Friday, May 30, 2008

you can't win if you don't try

WOW! What an amazing stage at the Giro today.

There is a reason that Phillipe Gilbert has become perhaps my favorite pro cyclist in the peloton today. He isn't afraid to attack. Success or failure, he gives it his all every race. To an extent Boonen is similar because he isn't afraid to attack even if he is much more conservative in his riding (or maybe he is kept on a leash).

What does that have to do with the Giro?

Today the Killer showed that he's a hardman who isn't afraid to go all in (kind of like Jens yesterday).

From the attack on the descent from the first climb of the day, Salvodelli buried himself until Diluca took over and put the hammer down and gained even more time eventually coming in second.

It was interesting that Contador seemed to not know what to do and eventaully the team car came up alongside of him and like 30 seconds later he attacks, but kind of half-heartedly and all major challengers came right with him.

Ricco definitely shoudl have been in pink for his attack with a few KM to go, but for some reason Sella decided to drag the lifeguard" up the climb just barely keeping him in the lead. Maybe he is blown. I guess we will see tomorrow, but it looked like he needed to follow someone's wheel and didn't realize when he needed to go on the attack.

I think ultimately that has always been my problem with USPS/Disco/Astana. they seem too tightly choreographed and the riders don't seems to have much freedom. I guess I like a little more passion and drama in my sport rather than cold and calculating.

I am guessing they are hoping to stay close to the lead if not in the lead tomorrow and figure that Contador will pick up time again on all his main rivals in the final TT. I really hope not though, becasue I honestly don't think the lifeguard deserves the win.

Monday, May 26, 2008

chillin' and grillin'

planned a little birthday/holiday bbg at our place Sun in honor of stewtron's recent and my upcoming birth celebration. For a bit I thought we were all going to have to hide in our basement, but aside from a 5 minute little shower we had pretty good weather.

Follow-up up our food fest by going to the NE bulldog and everyone else ordered more food!! We finally were able to grab the shuffleboard table (the first time in about 8 visits) and after 3/4 of 1 game had some pricks on our jocks trying to get in on the action (keep in mind I have seen guys run the table for hours before). Dudes need to chill out. I decided I didn't need to be stressed out at my party so I bailed at 11.


The new Bike fest website is finally live


thought I would get out on the bike Saturday but too many errands and prep for the party but I did get out with Liane for a short easy ride Sunday morning.

kind of though that with the lack of school I might get out a little more as well but only found the time on Tuesday. guess we'll see what happens this week.

Weekly Total - 23
Season Total - 344
Miles to Goal - 1179


side note: I got my first pair of bib shorts as an early b-day present and took them out for a spin today and was completely sold on the awesomeness compared to regular shorts. The ones I got were on the low-middle end and the chamois is super comfortable and the construction seems solid. The only issue that I've seen is that the leg grippers are so strong they kind of pull on leg hair if you try and adjust them like I did before the ride (I just don't think I can do the leg shaving thing)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

killer climbs and amazing riders

after the last couple of Giro stages, I have to say that Emanuele Sella might be my new hero. I mean he has ridden these last two mountain stages like they were nothing en route to take 2 stages and solidify his hold on the green mountains jersey. I only wish Soler hadn't been injured as I would have liked to see the 2 of them duke it out.

Ricco for all his smack talk was pretty awesome in today's stage as well, putting in dig after dig on the final climb to dislodge all his major rivals. They might have been able to claw their way almost back all the way back to him, but he definitely put them on notice. It's too bad he is such a poor TT rider or he might have a chance to take the maglia rosa.

Diluca who hasn't looked strong enough to defend his title did look strong right at the end today. I love that he will look like he is just about to crack and then right at the end/steepest parts of the climbs he just has another gear and takes off.

Looks like Astana will be defending the maglia rosa for Contador and with his newfound TT abilities, I really don't see any way for him to lose unless it is in the over the Gavia next saturday. Having that monster climb right at the end of the Giro is just plain mean.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

the race of truth (sort of)

the last few riders are still out on the course, but the TT in the Giro is having the expected affect on the GC with all the usual suspects in the top ten so far (including surprisingly Simoni).

Now I am not an Astana fan, but I have kind of been cheering for Kloden because I think he is a great rider who has always been stuck playing spock or bones to someone else's capt kirk. Given this I was pretty psyched that kloden came in with a huge time to take 2nd with only a dozen riders left on the course so it seemed like team leadership would fall to him for the rest of the Giro (especially since Contador had a broken elbow or whatever).

here is where the drama queen BS comes in though. Contador, whose injury is supposedly right where he needed to rest his elbow for his aero position, comes in faster than Kloden. Why do I get the feeling that all this wringing of hands over his "injury" is similar to someone taking a dive in football soccer to force a red/yellow card.

As Ricco noted, for someone who had such a bad toothache they needed surgery and then took some time off the bike until the last minute call up to the show, Contador certainly seems to be pretty strong so far.

Monday, May 19, 2008

art. yard work. Rascal. NVGP

another year, another Art-A-Whirl over.

Actually made it out a little bit this year......ok so just in the Northrop King where Liane's studio is but at least I made it out this year.

