Wednesday, September 30, 2009
By: Faris Al Sultan
“Aus is und gar is und schee is, dass wahr is!“ That is a Bavarian saying and it means that it is over now which is nice. The last training camp of this season is over and the tapering phase has started. Our trip to Santa Barbara was a successful one especially from the training perspective. Even if Swen payed tribute because he just did Ironman Kentucky and he could not train as hard as he would have liked to. Therefore, and because of the “We have to eat” slogan he gained a few pounds. That was quite good for his swim performance but not that beneficial for his running. The guy just builds up muscle mass so fast.
As at every other unknown place we had to explore a lot of things in the first days. But the group bike rides, where also bike pros took part, as well as the wonderful Los Banos Pool (50m) and the nice Santa Barbara based triathletes made our training life easier. Aaron Olson a former T-Mobile rider showed us at on ride that he cannot just push harder than the ordinary triathlete, but that also his bike handling was better. At 48 km/h and 350 watt he showed us all holes on the road, which are quite common in the states.
Andrea still followed and follows her own program. Two weeks of tapering for her just means refusing work. Neither could Swen and I follow her early morning swimming procedure. Every day she got up at 7 am and went to the pool. But her training was really good especially the running, which she focused on.
Werner showed us again that you do not need to sleep or eat for a good training. He followed me closely at the mountain rides and he drove me at my last serious running workout first in a bonk and after I had recovered from that in a muscular and digestive capitulation. At this place I would like to say thank you to the 40 year old who retired from his athletic life.
My health problems, which made this season the worst ever, are indeed not gone yet, but they are much better. 4 minutes on the kilometer at the run is no trouble for me any more. Riding up mountains does not give me instant pain and I am able to swim hundreds with a starting time of 80 seconds.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
By Tim DeBoom
Thought it might be time for a little update from the Big Island.
I made it over safe and sound this past week. Pretty uneventful travel except for the airline charges for my bike. I still will never get used to that. When I’m done racing professionally, it’s folding bike time all the time!
My flight was nice and empty though, so I was able to spread out and relax. I guess coming over so early has it’s benefits. I usually leave Colorado about 3 weeks before the race and head to California or Arizona. This year I decided to save a day of travel and just do my entire taper over here.
My training went well back in Boulder. I had a good build-up to the final big 3 weeks of work. Hard to compare it to years past, but I’m excited to see where the fitness is come race day.
That’s the real beauty of this sport, or any sport really. The challenge of getting yourself into the best position possible to go out and have a great day is why I’m still coming back here.
Now I’m actually in the toughest part of the build. Tapering. In Hawaii. Believe me, it’s the least glorious aspect of anything we do. Each day I get up, get my training done, and sit on my butt the rest of the time. It’s not flashy, exciting, or very fun. I love exploring and being active all day, but that would not do me any good right now. I’m maximizing my rest, and recovery from all the hard training. I’m finding it hard to sleep any more, hydrate any more, or eat any healthier.
Nicole gets over this week, so that will be great. Till then we’ve been having fun with video chats.
My massage therapist also comes this week, so that will supplement all my time in the Normatec MVP’s (which are amazing by the way).
As the race gets closer, the town becomes more active, so that will be a good thing too. I even talked with a local who loves it when the Ironman comes to town. She said it gives the town such great energy. Believe me, that’s not how some of the locals feel.
With all my down time, you’d think I would write more often…I will try to pull myself away from the tv.
Click on the title link to read Tim's blog.
by Bob Cullinan
If you're any where near the San Francisco Bay Area on Sunday, October 11th, you should find a way to get to Larkspur, CA.
That evening at Marin County's historic Lark Theater, the Marin Cyclists will present Dave Zabriskie, live, in person, and "in conversation." All the details are here.
Zabriskie is known as one of the biggest personalities in the sport, and with recent wins in the US national time trial championship (his fifth), and the overall championship of the Tour of Missouri (his first), Dave is getting the big results, too.
As an added bonus, everyone who comes to the Lark to listen to Dave Z will receive free DZ Nuts.
"Protect your junk"...and come see Dave Zabriskie on October 11th.
Click on the title link to learn more and to buy tickets.
Hincapie spoke about his feeling of joy at winning the USPro National Championship in front of his friends, family and home crowd in the city of Greenville, his home town. He's also relishing his big move from Columbia HTC to the BMC team, where he hopes to make BMC one of the best teams in the world, riding with recently signed Alessandro Ballan (2008 world champion) as well as other young Swiss and American riders.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Los Gatos, CA - Jenna Shoemaker, a rising superstar of the triathlon world, has joined forces with ROCKTAPE, the leader in kinesiology tape for athletes, to raise awareness and fund the fight against breast cancer.
October is National Breast Cancer awareness month and Shoemaker and ROCKTAPE are doing their part to raise public awareness of this disease. “Jenna Shoemaker has spent most of her professional career promoting Breast Cancer Awareness through her athletic accomplishments. ROCKTAPE is proud to continue our corporate philosophy of giving back to the community by working with Jenna in the fight against this devastating but detectable and treatable disease,” said Greg van den Dries, President of ROCKTAPE.
For the month of October, ROCKTAPE will be marketing a limited-edition design featuring the well-recognized pink ribbon. Designed by artist, architect and ROCKTAPE advocate Gordon Meehl, the tape will feature a series of large and small pink ribbons arranged in a pattern inspired by Jenna Shoemaker’s trademark argyle. Shoemaker and ROCKTAPE will donate 100% of profits generated from the sale of this limited-edition design to Breast Cancer Research.
“Please join me in the fight against breast cancer,” said Shoemaker, continuing, “I’d like to thank ROCKTAPE for creating this special version of the tape. Now, not only can I wear my ROCKTAPE, I can wear it knowing that I’m supporting a very important cause. If you haven’t tried ROCKTAPE yet, there is no better time to do so than now! It has been immensely useful to me as I deal with the niggling injuries that all world class athletes encounter at some time during their careers.”
Rolls of the limited edition Jenna Shoemaker Breast Cancer ROCKTAPE will sell for $20 per roll and are available for pre-order at the ROCKTAPE website.....www.rocktape.com.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
By: Laura Weislo
American Chris Horner has been knocked out of racing with broken bones and faced frustrating recoveries four times this season. On each occasion he has returned to form and into the mix, knocking at the door of a strong result before the next crash sent him back to the sofa to heal a fracture.
He'll get his last chance to salvage his season in October when he again returns to racing in Europe.
"This year I've been a dark horse for almost any race I've been in, but I can't get through the races healthy," Horner said. "There are four more races left, so that's why I want to go back and do them.
"I feel like this year I've made a great leap in terms of where my fitness is and going up against all the big hitters. I don't need to go back because I need a contract. It's purely because I want to go back and get one win in."
