Highlands Ranch Area Cycling Road Cycling Colorado Streech Greg Streech Gregory

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Tommy D Statement

From his website www.tomdanielson.com, here is a statement from "the man" himself regarding the Giro. Very strong indeed to fight through illness in the last week of the race. The climbs and the weather were terrible. Looking forward to seeing Tommy D at full strength at the Vuelta.

Giro d'Italia Statement May 29th, 2006

"I would like to thank all my friends and fans for their support through this year’s Giro. It has been a hard race from the start and I am happy with the race. From the get go, my job was to support Savo and this I did day in and day out. I came to the race with good form and I showed this by my 5th place general classification result halfway trough the competition, while at the same time I was working for my leader.

I learned a lot from this race, as my endurance and peloton skills have improved greatly. By riding along the side of Savo, I learned how to understand the race much more as a whole. My race became even more difficult when I came down with a fever and the flu on stage 12. I fought through this still riding for Savo on the climbs and keeping him in position for the other stages. Racing 6 hrs. everyday is hard work and trying to overcome the flu with your heart rate at 170 all day is really hard work. Every night I would go to bed with a cold sweat and wake up the next morning ready to fight another day weak as a kitten. My health really took a turn for the worst in stage 16 as a sinus infection set in along with my fever because of my weakening immune system. I still pushed on thinking the next day I would wake up and it all would be gone.

Full of medicine and antibiotics I was really weak. I rode stage 17 in the freezing rain and that night bronchitis joined to make a trio of forces against me.

Seeing the end of the race near, I had a lot of motivation and wanted to show I could fight both the incredibly hard race and the family of critters living inside of me. Stage 19 was the end for me. My bronchitis had cleared up, and so had my sinuses, but this virus was worse then ever. From the beginning my body was shutting down as my immune system needed more energy to fight this thing. My head, however, had other plans and I fought through to be there for Savo and pulled him the whole last climb, after 7 hrs of racing, to finish just over a minute behind Basso and Simoni. I was too focused on doing my job and was not listening to my body. That night I became the most ill I have ever become as I had no more energy left to fight this virus off.

The worst fever ever hit me and my body shut down completely. I could not move; 3 hrs earlier I was focused on pulling for Savo, now I was focused on pulling for myself just to get help. I was no longer upset that I had been very sick the last week of the Giro, more I was solely focused on getting well.

Now I am recovering well and cheering for my team in Milan. Although the outcome of the Giro was not as I hoped, I did a good race doing my job.

Before all of this happened I was 5th overall and very strong. I did not get sick because I was weak and struggling. Sometimes this happens. I accept that and believe fighting through it will be one more experience that will make me a stronger rider. I have now competed in two grand tours and it is time to try for the overall. So now it is time to recover and begin my focus for Spain.

I will arrive at the Vuelta stronger then ever, with two grand tours in my legs, and 3 weeks more wisdom from riding for a guy like Savo."


Spanish Teams - Out of the Tour?

I expected that this may happen, as le Tour has excluded individuals and teams in past years that are under suspicion of doping. Vino and others on Spanish teams implicated in the scandal may have to switch teams to participate in the Tour de France.

Tour may exclude teams

Tour de France director Jean-Marie Leblanc said Sunday that decisions will be made before the July 1 start on the possible exclusion of teams involved in Spain's blood-doping scandal.
Five people were arrested in Spain last week, including Liberty team manager Manolo Saiz and Jose Ignacio Labarta, sporting director of the Communaute de Valence team, both of which are scheduled to compete.

The arrests came after a series of raids which uncovered a blood doping network involving taking samples from riders and oxygenating the blood cells artificially before reinjecting them to boost performance.

Leblanc stressed he will take the same strong stance as the Union Cycliste Internationale, adding that he is awaiting official confirmation of doping before commenting further.
From AFP

Monday, May 22, 2006

Donde Esta Tierra?

