Monthly Archives: January 2014

Dinner with Andy

This entry was posted in Fun Stuff on by .
Share

Yesterday was an adventure. We were just finishing up on a few things on the fence, moving rocks of course, when I heard that it was supposed to snow somewhere between 5 and 15 inches yesterday evening through this morning. I had a tentative plan on working and heading over to Boulder to have dinner with my friend Andy Hampsten, but Andy hadn’t called and it had already started spitting snow at 4. Normally I don’t let weather dictate my daily routine, other than riding, but this was different.

We’d already ridden up Lookout in the afternoon. It was an unusual ride because Vincent didn’t get to the top with Bill and I. I put a little pressure on him at the bottom, because he usually just throttles us and I wanted him to be a tad hurt at the start. He’s kind of a mental rider, so I guess I put a little too much pressure on at the bottom. It was a good ride, considering the it was cold.

My van sucks in the snow, plus the traffic between Denver and Boulder is really ugly around dinner time. Anyway, Andy called and said to show up around 6:30, there wasn’t much snow on the ground and Lisa, Vincent’s wife, said to take her car, which is a Honda Element, 4WD.

Vincent’s new house is right near 93, which runs from Golden up the front range to Boulder. I was so surprised that it was nearly nonstop headlights going south on 93 at 6 pm. The first time I was ever on 93 was back in the late 80’s and I rode my bike from Golden to Boulder. I’m pretty sure that not one car passed me the whole way. When I got to Boulder on Broadway, there was a huge sign that said Bicycles allowed use of full right lane. It was amazing at the time. I thought that it was the coolest place I’d ever been. Man, how that changed.

We got up to Andy’s right at 6:30. He had invited a few of his close friends over. One was Doug Emerson, who owes University Bikes on Pearl. I’ve known Doug for 3 decades or so. I haven’t seen or talked to him for a while though. I was in his shop a few years ago for the Coor’s Classic DVD release, but he was vacationing in Hawaii, thus not there. Anyway, it was fun catching up with him.

He’s personally building a velodrome in Erie, east of Boulder. I’d heard about the velodrome, only by the news of a storm wreaking havoc on it last fall. He got me up to speed on the progress. It is pretty amazing. He called it his own little “Field of dreams”. Pretty cool. He is hands on there, doing the labor and raising the funds to build it. Guys like this is why we all get to race bikes.

The dinner was awesome, beyond awesome. Andy leads tours to Italy which focuses on riding and cuisine. His company is called Cinghiale, which I think is wild boar in Italian, but don’t quote me on that. If you’re looking for a super bike tour experience, you should check out the link above. Anyway, Andy really knows food, wine and bike riding. He got a rotisserie chicken from Will Frischkorn’s shop, Cured. It is a high end cheese, meat and wine shop on Pearl. The food was great. Andy baked the bread and the wine was super. I don’t usually eat like that, so it was a real treat. It makes me appreciated food more.

I wanted to check out Andy’s basement. It got some flood damage and he just finished the repair. I used to stay at Andy’s house when he was racing full time in Europe. It is a log cabin that the marathon Frank Shorter used to own. He bought the house when he and I were team mates on the Levis team. He lived just down the street in a small apartment and we walked a lot of his stuff up the hill for the move. He didn’t have much back then, as none of did.

His basement was pretty much as I remembered. It was a mother-in-law apartment when Frank Shorter owned the house. But Andy used it as a bike room/workshop. Now he has a wine cellar there too, but it still stores his bike and tools there too.

My favorite Andy basement story is -One morning, I woke up and looked out in the backyard and there were a ton of Powerbar wrappers spread across the lawn. I thought someone had “broken in” his bike room, which really wasn’t breaking in since it wasn’t locked. Anyway, I rush down the basement and Andy had a few cases of Powerbars all packaged up. Some animal had chewed through the cardboard and there were a dozen or so gone. It was a mess there. On closer inspection, I went into the bathroom and there was a pile of wrappers surrounding the toilet. And the toilet seat was covered with little raccoon footprints. I laughed and laughed.

I would have given anything to have a video of the whole process. I wanted to see those guys take their Powerbars, open them, which wasn’t easy with human hands, and then go to the toilet and dunk them into water to eat them. Like I said above, there were lots and lots of wrappers. I bet those raccoons felt pretty horrible, later, after those Powerbars swelled up in their stomachs. It is a good memory.

