The 2012 cycling season is starting to heat up. Strade Bianche is on Saturday, the 70th edition of Paris-Nice ("The Race to the Sun") begins on Sunday, March 4th and lasts until March 11th, and Tirreno-Adriatico ("Due Mare", "Two Seas") begins on Wednesday, March 7th until March 13th.
Which brings me to a quote by Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) in which he was discussing the Tour of Flanders route changes, "People are scared," he said. "There’s a lot of ‘why?’ also. Why have they changed the history of this race? I guess cycling is becoming worldwide now. I mean, California is growing huge and so is the Tour Down Under, China is getting bigger. And on the other side, some of the big Italian races that I knew when I was younger are now being overshadowed. The traditions of the sport are counting for less and now on they have changed something crucial. So there is a big why. Is it just to make it harder? Is it just to make money? Is it because of politics and business? Or is it just to see more spectacular things in the race? These are the questions but I am not the organisers so I don’t know the answers."
Do you think the Italian races are being overshadowed?
For Tirreno-Adriatico here are some of the big names and the teams that will racing:
Acqua & Sapone (ITA) (Garzelli, Betancur)
AG2R La Mondiale (FRA) (Nocentini, Belletti)
Astana Pro Team (KAZ) (Kreuziger, Gasparotto)
BMC Racing Team (USA) (Evans, Gilbert)
Colnago – CSF Inox (IRL) (Modolo, Battaglin)
Colombia – Coldeportes (COL) (Duarte, Laverde)
Euskaltel – Euskadi (ESP) (Izaguirre Insausti, Txurruka)
Farnese Vini – Selle Italia (GBR) (Pozzato, Gatto)
FDJ – Big Mat (FRA) (Pinot, Veikkanen)
Garmin – Barracuda (USA) (Farrar, Millar)
Greenedge Cycling Team (AUS) (Goss, O’Grady)
Katusha Team (Rus) (Rodriguez, Freire)
Lampre – ISD (ITA) (Scarponi, Petacchi)
Liquigas – Cannondale (ITA) (Nibali, Sagan)
Lotto Belisol Team (BEL) (Greipel, Vanendert)
Movistar Team (ESP) (Visconti, Rui Costa)
Omega Pharma – Quickstep (BEL) (Ciolek, Velits)
Rabobank Cycling Team (NED) (Breschel, Matthews)
Radioshack – Nissan (LUX) (Cancellara, Bennati)
SKY Procycling (GBR) (Cavendish, Boasson Hagen)
Team Saxo Bank (DEN) (Chris Sorensen, Majka)
Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team (NED) (Hoogerland, Marcato)
Note: Stefano Garzelli decided not to retire after Acqua&Sapone was not invited to the 2012 Giro d'Italia.
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