Subscribe: raceOregon
http://raceoregon.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
big  bike  cycling  dhea  good  guys  much  pro  race  races  racing  riders  san remo  team  time  win  world  year 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: raceOregon

raceOregon



cycling news and gossip for Oregon and Washington



Updated: 2014-10-02T21:26:57.645-07:00

 






So, what the hell is DHEA?*

2009-12-29T09:31:49.886-08:00

Tyler Hamilton, Kenny Williams and now Tom Zirbel. Three names from disparate corners of the cycling world have all met the same fate. Positive for DHEA. 8 year, 2 year and a suspension tbd, pending the B-sample.With these suspensions, DHEA has been thrown around in the cycling press as one of the next great evil PEDs. Evidence of the next generation of doping, a symbol of the sport's inability to clean up and go legit.So what is DHEA? DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is an endogenous hormone (made in the human body), and secreted by the adrenal gland. DHEA serves as precursor to male and female sex hormones (androgens and estrogens). So, like many banned substances, it's a naturally occurring hormone, replicated in a lab, and sold in a store, in pill form. What is it used for?Over the counter anti-aging mostly. As the body ages, it produces less hormones (or different ones, i guess). DHEA supposedly will replace some of the lost good hormones and help increase the production of good ones, like, in theory, testosterone.Does it work?No.Why are so many riders using it?Anyone who has spent any time at the upper-end of amateur cycling, meaning a Cat 1/2 parking lot crit, has probably heard of DHEA mentioned as a recovery aid. Walk into any grocery store, there will be a sizable selection of DHEA right next to the vitamins. And it's cheap. Really cheap. Ultimately, a cheap way to convince a rider they're really doing everything possible to maximize recovery. And maybe give them the feeling of having an edge. Placebo, dog.So it's obviously easily detectable. Really, why are people who make their living off cycling using this stuff?Well, I don't think anyone in the coaching world is recommending that anyone use the stuff. But I think there's a couple reasons that DHEA is making some very prominent riders more familiar with USADA.1. The shit is CHEAP. So it is not only sold cheap in stores, it's sold even cheaper to supplement manufacturers. Supplement manufacturers aren't regulated by the FDA, they can basically throw anything in their supplements and call it whatever else they want. As long as the materials are also not under supervision of the FDA, and DHEA isn't.There may have been some evidence, at some time, that maybe, just maybe DHEA did in fact benefit somebody's athletic performance. So, if it's cheap, and there's any chance, real or imaginary, that someone will experience an increase in performance from XXXMusclePopper3005, then why the hell not, throw some in.My guess, is that there is a fair amount of DHEA in any creatine/muscle milk/energy blaster that you buy at the local GNC, crap, there's probably a TON of DHEA in that stuff. Hell, you probably can't even walk into a GNC without getting enough in your system to warrant a call from your friendly neighborhood lab analysts.I imagine a few of these positives, are legitimate, "it didn't say it on the label" tainted supplements. Supplements that should not be used by professional athletes who need to pass drug tests under any circumstances. Because everybody knows that you can't trust the labels on unregulated supplements. Everybody knows that.2. Guys using legit PEDs will have DHEA in their systems when cycling off their hardcore PEDs. So you've been ramping up with steroids, are shredding everybody, kickin' ass and the big national profile pro race is coming up. Since your going fast enough to really turn some heads, you can't go in loaded to the gills on Trenbolone and blood boosters, since you know that all this stuff would easily show up in any tests.Just dropping the PEDs will, in theory, cause your hormone levels to tank, your body will basically stall because it hasn't needed to produce hormones. So to avoid this, you're going to need a pretty impressive regimen of legal supplements to keep your levels up while you go kick ass at the big race. This is called Post Cycle Therapy. Even if all of these supplements are 'technically' legal, which they probably aren't, they're probably swimming in unlabeled DHEA. 3. Some guys just don't care [...]



Why Wait?

2009-11-19T10:13:27.651-08:00

(image)

Great picture (PDXCross). Wish it was in color. Don't really understand b/w cycling pictures. But great great picture. Racing for all the marbles, winner take all, no pro's killing it solo off the front, 200m to go. What more could you want?

One question though....(object) (embed)

Molly? You waited? Your opponent crashed on the last lap of the biggest cx race of the year and you waited? Seriously?

Amateur cycling seems to subscribe to the quaint idea that it is somehow respectable to wait for your opponent if he has somehow encountered misfortune. Nice idea.....but really?

Bike racing. RACING. R-A-C-I-N-G. Draw a line in the dirt, first one there wins.

Of course, recreational cyclists constantly point to Ulrich waiting for Lance at Luz-Ardiden, which was preceded by Lance waiting Ulrich on Peyresourde.

What is mentioned less, is that these are exceptions. If Lance had buried Ullrich after he overcooked a turn, fair play. Riding down the mountain is just as much a part of the game as riding up. Does anyone expect Boonen to wait for Flecha at this year's Paris-Roubaix? Nope. Hell, Chiapucci attacked Lemond after he punctured on Stage 17 of the 1990 Tour. Not really admired for it, but it got him the most aggressive rider award.

