Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's the Ronde Damn it!

Out of respect to the Flemish people and the race, we will refer to the Ronde Van Vlaanderen as well...the Ronde and not the Tour of Flanders. We would not want them to call the Super Bowl something like Buuwel Van Suvvpper (just guessing since I was unable to locate an English to Flemish translator.  They have online English to Luxembourgish or Hmong but not Flemish).

So obviously, Fabian, "Swiss Machine", is the favorite, but we are wondering if you think anyone of these people/things can derail him.



1. Boonen:  Looks like the knee is solid, no police incidents, no blow and he just won Gent Wevelgem. He also has the strong team card to play, like he has in previous years with Chavanel.  We're pretty sure Boonen and his Quick Step team are pulling for the radio ban, since they have Capt. D-bag Lefevere in their ears.  If he doesn't get caught taking a drink again, etc..do you think he can hang onto Fabian when he attacks?



2. Mechanical/problem (flat, broken chain, crash)?  Fabian puts out crazy power - add in cobbles and 20% gradients, it is a lot of stress on his ride.  If he snaps another chain, flats at the wrong time or ends up on the ground (he might break the cobbles not the other way around) no one will be waiting.   I know Conta is not in the race, but you know what I mean - This is a 1 day race



3. Philipe Gilbert:  He is a Belgian (a Walloon, but still) and he wants to win this race for King and Country and all of that.  We have no question he will put in an attack and if things play out, he might be able to make it.



4. Matthew Goss: Want a dark horse? Matthew Goss is Belgian at heart, and he is a flat out fast!  Not sure if you have noticed but he is showing the world he is a force to be reckoned with!  He is not scared of weather or climbs as he proved in Paris Nice, and he can out sprint Fabian if he has the chance.



* Our heart forces us to include Stijn Devolder - who know if he has the form to win, but we had to include him.  He will don the finest threads in the peloton, and that Belgian Champions kit will give him wings like 4 Red Bulls, a double purple nurple and slap on the ass!


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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pro Cycling Wiki Leak: Pat McQuaid UCI "Gangsta"


McQuaid is seen here throwing up his set prior to a press conference.

As my very Southern wife might say, “Has he lost his damn mind?” Many would argue based on recent events that he has.  As you might remember we have random fans with mustaches in various places throughout the world.  (This is how we got the Hotel Memo from Leopard Trek.)  We were contacted again by a friend/fan of our tees in Europe.  He wanted to make a trade.  We was willing to give us the inside scoop on Pat McQuaid’s recent stay at his hotel in exchange for 2 of our tees, a tube of DZ Nuts and Bay Watch season 2 DVD set (Lots of Hof fans in the EU).  Of course, we went for that deal and this is the info we got from him.* 

McQuaid and his posse checked in and immediately ordered room service (filets, lobster, and several bottles of Hennessy and Crystal champagne).  The room service attendant said that when he arrived he saw the whole group was smoking what they refereed to as  “blunts” and watching a movie he later found out to be Menace to Society.  He overheard McQuaid speaking in an odd Irish/American Street dialect and called the cyclists and directors names like “bustas” and “punkass biaches”.  
It does appear that McQuaid is going “gansta” with his recent moves like his Open letter and using his muscle to get the riders to stand down and not protest during E3 Prijs Vlaanderen.  McQuaid had a meeting with Gianni Bugno where our man at the hotel said there were loud noises and the sound of breaking glass coming from the room. The hotel bellman claims he saw someone being held off the balcony by their feet, but this could not be confirmed. Bugno left in a hurry wearing sunglasses and sobbing. Bugno then released this as part of his statement "Promise to ask the racers to suspend the action planned for March 26th provided that you give us a sign of genuine dialogue." 
Later during his stay, while in the jacuzzi with 2 of his crew and 6 ladies, McQuaid was overheard saying, “I’m gonna make those Frenchies at the ASO deal with that little punk Conta at the Tour again.” He laughed loudly and finished with, “Im gonna wait until the last minute to file the appeal with the CAS...ya hear me?”  
His crew then all said things to the effect of “You the man Pat!”,“True Dat!”, “For real son! Pat’s runnin’ cycling!”
It appears that “OG” Pat McQuaid is rollin like Suge Knight so the riders and directors should tread lightly.  He appears to have a crew, the roads are open and the teams won’t have radios.  Bike jackings and driveby’s could happen at any upcoming race. 

