Friday, January 28, 2011

El Capitian

Team Mates,

I have read some commentary re: this video as the last whimpering of a great champion. I am afraid these experts have missed the point. I am not sure what Fignon would say of this day in the saddle, but I am sure it wasn't his first bad day. This clip was from the Giro in 1992, Fignon bonked on the Passo Giau, and his team mate DeWolf pushed him home, fed him, and gave him the jacket off his back. Fignon finished... probably snubbed the reporters, and started the next day.... He finished the Giro that year. What I observe in this video points at the essence of the cycling life:

We are a TEAM.... bonded by the most efficient machine created thus far in our history. One might say it was the job of DeWolf to look after an aging Fignon, but I beg to differ.... DeWolf stopped and gave Fignon the jacket off his back, and his gloves. This is the perfect demonstration of that bond that we label as Team (team mate, crew, etc). I would dare to say this is the pinnacle of our sport.... That in our weakest moment (as in our greatest moments) we stick together, feed each other, push each other, and when needed give the coat from our shoulders. Fignon and DeWolf developed this bond after spending time together in the saddle. It takes a bit of time to develop this bond that writes great stories....

Come ride with me... come write a chapter in the cycling life.... a paragraph... a sentence.... an exclamation point...

If nothing else just come out and push me up the hills... give me food, and remind me that I was once Le Professor the champion.


Mbeal is my El Capitian on the cycling team that I ride with, part time contributor to sprintingthebelllap and full time commentator.  He is the epitome of cycling, was born on the wrong continent, and there should be old yellowed VeloNews' with articles about his accomplishments  -But alas Mbeal is an everyday cycling mortal not too unlike you and me.  Or is he?  He is, except for his incredible knowledge of the two wheeled race machine, his adept artistic ability, his taste in music, his love for family and friends, and his culinary/beverage appreciation. 

Paper or Plastic

So Alberto, still going with the bad Spanish beef story?
Taco Bell is getting sued over the mystery content of their taco meat.  I say we put Alberto on the job, he seems to know what is "in the Beef".  What happened to "Where's the Beef?" it's now "What's the Beef?"  Do you have a beef with me?

There is a little snippet with Andy and his "thoughts" on his friendship with Alberto, and his feelings of losing the Tour.  Nice to see some daylight now that it looks like el numero uno is going to be siting out for a year.  Why is it only a year?  Has anyone read between the lines?  I thought it was a mandatory two year suspension?  Hey I don't know anything.

The Spanish Federation slapped Alberto on the wrist, if they would have given him the two year suspension he would have to give up 70% of his salary.  Which would be about 3.5million euro.  That's a lot of steak dinners.

While most everyone in North America will be watching the Super Bowl, the Tour of Qatar starts on Feb 6th, and runs through the 11th.  I'm still researching on how to keep up to date on this one.  I'll keep you in the know.  As of right now some of the provisional starters include Boonen, Cavendish, Petacchi, Cancellara, Flecha, Taylor Phinney (the prodigy).  With flat stages and nothing but heat and wind to deter the riders this is another early season drag race.

Don't forget the CX Worlds this weekend.  Crack open some mind numbing man sodas put some mayonnaise on your frites, yell at the TV/Monitor, and "Give me More Cowbell"!!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Signs, signs...

This pretty much sums up how the general non-cycling public sees us

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tour Down Under stage 5 & 6

OK, I'm back to the normal flow of things, and with stage 5 and 6 in the bag, I'll let the cat out.  The TDU was fun to watch and it was great to have some cycling back.  Heck yeah, the season is on.

Stage 5
Old Willunga Hill on the menu today with Garm-elo trying to keep Meyer in the leader's jersey.  The break went after 5k of racing and had a large group including Lance.  They were eventually brought back into the fold and then replaced by a small group of Porte, Hermans and Bobridge who were joined by Roulston and Goss.  More fled the peloton until the group in the lead had 20 riders.  This group managed a small gap that was able to stay away and the sprint by Matthews, Goss and Ventoso of Movistar who would take the win.  Goss would hang in for third and Michael Matthews (the winner of stage 3) taking 2nd.  Goss was able to take some time out of Meyer and was only 8sec down.

Stage 6
Hope you saw this one on TV or on the interweb.  Fireworks Down Under for real.  Garm-elo was going to keep their man in the leader's jersey, and they put everything on the table.  The break went and consisted of Stuart O'Grady and some other guys -when you have a break that has Stuy in it no one else matters -it's Stuart HTFU O'Grady.  There were two full laps left and they already awarded him the most agressive rider of the day.  The break if you can call it that never got more than 20sec.  Stuart was eventually joined by ex-teammate Nicki Sorensen, BMC rider Simon Zahner and the trio stayed at arms length in front of a massive peloton until the bell lap.  Team Sky who had been sitting in came to the front with full gas and lined out the peloton.  They were at the front for the full final lap.  Matt Goss made a move but was out-sprinted by Henderson and Ben Swift who took the top step.  Goss had a leadout from Mark (not sure if it was Renshaw or Cav?) but was cut-off by Saxo's Haedo and ended up in third.  Third place was only good enough for 2nd overall 2sec behind Meyer.  Tough day at the office for HTC.  Swift's win moved him ahead of Matthews who was looking solid for second or third, but had to settle for 4th.