We wish you a Merckxy Christmas and a Coppi New Year!

We wish you a Merckxy Christmas and a Coppi New Year!

Merckxy Christmas and Coppi New Year!

by / / 84 posts

Another year come and gone, another pile of New Year’s resolutions out the door, done and dusted. It’s a good thing I don’t recall what they were; I have a feeling this period of reflection might loom a bit darker if I was in a position to appreciate just how short I’ve come up on them.

I’m spending more time with young kids these days, and the Holiday Season is an entirely different experience when viewed within their context. To begin with, at my age I hardly notice the passing of the years. This itself is a paradox; as a Cyclist we are perhaps more aware of the passing seasons than anyone else, yet the years themselves manage to slip by without notice; for a kid, one year is a significant portion of their life and each one is remembered in astonishing (if inaccurate) detail.

Personally, it’s been a mixed year for me; the highest highs offset with some low lows, but if we are to experience life’s greatest moments, we have to be willing to walk the valleys between the peaks an for certain its been the singularly greatest year in terms of personal growth. I haven’t spent as much time on Velominati and with you, the community, as I would have liked in 2016; still for 2017 we have many exciting things lurking, all thanks to you who have kept the passion flowing through the community. We laugh, we quarrel, we reconnect. This is the beauty of Cycling and the charm of you, the Velominati community.

So here’s to you, your family’s and loved ones, and to 2017. On behalf of the Keepers, we wish you a Merckxy Christmas and a Coppi New Year!

And yes, it’s time for me to make a fresh batch of Cyclist Gingerbread cookies.

// La Vie Velominatus // Musings from the V-Bunker

  1. @wiscot

    @chuckp

    @SamV

    @wiscot RE: Riding out of the saddle on rollers. Big gear is the way to go. I’ve found a slow cadence is easiest, but with practice have moved upwards and can maintain 75ish relatively safely. Also, don’t put too much weight on your arms/front wheel. I’ve had the back start to float up on me. The benefit of this is that it also builds the supporting muscles in your glutes and core. In a 65-minute threshold session, I do 90-120 seconds standing every 10-12 minutes. This helps with the inevitable numbness in places that shouldn’t be numb…

    You need to learn to ride rollers in your smallest gear spinning at 120rpm … no hands. :-)

    Well, tonight’s a roller night so we’ll see how we go with both strategies!

    I will occasionally do 10-20 seconds at 90-100 with no hands. 120 is begging for a trip to the ER, though…

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  2. @wiscot

    Oh you got that right. Juan Antonio Samaranch was a pal of the Fascist dictator Franco too. He certainly turned the IOC and Olympics into the corrupt cash cow it is today.

    Two words … Avery Brundage.

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  3. @wiscot

    @RobSandy

    You know you’re a cyclist when the presents which give you the most joy are Fignon’s autobiography and a new coffee maker.

    Indeed. I picked up the 7-11 book, one called Wheelmen (about COTHO’s scam) and one on the hstory of the Tour (clearly written before COTHO’s fall from grace) and a charity store in Madison for $6 for all three. Merry Christmas to me! Coffee makers I have: stovetop espresson, french press and big ass coffeemaker. What gifts, pray tell, gave you the least joy?

    a freestanding fan. Essential, but boring, and a reminder of the hard work and pain on the turbo to be ready for race season.

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  4. @chuckp

    @wiscot

    Oh you got that right. Juan Antonio Samaranch was a pal of the Fascist dictator Franco too. He certainly turned the IOC and Olympics into the corrupt cash cow it is today.

    Two words … Avery Brundage.

    yeah. there is a good book about the 20th century history of US Cycling by Peter Nye called Hearts of Lions. it covers Major Taylor through Art Longsjo right up to the Borysewicz/ 7Eleven/ Lemond era. Brundage is covered throughly, although they call him Slavery Brundage. lol i can’t recommend this book highly enough for those individuals too young to remember when the USA was a laughing stock of world cycling, and how inspirational it was to see our riders start to claw back some respectability in the ’80s. Nye’s tales of the VERY lean mid 20th century years, and how it was held together reveals that Lions on bikes aren’t exclusively a Belgian deal.

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  5. Happy New Year to each and every one and Best Wishes for 2017.

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  6. @Cary Very familiar with Hearts of Lions (I have it) as I actually know Peter. And yes, great book.

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  7. @chuckp

    @Cary Very familiar with Hearts of Lions (I have it) as I actually know Peter. And yes, great book.

    wow. i have loved that book for 20 years.

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  8. @Cary I haven’t been in touch with Peter for about that long. I don’t know where he is these days, but he used to be in my general vicinity (metro DC area). Really great guy.

