Thursday, January 27, 2011
Historically, winning the lottery to get into the popular Leadville 100 mountain bike race has been almost as tough as the race itself. However, a new qualifier system under development will provide additional race entry opportunities for the legendary 100-miler, which will be run next on August 13, 2011.
AEG, the owner and operator of the Amgen Tour of California, will partner with Life Time Fitness, Inc., which owns the Leadville 100. The two companies are collaborating to grow and develop what may be the highest profile mountain bike race in North America. The race annually attracts top road and mountain bike racers including riders like Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Rebecca Rusch and Amanda Carey.
AEG will create a national series of qualifying races, each of which will provide athletes with guaranteed entry into the perennially sold-out Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race. The series of races will provide avid cyclists with opportunities outside of the traditional Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race lottery system to gain entry into the event. In 2011, the Leadville Qualifying Series will consist of three races and will expand to eight races by 2013.
"It struck me that the lottery system has some limitations," Andrew Messick, President of AEG, told Cyclingnews. "A lot of people who are serious cyclists want to do this race sometime in their lives but don't always get the chance. There is so much luck involved in getting in. We thought it'd be more fair to create this system."
Messick's interest was piqued after his own involvement with the race. "I did the Leadville Trail 100 in 2010. I came away from my Leadville experience believing that it's such a fantastic event. It's a well known event within the mountain bike community, it's an exceptional event, and there is an opportunity for a much broader environment for the event.
"I was a mountain biker when I was younger. For the last 10 years, I've been more of a road guy," Messick told Cyclingnews. "Getting reacquainted with mountain biking was a pleasure in my life in 2010. My preparation for Leadville was fantastic. It made me fall in love with mountain biking all over again."
The three 2011 qualifying events will be held in June and July in California, Colorado and the Northeast. In 2012 and 2013 additional races will be added in Texas, the Southwest, Midwest, Southeast, and one more in California.
Each qualifying event will provide 100 race entries into the Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race with half of the entries awarded to athletes based on age-group and elite-field performance and the other half selected from the pool of finishers who beat a qualifying time standard.
Messick, who is signed up for the Leadville lottery for the 2011 edition of the race, said, "This series will provide an opportunity for others who haven't ridden their mountain bikes in a while or want to do something different than road riding which still involves riding their bikes. Leadville qualifying races should be super hard but not super technical, but they will still be a challenge."
Qualifying events will be targeted at 100km each. "We don't think they should be 100 miles. That's a little long for earlier in the season, and we want the qualifying events to fit in the season as well as be a meaningful challenge for racers. A 100km race with lots of climbing is a solid day in the saddle for anyone. It also fits in with a training program for Leadville. We'll be looking for fireroad-focused courses."
"We're excited to add a qualifier system to the epic Leadville Trail 100 MTB event," said Ken Cooper, vice president, Life Time Fitness Endurance. "Many mountain bikers dream of participating in the Leadville Trail 100 MTB. For some, that dream now can begin at a Leadville Qualifier."
Specific qualifier events are still to be determined. They may or may be tied to established events. "We don't have an expressed point of view on that yet," said Messick. "Certainly there are advantages to either - to creating your own - you can do it how you want. By partnering with an existing race, we'd get the organization already built in although integrating sponsorship can be tough."
AEG and Life Time Fitness will partner on both sponsorship sales and activation for the Leadville Trail 100. "We are delighted to help Life Time Fitness continue to grow the Leadville Trail 100. The Leadville Trail 100 is a legendary race and we are thrilled to be playing a role in its next phase of growth," said Messick. "Getting a Leadville belt buckle is a life-list achievement for many riders and we look forward to helping serious cyclists achieve this goal."
Lottery entry for the 2011 Leadville Trail 100 MTB event will close on January 31, 2011.
The Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race started in 1983. It is 103 miles and features 12,620 feet of climbing on single and doubletrack trails. The race is notoriously difficult in that it is run at more than 12,500 feet. Levi Leipheimer and Rebecca Rusch won the 2010 edition of the race.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) has decided to impose a one-year ban on 2010 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador for his Clenbuterol positive, El Pais reported today.
