Wednesday, December 29, 2010

@DZNUTSCREW and the Nutmobile


A few months ago I was doing a ride from Win’s Wheels here in Westlake Village. It was a celebration of sorts, to send Brett (a Win’s employee) off to college and the start of his bicycle racing career. Well we had a nice large group for our ride and we rolled out easy but soon enough we were going up the famous Rock Store climb. I can’t remember who it was trying to race me to the top but I was keeping him close just for kicks. Suddenly we were coming up on two riders when the fellow racing me said to them, “look who’s coming up behind you.” Now these two guys were totally decked out in DZ-Nuts clothing and my competitor on the climb used this to his advantage. I gladly slowed down to talk to these super die hard DZ-Nuts fans. They were brothers and they called themselves the DZNUTSCREW. We all re-grouped at the top, chatted and took some pics together before the ride continued down to the coast. It was a great moment for me and a great day on the bike.

Weeks later, I reconnected with the DZNUTSCREW off the bike. We carved some pumpkins on Halloween with our kids and one of the brother’s showed me his SMART car. He told me how long his commute was day in and day out on one of the world’s busiest freeways. Turns out he’s a dedicated High School teacher with a major commute. He had an idea that we should wrap the SMART car in DZ-Nuts logos for some rolling advertising during his drive to and from school. After some discussion with the DZ-Nuts management team we got the car wrapped and the end result sure is SWEET.

The DZNUTSCREW showed up at my place to take some photos of the new Nutmobile. I couldn’t help myself but to get on top of that car with my bike. After a few publicity photos that the neighbors seemed to be enjoying, we headed out on the road together for a training ride. And it was a really good training ride indeed. Turns out the DZNUTSCREW is a great motorpacer and we got a ton of pics for the web site. It was such a nice sunny winter day and riding behind that car all logoed out just made the legs roll over with good sensations.

For more stories by DZ please click on the title link.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Aldo Sassi: The Philosophy of Coaching

This article was written before Aldo passed away due to brain cancer a few weeks ago. He was truly one of the best cycling coaches out there...enjoy.

Aldo Sassi had a reputation as one of the most trusted men in cycling thanks to his transparent approach to coaching. Over the last 25 years, he has nurtured this reputation, which was the backbone of the Mapei team from 1999 to 2002 and is the foundation of the Mapei training centre northwest of Milan.

From the Mapei training centre, he helped Cadel Evans win the World Championships in 2009, and Ivan Basso return to win this year’s Giro d’Italia. He continues to coach them as well as Matt Lloyd, Michael Rogers and a new, controversial, client, Riccardo Riccò.

We wanted to know, what is so special about Sassi’s coaching philosophy and what is his process? He was kind enough to take a break between appointments and explain.


“I mainly examine the VO2 Max and power output at his anaerobic threshold when I take on a new rider. Of course, I take into consideration the period that he just finished when I analyse these numbers, whether he just came off a month of rest or the Tour de France.

“From the numbers, I build a training programme. It’s simple, it’s based on a three-day algorithm. The first day is SFR, Salite-Forza-Resistenza or strength and resistance training on climbs, the second day is anaerobic threshold work, and the third day consists of long rides with climbs. This is repeated with some small variations and I adapt it based on the rider’s day-to-day response and his SRM power feedback.

“I get data back from someone every day. Ivan Basso sends me his daily. By the morning, they have an e-mail back from me with any needed updates. To be honest, the algorithm for Ivan and Cadel [Evans] is quite similar. I make some variations, mixing in the time trial bike on some days instead of the road bike, or using motor pacing on some days.”


“If you are strong enough you can reach the results you want on your own using only your commitment and your muscles. If you don’t believe this then you had better look for another coach.

“In the recent past, I had a very strong rider who obtained very good results always in the same period of the season. However, I did not understand how he always obtained those results every year in that same period. I sat down with him and told him, ‘Listen, I think that it is better we stop working together now. I am not interested in continuing.’

“He said, ‘I am clean, I am sure of it.’ He said that but I could not understand how he did what he did. I said, ‘Maybe it is clear for you, but it is not for me. And I prefer to sleep well.’

“When I start with a rider, I ask them to commit to my philosophy"

“When you have doubts that the results are not solely physiological, even without the proof, you are forced to choose your direction and give a signal. I want to sleep well, without any doubts. The classical ‘preparatori’, or old-school coaches mix training and pharmacological support, but I work only on training.

“When I start with a rider, I ask them to commit to my philosophy. When they come here with their team, like Lampre, I reach that commitment with the team. When the riders come here on their own, like Ivan Basso or Matt Lloyd, I talk with them directly about this.

“Every rider that comes here has to be committed to ride clean and be available for all the haemoglobin testing that we wish. If someone does not accept these, then we don’t work with him. Maybe this is not enough to be sure they are clean, but it is a good start.”


“A rider’s goal has to be clear to me and shared amongst him and his team. I can go about creating a training programme for him once I know his racing schedule. Sometimes with the rider, I will suggest to the team to create a certain race schedule.

“Cadel Evans, for instance, needs a light first half of the season because his goals have been at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, and that is a big intensive block. Also, he trains in Australia over the off-season and the weather there quickly improves his condition. This could be different for Cunego, who this year will have a strong focus on the April classics.”


“The mind is the driver of the machine. It motivates.

“An athlete has to work in a determined way as Ivan Basso did this year to prepare for the Giro d’Italia. It means that even when it is rainy and dark outside, as it is today at the Mapei headquarters, that you go out and train regardless. You have go out and complete your required training even when you think you are not doing well. It is on these dark days when the other riders lose their motivation to train and you can get the advantage, the mental advantage.

“Mental strength is the most important when it comes to time trials, where a strong head will truly prevail. The effort and the approach is very different with a road stage or a one-day classic. In time trials, you have to concentrate the entire time if you want to win or even do well. You are there, holding your aero position and if you feel pain in some particular part of your body then you must ignore it, to resist it or fail. It can be a terrible event because your mind has all the time in the world to wonder and let any small problem get out of control.”


“A cyclist has certain physiological attributes: VO2 Max, power output at anaerobic threshold, body fat per cent… It is like Formula 1: if you only have the driver and no car then you cannot win. You have to have the car as well as the driver. Some might try to show that if you have a good driver you could still win with a bad car. This is not true in cycling. Either you have to be able to produce six watts per kilogramme on the climbs or you lose.”


“Self-belief is very important. There are riders who don’t believe in themselves and some of these riders fall into doping. Through doping, they believe they can find the magic aid to get results.

“I try to encourage and build my riders’ self-belief by supplying them some reference data. I show them the numbers that I know is enough to guarantee results. I then prove it to them over an over in the lab, behind my motor bike or with the data I get back from the races that they compete in. I say, ‘Look, here are the numbers, you can win race X or race Y.’

“If you are able to work for X amount of time at six watts per kilogramme then you will be competitive with the top riders at the Giro d’Italia or Tour de France. I get them to the level where they can produce that power and when they get it, they will trust themselves. Simply put, I am building their self-belief.
Aldo Sassi

“The mind is the driver of the machine"

“Matt Lloyd had an impressive season this year with a stage win and the mountain classification jersey at the Giro d’Italia, but he is not always able to focus on his goals. If he was able to then he would be able to aim for a podium finish at the Giro d’Italia. Matt is an example of a cyclist who has the ability, but lacks self-belief and the commitment to pursue the goal. He needs to believe in himself, to believe that he can reach his goals.”


“Stress is a point that coaches and their athletes often leave untouched. A rider can suffer from stress before or during a race. Sometimes, there is an actual stress, but I am afraid that sometimes stress is just an excuse.

“Stress can come from directors, family, parents of young riders or even coaches. Once it is there, forget about it, your performance will be severely penalised. A lot of it depends on the rider’s own psychological characteristics; some of us are always stressed and some of us are not.

“Some people say that Damiano Cunego stresses too much during stage races, which does not allow him to sleep enough and to recover properly. There is no way around it, you will certainly have problems when stress causes an imbalance in your normal recovery habits. The people around Cunego have warned me that this may be an issue and since we started working together this autumn, I have given it some thought.