And to put it in a cx context, did Niels Albert wait for Sven Nys when totally shutting down his line and forcing him off his bike at Niel Jaarmarktcross? Nope, just rode like he stole something.

Sure, it's a sporting gesture, for certain riders, in certain situations to wait for a fallen competitor. Never. Ever. In a single day event, nave I ever heard of anyone waiting for anything.

So, again. Cross Crusade on the line and you wait? Really? Unless Molly totally caused Sean to crash, I just don't get it.

Bike racing is a race. It involves not only riding fast but steering, cornering and maintaining a working machine from start to finish. Positioning, judgment and skill also factor into success.

Molly and Sean are both talented hardworking racers who got landed on a nice stage and gave a hell of a show. Molly's decision probably cost her the race and the Crusade overall. It apparently endears her to the Portland Cx community even more, and she will sell more bikes because of it.

But Sean won the race.(image)



The Money Will Roll Right In

2009-11-13T16:08:26.723-08:00

(image)
It is no longer a rumor, Kenny 'the Cash Register' Williams failed a USA Cycling drug control after setting a World Record at this year's Masters Track Nats. He tested positive for DHEA, an over the counter supplement, the same stuff Tyler Hamilton got busted for this past spring.

Kenny followed his instinct and announced the violation with an apology.

A fixture in the Northwest cycling scene. His nose for cash prizes earned his illustrious nickname. He would often race the Masters' race, scooping up as much cash as possible, and then repeat the process in the 1/2 race. He never had a professional career of note, apparently content to use amateur races to supplement his income, rather than seek out a paid ride. His age defying speed impressed Master's and Elite competitors alike.

He is also a popular coach of northwest based riders. Many successful Seattle and Portland based riders turn to Kenny for training plans and mentoring.

Given his place in cycling, it is extremely naive for Kenny to expect that anyone believe the positive was the result in a one-off dalliance with a single over-the-counter supplement. DHEA is widely used in a variety of supplements. Double blind studies have repeatedly shown that it has zero performance enhancing effects. The most common use of DHEA in competitive athletes? As part of a supplement cocktail intended to maintain hormone levels while cycling off stronger anabolic agents. (Sorry there aren't more authoritative sources on this one, but this is some back room of Gold's Gym, Venice beach bull shit.)

If Kenny recommends DHEA for performance enhancing reasons, it exposes him as an inept, ignorant coach. His services put his clients at the risk of USAC, UCI and WADA drug testing, with no possibility of experiencing any performance benefit.

If Kenny was using DHEA as it is commonly used in athletics, as part of a systematic PED regimen, then he should come clean. Lay it all on the table.

Like most riders, Kenny doesn't seem to be sorry for the results he's stolen from other riders. He's not sorry for the relationships damaged, the respect lost and the damage to the reputation of his clients and friends.

He's sorry he got caught.(image)



VdB RIP

2009-10-12T16:40:06.306-07:00

(image)
It was reported today that Frank Vandenbroucke passed today at age 34. VDB defined style on the bike in the late 90's. His flair for the dramatic netted him a spectacular 1999 LBL win.

Ever since Lemond lost to Indurain, and up until the last year or two, pro cyclists have relied on large amounts of blood boosters, hgh and testosterone supplements to enhance performance. Nobody could not have a European pro career without them. Nobody.

A body on these PEDs is burning itself up at an impressive rate. The body can keep going, but the mind feels the terrible pain. Painkillers such as Tramadol help ease this pain without inducing numbness and fatigue. Tramadol is an extremely addictive drug, withdrawal induces severe, prolonged depression. Like performance enhancing drugs, the effects of drugs such as Tramadol vary greatly. No drug effects the same person the same way.

It is a constant disappointment that cycling cannot organize itself to maintain a minimum of health care, mental as well as physical, for riders. Unemployed riders are simply tossed to the side of the road like a bottle squeezed dry. Taken away from a sport that consumed them, saddled with the consequences of addictions acquired out of necessity, there is nowhere to go but down. And fast.(image)



Ti-Blanc!!!

2009-07-08T14:04:37.316-07:00

(image)
If there's any justice, this guy will go down in history as one of the best riders of his generation. Thomas Voeckler is up there all year, every year racing the right way. Always on the attack, always looking for opportunities. His sheet probably has dozens of top-10s where he lost out to guys with better programs. He's always knocking and today the door opened.

Today's finish was one of those great moments where the good guy won because he wanted it more. There was no superhuman feat, or magical comeback. Just a pro rider, doing his job and finally getting what he deserves.(image)



Everything?

