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March 23, 2009

Comments

Matt

I heard he crashed on CNN of all places, just an hour or so ago. Man you know you've made it as a cyclist when your crashes make CNN! How very sad though...surely will put a crimp in his pre-Grand Tour training. But this just shows how LUCKY He was over those 7 TDF wins...that he is NOT immune to these types of things. To go 7 straight seasons with NO injuries from crashes is pretty remarkable.

Barbara

Incredible to watch the video and realize that in all those years, we've never seen Lance sitting by the side of the road holding his arm, getting loaded into the ambulance.

Remember when the guy who interviewed him for Vogue asked him, "What if you fall off your bike?"

Theresa

That's exactly why he never did any of the classics! And Stuey is out of the classics, because of crashing in M-SanRemo.

But, I really was interested in how he'd do in the Giro.
He's out for 4-6 wks, when's the Giro start?

What about Floyd's crash before 2003 Tour de France, and Johan wanted he back on the bike before rehab was done????

okay, I'll stop being a bi*#h...............

Theresa

Oh, I just had a flashback, remember George in the Roubaix when his bike broke?? That was unfair!!

janann

Yeah, who could believe a rider's broken collar bone would be covered by both the local and national news this evening?!?! When else would THAT happen ;)

It is indeed amazing that he made it through so many TdF rides without a serious injury -- he seemed almost charmed. BIG bummer if this will take him out of the Giro and/or Tour! Here's hoping that he heals quickly and is riding again soon. Let us know if you hear anything, Cathy!

Dang....doesn't Stuey just have the WORST luck??? That is one *tough* guy to keep coming back over and over and over again.

REALLY thrilled for Cavendish though - what a GREAT win!! He always has such great praise for his team too. George knew how to get him just exactly where he needed to be for that win. Awesome teamwork!

Matt

It is an awesome win for Columbia! Remember just a short while ago when Cav was the punk on the block? Unproven, all full of himself...put him under the wing of somebody like Geroge and look what he's become! Ahhhh George...is there such a thing as a 'Cycling Hall of Fame'? If so, HE should surely be in it. SUCH a class act! I sure hope he can WIN one of the classics this year! Theresa...I vividly recall Georges crash..his carbon stem snapped right off, and he was literally holding his handlebars right before he took that header on the side of the road (didn't he dislocate or break his shoulder?) And he was poised to win too! He sure deserves a win. As to Lance, the Giro is in May..so he still has time..but this time to heal is VALUABLE and he won't get it back...he was racing back into form. However if ANYBODY can comeback to Grand-Tour winning form quickly, it will be Lance.

Matt

Hey...if you haven't checked this out over at Velo News yet, it's a nice piece by Michael Barry on the Miilan-San Remo race...VERY NICE!!

http://velonews.com/article/89586/michael-barry-s-diary---the-road-to-san-remo

Rae

Thanks for the link, Matt, that was a very good piece. Amazing what good writers some of the pros are.
Stuey "Timex" O'Grady equally amazing, poor guy!

I remember George's crash, that was the first time I saw that race--and I remember the snarky ad that Cervelo made shortly after (something about testing on equipment that mimics the jouncing of cobbles, so their bikes won't fail unexpectedly--remember?)

I've been looking for a photo of the MSR finish that actually shows the arrival at the line (not just after, which is all I've found). I think that Haussler maybe really hit the line first by about a centimeter, but Cav's oncoming speed surpassed him in that instant. Not that it matters what I think, and not to denigrate Cav's achievement in any way; it is just an interesting puzzle to me. (I cheer for Columbia and George over Cervelo anyway)

Rae

Oh I found a clear picture, Cav definitely had it but so close!

Barbara

Thanks for the link, Matt - this is great reading for anyone who is trying to understand the dynamics of bike racing - the breakaway, the peloton, the domestiques, the lead-out men, and what it takes to win. And all that stuff that happens off camera.