“How do you combat it? You have to talk with the rider to put him in a more comfortable environment. If you are self-confident, you don’t stress so much. I have tried different methods. I remember 20 years ago, I started to work with a technique called Autogenic Training, a relaxation method developed by Schultz [German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz - ed.]. You tell the rider his legs are getting heavy, his arms are getting heavy and so forth. They start to relax. It had mixed results, though, and I stopped using it.

“We have to work as a team to set proper targets for Damiano Cunego. For example, we need to decide if it is good for him to target long stage races or the one-day races, the classics. The one-day races are less stressful than the long stage races, but that also depends on what a rider, not just Damiano, believes. If a rider is highly motivated for long stage races and you limit him to one-day races, then he will suffer.

“To avoid stress, the rider has to be consciousness of his capabilities and to put his targets at the right level. When you have targets related to your capabilities then you will be satisfied and not stressed. Otherwise, you will be stressed beyond believe trying reach an unobtainable goal.”


“Coaches have to try to monitor the rider’s work and his response to it. This is where the science is not perfect, we are still far from having a good support or analysis method to manage a rider’s workload. I receive data files from the riders daily – average and peak power outputs from their training and racing via the SRM files – and we draw blood when they come in to the Mapei Centre. However, it is difficult to quantify the work done and especially the kind of work that was done. Today, we have too much data coming in and not enough time to manage or to analyse it.”


“The relevance of a coach in cycling has to be considered only so much because the riders are the ones who perform, not the coach. I am not trying to sell myself out of a job, but just being honest.

“Probably the best sign of a good coach, though, is to choose his athlete well. I never search for cyclists, they have to find me if they are interested. Otherwise it means there is no motivation and if there is no motivation, it is only a waste of time for me and for the rider.

“When we had the Mapei team, it was mandatory to be tested and followed from the Mapei Centre, but was obvious that not all the riders did it that way. I did not have the possibility to pressure those who only followed the Mapei programme partially. After that experience, I accepted only athletes that asked to work with me.

“My first answer was usually, ‘I am sorry, I have no time and I am not the best because if you work with me I will impose some limitations.’ Like I said to Dario Cioni, ‘If you want to go faster, the first thing you have to do is change your coach because you know that I work only on training. There are other preparatori who are better able to improve performances!’ Fortunately, I had athletes like Cioni and Evans who said, ‘No Aldo, we will only work with you.’

I think I made a good choice by selecting Ricardo Riccò – I am sure of it. He has the motor, the car, but the driver is not completely there. I am going to help him build his mental strength and self-belief. There are too many other coaches out there who want to try to improve his body’s physiological response – that is not my job.

“I know he is a risky client, but sometimes you have to roll the dice to win big. If someone doesn’t put faith in this sport, how can we make changes? Besides, Riccardo has a wife and child to support and needs help.

“The Mapei Centre is good because of its ethical approach and its attitude to coaching each cyclist as a man, as a person. This was our philosophy from the beginning. We have had tried to create a family, a hi-tech and science-based one. After the first day of testing here, the cyclist knows all of our staff, which gives them great self-confidence.”

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ivan Basso remembers Aldo Sassi

Ivan Basso went training with his Liquigas teammates on Monday morning but admitted it was a difficult day in the saddle after hearing the news that his coach Aldo Sassi had passed away during the night.

Basso knew Sassi was not well said he will leave the Liquigas training camp in Sardinia to attend Sassi's funeral.

The two have been close ever since Sassi agreed to coach Basso as he made a comeback from his two-year suspension. The two spent long hours together simulating races near Varese and developed a special affinity when Sassi was diagnosed with cancer. Basso lost his mother to cancer in 2005.

"It's very sad news and it's difficult for me to express how I feel," Basso told us.

"I'll always remember the close relationship I had with Aldo. I did a test at the Mapei centre last Tuesday and that was his last day there.

"I had a special relationship with Aldo because of what I've been through and for what he was going through. He was a very understanding and affectionate person. He was one of the few people who really understood me. We had some special moments together during my comeback and then on the podium in Verona at the end of the Giro.

"It's been a difficult time for him since he was diagnosed with cancer but he was an example to us all how he fought hard and carried on."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mario Cipollini decries modern cycling's lack of machismo

Mario Cipollini has launched a stinging attack on what he called the lack of machismo in modern cycling. The Italian, who recently joined the Katusha team as a consultant, said that he is bemused by the reaction of certain riders in the current peloton to defeat.

“I lived a very different cycling,” Cipollini told L’Equipe. “At the beginning of a sprint, I felt like a gladiator, ready to do anything to keep my place. And when I lost, I wasn’t capable of going to congratulate whoever had beaten me, like Andy Schleck did at the Tour. Me, I’d hate him because he’d taken the bread from my mouth.”

The friendship between Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador is something that Cipollini finds difficult to fathom and he echoed the thoughts of the late Laurent Fignon on the aftermath of the “Chaingate” incident.

“Seeing Schleck and Contador embrace on the Tourmalet after crossing the line and then seeing Contador affectionately pinch Schleck’s cheek during his interview was unreal for me,” Cipollini exclaimed. “Logically, Schleck should have been raging, he had just lost the Tour after all.

“After the chain slip incident on the Port de Balès, he should have attacked the Spaniard day after day, in front of the microphones and on the air too, without giving him time to piss!”

Nor did Alberto Contador escape Cipollini’s criticism. “Machismo is disappearing, I can’t find it in Contador,” he complained. “Contador has the anonymous face of a surveyor or an accountant.”

Cipollini was also left bemused by the reaction of Italian leader Filippo Pozzato at the end of the world championships road race in Geelong.

“Pozzato has just been beaten for third place and a second later he has only one idea in his mind, to congratulate the winner,” Cipollini said incredulously. “What can be going on in his head? Has winning become so incidental at this point that there is no joy or disappointment? Are they only working men now?”

“I read an interview with Umberto Veronesi, a scientist, a reputed oncologist and Minister for Health,” Cipollini continued. “In five hundred years or more, human beings might have both sets of genitalia, male and female. I don’t want this evolution to have started already in cycling…”

Cipollini admitted to being far more expressive when he was defeated and he believes that the riches now on offer to top cyclists mean that the edges have softened on many rivalries.

“At the end of Milan-San Remo in 2003 I threatened to strangle Bernhard Eisel while shaking my fist because he had blocked me with 300 metres to go,” Cipollini recalled. “And I was really frightening. I could see it in the eyes of the spectators.

“I had the meanness in me and it was necessary. The others weren’t going to give me any gifts. In Flanders, on the Koppenberg, the gregari would throw themselves under your wheels to block your route. And if you were in a bad position 3km from the line, Kelly and Vanderaerden would start an echelon straight away to put you in the ditch. That was the rule.”

Basso and Contador

As well as decrying the lack of machismo in modern cycling, Cipollini also offered his thoughts on the doping problems that have engulfed the sport, both internationally and in his own country. He called for life bans for offenders, and he believes that Ivan Basso’s involvement in Operacion Puerto ought to have marked a sort of “year zero” for Italian cycling.

“I would have saved Basso, who was at the start of the problem,” Cipollini explained. “The manipulator was Fuentes. He was the one who cleaned the blood and kept it. Basso has served as a scapegoat, he has paid and punished himself with humility and came back into the light at the Giro. But all of those who came afterwards knew, and with them, I would be less tolerant. To err is human; to continue is diabolical.”

In spite of his earlier criticism of Contador, Cipollini also expressed his hopes that the Spaniard can prove his innocence.

“I hope Contador manages to prove his good faith, otherwise it would be a big disappointment,” he said. “Cases like Riccò and Di Luca were only a matter of small motors trying to improve their engines. Riccò is not Pantani, but Contador is of another calibre.”

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Radioshack Training Camp: Nissan Track Day

As the European-based riders climbed a mountain for their first official rider meeting, American-based riders also went off the beaten path for their first team get-together. It’s safe to say all Team RadioShack riders have a “need for speed.” And Tuesday morning this urge was answered…While attending camp, our sponsors at Nissan wanted to add a little “innovation” to traditional team-building activities and training rides, so they invited us to the Nissan Arizona Test Center in Scottsdale.

With over 3,000 acres and 46 miles of test roads, it remains one of the largest and most innovative automotive testing centers in the world…And as we soon found out – the perfect place for a cycling team with a “need for speed” to do some team-building.