We didn’t stay that late, a little after 10:30. But then the day got interesting. It was really snowing, like blizzard snowing. We started down 93 and it wasn’t plowed at all. And it was snowing so hard you couldn’t really see the road. We got maybe half way back to Arvada and we came upon a wreck. We were maybe the 5th car or so in line behind lots of flashing emergency lights. I made an executive decision and pulled a u-turn. Driving back north was no better, couldn’t see much. We got back to 128 and headed over towards the old Morgul-Bismark course. There were a couple snow plows coming towards us. I moved all the way to what I though was the right shoulder, nearly hitting the reflector poles, but still nearly got hit. It was incredibly close, I’m not sure what the plow driver was thinking. At the top of McCaslin, which is at the top of the wall, it was nearly a white out. We headed south on Indiana, towards Arvada. There was no one on Indiana and that road brought us back close to Vincent’s on 64th. We got back around midnight, unscathed, which was fine.

I’m thinking of driving back tomorrow now. The roads are shitty and the day is already sort of started. There are lots of things to do here, like put up blinds, assemble Vincent’s new Eriksen Di2 road bike, etc. The weather isn’t good in Kansas, so I’m not missin’ anything there either.

Andy's Giro jersey down in his wine cellar.

Andy’s Giro jersey down in his wine cellar.

Him winning the jersey back in 1988.

Him winning the jersey back in 1988.

Andy's Tour de Suisse cowbell that he was ringing at Cross Nationals earlier this month.

Andy’s Tour de Suisse cowbell that he was ringing at Cross Nationals earlier this month.

Some of Andy's wine.

Some of Andy’s wine.

These were all excellent.

These were all excellent.

The view off Lookout Mtn.

The view off Lookout Mtn.

Vincent still below.

Vincent still below.

The raccoon toilet.

The raccoon toilet.

Whiteout driving back.

Whiteout driving back.

Vincent's new Eriksen road bike.

Vincent’s new Eriksen road bike.

Riding Red Rocks/US 6

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .
Share

Yesterday I went for the first ride since I got here. And I wouldn’t have probably done that unless Vincent twisted my arm. There was a ton of stuff to still be done with the fence and weather was supposed to come in today. But I’m so glad he did. It was a rejuvenating experience, which shouldn’t have been so surprising, but nevertheless, was.

I find it so interesting how doing more physical exercise, when you’re already dead from physical exertion, can actually add energy back into the equation. I love it. I was a little worried about going out riding with Vincent here. Usually we just ride up Lookout Mountain, which is pretty much every man for himself. But Vincent gave us a choice to ride over to Red Rocks, which I jumped on.

It was a little wetter than I had anticipated. There was a lot of spray coming off our wheels, which was pretty cold on bare shins. But, I like my legs being cold while riding. I always seem to ride better when my legs are cold. I like cold water on bare skin. I don’t mentally like it much, but physically I do.

We rode along the foothills from Arvada south, through Golden and then south to Red Rocks. I haven’t ridden in Red Rocks forever. I sort of get it mixed up with Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. I’ve went to a few concerts there, but not recently. Anyway, it was super scenic.

When we were riding back, I noticed a highway sign for US6. It goes up a canyon to Idaho Springs. I’ve ridden US 6 once in my life. It was back in the early 90’s and I was mainly racing MTB bikes. I was living in Boulder and there was a NORBA National in Winter Park. Don Myrah and I decided to ride from Boulder to Winter Park. We rode up to the Peak to Peak, 119, and then headed over towards Idaho Springs. We coasted down a huge descent and when we get to US 6, it says No Bicycles. The road is closed to bicycles, supposedly because there are some tunnels on the road and too dangerous for riding. Whatever the reason, it was a weekday and we decided to just ride the short distance to Idaho Springs.

I don’t remember exactly how many tunnels we had to ride through. Maybe just 2. It is a short distance, less than 2-3 miles. We rode through all the tunnels and at the end there was a sheriff. He pulled us over and told us the road was closed to bicycles. We explained what we were doing and he told us we had to turn around and go back to the Peak to Peak, through the tunnels. I said we had already ridden the road and he said that there was no way he was going to let us ride on. I told him to just give us our tickets and let us go, but no. No ticket, no going on. Go back.

