Monthly Archives: September 2013

World Road Championships – Valverde, Hero or Schmuck

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Man, was that race yesterday in Italy great or what? Nearly 7 1/2 hours of riding in torrential rain only to be decided in the last 100 meters. There were so many crashes that Cadel tweeted from the hospital wondering who was left racing because so many riders were there. The course must have been super slick and dangerous, but I’m going with shitty bike handling because of carbon rim breaking.

Anyway, the last lap was out of control. I thought that Joaquim Rodriguez, (Spain) had won the race twice. The first time on his first attack where he distanced himself from the last riders standing. It took a super human effort by Vincenzo Nibali, (Italy) to bring him back. I wonder what the difference would have been if Rigoberto Uran Uran, (Colombia) wouldn’t have fallen on the 2nd to last descend and there would have been another guy in the mix? Anyway, there was only Alejandro Valverde Belmonte, (Spain) and his Movistar team mate from Portugal, Rui Costa, left to duke it out.

The 2nd time I though Rodriquez had won was when they went around a corner with less than 2 km to go, Rodriguez leading and Valverde sitting on his wheel. Valverde sat up and Rodriguez was gone once more. He looked like he had the race in the bag at that point. This is when it started looking screwy.

Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa, jumped from behind and Alejandro did nothing. That was strange. There would be no reason to mark Nibali because Valverde could smear him in a sprint and that is where they were at in the race. It was amazing how quickly that Costa rode up to Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is blaming Valverde for the loss, but Rodriguez played it horrible in the sprint. He should have sat and started on Rui Costa’s wheel. Costa’s initial jump was all that separated them at the finish. Worse case scenario is that they play cat and mouse and Valverde reconnects and wins.

Anyway, Spain finishing 2nd and 3rd is a great result for one country, but Spain had that race in the bag. Makes you wonder if Valverde was thinking he was in a win-win situation. Either his Spainish team mate wins the race or his “real” team mate wins the race and brings the jersey back to Movistar. Valverde had played the perfect team mate, giving Joaquim more than one chance to win the race. But, he is going to be all the focus because of how it played out in the end. Only Alejandro will know the true answer.

The Spanish national team coach, Javier Minguez isn’t too pleased. He said – “Joaquim raced fantastically well, but Valverde made a serious mistake. If Rui Costa goes for Purito, he has to go after him. If he had done that, he’d be in the rainbow jersey now.”

“He should have chased down anything that moved – even the television motorbike.” That is great, even the motorbikes!

Whatever that answer is, it was a epic World Champhionships with a great finish. Here is the Cyclingnews report.

I thought this was the decisive moment with only 2 km to go.

I thought this was the decisive moment with only 2 km to go.

Here are a couple unhappy Spainish guys.

Here are a couple unhappy Spainish guys.

Cadel's tweet.

Cadel’s tweet.

Elite Men’s World Road Championships

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It is raining cats and dogs and the race is completely shattered. No British riders left in the race with an hour and 1/2 left to go. Should be a pretty incredible finish.

World Road championships Results

1. Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA (POR), in 7:25:44
2. Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER (ESP), at :00
3. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE (ESP), at :15
4. Vincenzo NIBALI (ITA), at :15
5. Andriy GRIVKO (UKR), at :31
6. Peter SAGAN (SVK), at :34
7. Simon CLARKE (AUS), at :34
8. Maxim IGLINSKY (KAZ), at :34
9. Philippe GILBERT (BEL), at :34
10. Fabian CANCELLARA (SUI), at :34
11. Bauke MOLLEMA (NED), at :34
12. Lars Petter NORDHAUG (NOR), at :34
13. Daniel MORENO FERNANDEZ (ESP), at :34
14. Simon GESCHKE (GER), at :34
15. Sergio Luis HENAO MONTOYA (COL), at :34
16. Michele SCARPONI (ITA), at :34
17. Filippo POZZATO (ITA), at 1:05
18. Arthur VICHOT (FRA), at 1:05
19. Maciej PATERSKI (POL), at 1:05
20. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN (NOR), at 1:05

Rarely do I See “New Riding Techniques”

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Bicycle riding has stayed pretty constant over the decades. Of course the introduction of the aero position by Scott was a big innovation and position change, but other than that, it hasn’t changed too much.