The day began as Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner, Matthew Busche, Bjorn Selander and Ben King took turns experiencing the Nissan and Infiniti line-ups. Each rider rode passenger as professional test drivers reached speeds up to 110 mph around the track.

Naturally a competitive bunch, several challenges quickly unfolded. With bikes on hand, the riders raced a two-mile time trial course. Despite the veteran field, Bjorn Selander took the win. Perhaps Lance and Levi were saving up for the real competition of the day….the AutoCross Challenge. Each rider would race along a course marked by orange cones in a Nissan 370z. As the rules allowed each driver three runs, the best posted time would be taken for each rider.

And so the competition began! Levi, a proud owner of a custom-Team RadioShack GTR, was feeling confident in his ability to “master the shift” and maneuver the course like a true professional. However earlier that day, Chris Horner raised a few eyebrows becoming the first person the Test Center has ever seen to strip the tires off a Nissan Leaf. One thing was clear: Redneck Horner was not afraid to take the turns full-gas.

Despite Horner being deemed the day’s “biggest dare devil” and Levi’s taunts, Lance edged both longtime teammates and friends to win the Challenge. Also on hand was Trek-LIVESTRONG director Axel Merckx. Axel represented the team directors of the world with an aggressive-style of driving unmatched by any of the riders. Congrats to Axel for taking the day’s “Most Aggressive Driver” award. Trek-LIVESTRONG is lucky to have him behind the wheel...

click on the title link to see more photos....

I'm Training For An Ironman

Monday, December 6, 2010

Contador attends first Saxo Bank-SunGard camp

Alberto Contador put his doping problems aside for a few days to spend time with his new Saxo Bank-SunGard teammates in the Canary Islands.

The Spaniard does not know if he will be able to race with Bjarne Riis’ team in 2011 after testing positive for Clenbuterol during the Tour de France. However he seemed to enjoy the get-together in Fuerteventura as he got to know new teammates including Richie Porte, Baden Cooke, Nick Nuyens and Jonny Bellis.

Team owner Bjarne Riis is known for his tough boot camps, that push the riders and staff to their limits. In the past he has taken his team to the wilds of Northern Denmark and even South Africa, forcing everyone to overcome their fears of water and even dangerous animals, to prepare them for the problems of the season ahead. With budgets tight for 2011, the Danish team held a more traditional camp at the resort of sponsor Playitas in Fuerteventura. The riders spent a week together, riding their new Specialized 2011 bikes and competing in teams as they learnt to wind- and kite-surf, and perform as a group of acrobats.

Because most riders are still under contract with their 2010 teams, they rode in their old kit. Contador rode in his Astana clothing and Nuyens was in his Rabobank kit. They will be able to wear their new kit from January 1.

The atmosphere was relaxed but Riis kept an eye on everyone in the team.

“To me, the most important issue during this year's team building has been to integrate all the new riders and staff and to establish a team spirit based upon good and memorable experiences which will be remembered and talked about throughout the whole year,” Riis said.

“And I can already see that it is paying off. The atmosphere is relaxed. People are laughing, having a great time and it's important for me to know that everyone gets the feeling of being part of the well-known Saxo Bank-SunGard team spirit.”

The riders are set to return to the Playitas resort in Fuerteventura for further training before the start of the 2011 season.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Garmin-Cervelo Batmobiles and a public ride

Grand Cayman continued to roll out the red carpet for the Garmin-Cervelo squad's first gathering of its 2011 roster. On Wednesday the team enjoyed time swimming with stingrays, exploring the island of Grand Cayman via a treasure hunt plus an exhilarating helicopter view of the Caribbean island with a former military pilot putting the aircraft through its paces.

Another venue visited by the team was the Cayman Motor Museum, chock full of exotic, rare, and classic cars and motorcycles from the personal collection of Norwegian shipping magnate Andreas Ugland, who's called Grand Cayman home for 20+ years. While

David Zabriskie was spellbound by the original Batmobile from the late 1960s Batman television show, world champion Thor Hushovd received a warm welcome from Ugland, a compatriot who happens to share the same hometown of Grimstad in Norway.

On Thursday morning the team took part in the 'Ride with the Pros' event in which approximately 85 riders, comprised of sponsors and local cycling fans, rode for approximately two hours on quiet Grand Cayman roads. While the pace was predominantly leisurely, the team dropped the hammer in the latter portion of the return journey to their host hotel to give those along for the ride a lesson in speed and the art of riding in wide open terrain buffeted by strong crosswinds. The planned acceleration was public knowledge from the offset for those along on the ride but as one would expect the Garmin-Cervelo squad soon shed their companions and rode alone along the coast before dialling back the throttle and allowing many to catch back on for the final kilometres.

"There's a lot of people on this island who hosted us and supported bringing the team here and part of our thank you was to do a bike ride with them," Jonathan Vaughters told us. "I have a big payroll these days and I can't just take 80 people off to the Cayman Islands. We've worked with Grand Cayman's Tom McCallum to drum up the support and he's done an incredible job of getting government support and everything else to get this camp off the ground. He gave me the thumbs up of 'yes, we can do it' a couple of months ago and here we are."

Part of the team took advantage of an opportunity to scuba dive in the afternoon hours and the day was capped off by An Evening with the Pros gala at Camana Bay's Abacus restaurant where the team mixed and mingled with VIPs. The event concluded with an auction of Garmin-Transition team bikes and memorabilia to benefit the Cayman Island Cancer Society.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Liquigas hit the Dolomites for training camp

Liquigas-Cannondale will close their first official team gathering for the 2011 season at the Dolomite ski resort at Moena, Italy on the Passo San Pellegrino on Thursday afternoon.

The Italian team met for their now-traditional four-day winter camp this week to train and plan for the news season. It is the third year the ProTeam squad have used the unique environment to build team spirit, with heavy snow seeing the riders such as Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali swap their road tyres for snowshoes and toboggans.

It was also a chance for the riders to get to know one another after a number of roster changes during the past several months. Daniele Bennati, Roman Kreuziger and Francesco Chicci have moved on, but the the team have welcomed a host of new riders, including US riders Ted King and Timothy Duggan, Australia's Cameron Wurf and Germany's Dominik Nerz.

Liquigas finished second behind Team Saxo Bank in the International Cycling Union's (UCI) 2010 team rankings thanks mainly to Basso and Nibali's respective Giro and Vuelta a España triumphs. Last week the UCI confirmed it had renewed the team's ProTeam licence for a further three seasons. The team will outline on Thursday the riders' rosters, however team boss Robert Amadio left no doubt about the big targets for the team next year.

"The first objective remains the three Grand Tours: the Giro di Italia, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España," Amadio told Gazzetta dello Sport.

Basso, 33, said last week that he plans to skip the 2011 Giro, which he won overall for the second time in his career this year, in favour of targeting the Tour de France. Conversely, Nibali is expected to focus on his second Grand Tour victory at the Giro. The 26-year-old finished third overall at this year's edition of the race before becoming the first Italian since Marco Giovannetti in 1990 to claim the overall title at the Vuelta.

While the team proved its Grand Tour credentials this year, it also had a strong presence throughout the 2010 Spring Classics season. The squad will look to Slovakia's Peter Sagan, 20, and Italy's Daniel Oss, 23, to spearhead its challenge next Spring.

Sagan told Gazzetta, "the dream is San Remo", while Oss, who finished fifth at Gent-Wevelgem in March, is "pointing at Flanders."

Liquigas will follow the Moena camp with a longer and more traditional training camp on the Italian island of Sardinia from December 9-22. The team will commence the new season at the first UCI World Calendar event of 2011, the Tour Down Under, in Australia on January 16.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kelly Slater’s World Title Party

An extended group of Kelly Slater’s friends and family gathered in a plush LA warehouse on Monday to celebrate his 10th World Title. As you can imagine, when it comes to Kelly, even “intimate” gatherings can number in the hundreds and include catered food, drink and even a giant Kelly cake.

