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« Better Late Than Never | Main | Fear »

June 26, 2007


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Great article Sara! So glad you had time to write. Makes me really happy. (Uh oh, she's gettin' gushy....must be that funeral I went to).


VERY INTERESTING Topic today Sara! I've always thought that elite athletes hormones and such must be totally whacked from 'normal' people (ie: couch potatos). I JUST had my bi-annual physical last week...and the Dr is a cyclist (rides a Lemond carbon...NICE BIKE!)...we chatted a while about the various happenings (mostly about Floyds case)...and I mentioned that recently my hemocrit level has been slowly dropping from a few years back (when I wasn't riding much or as hard). I used to qualify for the R2 machine (takes 2 pints worth of red blood cells, puts back most of the fluid along w/ some saline to compensate for volume)...but now I barely qualify to just donate a pint! Anyway...the Dr. says that a drop in hemocrit level is normal as you work-out more/ harder...(which seems backwards from you would think it should be...working harder, the body makes MORE, not less!) I can't imagine what elite athletes (in any sport) must be going thru. NO WONDER they are toying w/ EPO and such! The Dr. also said that as far as he knows, EPO is safe IF USED CORRECTLY...and isn't really any diff than if you sleep in an altitude tent...both artificially enhance your bodies rbc count...but one is considered cheating and the other isn't. He thinks they (WADA/USADA) should just go to a simple hemocrit level test..if you are over the max, you don't race..pure and simple. It's a quick test...a simple finger stick, fill that tiny little tube, and spin it in the centrifuge...takes about 2 minutes. NO suspension or anything if you fail, you just don't get to ride in that particular race. Next race: another test..if you are under the max, you are good to go. Simple, effective, fair to all. You now have a Level playing field (in this one respect at least)'d get elite performances with no danger to the athletes health. I know this will never happen, but it sounds pretty reasonable to me. AND It would be a whole lot easier/cheaper than what is happening now. And as they test is done BEFORE the race, you don't have someone win and then be disqualified...the winner IS the winner..what a concept! Are you listening Dick Pound?


OH...and btw are looking FINE w/ your Serotta steed! You GO Rocket Girl!


I agree with Matt -- you look awesome with your jersey, bike, and shades T!! Your 'double standard' comment cracked me up, Matt. You're right, though. I don't think Floyd or Brad would take kindly to you giving them a smooch ;) After we went to the FFF and my husband sent a few people the pic of Cat and I kissing Floyd, they (jokingly) asked him why he wasn't kissing Floyd with me. He replied that he thought he might be able to get away with it in Europe, but would probably take a beating here LOL.

I was so glad to see your post today Sara, as I'd been amazed while reading about that last evening. The craziness of the doping saga is never ending! I've always wondered myself whether the hormonal reaction to all of the factors you mentioned is completely understood or not. I'm no expert and sometimes have difficulty following all of the scientific debate on these topics. To my mind it seems like it could be a possibility, though. I'd forgotten all of the hoopla surrounding some of those tiny little gymnasts at the last summer olympics, but you're right that it would stand to reason that something similar could be happening here.

This CRACKED me up!!!
"Now, let's not forget that we are talking here about adult males who spend eight hours a day in a tight huddle with a bunch of other sweaty men before heading back to the hotel room to sleep in a room with a bunch of other guys. Adult males who wear spandex for a living and shave their legs. They're not exactly the type that you imagine to be dripping with testosterone (regardless of what danger Dick Pound imagines that local virgins are in)." Thanks :)

Greg you are unbelievable (and *maybe* just a little crazy)!! LOL I am in awe of your ride this weekend - thanks for sharing! I did a sea to summit bike ride in Hawaii a few years back. OH, WAIT.....that was summit to sea. Not sure if it counts the same way to ride the 10,000 feet DOWN the mountain ;P


Sara, great post today! And it does make you realize that there's a lot we don't know about the way the body deals with that level of physical effort. Matt, that's interesting conversation that you had with your doctor. And he makes sense to me!!