But, yesterday, watching the U23 Worlds I saw something that I’d never seen, a pedaling tuck position. I hated it.

I hated it so much that I didn’t want Matej Mohoric, Slovenia, who won the under-23 world road title, to make it to the line alone. But, I also didn’t want the South African kid that finished 2nd to win either, so I was never going to be good with the podium.

I’ve descended a lot of different ways. I’ve tried about every way that you can imagine to go fast downhill. The sitting on your top tube position just plan sucks. It is a very unstable position, putting much too much weight on your front wheel, with bad control of your bars. Then you add into the fact that Matej was pedaling while in this position and it is just plain wrong. The last 10 km, he did it quite a few times. I have a very hard time believing that it could be quicker than just a normal tuck, on your seat, hands next to the stem. The guy couldn’t have been getting hardly any power into his pedals. Not enough power to offset the bad aerodynamics it was causing for sure.

The only other time I’ve seen anything even remotely as different was a long time ago at Redland’s. Roland Green was racing for Trek I think, maybe Team Dirt, I don’t quite remember, but on the first stage on the Highland Circuit, Roland took a solo flyer and when he got to the 500 meter climb, he rode the hill no handed and used his arms to push down on his knees to climb. He stayed off the front for quite a while and did it each lap up the climb. He never got out of sight, so we could all see him doing it. Afterwards, a few of us tried it. It sort of worked. It definitely worked much better than trying to pedal circles when you’ve lowered your seat position by 25 centimeters like Metej did.

Anyway, I didn’t want Louis Meintjes, from South Africa, who ended up finishing 2nd, to win because he couldn’t descend well enough to just stay with Matej on the first descent. If he could have just stayed on the Slovenian’s wheel, he had a very good chance at winning the race. But, no, he couldn’t descend with him. So, he didn’t get a shot at victory, even though he was a better climber and it was a climbers course.

Metej Mohoric was Junior World Champion last year, becoming the first rider ever to win the titles back to back. He is obviously a very talented bike rider. But, someone needs to teach him it is very important to rest while descending fast, not waste energy riding silly. He did win, but shouldn’t use that as a valid defense of his “technique”. He is going to be riding for Cannondale next season, so Peter Sagan will probably start using Matej’s descending style by mid-season next year.

And talk about weird results, how about Tony Martin riding only 1 minute 20 seconds slower than his whole Omega Pharma team did in the team time trial at Worlds? He would have beaten 30 out of the 35 teams entered in the TTT. all except Orica, Sky, BMC and RadioShack, which would have beaten Tony by 3 seconds. That means that Cancellara only rode 51 seconds slower individually than he and his whole team did on the same course. Seems like they were doing something wrong there.

1 Tony Martin (Germany) 1:05:36.65

1 Omega Pharma Quick Step 1:04:16.81

I know this is a bad picture of the computer screen, but you can definitely see how weird it is if he keeps moving his cranks in rotation.

I know this is a bad picture of the computer screen, but you can definitely see how weird it is if he keeps moving his cranks in rotation.

Here he is with less than 2 miles to go in the race doing it again.

Here he is with less than 2 miles to go in the race doing it again.

Matej looks much better doing his victory salute.  He has that down pretty well.

Matej looks much better doing his victory salute. He has that down pretty well.

Louis Meintjes, from South Africa, who finished 2nd and looks like he could still be in junior high school.

Louis Meintjes, from South Africa, who finished 2nd and looks like he could still be in junior high school.

Heading Home

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I”m not doing surgery on my thumb today. It’s sort of a relief. I wasn’t looking much forward to being out of commission for two months. It’s not that great though. The catch is that my thumb is too jacked up for the surgeon to repair. He said that he wasn’t sure that if he did the procedure that it would give me much relief or make the function of the thumb any better. That was enough for me. So, my thumb is just going to be gimpy for the foreseeable future. I’m hoping that it will heal up some on it’s own and gets a little more stable and less painful. I’m not so sure that cyclocross is the best thing for it, but I need a couple days to think it through.