We saw him on Saturday, but he has been very quiet on the blog. We need some angst in the postings. Come back Dirt. Please?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Ronde van Roodlicht

Thursday - Monarch AM, Monarch plus some PM, 45 miles total
Friday - Chatfield flat run PM, 18 miles total
Saturday - Monarch with Bicycle Pedal'rs, followed by Deer Creek from Hammerson's house, 60 miles total
Sunday - Squaw, into Idaho Springs, up Floyd Hill back to Bergen Park, 42 miles total

Coming up Monday - Monarch AM, Deer Creek PM if weather holds

Tuesday, I get to sleep in and realize the pain I brought onto myself...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Discovery Channel Giro Strategy

I have an issue with the Discovery Channel strategy in the Giro. I'm not sure changing tactics would make any difference against Basso, but here are my points:

1. Either Savoldelli is not that much stronger than his teammates, or
2. Savoldelli's teammates are not burying themselves for their leader.

Here's my rationale. Look at how many Disco riders finish in the top 20 to 40 placings on each stage and compare that to CSC. In today's 13th stage for example, Ivan Basso finished in 2nd on the stage. The next best placed Team CSC rider was Carlos Sastre in 81st. Sastre was with the leaders on the slopes of the last climb, but he and his teammates buried themselves for their leader. Sastre limped in well after many riders he had dropped earlier on the climb. Compare this to Discovery Channel, with Savoldelli 10th, Danielson 16th, Chechu Rubiera 20th and Triki Beltran in 39th. It does not appear that Tommy D, Triki and Chechu went as deep to help their leader if they were able to finish so high up at the end of the stage.

Is this because Disco is trying to protect their GC placings or win the team competition? Have they resigned themselves that Paolo is not going to catch Basso and each rider is trying for their best finish each day?

Who knows? Interesting.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Giro TT Performance

Interesting stats from the Giro race organizer via cyclingnews.com. Someone took Jan Ullrich's performance in the "cronometro" (stage 11 time trial) and calculated how far behind in distance some of the key figures would have been when Ullrich finished in 58' 48". Cunego was almost 5 km back on Ullrich. Wow.

Just how far in front was Ullrich?
By Anthony Tan in Sestri Levante
Following the conclusion of yesterday's time trial in Pontedera, Giro organisers RCS Sport published some interesting figures on just how far in front stage winner Jan Ullrich was from the rest. We know his 58 minutes and 48 seconds equated to an average speed of 51.02 kilometres an hour, but relatively speaking, how far behind were his rivals?

Position Metres behind

1 Ullrich 0
2 Basso 396.822
3 Pinotti 864.506
4 Gonchar 977.883
5 Savoldelli 1,119.606
11 Danielson 2,169.694
14 Bruseghin 2,508.483
17 Gutierrez Catalunya 2,579.344
21 Rogers 2,834.444
26 Garate 3,287.956
30 Rujano G. 3,613.917
33 Simoni 3,698.950
48 Pellizotti 4,251.667
55 Di Luca 4,435.906
60 Bettini 4,520.939
71 Cunego 4,733.522
84 Sella 5,712.861

Graham Watson Notes From Stage 12

The famous photog is writing a daily column for www.thepaceline.com with a summary of each stage and info on behind-the-scenes strategy of the teams. The articles tend to have a Discovery Channel slant, but are very interesting nonetheless. Here is an excerpt from today's article. Interesting comment that I have highlighted in red. I'm not so sure Basso can be beaten anymore. We'll see. Today may have been a mistake letting more climbers close in on GC. There should be a lot of attacks in the last week of the Giro. Hopefully lots of fireworks.

When I saw Beltran in today’s escape, it seemed likely he was there to help Savoldelli, more than to help himself. Had the race gone a different way than it did (with the big time gap maintained), the last descent was so made for Savoldelli’s wild skills at going downhill fast! Beltran could have been there in front, waiting to drop back and pick Savoldelli up after he’d made his crazy descent, then pace him to the finish with a significant time gain over Basso.

