Monthly Archives: September 2015

Driving in the Rain

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Yesterday Trudi and I drove from Richmond Virginia to Louisville, Kentucky.  And it could be described as a torrential downpour the whole way.  Hours upon hours, I had the windshield wipers on full speed and it still wasn’t enough.  It was a stressful drive.

That being said, the drivers of the other cars, not all of them, but a lot of them, drove so poorly, that the weather wasn’t the most dangerous aspect of the drive.

I don’t know who taught drivers in West Virginia how to drive in the rain, but it must be the same guy or maybe it is on the WV driver’s test.  For some reason, they think the proper way to handle torrential rain on an interstate highway is to pull into the left land and drive at 40 mph with their emergency flashers on.

100’s if not 1000’s of cars did this exact same thing, so either they learned it in driving school or by observation.  Either way, it is wrong and very dangerous.  Slow driving vehicles belong in the right lane of an interstate.  In Kansas, you’ll be ticketed for driving slow in the left lane.  I even believe it is illegal to pass on the right, but I may be wrong on that.

Add on top of this 1000’s up 1000’s of semi trailer trucks and the whole drive was crazy.  I don’t know how many  accidents I saw.  Luckily for us, most of them were on the other side of the road.  One was on the westbound side, so we had to get off and drive the 18 miles to Charleston West Virginia on a small road beside a creek.  But, other than that we got lucky.

Lots of the accidents were trucks that had hit other trucks.  I think there were so many accidents were two-fold.  Or three-fold if that is an expression.

One, the rain was super heavy.  Obviously that made it dangerous.  Two, the bad drivers, especially slow drivers in the left lane causing everyone to go into “the truck” lane on the right. And three, the asphalt highways were really bad in places.  I don’t know if it is because of the amount of truck traffic or what on I-64, but the highway is lower where your tires are and there are small streams of water running down the road.  The Acura I was driving is a super car, AWD and very responsive.  But I hydroplaned a few times and I was driving, what I thought, pretty conservative.  Not 40 mph left lane conservative, but conservative enough to not be hydroplaning on interstate highway.

Anyway, made it to Louisville in time for dinner, but a tad late.  Karl had made pizza and Stacie had brussel sprouts and yellow squash with it.  Since is was raining, plus the falls leaves already falling, the food seemed season appropriate, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, I didn’t ride yesterday, so I’m going to try to squeez a ride in with Karl between the rain today.  I don’t really miss too many days of riding.  I’d be surprised if I have missed 20 days this year total.  Okay, I as curious, so I went and counted on Strava.  I’ve missed 23 days since I started riding the first week in January.  Most all those days were because of travel.  I think 3 were sick days, so it’s about 2 a month.  Whenever I don’t ride, I feel out of sorts, so I try to get in just a little, no matter what.

Thinking of heading over by Churchill down to have breakfast at Wagner’s Pharmacy.  I try to eat there everytime I come to Louisville.  I like the ambiance, historic horse racing memorabilia and the food is good and cheap.

My view most of the day.

My view most of the day.

Lot and lots of trucks had issue yesterday in West Virginia.

Lot and lots of trucks had issue yesterday in West Virginia.

The Capitol building in Charleston is nice.

The Capitol building in Charleston is nice.

Brussel sprouts.

Brussel sprouts.

Karl's pizza. It was great.

Karl’s pizza. It was great.

We had to drop off the extra BMC cars to be shipped back to California.

We had to drop off the extra BMC cars to be shipped back to California.

 

 

 

 

Cycling – Team Sport or Not?

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Modern professional cycling teams have taken themselves pretty seriously ever since Lance put together his dedicated Tour de France squads and they rode unselfishly for him year after year. This practice spread like a plague throughout the peloton and now it is common for all professional teams to be structured off this format.  But, is it healthy for the sport and does it really work in anything other than stage races?

I think I can make a fair argument that the whole practice is often a waste of time and energy, plus bad for everyone involved.   Plus, it only works out for the team that wins the event.  Each and everyone of the teams that doesn’t win a race, which is everyone but one team, loses. Thus, their plan was flawed, they didn’t execute it correctly, or they just weren’t good enough to win.   I can argue that many of the common tactics that professional teams use are actually harmful to their chances of winning and it makes the sport way more dangerous for all involved.

