Sunday, May 15, 2011

TOC(R) starts today....or will it?

That Other Cycling (Race)....HA! Sometimes I crack myself up!'s 11:30am on RACE DAY as I type, and the riders aren't riding. Guess it's a bad day up at Tahoe...VN reports the stage will be shortened and maybe starting around 1:30pm, but looking at tweets from riders and others, they are thinking it's a day off. Would they do that? (cancel the entire opening stage?) Not sure what they will do if there's still snow and ice on the roads...sure can't ride bikes in it....unless they do something entirely new and make a MTB stage out of THAT would be something! Kind of like adding the cobbles into last years Tour, only better! The mechanics would really be busy...road bikes, TT bikes, and MTB bikes. I like it...who do I write to with my idea?

I am still in denial that Fabian won't be here this year...he's ALWAYS here! What's up with that? Anybody hear anything about this? And Frank too...what's going on w/ Leopard-Trek? Andy's here....I'd have thought sure Fabian and Frank would come with Andy. I don't know what kind of form Andy's truly in just now, but it seems a race he should be contesting for the win to me. Garmin Cervelo surely came to win...their team is loaded to the gills! And Radio Shack is looking pretty good too. And don't discount BMC w/ Big George...will THIS finally be his last year? I sure hope he doesn't crash out...I really want another picture of him during Friday's Solvang TT (and yes, I'll be there...most likely on the short climb up Ballard Canyon as in prior years).

On a a plus note, Bob Roll, (AKA Bobke) will be coming to speak in Santa Maria this Thursday evening as he has in years past the night before the Solvang TT. He's awesome to listen to on the air, and even more-so in person. He's showing up at one of our local bike shops, same as the prior years. The venue is small and the crowd is large. It'll be standing room only, and barely that. I'll make sure I get there early again to stake out a small piece of property.

And I know that this little local race will be dominating my cycling radar screen for the next week and a half, but HEY HEY HEY! How about Contador lighting it up on the slopes of Mt Etna in the Giro today? WOW! He storms into the pink jersey on a mountaintop finish...and all the while awaiting word from the CAS if he will be suspended (for up to TWO YEARS!). WHAT IF he goes ahead and wins this race, and is then sanctioned/disqualified by the CAS? What an ugly mess that would be for cycling. I have to wonder if they (the CAS) won't be taking all this into account as they make their decision. The Giro organizers would be FURIOUS if he were sanctioned for something that happened last year after being allowed to start, and I can only guess that they are quaking in their boots at this possibility. I see some real ugly politics ahead for sure in this debacle. This will surely be a topic to discuss over at Rant's.

OK...I'm off to do some housework and then will check back in to see if today's ToC stage indeed will start. Of course I'm watching it all online (still no VS on the satellite...won't get that until early July). I need to mow, and hopefully it's getting dry (it RAINED some this morning...most likely part of the same storm system that hit Tahoe). Happy Sunday!

Game ON (I hope!)

1:26pm UPDATE appears today's stage has been canceled due to the weather. Holy cats...the opening stage canceled! Not a very good omen for this years race. Good thing the race is in May for better weather! Sheesh! This must be quite disappointing for AMGEN...and a lot of money spent for a non-stage. Though it can't be can't hold a race on icy roads and risk all the riders. We've already seen enough tragedy in this sport for a while. Good call (and gutsy!) by the organizers.

Maybe they can move the race into September against the Vuelta and FINALLY we can have some decent weather? Who do I call?


  1. Cathy, lovely piece. I watched the stage and was in tears like everyone else. I was even in tears telling my friends about it on yesterday's ride.

    And a personal reminder how dangerous our sport of choice can be: About 1/3 into our ride, we had a 3-person crash where the person on the right touched my wheel, causing me to fall into teh person on my left (we were on a closed road where you can ride 3 or 4 abreast). Scary moment, saved by the fact that we were stopping when it happened, so weren't moving very fast. My question is, how is it that I have what looks like a 8" bloody chain ring track on my thigh, and my shorts were not torn even a little?

  2. Question to anyone who is watching the Giro on Universal Sports - I am noticing that these announcers don't use the riders' names - they keep saying "and now we have a move by [team name]" and such. I get that cycling is a team sport, it's odd. Clearly I am noticing it b/c P&P don't do it this way. THese guys have to stop shouting, too.

    Contador looked awesome today!

  3. Contador was amazing today. think of how the rest of the GC guys must feel knowing that there was just NOTHING that they could do about it but let him go! I'm still not thrilled with the whole Contador scandal, though. It seems ridiculous to be letting him ride races and THEN decide whether he will or won't be banned. Figure it out and put the horse in front of the cart for goodness sakes.

    Barbara I have noticed that the guys talk way more about the teams rather than individual riders. There are many teams/riders in the Giro that I don't know very well and I'm always wishing for more specific info!

    I was turning on VS today and thinking that stage 1 seemed to have a lot of ToC promo in front of it when it suddeny started scrolling across the screen that the race was canceled. I was I'm not sure that they had any choice at all in the matter - there was just NO way that they could race in that. Imagine the cost and closed roads, transportation, VIP packages, vendors, sponsors, etc etc etc. Do you think that they even had a plan in place should such a thing happen?

