If perfection is a 10/10, and the attainment of perfection is impossible, then GreenEdge have had a 9/10 first month of racing. They have won both the road and TT Australian jerseys for the year, and have won the overall on their first ProTour race. Simon Gerrans is top of the UCI World Rankings, and GreenEdge are 3rd.
They controlled the final stage of racing at the Tour Down Under with panache, even sending Cam Meyer up the road in the final 10km, briefly threatening to derail the sprint trains, and thus ensured that Gerrans remained in front of Valverde on the overall.
Cam’s heroics aside, the sprinters did have the final say for the week in South Australia, and Greipel did what Greipel does best.
He monstered the field with a dominant sprinting display. One can only hope that he can take some of that form to European races where he can go head to head with Cav and Ty Farrar and we get to see kickarse sprint battles between the three of them and Gossy.
February is a quiet month as far as the World Tour calendar is concerned, with the next race that points are available being Paris-Nice in March.
There are other races, such as Qatar & Oman on, as well as Langkawi, but this is a period where teams will be scrabbling around a little looking for places to race their riders, and riders will be trying to get the necessary miles in their legs to prep for the Spring Classics while staying healthy and not falling off in the sketchy conditions that Europe in February can throw at them.
My second year at Garmin was a shocker for exactly this in February — we had fractured collarbones, ribs and even shoulder blades to deal with on top of regular ailments like colds and flu.
The gods didn’t smile on us that year, let’s hope they’re smiling on the peloton this time around.