But for whatever reason, Savoldelli was told to hold off from any heroics, and Beltran’s day in the saddle was justified by keeping Discovery Channel up there in the battle for the Best Team award against T-Mobile… Tomorrow sees the start of a new Giro, the one with mountains – and lots of them! There is a plan to unseat Basso at some stage of this Giro, but we will probably have to wait several days to see just what that plan is. Discovery Channel is convinced Basso can be beaten, they just won’t tell me when and how… but they’ll have to make sure their riders can support Savoldelli when that time comes. In the moments after the Bettini-Simoni-Cunego-DiLuca attack today, Savoldelli was left momentarily isolated, and only Danielson managed to heave his way across to the leading group - an single incident on a transitional stage, or the shape of things to come? - Graham

props when due

On the cyclingnews website, you can read all about the new TT bike by Trek. It also says:

This is the latest step in a development process that started in 1999 after Armstrong won his first Tour, taking both time trials riding a Lightspeed Blade with Trek decals.

I'm guessing that with the new developments, some of these new bikes are ahead of what Litespeed now offers. But it's cool trivia either way.

Giro Stage 12

Bad luck for Honchar. He crashed today and lost a lot of time to the leaders. Dropped him out of the top 10 on GC. A big break escaped today and was allowed to make it to the finish. No one in the break was within 10 minutes of Basso. Unfortunately, two of the breakaway riders did gain enough time to jump in front of Tommy D on GC. With Gonchar dropping back, Salvodelli now sits in 3rd on GC. Tommy D would have moved up to 4th, but now sits in 6th behind Sella and Belli from the breakaway.

Joan Horrach of Caisse d'Espargne - Illes Balears wins the stage.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Disco in the mountains

It will be very interesting to see if Salvodelli and Danielson can hang with the climbers in the Dolomites. I hope both do well - would love to see both guys stay in the top five and try to make it on the podium. The big race is for second place now unless Basso eats some bad Italian food over the last 10 stages.

I'm also wondering which Disco rider is better suited for the steep climbs? If Salvodelli were to crack like he did on stage 8, will Disco let Tommy D go for it? Can Salvodelli outride Honchar and Gutierrez to take over second?

I would love to see the Disco guys finish ahead of Cunego, Simoni, Di Luca and the other pretenders to the throne. I'm tired of hearing about these guys as favorites. Tommy D would be a big surprise that high up on GC.

Go Disco!

Fat Jan FLIES! Basso in charge.

Jan Ullrich called "no chain" today. Ullrich finished the 50 km TT today in 58:48! Only 4 riders finished under an hour. Ullrich was so much faster than the rest of the field, it was amazing. The 15th placed rider finished 3 minutes behind Ullrich, and the last placed rider was more than 12 minutes back.

Ivan Basso finished in 2nd, 28 seconds behind Ullrich. Basso put nearly a minute into Honchar, Gutierrez and Salvodelli. He put 4 - 5 minutes into Di Luca, Simoni and Cunego. In fact, Basso passed his 5 minute man, Cunego, in the last km before the finish. Salvodelli finished in 5th in today's TT stage.

Basso now has 9 minutes on Rujano and 7 minutes on GC over the climbers Cunego, Simoni and Di Luca. He has roughly 3 minutes on Gutierrez, Honchar and Salvodelli. Salvodelli is 4th on GC, while Tommy D moved up to 5th on GC after an 11th place in today's TT.

I have to give John Wilcockson his due. Basso is killing the field. It will be interesting to see if he can hold off the mountain goats over the final week.

1 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 58.48 (51.02 km/h)
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 0.28
3 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir 1.01
4 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) T-Mobile Team 1.09
5 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 1.19
6 José E. Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 1.42
7 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 2.12
8 Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe) Française des Jeux 2.22
9 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas 2.24
10 Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2.27
11 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2.35
12 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom 2.40
13 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux 2.52
14 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 2.57
15 PENA GRISALES Victor Hugo 3.01

General classification after stage 11

1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 40.28.56
2 José E. Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 2.48
3 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) T-Mobile Team 3.24
4 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 3.26
5 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 5.38
6 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 6.37
7 Victor Hugo Pena Grisales (Col) Phonak Hearing Systems 6.54
8 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
9 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir 7.13
10 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas 7.33
14 José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni 9.19

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Americans at the Giro

Originally uploaded by RideTrek.
Tommy, D, Jason McCartney and Dirk Diggler, I mean Pat McCarty. Nice porn moustache from the young lad on the Phonak squad. No wonder the other guys in the photo are laughing.