The RFEC is reportedly recommending the suspension, while Contador has 10 days to appeal the decision before the final opinion is issued on February 9.
Contador tested positive for a low level of the banned substance during the 2010 Tour de France's second rest day in Pau. He claimed the adverse finding was the result of contaminated meat consumed that day. He was provisionally suspended by the UCI in September after the announcement of the test results was made.
Contador signed with the Saxo Bank team before the doping controversy erupted, and has been preparing for the season with the team at a training camp in Mallorca this week.
Contador stands to be stripped of his title in the Tour, his third victory in the race and fifth Grand Tour win.
For many years I’ve eyed the countless dirt roads here that shoot off the paved roadways and I’ve always wondered where they go. I’m an adventurer at heart so I brought over from the States a bike that is capable of any terrain. Now I can ride in my road bike position and if I see some dirt that looks promising I take that turn and explore.
I’ve always wanted to go up the dirt side of the Rocacorba Mountain here. So that was one of the first rides I took this new bike on. The way up was very scenic and calm. I had another dirt trail plan for the way down, but on the way up my suspension fork up front was acting a bit funny when I locked it out. So I went down the paved side and blazed back to Girona to a small bike shop that I’ve always had good luck at. They told me it looks like the lockout was a bit broken but it should be fine to ride.
So I continued my ride and hit some familiar dirt up Els Angels. I wasn’t that far up and I almost fell off the bike. My chain had snapped. I started getting out my multi tool to fix the chain when I spotted 3 guys coming down the trail. One of them was sporting some pretty thick dread locks. He stopped and saw my chain was broken and he wanted to fix it. His buddies kind of laughed at him. Was the joke going to be on me? Nope. He pulled out some golden chain links that would supposedly snap on and fix the problem, or in his words “click clack”.
It was taking quite a while to get this ‘click clack’ in place and at one point we had all of our 8 hands on the tiny links laughing. I didn’t understand a whole lot of their Spanish but the humor of it all was not hard to miss. We finally got it fixed and I was ready to go home when one of them points to his chain and says the ‘click clack’ is very strong, that he’s had one on for 3 years. Well, I thought, OK, I’ll just keep riding then.
I was going to follow the road I was on but got derailed by a wild dog and had to go up another part. I finally popped out on some pavement and had no idea where I was until I rode to the bottom of the road. When I got to the bottom I couldn’t believe I had never been up that way before. I think you could find a new ride here everyday there are that many roads criss-crossing the area. Obviously it helps when you can cut through dirt trails. It turned out to be a great day, the ‘click clack’ held strong, but I might get a new chain anyway.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
By Kara Goucher
My streak of 511 days without racing came to an end Sunday at P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon in Phoenix. It was a mixed bag. On the positive side, I love racing and missed it, and it felt great to get out there and suffer again after so long. Also on the positive side, it was something I really needed as I prepare for the Boston Marathon in April. On the negative side, I did not run especially well or feel particularly good, and I lost!
The week leading up to the race was less than ideal. Colt had to be hospitalized and operated on, I spent a couple of sleepless nights on a cot in his room, my training was messed up, our travel plans were delayed and then hurried, and I had to spend much of Saturday on my feet instead of off them as I normally do the day before a race. I think I was functioning on pure adrenaline throughout that week and I could feel that adrenaline run dry about halfway through the race!
All in all, I’d say the events of last week added a minute to my finish time of 1:14:02. This means that, even in ideal circumstances, I would have run about five minutes slower than my normal half marathon time. That’s about where I should be at this stage of my post-pregnancy comeback; unfortunately, it wasn’t where I needed to be to beat Madai Perez to win the women’s race or Mario Fraioli to win the “Battle of the Sexes”.