Kelly’s agent Terry Hardy presented a gift from Eddie Vedder; his original framed diamond album of Pearl Jam’s “10” specially reworked to acknowledge Kelly’s 10 World Titles. Quiksilver CEO, Bob McKnight then mockingly patted his pockets and joked: “I have that $10 million check here somewhere…”

This is like an out-of-body experience,” Kelly said with tears in his eyes, “it doesn’t feel like all this is happening for me, I’m just stoked its happening to somebody” he laughed.

click on the title link to see more photos....

Ivan Basso Hard At Work During Training Camp

As the Garmin boys are sitting on a beach in the Cayman Islands Ivan Basso and his team are up in the Italian Alps learning how to sled and snowshoe???

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Garmin-Cervélo enjoy first day of training camp

Garmin-Cervélo enjoyed the first day of their training camp in the Cayman Islands on Monday. The hybrid squad formed off the back of the Garmin-Transitions and Cervélo teams enjoyed a boat cruise and a dip in the sea after their first orientation meeting and 70 kilometre training ride.

For the likes of Thor Hushovd and Heinrich Haussler it was the first opportunity to meet with their new teammates, while riders like of David Millar and Christian Vande Velde enjoyed their third annual winter get-together, having been with the team since 2008.

While the mood was relaxed, there were some pressing matters to attend to with all of the riders asked to sign the team's mission statement.

Garmin and Cervélo are both vocal anti-doping teams and this shared view looks set to continue.

"It was all standard stuff. Everyone heard our team mission statement and we had them sign off on the anti-doping policy. Don Catlin will come to our camp in January but this was just everyone seeing the policy and signing off on it," Jonathan Vaughters told Cyclingnews.

"It basically says that you can't take any supplements unless they're approved by the team; that the riders can be tested 24/7 and the last part stresses our no needle policy and says that no injections or infusions of any kind can be permitted at any time or in any location. You can't inject yourself or have anyone inject you, period."

The camp goes on for another week with the riders set to make the most of the hospitality on offer from the Cayman tourist board, with scuba diving organised, along with an exhibition race on Friday.

"Tonight we've got a cocktail party with some of the sponsors and Gerard Vroomen gets in tomorrow," Vaughters added.

Healthcare-Associated Infection

By Barbara Dunn

Earlier this year, the Department of Health & Human Services released its annual report on the quality of health care Americans receive. While there have been some improvements, hospitals still have work to do to put an end to the ongoing - but solvable - problem of Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs).

Caregivers and other healthcare professionals know steps need to be taken to protect patients from HAIs, but it will take strong leadership to make the changes necessary to reduce the likelihood of these life-threatening infections. To help achieve this goal, Kimberly-Clark Health Care launched "Not on My Watch" (, a website that provides tools and information to help facilities eliminate HAIs.

I'm also pleased to announce that Kimberly-Clark will match all year-end gifts to the AORN Foundation made by AORN members up to $20,000. All donations will be used to support education, research and patient safety initiatives.

To learn more please click on the title link.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wheaties - Features Ironman World Champion

Wheaties has announced the champion of the world's most challenging endurance event, the Ford Ironman World Championship, will be featured on the famous orange box in the coming months. This announcement marks the first time an Ironman World Champion has been honored with an appearance on a Wheaties box.

Chris McCormack finished the grueling 140.6-mile race in just over eight hours, at 08:10:37 to break through the finish line tape first of the approximately1800 of the world’s top professional and age group athletes competing in the 2010 championship event. McCormack finished strong in the 2.4-mile swim with 51:36, and maintained a front position during his 112-mile cycle leg of 04:31:51. He finished ahead of the competition with a 02:43:31 26.2-mile run. This marks McCormack’s fourth top-10 finish and second championship at the Ford Ironman World Championship. McCormack also holds five Ironman Australia titles.

“We are so excited to welcome Chris into the Wheaties family and celebrate his tremendous achievement in winning this highly competitive championship,” said Wheaties Marketing Manager Dan Stangler. “The Ironman triathlon competitors are some of the toughest and most fit endurance athletes in the world, and each competitor to complete an Ironman competition is a champion in his or her own right. It is with great appreciation for what they do that we are showcasing a true Ironman champion on the Wheaties box.”

“Wheaties has long been known as the ‘breakfast of champions,’ which makes it an excellent choice for Ironman competitors,” said Ben Fertic, chief executive officer, Ironman. “The state-of-the-art nutrition in Wheaties FUEL® can help today’s world-class athletes train for success.”

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lance Armstrong's Rotorua entry out of the blue

There it was, just the third entry received. Lance Armstrong. As usual, quick off the mark. Rotorua triathlon officials figured someone must have been having them on.

Turns out it wasn't a joke. The 39-year-old seven-time winner of the Tour de France was coming to New Zealand for the first triathlon of his post-cycling sporting career.

And he had picked the 25th anniversary of the Blue Lake Multisport Festival in which to dip his toes back into the waters of triathlon.

You could have knocked the Rotorua race organiser over with a feather. There she was thinking Bevan Docherty or Cameron Brown would be a marquee entry to mark the occasion.

Instead she got arguably the greatest road cyclist of all time. Certainly one of the most controversial.

It's a great story, too, how it emerged the tough Texan who overcame testicular cancer to dominate the most gruelling cycling event on the planet had picked a Rotorua weekend extravaganza, aimed more at the enthusiast than the elite, to kick off the triathlon phase of his career.

The murmurs started last Friday afternoon when Armstrong tweeted the co-ordinates and late-January date of his first triathlon, following on from his cycling farewell in the Tour Down Under.

Event organiser Charlotte Pearson received a call from a reporter who just happened to be a member of the Rotorua Association of Triathletes suggesting Armstrong would be on the start line.

"She called about 5 o'clock that afternoon and I didn't believe her," Pearson said yesterday. "I didn't think much of it till the next day when I checked the entries."

It turned out Armstrong had entered at 2pm on Friday, an hour before he tweeted his first teaser about his plans. There were only two names ahead of him.

But still Pearson wasn't certain. "The fact that he had entered before the tweet went out made me think it must be him. But I got in contact with his publicist and they confirmed it."

Suddenly a grassroots-style event had gone through the roof.

"It's been crazy really," said Pearson who spent much of yesterday fielding media calls.

Pearson confirmed Armstrong had entered for all three races of the weekend festival – an aquathon (5.5km forest run/800m lake swim) and 2km open water swim on January 29 and a triathlon on January 30 comprising a 750m lake swim, 16km road cycle and 5.5km forest run.

It had also become clear that her little old event was about to become "kind of a big deal".

The event normally attracts around 300 entries. Pearson was figuring now on having to cap the field at around double that. Suddenly a road traffic plan would be needed, a media liaison would have to be appointed.

"We normally just get someone along from the local paper, and that's the extent of the media interest," she said. "I guess that's going to change now."

The Off Season…DZ Style

What’s the off season like for you?

DZ: The off season is the time to try and get everything in my life in order so I don’t have to worry about as many things when the racing hits. Take care of the family, the new house and myself. For example, I spent 3 hours at the dentist today and am scheduled for 6 more. Also cut a bunch of old xmas lights off some trees in my back yard that the previous owner left behind. There is just no way I could do that from Europe.

The word is that you’ve relocated into the suburbs of Los Angeles. How’s that going?

DZ: The Burbs. What a great movie! I think I’m going to watch that film tonight. It’s pretty quiet out here in the burbs and that makes the training much easier. You can also park your car wherever you want and no little 3 wheeler is going to come give you a ticket.

I stood up on the roof the first few nights here with my Captain America shield shouting some lines from ‘Roots’, just to test out the new neighbors. No one came out and said anything and no police showed up. I’m stayin’, I’m finishing my coffee.

What kinds of cross-training exercises are you using to maintain your fitness in the off season and to get ready for the first training camps of the new season?

DZ: I am getting some great cross training guidance from Jon Hamm of ‘Fitness on the Run’. He is kicking my ass. I’ve been doing a lot of stuff to toughen my core and shoulders. I feel a big difference on the bike already, but I think I really need to stick with the routine as much as possible during the season as well.

When and where is the first team meeting?

DZ: It’s in the Cayman Islands and I leave pretty soon. I’m not going to make that Pink Floyd concert after all. However, Ryder says the first real camp is going to kick off in Maui in December.

What races are you particularly excited about when looking at the 2011 season?

