Archive for February, 2009

Who won Gent-Gent (Omloop Het Nieuwsblad)?

thor

Bloody technology! greenjersey was watching Het Volk on the computer when, with six km to the finish, the broadcast changed to an American detective drama! Of course when you don’t really know what you are doing it is not easy to resolve that kind of problem and greenjersey couldn’t so no finale for him.

It was the kind of race where it was clear to a TV viewer, in the comfort of his home, that that the riders and their sporting directors are a bunch of clowns. There was a break of six and a chasing group of about sixteen. Haussler seemed to be the strongest in the front group and Gilbert the strongest of the chasers. He launched a super attack up the Molenberg pulling Flecha away but the rest clawed their way back to them. At the front the group split leaving Langeveld (Rabobank) and Haussler (Cervelo) at the front with about one minute lead and 30km to the finish. The Rabobank team seemed to have complete control of the chasers at one stage they were three abreast blocking a narrow road.

Then Nick Nuyens (Rabobank) attacked from the chasers. No I don’t know why either. He took Gilbert and Frederic Amorison leader of Landbouwkrediet-Colnago with him and then sat on as the other two cut into the gap. It was down to ten seconds and a “catch” as Liggett would say looked inevitable. But behind Sylvain Chavenel (QuickStep) was doing an amazing ride towing the group along (with some help from Lotto’s Hoste).  They caught the Gilbert trio and then everone sat up and started looking at each other.

Gilbert was unable to contain himself and started, once again, to tow the chasers. Given that Boonen was in the group, fresh as a daisy, and most of the rest hadn’t done a stroke of work surely Gilbert should have told them to f@%k themselves and let them try a turn at the front. greenjersey likes workers not shirkers but hates to see a rider taken for a mug.

At that point instead of the drama in Flanders I got a made for TV “drama” in California!   greenjersey thinks Haussler will have won.

Wrong again! Langeveld and Haussler were caught in the last kilometre and Thor Hushovd won  in a sprint.

Let’s hope that I get to see the finish of tomorrows Kurne-Brussels-Kurne.

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Vandenbroucke says his clean win was the best

Frank Vandenbroucke has given an interview to a Belgian “lads” magazine that, not surprisingly, features Frank’s views on doping. This is what the former superstar had to say:                                                                    When I became a pro in 1994 new doping products were of course in the peleton, introduced by the so-called pioneers. That sure, everybody knows. Furlan, Berzin, Argentin … at a given moment ten miles per hour faster than the rest. I have never had an opportunity to be a pioneer for a new kind of doping, the first to try. The interviewer thought Frank regretted that he had not been a “pioneer  “But of course, they had the chance to try out a new treatment. Unfortunately I never had that chance.   Yes I had class. Yes, I was born to win and take prizes. In 1994, when I was just nineteen,I won a stage of the Tour of the Mediterranean Sea. (Frank says he won on Mont Faron but this is not correct, he won the following stage) beating Davide Cassani and Berzin. Those guys had a hematocrit value of 60. Mine was 42! That I won was incredible! My greatest achievement was not the victory in Liege-Bastogne-Liege, but that on Mont Faron. Because then I fought with unequal resources. They were prepared by doctor Michele Ferrari and Luigi Cecchini while I raced on bread and water.

Referring to his 1999 win in L-B-L Frank said that although he was doped it was a fair win as all the top five were also! Michael Boogerd, who was second, has insisted that he was clean and Frank is talking rot.

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Cav winds up Boonen

It is a truism that sprinters are cocky and Cav is no exception. This is what he had to say about his second stage win in California:

“I sprinted extra hard today because I could see a shadow behind me and I thought it was Tom Boonen coming up to me again. It turns out I was sprinting against my own shadow.”

It may be true but perhaps it would have been better left unsaid.

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Armstrong attacks freedom of expression

Is there no limit to Armstrong’s arrogance? greenjersey is watching Eurosport’s coverage of the Tour of California, a race that makes the Tour of Spain seem interesting.  The bunch was plodding up a long ramp when the American version of The Devil appeared running at the side of the group. He was carrying a trident with prongs fashioned to look like hypodermic syringes and showing the legend “LiveClean.” Rather amusing I thought but L.A. failed to appreciate the message and gave The Devil a sharp push and he went arse over tit in to the snow! greenjersey is unfamiliar with the California Penal Code it seemed like a case of common assault. I trust the Police Dept. will arrange a night in the cells for Mr Big.

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The L.A. Show (Lance and Alberto)

Speaking at the start of the first stage of the Tour of the Algarve Alberto Contador said that both he and Armstrong deserve to lead the Astana team in the Tour de France. “He because of what he has done in the past and myself because of what I have achieved in the last two years” said the Spaniard. Sounds fair enough to greenjersey who has never understood what the supposed problem is in having two leaders. There is likely to be only one leader soon enough as the first mountain stages come early in the race. Of course Levi Leipheimer may be less than keen about Alberto’s “two leaders” strategy.

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Is Armstrong a cancer in the body of cycling?

la-kimmage

and another thing Kimmage

Armstrong is, without doubt, a monumental twat but it has to be said that his response to Paul Kimmage was masterly. It is obvious that O’bama is only keeping the desk at the White House warm until Lance is ready to move on to the next stage of his career.

greenjersey undstands that Kimmage made his “the cancer’s back” remark during a radio interview so he was, to some extent, speaking off the cuff. You would hardly expect Kimmage to respect Armstong’s feelings but I suppose he shouldn’t be horrid to cancer sufferers generally. But was he? This is what he said in 2008:

“This guy, any other way but his bullying and intimidation wrapped up in this great cloak, the great cancer martyr . This is what he hides behind all the time. The great man who conquered cancer. Well he is the cancer in this sport. And for two years this sport has been in remission. And now the cancer’s back.”

Apart from the fact that it is hardly true to say that the sport has been in remission for two years it is, I believe, fair comment about Armstrong and not insensitive to cancer sufferers. After all cancer is regularly used as a simile for all kinds of disagreeable conditions and situations. One thing’s for sure greenjersey is looking forward to The Sunday Times next week.

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Mark Bell at Southport

kenin-beating-mark-bell

greenjersey has found a photo of a close finish between Mark Bell and Southport RCC’s Kevin Reilly. I don’t recall the occasion but it was probably taken at a circuit race for schoolies or juniors. It looks as if Kevin got the win that time but don’t they both look the business considering they were kids. Being a Merseyside race both are on Harry Quinns.

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