A crash in the Tour of California didn't stop the Astana (soon to be RadioShack - his contract is nearly final) rider from finishing the race, but the fractured knee kept him out of Paris-Nice. A return in the Tour of the Basque Country lasted four stages until another crash left him with a fractured collarbone.
Coming back in the Giro d'Italia, Horner was eighth on the general classification after several tough mountain stages when a crash sent him packing with a fractured leg. The injury left him without the coveted Tour de France spot, but determined to shine in a Grand Tour, Horner returned to the Vuelta a Espana only to have another fall.
"Forty guys went down in the rain and it was spectacular. I don't think it was anybody's fault. The roads were slippery and dangerous, and the race should have been neutralised long before the crash. The officials should have neutralised the race on GC at least - it was that dangerous. Guys were crashing all day."
One slick roundabout later, Horner was back in the USA with two fractures in his left hand and another surprise; a fractured pelvis.
"Nobody caught the pelvis until a few weeks later when I was back in the States, I had it x-rayed because the leg was still sore, and they said, 'no wonder your leg is sore, you have a broken pelvis!'
"All of them are just fractures [not displaced] so they'll heal up on their own. I just can't be aggressive with them. Stay off the bike for a little while. Once the pain stops, you know you can start riding again."
"So that's all I've been doing lately is trying heal up and get back for the last week of racing in Lombardia," explained Horner.
"I think Lombardia is my best shot - it's hard enough, and I will have some racing and then another week of recovery to find some form before it. The big 'if' is whether I can make it over there with the fracture healed in time. I've been training on the road for a few days this week, and I still have three weeks before the start of the first race, then a week to Lombardia after that."
Horner brushed aside the constant string of setbacks as if recovering from broken bones was an everyday occurance - which it very nearly has been - with a steely determination and a good sense of humour.
"It hasn't been that difficult. Every time I've come back to form pretty fast. One week riding easy and two weeks riding hard, and the form comes along. It's worked out alright, but the problem is just staying upright so it doesn't happen!"
Next year, Horner hopes to be able to get in a full season of "big boy races": Paris-Nice, Pais Vasco, Amstel Gold, La Fleche Wallone, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Giro d'Italia or Tour of California, the Tour de France, Tour of Spain and fall Classics.
It's a heavy schedule for a younger rider, much less that of one who will be one of the oldest racers in the pro peloton. Yet Horner isn't ready to stop even after next season and fully intends to go on for another two years at least when he'll hit 40 years of age.
"My next contract will lead me up to that, so yeah! I'll absolutely keep going. As long as I'm still going fast, I'm not going to plan on stopping; nine to five work ain't better than what I'm doing, so why would I quit?"
Friday, September 25, 2009
Bode Miller is ending his splendid isolation and rejoining the U.S. Ski Team, just five months before the Vancouver Olympics.
After skiing on his own the last two years, then spending the spring and summer out of touch with the sport, Miller has decided he wants to be part of the team and take another run at the Olympics.
He reached out to U.S. men's alpine coach Sasha Rearick a few weeks ago and received a warm reception, which surprised him.
"He seemed really enthusiastic about the opportunity to sort of try to reintegrate me into the team, and for the first time I felt really positive and excited about the whole thing," Miller said Thursday. "At that point, it was sort of a no-brainer."
The three-time Olympian left the U.S. team after the 2006 Turin Olympics, where he made more headlines for his late-night partying than his skiing.
Asked what was different now, Miller said both he and the team had evolved.
"They've been pushing the limits of what they can provide. Things have changed," Miller said. "They're in a great place right now."
He will join a team that includes two-time women's overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn, Olympic champion Ted Ligety and World Cup race winners Marco Sullivan and Steven Nyman.
Miller, however, is the unquestionable star of the team.
"He brings a really good intensity to the team and training with him, he pushes everybody," Nyman said in a phone interview. "That's super important. It's rare to find guys that push that hard all the time. ... I think it's a good thing that he's back."
Miller has indicated he will continue traveling the World Cup circuit in his motorhome rather than staying with the team in hotels. Rearick said any athlete can travel that way as long as it's not a distraction to the team.
Miller, who turns 32 next month, plans to begin training with the national team immediately. He didn't set a date to return to competition but isn't expected to compete in the season opener on Oct. 25 in Soelden, Austria. He hopes to race in a World Cup meet in Beaver Creek, Colo., beginning Dec. 2.
Rearick said Miller, like all the skiers, must qualify for a spot on the Olympic team based on this season's results. The Olympic team will be announced Jan. 26.
In May, Miller told Head, his ski manufacturer, that he planned to ski but would not commit to the Vancouver Olympics.
He announced his decision Thursday at a news conference at Staples Center. Wearing an untucked gray dress shirt, jeans, stubble on his face, and a baseball cap low on his head, the New Hampshire-based skier was in Southern California visiting his young daughter, who lives in the San Diego area.
Miller, who won his second overall World Cup title in 2007-08, cut last season short when he failed to win a medal at the world championships in February. It was the third straight major championship where Miller failed to make the podium. He won two silver medals at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games but finished without a medal in Turin, settling instead for lots of tabloid headlines.
"I don't think you can undo anything," Miller said.
If he has any regrets about his behavior in Turin, he's keeping them to himself.
"Right now, I don't feel like this is an arena for me to apologize about stuff," he said. "My actions are going to speak much more loudly than any apology can. That's one thing that's unfortunate about apologies, that way they come off like you're trying to smooth things out. Your actions definitely carry a lot more weight. From here forward, I feel like I'm moving in a very positive direction. I hope that's what I'm judged by."
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Las Vegas, Nevada - Rock Racing will introduce new partnerships with leading industry companies and unveil a full product line including three bicycle models, components, wheels, tires, helmets, shoes, kits, cycling lifestyle apparel and isotonic sports drinks.
The invitation-only function will be held at Blush Boutique Nightclub at the Wynn Las Vegas, with a first look preview held exclusively for media from 8-9 p.m.
Rock Racing Owner Michael Ball said the debut of the Rock Racing product line marries an extremely successful cycling program and brand with some of the most respected companies in the cycling industry.
“It was important for us to create quality products and give the consumer a superior experience right off the shelf,” said Ball. “We’ve partnered with the top companies in the business, incorporated the latest technology and worked with manufacturing leaders to bring the Rock Racing aesthetic to market. With the debut of the Rock Racing Special Edition bikes and gear, it’s safe to say pros and the everyday cyclists using our products will have the best experience possible on a bike. ”
For 2010, six companies will partner with Rock Racing to leverage its brand: Louis Garneau, Prologo, Shimano, FSA, Lightweight, and Vittoria.
With its new partnership with Rock Racing, Louis Garneau will expand on its own line of high-end products by producing special Rock Racing editions of its signature Diamond helmet and HRS Carbon shoes.
