Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tyler nails it at the Vuelta!

Our Tyler Farrar wins today at the Vuelta a España! No leadout train needed. He delivered himself to the line and beat the Manxman Cavendish as well. It was a drag race- no head-butting or blocking- a fair fight. He's officially the US' best hope for a sprinter. He refused to take the bait to diss Cav in the postrace interview. A class act. Keep up the good work Tyler!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

We miss you Sheldon Brown!

Sheldon Brown lives on in his good works.
Click here for the English-French cyclist's dictionary.
Thanks to Harris Cyclery for keepin' the faith.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

State of Grace

Suffering is in the mind of the sufferer. To some, the act of breathing hard and sweating constitutes suffering. To me that state is a "state of grace". My body has undergone a transformation that the eternally sedentary can only imagine. I know from experience my aerobic capacity has doubled from my at rest state, the endorphins are coursing through my veins, and I experience a euphoria enhanced by the scenery and the sweet air I'm inhaling. Climbing allows this state at lower speeds, which permits me to relax mentally - as opposed to high efforts on the flats which lead to higher speeds.
Racing is a different matter. Digging ever deeper as we lead or chase the peloton, gritting our teeth and vowing to keep up with that wheel ahead- now that's suffering! When my heart is pounding so hard I'm afraid it might burst-that's when I tell myself-
today is a good day to die!

And by the way, that's the Tourmalet Eddie's climbing.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Giro à Go Go!

It doesn't get any better than this, folks! With the overall lead seesawing back and forth among the contenders, the race was decided in the last 5 or 6 km as the three Italian musketeers blasted to the finish. David Arroyo gritted his teeth and held on all the way to the top of the Mortirolo, and he descended like a madman in the rain to keep the virtual Maglia Rosa...only to be crushed in the final few KM by the trio of Basso, Scarponi, and Nibali.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sean Kelly week

Check out the cool leather hairnets on LeMond and Bauer in this video. Trivia question- Kelly was the last pro to switch to clipless pedals...what was the reason given?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cadel cries at Flèche Wallonne!

Which means he won- or lost, or came in third, or he had a flat. No such bad luck today as the world champion claws past Alberto Contador to victory on the Mur de Huy! Alberto just couldn't hold him off. Chris Horner was duking it out at the front as well and came in 7th, his second top 10 finish this week. For the TV dinner version watch Versus this Sunday. For those who prefer cycling fresh and piping hot- go to Sunday for Liège-Bastogne-Liège!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Contador Connects!

He takes today's ITT and the classement general at Vuelta A Castillo Y Leon! Could there be a Contador/Cancellara duel at the TDF? Has Fabian peaked too early in the season? Is the swiss phenom just unbeatable? What do you think?
Tomorrow- the 'Beer Race' in Holland; Amstel Gold! My pick- Filippo Pozzato!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Leukemans gives his all at Paris-Roubaix!!

Sunday's race was a disappointment for Belgian fans, with the Flamand star Boonen unable to shake up the race. A moment's inattention, and Fabian Cancellara soared away. Only one rider gave a serious attempt to chase- Bjorn Leukemans! Is he the Belgian who can get a win this spring? Watch his catch attempt here ; the best part of this year's race.......

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cancellara crushes the competition at Paris-Roubaix!

Impressive riding by Fabian! But a boring bike race! Never was the psychological component of bike racing so evident as Fabian rode away from a dispirited peloton to claim his second victory at Paris-Roubaix. Other than Boonen, who rode rashly again Sunday, no one bothered to take a hard pull. The chase group looked like amateurs as they let Cancellara pull away. And thus the Spring drought continues for Flanders' riders. Hope 'springs' again for this weekend's Amstel Gold "beer race", and there's always Fléche Wallone. Can Flanders produce a win this year??

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Horner wins Tour of the Basque Country!

Congratulations Chris Horner! Podium time! Today's time trial was a real nail-biter. Only one second separated Horner and Alejandro Valverde at the start, and Chris gained one second by the 7KM mark, leaving zero time between them as they raced for the line. Horner finished this week's racing in fine style, beating Valverde in the last KM to take the overall. Thanks for a great show, Chris!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Horner hangs with the big boys!