So the dude escorts us back through the tunnels and tells us we can ride back up 119 and there is a gravel road that goes through Cripple Creek or somewhere. It was really out of the way and we were riding a long ride already. So, we sit there and decide to hitch hike. We sat at the intersection hitch hiking, while the sheriff sat across the road watching. If the sheriff would have left, we would have just rode back again. It took a while. Maybe 20 minutes. Finally a couple teenage girls stopped in a little Toyota. They were all giggly and wanted to know where we wanted to go. We said Idaho Springs. They said it was just a couple miles. We said we knew that and pointed to the sheriff and told them our story. They said if we could get our bikes into their car, they’d take us. So we take off our wheels and jam ourselves into the Corolla or whatever it was.

The sheriff just watched. When we all got squished in and got moving, one of the girls waved to the cop and flipped him off, which I thought was going to get us stopped again, but didn’t. So, we did the 3 minute drive to Idaho Springs and pulled over in at a convenience store. Right when we were unloading our bikes, one of the girls asked us if we wanted to get some beer and go get drunk in the mountains. Don turned red and couldn’t say a word. He started unloading his bike super fast. I think he might of been a little embarrassed or something. I told them it was a great idea/offer, but we had to ride up to Winter Park and were racing that weekend, so we’d have to decline.

I’m not sure what the offer did to Don, something like the ride did for me yesterday, but the rest of the day was a nightmare for me. There is a pass from I-70 to Winter Park and Don throttled it the whole way. I could barely hang on.

I haven’t been up US 6 since then. Anyway, pretty good memory.

The fence is officially finished, I guess. Just a few rocks to move around the posts. It looks pretty good. It was way more work than I’d anticipated, but isn’t that always the case. We’re going to Boulder to have dinner at Andy Hampsten’s house and then heading back to Kansas tomorrow, I guess. But, that isn’t written in stone. It’s easy to get caught up in a new project when Vincent is involved.

Riding up through Red Rocks was pretty scenic.

Riding up through Red Rocks was pretty scenic.

I climbed these guys when I was a kid.

I climbed these guys when I was a kid.

Vincent and Bill riding.  I was the KOM leader for the day, even if they won't admit it.

Vincent and Bill riding. I was the KOM leader for the day, even if they won’t admit it.

We ended up working pretty late into the night.  Here is a picture Vincent took of me using the light on my iPhone to see the line on a post to miter cut it with a circular saw.  Not the safest work enviornment.

We ended up working pretty late into the night. Here is a picture Vincent took of me using the light on my iPhone to see the line on a post to miter cut it with a circular saw. Not the safest work enviornment.

Bill putting the finishing touches on the welded wire.

Bill putting the finishing touches on the welded wire.

At least it is straight.

At least it is straight.

All finished.

All finished.

I Want to Be My Dog

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .
Share

When I grow up I want to be my dog. I can’t really say that I want to be just any dog, because many dogs don’t have a great dog life, but I would be good with being a dog of any dog person that is an athlete or active person.

Bromont has a great life. He virtually never gets left behind. He is with his people 24/7. He doesn’t have to worry about anything, even though he does seem to stress about things, but that must just be his nature.

When I get in the van and have to drive days, Bromont just takes his slot in the back and sleeps. And he sleeps better than any dog I’ve ever seen. He can sleep the whole day driving and never once get out to pee or poop. When I stop to get fuel, he will lift his head and look at me to see if I want him to get out. If he doesn’t get the right look, whatever that look is, he justs goes back to sleep.

And Bromont, even at 10, if fitter than I’ll ever be. A dog is a much better athlete than most any human. He is leaner than me, faster than me, can see better than me, can smell a million times better than me, and I assume, can hear better than me.

Bromont has been to somewhere between 500-750 bike races in his lifetime. He is a professional bike race spectator. He really only gets excited at the start, when I am not around. By the time the race is over, he is back in the van, sleeping on the backseat. Sometimes when I race and it is really hot out, I just leave the van doors open. I always park in the shade, but if it is super, midwest hot, that isn’t good enough for a dog. A few times I’ll finish and he’ll be hanging out with someone else, getting pampered.

Bromont is much of a other dog type dog. He likes people better than dogs. But he has made an exception for Vincent’s dog Jack (Jacque). Jack is very loyal to human and to Bromont. Bromont and Jack just play all day while we work. They love the snow and sticks. Bromont isn’t much of a stick type dog, but he doesn’t want Jack to be having all the fun.

Anyway, I hope there is reincarnation and I come back as a dog. Or an eagle if all the dogs are taken. I wouldn’t want to come back as a human. I’ve already done that.

One stick, two dogs, good spectating.

One stick, two dogs, good spectating.

Down time is important for dogs.

Down time is important for dogs.

Vincent made the gate.  It is pretty sturdy.  I hate gates after a year or two.  We'll have to see about this one.