I can’t help it—I’m very competitive and I hate losing. Sunday I felt like I lost twice in one race. In the middle of it Adam shouted to me, “You’re only 80 seconds behind!” And I thought, 80 seconds behind who: Madai or Mario? It didn’t matter—I wound up about two and a half minutes behind both of them. My legs just didn’t have their old snap, so I had to forget about racing and just run hard and get what I could out of the effort.
Now, if you’re concerned that my performance in Phoenix doesn’t bode well for Boston, relax. I’ll be fine. I’ve got almost 90 days left to build on the foundation I’ve laid, which is really an eternity. I’ve made more progress than I’ll need to make to contend in Boston in less time in the past. And my foundation is very solid. I’ve already got three 100-mile weeks in my legs; compare that to my ramp-up for the 2009 Boston Marathon, when I didn’t do my first 100-mile week until February.
True, my speed and racing sharpness are behind where they were two years ago, but I’m not worried about that at all. For starters, Sunday’s race itself will give me a big boost in that regard. Nothing gets me ready to race like racing. Alberto told me I’d probably be able to run the same half marathon three minutes faster two weeks from now, and I believe it. Next up is cross country nationals in San Diego on February 5, and I know I’ll get another boost from that.
I’m really excited about these next 12 weeks of training. Up to this point I’ve just been trying to survive; it’s been all I can do to absorb all the foundation-building mileage I’ve been doing. Now I’m reaching the point where the volume itself is not such a challenge and I can turn my attention to going faster and faster in my key workouts. Plus, I just weaned Colt, which will only give me more energy to put into those workouts!
Speaking of Colt, the other important benefit I took away from P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon was my first experience traveling with Colt to a race. I’m happy to say this was probably the most successful part of the trip. He was really good on the plane and he had two of the best nights of sleep of his young life in the hotel. It’s funny, I remembered to take everything Colt needed for the trip but I forgot my own warm-ups and drink mix—something I never would have done before I became a mother! That’s why this practice was so important, though. Now I see the kinds of mistakes I’m liable to make when I travel to a race with Colt and I can prepare to avoid them next time.
I can’t wait till next time!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
By: Mark Sisson
I started Mark’s Daily Apple in an attempt to get the word out about the Primal lifestyle and to help as many people as possible. And while the blog traffic grew and grew each month and I was able to connect with thousands of people via email, the forum and the comment boards something was missing: one-on-one, in-person interaction. I wanted to meet you guys and gals, and as I came to understand, you me. So, in 2010 my team and I put on the inaugural PrimalCon – a 3-day, total-immersion experience of expert-guided workouts, play, leisure, classroom education, camaraderie, and of course, extraordinary Primal feasts. It was a blast, and while I plan to continue to organize and put on these annual events (PrimalCon II is coming up this April!) there is still something missing. More PrimalCon! Realistically (and unfortunately), PrimalCon can’t be a weekly, or even monthly occurrence. And not everyone can take three or more days off, trek all the way to California, or afford the expense of such an event. Long story short, I’m coming to you in 2011 with PASS – the Primal Accelerated Success Seminar. I’m hitting the road this year, making appearances at gyms and other facilities across the USA (and maybe beyond). And to take this one step further, since I’m only one guy and can only be in so many places at once (one to be precise), Brad Kearns (editor/writing partner for The Primal Blueprint, The Primal Leap, the 2011-release book called Reconnect, and co-developer of this seminar program) and other Master Presenters will be hitting the road, too; changing lives one 7-hour, interactive presentation at a time. Our goal is to meet and connect with thousands of people this year, to share the Primal Blueprint message across this country, and to give you the tools, knowledge and inspiration you need to get and stay healthy for the rest of your life. I hope to see you there.
What is PASS?
In brief, the Primal Accelerated Success Seminar (PASS) is an entertaining and interactive 7-hour course that will immerse you in the popular Primal lifestyle movement and best-selling book, The Primal Blueprint. By the end of your PASS experience, you’ll have a clear understanding of the key Primal Blueprint concepts, and will have developed a specific plan of action to “get Primal” over the ensuing 30 days and beyond.