The photog left out Bobby J and Aaron Olsen.

Giro Stage 7

Great finish today. Rik Verbrugghe of Cofidis attacks a breakaway and wins solo. Salvodelli wins the uphill grind for second place and picks up 12 bonus seconds. Honchar is back in the maglia rosa, with Salvodelli in second overall at 5 seconds back. Danielson and Chechu also in the top 7. Basso in 3rd on GC. Even fat Jan had a good day and moved up significantly on GC.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Just for Dirt

New sponsor for Milram:
Le Coq Sportif is the new sponsor from Team Milram for lifestyle clothing and shoes, the team announced. Le Coq Sportif and Team Milram have a contract for at least the next four years.

And now for Dirt's part: the translation. Le Coq Sportif = The Sporty -you guessed it- cock (or rooster for the politically correct). Their logo isn't nearly fun enough.

Next phrase you'll here out there: What's it like riding with a Sporty Cock?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Hammerson gets published

Check out his "counter point" on Velonews:


Now we're riding with a Velonews contributor.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Il Falco Drops the Hammer

Paolo Salvodelli wins stage 1 of the Giro d'Italia, a 6.2 km time trial, in 7:50. Salvodelli was 11 seconds faster than second place Bradley McGee and more than 20 seconds faster than all of the other GC contenders. Already getting a cushion before the climbing starts.

Salvodelli was absolutely flying. Watched his TT live. Wow!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Jan Update

With his ability, I wouldn't be happy with that result even if it was "only for training".

From VeloNews.com:

Ullrich satisfied with season debut
Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich said he was satisfied with his performance on his comeback from injury despite finishing almost last at the Tour of Romandie which ended on Sunday.

Ullrich finished 115th out of the 120 riders who completed all six days of the tour and ended up around 50 minutes behind winner Cadel Evans and fellow Tour de France hopeful Alejandro Valverde who was third.
The German T-Mobile rider, who won the sport's flagship event back in 1997 and has finished runner-up five times, will now continue his tune-up for the French showpiece at the Tour of Italy next month, which again he is not expecting to challenge in.

"It was a great success for me to finish this stage," said Ullrich after Sunday's time-trial. "My knee held up well and I will tackle the Tour of Italy with determination to increase my strength and to improve."
The 32-year-old injured his knee at the beginning of March in a training crash.
"This was a very difficult course but I tackled it. Even the last stage, a time-trial, was difficult," added Ullrich, a time-trial specialist.

The German finished 69th at 2min 28sec off Evans in the time-trial, an event he would normally be expected to win with ease, were he in his usual condition.

Ullrich struggled on this tour, his first race of the season, particularly on Saturday when there were three first category climbs. He finished that stage 25 minutes behind winner Valverde.

"Jan showed a lot of courage and determination in making his comeback in such a hard race. Few riders could have done that," said T-Mobile sporting director Rudy Pevenage.

Disco for the Giro

There are quite a few familiar TdF names on the Giro roster for the Discovery Channel team. Quite a difference from the team that Disco sent with Salvodelli last year.

The tifosi are putting all of their money on Basso and Cunego. Maybe Il Falco can pull another surprise. There is also Simoni to deal with, among others, but I believe it will be very hard to stay with Basso in the mountains. We'll see.

Disco for the Giro:
Paolo Savoldelli
Benoît Joachim
Manuel Beltrán
Tom Danielson
Jason McCartney
Viatcheslav Ekimov
Pavel Padrnos
Chechu Rubiera
Matt White

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