“At Louis Garneau we value performance, quality, and a very distinctive look like that the Rock Racing Team is known for,” said Louis Garneau International Marketing Director Pierre Perron. “We are both offering a very different, highly creative and fresh alternative to the bike industry. Our 2009 experience was very positive and we are looking forward for a more extensive partnership for 2010.”
On Wednesday, other partners will unveil their contributions to the Rock Racing line including Prologo, an Italian saddle manufacturer, with several designs of its Rock Racing edition saddles; FSA (Full Speed Ahead) an after-market component company providing original equipment (handlebars, stems, seatposts, cranks and headsets) for the Rock Racing bicycles and Carbon Sports who is manufacturing special Rock Racing-branded editions of its Lightweight wheel sets. Drive train components will be provided by Shimano USA, and Vittoria will provide high quality tires and tubes for the bikes.
RX1, X2 and the “4815” Fixed Gear Bike Unveiled
Three different models of Rock Racing bicycles will be unveiled tonight: the “RX-1” and “X-2” racing models and the “Project 4815” fixed and single gear bike.
Shane Fedon, the team’s Research and Development Engineer, said the RX1 and X-2 models feature carbon frame and fork technology designed exclusively by Rock Racing. The frames utilize an array of different carbon fibers that are infused with nano resins in the pre-molding process. An additional technology – Hi-fi and Lo-fi layups – is exclusive to the manufacturing process.
“We wanted to have one fluid design from head to pavement, one collective Rock Racing attitude on the bike,” said Fedon. “We’ve applied wavelength theory and vibration analysis to create a lighter, stronger bike. The ride quality of our bikes are tuned in to the rider, merging technology and science to improve the cycling experience.”
The Rock Racing RX-1 and X-2 editions are full-on racing bicycles while the 4815 – so named because of its 48 x 15 gear cluster – is an all-round bike inspired by the exploding urban “fixie” trend.
Says Ball, a former track racer, “Just as BMX’s transformed cycling, fixies are going to be the next big alternative sport. They are making cycling fashionable with a whole new urban crowd and Rock Racing is excited to help fuel this growing trend.”
Rock Racing bicycles are available in three different colors – Kosmos red, pearl black and pearl white – and six sizes (50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60). Each features its own unique scheme of custom graphics. They roll out to the public in January 2010.
Fedon Brings Cutting Edge Technology to Rock Racing Brand
Fedon, a mechanical engineer, was charged with research and development of Rock Racing’s new product line. He comes to the team from Advanced Sports Inc., where he reviewed and revamped frame geometry for all brands and created a company-wide process of developing frames and components. He was instrumental in the design of the Fuji D-6 time trial/triathlon bicycle that Rock Racing road tested at the 2008 Tour of Missouri, as well as the re-design of ASI’s Kestrel line of bicycles. Fedon previously worked as head mechanic for the U.S. national cycling team, Navigator’s Insurance, Barloworld and the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team. He holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Kinesiology from Penn State University.
Cutting Edge Nutrition
In 2010, Rock Racing will also enter the isotonic sports drink arena with the introduction of two one-of-a-kind formulas, R3 POWER ELIXIR and R3 RECOVERY
R3 POWER ELIXIR is designed to both hydrate and stimulate. Packed with electrolytes and vitamins B-6, it refreshes while using the body’s natural physiology to convert calories into fuel. It is sweetened with agave nectar for a low glycemic index. R3 RECOVERY is a post-workout tonic formulated to restore, replenish, and refuel while bringing the body to the natural balance it craves. Also sweetened with agave nectar, it is packed with electrolytes and vitamins B-6 and B-12.
Both formulas will be available as 12 oz carbonated beverages and powder mixes.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Mario Cipollini has announced that he will be launching a new line of cycling clothes featuring the most technically advanced fabrics and innovative designs. The line will be named "Cipollini".
How far "out of the box" will Mario be thinking in terms of design? Stay tuned!
On Sunday, October 11th, newly-crowned Tour of Missouri champion Dave Zabriskie is coming to NorCal to ride the Marin Classic, a special fundraising event for the USA Cycling Development Foundation.
The 40 and 60 mile rides begin and end in scenic Sausalito, with an all-star after-party featuring three-time US road champion Freddie Rodriguez, current world time trial champ Amber Neben...and Dave Z.
Click on the title link to learn more.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
By: Jay Prasuhn
Despite the presence of a solid pro field, Sweden’s Bjorn Andersson and American Olympian Susan Williams successfully defended their 2007 titles in Maryland.
The third annual Savageman Long Course Triathlon took place Sunday on a sunny, warm day, absent the threat of rain that forecasters had called for.
Andersson was the first athlete out of Deep Creek Lake, Just over a minute back the second athlete—Williams was out of the water in about 24 minutes. ITU pro Margie Shapiro, making her first half Ironman-distance debut, came out of the lake over a minute off Williams.
“I was surprised to come out second, but spend about five minutes in transition area putting arm warmers on,” Williams said.
Out of the water in 32 minutes was Lyne Bessette. Also making her half Ironman debut (after having done a few sprint races), Bessette, a former Canadian Olympic cyclist as well as a Canadian national road, cyclo-cross and time trial national champ, was cutting through the field on the bike.
“I have friends who told me about this race and I said ‘sure, why not?’ I had to break the ice eventually!” Bessette said. “Plus I had stopped racing full-time and needed to give myself a personal challenge. I want to do Hawaii next year, so I’m looking at doing 70.3 Oceanside for some practice, and Lake Placid to qualify.”
Williams was aware of her acumen, and was certainly concerned. “I know she’s an Olympic cyclist and would not have been surprised if she had gone by me on the bike,” Williams said.
It didn’t matter. Williams simply tore away from the rest of the women on the bike—Bessette included, Bessette did ride into second place late while Shapiro and Canadian Tara Norton battled in close proximity over the bike course, arguably one of the toughest at the distance with over 5,800 ft of climbing, including several climbs requiring special gearing. For Williams, however, while she felt like it was tough, she was simply outclassing her competitors.
“The wall seemed harder than last year, but I feel like I went better this year,” she said.
Once at T2, she had a 10-minute lead on Bessette, and a 12-minute lead on Shapiro headed onto the undulating two-lap course, punctuated by a nearly half-mile fireroad ascent. “I think doing a good group workout really helped. It’s a strength run for sure,” Williams.
Williams cruised safely in to take her second straight victory at Deep Creek Lake. The fleet-footed Shapiro caught Bessette by mile three of the half marathon and slowly extended on Bessette. “I think I’m suited to this distance, but still have 2012 as my focus for the most part,” she said. “I’ll probably bookend my ITU season with longer races, though.”
Bessette summed up her experience; “Running here and running in ‘cross, it’s different!” Bessette said with a laugh. “I found it really, really hard. But third place for my first long one, I’m happy.”
