Saturday, July 10, 2010

Stage 7

Ah le Alps

What is it about mountains? Mountaineers have always been asked the question "Why do you climb?" George Mallory said "Because it is there." Mountains add another antagonist to the man vs man struggle. Now le Tour is man vs man vs nature.

Fabian, you still rock in my book, man can you crush when it is a classics style race. Not to mention that whole TT thing that you do. En Fuego

Did this stage kill? I loved it, but I love when the escapees make a break for it and don't get caught. Chavanel was a one man wrecking crew, destroying everything in his path. Cunego, was not spared, he was the reason Chavanel launched. Cunego was picked to win the stage, but Chavanel put him down 3 min. You have to give it up to a guy who rides like he does (Jens like, just a little smother). If you see that guy get into a break, go with him, he will lead you to the promised land. There is only one problem DON'T GET DROPPED.

Chapeau! Chavanel

I don't know how many times I have to say it, but keep an eye on Ryder. Mountain bikers can ride. Anyone notice where the Rainbow Jersey is hiding out? Second Overall. He's got a freakin rainbow on a white jersey, and no one can seem to mark him. Paul and Phil can't even find him. Evans was a mountain biker. Go figure. Is there a theme here?

Can anyone tell the difference in Radio Shack and BMC's kits? Through in Caisse d'Epargne and you've got a giant blob of red, black and grey.

More climbs tomorrow with two Cat 1 climbs toward the end and one being a mountain top finish. We should see a big shake-up of the GC, and the "heads of state" should start attacking each other. Please attack, it is awesome when they attack, riders just marking each other is lame. We want an all out slug-fest.

Dust off the thong, get out the antler helmet, find the Devil, and please drink mass quantities of alcohol. It's time to get light headed in the Alps


Suffering. If you have thrown a leg over a bike you know. It happens to every cyclist. If you say you have never suffered on a bike, then good on you, but just know that it could happen at anytime. It creeps up on you slowly and before you know it you have been transported to an alternate hellish universe, or it happens like a flick of the switch to turn off the lights. The lights go dim and the alarm bells signal that all is not well.

My first century I met suffering. I felt awesome, Cock of the walk baby, took monster pulls, had a bar a gel and drank. I did not eat, well I did, just not enough. Mile 80 the body started shutting down non-essential functions, brain -sorry we need more legs and lungs. Then the legs and lungs rebel, and your empty shell tries to turn the cranks. Every pedal stroke is a miracle. I did manage to make it to the finish. I would like to say that I reached down and dug deep to find that extra...whatever it is that people say. No, it was another cyclist that I had been riding with. He saw me drop, so he came back to shepard me the last 15-20 miles. I should have called sag, but just having someone else there kept me going.

Why would someone who doesn't know me, come to limp me back to the finish?

Misery loves company. If you have ever suffered on a bike, you know what it is and how it feels. That is why you pace someone in. You have been there. You will be there again. Someone will be there to pace you in.

Cycling is pain. Suffering goes beyond pain, it is an empty body, lights are out, no one is home. We feel pain climbing, bridging, time trialing, in a break, sprinting. To suffer eclipses all on the bike pain. Why do you do it? Because it feels so good when you stop.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Have you ever stolen anything?

I'm talking something intangible, not your best friend's girlfriend, not that piece of candy that you are going to go to hell for. I'm not talking about releasing the brakes in the apex just before the tire looses grip and you cheat death. Totally different.

I Stole a ride. I was supposed to ride with the team yesterday, but we were rained out. I came home turned on le Tour and wound down. No ride today. In the early evening I took a look outside, the rain had stopped. YES. Slipped into my kit grabbed a bottle, out the door. I put in a solid 60 with some hill repeats just to cleanse the soul. Made it home put the bike in the garage, and before I knew it...Rain. That is stealing. I stole that ride, and yes it is sweet.

Getting to ride when you can't, is a stolen ride. The Boss is not in today, check out early and get a leg loosener in. Wife took the kids to see the in-laws, weekend ride with the guys and beers.

