Monday, August 18, 2014

USA Tour Pro of Challenge Colorado

Yeah, whatever. I hereby state for the record that I HATE the official name they gave this race. But other than that it's great! And we have DAILY COVERAGE (and I get it!). However, I won't possibly be able to watch THREE HOURS every evening...we're working late pretty much every day right weekday bike rides are a thing of the past for the last 2 weeks, and likely this week too. Next week? We'll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now, it's all about "America's Bike Race" (yes, I've heard that said a NUMBER of times now). So what are the Tour of California and the Tour of Utah? South America's races?

Anyway...Stage 1 is in the books. P&P are in the hot-seats with the play by play....and I miss Todd, Bobke and CVV already! It's shaping up to be a GREAT race, with serious roads to race, and serious contenders to do it. TJ is of course the reigning champion and odds on favorite...but Tommy D is looking pretty good and I'd LOVE to see him step up and take this, hot on the heels of his win at Utah. And hey, how about Jens today! LOVE it that he took his flyer, just as Taylor predicted (love that they kept up the 'guest commentator' that they were doing at the Tour this year...great hearing from Taylor and glad to hear he's back on the bike looking forward to next season). Gosh I wish I was up in Colorado to thank Jens in person for all the awesome memories he's given us....he will be missed  more than any other cyclist I can think of. He's SUCH a class act..but surely the entire world wishes him well, and a happy retirement with his family. I did my best to wrangle a trip to Colorado Springs, but that's not on tap until October darn it....and nothing I could do to get it moved up (I'd say everybody was onto my ploy, knowing there was a bike race coming up).

Not too much else to say about this race just now...we'll have to wait and see how it shapes up, who's got the legs and lungs to work at some serious altitude for 7 days, and how it all plays out.

Otherwise, the only thing I wanted to touch bases on was Robin Williams. How utterly sad that he took his own life....having been fortunate enough to have never suffered from depression, I can't fathom how a person who seems to have EVERYTHING going for him can think that's the best option. And to HANG yourself? Just tossing in my 2 cents worth here, that's NOT a pleasant way to go. For one thing, SOMEBODY you love will likely be the one to find you....and I believe THAT is not a nice thing to see and deal with. You'd have to be SO far down into a black hole of depression that you don't realize that (or you simply don't care due to the depths of your hole), OR possibly you want it to be that way to hurt that person. Of course, I have NO IDEA whatsoever if any of that is's just my thoughts. No matter though...what's done is done, but for absolute certainty the world lost a major talent who had us laughing for decades. He was quite original, and even a huge proponent of cycling....showing up at many races around the world. He will certainly be missed, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends, and also I hope he found whatever peace he was searching for. I still can't believe it though....just seems like a bad dream and we'll see him any day now on some show ripping off jokes in his totally unique style.

Jeannie is back east on her annual 'family' vacation....rotating between Ohio and I've got the furbaby sitting duties. Everybody is doing fine....even Syd....I've been giving her extra attention, and getting her to walk whenever I can...also upped one of her meds (since we took her off the steroids) and she seems to be doing pretty good all in all. She crashed and burned on the driveway just yesterday as I was wheeling the "Furbaby Flyer" out into position...she was attempting to get in while I was wheeling downhill...and she didn't quite make it. When I say crashed and burned, I mean that I couldn't stop the wagon in time, nor stop her from attempting to get she tumbled and rolled on the cement. But she falls down a lot lately, so this wasn't a huge deal...and she was just fine when I got her situated in the wagon and let her out in the park to mosey around. to bed for the's late (9pm) and I turn into a pumpkin at 9:02.

Later gaters...enjoy the race!


  1. I will miss Jensie terribly. I hope he stays in the sport in a job where WE can continue to see & hear him. Won't be quite the same as seeing him ON the bike, attacking with his 'SHUT UP LEGS!' gusto, but it would still be great.

    Meanwhile, fellow 42 year old Horner is about to start his defense of the Vuelta championship. It's quite fascinating that while Jens has admitted that he just isn't the same rider as he used to be & can't attack as he once did, Horner is STILL quite the GC force! Heck, he wasn't even riding for himself the 1st week at the Tour AND he got that illness that passed throughout the peloton & yet he finished 17th! Amazing! I'm thinking that possibly his years of NOT riding in Europe and the time he was forced off the bike the past 5-6 years due to injuries (& after-effects) is what has actually extended his career. What do ya'll think?