Norton, making a successful comeback from the crash at last year’s Hawaii Ironman that took her from fourth place to the hospital with broken bones in her hand, foot, and vertebrae (as well as a torn hamstring suffered in training in February) finished fourth. “I decided to go out without any pressure and enjoy the day.”
The men’s race was the Bjorn Andersson show, as he led from the first stroke in cool Deep Creek Lake through to the finish. But it wasn’t a walk in the park. “I suffered a lot,” Andersson said. “ I was stung on the tongue by a hornet and got a bit of a fever last night, so I didn’t feel too good all day.’
Still, it was enough to come in with the win by nearly two minutes over Josh Beck of Carlisle, PA. Ottawa’s Rick Hellard took third, while TeamTBB’s Zach Ruble took up fourth.
2009 Savageman Triathlon
Sept. 20, 2009, Deep Creek Lake State Park, MD
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Bjorn Andersson (SWE) 4:43:17
2. Josh Beck (USA) 4:45:04
3. Rick Hellard (CAN) 4:59:38
1. Susan Williams (USA) 4:56:41
2. Margaret Shapiro (USA) 5:11:36
3. Lyne Bessette (CAN) 5:17:08
The training block we got done in Hawaii was awesome. Terenzo Bozzone will be a big player in the Ironman for sure. If not this year I expect Terenzo to really push for the win at this event in the near future. He is an awesome training partner and a very disciplined, yet open, athlete. I enjoyed training with him a lot, and he added a lot to myself with his raw speed and his fleet footed running. When we planned on going to Kona we were looking for some great athletes to work with. Whenever you are on training camp, the most important thing is that the athletes you work with, need to gel very well. Tired athletes can get quite grumpy, so personality clashes can often get magnified.
Tim Marr and Terenzo were a perfect mix. We had a lot of laughs, and got the hard work done, and the best thing was that we all fed of eachothers enthusiasm and that is always a big positive. I really look forward to the event in Kona and racing alongside Terenzo. I really wish him all the best. He is a super talent and a nice guy aswell. Tim is not racing this year but will be pushing for the win at Ironman Mexico a few weeks later.
I flew out of Kona 6 days ago to come back into the dry heat of LA. My family joined me here and we will spend the next two weeks together. We are in the process of buying a Condo here in LA so it is perfect timing as it is up to Emma which house she likes. We have cut it down to two final choices and hope to settle on this purchase post Hawaii. We will be spending Christmas and most of the early New Year up here in LA. We really love it here, especially in Santa Monica and Calabasas. We have such wonderful friends here and this has certainly become my home away from home. I am a big fan of LA. I really feel right at home here. The Tri Scene here is huge, the weather is perfect and the training is unreal. It has everything I am looking for in a place to live in the USA. Our close group of friends here make it very nice also, and its close proximity to our good friends in Las Vegas makes weekend trips away very easy to do.
On the training front, this week has been relatively light. I raced the Malibu Triathlon again last weekend and had a great day. I very much enjoy this event and have to commend Michael Eppstein and his Team at MESP for continuing to put on a first class race. I have raced Malibu the past 5 years and will continue to support all MESP events. The race is more than just a competition. It is where Hollywood meets Multisport and more importantly it is about raising money and awareness for the Childrens Hospital here in LA. It is an incredible event on one of the Worlds most famous beaches.
This year the event raised in excess of 1 million dollars for the hospital, and to be a part of that is just awesome. This truly is a unique event and more than 3000 athletes enjoyed the event on Sunday. Well done to everyone who competed and raced and thanks for all the smiles and wellwishes from many of you. It was great to hear your stories. I have attached a picture of myself with Jeremy Piven from the race. I had the opportunity to spend some time with Jeremy and talk everything from Triathlon to Entourage the HBO hit, of which he plays my favourite character ARI GOLD. He was a great open guy and someone I will stay in touch with for quite some time. Having guys like Jeremy enjoying everything that we know is awesome about our sport is great for the sport itself. He had a great time, as did Terry Hatcher, and the other A list stars who raced the event. It was great to chat to many of them.
Anyway I have 8 more days of training here with the Suisse Boys. There is a big crew of suisse Triathletes living in town here and we have planned a big training week next week. I am working out with Ronnie and Stefan. Ronnie was 4th last year in Kona so he is solid as hell. We are getting the tough stuff done and having a few laughs on the way. I am thoroughly enjoying my training at the moment and cannot wait to get back to Kona and enjoy the Ironman World championships for 2009. It is going to be one epic day.
I will write again in a day or so. Check out my twitter site for lots of updates. We have uploaded some funny stuff.
Safe training everyone,
Friday, September 18, 2009
By Johan Bruynell
After reading Wednesday's story in Telesport about the Astana Cycling Team being on the edge of the abyss, I feel it’s time to look back, from my perspective, on the two complex years I’ve had with Team Astana.
Let's go back to 2007 - Full of ambition I took over the Team (after the Discovery Channel Team folded) having the hard job to change the image of the team from negative and polluted to beloved and being one of the world's most popular teams. A challenge that I was proud to take on. After only six months, we were successful in both - performance and image. Even today, I am still most proud of what we’ve accomplished.
We continued working and as many of you know, won the three Grand Tours: Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, as well as a lot of other races. The image of the team was excellent! The only time our image suffered was during the period from April to July 2009, when the hard working riders and staff were not compensated. This of course was not the fault of the team itself, but I was still embarrassed and quite humiliated by the situation. It's not easy telling the staff and riders that another month has gone by without pay. By putting considerable pressure on our title sponsor, we were able to reverse the situation and start in the Tour de France. Though the situation was "resolved," the repurcussions were very harmful to my future with the team.
As many of you may have guessed, I will leave Team Astana on December 31. With this departure will come mixed feelings. In a sportive way, we accomplished something phenomenal and the team became loved by many - in Kazakhstan and throughout the world. However the frustrated feeling I have is dominant. In 2008 the financial issues already existed, but I was able to keep it out of the press. I always had to fight some people about not respecting agreements. When you take a step back and look at it, the Astana Team had no less than four managers in four years, and I think this only indicates that something is fundamentally wrong.
It’s a real pity because I really think this Kazakh cycling project is beautiful and has a lot of potential for the sport and country. I don’t want to blame the Kazakhs in general. Most of them have the best intentions, especially the Ministry of Sport who is committed in an incredibly positive way. However, around the cycling team, there are two or three people causing constant problems and thwarting our plans. Because of their power I was always fighting a losing battle. In the end it cost me my health. The last months I was physically knocked out. It's no longer worth jeopardizing my health.
For me, the press conference of Alexandr Vinokourov at the beginning of the Tour was the last straw. He claimed that I had to leave the team if I wouldn’t allow him to join Team Astana. However, when I accepted my job as manager of this Team, it was my clear demand that I would never be obliged to accept him in the team - this was agreed upon by the Kazakhs.
