It dosen’t get any better than this

August 25, 2006

As you might recall, George Hincapie was robbed of his overall victory of the Tour of Benelux. Well, team management complained and protested. What else is new. So, how do you respond in a unique way as a rider? How do you keep the memory of the final 100 meters of injustice? Well cyclingnews carried the best story in its by- line. George, if I ever get the opportunity to meet you, drinks are on me!

Hincapie’s second place trophy ends up in Zwolle

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports that George Hincapie’s trophy that he received for finishing second in the Eneco Tour has ended up in a bar in Zwolle, The Netherlands. Bar owner Theo Dragt got the trophy from Willem Boverhof, a Zwolse journalist who happened to be parked near the Discovery Channel team in Ans after the final stage.

After what happened in the final sprint, where Hincapie saw his chances of victory disappear after a spectator pushed Stefan Schumacher into the American’s front wheel, one of Discovery’s soigneurs was thinking of throwing the trophy out of the bus on the way home. Boverhof ‘rescued’ it from an ignominious fate, and it is now ensconced in a bar in Zwolle.

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Speaking of a job interview

August 25, 2006

Jakob Piil who was left out of CSC’s Vuelta squad placed second in yesterday’s GP Industria & Artigianato – Carnaghese in Italy. The winner by one second was Barloworld’s Felix Cardenas.

While the field did include the likes of Stefano Garzelli (who already signed with Acqua e Sapone for two years)  and Frank Schleck, it seemed to be a day off for the big names as they prep for their final campaigns of the season.

Jakob, on the other hand, has a contract expiring at the end of this season and has had probably his worst season as a pro. He missed most of the season due to injuries. Good luck Jakob!

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Felix Cardenas (Barloworld) beats Jakob Piil to win the GP Industria & Artigianato – Carnaghese
Photo ©: Fotoreporter Sirotti


Bicycling is good for the economy

August 25, 2006

I meant environment, didn’t I? We all know that riding your bike to work is good for your health, environment, and saves a little gas money in the process. But the economy? The answer seems to be yes!

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On the front page of today’s USAToday, cycling is the outdoor recreation activity that generates the second most jobs in the United States. Here are the figures:

  1. Camping 2.3 million jobs
  2. Bicycling 1.1 million jobs
  3. Hiking 716,000
  4. Fishing 587,000
  5. Snow sports 567,000

So, if you want to save the world, ride!


Floyd Landis ends his silence

August 25, 2006

Normally, I avoid Bicycling magazine since it is closer to Men’s Health than a real cycling magazine. Next week, I will need to trudge down to the newsstand, act like a 12 year old boy trying to buy a Playboy, and pick up a copy.

Bicycling has scored an exclusive interview with Floyd Landis. The Bicycling website has published a segment of the interview which is sure to drive sales records for the Rodale Press magazine.

I’m sure there will be no “60 minutes” type questions, but I’ll bet it will be worth the price. Maybe I’ll talk my wife into picking it up.

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Discovery Channel no longer has an “Ace” up its sleeve

August 25, 2006

The dismantling of Discovery Channel continues. The Lance Armstrong era is definitely over. Retired is Viatcheslav Ekimov, gone is Manuel ‘Triki’ Beltran (to Liquigas), and now fellow Portugese rider José ‘Ace’ Azevedo is leaving the team. Over his three year career with Discovery Channel, Jose demonstrated to be Lance Armstrong’s most trusted lieutenant in the mountains. He clearly filled and even surpassed the legacy of Roberto Heras who previously served the role on USPS.
Procycling reports that Acevedo is leaving “spend more time with his family in his home country.” Within the last month, three of the famous Blue Train that are leaving as Discovery retools for the future.

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Jose seen here sharing a toast with Lance Armstrong at the 2005 Tour.


A three week job interview

August 25, 2006

I’ve had interviews that have lasted a few hours. I thought they were rough. Normally the Vuelta provides little in terms of high drama as compared to the Giro and the Tour de France. I consider it a weaning off race as I prepare for the winter post Worlds. This year, I may pony up the 20 Euros to catch the race on cycling.tv.

There are a few sub-plots this year. First is Phonak. The embattled team is winding up it’s life at the Vuelta. They will send Aurélien Clerc, Ryder Hesjedal, Nicolas Jalabert, Steve Morabito, Uros Murn, Luis Oliveira, Miguel Angel Perdiguero, Florian Stalder, Steve Zampieri. Normally, this set of nine riders would not raise an eyebrow. In this case, I expect the kind of aggressiveness that only desperate men can show. My only concern is wondering if my interest is sporting or the kind of voyeurism saved for passing a car wreck.

The second draw is Astana and Alexandre Vinokourov. Vino claims that he is more interested in the World Championships. I believe that he believes that to be true. The course suits him. While on paper it looks like another course for sprinters, those who have reconnoitered the course say it is more difficult and prone to classics and breakaway riders like Bettini, Wesemann, and of course Vinokourov. My pick, Fränk Schleck.

The problem is I think once Alexandre gets the bit in his teeth, his blood will start running hot. Normally an aggressive rider, Vino now has motivation to fuel his innate aggressiveness. Let me ask you this, when has Vino ever showed an ability to show restraint in a race? Do you think with all that has gone on since late June, he can start now?

I thought so.


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