    No Giro tomorrow so I'm looking forward to Stage 2 (or do we officially call it stage 1 now) of the ToC! Keep us posted on your activities Matt :)

  4. Hi All! The start has been moved from Squaw Valley to Nevada City. This gets us out of the mountains, over the Donner Pass and into warmer temperatures. The route was going through there anyway and started there last year, so it should work out (except there is rain forecast for arrival time). The hard-working crews that do all the set-up and tear-down were still working here at Northstar late last night and none of it even got used. Onward! A moment of silence for Wouter Weylandt will take place today before the stage. Then racing finally begins. Yay! Yesterday was CRAZY!

  5. Hi, trying again to comment--wonder if this one too will vanish into the ether? I thought the last one "took" but no sign of it--

    Barbara and Janann, I am not loving the Universal commentators. They lack something, they are not charming to listen to! It is almost like they are trying to ACT or SOUND like professional sports commentators! I have wondered if they just aren't so familiar with the individual riders, so they fall back on just saying the team name. Or maybe their video is so poor they can't tell who is who!

    I am heading out to CA tomorrow evening, yes, last minute--I am price-lining my hotels as I type this! I hope to see the finish in Paso Robles, and then the last 4 stages. I wonder how hard it will be to get up to a good viewing spot on Mt. Baldy---Matt or Cathy, any suggestions?


  6. Crazy times in cycling. Over in Italy apparently there were accusations that Cav got PULLED up Mt Etna by a team-car (and barely made the time cutoff) yesterday, and then today he wins the stage. And then here...well...another short stage due to snow. And we had rain here May! How bizarre and rare for us. And I JUST washed my freaking car finally too! I have been waiting and waiting for the rains to be gone...and BAM. Rain.

    Cathy, hope you brought lots of warm clothes for this years race!

    And Elsie, I hate to say it but I have NO IDEA where Mt Baldy is (somewhere south is all I know). I don't know if I'll make Saturday's stage, and I doubt very much that I'll make the finish up in Paso on Thurs (I have NO vacation left that isn't already spoken for later in the fact, I'm feeling quite sick, and have a sneaking suspicion that I'll HAVE to take Friday off...cough cough).

    Yes, I will be in (or near) Solvang pretty much for sure. I'll most likely be on the Ballard Cyn climb (at the half-way point of the route) during the TT...but will prob pass thru town as I ride the course before the race starts. And then I'll most likely come down on Sunday to Thousand Oaks for the finish.

    For some reason I'm not nearly as jazzed this year as I was last year (and they bypassed my region entirely too). Not sure why...but I think it has something to do with my NOT seeing ANY racing (except for tiny tidbits online here and there) so far this year.

  7. Oh Rae - have fun!!! Be sure to post for us - or attempt to - this latest one "took" :)

    Great win for Cav today. A bit of a late start on the season for him, but he looked to be in good form. Glad he made the time cut - I was sad to see Robbie leave.

    You're right about the Universal commentators. They just don't hold a candle to P&P. I love how both of them (P&P) just sort of go with the flow and say whatever hits them at the moment - and how they're not afraid to be wrong about calling a rider by name. They just go with it and correct themselves (or each other) later when necessary. I like that a lot better than the approach of the universal guys. Though I AM happy to hear the race called in ENGLISH!! So, I shouldn't complain. I'm certainly happy to have P&P for the ToC though for sure.

    Have you checked out Chris Horner's videos for each stage at Jens has a couple of new blog entries at the site, too (hope he is OK after that fall at the finish today).
    I love Horner videos!

  8. Matt, on the Ballard climb if you see a young photographer with dreadlocks, that's my son Dane. You should say hi to him!!!

  9. Wow, it's HARD to watch two different races at the same time. I just watched yesterday's ToC stage and now today's GdI stage. So I can't remember which one of them showed Wouter Weylandt's funeral - Tyler Farrar doing a beautiful job talking about his friend. So sad.

    Tonight the Universal Sports guys couldn't even come up with the NAME of the WINNER until after the commercial! Yeah, I don't like them.

  10. CHRIS HORNER!!!!!!!!!!!!


  11. Holy smokes, HORNER in yellow! How AWESOME IS THAT!!! Woo-HOOO! GO CHRIS! Man oh man, things are looking up! And tomorrow night (Thurs) here in Santa Maria is BOBKE night! It's gonna be great as always!

    And then Solvang on Friday...Yes-indeed''s starting to look a lot like CHRISTMAS!

    And Cathy, I will surely keep my eyes open for Dane! Hope I see him! Thanks for the notice!

    And Elsie, if you are out there, hope you have fun here in CA!

  12. HORNER! HORNER! HORNER! Was fun at the dinner table last night!

  13. So stoked about HORNER!!!!

    Many years ago (before the movie made it famous) I had a wonderful experience in Paso Robles. My boyfriend and I were working in Pasadena and drove up to San Francisco, and on the way home we decided to take the interstate (I guess for time). Along the way we decided we had been eating healthy all week and we both wanted a burger. I don't eat burgers very often, and so if I have one I want it to be seriously good. So we randomly got off at Paso and right there at the exit we saw a place called "Good Ol' Burgers" - just burgers, just beef, eat outside at a picnic table, and when your food's ready they call out "Barbara, let's eat!" We made a point of going back on our next trip.