Vincent made the gate. It is pretty sturdy. I hate gates after a year or two. We’ll have to see about this one.

I had to wear insulated Carhart bibs yesterday.  It never got warm, but in the afternoon when it got windy, it was unbearable once again.

I had to wear insulated Carhart bibs yesterday. It never got warm, but in the afternoon when it got windy, it was unbearable once again.

These are my favorite work boots.   The are Redwing, obviously steel toed.  I shouldn't use them for tiling or cement work, but I always do.  I should know the model number, off the top of my head, but I don't.   They come in different widths and last forever.  The laces never wear out.

These are my favorite work boots. The are Redwing, obviously steel toed. I shouldn’t use them for tiling or cement work, but I always do. I should know the model number, off the top of my head, but I don’t. They come in different widths and last forever. The laces never wear out.

This coyote has been hanging out in the green space behind Vincent's house ever since we got here.

This coyote has been hanging out in the green space behind Vincent’s house ever since we got here.

Bush League Bike Racing in Argentina????

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .
Share

Neal Rogers wrote an article for Velonews a couple days ago about how the Pro Tour guys racing in Argentina are having to endure bush-league tactics. I thought the article was mostly likely accurate, but not really fair for picking out a few isolated instances, out of a week long stage race and saying it is beneath the level of these Pro Tour riders.

Come on, none of this stuff is new to bike racing. Team cars running into riders, riders punching other riders, riders holding onto cars on the climbs. It’s all been done for over a century, nothing new. All of these things have happened, historically, in the Tour, Giro and Vuelta. And the only reason it doesn’t happen now, or isn’t reported now, is because of the popularity of these events, thus a much, much higher chance of being caught. It still happens all over the rest of the world.

Maybe a lot of these guys haven’t raced in South America much. I have, a ton. Central and South America. And this is just business as usual. Actually, it is business as usual in bike racing in nearly all the 3rd World countries.

I’ve seen guys hold onto vehicles all over the world, South America, China, Europe, and the United States. I was passed up a climb in the Coor’s Clasic by two cars with 5- 10 riders holding on. Bob Roll went by the whole groupetto, on the road to Squaw Valley, in the Coor’s Classic, holding on to a highway patrol motorcycle going at least 60 mph. He finished minutes ahead of me. I thought it was pretty bad etiquette at the time.

The best I ever witnessed was racing in Shanghai, China a Mongolian rider passed me on a flat open stretch, going about 50 mph. He was holding onto the rear wheel well fender, down low, on the opposite side of the car of the caravan and officials. There is no way he could have been spotted. It was brilliant. But, still cheating.

And cheating is cheating. I think it is strange that people, including the media, think that holding onto a car up a climb is a worse offense than taking EPO or other drugs to go faster up the hill. In my mind, both get the rider from the bottom of the hill to the top, much faster than he would have otherwise. Tell me that there weren’t Pro Tour riders competing in that race that aren’t currently doping. I think not.

In the Velonews article, it quotes Taylor Phinney as saying – On stage 1, when the breakaway stayed away, we were all sprinting for seventh place, I was just kind of sitting back, watching these [local] guys taking massive risks in front of me to sprint for seventh place.

“I understand that this race means a lot to them, but it gets to a point where you have to ask: Is it worth it for us, as pros who are trying to build up for bigger races, to come here, to take big risks in preparation races by being involved with riders who can be quite dangerous?”

I don’t get it. There are always guys willing to take risks for a result. Taylor said it himself, “it means a lot to them”.

I just looked at the results from that stage and Taylor finished 14th, so 7th in the field sprint. And there are only Pro Tour riders, from Europe and the US, ahead of him, other than Luke Keough, who rides for Unitedhealthcare.

Taylor didn’t have to participate in the sprint. He could have just sat back and watched the “local guys” take these massive risks and made sure he would be fine for the “bigger races”.

In fairness to Taylor, I don’t think he was really calling these guys out seriously. I think they needed a quote for the article and just put this in to back up the premise of bush-league racing.

Obviously a lot of guys felt like field sprinting. And why wouldn’t they. Don’t they field sprint when there is a break away at virtually all races. And in field sprints, some guys take what others consider unreasonable risks. It is once again, just bike racing.

