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Archive for cycling

TDF 2009 Stage 17 What a difference a day makes

I really miss being able to report up to the minute on the Tour and having to come in with hindsight.

Has Armstrong ever been 3 minutes behind the lead in a Tour? I can’t find the stats, but I think he has and made up the time. This year is another story. However, he did say he’ll be back in 2010, and THAT will be another story. If Lance does join another American-based team, will Bruyneel follow or stay with Astana and Contador? Frankly, can Contador win without Bruyneel?

It sounds like Cavendish was behaving rudely and rather childishly toward Hushovd, and Thor proved he deserves to be wearing the green. Well wishes to Jens Voight for a speedy recovery from his nasty crash. Poor Denis Menchov just can’t stay on his bike. What a day!

Tomorrow will be the individual time trials, an opportunity for Lance to demonstrate his legendary skill. Let’s wish them dry roads (remember Jan Ulrich’s horrible crash into the barriers?).

1- Contador
2-3 The Schlecks
4 – Armstrong

Looks weird, doesn’t it!

TDF 2009 Weekend in the Pyrenees

Stages 8 and 9 ended a long 9 days of racing with HC climbs in the Pyrenees, culminating in tackling the “legendary” Col du Tourmalet before a long descent to Tarbes. Legs are weary and bodies more than ready for a rest day.

Was there just a little annoyance in Armstrong’s comments about Contador’s attack on the mountain. Did Bruyneel admonish the young champion for his arrogant move. Seems so, and it seems the rest of the field took notice of the tension on the otherwise very strong Team Astana. Nonetheless, the two best Tour tacticians ever, Bruyneel and Armstrong, know exactly what they’re doing and what’s ahead over the next two weeks.

We love to watch the sprinters, but I think we get more excited about the tough mountain climbs (I’m always worried that some idiot waving a flag in a rider’s face will take him down). The first part of my workout at the gym yesterday was a short, 30-minute spin on the bike at a resistence level that I’m sure these guys would laugh at, but my legs were killing me. I can’t imagine what the boys on the bikes are feeling today!

After years of hearing about Trek and Cervelo bikes, Robbie Ventura did a feature on the Cannondale, ridden by Team Liquigas and a make that I’ve been considering. Thanks for that, Robbie! No way do I need a pro-level bike requiring adjustment for weight limit or screaming speed, but I do need one that will last a long time and withstand the trials and tribulations of a klutz (that would be me, of course). My kid sister, a triathlete, works at REI and they sell Cannondale bikes. Buy REI and keep her employed!

Trivia
By the end of Armstrong’s last Tour career, we noticed yellow wristbands on all the riders, out of respect and support. This go-round, I’ve noticed one…so far. My, how things can change.

Sound off
How many drug tests in 1 day does it take to prove that Lance is clean? He has been tested more than any other rider in the Tour – ever. What’s your take on this (don’t let me prejudice you when I call this totally ridiculous)?

Slipstream/Chipotle Gears up for Le Tour

A few months back, I was searching for info on our two USA teams slated to compete in this year’s Tour. The Slipstream Sports guys have their web act together, so I susbscribed to their newsletter in order to keep up with their progress. Also cool is that you can follow them on Twitter. If you want twitterings sent to your mobile, follow these steps:

1) Go to TeamSlipstream on Twitter
2) Sign up for a Twitter account, register your mobile phone, and login
3) Go back to TeamSlipstream page on Twitter and click the grey “Follow Me” box.

High Road Sports may be the only entirely US-based UCI pro-cycling tour team, but their site only offered pretty Flash (although I won’t complain about seeing one of my favorites, Big George Hincapie). Sorry, guys – make it easy for me to follow you, and I will!

Landis loses and so does pro cycling

By now, you’ve heard the news: Floyd Landis has been banned from the Tour de France for 2 years and stripped of his yellow jersey. Regardless the unhappy outcome, I still believe Floyd Landis was the victim of unfair and corrupt laboratory results and judgement. I believe that any substances that would have been found in his blood tests would have been as a result of medications he may have been taking for his hip.

Landis loses the yellow jersey and what should have been his legacy. Sadly, pro cycling also loses. I don’t disagree with banning those who really are guilty of deliberate doping. I do disagree with the vengeance that the Tour organizations seem to have waged against Floyd. He was on Armstrong’s winning team, after all. Are we really supposed to believe that Bruyneel and Armstrong would put up with doping with all they had at stake?

Judging by the depth of doping allegations that have proven true among the cyclists, it’s evident that they’re really not much different from our own pro athletes who have been accused or convicted of drug abuse, or worse. However, it seems just a little too apparent that the organizations involved with the TDF just can’t stand the fact that the Tour winners haven’t been French.

Of course, it doesn’t matter what I believe; what matters is what Floyd knows to be true. Here’s what he had to say last month.

I know, I’m a little late in saying anything. Sorry, been busy with other stuff and not taking care of my own stuff.