DZ: I’d like to win in California and have an awesome result at the Tour. I’m also going to try and get my Stars and Stripes jersey back. Then there are the new races on the calendar, like Utah and Colorado, that I’m also looking forward too. I would also like to ride and do well at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

What’s your reaction going to be when your boys announce that they want to race bikes?

DZ: Well I’ll probably sing them a song or two. But if they want to ride that’s their choice. I am definitely not hiding the bikes from them. I still think riding is one the best things in the world to do and they should enjoy that experience as well, up to and including racing.

There’s been a bit of a buzz around your decision to go vegan. How’s the diet working out for you? What are some of your favorite foods now?

DZ: Being vegan is working out very well for me. I feel very clear mentally and I have a lot of energy. My new favorite foods are hemp seeds, maca root, and these incredible Vitamix shakes which have everything in them.

Any TV show favorites that you’re currently watching?

DZ: I only watch one hour of TV a week and it’s dedicated to Dexter.

Is it true that YouTube sensation Kenny Powers is a source of inspiration for you?

DZ: Kenny Powers has changed my life. I need to watch him before I respond to emails now.

Picture this…you’re at dinner with Spider-man, Captain America, and Batman. You decide to settle an argument about who’s the strongest on the bike by racing. Who wins?

DZ: That’s a tough one…I mean think if Cap uses his shield for a disc…if Batman uses some kind of motor…or Spidey were to shoot some webs…this race would either need a lot of rules or none at all…I think it would be more interesting with no rules and if that were the case I would take Spidey…he just has the build for it. Meanwhile, I come in last on purpose because I just want to see all the action in front of me.

In the event that Tony Stark decides he wants Stark Industries to fund a cycling team, and he comes to you for advise on building the ultimate team bus, what do you tell him?

DZ: I would tell him to skip the bus and just give us all Mach IV suits so we could fly back to the hotel fast…but if he were hell bent on a bus…it should have beds for every rider and ample space place to leave your luggage in between the races…a place for massage…showers…2-4 toilets…a driver named Andrea…Wifi…big speakers on the outside and a mic for me to have some fun with.

Chrissie Wellington smashes women’s world record on official Ironman course

By Arizona Republic News

Proclaiming “this is my Kona” as she crossed the finish line in Tempe on Sunday, Chrissie Wellington gained satisfaction and two records from winning the seventh Ford Ironman Arizona.

The British triathlon star, prevented by illness from trying for a fourth consecutive Ironman World title six weeks earlier in Hawaii, broke the world record for an official Ironman course by more than 11 minutes in 8 hours, 36 minutes, 13 seconds.Sandra Wallenhorst previously held the official record with 8:47:26 at the 2008 Ironman Austria.

She remains undefeated at the Ironman distance (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run) in 10 tries, shattering the course record (9:09:19) set last year.

Wellington also holds the course record in Kona (8:54:02) and overall for the Ironman distance on any course (8:19:13).

The 33-year-old was eighth overall, meaning she “chicked,” as it’s known in the sport, all but seven men. One who managed to beat her was her boyfriend Tom Lowe, finishing third in his full Ironman debut.

“I’m more than happy to do the washing up and the cooking for the next year because he beat me,” Wellington said. “There’s nothing I like more than to share this moment with my boyfriend. For me, he’s won the race today.”

Timo Bracht of Germany actually was the overall champion, winning his fifth Ironman in a course record 8:07:16. Defending champion Jordan Rapp, racing an Ironman for the first time since a nearly fatal bike collision in March, was fourth.

Close to 2,500 started the race with some expected on the course until the midnight cut-off. The water temperature in Tempe Town Lake was 61 degrees, and it wasn’t easy to warm up after the swim on a cool, windy day with occasional rain.

“The hail stones hurt,” said Wellington, who finished the final seven minutes of her bike on a flat tire and talked about auctioning off her bloody shoes after a run that included from early sub six-minute miles. “You really have to keep your wits about you on this course. You have to be aware and anticipate what the other athletes are doing.”

She ran a 2:52:56 marathon, not that far off the 2:48:54 she ran en route to her 8:19 at the Challenge Roth in Germany in July.

Bracht, sixth in Kona on Oct. 9, was 10th starting the bike, after the first transition, and first onto the run, after the second transition, 26 seconds ahead of Rapp.

Lowe climbed three spots coming off the bike to second in the run before dropping back to third behind Denmark’s Rasmus Henning, making up for a 23rd-place finish in Kona by taking second in 8:10:58.

“After Hawaii, I had a long flight back to my family then settled down to relax, drink a lot of beers, but only for two or three days,” Bracht said. “I had a good training concept with my coach, going not too hard. I wake up and thought, ‘Wow it’s 226K (total), it’s not only a long training day, it’s a hard race.’ But I always believe in me the whole day, and I did not struggle with the conditions.”

Jozsef Major, who lives in Scottsdale, was fifth in 8:26:15. Leanda Cave of Tucson was third among the women (9:13:50), completing an extraordinary six-week string of races that includes Kona (10th) and first- and second-place at half Ironmans in Miami and Clearwater, Fla.

Friday, November 19, 2010

5 minutes With Dave Zabriskie

So we heard you are switching to a vegan diet....what brought about that change and how is that going for you?

So far so good. I'm learning as I go along. It didn't happen overnight. At some point I can't remember when I read or heard some astonishing numbers about the impact the meat industry has on the environment. That information really made me take a hard look at things. Then I saw some films, like King Corn and Food Inc...within months of my exposure to these things I had blood taken from my team doctor to determine what foods I am sensitive (allergic) to. I was the most food sensitive person on the team. It was a new revelation for me and it was recommended that I eliminate many foods I had been eating, including most meats and all diary. The fact is that there were quite a lot of things on that ‘sensitivity’ list, but I'm happy coffee wasn't one of them.

So my change in diet was really a gradual process. I had cut meat out of my diet and then had a hard time trying to reintroduce it, same thing with dairy. The transition was nearly complete. The last thing I had to cut out was the eggs. I had met some healthy athletes that adhere to a vegan diet and I just believe it's a super healthy way to go. I don't even like to call it a diet because it's not something I plan on stopping. It's truly a lifestyle choice for me.

How do you eat vegan and still properly fuel yourself to train and race without compromising your performance?

It used to be a little bit easier when I lived next door to the restaurant Native Foods. My wife is being supportive and doing a lot of the cooking. I also got my Vitamix, which is an excellent tool for the vegan lifestyle. It's been fun to experiment with food and see how it makes me feel during and post training. As far as performance, I am feeling great. My energy is up and I feel healthy.

You mountain bike ride quite a bit in the off do you use these rides to adequately prepare you for training camps and racing when January rolls around?

The trails around here (the Santa Monica Mountains) are so good I just can't seem to stop. Mountain biking can be a very intense workout and takes a lot of concentration. It's pretty challenging to rip a good downhill after 5 hot hours on the mountain bike. It's very transferable to the road bike and it's a fun way to break up the road training routine.

How do you balance family and being a professional cyclist?

It's not easy and that's for sure. The physical demands of the sport are well known and they can take a toll on not just your body but on your family as well. Balancing my workouts with family time and the needs of my wife and kids is a challenge that’s important to me. Fortunately, I also have a great example at home, as I have a superhero for a wife. I’m supported by an amazing woman who is also an amazing mom. I don't know where she gets the energy to do what she does. Clearly without her being who she is there is no way I could make this work and be all that I could be.

What are you goals for next year? What do you want to do differently from this year?

I want to win more, so it goes with every season, I’ll keep fighting. But when I evaluate my goals for the future a more complete picture emerges: to win races, to be the best dad and husband I can be, and to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

He learned to welcome adversity

By Michael Wurm

Paul Martin had already overcome the adversity of growing up in a tough home environment and being adopted into a foster family.

But after earning a degree in mechanical engineering from UMass Lowell in 1992, he was excited to begin working for a major company in Ohio, only to overcome his greatest challenge six months later, when he lost his leg below the knee in a serious car accident.

Yesterday, Martin returned to campus as part of the school's Alumni Showcase Speaker Series. He told his story of how he used an optimistic spirit to overcome his adversity and become a world-class professional athlete.

new potential and achieve unimaginable success as an athlete competing in numerous triathlons and marathons, as well as cycling, hockey, skiing and many other sports since the amputation.

