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« Tour of California - Stage Five (ITT) | Main | Tour of California - Stage Seven »

February 23, 2008



I must admit, when I heard the result, I thought "I can't wait to hear what Sara says about this!"


have been waiting to see the glee.... and the reason for the penalty. was telling my friend of your fondness for cavendish..
although it looked as if horner was getting some decent hang time while collecting those bottles earlier..

Sara Best

Can you imagine how PISSED he must be? I bet he threw the hissy fit to end all hissy fits. You know what kind of temper that boy has.

I asked Cathy to keep an eye out for screaming and fill us in later.

It's wrong that I'm this happy, isn't it?

Sara Best

Cathy actually said that she thought I might have put a hex on him.

I didn't...honest...I can't help it if these things work out this way ;)


Okay, let's take a poll: who in the IA didn't immediately think of Sara when Cavendish first "won" and then who didn't burst out laughing thinking about Sara's reaction when he "didn't"!!!!

I was at the podium presentation waiting for it to begin when my Blackberry buzzed and Sara's report was ready. (She's fast, that girl, she has been a god-send). We had just been told that the podium was being delayed because the commissaires were meeting on a matter. A buzz went through the group and some photographers were saying they saw him hold onto a car. I texted back to Sara to hold on, maybe he wasn't the winner. Then I was able to tell her he definitely wasn't.....I was so pleased to make Sara's day! Versus had already interviewed him and everything, he'd even dedicated the win to his girlfriend whom he hasn't seen in a month. THEN at the press conference it was buzzing that High Road wanted to know why the UCI bent the rules for Levi last year in Stage One (crash in the circuits) but not for Cavendish today. I yelled out "Because Sara said he's not worthy!!" Only the last part was made up--the rest is the scoop and you've heard it here first! Levi lost Gusev today, broken collarbone, but everyone else is doing well. GO ASTANA!!


I pretty much believe that people 'get what they deserve' in life...though you don't usually get to SEE IT HAPPEN...(every once in a while you actually get to see some asH$#@! GET HIS just deserts, and it brings a smile to your face). Not that I'm saying thats what happened all depends on your perspective I guess...I'm SURE Mr. Cavendish doesn't feel that way! Anyway, such is life.

T...your gearing question from add to Fritz, I push a 53-12 (the 53 is the front "Big Ring) and the 12 is my smallest-high speed gear on the rear cassette). I can get some pretty good speed w/ that, many are going to the 11 tooth now (which was made to go with the new 'compact' gearing that has a smaller big ring..usually 50 teeth...that way you get roughly the same 'top end' high speed gear). Of course, the only time I push my 53-12 is when you hear the pros are pushing a 55-11 (and prob on the flats too)...that is indeed a HUGE FREAKIN GEAR! I could only push a gear like that if I went off a cliff I think. Many riders won't ever even use their 53-12 if they have it. And if your cassette is geared for REGULAR JOE climbing (ie: not a cyborg pro) then you might have say a 12-27 cassette gear spread...(or even larger). STANDARD road gearing is a 53-39 up front (big ring/little ring) and maybe a 12-23 (or 25 or 27) on the rear. Thats prob WAY more info than you wanted...but there it is. (oh, and I also like the Rock Racing commercials...they are surely the BAD ASS team...and their kits look pretty BAD too! I like it...kind of stirring up the cycling pot...which can use some good stirring right now if you ask me).

And LindaLoo...I didn't have your personal email or I would have included you on my pics from yesterday. If you have any of the 'regular' "Inmates" email addx, shoot them a message and see if they have mine..and I will get you my pics.

Oh..and I saw yesterdays coverage today..I WAS on for a brief moment..right near the David Millar was just past the half way point, climbing the hill...going thru some s-turns on the climb, and there I was...sitting in my little chair on the left side of the road w/ my tripod (looking in my camera getting his shot)...and a guy in a yellow rain jacket and a guy in a red jacket standing right behind me..and my "Let Levi Ride" road-chalk barely visible for a brief moment as he passed over it...that was my 1.5 seconds of fame apparently (hey..I WANT my remaining 13.5 seconds!) Maybe next year.

And Cathy, hope you had a BLAST riding in the team car for Levi are really rubbing elbows with greatness these days! Just remember the little people!


..."I'm not really that mean. I would actually feel sorry for the guy if he hadn't lost it for cheating..."
not mean, just a little naive, ...cheating? come on, he sprinted faster than anybody. you can draft a team car for a little bit trying to get back in, if he had a mechanical from the crash, he can hold on to the car while working on it, give him a break, calling him a cheater is not cool


Hi All,

Sara, I normally enjoy reading your posts and the comments about those posts, but I just think you are a little too hard on Mark Cavendish. Yes, he held onto a car today, but so do most of the rest of the peloton, you just don't normally hear about it. Also, it's not like Cavendish didn't put the smack down on the rest of the guys. I get that people think that he is a cocky, young, whippersnapper or whatever, but the fact is that he is fast. Pagliarini can't possibly think that this win is really legit. He got completely schooled in the sprint. I guess I am really tired of hearing about how much of a POS Cavendish is. I know this is your blog, but I would like to enjoy coming back to read your posts. I don't know if I can if I have to read about this constantly. I've heard many on here talk about Floyd as a hero but we know that he is a worthless sack, much worse than Cavendish.


Everyone is entitled to have their favorite riders and those of us who are long-time readers of Sara's blog know she doesn't care for the Markster, which is what made the entire thing so damn funny. A true champion needs to ACT like a champion and Cavendish comes off a little too whiney for some of us. I know he's just a youngster but maturing a little would go a long way in bolstering his image, IMO. I saw him at dinner tonight--he wasn't hanging his head so I think he'll survive. And yes, he broke a UCI rule (Mario was also fined and relegated) so another way to phrase that is cheating, especially when one goes on to win the stage. In the press conference Luciano said he likes to win "with his hands up, not this way" so he knows he didn't outsprint MC, but he still got the win. He also said, "I'm happy, but I'm not happy." Live and learn--I bet MC gained some valuable experience today in Santa Clarita.