Thanks for all the kind words about my pics! My bike is built so that it's pretty versatile. We can put wide knobby tires on it and I can go off-road or trail riding; it's a cyclo-cross frame. With a fork that allows for the different tire sizes. And I was wondering Greg, what kind of bike you are riding on these death rides of yours???


And it's now officially announced: Disco to the Tour of MO! Miss T, go stake out a few good viewing spots for us along the route, okay??? I will hope to attend!


Yah, Disco! Now we need CSC; Predictor-Lotto; and T-Mobile!! And of course, our North American domestic teams !!


Great article today, something to think about. I imagine that your comments about wearing spandex and shaving their legs and not dripping with testosterone would leave some serious cyclists highly amused.

Janann- I did the Volcano ride a few years back also- it was awesome. One day I intend on doing the sea to summit there also (yes, as a matter of fact I am crazy).

My road steed is a Cannondale Six-Thirteen (composite) compact cassette with a 34 chainring 27 rear cog low end gearing (as much as my Shimano can give me). This is my first real high end bike and I'm absolutely thrilled with it.

Lastly- MD was amusing today about his cautioning the readership not to become too incensed if TDF newcomers to the blog post inane comments- hello there- that's why we are here!
Its all good!


Hey Greg, I think MD's comments had a HUGE amount of tongue-in-cheek going on. Surely you didn't miss that? As did my reply about keeping Catherine and Theresa in line... needless to say, I'M the one who (many might think) needs to be kept in line! All in jest, and yes I agree it's all good. Lately the silliness has returned over there and if Marty were truly concerned he wouldn't contribute to it (telling us about how he and Austin draw the line at shaving each other's sitbones) . I think it was just a joke. :)


I guess I came across as a little too serious- agreed that MD has lightened up more lately and encourages lot more general silliness. He hasn't had a serious column in a while now (my favorite was running with his father from a while back) which I miss on occasion- he has a great ability to look inward and bring the reader in on a personal level that I appreciate. As far as keeping you, Catherine and Theresa in line, big mistake- I look forward to the off the wall anything goes (well there is some degree of appropriateness that has tended to keep the commentary below shock jock outlandishness thankfully).


Maybe I mis-heard ya, Greg. Whut-ev. But all hell has broken loose back over at MD's if you ask me. Of course I'm having nothing to do with it! Those people just don't know how to act in public! It's just horrifying. Tsk tsk.

I'm just glad I'm grown up and mature...


Hey! I forgot to tell you, we have the luck of the Inane going on here! Or perhaps it's the luck of the admiring, adorant, apotheosizing, awestruck, believing, cultish, deifying, devoted, faithful,hero-worshiping, idolizing, in awe, pietistic, reverent, romantic, sentimental, supplicant, uxorious, venerational, and worshipful, Floyd lovers!!

But, ladies and gentleman, I followed your footsteps to the Church of Border and found (drum roll) ONE SINGLE COPY of "Positively False" on the shelf, in a sea of Lance books. What is it with Borders? Or is it just us??

Off to read.....


Well, Greg, how about a picture of this fine bike?? Sounds great! Although I leave the gearing to my mechanic that built my bike! I told him on a ride that someone from another shop had aired my tires; he misunderstood me, and I thought he was going to come unglued! Then I said it was just airing my tires; and he calmed down!lol He even watches the guys at the shop if they are doing something to my bike and he's there! It's so cute! But he built the whole thing and came up with the parts based on what I wanted. If you noticed I have funky handlebars, I didn't want drops(because I'm afraid of them!) and this handlebar is titanium and very different.

God I forgot to read Marty today!! I got caught in the rain when I rode before work and then my Floyd book showed up from Amazon, and my team poster of CSC! Christian Vande Velde is WINKING in the picture!! It's great!! And a little bigger than I expected!!lol


Man, cat; you have a great vocabulary!!! The church of


Theresa, I'm sure Catherine has a HUGE vocabulary, but there's a little tipoff to me in that all those words are in alphabetical order! I smell a thesaurus in the vicinity, Miz Catherine! But it's okay, I'd need one too for that many synonyms :)

Theresa, I know I told you in email but I'm saying it again here to everyone else, you look AWESOME! And your bike is gorgeous. I covet it.