Which reminds me of a story I read in some rider's blog on the TdF a couple years ago, about how the guys have little contests like throwing a used water bottle into the open window of the team car. I'm lucky I can drink while riding at what passes for speed in my world.

Sara Best

Barbara - I still can't drink while riding my bike.

cat

I smell spring....

Theresa

You are right on, cat!

Tyler Farrar is out for the classics, too! He separated his shoulder.

It's unbelievable how lucky Lance was during his winning streak. He can be ready for the Giro, but not in winning form. It's exactly 6 wks. Johan says he can do it, if the collarbone is a normal break!

Theresa

OMG, Michael Barry's writing is getting better and better.
That was a awesome article about MSR.

CMehl

Lance is having surgery Wed morn in Austin, to have a plate put in and hold him together. We have a full transcript of tonight's press conference about it. The break was worse that orig thought but he still thinks he can ride the Giro. He's a tough guy--he'll heal fast.

OT: Did anyone watch Pres Obama's press conf tonight? As I was sitting there watching and listening, ALL I could think of was "Thank God George Bush is not our President anymore!" The very thought of him dealing with the issues at hand makes me realize I'd probably be packing up and moving to New Zealand by now!

cat

right on cathy!

janann

I was thinking the same thing Cathy & Cat!

Wait......we can even be "off topic" here??? ;)

Barbara

Staying on that tangent - Does anyone watch Rachel Maddow on MSNBC? She's my new (for the last 6 months) girl crush. Last night, she said, with great glee, "Who put the grown-ups in charge again? - Oh, right, WE DID!" This is how I feel every time I hear Obama speak. Like when he said he didn't come right out with a reaction to the bonuses because he likes to know what he's talking about before he voices an opinion.

CMehl

Barbara, I really liked that comment too! I laughed with my husband and said, "Wow, what a concept!" I like how most of the reporters (in a way) try to start something with him, to put him on the defense and he's cool, calm and collected! Love it!

Okay we need to talk about AI. I know a few people are watching and I've tuned in the past few weeks after skipping all the prelim stuff. There are few enough singers now that I can remember them! Motown last night was great--I think my favorites are Adam and Allison, but I like quite a few of them in general: Danny, Matt and Lil (except last night-she sucked). Tonight I think Megan or Scott need to go. But the talent this season is super good and because of that I hear the best judging of all seasons. They give solid advice and critique performances, really giving the contestants valuable info if they listen to it. And I did have to acknowledge that my inability to remember almost anything has to do with those song lyrics permanently taking up space in my brain....I knew all the words to all the songs last night! ;-)

cat

Barbara, I don't know Maddow, but I couldn't agree with her more! Every time I feel worried or concerned about the current state of affairs, I listen to him speak. What a soothing sound. That combined with his "hot" marriage (yes, it is important cause the "hot" is real and grownup) and the smartsmartsmart brain is what keeps me thinking it will all be OK. How did this country finally pick a real live Presidential person to be in charge?? OK, I'm gushing.

Will Lance really be able to ride the Giro? I know they all say it only takes about 6 weeks for them to heal a collar bone, but his sounded pretty grim. Besides...OW! Yes I know he is a tough, but still. I think the reason he finally broke something is cause he finally rode in a "blue collar" race. You know, the ones that run over normal crappy roads with far less control? That particular stretch looked so narrow (and broken up), I don't know how the whole peloton avoided going down.

CMehl

You guys need to become friends with Craig Geater on FB and then go to his photos. Take time to view all of his Trevor adventures--start with the oldest one, work through Tour of California, Belgium, pub crawl, most recently Italy. Craig is our mechanic and he takes this ceramic gnome with him and creates stories about him. At Tour of CA he got kidnapped, held for ransome (by two riders!)....really funny stuff!