2009-06-30T14:04:04.891-07:00

"Genius is not a generous thingIn return it charges more interest than any amount of royalties can cover"-Jim CarrollRemember when you were a kid? When this was all for fun? Doing that dance singing that song, it brought so much joy to so many people. To see a kid like that without a care in the world, saying those words that everyone knew deep down in their heart to be true, but when you get to that certain age with the kids and the mortgage and the wife. The truth of those songs gets crowded out. But you, you are able to live those songs forever.And the songs and the dance, they look so easy, so effortless. One foot in front of the other. Over and over again, every movement analyzed and rehearsed. 10, 12, 14 hours. Focused, precise. One foot in front of the other is all that matters, over and over again. Not just better than anyone else can do it. Better than anyone else could imagine doing it. Everything you have, everything that most hold dear is traded. Every move, timed to perfection, every twitch of every muscle is watched, examined, obsessed by millions of people. But it's so simple, don't they know anyone could do this dance, if they take the time. Right? But it gets you there, to the top. The very top. But what you find out is it's lonely up there. You're no longer a person, but an opportunity. A revenue stream. They're not 'friends' anymore, they're 'partners' with opportunities. Just cut them in for a little bit, they'll return more, maybe do lunch. But it's all there. Anything you ever wanted and more. And there was so much more. And they keep you there. Slow getting up in the morning, there's something for that, trouble sleeping, there's something for that. Need help getting through the show...maybe THIS doctor can help you with that. Because good doesn't make this much money. Great doesn't make this much money, But being the best, the best ever........But then it stops, and it has to stop. Because this game is not sane. But, you can't be insane, can you? Nobody ever said we went too far, nobody said this was too much. Not while it was happening, anyways.But once the show stops, the money stops. The phone calls taper off. And maybe, maybe the rehearsals, the training was a bit much. It's nice to spend some time with the family, but they don't understand. Maybe go on vacation, take a break. But the eyes, the looks. Hey, it's him, who did that thing, but now doesn't....what does he do?.......what did?Now there's new guys, with new songs and new dances. A new generation. Their names in the headlines. And they're good, but not THAT good. Do people even remember what good is? Do they know what it takes to be good? Don't they remember what I did? Do they even remember who I was? Do they know what you have to give? Your health. Your family. Your life. They aren't giving that. I know, I'll get the coach back. Get the Doctors back. The sponsors. The money makers, the money takers. The friends start calling again, ONE MORE TOUR!Maybe, maybe I could do it again. Just one more time. Make damn well sure, that everyone knows just how good I was. [...]



The Reaffirmation

2009-05-15T09:52:38.264-07:00

Yes, pro cycling can sometimes be a trying sport to follow. The biggest stars constantly getting knocked for running on rocket fuel, flaky sponsors and the inability of even the most respected media outlets to cover anything but Lance rolling to the line in 30th place.

But every once in a while you see an image that totally confirms that cycling is indeed the most beautiful sport in the world. A sport which rewards technical ingenuity and good-old-fashioned-hard-work equally. The pinnacle of sports performance played out in grand theater on the world's most beautiful country roads and mountain passes.

Without further ado, courtesy of Zinn at Velonews:
(image)

In all his glory, the Chief Mechanic of the Astana team, wrench to The Boss himself scraping tubular glue of a rim with a butter knife. After all those hours in the wind tunnel, the months of training and millions of dollars in logistics; it is on the shoulders of this man to keep the machine running.

Nietzsche wrote of the uber-mensch, the Superman whose understanding of life was so great and so thorough, that he knew that life in common society was a waste of time. He left to the dark hills of the Heartland to achieve a higher state of self-mastery. In time, one by one, the plebians would recognize his enlightened state, abandoning their material lives and discover their true purpose.

The true uber-mensch is hidden away from society, amid the exhaust of diesel trucks, surrounded by the most simple of machines, made from the most advanced materials. Constantly conducting a symphony of the ancient and cutting edge. Facilitating the wildest dreams of the world's most devious men. Wearing only a shop apron.(image)



Theo Bos should never be allowed to race bikes again.

2009-04-24T22:12:16.161-07:00

(object) (embed)

The blogging twitter-sphere has been abuzz about this, after watching it over and over, I have decided to set up my little soap box.

Theo Bos should be banned from cycling. At least for a year, but life would be justifiable. What he did was criminal.

What boggles my mind is that there seem to be plenty of defenders, or at least excuse-makers, for his actions. The (miserable) excuses seem to be based around the fact that he was against some 'uneven' barriers and running out of road and grabbing a handful of jersey and pulling the guy in front of him off his bike is a natural reaction to an imminent wreck.

The running out of road excuse is complete BS. In a bike race, you choose where to be. The peloton limits that choice, but where a rider is in a pack is a direct result of decisions that rider made. The choice you make at 10k, 5k or 2k to go can also effect the choices you have at 500m to go. Bos lacked the legs to be in the front and made a series of bad choices towards the end of that race. The result of these bad choices was that he ended up against the edge of some uneven barriers. My guess is that he then perceived that Impey was drifiting into the barriers and his heat-of-the-moment reaction was "If I'm going down, he's going with me."