    I was excited at 1st about the USA Pro Challenge (achehch, spit, that name!) - that I'd at least be able to see the 1 hour taped versions at 11:00 PM every night, but at least going by Comcast's onscreen TV guide, those shows will NOT be on the rest of this week! No, NBC-SN is supposedly broadcasting repeat Shark Hunter & car auction shows instead! I'm hoping Comcast is incorrect but am not optimistic. I will leave work 1.5 hours early today (Wed) so I can at least see the last hour of today's mt-top finish stage live. The 1st 2 stages sure have been surprising with the lower-level teams getting the wins. Still, it MAKES those teams' seasons! And that was fun to see. I do have to wonder how HARD most of the top teams' riders really try in this race. At least the ones not really targeting the race like Tejay & Tommy D. Plus, the altitude has such a deleterious effect. How long does one need to be at altitude before they are acclimated?

    Oh, in case you didn't see - Big George is being interviewed by Craig Hummer for a 1 hour special to be shown on Universal Sports network this Friday. Damn, I REALLY want to see that! Can you all promise to watch & do a write-up here, pretty please?

    And yoouhooo, Janann & Barbara - you guys ok? Just super busy? Miss ya! :)

    1. Jens will be missed more than he can imagine...I was WILLING him to the finish line with all my energy yesterday....but he was finally caught inside the last 1k (DAMN DAMN DAMN!!!), but WHAT a wonderful try! It was pure Jens!! It sure would have been wonderful had he made it...but that's pro cycling and he above all people knows it. The crowd gave him a wonderful ovation when he was called up as the most aggressive rider...He should get a special lifetime achievement award from the UCI as a lifetime MOST AGRESSIVE RIDER or something.

      STILL not even remotely a fan of TJ...(and for whatever reason, his stage-winning 'victory gesture' makes me crazy!) He did it TWICE the other day in his win on Monarch Mt...I don't know why he bothers me so much...he just does. I miss Sagan's finish line impromptu celebrations...(my all time fav thus far was his arms going back and forth like a steam engine or whatever that was...LOVED it!)

      I'll REALLY be rooting for Tommy D to pull some magic out of his legs and step ahead of TJ...but it's not looking good...the TT is too far, and he really needs to work on his TT skills.

      And as to the Vuelta....woo-HOO! I need to add Universal Sports to my DTV package....maybe tonight (no idea what it will cost, but boy what a race we should be in for!) I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to see Horner do it again against this field! I agree Susie....I think his time away from the bike or in lower level teams over the years is what has maybe extended his current extension of world-class-form....seems to make sense. Whatever it is, it's pure MAGIC!

  2. MATT! Horner has been PULLED from the Vuelta! Because of "low cortisol levels". Which were caused because he's been taking medicine for his bronchitis that he picked up at the TDF & for which he & his TEAM got a TUE! Lampre says they "have" to pull him NOT because of any UCI regs (which are NOT broken) but because they are a member of that cycling group that enforces "stricter doping regulations". Then WHY the hell did they give him the MEDICINE?! They had to KNOW it would give him low cortisol levels now!

    This is RIDICULOUS! Either he's healthy enough to compete or he's not. EVERYONE could see for the past 5 weeks that he's been hacking away on & off the bike. It's not like his test results show evidence of doping! For god sake, this is PATHETIC! Can you IMAGINE any player in the NFL, NBA or MLB being removed the DAY before the Super Bowl, Finals, or World Series because they took medicine for BRONCHITIS?!!!! I am DISGUSTED!

    Plus, I don't think Horner has a contract yet for next year & his results in the Vuelta would have GREATLY helped that! Now, who knows if he'll even get another job. Hell, with Cannondale (old Liquigas) folding, it's not like there's tons of teams out there with available slots.