It all ended different as I wished. Vinokourov is on the team now and that is exactly the reason why I am leaving. I will finish the season and my last day with the team will be December 31, 2009. I am staying till the end of the year because I am the head of a group of people whose job I want to guarantee. They too need to be paid till the end of the year.
I guess the question many of you still have - is whether the Astana Cycling Team has a future? To be honest - I do not know. I do want to emphasize that all my praise goes to Rini Wagtmans. With only good intentions, he ironed out a lot of inequalities. When he can take over my management job, I believe the Team can survive. He knows the country and he knows how the system works. He understands cycling. It will not be easy but Rini can count on my support in the coming months. One of the conditions for Team Astana’s ProTour license is that there should be a credible management in 2010. This is the first and most urgent move that needs to be made. If Vinokourov believes he can take over the team, I wish him luck.
I do not want to end this blog on a bad note. I do want to thank all my family, friends, riders, staff and most importantly, you the fans, who have supported the Astana Cycling Team for the past two years. Your support has not gone unnoticed!
Hello everyone, Levi again. I hope your GranFondo prep is going well. The weather here in Sonoma County is absolutely perfect right now. We are approaching the best time of the year. My offseason has begun but I can’t stay away from the bike in these fall conditions. I plan on soaking it all up on Oct 3 with all of you. It’s no secret that the GranFondo will have an ambitious group of riders willing to set a record and I plan on starting off with them. However, once we arrive on top of King Ridge at Camelbak’s rest stop, I’m going to take my time and enjoy the event. This is the perfect place to take a break, refuel, and mingle. You don’t want to miss these surroundings. I have planned stops at the Fort Ross Elementary School and Coleman Valley as well. I hope to ride with a number of different groups and show as many people around as possible. Once we’re back at the Finley Center, we have some cool activities planned, some live music, and the best food Sonoma County has to offer. Again, I hope your training is going well, and I’ll see you Oct 3.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Kevin Mackinnon catches up with the 2007 Foster Grant Ironman 70.3 World Champion.
As she heads to Kona for her first Ironman, Mirinda Carfrae will bear the title of this year's dark horse contender. As the 2007 Foster Grant Ironman 70.3 world champion, Carfrae hopes to duplicate the feats of two other Clearwater champions who have made impressive Kona debuts. Both Craig Alexander and Samantha McGlone finished second in their first trips to the Ford Ironman World Championship.
“This whole year has been in preparation for Kona,” Carfrae says. “I want to go there fit and I want to give it my best shot. Having said that, it'll be my first Ironman and my first time racing in Kona and anything can happen. So many athletes have gone there and crumbled. I hope to not be one of those athletes - I'll go there and give it my best shot. If I don't have a good day, I'll no doubt learn a ton. I plan to go there and race for at least 10 years – this is just the start.”
Carfrae is all-too-aware of the expectations that come for her Kona debut thanks to her win in Clearwater two years ago and her incredible string of Ironman 70.3 wins this season. Other than a second in St. Croix, Carfrae has been virtually unbeatable over the distance with wins at Eagleman, Calgary, California and Muskoka.
“There's expectations,” she says. “I expect to do well. I try to not put too much pressure on myself, though. I'm in great shape and I'm racing better than I ever have. But anything can go wrong. Nutrition, I don't know how my body will handle the heat for that long – lots of things.”
The 28-year-old has been chomping at the bit to compete in an Ironman, but has been patient as she's waited for the right time to give the longer distance a shot. Carfrae competed on the ITU circuit for years but wasn't as competitive as she probably should have been because she couldn't get her swimming to the point where she could come out of the water with the lead group. She then started to compete in the United States in non-drafting Olympic distance events and Ironman 70.3 races. The creation of the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 gave her the opportunity to make a living and compete at a world championship without having to step up to the full Ironman distance.
“Kona's something I've wanted to do for a long time – before Chrissie was winning and back in the days when Natascha was unbeatable,” she says. “I would look at the race and say I want to do it. The last few years it's been hard to sit on the sidelines and watch the race, but I felt like I was a bit young. I wanted to make sure my body was strong enough to handle the distance. I'm all about longevity and looking after my body so I can race when I'm in my peak.”
Now Carfrae spends much of her year living in Boulder, Colorado as she travels around North America competing in (and usually winning) various Ironman 70.3 events. She says Boulder now feels like a “home away from home,” making the long time away from family and friends in Australia a little easier to take.
The last six weeks have been spent in California with her coach Siri Lindley, where she's been putting in lots of hard training for Kona. Last weekend's race served as one final test before her Ironman debut – one that she passed with flying colors as she ran away from the rest of the women's field to chalk up yet another Ironman 70.3 win.
Sure, the Ford Ironman World Championshp will likely be quite a learning experience for Carfrae, but like those other former Ironman 70.3 world champs she's following to Kona, she's one athlete we'll be watching in Kona next month.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Chris Lieto has been working on his run. He showed great form by taking out Macca in Malibu triathlon and coming in a close second to ITU speedster Greg Bennett. Chris has been spending some time with some of the best runners in the sport.
Flotrack's David Williams recently caught up with Ryan Hall who is a member of the Mammoth Track Club. The MTC was founded in 2001, and some of its members include Deena Kastor, Meb Keflezighi, Anna Willard, Sara Hall, and Scotty Bauhs. Ryan is joined in this workout by Josh Cox and world class triathlete Chris Lieto.
Click on the title link to watch the workout video.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The last time I was able to race with Mike Malinin of the Goo Goo Dolls was back in 2000. Once again we got the band together (sorry for the pun) and we raced this past Sunday in Malibu celebrity relay triathlon.
Team "Goo Goo Dolls" Ken Dawson (swimmer), Mike Malinin (runner) and Tom Hodge (cyclist).
Jeremy Piven's team placed a soild 3rd overall in the mixed celebrity relay division.
The formula for their "classic" (sprint distance) race makes it an annual sold-out event. It includes a clean ocean swim, beautiful oceanside bike ride, flat out-and-back run, and the largest celebrity category of any sporting event. Prior celebrity participants, including Robin Williams, Felicity Huffman, Wiliam H Macy, David Duchovny, Jon Cryer, Jennifer Lopez, and Matthew McConaughey, to name a fraction of notable Malibu triathletes, make this event a spectator sport.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Zabriskie is one day of racing away from earning his first ever stage race victory and his tenure in the yellow jersey has had quite an affect on the Utah native. "I'm on cloud nine,” he said. “I've never been this happy before in my life. I really am enjoying the moment and it’s great to be with these guys. In all seriousness, I know my emotions don't come through so much and a lot of people say I don't smile enough but I'm having a great time and I really am happy."
Liquigas captain Ivan Basso showed flashes of his old form on stage thirteen to Sierra Nevada, placing fifth on the stage and showing that he is maintaining his strength as the race progresses. While other general classification contenders such as Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel Euskadi) are showing the strain of a fortnight of hard racing, the Italian is still in the hunt for overall victory. That said, he needs to make up one minute and two seconds to move into the maillot oro.
