Monday, October 20, 2008

Drop like a Rock

So here we see Cunego, Horner and some A&S guy attack over the Civiglio.

Not even the live TV or tickers could quite catch what was going on, but as Sammy Sanchez dropped like a bomb from the Civiglio, Cunego attacked Horner and the A&S guy. At this point I'm not sure if the racers themselves knew Cunego was off the front.

The chase group came back together before Brajkovic and Uran made the move for 2nd. Brajkovic posted up like he won something. Classy win for Cunego.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Russell Stevenson Rides Again!

Noticed this on the Cyclingnews ticker a few days ago. Russell Stevenson, last of Benaroya Research Inst. is once again dipping his toes in the water of pro road racing. This time with Inferno Racing, who show mostly at crits on the the east coast. The pro/am Inferno is apparently going full pro next year as Kenda Pro Cycling.

Russell's covered a lot of ground in the past 5 years going from HealthNet in 2003 to founding the BRI team in Seattle as well as moonlighting as Shimano's NW sales rep. I assumed he was done for, it seems lately he only rides crits and 'cross, apparently he's got some road races left in those legs.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Best Week of the Year

For those of us that get up early enough to watch choppy streaming video of European road races, this coming Saturday is the best thing to happen since March 22 (Milano-San Remo, duh). Yes ,it's the final ProTour race, and the last of the 5 Monuments, but the Italian Monuments are something special. They're won with style, by attacking hard, 6 hours in, over the Madonna del Ghisallo. While the Northern Classics define grit, the Italian Monuments define class.

The race also happens to be in about the coolest part of the world, Lake Como, right where Switzerland and Italy run together, a stone's throw from Milan, down the street from George Clooney's house.

Lombardia has been won by guys like Bartali, Coppi, Gimondi, Merckx, Moser, Saronni and Bettini. Ballers. Every one of 'em.

***10.16 Prediction Update***
The favorites: Kolobnev(CSC), Cunego(Lampre), Horner(Astana), SammySanchez(Eusk) on a sick downhill attack.

Dark Horses: Brajkovic(Astana), Bruseghin(Lampre), anyone from Liquigas, Gesink(Rabo) If he doesn't lose contact on those descents (remember Paris-Nice?).

Cadel Evans will be in the mix, he will not win.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Essence of Conservatism

Ahem, this has absolutely nothing to do with bikes. But I'm running the show, so here we go.

While I wasn't expecting to find a lot of common ground with the McCain campaign, though I do agree that there should be much more focus on nuclear power, his latest line of attack on Obama is especially perplexing. This whole Bill Ayers guilt-by-association thing strikes me as quite odd. Bill Ayers life appears to be something that a true (intellectual) conservative would hold as an example of the true good that can emerge when people face the consequences of past actions, reevaluate their life and dedicate their energies and talents to a productive cause. All without any assistance from government or social safety net.

From what I can gather, the core belief of conservatism is that a man left to himself will better achieve his full potential (intellectually, economically, emotionally or otherwise) when unencumbered by governmental or societal influence.

So here we have a man, Bill Ayers, who was involved in some very unfortunate episode during a very tumultuous time. His behavior was so bad that he had to go into hiding for over twenty years.

After that time in hiding, Ayers emerged as a tremendous source for good as a social justice advocate, and distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He helped the mayor reorganize Chicago's school system, helped write a grant that won $50 million for the Chicago's schools and was even named Chicago's 'Citizen of the Year' in 1997.

So he did bad stuff, disappeared and without any assistance from 'the man' or 'the system' he got straight and now has a distinguished record of contributing immensely to the common good. Oh yeah, and he happened to host a fundraiser for an up-and-coming politician named Barack Obama, who was in elementary at the time Ayers's transgressions were committed.

Yes, Mr. McCain obviously has a very deep-rooted, visceral reaction to one of the most famous opponents of the Vietnam War. As a presidential candidate, HE ISN'T FIGHTING THE GODDAMN VIETNAM WAR. To stake his campaign on rehashing his problems with old war protesters seems misguided. Following this line of thought, McCain is either telling us that events that happened forty years ago are more important to him than those happening right now, or that his political platform has absolutely no intellectual foundation.

Never mind the fact that McCain spent the 60's graduating at the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy, and then crashing several planes paid for by American taxpayers.

Anyways, there's only one good choice for Prez, and I'm betting on a big party November 4. But there's also a Senate race here in Oregon that could be pretty close. Vote for Merkeley, too.

I'm gonna add more to this, but for now I'm going home.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Various and Sundry Predictions

- Lance will not ride for Astana. Livestrong p/b Trek, Oakley, Nike etc.

- Vinokurov coming back is probably the best thing that could happen to Lance from a marketing standpoint. I imagine if the Kazaks insist that Vino rides for Astana, it could give Bruyneel the out he needs to take his operation elsewhere. I can't imagine any big races letting Vino in, he got off with a bullshit 1 year suspension because he "retired".

- Or the Great Nike/Trek/Giro/Oakley Bicycle Racing Team just buys out the whole thing.

- Contador leaves Livestrong, can't be on Astana because they won't get into any big races with Vino. Who has the budget to bring on a triple Grand Tour winner in Dec./Jan?

- Quickstep.

- Unless a Spanish team can step up big time. And they usually can't.

- Come April and July, Quickstep will be so happy Schumi got popped. Contador probably got the first phone call. Then Bettini.

- Bjarne Riis could render all of the above totally meaningless. And probably will.

- Bettini rides for Riis. Think about it. Just think about it.

- Contador vs. Basso vs. Lance Think about that.

I need some local dish sent my way.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sweet Silver

This is old news by now, but definitely worth a post.

Mad props to Svein Tuft for taking 2nd in the World Champs TT. That 2nd came after a puncture and bike change. Svein's been around forever and races the right way. He's a tough as nails rider and a total class act. It's great to see him at the top of the sport.

Svein definitely deserves a place in the world's biggest races. Now he's riding for Garmin, so I hope he gets some big starts.