I see this often in amateur races. Riders half wheel someone, put themselves in a position where one errant move can make their race go very wrong very quickly and then complain that they got a wrecked out. It makes no sense. Bike racing is no different than driving a car. Each rider is entirely responsible for where he puts his front wheel, and the consequences which result from that decision. Which may not be immediate.

If you aren't at the front then you're not going to win. Bos made the decision to try a late, really dicey surge up the left side for no apparent reason whatsoever. What would he accomplish by this? Crack the top-20? This is a pro race. If you don't win (or factor into the win) nobody cares where you finished.

What should Bos have done? Eased on the brakes, slowed a bit, hoped he could get back in the peloton, try again next time. That's the great thing about being a pro. Next time is just a few days away.

If Bos is allowed to race again this year, riders should protest. Refuse to start is he is in the peloton. He is clearly dangerous and lacks either the skills, decision making abilities or the judgment to race his bike at that level.(image)



A Manx in San Remo

2009-03-21T21:11:45.582-07:00

(image)
This picture says it all. A successful professional cyclist weeping like a little girl. A former champion smiling like a proud Papa. Zabel's probably nearby shedding some tears. Nobody thought he could do it and he did. Tracking down Haussler's rocket powered leadout/sprint was amazing. That is some range. Pulling back 10m in the last 50.

I have previously knocked Hincapie for some iffy tactics in the past, never again. He was pure class today. And today is the only one that matters. He killed it from 2k. Perfect.

I love San Remo!

(object) (embed) (image)



La Primavera

2009-03-19T10:32:46.188-07:00

As any good fan of pro cycling knows, this Saturday is the most important day of the year. It is time for La Primavera, La Classicisima, this year happens to be the running of the 100th Milano-San Remo. The most important race. The only race. You're not a big deal until you win this race. Win the Tour, fine. Win Roubaix, whatever. Win a World Championship, cool. Win San Remo, you're a legend, a hero and a God.For example: andThe course for this year is the same as last, which means the site of the traditional finish, La Via Roma, is still under construction. It will instead finish on Lungomare Italo Calvino, which is slightly less poetic, but the added extra couple of corners served Cancellara well when he jumped the field at 1500m last year. So who's top dog here?Quickstep - Boonen wants to win in San Remo, he NEEDS to win in San Remo, he knows it. Lefevre knows it. Both Allan Davis and Chavanel are flying right now, and if they don't know that Boonen needs to win in San Remo, their jerseys will not read 'Quickstep' next year.High Road - Cav' the super sprinter is fast, even at the end of some long days, but Cav' will be lucky to still be hangin' on over the Le Manie, let alone the Cipressa and Poggio. He's here to learn. Hincapie and Lokvist look to be going well. Cervelo - Both Haussler and Hushovd are showing the kind of form that can land you on top of the podium. Will Haussler be good after 7+ hours? If not, Thor might not be quick enough to strike alone in San Remo.Katusha - McEwen never seems to REALLY focus on San Remo, winning Paris-Tours doesn't change your reputation as a Grand Tour stage killer. MSR would. Pozzato got his San Remo win when his teammate Boonen was lurking in the sprint. Without Tommeke there, Pozzato's swamped in the sprint. Liquigas - Benanti can win in a bunch kick, and was lurking at the front of sprints in Tirreno-Adriatico. There is no Plan B. Dark Horses?Garmin - Farrar just beat Cav', straight up. But MSR is too long and too hard for the young 'uns. He will be there one day, but not this year. Farrar could be help to Julian Dean in the finale.LPR Brakes - Age and lack of sauce have slowed Pettachi in recent years. His team is much downgraded from the rocket powered Fassa Bartolo train that delivered him to victory in 2005.Astana - Despite all he's done, Lance Armstrong is a second tier bike racer until he wins in San Remo. This would have to happen in a sprint from a small group. It is very possible. It would be amazing. As Astana has no sprinters, they must hang their heads in shame if they cannot mix things up over the Cipressa and Poggio. Locally:-Elken looks tops for the BB, and Paul hung on. Evan's gone next week, so Paul should have the target on his back.-Piece of Cake, our (well, the NW's amateur cycling world's) San Remo, Roubaix and Liege all wrapped into one. The prize list is huge. Be there! It will be BALLS TO THE WALL! OW OW Ow OOOOWWWWWWWWW. [...]



A little update.........

2009-03-13T14:06:42.214-07:00

This is impressive. It has been a very good spring for formerly NW-based riders in the funny kits.

And for those who need to see to believe....
(object) (embed)
That is fast.

Due to the fact that I spend about 60 hours a week on a bike or surrounded by bike stuff, the motivation to talk (or write) about it is low. But I'm sure the bug will be back.

Some quick notes:
- The Piece of Cake guys at Presto Velo know how to promote a race. The field will be huge, and the racing will be full tilt. All other promoters take note.

- Sander's win at BB#1 was much deserved. Opportunistic bridge, teammate in a break, timely attack, that's how you do it. He's always strong and always close, good to see him get one.