"Today I found the right terrain and race situation to attack and change the situation in the ranking," he said after the 2,380-metre summit finish. "The team did a great job helping me during all the stage. In particular I appreciate (Roman) Kreuziger because his role in the race strategy was really valuable."
Basso's goal on Sunday will be to eliminate his deficit to Valverde and, if at all possible, put in a decent buffer before next Saturday's 27.8-kilometre time trial. The duo recorded precisely the same time on stage one, placing eighth and ninth, with Valverde prevailing in the longer Valencia time trial.
He placed 13th in the flat 30-kilometre test there, losing 1:05 to Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank). Basso was 1:43 back in 36th place, and knows that a strong ride on Sunday is essential if he is to be in the running for the final victory.
"Tomorrow we've another difficult stage and, after this three days of moutains, all the riders have to pay attention," he said. "We spent a lot of energy on this climbs. For my part, I want to perform as I did today all the way untill Madrid. Only there we'll know the final outcome."
Friday, September 11, 2009
Italy's Ivan Basso (Liquigas) faces three consecutive mountain stages starting today. He is 53 seconds behind the Vuelta a España race leader, Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne).
"Three hellish stages are waiting for us. The race becomes hard, like I like it," said Basso. "Long climbs, the right type terrain, days where the differences come via resistance."
Basso, 31, faces a 179.3-kilometre stage that finishes up the 13.3-kilometre Alto de Velefique climb today. The stage also starts with the Alto de Velefique and then the Calar Alto and Castro de Filabres climb, which leaves 16 kilometres to the base of the second ascent of Velefique.
Spaniard Valverde leads the Vuelta by seven seconds over Australia's Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto). Netherlands' Robert Gesink (Rabobank) is in third place at 36 seconds, USA's Tom Danielson (Garmin-Slipstream) is fourth at 51 seconds and Basso is fifth.
"Every day holds surprises and you have to be smart to benefit from them," said Basso. "I have always insist on patience because a Grand Tour is only won on the last day, before then anything can happen."
Basso's patience will continue to be tested on the weekend's stages, both stages end with a climb. Saturday stage covers 172.4 kilometres and ends with the Sierra Nevada, 16.9 kilometres long and an average of 5.5 percent gradient. Sunday's stage covers 157 kilometres to La Pandera, 8.4 kilometres and an eight percent average.
It is Basso's first time to race the Vuelta a España. He finished fifth in this year's Giro d'Italia and won the 2006 edition. He placed second in the 2005 Tour de France.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
@lancearmstrong...Great ride in Griffith Park. Thanks, LA! And thanks to the LAPD for the help. Off to Montreal. . .
Lance is mobbed for his autograph after a causal ride in Los Angeles's Griffith Park today.
It seems only a short time ago that Floyd Landis was making his return to professional cycling at the 2009 Tour of California with the American-based UCI Continental team OUCH p/b Maxxis after completing a two-year suspension for a doping violation. Now, Landis is mid-way through one of his last races of the season at the Tour of Missouri, and he gave Cyclingnews a brief insight on where this year has taken him.
When asked if he was happy with his return to the peloton this year, Landis plainly said, "No. There is really not much else to say."
Landis was pegged as one of the race favorites at the Tour of California in February alongside other Grand Tour contenders like Levi Leipheimer and Lance Armstrong (Astana), Michael Rogers (Columbia-HTC) and Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream). However, the combination of an untimely illness coupled with a lack of race legs meant that the competition proved to be a step above his capabilities.
Sifting through the results of race after race this year hardly reveals overwhelming success for the returning rider. However, according to Landis, this season has brought more than just mediocrity. "I have a new appreciation for racing in the US," said Landis, who primarily raced in Europe while competing for US Postal and Phonak. "It is great to race so close to home."
The Tour of Missouri's roads have taken the peloton through towns like Pocahontas, population 127, and the state's largest metro area, St. Louis, with a population of nearly three million, another reason Landis wants to continue racing. "Cycling allows you to see the world and meet lots of people," he said. "This year I have been to parts of the US that I had never been to before, and I have met a lot of great people everywhere I have gone."
This is his first time competing in the Tour of Missouri, now in its third edition. While he has lost many fans due to his doping violation, there are still those who come out to watch him race. Similar to the Tour of California crowds, his fans continue to wait outside his team bus for an autograph and flock to the starts and finishes to see him back in action.
"It's great to have that support and the race has been really good," he said. "It's always nice to have fans. I have never done this race before but I had heard a lot of good things and I'm finally glad to be here."
So race he does, no matter what people think of his 2006 downfall within cycling. Landis went into the 2006 season in top condition riding for the Phonak team. He won the inaugural Tour of California and went on to win Paris-Nice, Tour of Georgia and the Tour de France. Stripped of his Tour victory after a urine test came back positive for abnormal testosterone values, Phonak let him go and Landis served a two-year suspension.
After a turbulent two years, Landis still maintains his innocence and is focused on enjoying is days back in the bunch and competing in a sport that has given him a career for nearly a decade. Despite not reaching his initial racing goals set at the beginning of this season, Landis is pleased with the results of a femoral head resurfacing through OUCH Sport Medicine in 2006.
The unconventional hip replacement was needed after a case of bone death that resulted from excessive scar tissue blocking blood flow to the hip joint. "I was really focused on my hip and getting back to racing," Landis said, who was responsible for bringing on OUCH as the title sponsor of the former Health Net team. "My BHR hip feels as good as new. I've got close to 25,000 miles on the new hip. I have no reason to believe that it will limit me in any way."
The big question that is on everyone's mind remains, "Is Landis going to win bike races again?" Only
time will tell. For now, he is plugging away as a domestique at the Tour of Missouri to give his
teammates a crack at success.
"We have a couple of guys who can sprint well in John Murphy and Andrew Pinfold so we have been working for them," he said. "It's been a difficult race. There are no big mountains but so far it has never been flat. I'm looking forward to seeing how Rory Sutherland does in the time trial.
"I think probably one day there will be a breakaway in the Tour of Missouri but who knows when that will happen? I've been working for the guys, but I think I'll take my chances on a breakaway this race. You never know."
Landis had not yet confirmed what his plans are for next year. However, news of Lance Armstrong's newly formed RadioShack team has spearheaded the rumors of the old US Postal team revival. One such rumor has Landis as a possible transfer. Although Landis did not comment on this rumor, he did note his appreciation for his domestic team OUCH p/b Maxxis.
"I see this team taking a big step forward next year," said Landis about where he sees himself in 2010. "I am very happy to be a part of this program."
