Friday, July 23, 2010

stage 17

Superhuman feats of strength
How about those sprinters?  Haven't heard much from them lately, stage 18 they will be back in the spotlight.  The race for Green is so close.  The last 20k of stage 18 is going to be wicked fast with the "fast men" going for the line.  We saw that Cavo did it without Renshaw, but in a stage like 18 will he really be able to pull it off?  Smart money is on Cavendish.
I'm stalling, I don't want to talk about stage 17.  Yes, it was a good stage, but not exactly the outcome I wanted to see.  Andy is still 8 sec down to "attacking Al".  We did see some excellent efforts by other members of the peloton, and some not so stellar moments.
Radio Shack, seriously guys the team competition is great and you are crushing, but what the blank are you doing.  Lance -throw in the towel dude, stop wasting Janez talent dragging you all over France.  And for all things holy, Do some work for your teammates...Clearly they are riding better than you.  I know, I know, you have had some bad luck (karma), but you of all people should pay back your teammates for all the work they have done for you.  Hello, do you need a text message, a tweet, an email ...Horner is en fuego, you also have Klodi flying.  Levi, sorry man you looked great, but you can't hang.  You said it yourself "they are too fast".  Not throwing stones--ok, I am.  Who can hang with Andy and Al?  I'm not a big fan of Vino, but transfer Al off of Astana and now we have a three man bid for yellow.  Throw in a healthy Frank, now you are talking.
Saxo.  Did Jens give a pep-talk before stage 17?  Did every Saxo rider channel their inner-Jens?   Chris, Jakob, Fabian, Stuy tore themselves up.  Fabian rode so hard he pulled off to the side of the road.  Who does that?  If anyone ever, ever asks "how is cycling a team sport?" show them Saxo from stage 17 2010.  Riding every ounce of your soul into the pedals and turning it into watts for your team leader.  How is it not?  Soak it in, Saxo is disbanding at the end of the season.  Brothers Schleck are bolting, Riis is without a sponsor, I'm sure every GM in cycling has Fabian on speed dial.  Riis will get another sponsor, Andy and Frank will go their way, but Saxo as we know it and see it today will be no more.  I need a tissue.
Chapeau! Ryder.  Chapeau! Horner.
Ryder has been consistent and persistent and just plain ol' "hardman riding", and has gotten himself into 8th GC.  Horner has been all over the map.  He has finished well despite the fact that he has had to play nursemaid to Lance and shepard to Levi.  Man has just been punching above his weight all season.  How about BMC in their first Tour?  Cadel had a "hugely bad" bad day,  but at least he has had a better attitude than in past Tours.  He has an awesome team supporting him.  Chapeau! BMC.
Dear VS, 
George may be sitting 1:45 down in 60th place, but we love him.  He is the National Champ of the USA, how about just an interview, some airtime?  He embodies cycling, show the man some respect, he has not retired yet.  Don't treat him like he has.  He is respected by the peloton and fans alike.  Put him on the TV.
Al has to beat Andy by more than 39 seconds.  No debate.  No more than 39 seconds and the yellow is stained.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

One brick short

Momma always said crazy is as crazy does

Cascade Cycling Classic is a NRC event held in Bend Oregon. Floyd Landis shows up last minute. No team. No Sponsors. Ready to go. Small problem: Rules. Rule book says that you cannot wear the name of a business or a sponsor without a registered team. So, long story short, Floyd does his best "Fred" impersonation with a loose grey t-shirt. In the TT. Can't wait to see what kit he is going to race in.

I was a fan o' Floyd, I always believed that he got a raw deal. Boy, was I wrong. I think the guy has lived a lie for so long that he has gone mad. Koo Koo. I saw him at Joe Martin just a few days before he dropped the bomb, looked fine to me. Once again, what do I know? The guy is totally nuts.

Ok, so really, shouldn't you just give it a rest? Call it a day. Get out of cycling and try pro wrestling or golf, I will speak for everyone and say "Goodbye Floyd".

I do want to say "Thank You" for stage 17. I don't care if you were on Rocket Fueled Roller skates, stage 17 was awesome, I will always remember how incredible that stage was. Superhuman. Well only problem is now that I know the truth, I have to put an * next to that one.

Were you the only one? No, I would have to be real naive to think that there was not at least one other tainted rider in the peloton. It is a sad commentary on cycling, but even sadder is that there will always be cheating no matter the venue.