First let’s address the practice of riding in team formation when in the peloton.  I don’t understand it all.  I’ve posted about this before.  Trying to follow one guy’s wheel the whole race takes a ton of energy.  Why fight for position the whole race when really it is not important? Plus, with all teams trying to ride at the front of the field, there isn’t enough room on the road, so way more crashes occur.  This is a fact.  Guys fighting for position and the peloton edge to edge on the road is when people hit the concrete the most.

What happened to the tactic of putting a couple guys of lots of teams at the front, when they have the same motivation and tactics.  Why do all 9 guys have to be up there at a time?  It is ridiculous at times.

Then the practice of working for only one rider.  I could give you a million examples of when this backfires race after race.  But, let’s just use one example, the race on Sunday, the World Road Championships in RIchmond.

Here is Peter Sagan, racing with his brother and one other guy from Solvakia, so really no team at all.  They didn’t control anything, never rode in the wind.  Peter seemed to stay in pretty good position most of the race, from what I could see.

And all these other countries with 9 riders, rode in formation, working for, what I guess, seemed like a field sprint.  André Greipel was even at the front drilling it, for what.  He is pretty much a pure sprinter.  He did his big pull and then sat up.  Holland, Poland, the Belgian guys, they were all working as a team and who won, the individual, Peter Sagan.  You might say that is a fluke, but it really wasn’t.  I actually picked the exact place the solo attack was going to occur.  It wasn’t my rider, but that is irrelevant.   It could have been any number of individual guys.

Peter Sagan didn’t luck into being World Champion on Sunday.  The way these “professional riders” were treating the race was the same they treat them the whole season.  They love to sacrifice themselves, doing huge pulls at the front,  then peel off and let someone else try to win.  But on Sunday, at the end, there were just a bunch of individual riders with no one left to chase down Peter.

Okay, let’s forget the Worlds this year and address American criterium racing.  UHC has dominated this for years.  That is until guys starting figuring out the boring ass tactic of taking over the front the last 15 minutes.  Look how it worked out for them in the 4 NCC races in St. Louis over Labor Day.  They had arguably 5 of the best 6 riders in the races and Daniel Holloway won the series overall. Daniel has won 25 races this year and is, by far, the best criterium rider in the country.  And his Alto Velo team is good, but really not on the same level as UHC.  He pretty much does it alone at the end.

Or maybe a better example, Pro Criterium Nationals.  UHC doing their slow leadout and Eric Marcotte comes over the top of them and solos to the win.  One guy doing it virtually on his own,  beating a whole team.  It happens all the time.

Of course there are lots of examples of teams having incredible results working together.  There is no question that having a cohesive team of strong riders increases the chances of any one team in the race.  But it doesn’t have to be the only “tactic” to be successful in the sport. Weaker teams with smarter guys win races.  Individuals obvious win races.

Modern cycling is now thought of as a team sport.  Most of the riders have that drilled into their brains.  They are fighting each other to go back to get bottles.  All for one.

But a cycling team is really a collection of individuals.  It is really an individual sport where team work increases each teans/riders chances to win on a seasonal basis.  But, that isn’t the way the teams look at it.  They use the  – put all their eggs in one basket tactic.  That isn’t the only tactics that are “team tactics”.

I’m not saying that we should completely disregard the value of team tactics in the sport.  I’m saying that if more riders thought more about their individual aspirations, and their team managers thought the same way and allowed their riders to act on them, then the sport of be more exciting, safer and generally better.

Cycling is a very beautiful sport.  It is visually attractive.  Very dynamic when viewed in person. This riding in formation and riders not allowing the natural flow of the race isn’t good for anyone involved.

Okay, feel free to comment or let me have it on the comment section.  I’m going to be driving all day, so it will be a good way to pass the time.

I think this was either the full 1st lap or 2nd lap of the race. There were 16 laps. The whole Dutch team at the front riding. For who or what?

I think this was either the full 1st lap or 2nd lap of the race. There were 16 laps. The whole Dutch team at the front riding. For who or what?

André taking a last drink before pulling half a lap and then quitting. Exactly how I would use a sprinter at the "flat" Worlds.

