Archive for May, 2009
Lance Armstrong had a short but tough day today and boy did he look old and knackered as he led Levi over the finish line. He attacked on the Blockhaus climb and for a while he looked as if he could stay with the main men but when The Killer turned up the heat Lance was out the back door and fell back to Levi’s group of also rans.
Team manager Patrick Lefevere, who hasn’t spoken to Tommeke since his continuing cocaine use was revealed on the 9th May, has said that Boonen will start racing in a kermesse at Gullegem on 2nd June. Apparently the big fella from Balen has been training hard under the supervision of Rik Verbrugge and plans to ride the Dauphine Libere (7th-14th June) where he is said to be very welcome.
He is likely to be less welcome at the start of the Tour de France but another green jersey remains Tom’s ambition for 2009.
Why do directors try and make bike racing more complicated than need be? Cervelo Team director Van Poppel is sat in the car with his rider Serge Pauwels heading for a stage win and Sastre, his gen. class. man tucked nicely in the group of favourites (less the Little Prince and the Big Twat) when he suddenly has a brain storm. Call Pauwels back to “help” Sastre! Help him do what? Cruise to the finish in a fast but steady group? Surely a Tour winner can manage that on his own. No wonder Pauwels looked shocked and was very reluctant to obey orders.
When he eventually sat up he was joined by three survivors of the day’s break and rode with them to the finish where he easily took second place less than a minute behind his former companion Bertognolli. An untroubled Sastre rolled in a minute later with all his rivals for the pink jersey.
Van Poppel has suggested in his defence that Sastre asked him to call back Pauwels but so what? V.P. is the man in charge and he should have said NO.
What is it about that guy, he seems like a total flake but he is right time after time. He invented a new position that looked really stupid but was clearly faster than any other. In fact it was so fast that the UCI banned it so he invented the “superman” position that was just as fast and looked just as weird as the original crouch. The UCI banned that as well but not before Chris Boardman used it to take the Hour record.
It was at his Hour record attempt, in Norway I think, that Obree introduced his other secret weapon, a bowl of cornflakes! How we laughed, all those scientific drinks out there and the crazy Scotsman was stuffing his face with rubbish from ASDA!
It seems that researchers at the University of Texas thought Obree was on to something as they recruited twelve trained cyclists and got them to ride for two hours. Exercise physiologist Lynne Kammer who led the study said that glycogen replenishment was just as good after wheat cereal and milk as with sports drinks and that lactic acid levels were actually lower.
I could wait until after the Giro to see how Cav is going but that would be too easy for greenjersey. I’m backing Oscar Friere right now for the Points jersey in the Tour. I expect Cav to win more stages than the Spaniard but I can see Oscar getting on the podium on undulating stages while I expect Cav. to be in the laughing group and pointless when the going gets tough. I was seduced for a while by the way the Manxman cruised up the Poggio after 300kms but impressive as that was I dont believe that he has the fortitude of Oscar. But he will eventually.
Mark Cavendish was his usual confident but charming self during yesterday’s interview with Gabby Logan on Inside Sport. Perhaps unsurprisingly he was uncertain about coach David Brailsford’s suggestion that he could be cycling’s Wayne Rooney!
Who could argue with his frustration over the British public’s obsession with the Olympic Games to the exclusion of the classic races and major Tours. Perhaps if he takes the green jersey in the Tour he will become as famous as Rebecca Romero !!
It was surprising to learn that last year he was dope tested 64 times and remarkable that he has to contribute ten percent of his winnings toward the costs of testing. He played down his former career as a ball room dancer saying that being the best in the Isle of Man didn’t count for much.