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  9. @chuckp

    @Cary I haven’t been in touch with Peter for about that long. I don’t know where he is these days, but he used to be in my general vicinity (metro DC area). Really great guy.

    he surely wrote an amazing book. US cycling history remains underappreciated, i feel.

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  10. My plan is simple this year. Why not aim for my biggest year in cycling – on and off the bike.

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  11. Haven’t been here for a while, but with some new info that came my way thought it was time to contribute. At our son’s wedding in Nov a cousin said ‘You knew Grandpa was a bike racer, right?” Had never heard that before — new info for me which was very intriguing. Fast forward to last week when I was helping my mother sort through boxes after a move. Found a piece of yellowed paper with a telephone number from the mid-60s scrawled on it. When I unfolded it, to my amazement , my hands held a page of letterhead for the West Side Cycling Club in Milwaukee dated in handwriting December 2, 1898. Two people listed as officers on the letterhead had my surname, and there in pencil, written in that elegant cursive hand of the times, was a list titled “Current List of Members.” Fourteen names on the list, with 3 lined through And there, not crossed out, was my grandfather’s name! He was 21 at the time; the others with my surname were one of his older brothers and his cousin. More penciled stuff on the page, this time numbers and a multiplication result written at an angle as though added as a afterthought to the list. It was a calculation of individual and the group’s total fee. Looks like they individually paid $6.61 — That was a chunk of money back then. Doing my best google-fu, I found the Milwaukee Co. Historical Society web site shows the location of a box/folder with info from or about the club housed in their collection. I’m eager to get there to see if there may be any photos, race results, etc. At least I have this document; I need to check into getting it archivally framed so I can display it. Time for more research about that time period and cycling. I do know Milwaukee was known as one of the hotbeds for the sport (and that from the cycling activity grew Milwaukee’s own Harley-Davidson, so who knows what else I’ll learn. But I do know for sure that Grandpa was a bike racer!

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  12. @teleguy57 That’s a great motivation to start the new year!

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  13. Happy New Year all, hope it’s a great one.

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  14. The PEZ Crew’s picks for best moment of 2106. http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/features/the-pez-pick-of-2016/#.WGvHKLGZPdQ @Randy C – You are now immortalized forever in PEZ annals. :-) Cheers!

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  15. @frankAnd yes, it’s time for me to make a fresh batch of Cyclist Gingerbread cookies.” You’ve had these at least since Dec 2010, so I do assume they only exist electronically now anymore.

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  16. @teleguy57

    Haven’t been here for a while, but with some new info that came my way thought it was time to contribute. At our son’s wedding in Nov a cousin said ‘You knew Grandpa was a bike racer, right?” Had never heard that before — new info for me which was very intriguing. Fast forward to last week when I was helping my mother sort through boxes after a move. Found a piece of yellowed paper with a telephone number from the mid-60s scrawled on it. When I unfolded it, to my amazement , my hands held a page of letterhead for the West Side Cycling Club in Milwaukee dated in handwriting December 2, 1898. Two people listed as officers on the letterhead had my surname, and there in pencil, written in that elegant cursive hand of the times, was a list titled “Current List of Members.” Fourteen names on the list, with 3 lined through And there, not crossed out, was my grandfather’s name! He was 21 at the time; the others with my surname were one of his older brothers and his cousin. More penciled stuff on the page, this time numbers and a multiplication result written at an angle as though added as a afterthought to the list. It was a calculation of individual and the group’s total fee. Looks like they individually paid $6.61 — That was a chunk of money back then. Doing my best google-fu, I found the Milwaukee Co. Historical Society web site shows the location of a box/folder with info from or about the club housed in their collection. I’m eager to get there to see if there may be any photos, race results, etc. At least I have this document; I need to check into getting it archivally framed so I can display it. Time for more research about that time period and cycling. I do know Milwaukee was known as one of the hotbeds for the sport (and that from the cycling activity grew Milwaukee’s own Harley-Davidson, so who knows what else I’ll learn. But I do know for sure that Grandpa was a bike racer!

    Hey there. I know the folks at the MCHS. Good people. There was also a book that came out recently (I have it at home) on cycling in WI. Lots of great stuff about the early days when your grandfather was riding/racing. Here’s a link: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whspress/books/book.asp?book_id=418

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  17. @wiscot Excellent; I was hoping you might chime in. Let me know if there’s anyone in particular at the MCHS with whom I should speak. Just looking at the book is on the shelves at the local library so I’ve reserved it and will pick it up tomorrow for some evening reading. Thanks for the reference! Stay warm…

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  18. Happy New Year to one and all. Hey, have I missed the Anti-V Moment of the Year award? I can’t think of a standout favourite in any case…..