André taking a last drink before pulling half a lap and then quitting. Exactly how I would use a sprinter at the “flat” Worlds.

 

I wonder who ended up with Peter’s helmet and glasses.  Pretty happy folks I assume.

 

Worlds – The Day After

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I was walking around Richmond late last night, soaking up the city, and was listening to the various people talk about the race and just generally enjoying the atmosphere.  There were tons of foreigners walking around, so I can’t really comment on what they were saying.  But, the Americans I can.

I was over on Carey Street having dinner, and after we went to a local homemade ice cream store.  Trudi was driving the BMC car and it was parked out front.  We were sitting on some chairs, on the sidewalk when a couple guys came walking by.   One was smoking and the other was frumpy looking.  Anyway, they both look at the car, then the guy smoking says, “I wonder if Taylor Phinney is in there getting ice cream?”  Then they proceed to go to the window beside me and peer inside looking for Taylor.  It was really surprising that they were bike race fans.

Then later in the evening, Trudi and I went outside looking for the blood moon eclipse, but it was cloudy.  Anyway, I saw two police officers walking on the street and I asked one if, by chance, he knew where the moon would be.  The guy looked at me like I was screwing with him. I told him the moon deal and he said it was probably too cloudy.  I agreed.

Right then another officer walked up and the first guy said to the new guy, “I’m tempted to go over to the finish line and rip up that UCI banner stuck on the ground and put it on eBay to sell to some Slovakian dude.” I told him I would buy it from him if he did that.  He said,, “Let’s go and get that fucker, I’m serious.”  I should have, but kept looking for the moon.

It really was too cloudy, so we went back upstairs to our room.  Looking down at the start/finish area, I noticed that the UCI Worlds banner that was stuck to the road was now gone.  The cop had taken it.  I was, once again surprised.  2nd time in one night.

Anyway, yesterday was very enjoyable.  There is something to be said about spectating a 6 1/2hr bike race.  I had a chance to meet up with a ton of old friends, etc.  Plus time to go to lots of different parts of the course to view.  Cycling is a wonderful visual sport to watch.  I think the local residents of Richmond found that out first hand.

My picks from yesterday didn’t pan out.  I was close with Stybar attacking on Libby Hill and the Van Avermaet going on 23rd.  But, Sagan went right over him at the top and then did that tuck. The cameras only showed Sagan and I said to Trudi that Van Avermaet was never going to catch him since Sagan did a couple pedal strokes.  That tuck is really screwy and dangerous, but it is faster than shit.  I’m not saying that Peter Sagan won the race because of the tuck, but that might be the case.

Anyway, I wasn’t that far off.  I did state that a solo rider would go after the 23rd street hill and solo to the finish.  But, I think Sagan would have to be classified as a favorite, not as an underdog.  And he did seemed to have pretty great legs.

The US team rode great.  Animated and in contention until the very end.  I talked to Tyler Farrar after the race.  I asked him about his last lap move.  He said that he didn’t think he had the legs to be able to get over Libby Hill in good enough position to be able to have a result, so he did the early move, hoping to be over the top before getting caught.  He thought he was good enough for 23rd street and the finish hill.  It nearly worked out.  I have to applaud his effort.

Finishing two riders in the top 20 is about as good as the US should expect doing.  They only started with 6 riders and Ben King, then Taylor both did huge breakaway efforts.  I was initially joking that maybe Ben King thought the race was a points race because he pulled across the start/finish line first for lap after lap. The field was nervous or his group would have been out there many more laps.  They were on a short leash.

My buddy Ivan Stevic was in Ben King’s moves early.  He stayed there for a few hours and finally got spit out the back on his own.  Then he proceeded to take bows and make gestures  as he was quitting race. I’ve never seen that before.   It wasn’t like he was on a 5 hour solo break. He was one of 5 guys and got dropped from them.   Dick.

The rain held off the whole day, which was mildly surprising.  They did change the forecast during the night, but walking around, every once in a while, it started spitting down rain, even when it was partially sunny.  Everyone lucked out in this regard.  The race would have been completely different with just one lap of rain.

I felt sort of weird when the race was over yesterday.  I felt the same way as watching the Cyclo-X Nationals a couple years ago.  There is so much energy and anticipation, then someone wins and everyone just disperses.   It seems sort of anticlimactic.  I don’t know why I get those feelings.

