Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Zabel So Nice!

The "Nearly Man" finally is the man again!
Erik Zabel (Milram) stole the thunder from Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) during the sprint for Stage 4 in La Vuelta A España. Sorry for the Cyclingnews type copy there. Or, I could've said: ...stole Thor's thunder, vanquishing Hushovd in the dash for the line of...; I think I'll stay w/ these!

Erik has been "suffering" from a string of 11 second and 12 third places in races this year. I'd love to suffer that much riding in the classics and grand tours- ALL YEAR! He rides from the beginning to the end and is competitive all the time. You can say that there isn't much competition, but that's the point. Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) is suffering from some fatigue, and Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) is coming back from a nasty broken knee. Erik has the form to race all year, and rarely gets hurt; all elements of successful racing. You have to be aware at all times during stages as well as the sprints while adding a little bit of luck to avoid the wrecks. Anyway, good on ya mate!

The problem I'm having though is that I found out how old he is: 36! Phil Liggett calls him a "grand old man of the peloton", and I'm turning 35 in December! WTF?! I thought for some reason he was older than that; perhaps as old as Viatcheslav Ekimov (Discovery) who was born in the 50's I think! [ed.note- 1966!] Should I take the stance that you can be competitive in your late 30's, or that in your late 30's you're considered a grand old man... whatever Phil. You've been covering the Tour almost as long as I've been alive!

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Friday, August 25, 2006

inspired season=doping.

Word on the strizzle is that the Lion King got his roar from Señor Fuentes during his swan song 2002 season. The code name of "Pavarotti" has shown up in some documents from Operation Puerto, and the Italian media sez it's Mario Cipollini. Mario of course denies this, but unfortunately that's as good as being guilty now. You should just admit it immediately then we'll like you for being a strong stand-up guy. This is sick.

I'll probably be more pissed about this than I was w/ Landis. He was bike racing in the late 90's as it should be. Fun, exciting, unpredictable, and a fashion show. He made Briko the king of glasses and helmets during the height of his reign. So I hope this turns out to be nothing more than speculation.

Then again, that means that Fred Rodriguez won Milan-San Remo and Ghent-Wevelgem that year, as he came in second twice to the Tuscan Raider. Fast Freddy really was fast!

No more doping, please.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I will break myself! (russian accent)

My new favorite thing. I've been avoiding doing any type repeat/interval training that has anaerobic and climbing in its direction. I'm not sure why, but that's been the case for most of this season. I used to love looking for hills to kill myself on, but not lately.

That changed a couple of weeks ago when I added a new loop to my ride. It is a continuous rolling drag that keeps going up. It has a nice kicker at the end where I can hit close to my max and blow myself out on. This is great for working on increasing your Vo2 rating.

I haven't felt super strong lately but that's only for hard efforts. I did a 3 hour non-caloric intake ride that didn't phase me at all. I usually feel it at the end, but I was strong all the way through. Granted I spend the ride in upper zone 2 and lower zone 3, but like I said, I didn't feel it. So I'm guessing the base is there. Just in time for fall. It's all for fun anyway.

The ride shown is just a portion of the data. I was too hammered to put any effort in afterwards.

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George can't get a break.

Eneco Tour of Benelux just finished w/ George Hincapie's (Discovery Channel) wheel being taken out by Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) during the sprint. When Stefan crossed the line in 3rd he took the time bonus to pass George in GC. WTF?! What is it going to take for him to catch a break? He finally won a time trail after getting 2nd in 4 previous times. But this is tragic. He was w/in 100 feet from the line. I'm sitting here waiting for the decision from the judges. I agree w/ Brian of Cycling.TV that the rule book should be followed: Schumacher left his line during the sprint and should be relegated to the rear of the bunch.

The decision seems to be decided that Schumacher has won by 1 second.

This has been a strange season for George, especially after his fall in Paris-Roubaix. On another note, Phillippe Gilbert (winner of the stage) is a BEAST! He was dancing around on his pedals on the final climbs showing himself a little to much in my opinion, but powered off for another magnificent breakaway win. It's nice to see the young talent winning w/ panache. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) was another young guy that is really showing some promise.

They gave it to Schumacher. To his credit it looks like he doesn't want the win at all. There's a shot of George riding away down the course by himself. He covered every move w/ ease, and this is how it ends. Sorry George.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ben-Hur ain't got nothin' on ME!

Van Gilder gets all Roman on Tina Pic going into the final turn at Downers Grove.
Amazingly nothing was broken!

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

back from the team car...

Lost contact w/ the grupetto on that last Col so I hitched on to my team car to get me over. Though at one point I was playing to the crowd doing my best "Mayo"; hopping off my bike and walking up the mountain "suffering" from bad morale. Needless to say the Basque didn't appreciate it and I paid the price by riding the rest of the stage smelling of hot cerveza! Hopefully I don't have any doping controls at the finish!