Crowds seemed ok. Fairly busy Friday and a little slow sat but busy by the end. Liane sold a couple paintings so not bad for her.


I thought that with the good weather finally that I would be out riding a ton but yardwork got in the way instead (and the wind on Sunday morning). I love having a house but taking care of the garden and the yard can definitely take the wind out of your sails some days.

In the end it was probably good that I didn't get a chance to ride Saturday, since I rode so much during the week to school and work. Sunday was windy when I went out but I think I was just worn out because I haven't ridden that many days in a week since last Aug/sept time frame.

Hopefully the weather stays nice so I can make up for some of the riding that I missed in mar/apr as well as some of the riding I am sure to miss in June due to the NVGP.

Weekly Total - 74
Season Total - 268
Miles to Goal - 1232


speaking of the commuting I did last week......after aaw Fri, I went to the Triple Rock to see Dizzee Rascal and EL-P.

got there in time to see Busdriver, who I was excited, to see but he just wasn't my thing.

Rascal on the other hand was an awesome show. I couldn't believe how many people knew all his stuff and he worked the crowd really well. I missed him the first time he came to MPLS with the Streets, so I am really glad I didn't miss him again.

Unfortunately I was to tired stay for more than the first 4 songs from El-P but what I caught was pretty wicked.


speaking of the NVGP, it is getting closer and the work for it is picking up.

I spent my free time over the weekend getting content uploaded to the new website which will hopefully launch this week.

my other task is helping to manage the TRIA Your Cycling blog so I am trying to wrap my head around all that is needed for that today.

as for race day(s), if all works out, then I will hopefully be giving live updates via twitter or through the blogs. will depend on access to wi-fi and probably more work than I think it will be (which is a lot) but it should be pretty wicked if all goes well.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

the killer shows a little fire

yesterday's stage of the Giro was interesting.

DiLuca put in a massive attack but Ricco (and Contador) was able to follow with little problem. I wonder if it might be too early in such a tough tour to be going on the attack?

Some seem to think that Contador couldn't keep up at the end but I think he realized there will be plenty of places to grab 5-10 seconds on his rivals. interestingly Ricco had some comments on people who said they hadn't been training and yet were able to respond to such an early attack.

I did like the Saunier Duval technique of sending Piepoli up the road to be there when Ricco went. Very Smooth.

also you have got to love DiLuca's game face.

He always looks like he is about to crack or is really struggling and then he just kicks it up a notch like he did at the finish yesterday.

The next few days don't look like they will shake up anything but the points competition so Wednesday's stage seems to be the next one with some potential to shake things out a little more.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A little bit of this...a little bit of that

Heard a rumor today that I hope is wrong. Word is Twin Six may not continue producing jerseys as the t-shirt market is more lucrative. It doesn’t make sense to me as their jerseys have gotten props all over the joint, so hopefully my source is mistaken.


World Cycling is having their annual(?) Warehouse sale this weekend.

I went to check it out yesterday and walked away much poorer. Got an ’07 FdJ jersey (dorky to wear a team jersey? Maybe, but at least I didn’t buy the matching bibs), a Selle San Marco saddle to replace the awful one on my single speed, and a couple of DVDs for only $10 each (Giro and Flanders ‘05).

Lots of cold weather gear and a good amount of stuff for the ladies as well


Soul Jazz is releasing an awesome dubstep comp next week called Steppa’s Delight.

It is HIGHLY RECCOMENDED for anyone as it has so many big choons.

Kode 9 – 9 Samurai
Plastician Feat Skepta — Intensive Snare
Uncle Sam — Around The World Girls (Tes La Rok Mix)
Shackleton — Blood On My Hands
Joker — Gullybrook Lane (Instrumental)
And many others

The only bummer is that the vinyl editions do not include the Joker tune which is just a crime as that song is just sick.

Really all his productions are just insane, and it is just the way it is that many of the top producers tunes are exclusives and may never see the light of day for us normal consumers, like benny page, seven, and most of the skream and benga productions.


Speaking of dubstep I just have to say that Youngsta has to be the best dubstep DJ hands down. I save his Rinse FM podcasts until I have listened to everything else because they are always just incredible

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Talk about your bad luck

After working all day to make the break stick, David Millar broke a chain when he tried to respond to Pavel Brutt’s attack with 1 km to go.

Normally I would say he acted like a spoiled brat for throwing his bike over the barriers but I kind of think he had a right to be frustrated in this situation.

I wonder what the rule is on his time since he was with the break with only a click to go when he had his mechanical?

The results should be up soon so I guess we will find out then

Update 11:45:
Well it looks like they gave Millar the same time as the last member of the break at 25" down. At least he gained a few seconds on the leaders but that's all he saw out of it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

slip slidin' away

what is with the Giro and crashes? I know the first few stages of any grand tour are a bit nervous and you might see a few crashes but it just seems that the Giro goes above and beyond to fill its quota.

