Time to forget the scandals and the doping. Time to forget that things got so bad that the most celebrated team of the last decade, a team relatively unscathed by doping charges -- US Postal/Discovery Channel -- couldn't find a major sponsor and ended up folding. Time to put behind us that nearly all the major players of the past 10 years have been caught up in some form of steroid use or blood doping. Time to figure out who's left, what teams they're on, and who can prove they're worthy of the toughest sport in the world -- pro cycling. The AMGEN Tour of California begins today, marking an early start to pro racing in a race that has developed an incredible profile in a very short time. And Versus, which has resorted to showing movies (mission creep!) in order to fill time between bass-shooting and bull-agitating, is showing cycling fans a little bit more love and running the whole race (schedule here).
And if they're riding in California, it's only a few more weeks until the ice stops falling from the sky here and the riding season begins. (Not to worry, though, my bike tan from last season is still highly evident.)