Basso will win the Tour

July 1, 2011

Why Basso?  Well, I started with the favorites and started eliminating riders who would not win the tour.  That left Basso as the only man standing. I know that is not really a ringing endorsement but that’s all I have this year.  Here is my thought process.

Contador.  Now that Contador is in, everyone is jumping on the Spaniard’s bandwagon.  I’m not so sure.  I think those bandwagon jumpers will be saying “Where’s the beef?” three weeks from now.   I just don’t think you can win the double (Giro and Tour) in this day and age.  The last rider wo did so was Marco Pantani in 1998 and he had a little help.  Even with pharmacology, he needed a faltering Jan Ulrich to take the jersey.  I’d rather look at more recent examples where riders who fared well at the Giro were spectacularly absent from the Tour.  The most recent example is Ivan Basso who, for the first time in his career, is skipping the Giro to focus on the Tour.  Why should I argue with him.  Bottom line, you can’t have both.

Andy Schleck.  Those who are not falling in behind Contador are going with Andy Schleck.  I fully understand that and I will put Andy on the top of my list of picks from the heart.  My problem is I look at the TTT and the Individual Time Trials and I can’t help but hear the quote from the famous Ty Webb.  “You’re not good Andy, you stink.”  So Andy will play the role of PouPou again this year.

Levi is losing the race against father time.  If he had a couple of years back he could sneak a peek at the podium and maybe even the top step.  I’ll say it flat out, I have never been a believer in Cadel.  The temperamental Aussie is good at most disciplines but not great at any.  I don’t see him even on the podium. Bradley Wiggins is more of a top five finisher, not a real contender.

An unexpected podium visit may come from Rabobank’s Robert Gesink.

So that leaves Basso.  He knows how to win and he is finally focused on this race.  While not a great time trialist, he is good enough not to lose the Tour in the race of truth which should be enough to win the Tour.


39 ticks of the clock.

July 27, 2010

I remember talking to someone who does Marketing for Major League Baseball. He mentioned that one challenge was to keep people talking baseball during the off season. That is why you see MVP and Cy Young awards as well as other activities in the dead of winter. Get people talking about your sport all year round. Well, I’ll give you 39 reasons we will be talking about cycling long after Mother Nature has our bikes up on rollers or trainers. That is the 39 seconds between Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck.

How can you not believe in a higher authority after this year’s tour. That 39 seconds can’t be a random coincidence. It has to be part of someone’s grand plan. That someone has one heck of a sense of humor. Attack, drop chain, replace chain, lose 39 seconds. Have the time trial of your career and lose by….39seconds. If the margin was 38 seconds in Paris then you may have some people griping. Have it be 40 seconds and the other side can say that the Stage 15 decision didn’t matter. But spot on 39 seconds? Both sides have the fuel for a long debate.


Tour Predictions – My Fave Five

July 7, 2009

I know we already started.  I jotted this list down on the plane home from vacation.  I could make some changes after Cadel Evans lost over two minutes today and Lance is looking like a top 5 contender, but I’ll leave it alone.

  1. Alberto Contador ( surprised?)
  2. Andy Schleck (Don’t screw up the time trial)
  3. Roman Kreuziger (I don’t know, I just like him)
  4. Levi Leipheimer (Serving two masters will take a toll)
  5. Cadel Evans (Sorry mate, this is where you belong)

Apologies to Carlos Sastre, Lance Armstrong and Frank Sckleck.  Carlos, your team is not very strong so you’ll lose time in the TTT and have little support in the mountains.  Lance, I don’t think you’ll have the snap to stay with Contador on his attacks. Frank, your brother is much better.

Give me your Fave Five


What does ASO do with Astana now?

June 3, 2008

You have to think that ASO president Patrice Clerk and his lieutenant Christian Prudhomme are wringing their hands after the defending Tour de France Champion Alberto Contador won the Giro D’Italia.

I figured I would take a look at the reasons given for excluding Astana from this year’s tour. In order to do that, I’ll pull some Shakespearean quotes. Why Shakespeare? Well, as my high school English teacher said. “Shakespeare loves a bloodbath.”

Back on February 13th, Christian Prudhomme announced that Astana and Contador would stay home this July. His reason?

“The damage caused by this team to the Tour de France and cycling in general, both in 2006 and 2007 led to their exclusion.”

Hmm. So T-Mobile who had two past winners involved in doping will also be excluded?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

T-Mobile first cleaned house. But, so did Astana. Ah, T-Mobile changed it’s name. That must be it. Teams that keep their name are excluded.

CINNA THE POET
Truly, my name is Cinna.

First Citizen
Tear him to pieces; he’s a conspirator.

CINNA THE POET
I am Cinna the poet, I am Cinna the poet.

Fourth Citizen
Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.

CINNA THE POET
I am not Cinna the conspirator.

Fourth Citizen
It is no matter, his name’s Cinna; pluck but his
name out of his heart, and turn him going.

I guess, just like the play Julius Caesar Astana is being killed only for their name. But wait, What about Cofidis? This group did not change their name?

I’ll end with a quote from The Taming of the Shrew.

“Asses are made to bear, and so are you”