- We're probably all happy that BB's 2 and 3 got pushed back a week, but could the cancellation of the original BB2 been handled in a worse way? Three days straight of emails saying from the promoter saying the race will be run under any circumstances including snow, and then canceling due to snow. Now honestly, I didn't think for a minute that OBRA officials would let a race be run with snow on the road, so why in the hell would anyone try and make it sound like it would? Makes me glad I don't drive from Bend.

- The riders at the head of the field of BB1 was so same ol' same ol'. Will somebody please have the wherewithal to mix things up a bit? Let's see some attacks, maybe let a break run, maybe launch a teammate. Something. PLEASE. I'll help. I promise.(image)



The Five Best Training Albums For 2009

2009-01-13T15:24:08.228-08:00

Also known as the five best albums of 2008. And not that I advocate riding your bike with your ipod blasting away, but I do like to listen to music when I train, and I don't like to train indoors. So take that for what you will.5.The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundYes, when I mentioned I liked this album my friends all made fun of me for liking an emo-punk band (mostly because I've spent a good part of the past decade ridiculing emo-punk bands). But these guys channel their HotWaterMusic roots straight through an FM radio in an old Chevy in Jersey. And it's great. Really good, Boss-heavy rock n' roll. Now they just need a piano player that doesn't play in minor keys, a big guy playing tenor sax and a song that starts like this: "The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves......" 4.Estelle - ShineI've been on a big R&B girl trip now for a couple months, and this is one is tip-top (oi, mate?). Estelle's English, so she brings in a bunch of dancehall influence along with solid R&B chops and can even rap really well, for a Brit. Producers like Will.i.am and John legend keep the songs top notch. The duet with Kanye on American Boy is one of the best songs of '08 hands down.3.Dragging an Ox through Water - The Tropics of PhenomenonFull disclosure, Brian who is DAOTW, is a good friend of mine from way back. That said, I don't see him much these days because he is a REALLY committed artist, who has made his work the center of his life and won't compromise a damn thing for it, and does staggeringly great work because of that. And I'm a middling bike racer, so we don't cross paths too often. While DAOTW sometimes gets lumped into the alt/deconstructed/folk scene that is so big in Portland, it's so much more than that. His songs play more like dreams, some coming to an abrupt halt, just when you think they're getting going. Lyrics read like conversations you only half remember 'cuz you were too drunk. It's all washed over in electronic trickery that sounds like a tv with bad reception that got left on when you passed out the night before, making no sense, and so much sense at the same time. 2.Lil Wayne - Carter 3The Weezy has really been on top of his game this past year. Nobody thought he could top the flood of mixtapes he released throughout '08, but he did. Jay-Z coming on down to pass the torch on 'Mr. Carter' is sick. Yeah, he'll drop a goofy couplet here and there, but nobody's pushing hip-hop like Wayne. His wicked purple habit will probably catch up to him before long, so Carter 3 might be the last we see of Wayne at the top of his game.Honorable Mention: T.I. - Paper Trails. This is the party record of '08: Ready for Whatever, Live Your Life w/ Rihanna, Whatever You Like,the first 2/3rds is hit after hit. But then it bogs down a little, and T.I. doesn't quite have the personality of a Lil Wayne to bring it all together.1.Oasis - Dig Out Your SoulPeople like to talk about Oasis like some old timers band out on the casino circuit. If some unknown band came along and released an album this full of swaggering psyched-out rock n' roll, the Earth would shake as millions of people ran towards them to declare them the new kings of rock n' roll. Liam sounds like a sneering asshole, Noel sounds like a Beatles loving dork and all is as it should be.[...]



