Archive | July, 2009

The Bridgestone Factory Racer

Project Zero

by / / 21 posts

When I was growing up, my family and I did a lot of mountain biking.  It was really just a matter of training; we were nordic ski racers and the heart-rate patterns in both sports seemed to be more similar than between road biking and skiing and the intense efforts to ride up steep, technical…

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Next Year

by / / 6 posts

The scorching sprint-dust and verbal detritus emanating from the Manx Mouth hasn’t even settled on the Champs Elysees, and already talk has turned to next year’s Tour. Not surprising, as most of the armchair (and ‘expert’) assessment of this year’s race has been less than complimentary, to say the least.  So already we look ahead, hoping…

andy

Hindsight 20/20: Tour de France 2010

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The Tour has wrapped up for 2009 and it fulfilled it’s usual place in the calendar as the biggest – but not greatest – cycling event of the year.  It was strange getting up this morning and not having the Tour blasting on Versus while we got ready for work; I miss Phil and Paul…

The mighty summit of le Mont Ventoux

Ventoux 2009: Frank’s Carbon Ball

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Well, it’s time for predictions using my carbon ball, which is lighter if less effective for peering into than your typical crystal ball commonly used for these types of activities. Status Check: Condator has pulled off the impossible duality of being both the best climber in the world and the best time-trialist.   Some people…

Eros Poli, Martín Farfán, Paolo Fornaciari

Monsieur Mont Ventoux

by / / 17 posts

For those cyclists who might shop at the Big and Tall shop, we are a minority, we stand out in a pace line, we don’t go up steep hills well but we all should worship at the altar of Eros Poli. Eros Poli! When one is named John, Poli is already deserving of idolatry. A…

Frank and Andy Schleck make the race

A Day to Remember

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Today was perhaps one of the best days of bike racing of the season – brought on by my trusty favorite pair, the Schleck Brothers.  As promised by the organizers, the last week of the race is shaping up to be a nail-biter, despite two incredibly boring weeks of racing. On paper at least, today…

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Di Luca: Really? Come On.

by / / 2 posts

Danilo Di Luca is the next in a long line of my favorite riders who have tested positive for banned substances.  While some are more surprising than others, I have to say that at this point, I am a little surprised that the riders are still trying to get away with using drugs they know…

BIGGEST BABY

Inside the Tour: Battle for the Biggest Baby Award

by / / 4 posts

This Tour seems to have been dominated more by gossip than by racing, contributed to in no small part by a rotten route.  The press seems to have whipped up more interest in who is leading Astana or Saxo-Bank than in the race itself.  But some riders seem to love nothing more than complaining to…

Spartacus slays all in Paris Roubaix

Spartacus

by / / 9 posts

About 30km into the stage today, Fabian Cancellera (aka: Swiss Bear, Spartacus, Big Baby, Freak…) pulled up beside me, sat up and reached inside the front of his jersey while shouting in his loud cheery way, ‘Millar! I have a present for you!’ –David Millar, Stage 12 It turns out David Millar had lost his…

Heinrich-Haussler_diaporama

Baby, It’s Cold (and Wet) Outside. Lets Race Some Bikes.

by / / 3 posts

As an objective, rational, and calculating cycling fan, I’ve never been able to get excited about any rider on the now-defunct Gerolsteiner team. This is mostly because they committed the unforgivable crime of employing teamwide, systematic ugly kit selection. Those guys looked so unbelievably ugly in those nasty, turquoise unitards that several of my television…

Bobet03

Lost Art: Mashing a Giant Gear

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Cycling enthusiasts used to mash a giant gear for one, simple reason: it looked super cool.  Do you want to ride like Lucho Herrera who is always falling off his bike or Eddy Merckx who is always winning races? Even as recently as the 90’s it was a common sight to see the pros riding…

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Tour Organizers: Follow the Giro’s Lead

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In response to criticism that the Tour de France is too predictable and uninteresting, the organizers of the Tour have taken a novel approach to designing this year’s route: make the route suck so much that the biggest source of discussion and suspense about the race is who is the real leader of Astana and…

publiciteit2009_hor3

Damned if you do…

by / / 7 posts

It must be really getting to Cadel. The constant calls from the media and the fans (myself included) to “have a go”. Attack. Stop sucking wheels. And lo and behold, when he does, he gets pummelled from all quarters regardless. Which isn’t totally unjustified. I mean, had he taken a shot of ‘Landis-juice’ and thought…

astana macht druck

Assembly-Line Racing

by / / 1 post

I haven’t seen a Tour de France stage as uninteresting as today’s stage to Arcalis since, well, since 2005.  What was special about 2005?  The Bruyneel/Armstrong team.  Different teammates and different color jerseys, but what we got was the same uninteresting racing we endured for the 7 years between 1999 and 2005. One of the…

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Guilt by association

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Let’s get this straight; Yes, I’m an Aussie, not a Yank. Alas, it doesn’t automatically mean I’m a huge fanboy for Cadel. And if I was American, I wouldn’t be carrying the torch for Lance, either. Patriotism has never been big on my agenda. I love my birthplace, for sure, even though I have chosen…

Stage 7 Barcelone - Andorre Arcalis 224km - last kilometres profile - lastkms07_600

Andorra 2009: Frank’s Carbon Ball

by / / 4 posts

Well, here we are, on the eve of the first mountain stage.   Tomorrow’s stage 7 will climb to Arcalis where we will begin to have a much clearer picture of what the Tour will bring over the next two weeks. Status Check.  Armstrong is best positioned to take the Yellow Jersey, but his ace-climber teammate…

MEDIA WHORE

Media Whore?

by / / 9 posts

As the early kilometres of Stage 5 rolled by, with the usual early break forming, the protagonists being assessed for their chances of actually making the move stick, one name stood out from the rest; Thomas Voeckler. “He’s just a media-whore” was the expert opinion of a colleague. I begged to differ. Ever since his…

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Jan Ullrich

by / / 11 posts

I’m going to come out and say it: Jan Ullrich is my favorite rider, ever.  He had it all: class, strength, talent. On top of all that, he was also tall and he was big.  He was  Frank’s Perfect  Storm of cycling. I am not a fan of doping in sports, especially in cycling.  At…

manx mouth

Manx Depression

by / / 1 post

Am I the first to make this pun?  Probably, because I suffer from a condition called “Awesome”.  I could validate that assertion by doing a search on The Google, but that sounds overly complicated and likely to yield results that I’m not interested in seeing. Mark Cavendish – or “Cav”, as those for whom uttering…

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