What will I learn at PASS?
* You’ll learn what hundreds of other Primal enthusiasts have done to lose weight, build muscle and overcome illness; strategies it sometimes takes weeks or months for other people to fully understand and use.
* You’ll receive a detailed scientific explanation and practical discussion of the how’s and why’s of Primal living, and how they contrast sharply with Conventional Wisdom about diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits.
* You’ll learn which foods to avoid and which to eat for peak performance, stable energy levels, lifelong weight management, and protection against common lifestyle-related diseases.
* You’ll learn how to restructure your workouts away from a chronic approach to model the Primal Blueprint Fitness principles – achieving lifelong functional fitness.
* You’ll engage in a hands-on demonstration/fitness evaluation involving the Five Essential Movements – a simple, safe, total-body workout program for all fitness levels.
* You’ll develop a step-by-step action plan to transition to a Primal-lifestyle over the next 30 days.
* You’ll commit to a 14-day test period of Primal eating and evaluate the impact on your energy level, appetite, immune function, body composition, and overall sense of health and well-being.
* You’ll develop a customized plan to optimize your sun exposure, sleep habits, play time, and more.
Will I leave PASS with a guidebook or support material?
Yes. In addition to access to the full-day event PASS attendees will receive:
* PASS Binder: 140-page notebook with weekly action items and journal exercises to help focus your Primal goals over the ensuing 30 days
* How to Forage in the Modern World – Convenient 60-page guidebook with lists and strategies to shop and cook Primally
* $20 Gift Certificate for Primal Blueprint products
How much does PASS cost?
The seminar fee is $149. Register with a significant other and get $20 off. Groups of ten or more enjoy additional discounts. Email for details.
I want to learn more about PASS. Is there a full-day agenda available?
There sure is.
What’s the “Accelerated” bit about? Is this one of those “30-day, lose weight fast” programs? I thought living Primal was about lifelong health and wellness.
I’m confident that anyone that “goes Primal” will see success in the long term. How quickly one can get all their ducks in a row is another matter. PASS provides solutions and hacks to common beginner stumbling blocks and challenges so you never have to experience them in the first place. Transitioning away from the Standard American Diet and breaking through flawed conventional is no easy task for many people. PASS streamlines the process.
When and where is the first PASS?
The first PASS will be held at Karma CrossFit in Manhattan Beach, CA on February 12. It’s just a short cab ride from LAX and accessible to everyone in the greater Los Angeles area.
Who can come to a PASS? Is this only for trainers?
Everyone is welcome. And that means everyone. This isn’t just for trainers or hardcore Grokkers. This isn’t just for the already fit among you. Bring your mom and your grandfather. Bring you spouse and your co-worker. Newcomers and advanced alike will find plenty to take away from PASS.
When will PASS be coming to my hometown?
I’m lining up dates and locations now. Keep an eye on this page for updates. Also, I’ll be adding a module to the sidebar of Mark’s Daily Apple that will provide key event information. Stay tuned.
Macca hanging out with the one and only Juan Pelota
By Chris McCormack
I have to thank all the people on my facebook page (www.facebook.com/MaccaLive) who helped me come up with a couple of blogs of interest for everyone. I will get these done and nailed over the next few days. Its that time of year when everyone is starting to plan for the up coming season, so hopefully they can be of some help. I have been a little lazy these past few months and not really blogged much at all, but have to say I enjoy the process if I can nail the topics. I find it much easier knowing that people are getting from my blogs something that may be useful for them.
The key to improvement or success at any level in multi sport comes to building a foundation of knowledge that will allow you to make those incremental improvements towards your set goal. These are not always necessarily physical improvements, yet these tend to be given the most kudos. Training any athlete is not difficult. I am sure you have heard the age old saying “Practice makes perfect.” I call BS on this statement and often argue with people over the ridiculousness of such a vague call. I say, “Perfect Practice makes Perfect” and more so “Perfect practice for the individual makes a perfect performance for that individual.” Getting the mix right for any athletes in our sport is absolutely a personal thing for each individual, but if you can get a basic understanding of where to start, then you are ahead of the game. Perfect the beginning and everything will fall into place.
