So Popo signed with Astana. I gotta hand it to Johan Bruyneel; that team is a black hole for grand tour talent, even sans Lance. If ASO decides to let them compete this year, I can’t see anyone beating them.
I hope for Popo’s sake that he performs better than he did this year. Silence-Lotto signed him on for one reason and one reason only – shepherd Cadel Evans through the high mountains of the Tour de France. In that regard he was an unmitigated failure. From the get-go, Cadel was always isolated when the roads tipped up and Popovych was nowhere to be found. Perhaps there was more to the story than just a poorly-timed bad performance, but I hope for his sake that he returns to his old form for Astana.
I was disappointed to hear of the Tour de Georgia being cancelled for 2009. It was the elder statesman of the three “American Grand Tours” – California, Georgia and Missouri. It will leave a void in my springtime sports watching. The classics are great, but there’s nothing like a good stage race to follow. I sincerely hope they can get their sponsorships together and rebound like the Tour of Utah did after taking a year off.