*The recount by our European man on the scene, is of course all alleged
 and we do not have verification these events happened as he reported them. Our shirts are pretty sweet and so we have to hope that bought us a legit report of recent events.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pro Cycling 2011- Checking in before our favorite races

As the Ronde (our favorite) and Roubaix (close 2nd) approach us like Spartacus on the attack, we wanted to recap recent races and happenings in Pro Cycling.

The most amazing cycling pic of the year so far, is actually not an action shot. This picture of Japanese champion Tikashi Miyazawa is simply amazing.  The picture says so much about what is going on in Japan. Tikashi is also taking part in an auction to help raise money for relief efforts in Japan. http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/milan-san-remo-peloton-to-aid-japan-relief-efforts




Matthew Goss has quickly become one of our favorite riders!  One week he is right at the front protecting Tony Martin in the horrible weather at Paris Nice, then a week later he is winning la Primavera.  It takes a very unique rider to be able to make it over the climbs and still be in the front to sprint for a win.  HTC seems like they are far and away the best team so far this year.  Bob Stapleton now has his Cav. replacement, if he ever decides the Missle needs to shoot off to Team Sky.  We do believe that Cav and Renshaw are faster than Goss, but we know he can be there at the end of races when they can't. We would pick Goss as one of our riders to build around if we could start a team tomorrow. If he decides that he wants to win Liege, The Ronde or another race with a challenging course, he can and will do so.  We would love to see Fabian vs Goss vs Boonen in the final K of the Ronde!  If you're near the HTC team vehicle and want to locate Matt Goss's bike, just look for the one that says Bad Mutha F@$%*& on it!



Thomas de Gent was fun to watch at Paris Nice!  He was fighting to keep his jersey and making some very cheeky moves to pick up a few seconds.  We are very glad that he gave his team something to cheer about in the middle of "Cobra gate part deux"


Still shocked by the lack of wins by LEOPARD TREK (capitalized, per their memo) they have been up there with Fabian at San Remo etc...but Eurocar has more meaningful wins so far.  Is this team the Miami Heat of Pro Cycling? If we reach the middle of April with no big wins...it's time to get worried!

Pat McQuaid (the Charlie Sheen of cycling) having the stones/lack of common sense to mess with Jens?  Really? This is hands down the WTF moment of the year so far for us.  Have you ever met anyone in or around cycling that doesn't like and RESPECT Jens Voigt? Yeah, neither have we!  For McQuaid to take shots at a figure like Jens in his "open letter" was another sign he is losing control of the sport. The fight over radio bans and new cycling leagues being plotted have to be keeping McQuaid up at night.

Just when we were sure the Giro Prolight helmet was our pick for Fugliest helmet in the peloton we have a new contender. Orbea has a new line of helmets with that "I come in peace" alien look to them. Not a fan of most things Spanish and we can add these to the list!

"My name is Gorka and I come in peace."

Thanks for reading! We are looking forward to the next few weeks and all the racing over bergs and cobbles! We expect much more Pat McQuaid wacked out rants as well!

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan: We can all do something to help

We watch daily as new video and new stories surface about the human tragedy in Japan.  We wanted to do something to help the victims.  We are encouraging people to donate to relief efforts by offering a promo code good for 25% off.  Anyone that emails us a copy of a receipt for a $10+ donation to relief efforts will receive a Promo Code good for 25% off all our tees.  Send your emails to info@hbstache.com


Thanks for your efforts to help those impacted by this tragedy.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pro Cycling 2011- What were watching part duex



We know it's still early on in the season, but we figured we would give our take on the racing so far and a few predictions.


Off the front-

HTC High Road: They just win races!  Tony Martin and Matthew Goss have both racked up some nice wins so far in 2011. Tejay van Garderen is showing again that he is a VERY talented rider.  He is continuing to grow and develop and we can see a Grand Tour podium in his future.

Rabobank:  Some might have questioned letting a multiple Grand Tour winner go, but Rabobank didn't blink.  They have Robert Gesink as their GC contender and even Eddie Merckx tips him as a possible Tour winner. The early season form of Theo Bos and Lars Boom make it appear that they made some very good investments.

Spain: Gotta give it to 'em they know how to keep their "star" racers racing.  Conta gets the all clear from his home country and has already made the podium in one of his first races. What happens with the CAS time will tell, but he can now always claim he was cleared in his home country.