Anyway, lots of stuff to do today.  Drive bikes to the Washington D.C.  airport.  Take cars to be transported back to California, etc.  I don’t have any clean clothes left, so I need to do laundry. We’re going to start driving back home tomorrow sometime.  It might be a serpentine route, but I haven’t gotten that far yet.

Early in the race, I guess he wore one too many layers.

Early in the race, I guess he wore one too many layers.

Peter Sagan on Libby Hill mid race.

Peter Sagan on Libby Hill mid race.

Ivan Stevic taking his bow.

Ivan Stevic taking his bow.

Course with UCI banner.

Course with UCI banner.

After Mr. Policeman last night.

After Mr. Policeman last night.

Taylor Phinney looking concentrated.

Taylor Phinney looking concentrated.

CEO of USAC riding across town on a carbon Ritchey Breakaway bike.

CEO of USAC riding across town on a carbon Ritchey Breakaway bike.

This is me, General George Casey, Mike McCarthey and Wayne Stetina. I know Mike and Wayne, but not General Casey. He is an avid cyclist and does the Ride to Recovery events with Wayne.

This is me, General George Casey, Mike McCarthy and Wayne Stetina. I know Mike and Wayne, but not General Casey. He is an avid cyclist and does the Ride 2 Recovery events with Wayne.

The podium.

The podium.

 

 

Elite Men’s World Championships Morning

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The Elite Men’s Road Race Worlds starts this morning at 9 am EST.  It is a long race, 6 hours, so it is going to be a long day.  There is some chance of rain most of that time, so you’d think the course is going to be wet at least some of the time, which will make for hard bike racing.

I have to assume that it is going to be wet alittle, but maybe not at the end of the race.  Mid afternoon it shows that there is 0% chance of rain around finish time.

It is super hard making picks on a single day of bicycling racing.  You’d have to think that one of the teams with a full squad of 9 riders has a much higher chance of winning than that of other countries, such as the US with 6.  But, if it rains, I think those odds are less, since racing in the rain isn’t really a team event.

If I have to make a pick, I think I’d have to go with Stybar to win the race.  But, in reality, I think an underdog rider is going to surprise and win the race.  The last 4 kilometers, from the 23rd street climb, are very tricky and a solo rider, that has super legs, can hold off the field to the finish and I think that will happen.  I think it might come down to the weather.  If I get a 2nd pick, then Greg Van Avermaet.  These hills aren’t enough to shake him and he has shown he can go up short hill, at the finish of a race, about as good as anyone currently riding.

The US women had a stellar day yesterday.  Winning the bronze medal was a victory.  I don’t think the US has won a medal Elite women’s medal since the early 90’s, so this Worlds has been a super success adding in the medals the junior women and men have already secured.  Plus, BMC is a US registered Pro team, so I guess you can chalk the TTT up as an American win too.

I did a couple hour ride out in the countryside yesterday during the women’s race.  There is so much Civil War history around here that nearly every kilometer there is a history marker with the date and battle stated.  It is a little creepy thinking about people shooting other people nearby, even it was 150 years ago.  I stopped at a cemetery and checked out some of the grave markers.   It seems so long ago, but really just a few generations of our ancestors.

Back to the race, I think that Taylor Phinney will have a good race.  Hopefully be there at the end and in the mix.  That might be asking too much too early, but he has the genetics and it just depends on the day.  Hopefully tomorrow will be his day, since it might be a long time, if ever, he gets this chance again.  I think that it is amazing that he is even riding this race, so all this is just frosting on his cake.

Okay, however it turns out, it should be a great day of bicycle racing.  There are plenty of places to view live.  There is an app for your phone, Richmond2015, which has a live feed.  I think it might be live on CNBC too.

Libby Hill was hopping yesterday during the women's race. It is probably the best place to just camp out the whole day.

Libby Hill was hopping yesterday during the women’s race. It is probably the best place to just camp out the whole day.

Coryn Rivera leading the break towards the 23rd street cobble climb with 1 1/2 lap to go. This break got caught with about 5 km to go.