More than a domestique! Chris Horner stays glued to Alejandro Valverde to finish 4th again today in the Tour of the Basque Country. He keeps his 2nd overall! Chris shows us he's podium material, at least for the classement general. Way to go Chris!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Museeuw musings. After Flanders hangover post.

I can't let this week pass without a comment on the Tour of Flanders yesterday. As I watched Cancellara and Boonen race together (at first) to the line, I was reminded of the advice Johan Museeuw gave to 'Tommke' Boonen last week. "Use your head- save some effort. Don't be rash." Yet Boonen insisted on taking hard pulls, even appearing to pull ahead of Cancellara on the lower part of the Kapelmuur, just before Fabian pulled away, not to be seen again 'till the podium. I can only wonder what could have happened if Boonen had heeded the advice of Johan. Tom has another chance Sunday at Paris-Roubaix. Will the excitement of youth again seduce the pride of Flanders? Or will he keep his head? We'll see.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Fabian Flies! Cancellara takes De Ronde!

Tom Boonen's hopes for a win today were smashed on the cobbles of the Kapelmuur! The Mur de Grammont claimed another victim as Cancellara floated away from Boonen, and the few yards widened to over a full minute as the world time trial champion roared into Ninova. Not so lucky was his teammate Matti Breschel, who was plagued with mechanicals. Boonen admitted in the postrace interview, " I was going well, but he was stronger on the Kapelmuur. I was chasing at 55KMPH, what else could I do?" The podium was all smiles, with Phillipe Gilbert happy to be there too. Tyler Farrar got the bunch sprint for 5th, just ahead of George Hincapie. Lance was looking solid all day and finished 27th. Sunday- Paris-Roubaix!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Flanders-the epicenter of cycling passion!

Flanders is a small country, which has no spectacular alpine passes, no grand descents, yet captures the imagination of cycling fans worldwide! How do they do it? It's passion! I believe Flanders is the most bike-crazy place on Earth! Flandrians have created epic racing with a combination of bad roads and cobblestones to build a history and a community of cycling unrivaled in the world!
Never have I been welcomed with more 'chaleur' than in Flanders. The last thing a Flandrian said to me as I prepared to leave (in response to my statement; "everyone here is so friendly") was "we aim to please" ...just like that. If you want to experience bike racing at its best-and be welcomed with open arms- Go to Flanders!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lance announces he will ride all 3 major tours!

He wants the "Triple Crown" of cycling!!! Radio shack was all 'abuzz today as The Man announces; "No more will they call me a one trick pony! No longer will I be just one of those 'sunshine boys of summer'- I'll ride the Giro, the TDF, and the Vuelta! Take that... you doubters!" The French press, led by the newspaper; "Poisson D'Avril" announces tough new doping tests. All English-speaking riders will need to give a pound of flesh, as well as the usual controls.

Garmin Grabs a three-peet at De Panne!

The sun was out for Garmin today as the drought continues for Belgian racers. Tyler Farrar won this morning's stage, David Millar takes the TT and the overall to make three wins! Next- De Ronde Sunday!!!

Tyler sticks it! He wins De Panne stage!

Our Tyler Farrar makes it look easy as he powers to a win in Belgium! He's been payin' his dues this spring and it paid off today!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

2nd French win at De Panne! Paolini takes the overall!

Encore Un Français sur le podium à De Panne! Sebastien Turgot slogs to the podium! BBox takes another win! What a gloomy day in Belgium, and for the Belgian racers as well! Luca Paolini takes the overall, as well as the sprinters' jersey. More action tomorrow, go to for live links.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Steve Chainel wins De Panne!

Depuis cent bornes j'me tirais la bourre! I hammered for a hundred klicks ! He said- and after a disappointing cyclocross season, he was excited to win in Belgium. So continues a rather dry spell for Belgian racers this spring. David Milar is the favorite for the time trial, which will probably be decisive. Thanks for the!

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's Johan Museeuw Week at my house!