The entire training mix and perfecting this across the entire spectrum of the sport is key, and there are not many sports in the world that have so much complexity and difficulty in perfecting than Triathlon. It is an all body sport, two of the disciplines being non-weight bearing and the final discipline being the most damaging weight bearing exercise you can put the human body through: running! Not only this but in Triathlon we endure running in a fatigued state which magnifies any issues that an individuals body has with the movement and biomechanics of this sport. This is the most important element of planning that needs to be assessed and is so often overlooked by coaches and athletes who are obsessed with just meeting set training goals that are usually quantitative in nature. This is the biggest mistake I see in most Triathlon training plans is a total disrespect to this basic principle of our sport. Swimming and Biking are basically body easy; Running is very hard and will be the foundation for most injuries in our sport.
Cyclist and swimmers can build huge aerobic engines and massive base of fitness, with relatively small muscular skeletal damage. You just need to massage the muscles of either a swimmer or a cyclist to see the texture of these muscles compared to that of a runner. When you bring weight under load and the eccentric contractions to a muscle like you do in running and then put huge stress on your skeletal system the entire game changes. You often see this when cyclists or swimmers switch to running as a form of fitness. They often blow out knees, are prone to stress fractures or get injured very quickly. This is magnified when they take up triathlon, for the simple reason that they bring in running as a form of exercise in a muscle fatigued state. They also have a sound level of fitness, which immediately gives them the perception that they can do more than their body is ready for. Put simply, they don’t fatigue aerobically and thus do too much work that ultimately tends to break them down skeletally over time. Cyclists tend to blow knees, swimmers more than often get stress fractures (they have had planter flexion of their ankle for so long that when they hold dorsal flexion in a running state, their shins take a smashing). Its these new movements and the accumulation of fatigue in the smaller muscles because of these new demands, that see these athletes break down time and time again.
In 25 years of racing, and I don’t say this to show off or sound important, I have never had an injury. Not a knee problem, a stress fracture or a pulled muscle. Nothing. People have called this good genetics, but again I say bullshit. I think our team has really understood the basic principle in my Triathlon Training mix is perfecting my fitness from the run first and building backwards into the non weight bearing sports in my case. We have been around the sport since the 1980’s and have perfected our own system of developing fitness and efficiency in the three sports to ensure that the “BLEND” has been just right. I came from a running back ground, and I think this was a big plus. We were able to really survive the heavy run volumes as my skeletal system was strong, and by adding swimming and cycling to the mix, our only issues were increased weight (especially from development of quads and glutes from cycling and shoulders in swimming) These reduced our efficiency on the run, but saw us adopt a different approach to our run work, that was more tempo based. I could use my size to muscle a bike and then, use my tempo (as opposed to speed) to carry me through the run. Our focus in training at this time was always around brick sessions at a track with leg turnover on the run and stability in the hips. I lowered my knee lift and shortened my stride, which was effective for me and allowed me to maximize my power on the bike. It was limiting in my spring finish over short course events, but the trade off to bike power was worth while.
Anyway that’s another story, but part of our puzzle in perfecting our Mix that ultimately gave me an injury free program and a 16-year longevity as a professional racer. The game is about perfecting the mix for each individual, and it is up to individuals to be honest with themselves in ascertaining where their weaknesses lie and then be open and committed to making the changes that are needed to improve your overall performance. Remember it is not about single disciplines anymore. Improvement comes by lowering your finish time, and finishing involves completing 3 disciplines.