Matt

OK...I've been REAL busy at work these last few weeks, but have FINALLY put together my report on the Solvang Century ride we did 2 weeks ago (Greg, Paul and I) did 2 weeks ago. Sorry it took so long, but better late than never! It's a long read, so grab some coffee if you have the time. And Awaaaaaayyyyy we go!

Greg (my brother if you recall) and Paul came up to our house the evening before per our tradition, and Jeannie made a HUGE pot of spaghetti and meat-sauce. We feasted ourselves to the bursting point on that and pretty much drained 2 nice bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon from one of our MANY Central Coast wineries…(VERY tasty!) Saturday morning brings a quick breakfast and we hit the road. We met the other 3 riders of our group down in Solvang at 7:45 for our projected start time of 8am. Last year we left at 7:30, but this year it was technically like we left at 7 due to the time change being the week BEFORE the century this year. And it was indeed cold at that hour…I think around 42 degrees. Now to many of you that is probably a nice spring temperature and you are in shorts and T shirt...I will tell you it’s friggin COLD to us!

The first 20 miles were a blur as we rode like maniacs to get warm. I jumped into a speedy group that passed us and next thing I know I’m at the first support stop minutes ahead of our little group. AND I was toasty warm, sitting in the middle of about 30 or 40 riders all hammering away. If only the next 80 miles would be so easy. We took a short break (food, water and porta-potty’s) and hit the road again, still rather chilly. No sun out yet either. This leg is where my arch-enemy Mr. Wind typically rears his ugly head and beats us down, and this year was no exception (other than it MIGHT have been a tad-less than prior years). But we have now lost 3 of our group, as they didn’t do nearly as much training and decided to drop back and ride at their own pace. So now it’s Greg, Paul and I, with Greg and I mostly hammering away taking turns at the front. Paul seemed more than happy to let us beat each other up. This is now like a boxing match...a title fight with 15 rounds. These early miles are like the early round body blows...they don’t do much right away but will surely take their toll in the later rounds. We are trying to wear each other down, only Greg is MUCH better prepared this year than last (I’d venture to say he was slightly stronger than I, but I’ll never tell HIM that!)