How to Save American Cycling

2008-12-12T10:26:12.411-08:00

Hangin' with RC last night. Usually gets the brain turning.The recent hap's in the US Pro cycling seem to underscore cycling's status as a minor league sport (at best), and show why it's going to stay that way, unless someone steps up with some organization . As usual, I solved the problem pretty much completely. The money necessary to do all this can be deposited in my personal account, I'll take care of it. Just shoot me an email.Problems:1. There really is nothing 'professional' about cycling in the US - As Rock racing is currently exposing, there is really no distinction between amateur and pro cycling. Some guys just happen to get paid. Rock basically has two full teams worth of pro caliber riders. It looks like they're going to be spending the year sending one squad to UCI stage races, and then another to NRC races which any Elite rider can enter. It looks like Rock is going to keep this huge squad and switch guys between squads to get their ideal team for races. 2. Americans don't get the sponsor/team thing - Ever explain how a cycling team works to your Uncle from the midwest, he probably just won't get it. "So even guys with the same sponsor race against each other?" or "Do they always have the same sponsor for every race?" 3. USA Cycling is one of the worst run national sports organizations in the world. Incompetent does not begin to describe them. The most recent dropped balls: Exhibit A: Leaving Chris Horner off the World Championship team, when the race suited him to a T. He's the only American that can come close to hanging with guys like Valverde and Cunego. He was fit as fuck, he got left out for a bunch of kids and TT specialists.(No disrespect to the kids on the team, but get some mid-week classics under your belt, at least.). Horner was also the American best suited for the Olympic Road Race, though his fitness may have been a (tiny) question mark due to his mid-summer collar bone break. Exhibit B: Leaving Tom Peterson off the U23 World's team. Tom is the fastest U23 American, hands down. Maybe Phinney might be up to his level, but he doesn't have any of the Euro experience. Tom has, by far, the most Euro racing experience of any U23 and he got completely shafted. USA Cycling wasted a top-10 and sent a bunch of teenagers to the race.Exhibit C: The 2004 Olympic MTB qualifying debacle. Exhibit D: Do they even do drug testing anymore? Anywhere? USA Cycling looks like the AAU did in the '60s when they ran track and field. Political, corrupt, looking out for themselves rather than the sport.4. Too many fake pro's - Similar to problem #1. There's too many twentysomethings like myself running around saying we might almost be able to be pro. Yes it's cool to race against them a couple times a year, but really, the NRC being ProAm is really not good for the sport.Being the problem solver I am, here's the solutions:1. Races are run like the Nascar Circuit - The season's gonna run from March to September. Each team's home city will host a one day race, let's say there will be 15 of'em. Stage races will be on Neutral turf, 4-6 a season. Points awarded accordingly. Only the Pro teams race. Pro Teams have limited rosters of about 20 guys, no goofy age requirements. Crits would stay local and carry on the ProAm tradition in American cycling. 2. Americans like saying 'Los Angeles Lakers' or 'New York Giants'. Now the relation between the team and the place they say they're from is tenuous at best, team members might live in their team's hometown if they choose to, but it really doesn't matter. So think of it like this, we'll use the English Soccer model here: The teams will be identified by their hometown and a mascot they think is cute/tough/cool whatever or a club na[...]



The custom frame question.

2008-11-14T16:05:19.307-08:00

With all the frame builders we have here in our fair city (of Portland, OR), why is nobody building ALUMINUM RACE BIKES! There's obviously a demand for custom bikes. People even race their custom bikes. Aluminum frames make MUCH better race bikes than steel ones, and with all the carbon posts and bars people seem to like so much these days, you can pretty easily mitigate the rough ride of aluminum.

You know who rode a custom aluminum frame? Cipollini, during his comeback last year. Boonen rode one the year before, until Specialized changed the geometry of their entire line to suit him. If these guys can ride aluminum, you can too.

While our friendly neighborhood framebuilders are building some beautiful bikes. Steel is gonna be flexy as heck regardless of how well it's made. It's just the nature of the material. If steel is squishy by nature, racing a steel bike is a competitive disadvantage.

So, there's the ball, someone run with it. I bet you'll do quite well. And yes, Co-Motion has been welding aluminum since the days before custom bikes were cool. They never slowed Billy Truelove down.(image)



Too Good?

2008-11-07T10:39:36.998-08:00

(image)
Some of you might remember when this guy took the NRC circuit by storm a few years ago. At the Sea Otter Doug O. won, Stevic soloed up to a seven man break to defend his lead. Fraser and Ollerenshaw tag teamed him for the win.

But the fact remained, Stevic bridged up to a seven-strong group who was riding with a major NRC stage race win on the line. Being fairly new to the bike racing at that point, I wondered if that was humanly possible? Apparently not.

The article mentions the Cycling Fans Anonymous blog, which handles the whispering world of doping in a much more appropriate manner than most. More dot connecting, less finger pointing.(image)



Drop like a Rock

2008-10-20T16:34:00.370-07:00

So here we see Cunego, Horner and some A&S guy attack over the Civiglio.
(object) (embed)

Not even the live TV or tickers could quite catch what was going on, but as Sammy Sanchez dropped like a bomb from the Civiglio, Cunego attacked Horner and the A&S guy. At this point I'm not sure if the racers themselves knew Cunego was off the front.

(object) (embed)

The chase group came back together before Brajkovic and Uran made the move for 2nd. Brajkovic posted up like he won something. Classy win for Cunego.(image)



Russell Stevenson Rides Again!

2008-10-16T12:50:14.084-07:00

Noticed this on the Cyclingnews ticker a few days ago. Russell Stevenson, last of Benaroya Research Inst. is once again dipping his toes in the water of pro road racing. This time with Inferno Racing, who show mostly at crits on the the east coast. The pro/am Inferno is apparently going full pro next year as Kenda Pro Cycling.

(image)

Russell's covered a lot of ground in the past 5 years going from HealthNet in 2003 to founding the BRI team in Seattle as well as moonlighting as Shimano's NW sales rep. I assumed he was done for, it seems lately he only rides crits and 'cross, apparently he's got some road races left in those legs.(image)



The Best Week of the Year

2008-10-16T10:27:01.583-07:00

For those of us that get up early enough to watch choppy streaming video of European road races, this coming Saturday is the best thing to happen since March 22 (Milano-San Remo, duh). Yes ,it's the final ProTour race, and the last of the 5 Monuments, but the Italian Monuments are something special. They're won with style, by attacking hard, 6 hours in, over the Madonna del Ghisallo. While the Northern Classics define grit, the Italian Monuments define class.