Coryn Rivera leading the break towards the 23rd street cobble climb with 1 1/2 lap to go. This break got caught with about 5 km to go.

I found this box turtle out riding. I've never seen a box turtle with orange markings. In Kansas, they are greeen and yellow.

I found this box turtle out riding. I’ve never seen a box turtle with orange markings. In Kansas, they are greeen and yellow.

It is strange riding around cotton fields. Looks like it is just about time to pick it.

It is strange riding around cotton fields. Looks like it is just about time to pick it.

Trudi with a bunch of musettes yesterday morning.

Trudi with a bunch of musettes yesterday morning.

The Virginia State Capitol building.

The Virginia State Capitol building.

I'm meeting lots of guys I should know, but don't. And, of course, new friends should bear gifts.

I’m meeting lots of guys I should know, but don’t. And, of course, new friends should bear gifts.

I met up with Brad Huff out riding a couple days ago. Brad "bought" me a coffee when we got back from Richmond.

I met up with Brad Huff out riding a couple days ago. Brad “bought” me a coffee when we got back from Richmond.

 

 

 

World’s Weekend (Finally)

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I’m not trained for this bike racing spectating.  It has really only been 3 days and I’m hurt.  There seems to be a ton of walking, standing and talking involved in this endeavor.  I’ve been getting out on my bike for at least a couple hours every morning, late, but that doesn’t seem to help.  By the time I’m back, usually close to midnight, my legs are throbbing.

That being said, it is super fun.  I have run into tons of people I haven’t seen in decades. Yesterday I saw Eddie B., John Trotter, a guy I used to race as I junior, and had dinner with Drew Dedo, a  team mate from the SRC/Michael’s Cyclery era.  Plus countless other people.

I hadn’t seen Eddie maybe since the mid-nineties.  He said he is 72 and raises organic stuff.  I knew he lives near Ramona, CA and he invited me to come by and stay.  I know some of you guys are going to go ape shit over Eddie, but I think I know Eddie better than most of you and the guy isn’t the original godfather of doping, so just drop it.

The short story is that Eddie and a couple clown doctors came up with a harebrained plan of blood doping, right before the 1984 Olympics.  It is amazing that they didn’t kill a rider.  But the “practice” wasn’t banned and doping wasn’t the same then as it is now.   No one officially broke the rules and no one lost a medal.  But, looking back for the current mindset, it was all fucked up.

I’ve known Eddie since I was 17 and have had a ton of disagreement with him, but nothing over doping.  It is funny how people tend to forget the bad parts of a relationship and remember the good.  Anyway, I like the guy and he might be the reason that I got the opportunity to race my bike all over the world.

The junior women crashed it again yesterday.  They finished 1-2 in the time trial and repeated those same results in the road race.  The course stayed dry for them, so that was awesome.

The U23’s weren’t so lucky.  Nearly, but on the last lap, it started raining just enough.  The course got slick and guys started falling the last half of the race.  Kevin Ledanois, from France, made a calculated move at the top of Libby Hill and rode unreal to the line.  Kevin is the son of a sport director for BMC.  He made it to the line a couple bike lengths ahead of an Italian.  Then another French guy, then another Italian.  The whole race really played out the last 4 kms.

The junior men are lined up now.  It isn’t raining, but the roads are wet.  It is going to be one of those days on the bike for these guys.  Most of them probably don’t have a ton of experience in these conditions, so it will be interesting.

Last night we watched the start of the Brompton race, then walked over to the 23rd street climb to watch them go up it.  The Brompton bikes only have a maximum of 6 gears, so climbing the cobbles wet, was a challenge.  The first few guys made it, then the walking started.  Plus, they were doing a grand fondo type ride on the course for anyone that paid $100 or more.

When those guys started up, it was Battle of the Bulge.  I guess there were 1300 guys that entered the tour, (do the math) so after a bit, it was a log jam on 23rd street.  90% of the riders were walking in their cleats.  It was so entertaining listening to what guys were saying walking up.  They were walking on the sides and trying to leave the middle clear for people riding, but that didn’t really pan out.  Pretty soon nearly everyone walked.  I saw Chris DiStefano, from Rapha and he saw me in the dark. He said that this was the most dangerous thing he had ever done on a bike, and that is saying something for him.  It look that way.

