Archive for July, 2009

Mikel Astarloza proves talk of a clean Tour premature

Mikel Astarloza, leader of the Euskaltel TDF team, has been provisionally suspended by the UCI after being found positive for EPO in an out of competion test on 26th June. The suspension will continue until the case is considered by the Spanish federation. Astarloza has asked for a counter analysis of the B sample.

Presumably Astarloza will lose his TDF stage win (he slipped a group of four including Jurgen Van den Broek and Pellizotti) if the positive is confirmed.

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Freddie Grubb works in Twickenham

Cyclists of my generation remember Freddie Grubb bikes only as a cheaper range in the Holdsworth stable. Apparently this was not always the case and before the war they were well regarded.

I have just come across a short piece in a news paper’s property section lauding the conversion of an old building in Gould Road near Twickenham Green into waterside offices.  It is said that in 1928 Freddie Grubb established Grubb Cycles on the premises and produced models that included the Twickenham Eagle and the Kingston Recumbent. The premises were later used for the production of Mercury cars.

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Did Jurgen yell for Cadel to wait?

I just checked the result of the TDF ttt and noticed that Silence-Lotto didn’t wait for VdB when he fell. He lost seven minutes on Astana and about 4min 30sec on the rest of his team. I imagine dinner was a little difficult that night!

173rd  Jurgen van den Broek (Bel) Silence-Lotto @ 7min. 04sec.

VDBval

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Yell for Cadel

Rather belatedly I came across the Yell for Cadel campaign. Sadly it did not work and Evans rode a poor Tour. Team owner Coucke says he is standing by the Aussie but has also said that race revelation Jurgen Van den Broek is now joint leader of the Silence-Lotto squad. Evan’s was keen to big up Bradley Wiggins’s amazing performance rather than Jurgen’s move in to the big time.

The photo shows Cadel at Verbier together with his supporters club.

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Millar and Chavanel on the road to Barcelona

This must surely be the best Tour ever for British fans, with all due respect to Brian Robinson and Robert Millar. I have not forgotten Tom Simpson but lets be honest he wasn’t much of a Tour rider. Cav has delivered as expected and Bradley Wiggins is a revelation, to me at least. Others may claim that they knew all along that he could climb with the best but it has shocked me. I have always believed that he could win De Ronde, if only because he has the same build as Eddy Bosberg, but I thought the Muur at Gerardsbergen would be his limit.

But the ride that exited me the most was Millar’s epic on the road to Barcelona. When he clipped off 29km from the finish he left Sylvain Chavanel for dead. Yes the same Chavanel who has been the strong man of the Quick Step team all year. I don’t think he can use the “I was on a bad day” excuse or Sylvain would have stayed in the bunch not gone looking for a stage win. The truth is Chavanel was beaten by a much better man who truly deserved a stage victory.

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Team Sky signs Serge Pauwels

It was inevitable that Serge Pauwels would be unhappy at Cervelo following the insane tactics of DS Van Poppel who forced Pauwels to sacrifice a Giro stage when in a winning position and Leonardo Bertagnolli happily accepted the gift of a stage win from the Cervelo team.

The 25 year old Belgian has agreed to join the british Sky team next season and greenjersey would not be surprised if he is joined by Brits from his old squad. Money shouldn’t be a problem as the budget is said to be 33 million euros, the highest in the peloton.

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Wilfried Peeters gets his excuses in early

Quick.Step director Wilfried Peeters welcomed the news that Boonen would ride the Tour but didn’t sound too confident. “Tom is ready for the Tour de France.  Whether that green jersey is his to take home, is another question. Boonen is now become a complete rider not the true sprinter that he was before. I think Mark Cavendish is the fastest of the bunch, but we must all fight the British team.”   No I don’t understand either, is Colombia registered in the UK?

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