cavendish and Tyler Farrar at a high level?

I’m incredibly eager to see him go head to head vs all of those guys next year.

— And with King and Phinney both on RadioSkank next season, what will the team’s goals be? Are they gonna be a sprint team? Or a GC team? Is Taylor gonna be a true Classics guy going up against men like Thor Hushovd, Heinrich Haussler and Fabian Cancellara? Or will he be challenging for the points jerseys at the Grand Tours vs Mark Cavendish and Tyler Farrar?

— With Hushovd and Haussler both moving to the Classics as part of their new roles at Garmin (and I think Hushovd, at least, if far better suited to that role than the role of pure sprinter, now), should Robbie “Head-Butt” McEwen, just perhaps, consider making a move away from the Grand Tours and toward the Classics in his final year or two?

— Is Phillipe Gilbert (Omega Pharm Lotto) really good enough to win the Worlds?

What about Fabian Cancellara?

Did the Vuelta take too much out of them for either of them to have a realistic shot?

Fabian and Phillipe are both great Classics riders. Why isn’t more made about them going head to head?

Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) has withdrawn from the Spanish Worlds team.

Is he suffering from physical and mental burnout, as he claims? Or is he just pouting over his loss at the Vuelta?

Either way, boooooooo. I was really looking forward to him racing in Geelong.


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