It wasn’t a waste of time coming here. The guys at the Kleinert Kutz Hand Center are some of the best in the business and I can rest assured that I had very good information to make this important decision. It is amazing how complicated a hand is and that it needs its own offshoot of orthopedic surgeons to work specifically on it. I went by for a shoulder evaluation from Stacie’s PT guy, Jeromy. He suggested that I get a electrodiagnostic nerve test to figure out why a big portion of my shoulder muscle isn’t firing. My guy, Burt, has suggested this previously, so maybe it is a good idea. Just another thing.

So, back to Topeka. I still have a ton of stuff to do and need to put together a few bikes, so my thumb being in the mix will facilitate that immensely. It’s 10 hours back and it’s already a little late, so I should get moving.

I really have to thank my friends Stacie and Karl for putting us up the last couple days. Stacie has the energy of 3 people. It is amazing and sort of depressing at the same time when I think of how little energy I have in comparison. I hope to come back out to Lousiville for the UCI races here in early November, so I’ll see these guys again soon hopefully.

Trudi, Stacie and her son Adam sorting through "a few" legos for Adam's birthday party this weekend.

Trudi, Stacie and her son Adam sorting through “a few” legos for Adam’s birthday party this weekend.

My iPhone was messed up and I went to the Apple Store here and they gave me a new phone.  This guy was set up in the mall to fix broken screens etc.  Pretty great idea.

My iPhone was messed up and I went to the Apple Store here and they gave me a new phone. This guy was set up in the mall to fix broken screens etc. Pretty great idea.

I went for a couple hour ride with Curtis Tolson.  We rode by his daughter's cross country practice.

I went for a couple hour ride with Curtis Tolson. We rode by his daughter’s cross country practice.

We went to dinner last night on Frankfort Street.  It is eclectic and fun.

We went to dinner last night on Frankfort Street. It is eclectic and fun.

Karl has some pretty awesome tools downstairs.  This is a portable drill press with an electro magnet base.

Karl has some pretty awesome tools downstairs. This is a portable drill press with an electro magnet base.

World Time Trial Championships

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Today is the Elite Men’s Worlds for Time Trialing. So far, the United States has had some pretty great results. We’ve finished on the podium twice, with Carmen Small 3rd place in the women’s race and Zeke Mostov, 3rd place in the juniors. And Lawson Craddock had a pretty unbelievable ride finishing 5th in the U23 after crashing. He tweeted something about being good with 5th, even after crashing on the “straightest road in Italy.”

I normally wouldn’t call watching time trialing exciting. But with the results from the Team Time Trial being within a second, with Omega barely getting by GreenEdge and then Carmen Small beating her US team mate, Evelyn Stevens by .04 seconds to take the bronze medal in the Elite women’s race, it has been nail biters.

Bradley Wiggins was being the goof ball that he is and is saying that if he happens to win the race today that it will be the biggest victory of his career. I wonder if he forgot that he won the Olympic Games, just a year ago in the time trial. Man, the guy is completely mental. He must feel an unbelievable amount of pressure.

Bradley goes on to compare time trialing to getting a tatoo. “Everyone has different ways of dealing with [riding for more than an hour]; that’s what defines you as a time trialist. You can get into your own little world, you need to be able to deflect the pain,” Wiggins said. “I told Alex [Dowsett, British teammate], it feels like having a tattoo, it hurts for the first 10 minutes, but after awhile you don’t feel it. You get to a different state. It’s only when you finish, you cross the line, that you realize how much pain you’re in.”

I leave that for you to judge.

Anyway, the Elite men’s race today is going to be great. There are some many guys that could finish on the podium that it is going to be hard picking. Here’s my picks in order – Cancellara. Martin. Wiggins. Phinney. Porte. Pinotti.

Lawson's tweet from the day before the Worlds.

Lawson’s tweet from the day before the Worlds.

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