Anyway, all races aren’t the Tour. And the Tour isn’t really any different than a local race. It is just much, much more important. There are much more risks taking and much more of just everything, happening there. And it is justified, because of the importance. But for riders that have virtually no chance of ever riding the Tour de France, this was their Tour and they did exactly what the Pro Tour guys do when they deem importance. They took risks, they cheated, they punched their competitors, etc. When Mark Cavensish does something stupid, it’s just fine because he’s Pro Tour. When Joe Blow, South American does exactly the same thing, it’s called bush-league. To me, it all just bike racing.

At least the riders weren't punching the spectators.  I love this photo of Bernard, with Phil Anderson watching in the background.

At least the riders weren’t punching the spectators. I love this photo of Bernard, with Phil Anderson watching in the background.

And, how about a little head butt action from the Tour.

And, how about a little head butt action from the Tour.

REMEMBERING IGOR. A TRIBUTE TO A LEGEND.

This entry was posted in Important Life Stories on by .
Share

American Cross Country skiing lost a hero on Saturday when a Russian, Igor Badamshin, died on the Birkie Ski Trail, at OO, from a heart attack. He was 47. Igor was an integral part of CXC Skiing and the right hand man of Yuriy Gusev. I was taking my first nordic ski lesson, after all these years, from Yuriy and Igor, when I got frost bite in early January. Anyway, American cross country skiing lost a true friend. Below is a little about Igor.

This has been a very hard week for most of us, and people and friends from around the country.

The global nordic skiing community and especially here at CXC, have suffered a loss that is rather impossible to process; our coach, our mentor,our ally, our friend Igor Badamshin passed away suddenly last week at only 47 years old. Each one of us is deeply saddened in our own way.

It is really impossible to try and make sense of it, because it makes no sense. What we all know is that in his 47-year life span, he lead an extraordinary life, from his own racing career to the countless acts of caring, hard work, enthusiasm and most of all his time, to help make the sport grow, but also how to have fun doing it. His love of people and the sport knew no bounds. I first met him when he arrived to coach at Gunstock in New Hampshire, and he was loved there. Young people were immediately drawn to him, and already the countless internet tributes to Igor from his athletes and friends has given just a small glimpse of what he had achieved, and the grace and style that he achieved it in.

He was a person of amazing energy and I never failed to be amazed by the power of his hard work, who could build anything, or simply move mountains.

Igor started with CXC as a high performance advisor in 2007, and then started to coach with CXC Junior Development Program in 2008, was CXC Team Coach in 2012-2013 and until last Friday was leading the program as a CXC Head Coach.

“I have known Igor for many years and he is always ready to help, to share joy and sorrow. He is a very good man and a good friend. I speak in the present tense because I still can not believe that he is no longer with us. It is a huge loss for me personally and great sorrow for his entire family. Anytime he struggled with difficulties and setbacks, he would always smile and was not discouraged. So I knew him and try not to forget.” said Andrey Kirilov, a teammate from the Bronze Medal relay at the World Championships in Falun, Sweden back in 1993.

A memorial/gathering is scheduled for Saturday, February 8th from 8pm-10pm at the Cable Community Center, Cable, WI.

We are collecting photos of Igor for a slide show and photos can be e-mailed to info@cxcskiing.org

“Igor was the best friend, colleague, mentor and just an amazing person. He was an integral part of everything we did at CXC. He was the one I would call first for an advise or opinion. It’s hard to imagine that he is not with us any more. Just before the tragic moment he called and we talked about plans for the next year, dates for the camps, programs for middle school and high schools skiers, and many other things. To remember Igor, and his passion to coaching junior skiers and athletic excellence we would like to establish a fund in his name to provide scholarship programs for assisting talented junior athletes in Central Region to compete at the U18 Championships and Junior World Ski Championships, ” reflected his long time friend, CXC Executive Director Yuriy Gusev.

The many things that made Igor so special are irreplaceable, but his love and enthusiasm for skiing and people will continue to reverberate and live on in all who he touched. That is but one of his lasting legacies.

Donations towards Igor Badamshin Fund can be mailed to CXC Skiing, P.O. Box 930442, Verona, WI 53593 with “IB Fund” on the memo line.

In all of our collective grief, the fact we must remember was that Igor lived, boy did he live…and we are all the richer for it.

Igor’s Sports Career: http://sportufo.ru/persony/61-persony-b/648-badamshin-igorj-gajniaxmetovich.html

– Peter Graves

igor

Fence Builder to House Mover

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .
Share

Okay, I can’t really write anything about cycling. My mind, and body is overwhelmed by fatigue. It isn’t so much the manual labor. It is mainly the weather. It has now snowed two out of four days. That really isn’t the problem though. The wind is the problem. It is unbelievable how windy it is up against the mountains here on the west edge of Arvada. Yesterday I could lean at least 30 degrees forward into the wind without falling down. It is nearly torture. It was nearly impossible, picking up a 2x8x8 and move it anywhere without getting blown across the yard. It brings the productivity down to a crawl.