There are many things that can be stolen, but a stolen ride will not get you jail time with your new best friend Buba.

Steal a Ride

Stage 6

Its all about Mark

Mark Renshaw, what you say? You hear the name somewhere between 3k to go and 200 meters, you see a white and yellow kit pulling (launching) another white and yellow kit for the win, but do we ever really see him? Have you ever watched an interview, or read one? Renshaw is like a gov't super weapon that is top secret, he is there but you have no knowledge of his existance. Renshaw is Area 51. How amazing is Mark? He launches Cavo the Manx Missile. Boom!!! it happened again. Sorry Garmin, you guys would have killed if the stage was 500 meters shorter, or if someone moved it 500m and did not tell HTC.

You have to hand it to Tyler, hanging onto Cavo's wheel with a bad elbow and still getting 2nd. At least Tyler has an excuse for getting spanked, he probably has a Dr.'s note excusing him from the ridicule. I hate it that he is not 100% to give Cavo a race. Thor? Do you need to phone a friend? Hope you are ready to give up the green, Jersey that is. Petacchi, and McEwen, "the old guys" even beat Thor to the line.

McEwen was taken out at the end of the race, or should I say after the race was over, an official "jumped in front of me". Can't this guy catch a break or is Karma pulling his card? After the race a couple of domistiques got into a little fisticuffs over a rubbed handlebar, maybe his handlebar was spoken for. ???? I'm just glad it didn't turn into a slap fight, we don't look b'd@ss slapping in spandex.

Stage 7 tomorrow.
Have you seen the profile? It looks like my heart rate after a shot of Espresso. It is flat and then It Bumps a LITTle IT BUMPS SoMe MORE AND THEN IT gets CRAZY. Three Cat 2's at the end with a somewhat uphill finish. Time to see le grimpeur do their things. Sorry Frank, hope you are healing well, would have loved to see you fly.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Stage 5

Flat Flat Sprinter's stage

The break got going at 5k of 187.5k. Really, do you have a chance? That is a long day with just 3 guys splitting the work. I don't want to ride 100k with 20 people sharing the work. They did it until two of them were caught with 6k to go, and the third attacked and was caught with 5k to go. At one point they held an 8min gap. The peloton was drinking coffee and eating donuts, then they had enough and started the chase at 100k to go.

HTC, Cervelo, and Lampre went to the "sharp end" and got the party started. The work that they put in erased the gap and it turned into a spectator friendly sprint. (sorry NASCAR fans no crashes) Cavo did go back in time (I know for a fact Marty helped with Doc's DeLorean) and found his legs from last year's Tour. I'm pretty sure that he had an "extra" gear on today that he didn't have yesterday. It was nice to see Cavo get emotional on the podium. All is well in the HTC camp.

Thor has a pretty good hold on the Green that Petacchi gave up today.
Fabian is still holding down the fort in Yellow and will for a few more days, unless something crazy happens (with this Tour who knows?) he will keep it until stage 7.

Can Ryder take over Garmin's GC spot? Do they have a choice? Work for that guy, he's got a killer name, and he can climb. Tyler is not doing too bad, even with a bummed wing.

Other than a couple of Cat 4 climbs toward the end, tomorrow should end in a sprint finish. So, does Cav have it back? Thor is in Green, but I'm not seeing the great sprinter. YET? He is consistent, I'll give him that.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Stage 4 Recap

Fabulous in Yellow

Sprinter stage yawn... no way, it's le Tour.

Neutral roll-out, early break, and a catch for the sprint finish. Done. not quite keep reading.

I absolutely love the break, most of the time it is guys you have never heard of getting out there to get a little TV time for the people who pay their rent. Sometimes you get a Ryder, a Chavanel in there and they do something magical. It is that chance, that ever so small percentage that is the thrill. To paraphrase Jens, they do it because if they don't then there is no chance. Plus if you really kick @$s you get to wear the RED ANGRY number the next day, which lets everyone know that you are not afraid to lay it down.