I still haven't gone to look for Floyd's book, but at least I know where to find it now, maybe. Maybe those are some kind of teaser copies to get people looking for them, kind of like they did with Cabbage Patch dolls when they first came out... created a big frenzy of people wanting them when otherwise no one would have noticed them so much. Supply and demand, comes to mind...and my high school economics teacher Mithter Lee who had a lithp when he talked about thupply and demand and economicths...


Well, Camille, thank you for the compliment. And our Borders had 7 copies. Didn't even check B&N since Julie told us where she got hers!


(whining) but Camille, I only picked the one's I knew!

(actually, I did know all of them, but only picked the one's I liked....I was looking for an antonym and fell upon this list and just loved it!)

I take full credit for the Church of Borders (harumph).

(see, Ms T does know how to make Happy).


Alright, T, bring the happy, 'cause I need it! No Floyd on David Letterman, and rather more distressing, no DZ for the Tour. :-( And maybe no Bobby J too, but at least he still has a shot! Way to encourage DZ's incredible work at the Dauphine, Bjarne. :Ppppp


Wait! The CSC story just disappeared from Cyclingnews, maybe there's still hope???


I taped David Letterman, and found no Floyd. Bummer. And Julie, what did the story say about CSC, DZ and BJ??? What about Christian??? Even the CSC site doesn't have the Tour picks posted!!! And I want DZ at the ToMO!! I hope he's not riding the Vuelta!! Maybe, He's going to focus on the 1week stage races; I read something about that....somewhere....
I want my Americans in the Tour!!!!


I don't think CVV was on the list, but don't quote me on that. There were seven definites, and four others vying for the remaining two spots. BJ was in the four, so not out, but not in yet. Definites were the usual suspects - Sastre, Voigt, F Schleck, Cancellara, O'Grady, Kroon I think, and maybe Arvesen? Not sure on the last two, getting them mixed up in my head with the other three in Bobby's bubble group.


Theresa, I don't think DZ will ride the Vuelta because it seems that he would defend his TT title at USPro, which conflicts with Vuelta. Then if he wasn't riding the Vuelta and CSC was riding the ToMO he would be a perfect match!!

BTW I will go to Interbike this year and get you kids some swag. I run around and get so much stuff (autographed posters mostly) that I usually end up tossing it, but if I have a mission I will be more thoughtful!!

DC announcing team in just a few minutes--I will post names as soon as I hear them in the press conference.


OH - I'll be seriously bummed if DZ isn't in the Tour! I know that they want the strongest team possible, but sheesh -- he is a yellow jersey wearer and his performance in the mountains this year was AWESOME!! That would be a big let down....

You keep lobbying, T, and get as many good americans there as possible for the Tour of MO! I can't wait! Very excited that it worked out for us to come down for some stages.

Article on Velonews with Johan talking about Levi:
I'm really hoping that he can be right in the GC mix this year with such a strong and experienced team behind him. I'd LOVE to see Levi do something really great there!

OK, I FINALLY got an email from Amazon saying that they were ready to ship my book. Boy, SOOOO glad that I 'pre-ordered' it in order to get it right away ;)

Sara, any way yet to let us see your 'Fear' article?!?! Pretty please :)


Oooooh! Thanks Cathy!! The suspense builds......


Sorry for sounding overly-nationalistic! I MEANT North Americans!

Cathy I thought of that scheduling; but I remember an interview with DZ that said he love to just ride the America tours this year. You never know how much of what he says is just talk; but it sounded like a kernel of truth. I'm anxious to see the final line-ups so I can cheer; or get over my disapointment!

Cathy, you're a sweetie, your knowledge always settles me down, and gets me to stop over-reacting!
And SWAG would be WAY cool!! I still have "dog stuff" everywhere and I haven't trained with dogs in 10 yrs!!

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