The race also happens to be in about the coolest part of the world, Lake Como, right where Switzerland and Italy run together, a stone's throw from Milan, down the street from George Clooney's house.

Lombardia has been won by guys like Bartali, Coppi, Gimondi, Merckx, Moser, Saronni and Bettini. Ballers. Every one of 'em.

***10.16 Prediction Update***
The favorites: Kolobnev(CSC), Cunego(Lampre), Horner(Astana), SammySanchez(Eusk) on a sick downhill attack.

Dark Horses: Brajkovic(Astana), Bruseghin(Lampre), anyone from Liquigas, Gesink(Rabo) If he doesn't lose contact on those descents (remember Paris-Nice?).

Cadel Evans will be in the mix, he will not win.(image)



The Essence of Conservatism

2008-10-10T20:02:00.861-07:00

Ahem, this has absolutely nothing to do with bikes. But I'm running the show, so here we go.

While I wasn't expecting to find a lot of common ground with the McCain campaign, though I do agree that there should be much more focus on nuclear power, his latest line of attack on Obama is especially perplexing. This whole Bill Ayers guilt-by-association thing strikes me as quite odd. Bill Ayers life appears to be something that a true (intellectual) conservative would hold as an example of the true good that can emerge when people face the consequences of past actions, reevaluate their life and dedicate their energies and talents to a productive cause. All without any assistance from government or social safety net.

From what I can gather, the core belief of conservatism is that a man left to himself will better achieve his full potential (intellectually, economically, emotionally or otherwise) when unencumbered by governmental or societal influence.

So here we have a man, Bill Ayers, who was involved in some very unfortunate episode during a very tumultuous time. His behavior was so bad that he had to go into hiding for over twenty years.

After that time in hiding, Ayers emerged as a tremendous source for good as a social justice advocate, and distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He helped the mayor reorganize Chicago's school system, helped write a grant that won $50 million for the Chicago's schools and was even named Chicago's 'Citizen of the Year' in 1997.

So he did bad stuff, disappeared and without any assistance from 'the man' or 'the system' he got straight and now has a distinguished record of contributing immensely to the common good. Oh yeah, and he happened to host a fundraiser for an up-and-coming politician named Barack Obama, who was in elementary at the time Ayers's transgressions were committed.

Yes, Mr. McCain obviously has a very deep-rooted, visceral reaction to one of the most famous opponents of the Vietnam War. As a presidential candidate, HE ISN'T FIGHTING THE GODDAMN VIETNAM WAR. To stake his campaign on rehashing his problems with old war protesters seems misguided. Following this line of thought, McCain is either telling us that events that happened forty years ago are more important to him than those happening right now, or that his political platform has absolutely no intellectual foundation.

Never mind the fact that McCain spent the 60's graduating at the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy, and then crashing several planes paid for by American taxpayers.

Anyways, there's only one good choice for Prez, and I'm betting on a big party November 4. But there's also a Senate race here in Oregon that could be pretty close. Vote for Merkeley, too.

I'm gonna add more to this, but for now I'm going home.(image)



Various and Sundry Predictions

2008-10-07T16:38:48.565-07:00

- Lance will not ride for Astana. Livestrong p/b Trek, Oakley, Nike etc.

- Vinokurov coming back is probably the best thing that could happen to Lance from a marketing standpoint. I imagine if the Kazaks insist that Vino rides for Astana, it could give Bruyneel the out he needs to take his operation elsewhere. I can't imagine any big races letting Vino in, he got off with a bullshit 1 year suspension because he "retired".

- Or the Great Nike/Trek/Giro/Oakley Bicycle Racing Team just buys out the whole thing.

- Contador leaves Livestrong, can't be on Astana because they won't get into any big races with Vino. Who has the budget to bring on a triple Grand Tour winner in Dec./Jan?

- Quickstep.

- Unless a Spanish team can step up big time. And they usually can't.

- Come April and July, Quickstep will be so happy Schumi got popped. Contador probably got the first phone call. Then Bettini.

- Bjarne Riis could render all of the above totally meaningless. And probably will.

- Bettini rides for Riis. Think about it. Just think about it.

- Contador vs. Basso vs. Lance Think about that.

I need some local dish sent my way.(image)



Sweet Silver

2008-10-10T09:31:45.233-07:00

(image)
This is old news by now, but definitely worth a post.

Mad props to Svein Tuft for taking 2nd in the World Champs TT. That 2nd came after a puncture and bike change. Svein's been around forever and races the right way. He's a tough as nails rider and a total class act. It's great to see him at the top of the sport.

Svein definitely deserves a place in the world's biggest races. Now he's riding for Garmin, so I hope he gets some big starts.(image)



It's a Cross Season Road Gossip Fiesta!

2008-09-30T10:22:07.266-07:00

Ah yes, the air is cooling, the leaves are changing and there aren't any more races for me to lose. Fall is here!

