What can I say? I’ve taken my eye off the ball. I’ve had a few weeks off and thought I could catch up. Now I find myself treading water in a sea of pro cyclists riding for unfamiliar teams wearing unfamiliar kit.
It’s January, the Tour Down Under is on the horizon, and I’m floundering.
Usually, once I’ve got my head around who Nico Roche is riding for the rest falls into place. I’ve always used him as a barometer for the pro cycling transfer season. The crux. The vital first piece in the domino chain.
But all it took was an image on Twitter: of Roche in Sunweb red, a team who used to be black and white, of course, with Roche having moved from BMC, who no longer exist, but have turned into CCC.
Too many variables.
Too much has changed.
And the passing of time, as we know, is impossible to ignore; whether it’s the ticking of the clock, the turn of another pedal stroke, or a single photo of Tony Martin wearing Jumbo-Visma.
OK. I think I’ve got that now. Tony Martin/Jumbo Visma. Used to be Lotto Jumbo. Nico Roche/Sunweb. But red.
I peruse the tittle-tattle of transfer season, trying to catch up. Checking who’s moved, who hasn’t, and who’s got an appointment at the job centre.
I cling to the past.
I want to know that Richie Porte is alright.
And I want Tony Martin to be super-human again. To blow them away in the time-trials. Or in a Grand Tour, on the front, punching a Tony Martin shaped hole in the air – forearms draped across bars, mouth-agape – one hundred and eighty skinny cyclists slipping through it and clinging on.
I need to concentrate.
Rohan Dennis at Bahrain Merida, OK…got it.
Simon Geschke and his beard have both joined CCC. Used to be BMC. Daft orange fade jersey. Check.
Tejay Van Garderen has popped up at EF Education First, Caleb Ewan replaces Greipel at Lotto Soudal, Michael Valgren goes to Dimension Data…
That’ll have to do.
The rest will just have to ride for their old teams (in my mind) until everything soaks in. I’ll have it all sorted in time for the Vuelta.