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Will Covid-19 derail Froome’s goal of five Tour wins?

Chris Froome is a man driven to secure his legacy as one of the Tour de France greats and join the select club of five-time winners. In May, he'll be 35 years old and time is quickly running out. With a global pandemic shutting down or postponing the Spring classics and Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France may now also be in jeopardy. The coronavirus might be an adversary he can't vanquish. Two years ago in the Tour, it was Sky teammate Geraint Thomas who prevented Froome from taking his fifth title and earning the right to be mentioned along with Jacques Anqutetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain. Thomas was stronger and Froome was not quite at 100% after his astounding come-from-behind win in the Giro. A year later, Froome saw his Tour chances destroyed again in a [...]

2020-03-24T12:40:25-07:00March 24th, 2020|Featured|

Locked down and riding in a freezing garage.

  Out my backyard windows there is 6 feet of snow on the deck. There's another six to nine inches on the way. We're on the Covid-19 lockdown here in the Sierra mountains of California. It's been a week now and yup, I'm officially stir crazy. The house is cozy but small and with temps in the low to mid 40's, there's just not much to do outside except shovel snow. All the ski resorts are closed and the town is begging people not to go backcountry skiing -- there's no room in the hospital for that. I've already organized the garage, stacked a half cord of firewood and dragged the old Kurt Kinetic trainer out from storage under the house.   As far as I know, you can still legally ride a bike up here. I've saw one guy [...]

2020-03-23T12:20:36-07:00March 23rd, 2020|Featured|

Rohan Dennis joins Ineos, upset with un-aerodyanmic scarf.

Rohan Dennis left his Bahrain-Merida squad last season because he was apparently upset that the racing equipment and team clothing didn't met his obsessively high standards. The current World Champion in the Time Trial has joined Team Ineos this season but has already endured a frustrating moment. While attending the OGC Nice versus Metz soccer match, Dennis was unhappy with the free OGC Nice scarf he was given. According to an unnamed source who was at the event, the well-know perfectionist took out a tape measure to see if the scarf fit his specifications for fit and aerodynamics. It seems the offending scarf was three millimeters too long in length and failed to hug his shoulders tightly so clear air could pass smoothly over his body. "He thought it was a scarf that would hold him back, in terms of [...]

2019-12-09T14:13:26-08:00December 9th, 2019|Featured|

NTT Pro Cycling to replace Rolf Aldag with Algorithm

Has Performance Director Rolf Aldag been replaced by a mathematical algorithm? Is the experienced German, who has guided top riders at Garmin, BMC Racing and Dimension Data, another victim of artificial intelligence? By all appearances, the sad answer is yes. Team Dimension Data has now rebranded as NTT Pro Cycling and along with the new name and kit is a new approach to raising performance levels. Aldag left the squad at the end of the 2019 season after a major disagreement with team owner Doug Ryder about whether sprinter Mark Cavendish should be on the Tour de France roster. Aldag said yes, Ryder said no, and then Aldag said goodbye. Curiously, the NTT website still lists Aldag as Head of Performance but the news for the team is analytics. They claim to have "created the most technically advanced team in the [...]

2019-11-22T12:01:38-08:00November 22nd, 2019|Featured|

Bernal and Tour de France. Is Froome his Badger?

Three-time Tour de France champion Greg Lemond has some pointed advice for Egan Bernal. "Please, Chris Froome is not your friend. And the moment that you give a victory away to him, it will be a loss for his career and his life. Do not do that,” Lemond told VeloNews. Lemond is still suffering major flashbacks and PTSD trauma from his teammate and captain Bernard Hinault stealing what could have been his first Tour de France win in 1985 and then the Frenchman essentially lying about supporting him in the 1986 Tour. It makes Lemond very agitated when he hears the news that Bernal is quite happy to ride for Froome in the 2020 Tour despite the Colombian being the reigning champion. “I’m sorry, Chris Froome’s at the end of his career and this guy’s at the beginning, he should [...]

2019-11-21T15:37:24-08:00November 21st, 2019|Featured|

Indurain puzzled by Movistar talent drain.