The front of the “tour” was hauling.  Like race hauling.  I’m not positive, but sort of sure that George Hincapie was leading the line up the hill the first time.  At least it looked like  George in a Hincapie kit.  I’m not sure what to think about that.  Maybe he just paid his $100 and thought he’d get in a few hot laps on the course?

After, we walked down to Shockoe Bottom and met up with Drew and his wife for dinner.  It was super catching up.  For some reason, early friendships seem more vivid in memories than current.  That didn’t really come out right, but that is the best I can do right now.  Anyway, we stayed out late and it was good.

I’m thinking about running some today.  Just thinking, probably not doing.  Since I’ve been doing so much walking, the next step is running.  I’m worried that if I run, I won’t be able to stand during the Elite men’s race tomorrow.  That would probably be true.   I might have to put it off for a couple more days.  Or maybe just run a couple miles today.  I don’t really have any way to clean my bike, if I ride in the rain, so I’m hesitant to go out.

Okay, enough of this.  The junior men started and I’d like to watch some of that race.

Eddie, Trudi and I.

Eddie, Trudi and I.

Picture from Wednesday watching Rohan Dennis finish.

Picture from Wednesday watching Rohan Dennis finish.

The TTT presentation. Trudi is on the right and must be interested in something else and is looking off into the distance.

The TTT presentation. Trudi is on the left and must be interested in something else and is looking off into the distance.

Carnage of the 23rd Street cobbles last night in the rain.

Carnage of the 23rd Street cobbles last night in the rain.

 

 

Even McDonalds is flying the colors here in Richmond.

Even McDonalds is flying the colors here in Richmond.

 

Road World Championships – Friday

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The weather is changing here in Richmond and it looks like it is going to play a big role in the outcome of a lot of the events here at the World Road Championships.  The forecast is for rain to start later in the day and stay here all the way through Sunday.  Someone said it was the end of a hurricane that is dwindling out here.   I haven’t been paying that much attention to the reason, but my phone shows rain constantly through Sunday, then a break, and then rain again.

The course is right in downtown and has a ton of corners.  Plus it has 2 cobble climbs, one which is pretty steep, maybe close to 20%, so putting water on that will change the race up completely.

The cobble climbs probably won’t decide the men’s race, if it is wet, but the other events it could make a big difference.  This morning is junior women, then this afternoon U23 men. Tomorrow is junior men, then women in the afternoon.  The junior women might be okay, but if and when it starts raining later, it could be ugly.

Like I said, it is a downtown circuit, thus a lot of oil from automobiles.  Plus they put new asphalt down in a lot of places and that is usually pretty slick from the oil.   When it hasn’t rained for a while, it is slick until the surface oil is washed off the roads.

I think the rain could be an advantage for the US guys.  Euro guys don’t like cornering on wet roads, plus they aren’t that big on riding circuits. Most the US guys grew up riding a lot of criteriums, thus aren’t intimidated by technical, wet course.  We’ll see. Either way, the U.S. guys are, as always, long shots at best. 

I think that tire selection and pressure is going to play a part too.  A couple days ago I rode up the cobble climbs without pumping my tires for a couple weeks, thus maybe around 50 psi.  I cruised up the hills.  Yesterday, before I went riding, I put air in my tires, 95 pounds or so, and rode up the climbs at the end of my ride and the cobbles were super harsh.

If I were racing here, I’d be riding big tires, 25 or maybe 27’s/28 and riding low pressure, like 70 psi. That would help a ton on the cobbles and would be perfect for the wet corners.  But, I very much doubt many riders start with this setup.  Too bad.

Trudi is making another run to Washington DC to take equipment to the airport today, so she is going to miss a bunch of racing.  My friend Joe Royer and his wife Carol Lee came into town yesterday and we had dinner last night.  Joe and Carol Lee are going to race the Brompton race at 6:45 this evening.  It is one lap of the course, riding a Brompton bicycle, like a Bike Friday and you have to assemble your bike at a Leman’s start and ride in a suit and tie.  It will be crazy in the rain.