I've been writing some posts, but I haven't finished any of them. You know, because of all the doping talk. I've been in such a funk. That's disgusting just to write! I did start a post on Boonen winning the sprint in the Eneco Tour because he started a program of EPO. That didn't go anywhere. I couldn't get any humor out of it. You know, because of my dope funk. I do have some observations of the dope fallout and that's half finished, and I should have that soon. You know, because I'm funky dope.

Watching the Eneco Tour of Benelux now on Cycling.TV. What, you aren't? Me so sorry. Right now I'm streaming over a meg and a half so the image looks great. One thing I've been fascinated w/ is all the traffic "furniture" that Belgium/Holland throws onto the roads there. When you're rolling in a group that size at that speed, that crap can be devastating. I'm amazed that there hasn't been more crashes. It makes for good TV though.

If you've been avoiding reading any cycling results you should check out what Jens Voigt has been doing since the Tour. 7 wins in 12 days! He took 3 stages and the overall at the Tour of Germany. This guy ain't on the juice so it's great to see one of the nice guys of the peleton get some results.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

wow, what a week!

and it's only Wednesday!
I started the week off riding on Monday. I set up my fixed gear for road training again, or at least circuit training down at the Point. I'm going no brakes, and no levers so it looks like a madison bike. Pictures soon to follow. Anyway, I had an okay ride considering I was fine tuning the position again as well as getting used to riding Look pedals and cleats again. Now I remember why I switched! I'm sure the new versions are much better, but my 296's suck ass now compared to my Times. Happy days, I did some light spinning w/out really any pressure. My big ride was set for Tuesday.

I get out the door Tuesday morning all set for 60+ miles in the saddle. About 10 miles out, I sense something is 'amiss' and I begin checking over my bike as I'm pedaling. I notice that the rear wheel is a little out of true so I stop to check it out. No, it's actually a SOFT TACO!! As I spin it I see it dive to the far right striking the brake pads! That's not good. I've had damaged rims before so I wasn't panicking just yet. I altered the seating of the axle so it would avoid hitting the stays (carbon) if it started to get worse. Well a mile down the road, it did. I had to go over a wooden bridge that's not the smoothest and by the other side, my tire was mating w/ the carbon in my chainstay. It had already worn through the paint and was starting to make a divot in the frame! I still didn't panic as I thought I could do something to make this work. I found the offending spoke, but I found it not connected to anything! The rim had disintegrated and pieces were falling into my hand as I played w/ it.

So here I am, full Hammer Nutrition kit, and $275 Shimano shoes walking my bike down the path. Since the wheel couldn't be altered to not hit the frame, I had to carry the back of the bike. I'm so happy now. Long story short, my wonderful, beautiful, forgiving wife left class to come and rescue me!

Now I'm looking at 2 top end wheelsets, a Bontrager Race X Lite Aero, and a Mavic Ksyrium SSL that have destroyed rear wheels. I'm going to attempt to warranty them simply because I don't see why I should have to pay anything due to what I feel is a manufacturing defect. We'll see if they see it that way, and then I'll make my choice of what wheel company I go w/ in the future based of the outcome. Oh, to add to this, my Mavic Ksyrium Elite rear wheel was wobbling before I even left for my ride today! Me so happy for me.

No more wheel stuff until I decisions are made.

My ride today was great but started off shaky. Riding the Tufos, I like to have redundant backup by carrying a folding tire and tube, but in line w/ the rest of the week. I did a bunch of repeats trying to bury myself, and I was successful. I'm trashed. I have those randomly pulsing muscles all over my legs too. Weeeeee! It was worth it.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

who'da known?

This could be filed under tech and design, but since this is Blogger, and not Wordpress, I got no catagories. So I'll go w/ what sparked the need to fill the web w/ more useless bandwidth hogging.

I was playing follow the links starting after watching DiggNation's #51 podcast (I know I'm behind). They were showing the new features of Digg 3.0. During Kevin's address they showed the new Digg Labs analyzation tools which were developed w/ their partners Stamen Design. I'm intrested in design, so I looked them up. They've done quite a bit, most notably (for me) the Macromedia MX Suite rollout! I liked the design of the icons all the way to the load screens. I don't like the new version; back to boring. But this is a cycling blog, so I obviously found something they did relating to cycling. They designed and impletmented (w/ others) the interface for the official Amgen Tour of California site. This thing is hot! I wish we could've had that for the Tour.

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

yeah, you're a winner.


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Image courtesy of AFP.

Friday, August 04, 2006

close the door, I'm waxing my philosophocles!

I don't know if you're going to get that title.