“I'm fully convinced that if something bad happens, something good will happen — it's the balance,” said Martin. But he said his life shows that it is necessary for the individual facing adversity to learn from it and seize it as an opportunity.

“Adversity is going to come to your door,” he said. “You can resist it or welcome it in. We are immeasurably benefited by accepting our adversity.”

Immediately after the amputation, he found himself surprisingly happy and eager to return to work
Advertisement and move on with his new life. His only second thought about the accident was to ask, “Why was I so stupid to have done this to myself? But I had no self-pity.

“Happiness was clearly not embedded in my left foot,” he joked.

After moving to New Jersey for a new job, Martin began running in Central Park. He received positive responses from other runners who marveled at his strength and spirit, seemingly having their own spirits lifted by the sight of him running with only one leg. He ran the New York City Marathon, finishing behind 16,000 runners — but beating 9,000. He said he broke into tears when he finished that first marathon in Central Park.

Martin quit his job to pursue competing in the Paralympics, which he has done in Australia and Greece, winning medals in cycling. He also won the 2002 World Championship for disabled cycling. He may have become best known for his competitive success in the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii, finishing it 10 times. He peaked in 2005 when he finished 89th in the field of 2,000 predominantly able-bodied athletes, establishing a record for an amputee.

Martin demonstrated how he would remove and raise his prosthetic leg in triumph after finishing a competition, which became a trademark image for him. The audience of mostly students, as Martin had been at UMass Lowell 20 years before, seemed receptive to his engaging personality and life story. Even the undefeated women's field hockey team attended, seeking inspiration before they move on in the NCAA tournament.

Martin said he has also surprised himself by authoring two well-received books based on his life story. They are One Man's Leg and the newly published Drinking from My Leg: Lessons from a Blistered Optimist.

He said he is very happy now in his life as the primary parent at home raising three young sons while his wife continues her busy career as a doctor.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Peloton Magazine Hits Newstands

A cadre of bicycle and publishing industry veterans has launched Move Press, a media company that promises to recast content delivery and advertising opportunities in the cycling media arena.

The first media property to come from Move Press will be peloton whose website will launch on September 21 and will be followed by a bi-monthly print edition on newsstands November 8th. With an editorial slant that falls directly between generalist titles like Bicycling Magazine and race-focused outlets like Pro Cycling, peloton will provide performance road riders with a fuel for the ride.

Everyone involved with Move Press and peloton has worked at other cycling media companies and we all craved the opportunity to do things in a different and more innovative and more inclusive way says Move Press founder and Editorial Director, Brad Roe. We all believe it's the right time to develop media properties that will excite readers, respect advertisers and leverage the latest technical innovations to deliver content where and how it's being asked for.

In addition to Roe, Move Press has filled its ranks with a team of cycle publishing veterans including former Road Magazine Creative Director and Assistant Publisher, Tim Schamber, founder Ben Edwards, Cycle Sport Magazine's former advertising sales director Adam Reek and Paige Dunn, an editor, Ironman competitor and speaker who has been featured in a range of cycling and multi-sport titles.

Magazine industry experience on the consumer marketing and distribution side comes from Cuyler Gibbons and the Circ Monkey Team, veterans in niche publications and premiere fashion titles. Freelancers that promise to feature strongly in peloton include Patrick Brady of Red Kite Prayer fame, Chris Henry, Ben Atkins, Jered Gruber and longtime European race photographer, Yuzuru Sunada. Distribution for peloton and future Move Press brands will come from Time Warner. peloton's first issue will be sold in a range of America's best independent bicycle dealers and will be at premium newsstands starting November 8th and available in digital editions for iPad, or iPhone and internet on the same day.

Lance Armstrong - Strength Training: Lower Body

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Perfect date with the High Tatry mountains

By: Tezera Hurikova

So it´s after the seasson, rest and after-seasson illness and I already started training for the next seasson. Just one more blood test (last coach Lutak would be surprised, because the test was maybe the 10th in this year)and let´s go to the real mountains...

I was growing up in the Šumava mountains and though I am a girl from mountains. After I moved to another part of Czech republic and Beskydy mountains showed me how hard are these mountain already on the first MTB training. Pavel also induced me to visit a High Tatry mountains in Slovakia two years ago which reminded me a high altittude hiking and how the big mountains looks like. Faces of the pretty cliffs are like a face of the man...sharpness, elevation, cold and rough surface seems hardcore. Effused respect but also despite of this character are attractive and you have a hunger to reach the top. Same feelings I had on the rock climbing few weeks ago. I tried climbing like a compensation for my weak top muscles. At first felt scared but after a few minutes I started enjoy this adventure and finally passed also 35 metres high rock way in Štramber forest garden. And it was compensation both for my body and mind.

Also that´s why we are returning to the mountains every autumn immediately after the races finish and we take a little bit energy to start training from the beginning. We love this time of different activities. Also this year we were looking forward to packing the hiking boots, hiking sticks and testing a new Alpine Pro outdoor clothes as well as Craft underwear with Pavel in High Tatry mountains.

We lodged up into the nice appartment in New Smokovec on Monday evening 4th October and looked forward to another day. In the morning the drops of rain woke us up. Fog and a cold rain mixed together and the cliffs were hidden somewhere inside. Despite of this we still had a taste for hiking this day and started our way to Polish chine. All trip on the map had something about 9 hours but after a 4 and a half hours of limber speed we did it. Saw a few mountains goat and one Dutch speaking Slovakian well. Near the top we had to pass one rocky part with a really cold chains and stones. This place was so cold that my fingers were like ice. I didn´t feel them and didn´t know if they are still latched onto the rock or just my legs stayed up on the wet rock. We were really happy to have a spare clothes, snack and a hot tea in our bags. It was a little bit problem to dressed into a dry clothes with a freezy hands and I was proud to my collegues from Craft team (professional climber Radek Jaroš and extreme biker Jan Kopka) who are able to fight with an extreme conditions which we can´t imagine from our living rooms.

Slavkovský cliff in 2452 m.s.l. was our target on Wednesday. Today was totally different. Sun was shinning and the freeze cliffs got out from the blue sky. This hiking throw the stone sea was very steep and tough. The legs from the first day hurts because the muscles weren´t used to walk after the bike seasson. All the time I used sporttester in the mountains and this hiking was like a MTB interval training!!! Despite of this we were really surprised when one professional uphill runner passed us in the middle of the uphill and met us second time on his way back when we were in the three quarters of uphill. We hadn´t different option beyond told to him "respect". We also did a good speed and did 9 hours long trip in 5 hours.

Another day was like a picture immediately when the morning fog disappeared. Nothing could stopped us in our next target...Rysy in the altittude 2500 m.s.l. I had to passed very painful muscles in the morning but I did it very fast and enjoyed the day a lot. Also I was able to touch fresh snow, climb on the rocks with a chains and feel some adrenaline in my blood. It was a most hard day both tough uphill and also of vanishing energy, but the views were the prettiest. Felt all mountains very close to me.

Our choice for the last day was easier. Batizovske lake under the Gerlach cliff (the highest mountain in High Tatry). The lake was like a mirror reflected a beauty of mountains what was a due to very steep uphill. We enjoyed also this last 3 hours in Tatry took another energy from nature. After it was the time to say hello and go back home to "Wallachian kingdom". Already now I am looking forward to return to the Slovakian mountains to feel energy reflecting from this countryside with a rich rebel history which is still effusing from everything here.

So next year hello Tatry!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ivan Basso gets back in the saddle

Ivan Basso traditionally starts his winter training after his birthday on November 26 but the Giro d’Italia winner was back in the saddle on Tuesday as he begins to prepare for the 2011 season and his early season debut at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina on January 17.

Despite the rain, the 32-year-old covered 70km during his ride from Cassano Magnago to Lake Arona, west of Milan. It was his first ride for 20 days after a week’s holiday in an Italian spa resort and only the odd glass of wine.

“I’ve been excited about this day like my son Santiago is excited about Christmas,” Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I didn’t feel great. It hurts but that’s normal. This is the start of a fundamental eight-week block of training. It’s important to build a base to handle the intense work that comes later. At my age I need more time to get into form and so I’ve started a little earlier than in the past.”

