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Posts Tagged ‘Road Racing’

Is it me, or is the coverage of the Tour of Utah pretty spotty?

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George Hincpaie rode to 57th place in the 2009 Cancer Council Classic in Australia yesterday. I have to assume George’s big goals for the hour long crit were to check his racing legs and not crash. Job well done. Here is a pic of him in the new kit.

The new kit is starting to grow on me.

The new kit is starting to grow on me.

And here is something you probably haven’t seen, George and Lance riding on different teams.
george-lance

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Doh!

Oh man, there is an evil part of me that loves it when this happens.  Especially when a guy I am a fan of wins it.  Today at the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen, my friend Tom Boonen fresh off of his Roubaix win, started his celebration a bit too early.  He obviously wasn’t counting on Mark Cavendish blowing by him in the last few meters.  It was very reminiscent of Zabel’s early celebration at Milan-San Remo in 2004.  Although Zabel’s pose was much more entertaining.  

On a separate note, I thought it was pretty cool to see McEwen and Cavendish on the podium together.  It’s kind of like seeing past and present versions of the same guy.  Time will tell if Cav is up to the challenge, he definitely has a similar style to McEwen, let’s hope he gets the results too!

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Here is my one sided view of the 2008 version of Paris-Roubaix:

Hincapie and his teammate Roger Hammond position themselves in the lead group

Things look, good Hincapie and Hammond appear to be driving the pace and seem to be as comfortable as possible

Hincapie flats @ 56k to go

The lead group senses this misfortune and drills it

36k to go gap is 1:35 (turn out the lights)

Cancellara and Ballan let Boonen into the velodrome with them, bad idea (turn out the lights)

Boonen wins, Hincapie finishes 5+ minutes back in 9th

Am I crazy, or would it make sense to use some sealant like the kind available from Tufo and others  for a race like Roubaix?  I know about extra weight and so forth, but I think it is obvious that a flat at the wrong time makes weight and the other issues irrelevant.  

12 months and counting………

 

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Kevin Van Impe

This morning I read the most disturbing cycling doping story I have ever read.  No it didn’t involve a cyclist doping, it involved the testers.  I was unaware of this, but professional cyclist Kevin Van Impe recently lost his new-born son.  As a father I can’t even imagine what that must feel like, and my prayers go out to he and his family.  However to add insult to injury, a doping tester showed up to test Van Impe at the crematorium where he was grieving the death of his son.  What is wrong with these people?  Doping controls are important, but there has to be accommodations made for rare occurrences like this.  This is really unbelievable!  Are these people such mindless robots that they cannot adjust their plan based on the current situation?  Do you really think the guy just injected some EPO before going to make funeral arrangements?  C’mon, figure it out!

In a show of solidarity, the riders at Paris-Nice delayed their start by three minutes today to express their displeasure with this situation.

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With the Tour of California (TOC) coming to our fine city in about 3 weeks, I thought I might share my views about the City of Santa Clarita, and how it treats its local cyclists throughout 364 days of the year. 

It is important to note that Santa Clarita is a suburb of Los Angeles, that is located approximately 30 miles north of “downtown”.  The population is primarily made up of what one might have called “yuppies” a decade ago,  and has the image of being somewhat upscale.  To be fair, I probably fall into that “yuppie” crowd, even if I do not think of myself that way.  As a result of our demographics, we probably have the largest concentration of full sized trucks and SUVs in the country.  Apparently a “minivan” is too uncool, and not nearly big enough for most, so the SUV is the vehicle of choice for most.  As you can imagine, Starbucks is pretty popular as well.

With all of that being said, Santa Clarita’s population continues to grow, even with the economic slowdown/recession.  As a result of this growth, traffic is getting worse and worse, making road expansion a necessity.  I fully understand this need, as I drive a car to work everyday myself.  I am certainly not someone who believes that cars have no place in society.  Anyway, the City of Santa Clarita’s answer to our growing traffic problem is to add more lanes to existing roads.  In other words, roads that had two lanes now have three.  Additionally, there are no bike lanes being added at the time the additional lanes are being added.  As you can imagine, this creates an unnecessarily dangerous situation on our local roads.

When this activity started last year I became concerned.  As a result of my concern, I still don’t really know how it happened, I was contacted by one of our fine traffic engineers.  I have to say, this guy had the people skills of cardboard box.  But it was nice to see that he took the time to call.  In a nutshell:

Me  “Hey I am concerned about the extra lane being added to an already dngerous road.”

Him  “We added an extra 18″ to accommodate cyclists”

Me  “Wow, I am wider than 18″, and I am only 160 pounds.”

Him  “We get maybe a hundred bikes through that area a day and thousands of cars” (I thought 100  bikes was a lot)  loooong pause

Me  “So the cars win?”

Him  “Yes.”

Me  “Thanks for calling”

My point.  The City of Santa Clarita is more than happy to reap the financial and other benefits associated with the hosting of stages 6 and 7 of the 2008 TOC, while during the rest of the year they could care less about local cyclists trying to use our local roads.   I would love for the city to become truly bicycle friendly by making some very reasonable accommodations for its bicycle riding citizens.  Nothing major, maybe some bike lanes and “share the road” signs to start.  I figured this would be a good time to bring it up. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

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