The rumor that will never die

February 24, 2010

A Grand Tour stage in the US?  Wouldn’t that be great?  Seeing the best riders in their best form competing on US soil.   On top of that, having them compete on the East Coast, in my back yard. 

Each time I read this story, I pause for a moment and let the feelings wash over me.  I always wanted to see the Giro.  Who would have thought I could see it via Amtrak vs. Continental Airlines?  The possibilities.  We could top London as the best place to launch a Grand Tour.

Then in the blink of an eye, reality sets in and those feelings are washed away.  What are they crazy?  A 3,500 – 4,000 mile transfer across multiple time zones? 

Well, cycling news is the latest to report that the RCS Sport  is looking to start the 2012 Giro in Washington DC.  Thanks for the thought fellas but let’s think of the racers.  I don’t think having the Tour of California and the Giro both running simultaneously in the US is a smart idea.  Let it go. There is a danger that if you talk about a topic long enough, you begin to believe it is possible.

Then again, remember Live Aid a few years ago? Phil Collins played on two continents on the same day.  Maybe Lance can race in two UCI races on the same day.  Think of the publicity.  He rides the prologue, which could be held at a private airport, then he climbs aboard Air Lance and jets to the West Coast. Brilliant!

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Cross France off Floyd’s vacation list

February 17, 2010

Mr. Harden, it’s my duty to inform you that the larceny of an equine is a capital offense punishable by death, but you can rest assured that in this court a horse thief always gets a fair trial before he’s hung – The Westerner 1940

As things do, this story is finding its own level.  It seems that AFLD Director, Pierre Bordry over stated his authority.  Shocking that the French anti-doping authority would try to do such a thing.  I guess France is still reeling over their loss of influence over anything outside their borders.  They may see doping investigations for their Tour de France as a way back to relevancy. 

Pierre, now says that if Floyd chooses to return to Fench soil, he may be asked to come to suburban Paris to answer questions to a judge chosen by AFLD. Maybe the CIA can resurrect their New Earth Army program because Floyd has the incredible mind to match his athletic abilities.  He can win the Tour de France and rival Kevin Mitnik in computer “security” circles.


Just when you think it is over

February 15, 2010

Floyd Landis is back in the news. If you remember, back when Floyd was fighting for his professional life, he had copies of multiple files from the Chatenay-Malabry lab.  Those files showed how poorly samples were handled and multiple mistakes made by the lab.  It seems that those files were also stolen.

Four years later, the French want to talk to Floyd about his part in the hacking.  An arrest warrant was issued after Landis ignored a summons sent last November.  An international warrant was also issued for Dr. Arnold Baker.  I have no idea what this means for the rider who just recently left his US based team OUCH (now United Healthcare). Just as he was looking good on the bike again.

Maybe this is in retaliation for Roman Polanski?


DVD Review

February 13, 2010

Like many of you, I hate the trainer. The worst day on the calendar is when I have to remove my skewer and screw on the trainer skewer. With each revolution, I feel my mood darkening. Then when I take the walk to the basement, I can hear the line from The Green Mile. “Walking the mile, walking the mile.”

I have gilded my cage with a TV and DVD player that are designed to keep me just this side of sanity line. Each season, I bring a fresh new stack of DVDs to the basement to set the right mood. The 2009 Tour and Giro join stalwarts like Breaking Away and the one day classics on the play list. They help pass the time but I still have many days where I stare at the cyclycomputer wondering why time passes sooo slowly. This year I added a new DVD to the list and I want to tell you about it. That movie is called Bicycle Dreams.

The film by Stephen Auerbach chronicles the 2005 Race Across America. As I mentioned above , I watch a lot of cycling videos I have seen many riders in their share of pain. This was different. Riders ride over 300 miles a day forgoing sleep for almost two weeks and their pain is mental. To watch a determined stare go vacant in the matter of a few days, touched me. The most compelling scene was when Jure Robic, who had all but won the race, wanted to quit because he could not call up an image of his wife and child.

Lance Armstrong is quoted in the movie saying extreme athletes are running away from something. I saw much of that. Others I saw running towards something. There are many stories in this race and not all of them have a happy ending. In any RAAM, approximately half do not finish. The most tragic is that of Dr. Bob Breedlove who thought each day was “another day in paradise.”

Mr. Auerbach’s movie has garnered multiple film awards and received rave reviews from national publications including USAToday. All I can add to this list of reviews is that I could not turn the movie off. I set out to ride an easy 45 minutes to an hour on the trainer. I ended up doing riding the full length, including the credits. I never even glanced at my computer for a time check.

This is a must have on your winter DVD list.