All roads lead to California

First the gold rush, then the Dodgers and Giants, now professional cycling. Not a moment too soon. The Amgen Tour of California is nigh and we seem to have a fairly good mix of riders. We have:

  1. Top ProTour Americans who want to look good
  2. A native son who wants to win
  3. Good representation from the international cycling community tuning up for the Spring Classics
  4. Local US Continental teams looking for a little publicity

Perfect recipie for a great race. Having local racers increases the chance for “The break that got away.” ProTour riders/teams have gotten too good at marking each other preventing breakaways in these short stage races. At that level, a break could create a winner. Local riders generally do not post a serious threat to the overall and therefore may get some room to run.

Look for American riders to go at each other from the gun. There are no “training” rides once the smell of home cooking hits their nostrils. On the down side, we do not have a defending champion back which is very unfortunate indeed.

All in all, Let the Games Begin!

On a personal note, I need the motivation. I just came off a cruise ship where I left any progress I made during the winter. They just keep feeding you! Is it possible for my feet to gain weight, even my shoes feel snug. Now you know why my previous posts were short. I was paying by the minute for Internet access. It’s good to be back.

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7 Responses to All roads lead to California

  1. Debby says:

    Welcome back! Too bad the cruise ships don’t have crit races around the decks!

    The new issue of Velo News came packaged with a guide to the T of C. I was really dismayed (though not surprised) that Floyd was absent from their coverage (though prominently featured in an ad from the folks who made his new hip!). Whatever is or is not going on with the TdeF situation, he did win the Tour of California last year fair and square, and if the sponsors aren’t confident in our UCLA labs’ testing (proof that Floyd rode clean), then we’re in worse shape than I thought.

    I’ll enjoy the T of C anyway, as it means that Spring and the New Season is here!

  2. Ed says:

    Jim, what was the justification for the ruling yesterday in which the crashed riders were given the same time as the winners, when the crash happened several kilometers from the finish? Phil Ligget and the boys were surprised that Levi didn’t lose his one second lead and fall to like 60 seconds back in the GC.

    Was it because the pace of the peloton had picked up heading into town and the turns more dangerous?

    I think it’s great for Levi to be in yellow, but is appears like some home cooking going on.

  3. pelotonjim says:

    Basically, it was a judges’ decision. Call it the hometown rule. I didn’t know that they had the authority to do so but, they did. The college of commisaires stepped in fifteen minutes after the race finished, announcing they were extending the UCI’s three kilometer neutral rule (giving all riders within the same time in event of a crash) to where the crash occurred, some ten kilometers from the actual finish.

  4. Ed says:

    10K? Maybe that was because the had already entered the Santa Rosa circuit finish. Seems to me it would be hard to justify extending the 3K to 10K in a straight finish.

    Is it just me or is the channel name “Versus” irritating? I liked OLN much better.

  5. pelotonjim says:

    My feeling exactly. I think the circuit finish was deemed unique enough to warrant this bending. I’m sure Santa Rosa resident Levi being helped had no bearing on the decision.

    As for Verses. I hate it too. How much did they pay an agency to come up with that name?

  6. Ed says:

    It’s like they want to foster the image of competition rather than getting off the couch and getting outside…thus, Outdoor Life.

    Does that mean there won’t be anymore hunting, fishing, hiking, climbing, or exploring shows?

    Not that I’ll miss fishing shows. To enjoy fishing shows, you basically have to admit, “I’m so lazy that I don’t even have the energy to sit and fish, so I’m going to sit and watch somebody else sit and fish”.

    My wife gets irritated that I refuse to use “Verses channel” with anything but derision and ridicule. I still say “OLN”.

  7. pelotonjim says:

    There is hope. I always called the Oakland Raiders by that name even when they took a trip to LA. Now they are back and I’m proven right. Hopefully OLN will listen as well.

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