So, I thought all the posts were done. It took pretty much about an hour a post per person. Then Vincent got back from a vacation in Mexico last night and decided he thinks we should extend the fence on one side, so maybe 3 more posts. Every part of my being is saying no more posts. I’m pretty sure my joints can’t stand any more direct hits of rocks by the pinch point bar. This bar is the tool of choice for digging a hole here. It is a solid hardened steel bar that is 60 inches long and is used for prying and hole digging. That and knee pads.

So, it is supposed to snow 2 more inches throughout the day. We moved all the rails into the garage to stain. Plus I need to build 3 gates, which I can do inside too. We’re staying over at Vincent’s new has now. Vincent showed up at the crack of dawn with another load of stuff he is moving. I think we are going to be moving beds, washer/dryers, and other heavy stuff today. Bill’s back is rebelling. Mine too. But, the show must go on.

Okay, I promise this is the last whinny post about this. The frustration is that we would have been done without one of any of the issues, rocks, snow or wind. Just remove one of those things and we would be just house movers now.

This is pretty much normal.  On most of my hole, I'd run into at least one of these and 5-10 grapefruit size rocks.  It is tedious.

This is pretty much normal. On most of my hole, I’d run into at least one of these and 5-10 grapefruit size rocks. It is tedious.

Picture out the window this morning.  The whole south side needs welded wire and rails.

Picture out the window this morning. The whole south side needs welded wire and rails.

Bill resorting to a pick ax.

Bill resorting to a pick ax.

Trudi staining the rails before right before the crazy winds started.

Trudi staining the rails before right before the crazy winds started.

Coffee/nap break.

Coffee/nap break.

We moved the staining project into the garage last night.

We moved the staining project into the garage last night.

Early Season Stage Racing Weirdness

This entry was posted in Racing on by .
Share

I really haven’t been watching any of the stage racing going on in the Southern Hemisphere live. I’ve seen a couple video clips of the winning moves from Australia and Argentine, plus have following the results on the web. It is funny how different guys are supposedly using different races to “prepare” for their main objectives, either the Tour or the Giro. Honestly, I’m not sure it matters what you’re doing in the middle of January race-wise for a race 6 months later.

Back in the 80’s and early 90’s, everyone would just sit around and get fat over the winter. There was a race series on Sicily where everyone would go and get some early season race miles. But by early season race miles I mean fast training miles. Hardly anyone was anywhere close to fit enough to race, but racing is the quickest way to get fit for racing. The Tour of Americas started in the late 80’s and the American guys would train hard for it. It was a race that started in Venezuela for a few days and fly up to Florida for the last week. All the best riders from around the world would come. Americans, and foreign riders on America teams, tended to dominate the podium because the European guys just weren’t that fit yet. We’d do training camps in California, Texas, and Florida and be pretty much in race shape by early February.

Not the case now. Everyone is pretty much fit 24/7. The road season just keeps going and going. Maybe November and December are a little sparse of races, but guys seems to be doing long miles to get in shape for the January races.

I noticed that down in Argentina on Friday, the time trail results looked sort of wacky. I was mildly surprised that Taylor Phinney got beat by Adriano Malori. I was even more surprised that Nairo Quintana beat Phil Gaimon to take the overall lead. But the biggest surprise of the day was the results by all the “sprinters” in the race. Tom Boonen was 7th, followed in 8th by Danilo Hondo. Peter Sagan was 10th. Even Mark Cavendish was trying and finished 20th, which was ahead of a ton of guys vying for GC. What’s up with that? I guess these guys are using the race for training and wanted to get in a good effort. Whatever the reason, they don’t usually go out and race time trials during stage races when their times are nearly irrelevant. Strange.

The World Cup Cyclocross this morning was interesting. I only caught the last couple laps, and Tom Meeusen was the spoiler for Francis Mourey winning on home turf. Meeusen was the only Belgian in the top 5. But, 6th through 10th was all Belgians. I never saw Sven Nys the whole day. He must of quit or not started.

Okay, back to the whole digging on my knees Makes me all that much more appreciative of riding my bike.

boonenTom Boonen and Company down in Argentina.
Photo Tim De Waele TDWsport.com