"I've heard many on here talk about Floyd as a hero but we know that he is a worthless sack"

Uhh, Jim...are you sure you're on the right blog? Just curious...most everybody here is a Floyd believer. (Of course, everybody is entitled to their opinion, but "Floyd is a worthless sack"?) Apparently you believe he cheated. Did you by chance actually READ the minority decision from the Arb hearing last spring? Just curious...anybody who actually believes he cheated please go back and re-read Mr. Campbell's Legal Analysis, specifically section J. ("The Document Package Supplied in Support of an Adverse Analytical Finding Does Not Comport with Known Science.") I mean, Dr. Amory WAS USADA's Go-To-Guy for doping analysis (at least until he VOLUNTEERED to testify for Floyd that the results from LNDD were utter crap and did NOT show that he cheated!) For the Majority decision to not even acknowledge his testimony means they were basically saying one of 2 things: a) Sorry Dr. Amory, you are just plain WRONG as WE (2 of the 3 chosen Arbitrators) know more about your field of expertise than you do; or b) sorry Dr Amory, you must have been lying. To read his testimony and not at least acknowledge a reasonable doubt, and then go ahead and wreck his career is just plain criminal! Why on earth would he, a Medical Doctor, and a Professor at the Univ of Washington, VOLUNTEER to testify FOR Floyd? I'm sure USADA wasn't very pleased by that turn of events, but they apparently had the decision already covered. But now it's in the hands of the CAS (except for the fact that even if they were to find for Floyd, he STILL won't be able to race IN France, as THEY have deemed him guilty no matter WHAT comes of the CAS appeal)...that sounds fair, doesn't it! No political issues there, oh no.

But enough on that...Todays issue: did MC 'cheat' to get back in the Peleton? The VS coverage didn't show any of it, but he (and 4 of the 5 Rock Racing guys) were standing (or lying) around after the crash. We saw Cippo straighten his bars and remount, while MC was still standing around waiting for a new just how did ANY of those guys get back up to the peleton (considering the BLISTERING pace they were holding with just over 3 miles to go)? There's just no way they did that without help. Cheating? Call it what you want...was it against the rules? (And did he get caught)? Seems so...what would YOU call it? We don't know the extent of it, as it wasn't shown..but it must have been a SIGNIFICANT pull to get them that far back. (The peleton speeding away at over 30mph, he was standing around for a pretty long time, seeming long time) fast would he have had to ride without help to get back near the front? And just to set the record straight, I don't actually recall ANYBODY here calling MC a 'POS' (to quote from Sara the other day "I've never claimed that the kid doesn't have talent - he does. It's the cocky attitude from someone who still has a lot of dues to pay that bugs me.") Lots of riders have amazing talent but rub people the wrong way w/ their actions and words. And so far, MC has been falling into that category. The good news is Cathy's report that he "wasn't hanging his head at dinner tonight", so maybe he IS growing up a bit. I'm sure willing to give him the benefit of the doubt...we'll see how things go over the season. A little humility and grace in your wins (and losses) goes a LONG LONG way. Do I think we'll be seeing a lot more of him in times to come? Sure do. Maybe George Hincape can coach him a bit. He can't do much better than that for a role model!

And a final note: It was strange to see Boonen on lead out for another rider...what was THAT all about? I thought HE would be going for the win...seemed a perfect setup for him...must be more there than we know.

Nice post (again) today Sara! So very sad that there is only ONE MORE DAY left in our little race. Then on to Europe.


Cathy's right -- I think ALL of us thought immediately of Sara while watching the finish (and epilogue) of today's race :)

OH -- and what Matt said!


Yes, I immediately thought of Sara! MC doesn't push my buttons like he does some people, but I agree with Matt, when I saw Mario and Mark back up front I wondered where the hell they came from. Mario, has no patience for Mark, did you see the little chat after the finish? But, I didn't read where Mario got penalized too,I'm sure that's because he didn't win the stage. But Mark is a fast little bugger, he just needs to mature, and humble up a bit. George will be a good teacher.
I personally was worried about Freddie. He came back to the states because he was burned out in Europe;IMO, and he goes down in the first big race. I hope he starts today.


OK, where did my comment go???????!!!
Okay, short version....I don't think Mario likes Mark C. much. Did you see the little chat, as Mario rolled by after the finish? I think Mark is the fastest little bugger I've seen since Robbie McEwen. And when I first started watching cycling, I found Robbie very annoying. Now I love him!!!

I was worried about Freddie. I hope he starts today.

Oh, and yes, I am a Floyd Landis lover and supporter...what Matt said!


Damn, there's my first post!!!

I was just thinking of someone last year that got penalized for drafting back to the peleton. The poor guy was stuck behind all the team cars, and I was bummed about it...can't remember who it was....or what race....oh well...


Did you guys see that a female watched the entire Quickstep team shower while waiting to drug test Kevin Hulsmans? Maybe she wanted to get a look at Tom Boonen! Hulsmans wasn't happy about it.


Floyd is in the house! I just walked through the expo to get some gifts for the family and turned around almost running right into him. Got a big hug instead. He looks great!


Didn't Levi get docked at the Tour last year for holding on to the team car after a crash as well?


Oh, and not only did I think of Sara when I read about MC, but I also immediately thought of her when I read CN's story about the female inspector watching the Quick Step riders shower. Anybody else have a hunch it was Sara posing as an inspector? C'mon, it's not that much of a stretch?

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