With De Ronde; The Tour of Flanders this weekend, I'm reminded of the Lion of Flanders- Johan Museeuw! Above is my prized possession, a commemorative Museeuw jersey I bought in Belgium. The next photo is the famous, "I showed you doubters-my knee is just fine, thank you!", as he takes his victory in the Roubaix velodrome.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jens Voigt nails Catalunya

Like Oscar Friere, never discount Jens Voigt. He nailed today's stage.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gent-Wevelgem Sunday-who's your pick?

It it Edvald Bossen Haagen? George Hincapie? Juan Antonio Fletcha? Daniele Bennati? And why not Tyler Farrar or even Fumiyuki Beppu?

Fabian plays domestique, Matti Breschel takes Dwars Door Vlaanderen

The Saxo boys showed class today ! Fabian springboards Matti Breschel to the win. The big names were left behind on the green fields of Flanders as the world time trial champion played domestique. Next- the action will be in Corsica in the Criterium International. Saturday's mountain stage will be this year's first clash between El Pisto and One-Ball.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Garzelli takes Tirreno-Adriatico-barely!

It was a nordic surge today at Tirreno-Adriatico. Thomas Lovquist powers Edvald Boasson Hagen to the line. There are elbows being thrown, Tyler Farrar's not happy with 6th. Cav hits the deck when he has an "busted carbon" moment. The podium was 2/3 smiles as Stefano Garzelli takes the overall over Michele Scarponi by one second and they pal around. Cadel was his usual weepy self in third. MILAN-SAN REMO Saturday!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Orbea's latest UCI illegal bike-too light to race!

Rumor is they'll sell weights that resemble a bicycle!
Image stolen from Freeman Transport blog.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Who do ya love?

Greg Lemond and Andy Hampsten are often mentioned as "clean riders". Yet it was their personalities that began my admiration for these 2 guys, not the “clean rider” status. Both Greg and Andy are men with heart; open, friendly and likable, as opposed to the cold, arrogant and egotistical pose favored by so many competitors. My 2 cent psychology tells me cheaters favor a pose of cold detachment to insulate themselves from self-doubt and as a barrier against the truth. And I propose we enjoy racing without reserve. Bike racing is a spectacle I love dearly, and no collection of doper punks can change that! Thanks to Red Kite Prayer for inspiring this post.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Generations-which are you?

Being an old fossil has its rewards, like witnessing generational changes in the cycling "community". The oldest riders among us were the wool and sew-up generation. There was NO lycra, folks! Wool shrank or stretched, soon was full of holes, but we had no choice. Leather chamois were the reason we used chamois cream, to soften hard leather, not for the reasons given these days. One had 2 choices in wheels, sew-ups or HEAVY 1 1/4" touring tires. We rode with a spare sew-up or two tied to the seat, and woe was you if you had two flats. Remember, there were no cell phones, either! The biggest change was light clincher wheels, pioneered by Mavic in the mid-seventies. Finally -tires we could repair on the road! Greg LeMond jump-started a stale cycling scene... and then there were mountain bikes. Yes, Virginia, before the early 80s there were NO mountain bikes. You rode road, BMX, or you did not ride! In the beginning days of mountain biking, we could ride anywhere, wilderness or not, and we did! The bikes had NO suspension-none! The mountain bike scene had not splintered into various disciplines, or tribes, we were all brothers, and we all partied together after the races. Alas, we all know this did not last. Then there was the road renaissance, inspired by Lance, and a counterpoint to what had become your father's mountain bike. The fixie generation is the latest, revolting against the daunting complexity of modern bikes to start a return to the drive trains of the early 1900s. Quite a wild ride it has been, and it's not over yet!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Bicycle riders are NOT a community!

Unfortunately, we do not ride bikes for the same reasons. Many cyclists have no love of cycling per se. People ride bikes for various types of ego gratification. People take up cycling to win races, or for the snobbism of having the best and costliest equipment. I've heard racers say, "When I don't win races I'll stop riding". My Pinarello was painted the same as a very expensive model. A rider on the expensive bike spotted me, and I thought he was going to smile and have a conversation. As soon as he saw my bike was not the high-priced model, he scowled and rode away! No, bikesnob, it's not a "nonplussed" look, it's a sneer! Love the sport, hate the attitude!