So w/ the incoming poo-storm that is going to ramp up this weekend w/ the 'B' sample de Landis, it's not hard to continue on our collective downward morale when it comes to cycling. But I've been thinking that truthfully it doesn't matter at least to me since I'm connected to this sport, this lifestyle by more than the trials and tribulations of its stars. Simply put I love cycling because I do it. I'm sure that sentiment is shared by a large number of you as well. How pathetically self-righteous can you be to say that you're never going to follow the sport again, canceling your mag subscripts, deleting your bookmarks, and avoiding it while it's on TV? I read that in either Cycle Sport's or Procycling's letters, or on You've basically condemned the rest of the peloton as dopers, and you've revealed that something is drastically missing in your life that you've been searching for in the pro peloton. What a douche.

Screw the morale, do some intervals, show some gain in form and look for the next dough-eyed espoir that hasn't had his pelotonal cherry popped yet attending the annual Jalabert Bros. 'pot belge' party. Also look for some of the other good stories from the Tour:

Millar Time Again!

He may not have won the Prologue like he said he would, but you gotta give David Millar props for simply finishing the damn race! Banned for 2 years for admitting the use of EPO he didn't see a single day of racing until his sentence ended a week before the Tour started. He actually got stronger towards the end putting in a storming TT placing 11th! He ended up 59th in the final GC out of 139 that were racing before the Tour (and probably taking drugs...).

Tricky Dick
Although he's retired, Richard Virenque is another reformed doper who came back proving that you can race at the highest level and win. I just finished watching him take Ventoux

(2002) ahead of a charging Armstrong giving the same one arm/one finger salute he'd give during his cocky doping years. He wasn't super, but he was first. By the way, Armstrong put in the record time of 58 minutes for the climb although that was soundly beaten by Mayo 2 years later in the Dauphine. Remember that the previous record was held by none other than Marco Pantani in 2000, who was doping... But I digress.

Aussie Oi!
Cadel Evans will be the first Aussie on the podium. He's still gots lots to work on, but his win in Romandie shows he can roll 'wit the boys. He'll do it though. Oi!

Levi, Levi, he's our man!
If you feel like Levi cracks too much, then you didn't see him ride the field off his wheel this year in the Dauphine. Muy Macho! He may have a case of the bitches every once in awhile, but signing w/ Discovery and teaming up w/ a true Tour team plus the man himself Johan Bruyneel, he will stand tall on the Champs. Plus his wife is hot. Her name is Odessa Gunn. Dude.

Although the French desperately long for a return to glory in their own race, they do have a great way of looking at the race and the riders. They flat out appreciate the domestique, the underdog, and the anti-star. Look at Francoise Simon in 2001, and T-Voeck from the '04 Tour. They went from who, to front page stars during their respective days in yellow. Watch the fans that aren't clad in orange applaud every rider as they struggle up the mountain all the way back to the autobus. They know they work hard and the star wouldn't be winning the stage w/out them. Americans don't consider you unless you've won something repeatedly; especially if it's a fringe sport.

Pick a winner bruther!

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Images courtesy of, I think.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

some shizzle.

-I hate recumbents. Also, I generally dislike those who pilot the hateful contraptions, known as recumbanteers. I hated when they came into the shop since most of them had mightier than thou attitudes, and I hate seeing them on the paths as they typically look at me like I'm the shit of the earth. Something like I'm obviously going way to fast and I'm suddenly going to flip out and crash right into them. Most of them go WAY to f-ing fast themselves w/ little or no handling skills to speak of. This is precisely why they get a recumbent; they can put their feet down in a panic. Unfortunately they're the ones riding like idiots. Let me say this: I can handle a bike very well, and a recumbent to me is dangerously unwieldy.

If you have back problems, cool. This is your only option. Just don't look at me like I'm going to kill you. I have to say I love the hand-crankers; anyone that no longer has the use of their legs and still has the jones to ride go for it. You get props for doing it all w/ your arms! That's bad ass!

-What was up w/ the dude wearing black tights on his ride home in today's 106' weather? What an ass.

-I love heat index warning days since no one is on the bike path!

-I tried something new today on my way home. I tried the Euro-pro trick of downing some soda before a big effort. Aside from burping the carbonation, I felt like a superman for the rest of the ride. My biggest worry was its high glycemic index not allowing it to absorb as fast as a gel or hydro drink would. It did great, and I felt great! Who knew?

-I was more a tourist today than anything. I brought my real camera along. I will share some shots w/ you. You will love them.

The first one is of the new Wilson Bridge spanning between MD and VA. I'm under the new section which is in use, while the next section is still being constructed. The drawbridge to the far left is the old Wilson Bridge which is being deconstructed now that one span is open.

This is what is left of the old bridge.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

it came from beyond...

Inside sources at the testing lab say that some of the testosterone in Floyd's sample were synthetic and from an outside source.  Maybe he was playing basketball w/ Justin Gatlin and drank the wrong waterbottle, or was playing "D" a little too close sharing a little man sweat together.  You can't trust anyone these days.

What a couple of bitches.

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