There’s no stopping the Missile

ALLEZ - Jose Vicente ‘JV’ Araneta (The Freeman) - February 11, 2013 - 12:00am

When Mark Cavendish signed with team SKY for the 2012 season, it had the makings of a fairy tale. A Briton riding for a British team, a team that would eventually end up as number one in the world. Not only that, the team had the best 1-2 stage racers in Bradley Wiggins, the current Tour de France champion and Chris Froome, the TdF runner up. Well, what else was missing for Cav?

Cav is a sprinter, and the best at it the past 5 years. No one could touch him in the last 100 meters in a race. Not even Mario Cipollini was that consistent. But in a team geared to support a leader for a three-week race, not in the last 300 meters, Cav was the square peg in a round hole. To his credit, he didn’t bitch and as the season came to an end, he asked to break his contract for 2013. To SKY’s credit, they agreed, even though they knew that they were losing a big market personality. But SKY knew that they could not have Kobe and Jordan in the same team. SKY also understood that while sprints are very exciting to watch, it is the Yellow Jersey of the TdF that they knew was more valuable to the sponsors and the fans than the Green Jersey. So, while the selection process was difficult, it was easy to choose between Wiggins/Froome over Cav.

For this year, Cav signed with SKY’s rival, QUICKSTEP (QS). QS is a Belgian team and like all Belgian team, it is more concerned with the classics (Paris-Roubaix & Tour of Flanders) than the Yellow Jersey of the TdF. In other words, QS is the best team in the world to support Cav’s ambitions. The only potential problem is teammate Tom Boonen. Boonen more or less occupies the same space that Cav wants although Cav is clearly the superior rider. But Boonen is Belgian and Cav is not, which makes the undercurrent a powerful distraction to the team.

Cav made his first appearance last week in QS colors in the Tour of Qatar where he won 4 out of 6 stages. If Cav’s dominance in the desert is not going to be a concern for other teams this year, they’re lying.  Even when his team lost control, as in stage 6, Cav was still able to find the smallest of holes to pass at least 20 sprintersin the world, at 65kph, in the last 250 meters, to take the stage. It was breathtaking to watch!

Finally, my condolences to the bereaved family of the late Ficeh Melody Pondoc-Pupos. She was not only kind, pretty and smart but had a smile that could light up a dark gymnasium. HNU HS Class ’80 will miss her smile forever!......Which school do you think made the right decision regarding their students: USJR or STC?  “Only forgiveness, given and received, can lay lasting foundations for reconciliation and universal peace”, so uttered Joseph AloisiusRatzinger……It’s now retired sprinter Mario Cipollini who is under fire for alleged doping in the past. While they are at it, I also humbly suggest to retroactively test the urine/blood samples, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain and Greg Lemond. To make it more complete, how about the exhumation of the bodies of 5-time TdF winner JaquesAnquetil, FaustoCoppi, Gino Bartali and all the other TdF champs who have died?


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