No big fan of the season myself, I go for a ride after work and everyone is carrying their bikes around. Which is boring and hard. Then they tell me the only races are on dirt. Where I might get dirty. Sorry!

Anyhoos, the '09 road season is basically underway as everyone is trying to dive head first into a very shallow sponsorship pool.

Anyways, SUCK ON THIS VELONEWS WOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!
You might call him Ed, you might call him Ted, but he's signing to the dorky named CERVELO-TEST TEAM!

That's right, you heard it here first:

TEDDY KING WILL RIDE FOR CERVELO-TEST TEAM FOR 2009


In service of Mellow Juan himself, Mr. Carlos Sastre.

And that my friends, is what you call a scoop!

Coincidentally enough, Salem based vacuum salesman/pro cyclist Omer Kem has been entrusted to fill out the Bissell squad with a couple "ghost riders". Word is Carson Miller was offered a position, AND TURNED IT DOWN TO RIDE ANOTHER YEAR WITH RUBICON!

Additional word is that Steven Beardsley might switch from Lover red/pink to Bissell red/white.

Ghost riders? Yes, UCI teams are required to have a certain amount of riders under a certain age (1/2 their riders need to be under 26, I think). Good luck hiring a US based team with riders that young. So what do they do? They find riders who are good, but not that good, give 'em a new bike, a kit and tell them to have fun. They're like players on injured reserve in the NBA. Maybe they even get to ride a few races as a pro.

Like injured reserve, teams use their ghost riders differently. Ghost rider for Toyota? They've already got 25 super-fast pro guys. A team like Bissell, well, they actually use their ghost riders once in a while. There's only 14 guys listed on their team site, and Zirbel is gonna spend at least half the season hurt. So, anyone who's reading this, if Bissell offers you a spot, even if it's unpaid, FOR GOD'S SAKE TAKE IT!!

In more local news:
-Russell Cree has rode in to PDX to single-handedly save the bicycle racing community. He helped make Broadmark/HB huge, your club might be next.

-The grown up part of CMG (Seth, Aaron, Kyle etc.) may have plans with some sponsors which you may have heard of. They may also acquire riders you may have heard of. Still under the HPChiro banner.

-Evan Elken will be doing local duty next year.

That will be all for now.
Stay Clean. (Like lack of dirt clean)(image)



Criminy....

2008-07-24T14:26:40.355-07:00

....can it get any worse than this?
(image)
The advance word is that the tiny prince will not be starting Stage 19. The dream is over.(image)



Man has it been awhile..........

2008-07-23T14:44:26.127-07:00

Soooo,

The Tour is in full swing, World's Greatest Rider Damiano Cunego is impressing everyone with his determination and perseverance. Otherwise, it has been some pretty uneventful racing. I guess if you kick out the guys on drugs, these long races aren't too entertaining. We can always watch Pantani and Armstrong ride Ventoux like they're going downhill.

The big races are, for the most part, over. Twilight crit would be the only big one coming up.

CMG had their annual implosion. From an outsider's view, it seems that Seth, Chris, Donald, et al spent a good part of the spring setting things up so Jacob (and the other youngsters) could knock them down. When Seth ended up in the leader's jersey at Elkhorn, his team's defense was, how should I say this, less than inspired. As a very large group rolled away with CMG very under-represented. Though HB also missed out big time. Bob's Bikes was the big winners out of the 25 man lead-group, though the Symmetrics kid won, and it's pretty safe to say that he was the strongest rider there.

*Tactical Note - When a break has more than 20 guys in it, or contains more than 20% of the number of riders in the field, it is in fact not a break. It is a split in the field. Large teams generally try and avoid splits in the field unless they've got A LOT of riders in it. Bob's had plenty of riders. Every other team should have chased like hell to shut down the move early.

PIR is really the only regular race now. And it is interesting watching how hard certain teams will bang their heads into the wall over and over again. Take last night:
    Strong break gets away.

    Countless unorganized chase groups form to no avail.

    Rubicon realizes they could use another guy in the break, launches some sharp, well coordinated attacks.

    Break gets close, Rubicon bridges up their strongest guy.

    Everyone else sits around saying "oh man, they were so close, we almost got 'em."

    Fresh Rubicon guy wins race.


So first of all, WE (meaning the field) did not (almost)catch them. Rubicon almost caught them, then they bridged up their strongest guy, once he was up there the break got a bunch more time. Coincidence? Probably not.

Finishing off a chase is really the most important part of the chase,anyone can start a chase, and most folks can get about half way. But finishing, now that's a real chase. And there was none of that. Rubicon wasn't trying to chase the break back, they were trying to bridge their guy up. And it worked, and he won, and that's how it should be. Smart moves and hard riding tend win bike races.

Wow, that turned into a long one.

Four more days until Damiano Cunego rides into Paris, after an inspirational display of perseverance and determination. Clearly displaying the virtues we look for in all of sport, and society.(image)