The 2nd support stop at around mile 40 is JAM PACKED! We need food, water and porta-pottys again, so have no choice but to deal with the lines. We regroup again with our lost comrades and again set out... and they once again drop back right away. The 3 of us now head into the direct headwind for the leg into Santa Maria. We are making pretty good time, with Greg and I taking long pulls and Paul again holding station in the back. One lone rider (who looked QUITE strong) passes us and we quickly bridge up and get on his wheel. We wait and wait for him to pull out and take a break (he knows we are there) but he doesn’t. At one point he drops us, but we again bridge up and hang onto his wheel. He appears to be tiring and we pass, mentioning to him that we’d be glad to have him join our little group taking pulls (he’s clearly stronger than we are). So he takes us up on that... for one turn. Next time he’s in front he pulls away and drops us. DANG he was strong! So we hold our own and finally catch him a few miles up the road. He mentions that he was ‘intending’ to do the entire century with NO HELP from anybody...said that was like cheating. What a stallion!! But we finally get ahead of him and seem to hold our gap. As we finally make the 3rd support stop in Santa Maria, and the sun FINALLY peeks out from the clouds! So we take off the outer layers (hooray!) exposing pasty white arms and legs to the sun! Looks like it’s going to be a nice afternoon for the southbound leg down Foxen Canyon. We regroup again and head out in formation. Once again we quickly lose the others. Not far out of Santa Maria is the 4th support stop, which we have decided to skip (it's barely 13 miles from the last stop). We are now blazing along heading south into the beautiful vineyards of Foxen Cyn. Even though we are slowly climbing, the speed stays pretty high with help from our new friend Mr. Tailwind! (I have to imagine that Mr. Headwind HATES his goody-two-shoes brother! But WE sure love him!!!) The ride is now thru rolling green hills on a nice 2 lane country road, and LOTS of cyclists! We pass many, get passed by few. But Mr. Sun chooses to go away once and for all, and the temps start dipping rapidly. We hold out stopping until the 5th and final support stop to put the outer layer back on..BRRRRR! Regroup again and head out...we are now very near the official START of this race! We climb up the infamous “Wall”, and sprint down the other side towards Los Olivos. A large group of riders gathers with us for the crossing of Hwy 154 (which is where the race truly begins). Traffic gives us a break and the group speeds across. Immediately after is the first climbing switchback turn of Ballard Cyn (this part of the ride is the 2nd half of the Tour of CA Solvang time-trial). I’m not expecting it when Greg jumps out of the saddle on the very first hairpin turn, drops a few gears and pulls away like he is on a friggin Harley! I have no choice but to chase. Paul shouts out “Go get him Matt..kick his A#$! But he’s got a good jump on me. I hammer away and see him start to slow, and bridge up just as we crest the summit. He’s in the lead as we RIP down the sharp turn on the backside and are just flat-out flying by other riders in our full-on race for glory! I stick on his wheel like glue and wait for my chance. Finally I get it. A sweeping right descending turn that he’s not too familiar with. I pay him back and quickly put in a 50 yard gap. We're riding like crazed maniacs! I'm trying to stay away, Greg's trying to bridge up. FINALLY after a mile or 2 he’s back my wheel. We both back it down a bit, still flying by others in the rolling hills. Another climb comes up just a few miles from Solvang, and my left thigh cramps up on the climb. Greg pulls away taking advantage of my pain, paying ME back with his own 50 yard gap. He’s now riding like a man possessed trying to holds this lead into town (which would make him the WINNER!) But there is NO WAY I’m going to let this stand. I maneuver around on the bike for a position where I can pedal hard without cramping (WAY back on the seat..keeping the leg as fully extended as possible works). I can see he can’t hold his furious pace and I make ground, FINALLY bridging up just 2 miles or so from town. I pull alongside and we are both chuckling...then he sits up and says “how about we call this year a draw?” to which I decide is a great ending. (Note: there are MANY more riders on the road in these last few miles, and somebody would get hurt had we continued our insanity ride thru this crowd). So for safetys sake 2009 is a tie (that and we were both whipped!)

We ride into town together feeling pretty beat, but knowing it was a great battle and neither having anything to feel bad about. So now we are 1-1-1. (2 years ago Greg spanked me, last year I paid him back, and this year the tie). It was a great fun day, and afterwards we sat and ate tasty bbq'd brats at the start/finish area along with a nice large mug of Firestone Double-Barrel Ale. Ahhh..not sure if/when brats and beer have ever tasted better! After that we cruised the variuos vendors and oogled over the cool bike stuff. (BTW: have you SEEN the bamboo bike frames by Calfee? MAN are they an absolute work of ART!!!) Then we said our goodbyes and Greg & Paul headed south and I went back north...with another years ride in the history books.

And there you have it...MY account of this years event. Oh...something we noticed after the ride: 600 miles between us and not ONE flat tire or mechanical issue. Pretty impressive! All in all another banner year! Ya'll should plan ahead and come out for this ride sometime. Everybody is so friendly! Think about it!!
OK..back to work for me. Have a great weekend everybody!

larry

OK, admittedly I'm colorin' outside da lines here, but we're sending a boy down there to win the RACE Across America. Real cyclists those men and women. A broken collar bone? Surely yea jest. That's why we have two. ;-)

Cheers, Larry

ps does Camille still hang out here?

cat

Hi Lar, pretty much nope. But she used to hang out at Marty's place. Try emailing her. The collarbone break was not a clean one. Essentially crushed and required a plate and 11 or 12 screws to hold together. Does "sending a boy down" mean a son or another Nova Scotian?

BTW, I sent ya'll the Livestrong video that Lance emailed this morning. Didn't see anyone mention it so thought you might not have seen it.

cat

Sounds hilarious Cathy. Wish I could get into FB.

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