As of stage 4 this is the list of riders who are out already due to crashes (not counting all the riders feeling the effects of crashes like Ricco):
Stage 2 DNF: David Zabriskie (Slipstream Chipotle - H30)
Stage 3 DNF: Bradley McGee (Team CSC)
Stage 4 DNS: Stuart O'Grady (Team CSC)

apparently David Millar didn't crash yesterday but got his shoe ripped off in the scrum and had to go looking for it before he could continue.

Unfortunately today was no exception and there was a crash with about 700m or so to go and a Cofidis rider looked like he broke his collarbone. The video of it made me cringe as he must have touched wheels and went sideways almost catching himself before he went over the bars right onto the shoulder.

That kind of brings me to another point, I don't speak Norwegian but the web coverage on NRK has been awesome. I am sure they get the generic feed everyone does but even if that's the case the coverage has been great. You are right in the peloton seeing all the attacks and people shouldering past others, team leaders yelling instructions, just awesome (and you can watch it free).

Massive respect for Cavendish and his first Giro stage win today. He looked to be boxed in on the right with about 400-500m to go and when Bennati went he was able to swing to his left and take it easily. Cavendish kind of reminds me of McEwen with his ego but he more than backs it up with his results.

Finaly if you have any desire to understand the 11 different intergiro competitions check out the article on Cyclingnews and good luck on keeping it all straight

Since it is so early the GC really isn't set so here are the main jersey leaders (they shouldn't have changed today):
Maglia Rosa - Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas
Maglia Ciclamino - Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas
Maglia Verde - Emanuele Sella (Ita) CSF Group Navigare
Maglia Bianca - Morris Possoni (Ita) Team High Road

Sunday, May 11, 2008

last week on the bike

well it seems like minnesota can't make up its mind because the weather will be nice one day then cold and crappy the next.

I was able to get out for a decent amount of riding but almost all of it was commuting to school and back. Once finals are done I am hoping to be able to get out and ride a little more regularly and most importantly longer. I haven't been able to get in over a 20 mile ride yet this year, just pathetic.

Weekly Total - 51
Season Total - 195
Miles to Goal - 1306

Saturday, May 10, 2008

fashion faux pas?

some might argue that pink with orange and blue argyle is a pretty bad look, but I can think of at least one person who might argue with that:

Congrats slipstream and Christian Vande Velde on taking the maglia rosa.

and in one of the many things I love about the Giro...this year they aren't messing around. Here's day 2:

Friday, May 09, 2008

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Nope its not that the semester is winding down-although after this weekend spent cramming for finals, I will at least have a break for a month. It also has nothing to with the weather finally getting nice in Minnesota. We’ve still got a couple months to wait for warm temperatures and the winds to get under control.

It’s the best time of the year because the best of the grand tours—the Giro D’Italia starts on Saturday. Why is it the best? It finishes around my birthday for one, but more importantly it consistently has some of the most amazing mountain stages around (this year especially with the Gavia coming into play).

I won’t go into too much detail because race junkie has a great primer, but I do think it will be a race of survival this year.

As for favorites or predictions.......

for the sprinters's going to be hard for the sprinters this year with a course that skews to the climbers but Robbie McEwen may have started to peak at the right time. Otherwise I think Danilo Napolitano is one to watch as well. I would love to say the cricket is going to pull it off, but with all the injuries this spring I don't think his form is up to taking the jersey (stage win here or there probably).

For the climbing's hard to argue with Soler as an obvious favorite but he is focused on the Tour so maybe not. The other favorite has to be Simoni in his last Grand Tour. It would be great to see Piepoli take it for all the work he did last year

for the maglia rosa....Simoni is always a threat when it comes to the Giro. With 4 time trials I'm not sure that it is his type of Giro but the mountain stages make him a likely podium contender. Di Luca has been MIA this spring due to his fight not to be banned and lose the 07 Giro so I just can't see him pulling off the back to back wins. With Piepoli as his top lieutenant Ricco can't be counted out in this year's Giro but is he mature enough to win a grand tour and are his injuries healed?

Monday, May 05, 2008

going up around the bend

well I think that after yet another week of crappy march-like weather in April/May we might have finally turned the corner.

Saturday ended up being a pretty great day and Sunday was better. the only down part of the weekend was not getting out on the road bike Saturday. I did make it out Sunday morning for a short ride though. I only had about an hour so I went here:

The rest of the weekend included getting ready to have Jennifer and Monte over for dinner Sat evening, so lots of cleaning and errands to pick up supplies.

We got a couple of awesome desserts from Bellaria Bakery. a dark chocolate mousse torte and a petite chocolate cream cake (kind of like a really fancy hoho). both were fabulous. I also picked up a key lime tart for teh next day and I was less enthused about that. The key lime filling was right on but it was in a regular pastry tart crust vs. a graham cracker crust.

For dinner we made simple quesadillas for apps and our entree was Chicken in Escabeche with onions, carrots, and roasted poblano peppers. We also made a great side dish of Braised Fennel with a Guajillo Chile dressing.

During our errand running we stopped at the Fetus so I could pick up the new Nick Cave which is awesome. I have never been a big Nick Cave fan, liking a few songs here and there, but the new album is great from beginning to end.

Weekly Total - 30
Season Total - 144
Miles to Goal - 1356