Start the Pro Season: TdSL / TDU

First, the Tour de San Luis: Though early in the season, some of the racers whose names you would expect to see at the top of stage and g.c. lists were indeed there - Mark Cavendish, Sven Tuft, and Alberto Contador each packed a stage victory into their departing luggage following their weeklong stay in Argentina. In addition Tejay Van Garderen climbed to the second step of the g.c. podium. At the same time South American racers, particularly those from the Argentinian San Luis Todos Santos team, made the most of their opportunity to showcase their abilities against some of the best riders of the European peloton. Among the local racers who found success during the Tour were Alex Diniz (Brazil) of Funvic Brasilinvest, won stage three, was third across the line on stage 6, and finished third on General Classification. Also picking up a stage win (stage 5) was Emmanuel Guevara, also of the San Luis Somos Todos team. At the top of the local riders list though, must surely be Daniel Ricardo Diaz, who came second on two stages, but more significantly climbed atop the podium to claim the General Classification crown.

photo via Tour website

Meanwhile, across the Pacific in Australia, where the Tour Down Under was taking place, the victories were being claimed by an even greater number of proven racers. Andre Greipel snagged three stages wins, Simon Gerrans and Geraint Thomas acquired one each, and Tom-Jelte Slagter confirmed that the talk surrounding some impressive rides last year was not idle, by taking a stage win, and the overall title.

I won't try to fool you into believing that any of this portends what will transpire as the season progresses. To claim the ability to predict what will happen six months down the road based upon results of the first two big races of the year seems foolhardy - at the least I have never possessed the ability to read the future, even with a little fore-knowledge packed away. Instead, take these results for their face value - certain riders are clearly on track, and will likely follow along a designed path which, they hope, will lead to continued success as the season unfolds. Much can happen in the coming weeks and months that can derail any plans of these early season victors, while others riding slightly off the pace, will continue along their own planned paths which they hope will lead to later successes.