The great Steve Larson came from professional cycling and unlike any other single discipline athlete was able to make the transition across to some level of success very well at an older age in our sport. No other athlete has been able to do that as well. I spent a lot of time with Steve over the years prior to his death, training together in Bend Oregon and also in California. Steve was at his best in multisport when he first came across from cycling. The reason being was he built his fitness first from his bike riding and then added very sparingly the other two disciplines. He won Ironman Lake Placid on debut and ran a 2:56 marathon off 15 miles a week of running. After this he tried to address what he perceived as “weaknesses” in his swim and bike, and got his mix wrong. He lost his bike strength, and his run and swim remained un changed. He ultimately went backwards for a few seasons and drove himself crazy trying to work out how to build his run and swim mileage and hold onto his bike. I highlighted this fact to him and a light switch went off for Steve. He returned to his old foundation of fitness first – cycling - and then added softly the other two disciplines and his results improved immediately. He went on to have some incredible races with Conrad Stoltz in X Terra events and had some incredible run performances. He finally got his “Mix” right first and then perfected the “blend” and Steve had some great success before he retired in our sport.
There is a perception by many of the single sport athletes that Triathletes are simply “Jack of all trades, master of none” and this is just a complete misconception. Successful triathletes are masters of perfecting 3 disciplines in unison with the other. I have watched some of the best single discipline athletes move across to this sport with high levels of expectation only to find that being the master of a single sport, means shit in the multisport world. Perfecting three disciplines is difficult, especially when these disciplines work against each other in their development. The A frame of a swimmer, is not good for running. The short hamstrings of cycling and the inward knee action of the pedal stroke, kill running form and shorten hamstrings, the eccentric contractions of running and the muscle damage limit the efficiency in a pedal action. These three sports play against each other, so MIX is everything if you want to be as fast as you can be. Those athletes who come across to this sport and don’t respect this from the onset, always end up injured and humbled. It’s a puzzle of perfection and it takes time and commitment to master.
Ok the purpose of this blog was to give everyone a point of reference to move forward with going into 2011. I am working on a VOOK at the moment that I should have done and completed in about 8 weeks. I will post it here on facebook and on my blog, as this will be a much more in depth analysis for people to take away and more so, give everyone the written and the visual foundation of information that will be hugely handy. Check out VOOK at www.vook.com. It is going to be seriously cool. I am really hoping they allow me to run a series of these, as they will be very handy for everyone, and give you an introduction into our training systems and perfecting your performances. It is the video component of these VOOKs that will be the best.
Ok lets cut to the chase. Here are 8 quick tips for everyone to take away from this blog. I hope they are of some help:
1: Don’t get caught up in meeting some pre-conceived idea that a certain amount of miles is what is needed to see improvement in any of the disciplines of this sport. Improvement in any of the disciplines within triathlon requires a single attention given to that discipline over time. You then need to build a foundation of work in the other two disciplines around this increase in the other. Never solely focus on one discipline without factoring the other two into your training plan. We are TRITHLETES now and you need to build a body feel around 3 sports and functionality in these three sports. It is all about functionality now in 3 sports.
2: Recovery is king! Always err on the side of recovery in your training program. Recovery takes many forms, and body maintenance (massage, Yoga etc) sleep and rest are imperative to the game and the mix.
3: Guilt attached to any missed session is more harmful than missing the session itself. Guilt is what limits most people in our sport. If you miss a session for any reason, put it behind you and move forward. Don’t play catch up and don’t worry about it. Its done, move on!
4: A great thing to remember is that training programs do not have to be built around a 7 day schedule. I see many people and coaches build their training programs in 7 day cycles. This is often good for routine, but remember it is not imperative, and mixing things up is key to improving.
5: Identify your weaknesses at the start of your season and then highlight your areas of fragility (injury proneness). When building your program a focus needs to be given to ensuring that this weakness is addressed early in the plan and then constantly addressed throughout the year. Not all weaknesses are physical, and ascertaining the attention directed at a weakness in comparison to the trade off that is given to the other two disciplines needs to be looked at here. Improvements take time. Be patient!