  3. He's actually not healthy enough to race and that's why they were going with the medicine to try to get him to the start line. Yes, they knew it would lower his levels, but without it he wouldn't be well enough to compete at all - they were sure of that. With the medicine there was a chance he would recover fast enough and his levels would return to the proper level in time for him to race. It was a calculated risk that everyone was willing to take. And once the team joined the MMCC, they couldn't pick and chose which rules they would follow.

    And Cannondale is merging with Garmin - they aren't folding. It will be a merged team managed by Slipsptream sports management, same as Garmin is now but will race under the name Cannondale (and a joint title sponsor if they are able to bring one on).

  4. Cathy - how this plays out in the mainstream media is that it STINKS of DOPING. They don't care about any medical excuse, all they see & REPORT is that Horner can not start the race because of a "doping test". That his TEAM pulled him because of the link to some org that is NOT RECOGNIZED by ALL the teams makes things even murkier. The TEAM should have gotten out in front of the story BEFORE it happened by releasing quotes ALL THIS WEEK that they "HOPE he'll be WELL enough to compete", etc. You know enough of marketing to know this. I have read cyclingnews & velonews every day this week for all the pre-Vuelta stories & saw NONE of that.

    And how can their medical staff not know if the drug would lower his levels enough so that he would not pass the test?

    As for Cannondale, the ownership of that team IS getting out of cycling. Just the SPONSOR is moving over to Slipstream. Thus, the OLD team will no longer exist. Even Vaughters doesn't call it a "merger". Plus, a "merger" is NOT reflective of an economically healthy sport anyway - 2 teams (riders AND staff) are reduced to 1.

    You want to know what the mainstream sports media reports about cycling? Example this week - that some 40 yr old guy I'd never heard of failed some doping test recently (at the New Jersey Criterium Championships - uh, what?). No team affiliation was mentioned, so the guy appears to not really be a professional & yet the MSM posts & reposts that "story" as if he's a real pro cyclist & lookee there, just one more example of "DIRTY CYCLING".

  5. Plea once more - if anyone can watch the Hincapie interview on Universal Sports Network TONIGHT (8/22 Friday) & write up your take-away here, I'd really appreciate. THANKS!

    1. Hey Susie...I JUST added Universal Sports Network to my DTV package...(had to talk to "customer service"...I was hoping I could just add ONE FREAKING CHANNEL to our package...oh no...however they were pretty cool...I added the sports package, usually $15 a month extra...but due to the hard time I had (I tried online and then on their computer-synthisized voice customer service first to no avail) she deducted $5 from the package for the first month (I only want it for one month) and somehow it comes out to only an extra $5 a month for 3 months...and I can cancel anytime after 30 days w/ no extra fees....less than 30 days there's a $10 fee. So..just missed the 5 to 6pm HIncape interview...but I have it set to record tonight so I'll have it tomorrow...AND I set it to record the entire Vuelta...

      I am SO BUMMED they kicked Horner out...what a crap deal! It's like they don't want the old guy to show up and possibly BEAT the whipper-snappers AGAIN. However this year he had his work cut out for him...the TT's, and the fact that Alberto and Froome will be there, along w/ Rodriguez, Basso, and who am I forgetting...Talansky? (can't remember). Should be EPIC!

  6. Hi everyone - super busy doesn't even begin to describe it right now. But I have been watching the Tour of Colorado! I can call it that if I want to, right? Such beautiful scenery! And loved, loved, loved watching Jens try to win the stage on Thursday! Barbara

  7. This thing is bouncing all around and I keep having to retype because sentences are disappearing, so I decided to post in pieces. I am about a day behind, so I watched Friday's race today (Saturday) while sitting here with my laptop on my lap writing my performance review... Anyway, I loved the little tribute they did for Jens during Friday's telecast. I will sure miss him! And Friday when they invented the "oldest competitor" award for him in Breck.

    Despite not liking him, have you noticed the difference in TJ's interview style when he's confident and winning vs. when he's not? He is not nearly so annoying. IMHO.

    Also, how about that adorable kid (Robin Carpenter) who won the first stage? What a smile! Very fun to watch - and he's from HERE (Philly)! Local boy makes good.

    OK, watching the TT now. - Barbara

    (PS - Hi, Cathy!)