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  19. @davidlhill

    Happy New Year to one and all. Hey, have I missed the Anti-V Moment of the Year award? I can’t think of a standout favourite in any case…..

    Nah, you haven’t missed it. Haven’t had one for a few years now. The obvious nominee IMHO is Running Man Froome.

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  20. @teleguy57

    @wiscot Excellent; I was hoping you might chime in. Let me know if there’s anyone in particular at the MCHS with whom I should speak. Just looking at the book is on the shelves at the local library so I’ve reserved it and will pick it up tomorrow for some evening reading. Thanks for the reference! Stay warm…

    Ben Barbera would be a good place to start. Juliet Hills is very helpful too.

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  21. @wiscot

    @davidlhill

    Happy New Year to one and all. Hey, have I missed the Anti-V Moment of the Year award? I can’t think of a standout favourite in any case…..

    Nah, you haven’t missed it. Haven’t had one for a few years now. The obvious nominee IMHO is Running Man Froome.

    It’s all gone a bit quiet over here recently so you haven’t missed much David… Happy New Year to you too. I don’t know about Froome as a nominee – I thought that was pretty gutsy actually. FFS the guy is perpetually criticised as a robot, then he does something that shows intense determination to overcome a shitty problem not of his own making and that’s also a bad thing? My nomination would be John Degenkolb at the World Championships, spraying his water bottle over a Belgian rider who was refusing to help chase down the break which included his team-mate. Petulant piece of stupidity. Having said that the UCI and Qatar could get a meta-nomination for putting the World Championships in Doha in the first place, and then Qatar quietly cancelling the Tour of Qatar and pulling out of all cycling, even lower-level events. There’s also that tosser smashing his bike at the Red Hook criterium – Jeremy whats-his-face.

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  22. @ChrisO I did think about the Degenkolb bottle incident. Certainly a strong contender. Regarding Qatar, I’d agree but give the award jointly to the UCI and Qatar. $$$$ before all else.

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  23. It’s funny how it goes all quiet in holiday periods and picks up when everyone is back at work……..

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  24. Froome anti V? No way – his mad downhill descent, his two man breakaway, and the run? Plenty of V shown. Actually, for me its the UCI. Good call ChrisO. Qatar and the change to the omnium seals it for me. A far better writer than I wrote that once sport follows the money to the detriment, or compromise, of the actual sport then it’s fundamentally doomed in the long run.

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  25. Folks, on a serious note and I’m not sure if qualifies under the spirit of anti-v (?) if is meant to be a little more light hearted or assigned to a person but the issues this past year with race mottos and safety are just not cool at all. Incidents with Antoine Demoite’ and Stig Broeckx are terrible reminders. Is this a more frequent modern times occurrence or just a perception I have? Froome? I loved his tour this past year and the running man. Degenkolb? I can’t even assign the cool Degencobbles nickname after the WC. Petulant is good descriptor. Doha local for world champs and UCI ? Agree. But I would probably think same if was in China too. How about the inflatable coming down on Yates? That really sucked.

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  26. i don’t know where else to share this, it doesn’t fit in any particular topic i’ve come across, but this is the menu from a cafe near my house in the French Quarter.. how cool is this?

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  27. @ChrisO Agree with the Red Hook guy but I do not want to bring any more publicity to that tosser. I think he is also a model or something. Dude just needs to disappear forever.

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  28. @davidlhill

    Froome anti V? No way – his mad downhill descent, his two man breakaway, and the run? Plenty of V shown. Actually, for me its the UCI. Good call ChrisO. Qatar and the change to the omnium seals it for me. A far better writer than I wrote that once sport follows the money to the detriment, or compromise, of the actual sport then it’s fundamentally doomed in the long run.

    yeah. Froome don’t lack for nuts.

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  29. @Cary Pharmstrong’s ingredients all seem to be too healthy and organic. Surely the missing ingredients to the right of the picture will include things that increase production of natural EPO levels.

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  30. @KogaLover

    @Cary Pharmstrong’s ingredients all seem to be too healthy and organic. Surely the missing ingredients to the right of the picture will include things that increase production of natural EPO levels.

    Home made Pickles about sums it up?

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  31. do y’all think Froome is dirty? maybe i’m naive, but i think it’s possible he’s clean. it’s all about power to weight for a GC rider, no? look at the guy.. Froome looks like he was raised in Darfur, not South Africa.

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  32. @Cary

    do y’all think Froome is dirty? maybe i’m naive, but i think it’s possible he’s clean. it’s all about power to weight for a GC rider, no? look at the guy.. Froome looks like he was raised in Darfur, not South Africa.