Well, Floyd, thanks to you the general public in America know cycling for Lance, Drugs, Lying and Cheating. I once said that I would have a beer with the guy, right after he dropped his bomb, but now I am a little scared of the guy. That boy ain't right. If you have read my ramblings you know that I am a big fan of time-travel, Floyd is a strong candidate for use of such a machine.

I'm going to go apply some ice to cycling's black eye

stage 16

Forget the yellow

What an awesome break. I had no idea what I wanted to happen. Did I want Barrado to stick it(heck yeah, man was crushin' it)? How about another for Casar (dude rocks)? Maybe Armstrong because of his bad luck (nah)? Horner? Why not Horner, the guy is a draft horse and just might be a little crazy(love the guy).

What half ounce of respect I have for Armstrong is drying up after his stage hunting episode. Are you so self centered that you are going to sacrifice one of the most deserving domistiques without a tour stage win just so you can save a little face. Only to fall flat on it and look even more like a fill in the blank. Horner is b'dass. What else can you say about the guy, he will obliterate himself for his team leader and like it. Dude is so far into the pain cave setting tempo and.... he has a smile on his face. He loves what he does and he does it without any self concern. Horner is sitting 14 GC to Armstrong's 25 and he is setting pace for Armstrong? What is wrong with this? Get your 25th GC self-righteous fill in the blank up to the front and set some pace for your man Horner and show some respect.

I was crushed when Barrado was caught at the red kite. The guy made headlines for the wheel swinging incident, but suicide breakaway artist is what we will remember after his solo effort. Edge of the couch, yelling at the TV "don't look back, keep going". Oh, heartbreak, all of that work to be swallowed up and spit out the back of the chase group. I say Thank you, Good Show to Barrado. Going "rogue" is awesome and you my friend deserve the red numbers on your back.

I am going to beat this dead horse as long as it continues to be deceased. Number Six. Make that 6 stage wins for the French, thanks to Fedrigo and his cagey sprint out of the eight man break. A break that stuck, Yes! Viva la France.

Jens Voigt. Just writing those two words carries the weight of 3.5 War and Peaces. I'm exhausted just typing that combination of letters together. (five hours later) What can you say about Jens? Anything you want, but be careful he might attack so hard that he travels back in time and destroys your family line. Jens is and always will be the MAN. When Jens fell in a crazy descent at last year's Tour he caused an earthquake in South America. Jens fell yesterday on the first descent at 70kph (roughly 43mph), his tire blew and he went down hard. There are "stories" that he finished the stage on a neutral support bike with toe clips (unconfirmed at this time). The legend that is Jens Voigt will one day eclipse the whole known universe.

"My ribs are hurting but hey, broken ribs are overrated anyway" -Jens

Monday, July 19, 2010

stage 15

Who needs a giant Renshaw head butt?

The French can put another notch in the belt, Thomas doing the Tri-color proud with a solo effort today. It's good to see a national champion win a race, even better a 2X national champ. "they are raising French babies and throwing soft cheeses"

I'm a little upset, I counted to ten like one hundred times, and I'm still very angry. Also, worried and sad. If you drop a chain in a crit or a road race I am going to attack, it's not a Grand Tour. There are unwritten rules, hello stage 2, that are not meant to be broken. Gentleman's rules are for fair play, kind of like guy code, you just don't break it. You will get your card pulled just for thinking about it.

Should Al have waited? Do you wait for a mechanical, a puncture? You MUST wait for a crash? Al claims that he did not see what had happened. ?????? Four letter words. He was right behind Andy and he "did not see what happened". He has a radio and I'm pretty sure the DS in the car was screaming at him to go go go! Dude, take a look, assess the situation, give it half a second to process and then decide if you have class or if you do not. If that is how you want to win a race, then more power to you. Yes, you won, but did you?

Lets get into Doc's time machine and set the dial to 2007, a day or two before Rasmussen gets the boot. Mike is killing, doing everything right and then some questions come up about his whereabouts. Where were you the night of.... blah blah Mexico blah blah Italy blah. 2+2 DOES NOT EQUAL 5. Your out. Al wins his first Tour de France, to some, to others he was gifted le Tour. He says that the 30 some odd seconds that he made up on Andy doesn't matter, "it will not win or lose the Tour". If you believe that, give me your address, I will send you a hammer and you can hit yourself in the head until I tell you to stop. 8 seconds is what LeMond had when he pulled on the yellow in Paris, and you think 30 seconds is not a big deal.