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
By: Kirsten Robbins
Sprinter Mark Cavendish is savoring his final days with mentor and friend George Hincapie before parting ways in Kansas City on Sunday. The Tour of Missouri marks USPro Champion Hincapie’s final hurrah with the Columbia-HTC team before moving to BMC Racing Team for season 2010.
Cavendish won Missouri’s opening stage in convincing fashion, benefiting from the help of his near-unrivaled Columbia-HTC lead-out. The young talent spent the better part of the circuit race glued to Hincapie’s wheel, a place he is comfortable and assured of his inevitable success in a sprint finale. For Cavendish and fans alike, it is difficult to imagine a race without the guidance of the famed veteran he has come to know as Big George.
“To be perfectly honest I get pretty emotional talking about it,” said Cavendish, who admitted he is not quite ready to say goodbye. “Even when George was talking about it at the press conference yesterday I was [emotional].”
A quick look into Cavendish’s achievements this year starts with a milestone win at the Milan-Sanremo. He went on to don the maglia rosa in the Giro d’Italia after a team effort to smash the opening team time trial, then win two additional stages. But he made history in July when he won a sixth stage of the Tour de France on the Champs-Elysees. His win today marked a 22nd season victory and he attributes much of that success to the care of Hincapie during the races.
“George has been an instrumental part of my success and my career and I’m really sad to not race with him anymore,” Cavendish said. “He’s been like a big brother to me. We’ve went on so well together in the last years. He’s such a big, big part of the team. He’s like the grand daddy of the team. He looks after everyone, he looks after me.”
Hincapie confirmed in the pre-race press conference that the Tour of Missouri would be his last race with Columbia-HTC. With the exception of a possible appearance at the UCI Road World Championships with the US national team, he won’t race until next season once he has settled in with his new BMC Racing Team.
“We’ll still be racing together just not on the same team,” Cavendish said. “We will always be really, really good friends. This is a nice way to finish off the season.”
Cavendish began his career with German squad T-Mobile in 2007 and it was there that he first met his childhood hero, Hincapie. “In cycling, George is an absolute gentleman,” Cavendish said. “The first time I spoke to him was at the Tour de France in 2007. I was the fat little neo-pro and I had my Dad with me and George came up to me and started to talk. He said that he was looking forward to the season and to riding with me. It was that day that I knew he was a special, special guy. I was proud to call him my teammate and I’m even more proud to call him my friend.
“When I was growing up in my teenage years, George was riding with US Postal and to finally be able to ride with a guy you’ve grown up to respect is a big, big thing but to be able to call him a friend is something a young rider would dream of," he added. "I’m really, really lucky to be able to do that.”
Monday, September 7, 2009
Forget about forehands and backhands. Melanie Oudin's biggest weapon is her heart.
The 17-year-old sparkplug from Georgia proved it again Monday at the U.S. Open, extending her remarkable run to the quarterfinals with another come-from-behind victory, 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 over 13th-seeded Nadia Petrova.
Oudin staved off four points that would have put her behind 5-3 in the second set, then rolled through the third, hitting corners with those underrated groundstrokes and taking advantage of 22 unforced errors by her more-seasoned, higher-ranked opponent.
Rankings, like her age, however, are nothing but numbers.
The 70th-ranked player already had wins over No. 4 Elena Dementieva and No. 29 Maria Sharapova at Flushing Meadows, along with one over former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic at Wimbledon. Now, she's knocked off No. 13.
This time, however, she wasn't the one crying tears of disbelief. It was her twin sister, Katherine, sobbing in the stands.
"I'm so happy to be in my first quarterfinal Grand Slam everrrr," Oudin said in her postmatch on-court interview.
Talk about heart. Oudin improved to 6-1 at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open this year when she's lost the first set. She is 17-4 overall this year in three-set matches. "I started serving better, thought I could do it and -- I did," she said.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Ivan Basso (Liquigas) faces two demanding mountain stages today and tomorrow at the Vuelta a España. He lost time on his rivals in yesterday's Valencia time trial and needs to recover the difference to keep within reach of the leader's gold jersey.
"There is no need to become hysterical, I felt well and experience has taught me patience is needed in a Grand Tour," said Basso. "From here to Madrid I will find enough climbs where I can make a difference, there is time to win the gold jersey."
Heavy rains marked the first major time trial of the 2009 Vuelta yesterday. Basso eased his way around the course to avoid crashes. He lost 56 seconds to Samuel Sánchez, 41 seconds to Cadel Evans, 38 seconds to Alejandro Valverde and 31 seconds to Alexander Vinokourov.
"It's clear the rain caused some difficulties for me," said Basso. "But, looking at the classification, the distances are restrained."
Basso is 1:52 back from race leader Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), in 17th place. Cancellara will likely lose the gold jersey today.
The riders face two mountaintop stages, Aitana and Xorret de Catí, today and tomorrow. Today's stage contains eight categorised climbs, including the final 21-kilometre climb up Alto de Aitana. Tomorrow ends with the three-kilometre Xorret del Catí climb, which contains sections of 20-percent gradient and leaves 3.2 kilometres to the finish.
"The next two stages, where we will face demanding climbs, will be used to recover a little of the ground I lost."
Basso will also consider that every stage finish offers bonus seconds of 20, 12 and 8 to the top three finishers.
It is Basso's first time to race the Vuelta a España. He finished fifth in this year's Giro d'Italia and won the 2006 edition. He placed second in the 2005 Tour de France.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Russia's Irina Kalentieva overcame early mechanical problems that left her languishing in 21st place to win her second world title in three years. Kalentieva caught early leader Lene Byberg of Norway on the last lap of the six lap race, and broke away to win. Byberg finished 13 seconds behind for the silver medal, with American Willow Koerber taking bronze at 52 seconds.
"Today was unbelievable," said Kalentieva. "I had a good start. I was in the front on the climbing, and then on the downhill something happened with the chain - I don't know what - so I had to stop and repair the chain. It was about one minute, or one and a half minutes, I am not sure. Anyway, I gave everything today, because I wanted to be World Champion again here. It was my dream, and it came true, and I am very satisfied and very, very happy."
Although conditions were clear and sunny, a stiff breeze was blowing up the long false flat that led into the first climb of the lap. This meant a conservative start for the race, with a group of six riders completing the first lap together - Byberg, Cécile Rode Ravanel (France), Eva Lechner (Italy), Catharine Pendrel (Canada), Sabine Spitz (Germany) and Koerber. Kalentieva was a few places back, after suffering problems with chain suck that she had to stop and deal with.
Spitz led the initial move up the climb on lap two, but Byberg overtook her and began to distance herself from the rest. Through the rest of the lap and lap three Byberg continued to lead and open a gap on Koerber, Spitz and Ravanel. Pendrel was struggling to hold onto fifth, and at the end of the lap Kalentieva had moved up to join her.