    I’m pretty sure as he’s clean, and also that he’s a physiological freak who trains super hard, and super smart. Anti-V moment – was the thing with the motor in the CX bike this year?

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  33. @Cary

    do y’all think Froome is dirty? maybe i’m naive, but i think it’s possible he’s clean. it’s all about power to weight for a GC rider, no? look at the guy.. Froome looks like he was raised in Darfur, not South Africa.

    I wouldn’t bet my house on any of them being clean, but I believe in Froome as much anyone. That said I believed in Wiggins too, and whilst I don’t believe he used EPO etc, as far as I’m concerned the medication taken prior to the 2012 Tour WAS cheating, even if it was “legal”.

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  34. @RobSandy

    Anti-V moment – was the thing with the motor in the CX bike this year?

    Of course – we have a winner.

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  35. @Steve Trice

    @Cary

    do y’all think Froome is dirty? maybe i’m naive, but i think it’s possible he’s clean. it’s all about power to weight for a GC rider, no? look at the guy.. Froome looks like he was raised in Darfur, not South Africa.

    I wouldn’t bet my house on any of them being clean, but I believe in Froome as much anyone. That said I believed in Wiggins too, and whilst I don’t believe he used EPO etc, as far as I’m concerned the medication taken prior to the 2012 Tour WAS cheating, even if it was “legal”.

    Re Wiggins. Yes – I think another rider put it like this (paraphrasing). “He was 5% down, got the TUEs signed off, ended up 5% up”. So Legal, but…… Still, he’s a legend as far as I’m concerned, and so happy to have been in Ghent to see him and Cav win the 6 day. What a night that was!

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  36. @davidlhill

    @RobSandy

    Anti-V moment – was the thing with the motor in the CX bike this year?

    Of course – we have a winner.

    I think that was a low for cycling in general. What about V Moment of the year? I’m going to ignore Froome and offer 3 for initial consideration: 1. Sagan riding away from everyone to win the Ronde 2. Steve Cummings TDF Stage Win 3. Sagan retaining the rainbow bands

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  37. @RobSandy

    @davidlhill

    @RobSandy

    Anti-V moment – was the thing with the motor in the CX bike this year?

    Of course – we have a winner.

    I think that was a low for cycling in general. What about V Moment of the year? I’m going to ignore Froome and offer 3 for initial consideration: 1. Sagan riding away from everyone to win the Ronde 2. Steve Cummings TDF Stage Win 3. Sagan retaining the rainbow bands

    Matty Haymen winning P-R and Boonen being such a class act at the awards ceremony? (all of your suggestions are great as well)

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  38. @davidlhill

    Still, he’s a legend as far as I’m concerned,

    Yeah, me too tbh, just with a slight tarnish.

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  39. @Buck Rogers

    @davidlhill What about V Moment of the year? I’m going to ignore Froome and offer 3 for initial consideration: 1. Sagan riding away from everyone to win the Ronde 2. Steve Cummings TDF Stage Win 3. Sagan retaining the rainbow bands

    Matty Haymen winning P-R and Boonen being such a class act at the awards ceremony? (all of your suggestions are great as well)

    Yeah, I loved that – the vid of how amazed and elated Haymen was afterwards was beautiful. I also liked Stannard’s solo stage win in the Tour of Britain. He’s my hero, nice to see him take the glory for once.

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  40. @Cary

    i don’t know where else to share this, it doesn’t fit in any particular topic i’ve come across, but this is the menu from a cafe near my house in the French Quarter.. how cool is this?

    @KogaLover

    @Cary Pharmstrong’s ingredients all seem to be too healthy and organic. Surely the missing ingredients to the right of the picture will include things that increase production of natural EPO levels.

    Right! The Lance should just be a steaming pile of shit between two perfect pieces of bread just like he was so “clean” on the outside but just a pile of shit through and through. And shouldn’t Le Blaireau’s sandwich be a huge piece of raw meat that you just grab and ravage, kind of like he did to everyone that he raced against whenever he felt the fuck like it?

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  41. @RobSandy

    @Buck Rogers

    @davidlhill What about V Moment of the year? I’m going to ignore Froome and offer 3 for initial consideration: 1. Sagan riding away from everyone to win the Ronde 2. Steve Cummings TDF Stage Win 3. Sagan retaining the rainbow bands

    Matty Haymen winning P-R and Boonen being such a class act at the awards ceremony? (all of your suggestions are great as well)

    Yeah, I loved that – the vid of how amazed and elated Haymen was afterwards was beautiful. I also liked Stannard’s solo stage win in the Tour of Britain. He’s my hero, nice to see him take the glory for once.

