Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cadel Evans has a SPLEEN OF FURY!




Have to admit, for many years I was not a fan of Cadel Evans.  It was really several things that led me in that direction.  It was his lack of desire to attack and his following of wheels that drove me nuts.  He would ride and hang on, but never put his nose out in the wind. I remember dropping this comment during a group ride which almost resulted in Nuun water coming out the nose of a fellow rider, "Cadel doesn't really ride a Ridley, he rides a Hoover; all he does is suck wheels" This in addition to the tears when he pulled on the yellow jersey (mid race, not in Paris...man card deduction even if it was Paris, but at least you won the entire race).

Plus you had some media moments like this one:


I just thought he was a 2nd place holding jerk. Fast forward to Worlds 2009....Holy shit he owned that race!  I was stunned he attacked and even more stunned that he stayed away.  Cadel then went on to honor the Worlds jersey in a way no one has in years.  Some say that one race did not change him as a rider, I disagree.  He was no longer scared to take a risk and lose the podium.  2nd place was no longer a pleasing position to him; he wanted the top step. He has quickly become one of my favorite riders to watch.  No Andy Schleck here, this guy has a Spleen of Fury that does not go away in 24 hours. Now, he will cut your head off if you try to take his yellow jersey!



Cadel has paid his dues, had injuries (multiple c-bones in one season), worn and lost the jersey, had horrible mechanicals (Vuelta 2009). He has been bested by a few Spanish doper types at Grand Tours and I think he has a score to settle.  He is not only due, he has set his whole year up to peak at the Tour.  If Contador comes to the race with only 5 bullets in his Pistol then I think we could see Cadel hang close enough to pass Conta, Basso, and Schleck in the final TT.  He is my pick for the win in July.*

*or August/September if Conta wins and gets it taken away in court

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Monday, June 20, 2011

The curious case of Andy Schleck

Let me start off by saying that I will be rooting for Leopard Trek to have some glory at the Tour this year.  I could not have been more impressed with the way the team handled the death of a teammate.  They are a class act, and I hope they keep Wouter Weylandt in the front of everyone's mind.

HUGS make "Angry" Tummies all better


That being said, let's talk about the Tour:

I have to ask the the question, can Andy Schleck win the Tour de France?  Can he beat the likes of Contador/Riis, Evans, Basso and the rest?

After watching races all year, all I can wonder is....WTF is up with Andy Schleck and his form/racing tactics/media comments?  I can understand some of the events of the year like racing ATOC with a heavy heart.  But as I am looking at the entire season, you have odd moments all around with the "Schleck Bros towing service" of Phillipe Gilbert at Amstel Gold.  Most recently, getting dropped at the Tour de Suisse and then being pleased with a 2nd place to Thomas De Gent the next day. Andy, you lost the stage to Thomas De Gent, not the ghost of Fausto Coppi, why are you happy with that showing?  Do you expect to see De Gent on the big climbs next month?

I think some good points are made in the recent VeloNation article: http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/8779/No-panic-for-Andy-Schleck-despite-poor-Tour-de-Suisse-performance.aspx  but, I think one point is missed.  Last year his results were similar prior to Le Tour, but he had Bjarne Riis in the Team car.  I know many wondered what Riis was really up to last year with Schleck vs Conta etc.. but you can't deny Riis knows how to win (by rook or by crook) and wanted the TDF for his resume.

I'm not sure who is in Andy's ear piece this year. From watching the races, I would assume it's a combo of Forrest Gump, Alan from the Hangover and Michael Scott.

Heard over race radio during Amstel Gold "Don't attack him, he is a nice Walloone!"


There are athletes that are "killers", they just have that IT quality and they know how to seize the moment. Cyclists like Merckx, Hinault, Lance and Conta have it.  In other sports you have Tom Brady, MJ, Kobe etc..

You also have the "Never gonna get it" club: Lebron James, Karl Malone, the Buffalo Bills, etc.  This has nothing to do with how good a person they are, or what they do out of their sport, they just CAN'T win the big one.  Last year for about 17 hours, I thought Schleck was the MAN and had found IT!  He was so pissed he had his "Stomach full of anger" and wanted his revenge.  Apparently he took a Pepto flavored GU because by the time he crossed the line his tummy was all better. He got played (and he didn't really care) on the Tourmalet. So I just can't picture him owning his moment in 2011, if and when it presents itself.  He has even said this Tour isn't about revenge and he is looking past last year. Funny,  the GREATS wouldn't be looking past it; they would be thinking about it 24/7 until they WON!



The other challenge for Andy Schleck in the 2011 Tour is his bro Frank Schleck. Last year some felt not having Frank was a disadvantage later in the race.  I disagree.  Every time I see them race together they are looking for each other and waiting up for each other. This could work out if they had the tactical ability of even Donald Rumsfeld but we know they can't take advantage even when it's 2 on 1.

I will bet on Conta, Evans, Basso, Gesink and Van den Broeck but not on the very likeable, kind, nice (but soft) Schleck brothers.  They could totally be bluffing Edward Norton style and if they come on strong and show no mercy, then I will be the 1st to admit I was wrong:





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Crushing hills on the Bosberg

Gotta say, having lived/ridden in a place with only rollers for over a decade I'm kinda built for them. I love the big climbs and can hang in there, but a KOM on one of the big climbs in Boulder is not in the cards for me.  That said aboard my Ritte Van Vlaanderen Bosberg wearing our white FUCANCER I am 314% sexier and roughly 9.5% faster!  I pretty much crush rolling hills, like Tom Boonen does eighteen year old models...umm okay maybe a better way to say it would be like Gilbert dropping the Schlecks bros!

Here is the Strava link from my 2nd KOM this week:

http://app.strava.com/rides/776497

So I do want to admit to physiological doping... but I don't plan to stop anytime soon.



So If you object to my use of the Bosberg or our Euro Sexy white FUCANCER kit, I will have Stratton stab you in the face with his tire..."Litterly"


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Monday, June 6, 2011

United We Pedal


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