Basso changed his race programme to include the Tour de Romandie this year after realising he hadn’t raced enough before the Giro d’Italia. In 2011 he plans to race earlier and more often.

“I’m going to start my 2011season earlier because I took a big risk. I wasn’t very sharp and so had to add Romandie to get up to speed. I’m going to start my season at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina (January 17-23) and my first race in Italy will probably be the Giro di Sardegna (February 22-26).”

Basso will work on his base fitness in the first few weeks, mixing blocks of rides with rest days.

“I won’t do any specific work early but gradually increase the quantity. Each week I’ll do three days of riding and then have a rest day, then two days of riding and another rest day. When I’ve got a good base lid down, I’ll also include some rides on a fixed gear.”

Still with Sassi

2011 will be Basso's third full season after returning from his doping ban for his involvement in Operacion Puerto. He will again work with Professor Aldo Sassi and his team at the Mapei Centre. He will be joined by fellow Italians Damiano Cunego and Riccardo Riccò but Basso insists it is not a problem. Riccò is currently undergoing two days of testing at the Mapei Centre.

“Absolutely not. I’ve got a special relationship with (Mapei owner) Squinzi, Sassi and all the staff at the Mapei Centre. I feel part of the group and when I go into Aldo’s office and close the door, there is a special rapport. He admires me as a rider but especially as a person.”

Basso is expected to target the Tour de France in 2011 but has yet to decide if he will also ride the Giro d’Italia. The Liquigas-Doimo team will hold its first get together at the end of the month in the Italian Dolomites.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Recovox Store Is Now Open

Recovox News is pleased to announce you can now purchase Primal Fuel, Damage Control Master Formula and the Advanced Health Formula at the special Recovox discount price. Please click on the title link to learn more about each product and how to order.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Riis says Schlecks lied to him about leaving

Andy and Fränk Schleck “lied” to Bjarne Riis earlier this year about their intentions of leaving his squad, the Team Saxo Bank owner has said. Questions have also been raised about how long Fabian Cancellara had been planning to change teams.

Interviewed on the Danish sport TV program Lige På og Sport (LPS), Riis said that he heard rumours in the spring of this year that the Schleck brothers would leave for a new team. He asked them directly if it was true, but said they denied it.

“It is disappointing. I can't do anything about them talking to others, they are allowed to do that. I have confirmed that they lied to me. I think that is unfortunate,” Riis said.

The broadcast claims that the Schlecks were already in talks with the new Luxembourg team at the time, despite their denials to Riis.

“Of course I had my doubts, but it was all so new. I feel like I have to rely on my people because, after all, that is what the team is built on. We need to trust each other, it's part of our values.”

Cancellara in negotiations last winter?

This week, World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara indicated that the signing of Alberto Contador was the final impetus for him to leave Saxo Bank a year ahead of the end of his contract. However, LPS claims that he was already in touch with the new Luxembourg team as early as December 2009.

Last winter, former Astana manager Marc Biver was in charge of the project, and has confirmed that he was negotiating with Cancellara at the time. “Cancellara knew it,” Biver said according to the program.

“I know Cancellara and I personally had a talk with him about it. It was in December and January,” he said.

The Swiss rider's photo is even said to have been used in promotional materials.

Riis was not happy to lose Cancellara, particularly this way. “It's just a disappointment. It is not worthy of a world champion,” he said. “It is sad that the many good years we had ended this way.”

Chasing Legends - The DVD

“Chasing Legends” is a fan’s movie and shows the riders and the race itself in the heroic light so treasured by Henri Desgrange and the promoters who followed him. Many of the riders featured in the film no longer ride for HTC-Columbia but the charm of “Chasing Legends,” the DVD version of which includes a second disc of interviews, will certainly outlive the team itself. So, yes, this film was worth making and every Tour de France is a different story, or many different stories. You will not receive credit as an “Investor,” but buy “Chasing Legends” so that the filmmakers can do other races!

Feds surprised Popovych at Armstrong fundraiser

A new report gives a dramatic account of the actions of United States of America agents serving a subpoena to RadioShack rider Yaroslav Popovych in Austin, Texas last month. Jonathan Littman, writing for The Huffington Post based the account on two unnamed sources who detailed the incident.

Popovych became the latest person to testify before a federal grand jury in Los Angeles yesterday, where he denied witnessing any doping while a teammate of Lance Armstrong, but how he came to be there is a tale out of an action film's script.

According to the article, Popovych was signing autographs at Mellow Johnny's, the Armstrong-owned bike shop in Austin, Texas, and was heading to a car to leave when he was approached by an unidentified man.

"Popovych had already gotten in the car, when a man in professional attire, talking on a cell phone, grabbed the door before he could shut it," the account read.

Not sure who the man was, Popovych suggested the man talk to him at the hotel, and got back in the car to leave. The man dashed to his own SUV and proceeded to tail the car to the hotel, and in front of the Hyatt Regency a man dressed all in black stood in the middle of the street directing Popovych's car to stop.

When the driver started to go around the man, two more SUV's appeared, one blocking the car's front and one in the back, and woman with a badge motioned to the car to pull over.

They ordered Popovych out of the car, where the man who had originally approached him served the subpoena to appear in Los Angeles on November 3, and threatened him with arrest if he tried to leave the country.

Popovych's lawyer Ken Miller said the incident "struck him as a little peculiar". Miller told the Los Angeles Times: "It was effected on a guy at a charity ride who was going to leave Texas for a vacation with his girlfriend. A guy from Ukraine who doesn't speak great English and didn't really understand what was going on."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Yaroslav Popovych to testify in Armstrong probe

Lance Armstrong’s teammate Yaroslav Popovych has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in Los Angeles on Wednesday as part of the on-going investigation into doping in cycling.

Popovych is a loyal, long-term teammate of Armstrong, riding with him at the Discovery Channel, Astana and RadioShack teams. His lawyer Ken Miller told the Associated Press of the grand jury appearance but declined to give further details.

In recent weeks, the federal prosecutors have subpoenaed several of Armstrong's former teammates and associates including coach Allen Lim and Stephanie McIlvain, who was an Oakley representative who worked with Armstrong early in his career.

Federal investigators have always refused to comment on the investigation, which is headed by Food and Drug Administration agent Jeff Novitzky.

He is expected to travel to Europe to possible question other people as part of the on-going investigation. Novitzky is famous for his tenacious role in the BALCO investigation into drug use in baseball and athletics.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lance Armstrong's Twitter Ride At Sioux Falls

Lance Armstrong is swarmed by photographers and fans at Avera McKennan before his ride through Sioux Falls Friday.

Hundreds of riders line up near Avera McKennan waiting for Lance Armstrong to arrive Friday for a ride through Sioux Falls.

Kara Goucher's Lessons From New York

By: Kara Goucher

I ran my first marathon in New York two years ago. I can’t believe it has only been two years! So much has happened since then. I had a pretty good day, finishing third in 2:25:53. No matter how well or how poorly you do, you learn a lot in your first marathon. I learned some general things that I applied in the two marathons I ran after New York—Boston and the World Championships—and some specific things about New York that I will apply the next time I run New York.

One thing I did before Boston that I wish I had done before New York was some long, steady runs on hillier parts of the course. New York is a tough course, and it would have been nice to be a little more prepared for its challenges.

When I scouted the New York City Marathon in 2007, Paula Radcliffe, who won it that year, told me how difficult it is to get into a rhythm there. I didn’t know exactly what Paula meant at the time, but I found out! The course has lots of sharp turns, hills and changes in terrain and environment that keep runners on their toes. Ironically, I did my hardest 19-mile training run with my husband, Adam, on the Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon. He kept making all these sharp turns through the parking lot, which annoyed me at the time, but it turned out the be great practice for New York.

I was fortunate that my coach, Alberto Salazar, was a past winner of the New York City Marathon, so he was able to give me lots of good tips. He told me to wear two layers of sweat clothes on the morning of the race, because the start area on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge is exposed and cold. He even bought me a comforter to wrap around myself before I warmed up. That was a godsend. Some of the unprepared runners out there were turning blue before the race got underway.