    Right! Just loved that video with his disbelief at the end and his saying, “This doesn’t happen?” and his Mate saying, “It does today to you!” Literally choked me up watching that. And then seeing Boonen looking up at Haymen on the podium from the lower step and being such a good sport even though you just have to know that it KILLED him not winning his fifth, esp in that final group.

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  42. @Buck Rogers

    @RobSandy

    @Buck Rogers

    @davidlhill What about V Moment of the year? I’m going to ignore Froome and offer 3 for initial consideration: 1. Sagan riding away from everyone to win the Ronde 2. Steve Cummings TDF Stage Win 3. Sagan retaining the rainbow bands

    Matty Haymen winning P-R and Boonen being such a class act at the awards ceremony? (all of your suggestions are great as well)

    Yeah, I loved that – the vid of how amazed and elated Haymen was afterwards was beautiful. I also liked Stannard’s solo stage win in the Tour of Britain. He’s my hero, nice to see him take the glory for once.

    Right! Just loved that video with his disbelief at the end and his saying, “This doesn’t happen?” and his Mate saying, “It does today to you!” Literally choked me up watching that. And then seeing Boonen looking up at Haymen on the podium from the lower step and being such a good sport even though you just have to know that it KILLED him not winning his fifth, esp in that final group.

    Yeah, you’re right. I’d vote for that one. Hayman FTW.

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  43. @Steve Trice

    @Cary

    do y’all think Froome is dirty? maybe i’m naive, but i think it’s possible he’s clean. it’s all about power to weight for a GC rider, no? look at the guy.. Froome looks like he was raised in Darfur, not South Africa.

    I wouldn’t bet my house on any of them being clean, but I believe in Froome as much anyone. That said I believed in Wiggins too, and whilst I don’t believe he used EPO etc, as far as I’m concerned the medication taken prior to the 2012 Tour WAS cheating, even if it was “legal”.

    I thought this was a good article on Froome’s physiology.

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  44. @Rick

    @Steve Trice

    @Cary

    do y’all think Froome is dirty? maybe i’m naive, but i think it’s possible he’s clean. it’s all about power to weight for a GC rider, no? look at the guy.. Froome looks like he was raised in Darfur, not South Africa.

    I wouldn’t bet my house on any of them being clean, but I believe in Froome as much anyone. That said I believed in Wiggins too, and whilst I don’t believe he used EPO etc, as far as I’m concerned the medication taken prior to the 2012 Tour WAS cheating, even if it was “legal”.

    I thought this was a good article on Froome’s physiology.

    that’s pretty interesting. of all Froome’s wild performances of the last few years, the one that really made me take notice was his breakaway with Sagan and Geraint Thomas last year. flatland power is not the same as mountain power. i was very impressed that he went off the front with those animals.

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  45. @Cary

    @Rick

    @Steve Trice

    @Cary

    do y’all think Froome is dirty? maybe i’m naive, but i think it’s possible he’s clean. it’s all about power to weight for a GC rider, no? look at the guy.. Froome looks like he was raised in Darfur, not South Africa.

    I wouldn’t bet my house on any of them being clean, but I believe in Froome as much anyone. That said I believed in Wiggins too, and whilst I don’t believe he used EPO etc, as far as I’m concerned the medication taken prior to the 2012 Tour WAS cheating, even if it was “legal”.

    I thought this was a good article on Froome’s physiology.

    that’s pretty interesting. of all Froome’s wild performances of the last few years, the one that really made me take notice was his breakaway with Sagan and Geraint Thomas last year. flatland power is not the same as mountain power. i was very impressed that he went off the front with those animals.

    That was impressive but as I recall that break Thomas buried himself as did Sagan’s team mate who was also in the group. When it came time to sprint, Sagan easily distanced Froomey even though the latter got the jump on him.

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  46. @Rick It would have been pretty well drilled had it been a TTT

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  47. I’ll go with the Hayman if Tommeke gets an honorable mention. Boonen and Vos are two of my favorites because a) I believe they’re clean, b) they ride with panache, and c) when they lose they are 100% class acts in giving the victor the respect they deserve. No pouting on the podium.

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  48. @Teocalli

    @Rick It would have been pretty well drilled had it been a TTT

    yes! this is the one. Froome did some clever racing at the Tour last year.

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  49. @Buck Rogers @Teocalli

    @Rick It would have been pretty well drilled had it been a TTT

    All good votes, but I’d forgotten about this little escapade from two of our favourite riders… http://www.velominati.com/awesome-french-guys/tough-boys/

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  50. @Teocalli One of my highlights of last year, so beautifully unexpected.

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