An early season look into the future
It's only March, but that doesn't prevent me from making educated guesses on the whole 2012 season.
Team Sky will determine the Tour roster - a general classification or green jersey team.
One final news item that put a smile on my face was Mario Cipollini stating that he's ready to return to professional racing, hopefully with Farnese Vini-Selle Italia - a team he sponsors with his namesake brand of sexy bikes. That was met with a resounding, "WTF!?" from the team, but Cipo is still continuing to put himself out on the market saying he's in great shape.
The reason for my smile is that I've interviewed Cipo and he's a lovely man, but the UCI has a set of rules in place for just this situation. He needs to have entered himself into the UCI's anti-doping system six months ago - something he hasn't done. But Mario seems to dismiss this as a minor problem.
Part of me wants him to return to racing as he was always good for a quote or doing something crazy. I remember at the Tour de Georgia team presentation he wanted to moon the audience and had to be talked out of it. I would have died from laughter if that had happened, but on the flip side, it probably would have ended the Tour de Georgia right then.
If you have missed watching any of the races I've mentioned, don't worry! The fine folks at Roadcycling.com have video highlights from Tirreno-Adriatico available for your viewing pleasure in their video section . If you're looking for inspiration I recommend watching Chris Horner's ride in stage 4 of Tirreno. Is it too early to name him as a Tour favorite?