As an elite runner my race strategy was just to tuck in with the lead women and hold on as long as I could. There’s no sense in running off the front early in New York, because, again, it’s a tough course and you want to be sure you have something left at the end, when you really need it. Besides, it tends to be a breezy race, so if I were racing this year I would do the same thing I did in 2008 and let other runners break the wind.

Another thing Alberto told me before the race was to expect to be hit by a huge wall of crowd noise when I came off the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan. He warned me that runners sometimes get too caught up in the excitement and surge like crazy there, only to die later, because there are still 10 miles left to run at that point. As it happened, I started to feel lousy on the bridge and the roaring crowd gave me a boost that carried me another three miles until I hit another rough patch.

In the last three miles I was hurting like I’d never hurt before in a race. I wanted to quit so badly, and if there hadn’t been so many people watching I probably would have quit—to my eternal shame. The fact that I not only finished but even managed to hold on to third place taught me the most important lesson I learned from my first marathon: you can handle more pain than you think, and if you just keep moving at all costs, you will make it.

The winner that year was Paula Radcliffe, again. Because she was the best marathoner in the world, I keyed off her throughout the race, figuring if I was with her I couldn’t be doing too badly. If I were running New York this year I would key off Shalane Flanagan and Kim Smith, who have both been running extremely well lately. I’d also have my eye on Mary Keitany, who might be the most talented athlete in this year’s field. But she’s also making her marathon debut, so I wouldn’t follow her blindly. There’s always a chance she won’t “respect the distance” and will start too fast and blow up.

In my ideal scenario I would stay with whoever was leading until we hit Central Park, then make my move, as Meb Keflezighi did in winning last year. Unfortunately, having just had a baby, I have to sit out the New York City Marathon this time. And with the Olympic Trials Marathon taking place in January 2011, I won’t be able to run New York next year either. But look for me to put all the lessons I learned from my first New York City Marathon into practice in 2012, after the Olympics!

RSVP Now for an Evening with 2010 Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack

Next Thursday, November 11, Team CLIF BAR is excited to host an evening event with 2010 Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack.

We'll pop the caps on some tasty beverages from New Belgium Brewing Company while we chow down on delicious lasagna made by the guys in the Clif Bar Café, Kali's Kitchen.

Chris McCormack Meet 'n Greet at Clif Bar!

Please join us! Hang out with fellow triathlon fans, chat it up with the folks from Clif Bar and meet Team CLIF BAR triathlete Chris McCormack. Chris will take the stage to talk about his adventures at the 2010 Ironman World Championships.

This is a rare op to meet a 2-time Ironman World Champion, an ITU World Champion, a 7-Time World Cup Champion, a Gold Medalist at the Goodwill Games and a 12-time Ironman Champion – all in one guy!

Hurry and RSVP. Attendance is limited to 250 people, so RSVPs are required. $20 (per person) gets you in the door for food, drink and festivities. Net proceeds from the evening will go to MaccaNOW.

Evening Agenda:

* 6:00pm: Doors open

* 6:00pm-7:15pm: Food & beverages for all

* 7:15pm-7:30pm: Welcome intro & Take-a-Seat time

* 7:30pm-9:00pm: Meet Chris McCormack

Please RSVP to:

We will respond to the first 250 RSVPs with a confirmation email that includes instructions for payment and directions to the Clif Bar Theater.

Clif Bar & Company is located at 1451 66th Street in Emeryville, CA.

Marathons and Heart Damage

By Mark Sisson

Marathon running is supposed to be good for you, which is why so many people (intend to) do it. The overweight and the untrained often use the successful completion of one as a landmark on their weight loss journey, sometimes the goal itself. Others think, erroneously, that it’s part of an anti-aging strategy. If you can run a marathon, you are fit, or so the story goes.

New MRI data out of the Heart and Stroke Foundation suggests the contrary: that “less fit” runners running a marathon are damaging their hearts for up to three months. The musculature of the human heart is made up of 17 segments. If one segment fails due to stress (say, from a marathon), adjacent segments pick up the slack. Unfit marathoners exhibited abnormally high amounts of overly stressed heart segments. Their hearts were working harder, and the work was concentrated across fewer segments. These abnormalities persisted for as long as three months after the marathon.

Okay, exercise induces muscle damage as a rule. That’s how we get stronger – by undergoing stress and muscle damage, and adapting to it by rebuilding our muscles stronger than ever. But muscle damage isn’t supposed to last for three months. Sure, even the study’s authors admit that the damage is reversible, but is that really an effective way to train?

The problem is that there’s no built-in shut down code in our central nervous system when it comes to running a marathon. The heart muscle doesn’t sense the “pain” of exertion the way leg muscles do. It just tries to keep up with the demand to pump more oxygen. Total beginners with a new pair of $150 Nikes (with shock absorbers, stabilizers and motion control) and a fanny pack full of glucose gel can sign up for a marathon and (just) do it. It’s not so traumatic an ordeal to trigger an automatic response; it’s more drawn out and gradual a muscle stressor.

Beginners should probably not be running marathons. Truth is, I don’t even think experienced endurance athletes should be running marathons as often as some do (I keep tabs on all my old elite runner/triathlete friends who have had serious heart problems – or died – and it’s at a significant number now). But good luck getting that across. They – we – can be a stubborn bunch. If you want to get fit and you’re starting from scratch, lifting heavy things, engaging in slow steady movement often, and getting your diet in order are the most reliable, safest steps toward that goal. Running a marathon sounds badass and impressive, but remember – the first marathoner dropped dead after completing it. Myth? Maybe, but I wouldn’t take it lightly. If you insist on doing one, please train properly.

Giants Victory Parade Slated for Wednesday

The city of San Francisco will hold a parade and civic celebration Wednesday for the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants after their return from Monday night's victory in Texas, reports CBS San Francisco.

The parade will follow the route taken by the Giants when the team first came to San Francisco from New York in 1958, the mayor’s office said.

It will end at the steps of City Hall, where Mayor Gavin Newsom will present the team with the key to the city and hold a civic celebration.

"San Francisco could not be prouder of its hometown Giants tonight," Newsom said in a statement. "Congratulations to every player on the roster and to the entire San Francisco Giants organization."

Warning: Giants slugger Aubrey Huff is considering a grand unveiling for his lucky red thong at the parade.

"I'm probably going to wear it all by itself in the parade," Huff said. "I better get a spray tan, huh?"

Newsom said the team had brought the entire city together throughout the season.

"San Francisco eagerly awaits your return," Newsom said to the Giants organization. "We cannot wait to celebrate your triumph in Texas."

The Giants beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 Monday night to win the World Series 4 games to 1.

The team is scheduled to return to San Francisco International Airport at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, although no public or media events were scheduled with the arrival of the team’s charter.

The parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Montgomery Street at Washington Street, the mayor’s office said. It will head south on Montgomery Street to Market Street, where it will go west to City Hall.

The public is invited to line the sidewalks along the parade route or gather in Civic Center Plaza for the celebration. Attendees are advised to arrive early and take public transportation.

Thousands of people across the city celebrated the Giants’ victory in the streets tonight.

Crowds at Third and King streets near AT&T Park banged drums, screamed, drank champagne, and broke out into spontaneous chants of U-Ribe in honor of Juan Uribe.

People set off fireworks in the streets and held signs that said “It’s Destiny” and “Orange November.”

Elsewhere in the city, San Francisco Municipal Railway vehicles were stopped as fans climbed on top of the buses.

Most members of the crowd were in their 20s, but people of all ages were sprinkled throughout.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Two for Two for Chris Horner

Team RadioShack’s Chris Horner won the Storm the Beach Cyclocross on Sunday in Oceanside, California. The 8th race of the Southern California Prestige Series of Cyclocross ended in a two man battle between Horner and Sid Taberlay, the leader in the Series.

“It was a battle between us for the whole hour of racing”, explained Chris Horner. “In the final sand section a mishap from Sid Taberlay opened a gap between us. I managed to hold that gap to the finish line. Not bad at all. After my win in Irvine last week I’m two-for-two for my cyclocross season.”

Next week Chris Horner will start in two UCI cyclocross races. “On Saturday and Sunday I will start in Los Angeles, CA (Hansen Dam Park). Some national talents will start over there. I really look forward to these races.”