For all the Armstrong hype in the preamble, the really interesting battles on the opening day were all about Columbia v Garmin. Not just the team battle but the rivalry between the British riders over who would be able to say “I was the first British rider ever to wear the pink jersey”.
DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images
By my reckoning, that makes it 1-0 Cavendish and Columbia. There’s been plenty of needle in the build up about Garmin focusing so heavily on the TTT, some of which is pretty fair comment, and it looks like Cavendish was right.
If you want a stage 1 report then read Cycling Weekly’s Giro Stage 1 report, much easier than me wasting time writing one.
I’ve written two articles for BBC Sport on the Giro which I’m pretty chuffed with, even if I did need to do some patching work after they were published. That’ll teach me to knock things out in a hurry while watching telly.
But back to the Garmin question. Now I know we’re all meant to love these guys because they’re clean and because of what they stand for but I can’t be alone in thinking it would help them a heck of a lot if they won a bit more often.
“No specific parameter defines success. Winning today was definitely a goal. We did specific training for it and we’ll do that before the Tour de France as well and the goal will be to win. We did the process as best we could and went for it.”
Surely the process is all about ensuring victory? Don’t talk about process, tell me about feeling like you’ve been punched in the biscuit barrel because you lost by six seconds to your big rivals as an American ProTour team. It’s a fucking bike race, not a database installation.
For all his sins of being gobby, brash and a bit rough round the edges at least Cavendish talks about bike racing like he means it, not like an accountant trying to reconcile their month end figures. And his team at least have the decency to win with a bit of frequency in the big events, not make noises that sound like excuses.
Garmin: start winning or shush. Cavendish: carry on as you are.