The Russian rider had solved her technical problems, and moved up impressively through he r rivals, pulling back 30 seconds to start the last lap in third behind Byberg and Koerber. She caught Koerber on the first technical climb and went straight past, to join Byberg with a half a lap to go. Byberg tried an attack, but Kalentieva caught back easily, and then launched her own attack into the final singletrack, to pull away for her second world title. Byberg rolled in 13 seconds later, visibly disappointed.
"It was a very technical course,” said Kalentieva. “In Europe we also have technical courses but here with the big stones and so on it seems more technical here than in Europe but it was perfect for me. I think [the mechanical issue with the chain] gave me more concentration and it gave me more power, because I knew it should not happen today to my chain.
“I was at the front in the beginning of the race and I felt good,” she added. “I did a good job: I made less mistakes on the uphill and downhill, and I felt good and perfect and that is why on every lap I wa s able to move forward. It was a very special course with more singletrack and you cannot follow when you go uphill, and I lost time, many times, but anyway I am the World Champion now, and it happened!"
Byberg, who won her first World Cup this season, and leads the overall standings, was in a little bit of shock after having the title snatched away from her.
"I kind of had the title in my hands and I lost it in the last half lap. But I just went for it today from the start and just took it from there. It was really hard to ride alone on the flat sections after the feeding zone, and this took a lot of energy. But I just decided to go for it, and maybe one day I can make up the thirteen seconds [to Irina]. I am happy, this is my first International medal and so far I have had a great season, but I am a little bit disappointed also."
"Normally in races I do the opposite: I get into the top 10 and then come from behind like Irina did today. But today I just knew it was a great start for me - not straight into a steep uphill, but flat so you can sit there behind in the wind and stay on a wheel. That was my goal for the season: to try to have a good World Championships. It is also a mental thing: the one chance on the one day at the World Championships. "
As with Byberg, this is Koeber's first world championships medal, and she had no disappointment with finishing third. The American rode a 29er, as did her team mate Heather Irmiger (10th).
"At the start I was like, 'whats going on? None of us can ride our bikes!'. Everyone seemed to be crashing into each other and falling over,” said Koeber. “But you just have to stay patient, as it is five laps, and I managed to escape any big crash or problem with my bike, so I had a great day out there. Just a lot of fun, and the crowds were great. This is my first [International] medal, so I am very excited and pleased.
"I guess you could say the start worked in my favour because it ended up well, it all worked out great,” added Koeber. “I just stayed calm, because in the past I have panicked numerous times and you just waste a bunch of energy, so I was like, okay, whatever is happening in front of me, it will all work out, and I guess it did. I won the last race in the US Cup in New York three weeks ago, so that gave me a lot of confidence, and then I really didn't train too much. I just did a bunch of short fun things, so I would be rested and really ready to race today."
1 Irina Kalentieva (Russian Federation) 1:43:20
2 Lene Byberg (Norway) at 0:00:13
3 Willow Koerber (United States Of America) 0:00:52
Friday, September 4, 2009
The carbon maestros at German-based Storck are introducing the 2010 Aero 2 time trial bike, a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 compatible-only machine they're calling their most aerodynamic ever.
Approximate frame weight is 1,200g with a 350g carbon THM Scapula fork and 220g seat dome. The 'fuselage' (frame, fork, bars, seat dome, brakes, stem/headset) will be priced around US$10,000.
"Markus (Storck) plans to deliver Faris al Sultan his Aero 2 at Interbike for him to race in the Ironman in Hawaii in October,
Thursday, September 3, 2009
We are inside of 6 weeks till race day and I’ve been busy.
Last week I attended the wedding of my best friend Greg Mecca. I had the honor of being best man for him. Couldn’t be happier for him and his new bride, Kristie. Wonderful couple. I hope this does not prevent him from being my official sherpa over in Kona, however. He’s always been my go-to guy over there. Well, him and a couple other folks. But, my other buddy, Ted, is actually racing, and the big DeBoom family is going to be absent this year. Too many new babies!
We also had the Denver SkirtChaser race this past weekend down in Cherry Creek. Pretty impressive event and quite a party. Can’t believe what Nicole has built.
My prep has been going well. I’m in the final big 3 weeks of work now before I start winding down. Someday it would be fun to actually write about my training, but as you all should know, there are some things that need to remain secret. I have been out with some of the boys here in Boulder, and I appreciate the company.
I’m actually headed over to Kona early this year to taper down over there. After missing last year, I can’t wait to get back on the island. Been too long.
I didn’t get to race as much as I hoped this year because of my foot, but I can guarantee that I’m fresh and hungry going into the most important time of the year.
All the equipment is dialed and waiting to go as well. Best set up I’ve ever had.
I’m in Boulder till the 22nd, then it’s Aloha time.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
American Chris Horner has once again been plagued by the bad luck which has haunted him all season. The Astana rider was one of dozens of riders involved in a crash in the final kilometres of the Vuelta a Espana's stage four on Tuesday, and his team confirmed that he has an "undisplaced fracture of the wrist".
Horner will not continue the race as the risk of the break becoming worse over the next two weeks is too great, his team said.
It is the third serious injury of the 37-year-old rider's 2009 season. In April, he broke his collarbone and ribs in a crash at the Vuelta a Pais Vasco after his teammate Daniel Navarro broke his chain and fell in his path.
He recovered in time to contest the Giro d'Italia, where he was highly placed in the overall when he fell victim to another crash on stage 11. He was diagnosed later with a fractured tibia.
Horner again recovered from his injury, but not in time to be selected for Astana's Tour de France squad. He sat out much of July, returning to competition at the Tour of Elk Grove before heading back to Europe where he nearly won the Tour de l'Ain.
Levi Leipheimer will ride for Team RadioShack in 2010. The Californian revealed today that he has signed a two-year deal with the American squad and will leave Astana after two seasons. While Leipheimer has confirmed his departure, Astana remain tight-lipped over transfers in or out of the team as the team continues to work through its management arrangements for 2010.
Leipheimer will follow his current team manager, Johan Bruyneel, to RadioShack. "The last two years of my career have been the best and that's because of the team Johan [Bruyneel] assembled," said 35-year-old Leipheimer, according to ESPN. "I still have the desire and passion to ride the bike. There's a trend now for riders to go longer and longer. I feel like I'm still getting better."
ESPN reported that Leipheimer's relationship with Lance Armstrong had played a major role in his decision to sign with RadioShack. Armstrong's return from retirement this year re-united the two riders, who rode together on U.S. Postal after eight years. The two have ridden a number of races together this season, with Leipheimer supported by Armstrong in his victories at the Tour of California and the Tour of the Gila.
Leipheimer will follow Armstrong, Jose Luis Rubiera and Sergio Paulinho to RadioShack from Astana. Last month, Armstrong confirmed that team manager Johan Bruyneel will also be part of the new team. However, on Tuesday, Astana would not confirm any further departures from the team due to the uncertainty that surrounds the future of its management.