Five-time Tour de France champion Miguel Indurain is "puzzled." He simply doesn't understand what's going on at Movistar, Spain's only WorldTour squad. "I’m puzzled by this abrupt change of direction as it’s a team that normally maintains a very stable structure of riders," said Indurain. Yes, we can readily understand his sense of bewildering confusion. "Nairo Quintana has gone, and Richard Carapaz, who won the Giro d'Italia. It’s a strategy Movistar didn’t follow in other years." He might also have added that Mikel Landa decided to skip out of Movistar for a new contract with the Bahrain–Merida Pro Cycling Team. There's no argument that Quintana has underperformed over the last few years. Since a meteoric rise that took him to second place in the 2013 and 2015 Tour de France, he's struggled to be a factor in the grand tours -- [...]

2019-11-20T10:40:45-08:00November 20th, 2019|Featured|

Pickle Juice. The cyclists miracle cure for cramps.

  I used to suffer terribly from cramps after a hard bike race or ride. I'd get screaming painful leg cramps in my quads and hamstrings. Years ago, I'd be driving back from a race and suddenly cramp so brutally that I'd almost get in an accident, as I jerked the car off the road and fell to the ground in deep pain. Sometimes, my legs would cramp up in the middle of the night and I'd end up standing in the dark living room, digging my fingers so hard into those muscles to try and stop the pain that I'd end up with dark bruises. It was agonizing and no matter how much water or gatorade I drank, the cramps were inevitable. Then, my genius wife started googling around for natural cramp remedies for cyclists. That's when I discovered [...]

2019-11-16T12:29:11-08:00November 16th, 2019|Featured|

Bernal goes full Mao for Shanghai, China bike race

I happened to come across this curious image of current Tour Winner Egan Bernal, helping to promote the Shanghai Criterium in China. He's wearing a Mao jacket and cap, the full communist leader outfit. Which, depending on your opinion of current political events, might be considered surprising or tone-deaf. Given the explosive news stories about continual mass protests in Hong Kong and the battles with Chinese police, it might not have been a brilliant idea for Bernal to dress up in Mao regalia. Here's wikipedia's description of the outfit: "The name Mao suit comes from Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong's fondness for the style, so that the garment became closely associated with him and with Chinese Communism. Mao's cut of the suit was influenced by the Stalin tunic then prevalent among Soviet officials." They always say that pro cyclists live in [...]

2019-11-16T11:52:13-08:00November 15th, 2019|Featured|

Good news for Ineos: No Bardet or Nibali at Tour

  While four time Tour de France winner Chris Froome continues his rehab from injury, one thing he won't have to worry about are two former Tour rivals. Today, Frenchman Romain Bardet announced he would skip the Tour after six editions to switch things up and ride the Giro d'Italia. Bardet has been second twice in La Grand Boucle but had a dispiriting performance in the 2019 edition where he was never a factor in the high mountains. "It's not a decision I've taken lightly," Bardet said, "but it's time to do something different." So cross the little French climber off the list of potential Tourcontenders -- not that Froome, Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas are exactly worried. They've won the last three Tours and have a physical and financial stranglehold on the race. In short, Bardet has decided he [...]

2019-11-13T10:59:12-08:00November 13th, 2019|Featured|

Is pro cycling dying in the US?

The wheels are coming off pro cycling in the United States. This week, we learned that the venerable Tour of California is officially taking a one year hiatus. Which is a euphemism for "never coming back in any form we'd recognize." That's an unlucky 13 years running and then not. It would seem that a well-run race in the beautiful state of California that was a favorite with both riders and fans would have the strength to continue. However, once again, the deeply flawed financial model on which pro cycling is built is simply not a sustainable proposition. Even with the support of ASO, the organizer of the Tour de France, Paris-ROubaix and other major events, California rides off into the sunset. And in a piece of disturbing irony, ASO announced in the same week a new stage race out [...]

2019-11-13T11:00:11-08:00November 7th, 2019|Featured|
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