After that there is a tour for a couple hours between 7-9.  It is now $135 to ride the course closed off.  It seems sort of like a rip, but it seems like a lot of people I’ve met are doing it. Seems to me that fans should be able to ride a lap on the course for just showing up at the event.  But in this day and age of getting every penny you can from people, I guess that is unrealistic.

Okay, here are some pictures of the course and stuff.

Here's Trudi climbing Libby Hill on her new bike.

Here’s Trudi climbing Libby Hill on her new bike.

They are real cobbles, so rain will make them challenging.

They are real cobbles, so rain will make them challenging.

The line up LIbby end when it gets hard is going to be riding next to the barriers on the concrete. There is a strip on the right side the first half of the climb, then switches over to the left up the last pitch.

The line up LIbby end when it gets hard is going to be riding next to the barriers on the concrete gutter. There is a strip on the right side the first half of the climb, then switches over to the left up the last pitch.

Yesterday the course was closed for road training. Lots of people were out taking photos of their favorite riders.

Yesterday the course was closed for road training. Lots of people were out taking photos of their favorite riders.

The barriers lining the finish should be mandatory for all big events. They angle back, keeping the spectators away from the riders, plus making it safer for the riders if they get pushed up against them in a sprint. It really widens the road.

The barriers lining the finish should be mandatory for all big events. They angle back, keeping the spectators away from the riders, plus making it safer for the riders if they get pushed up against them in a sprint. It really widens the road.

The USA Cycling booth in the Fan Fest has Allison Dunlap's bike displayed. I liked that.

The USA Cycling booth in the Fan Fest has Allison Dunlap’s bike displayed. I liked that.

Bob Roll stopped by our table to talk a couple nights ago. Same old Bob.

Bob Roll stopped by our table to talk a couple nights ago. Same old Bob.

 

 

 

Ivan Stevic – Doper/Prick/Elite World Championship Participate

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I received an email a couple days ago telling me about Ivan Stevic and how he is on the roster to race the Elite men’s road race here in Richmond.  I thought to myself, “How is this possible?” I knew that Stevic was still racing, but though that he was sort of flying under the radar.  I assumed the lifetime ban he received from C.O.N.I., (the Italian doping agency) would apply worldwide.  I even had a PDF file showing his lifetime ban.

But, that isn’t the case.  I guess he appealed his ban and received a two year suspension that was applied from 2008 to 2010 I guess.  That is according to an article I just read.  This is a link and it goes over Stevic’s exploits way better than I have any time doing.  You should read it.

I don’t like the guy.  I’ve written about him before.  Here is a post from over 4 years ago.  He was arrogant when he raced here in the US.  When he was winning the Nature Valley Grand Prix, he was so supercharged he was sweating EPO.  When we were racing the Stillwater Criterium, he was riding up the hill, which is over 20% grade, spinning like 120 rpms beside me.  He casually pulls a Powerbar out of his pocket and rides no handed opening it and proceeds to eat it.  This is when the other 40 guys, out of 120 starters, were redlined in 39 X 25’s.  I should have just kicked him over.  I wish I would have.

I have lots of other stories like this.  It was so apparent that he was doping that it was no surprise to find out that he was in the US because his apartment had been raided in Italy and he had enough HGH and testosterone to supply an army.

Anyway, I hate the fact that he is racing here on US soil.  I was wondering about why that is still possible.  I guess it is because he appealed his lifetime sentence this year, even though he’d been racing continuously since it was imposed.

I saw that his sentence was retroactively enforced from 2008 to 2010.  I was wondering, since he was racing in the United States during that time, and he won a ton of money here, if USADA could force him to pay his forfeited winnings back or face suspension.  And this could be done before Sunday.

He would have to come up with a big chunk of money.  I was racing in Tulsa when the whole Toyota-United team were beyond ball hogs and won 80% of the total prize list, which was, I believe close to 6 figures.  Then he won Nature Valley and other events.  He is supposed to pay his winning back I believe.  I very much doubt he did.

If anyone has any information on this or how to apply a rule, if there is such a rule, maybe it could prevent this from happening.   The ball needs to get rolling or the guy is going to start another race on US soil, The World Road Championships.   It is pretty much a joke and makes our sport look silly.

Two of my favorite pictures of Ivan.

IMG_1570

IMG_1569

From the C.O.N.I. decision – 

 

stevic copy