Booo Booo Booo to you Al. Give me a respectable champion. Not to beat the Lance drum: Lance waited for Ullrich when he went farming in a ditch. Could have put major time into him, did he need to, sure who does not like to have a little cushion? He waited because he has class. Say what you will about his off bike exploits, but the guy has on-bike class. Andy has every right to be pi$sed.

This just in: First of all: Tyler quit the Tour, after Renshaw was kicked out, because Garmin is out of excuses for why they cannot beat Cav. Oh yeah, Second: mountains are no fun for sprinters.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Stage 14

I'm a little behind on the blog, sorry. I helped put on a race, raced, and am fighting a head cold. I'm going to start with today's stage.

Todays stage should have been billed as fight night, the top card was Andy vs Al for the superlight weight, Sami vs Deni for the middle light weight. Al punched and punched with all his might, but Andy was content with just blocking and staying on the defence. In the end they went back to their corners and called it a draw. In the second bout for third place. Sami threw the frist punch which knocked the Russian to one knee, but he came up swinging and leveled Sami. The fleet of foot Spaniard did not stay down and ended their bout in a draw. Although they tied on the stage and Sami retained his podium spot, he and Deni gained a few seconds on Andy and Al. Because of their total lack of attention to anyone else, except for each other they gave up 14 seconds.

This is Le Tour de France, but for the first time in years have the French made an impact on this race. This is le Tour de French, they have won four stages, have the KOM jersey and have held the Yellow for two days. The latest stage win by Riblon was hard fought and hard won. Riblon joined the the escapees 25k into the 184.5k race, and outlasted them all the way to the end and was not caught. Deni and Sami were 54 seconds from pulling him in. Talk about being a close one, staying away for about 160k and almost getting caught with less than a min is crazy.

What's Vino on? Dude destroyed in the last few km's yesterday and then takes a death march pull for Al today. What's up with that. Superhuman strength???

I really want to talk about Lance, but then I am just like everyone else. Ah, what the heck. I have to admit: I love the Radio Shack commercials. "Don't make me get of this bike" --that one is great, they don't show it as much as the other ones. Alphonse is awesome, I want to party with that guy. "Get off my bike Alphonse".

stage 13

So what do you do when your teammate denies you a stage win?

So, how bad does Cav miss Renshaw "the Ram" as a leadout man? Well as far as I could tell... not that much. If it had not been for the solo redemption effort that Vino put down, Cavo would have another stage in the bag. Sans "the Ram". I'm sure Cavo misses him at the dinner table and on the bus, but he got the job done without a leadout today.

I love the mountain stages, but this race for the green jersey is white hot. Wish there were a few more "sprinter friendly" stages just for the fireworks that have been going off. Thor and Petacchi have been passing around that jersey, and Cavo has been clawing his way up into the third spot. Should make for a good show.

I am not a big fan of Vino, heck I'm not a fan at all. I will however be the first to say that what Al did to him yesterday was wrong, yes he was trying to gain time on Andy, but don't do it at the expense of your teammate. Do not deny the people who work for you, "theirs". These guys ride themselves into the ground for their leaders. They fetch food and water, they give up wheels, they pace you back into the group, they are there to do one job and one job only. Domistiques make le Tour go round. Leadout men, breakaway specialists, and of course the train (HTC) can pull in a break like no other.

Vino used that big ball of hate and turned it into a stage win, Which he deserved. It looked like Ballan and Cunego were going to have a go, but were easily pulled in. Thomas sprouted wings with hopes of bagging another stage for France but faded into a surging peloton.

Stage 12

Contador steals back his 10 seconds

I did not get to see this stage, so my opinion is limited to alleyway talk and drunken ramblings of "the people who know things".

Basically this stage was supposed to be a neutral stage with the break getting pulled in by opportunistic stage hunters. It turned into a hot one from the the start with everyone trying to take a dig. Won't name names but trust me anyone who can try a break did. Long story short the yellow was being challenged and Saxo had to work, and work and work. Vino gets out there in a break and is cooking with something. Andy and Al are surgically attached at the hip until Rodriguez decides it is time to make a go at it and drags Al with him and leaves Andy at the alter. Andy is dazed and confused and to make things worse he wore cement shoes and cannot hold onto Al and loses 10 seconds to Al.

All this is happening and Vino is still stage hunting, when his "teammate" says "not today com padre". Vino is not happy, Rodriguez takes the stage and Andy is hit with a -10 sec to Al. Vino finishes without a win and probably a little upset with his "teammate".