Sprinters caught the break with about 15-20k to go, big surprise there. The peloton could see the break up the road the whole day. Imagine looking over your shoulder for 145k and seeing the peloton just 2:00min back. That takes brass ones. The run it to the finish was so crazy fast, and no one crashed. HTC did their thing, Cervelo put some bodies up there and every other sprinter had at least one teammate with them.

Failure to launch, what happened to Cavo? Get over it, it is bike racing at it's best. You are only as good as your last race. Cavo, pick up your imaginary phone and dial up the Mannix Missile from 2009, because time travel is possible. Case in point: Alessandro Petacchi. Ali Jet went back in time and got his legs from 2003 (4 stage wins). Yeah, we all thought Stage 1 was a fluke, crash filled, no contenders, we will give the "old guy" a W. Enter Stage 4 with "all the heads of state" sprinting, and Petacchi did not steal one this time, HE OWNED IT!!!! Robbie "love or hate him" McEwen was on Petacchi's wheel and got wasted in the Jet wash, said "just didn't have the legs to come around". Right, you didn't have the legs, because they were RIPPED off 10meters from the finish. Thor? It's different when you are not sprinting Andy.

Not a Trivia question: Can anyone explain how 1k from the finish Garmin has no one in the same area code as the sprint, but they manage to get Dean and Hunter 2nd and 5th? They weren't even working together, they were on opposite sides of the bunch. Move Up, Work Together.

New face to check out, if you have not heard of him: Brent Bookwalter of BMC. He was with BMC before they got Evans and Hincappie. Give him a look.

Trivia Question: Is Footon-Servetto the worst looking kit in the Pro Peloton?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Stage 3

Cobbles, I love 'em and I hate 'em. The question is do they belong in a three week race, or save them for the classics? Talk amongst yourselves.

What a stage, my guy Frank hit the pave and broke his collarbone. Cobbles BAD I like Frank, he makes me look HUGE. ASO better apologize to Jens or he will attack and attack until he spins the world backward, goes back in time and destroys the ASO before they were born.

Chavanel looses the yellow because of multiple bike changes/flat tires. Cobbles BAD or BAD luck? Don't think for a min that he can't ride cobbles, he can Check out Flanders and Roubaix of '09 he put it down for his team. He is French, but rides for a Belgium squad. I say bad luck.

Saxo went FULL GAS and destroyed the field (looked like a classic). Cobbles Good Thor was in there, big surprise, Fabian owns the cobbles (really he does, he has two sitting on his mantel at home). Andy was glued to Fabian's wheel (tricky mechanics and tubular glue, sticky stuff, try getting it out of your jersey). Did I see a Rainbow jersey up there? I did I did see a Rainbow jersey. Where did Evans come from dude from down-under is killin' and no one is taking notice-- you better, this guy can podium. I will spare you the Contador/Lance line, you have already heard it 20 times by now.

Vino drops Contador (flat tire) in the last 250m. Mistake or Plan?

Ryder, Ryder, Ryder, there is something Canadian aboot that guy. Did you see the big hole in his jersey? He kept dropping HAMMERS out of it. He gets Caught by the World RR & TT Champs, and has enough left in the tank to hang on and then contest the sprint. Little known fact: Ryder was a b'dass MNT Biker.

Side Note: If Fabian was not babysitting he would have won the stage solo by 5min.

Trivia Question: Does Fabian look awesome in Yellow? How many days will he keep it?

Monday, July 5, 2010

If you don't try you can't fail

This is going to be a bare bones operation until I can figure out all of this new fangled tech. So I hope it is more about the content than the package. So those of you that know how to do all the fancy schmancy stuff, this will be comical. For the rest I hope you come here just to see what is going to fall out of my head and hit some keys on the keyboard. This will be a mostly cycling oriented rant, but I will also discuss my opinions on anything and everything that I feel. It will most likely somehow be related to two wheels. Music, movies, books, adult beverages, it is all fair game. So crack open a nice carbohydrate laden beverage and enjoy.