Jens Voigt and those in favor of race radio:  Jens mentioned an incident from a U23 race last year as an example of why Race Radio is needed in his "Open Letter" ( featured on CycleSport's website) .  Then this week as if on cue, an ambulance headed the wrong way toward the field in a race. Here is the excerpt from Jens Voigt's "Open Letter":


"Last year in an U23 race in France a spectator ignored all regulations and entered the parcours in the opposite direction of the race. What normally happens is this: the race director puts that news on ‘radio course’, the official communication channel between the race organizer, the UCI and the sports directors. Immediately, all sports directors spread the message amongst their riders over the radio to prevent a potential fatal accident. Now, in that French race there were no radios, which is the case in all U23 races. Try to put yourself into the position of any sports director, that knows there is a car riding towards the bunch. He’s not allowed to drive to his riders and warn them. All he can do is sit and wait. And maybe think about what he can tell the parents of one of his riders if he got hit by the car. Because this is what happened: the car hit a young Dutch rider, who was in a coma for three weeks. Everybody present in that race agreed that the accident could have been prevented if the riders had been wearing radios" 


If nothing else, the riders should get a broadcast from the race officials so they can be made aware of dangers ahead.  They should also allow team cars a 2 way radio to race officials, so they can communicate any issues they see like a rider that has crashed and is off the road in a ditch, off a cliff, etc.

Andy Schleck: As we have stated before, he really needs Conta to race the Tour to become a champion. If he snags his 1st Tour win without Pistolero in the race, it just won't be the same.  So far, it looks like he will get to line up with Contador in July.

Radioshack: Lance retired,  right after the Tour Down Under, but Shack has been getting it done without their biggest name. The Robbie's have been mixing it up in sprint finishes and proving they still have some left in the tank.  Markel Irizar won Ruta del Sol and Jesse Sergent won West Flanders, so the future looks bright for the Shack.

Cadel Evans:  Looks like he is trying the Lance approach from 99-05, trying to minimize his racing days prior to the Tour.  We actually like this move quite a bit, as it shows Cadel is not riding for 2nd place.  He is going all in for the TDF and is showing that he is not happy with a podium finish.  Defending champ Alberto Contador will do the opposite and try to race (and win) all 3 Grand Tours this season. Time will tell if Cadel is making a smart move, but we like it!

Steven Cozza: He has a fresh start with Team NetApp and is off to a solid start on the bike.  He won the Sprint and the Combined competition at Mallorca Challenge. We can't wait to see Steven on the cobbles at Roubaix! The other reason we have Steven on this list, is his work off the bike with his Race for Kids fan club.  He has a new coloring book with profits directed to help children's charities and the 2011 version of his  "Never Give up" tee that we make.  If you haven't read much about Steven or his mission check out http://www.stevencozza.com/ .




Off the back-

The Cobra's cycling career is dead, but we hope he gets help and lives a healthier life off the bike!


Ricardo "The Cobra" Ricco: The WTF moment so far of 2011! We just wished we had called one this "far out" in our blog "Dopers do suck, but they have great excuses" . Honestly, the thing that comes to mind when I think of Ricco is, when did this start?  I keep wondering if they should shift anti-doping so they are testing Juniors and U23 heavier than they do Pros. Much like AA baseball players that are trying "make it", many young cyclists are willing to take the risk of doping to get their shot.

Cav: had a rough start to the year; he found himself on the ground several times.  The shoot out Down Under with Greipel didn't actually happen.  Cav showed up a bit heavy, and his teammate Matt Goss was the bigger star during that race. The Manx missle has added Roubaix to his race calendar, and we have to say we are bit concerned about Cav on the cobbles. We fear his new grill might be in jeopardy if he ends up wheels up on the Carrefour de l'Arbre section.

LEOPARD TREK: Um...yeah, it's early, but no real headline wins for the most anticipated/hyped team in a decade. They look stylin', and are mixing it up in races, but they don't have any results to speak of.   I wonder if the O on their kits stands for 0 as in results. We have to give it to them ...SHARP kit and nice scarves!  They will win either Flanders or Roubaix and all will be right.

Taylor Phinney: It's been a rough beginning for Taylor with knee issues and a few crashes.  Still a long season ahead, but so far his young gun friends are off to a better start. No doubt he can and will pull off a result this year, he just needs some better luck.

Garmin Cervelo:  Their own riders Tweet jokes about taking Team SKY's musettes at feed zones.  They need to go to a white base instead of black or add orange back in.  They make a race finish very hard to watch.   We can't imagine how it feels to be looking to see if your rider is on your wheel only to find a SKY rider.  On their own, the kit looks great; add them in with SKY and LEOPARD and it's a mess.

PREDICTIONS:


Paris Nice: We will go with Sagan or Tejay van Garderen for the win, but don't count out Jurgen Van Den Broek

The Ronde: Top 3 in any order Fabian, Devolder, and Gilbert

Paris Roubaix: Top 3 in any order Fabian, Hushovd and Boonen


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