6: Trust the people who advise you and build your plans. You have to have faith in the people your working with, or it is just not worth it. More so, it is your responsibility to give the feedback necessary to ensure that your coaches or team can do the best for you. Don’t buy into other peoples BS. You’re the CEO of your journey in this sport. Be proactive, open and listen and put faith in the people you have brought on.
7: Brick sessions is a foundation set for every triathlon program, but huge brick sessions are over rated. Bricks are the toughest sessions you can do, and need to be recovered from and set with that in mind. Some people like to do this “head sessions” to convince themselves that they can master the triathlon they are taking part in. Doing this in a brick is not the answer. When planning your brick sessions, be sure to be aware that these are physically very demanding sessions. Ironman athletes more so tend to over do the brick session component to their training and do way to much. It is the “run” in the brick session that does the most damage so be careful with it. The faster your running the shorter the run length should be, the longer the bike, the shorter the run session should be. That is two rules I tend to adopt to some degree. Hope this makes sense.
8: Consistency is the key to any triathlon program, and consistency across three disciplines is the key. Injuries limit your ability to be consistent so listen to your body. Be flexible with your training plan. A rigid program is not the answer. A program should be built with a skeleton plan, but the fill needs to be flexible and adjusted daily if need be. Flexibility to your consistency is th key.
Man it is so difficult to write out exactly what needs to be addressed here, and I do feel that I have missed my point on many of these points. I hope they make sense. I wanted to get this blog done ASAP as a few people twittered me today asking about it, and my facebook messages were bombarded. Please stay tuned and look out for our VOOK. I will address these much better in this and you will be able to see the video to support everything. It is going to be cool. Thanks for the suggestions on facebook guys.
Hope this is some help. Will blog the other tow topics over the next few days for everyone.
Cheers and thanks for staying connected.
Ps: for those who want me to write “Tales from the Tour” again, I will start a few over the next few days. We have a new website launching here in a few weeks so I have been a little slack. Will do a series of “Tales” very soon. Glad so many people liked them.
Back from the latest Garmin-Cervelo training camp in Calpe, Spain, Dave Zabriskie is excited about the season ahead.
The stage-race specialist met up with his teammates from January 9-19 for an intensive camp on the Spanish coast and while their December camp in the Cayman Islands was primarily focused on team-bonding, the European trip was all about fitness. So much so, that unlike most team camps, the media was not invited and the riders had only a single rest day.
“It was one of the best training camps I’ve had in a long time," DZ told us. "It was a real camp, in modern day cycling we don’t really train that much at them, we just try to get things swept out of the way before the year kicks off, which is convenient in one way but sometimes it’s just nice to concentrate on training. It was a real biking camp. We had one rest day and messed with our positions a little but it was bikes and more bikes.”
The Garmin-Cervelo team has gone through a number of changes over the winter, with riders including Heinrich Haussler and world champion Thor Hushovd joining. On paper the squad is one of the strongest in the world and its status as such is reinforced by the creation of a women’s team.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Lance Armstrong was not impressed when he was asked to respond to new allegations aired by Sports Illustrated at the beginning of stage two at the Tour Down Under this morning.
When first asked about the report, the seven-time winner of the Tour de France quickly said, "I have nothing to say."
When pressed on the detail in the investigative report by Selena Roberts and David Epstein, the result of work in which the pair "reviewed hundreds of pages of documents and interviewed dozens of sources in Europe, New Zealand and the U.S.," he repeated: "Like I said, I have nothing to say."
Journalists surrounding Armstrong pursued the line of questioning asking the American if he had at least read the article which appeared online hours before the stage from Tailem Bend to Mannum on the Murray River in South Australia. To that he admitted, "I perused it... there's nothing there."
The line of questioning moved on to what Armstrong and his RadioShack team were expecting from the day's stage before moving back to the damning report, at which point Armstrong's anger and frustration boiled to the surface.
"Dude, are you that stupid?" Armstrong asked of the reporter concerned. "What part of I'm not commenting is not clear to you?"
The journalist was then told by Armstrong that if he intended on continuing with his questioning then he should leave.
A few minutes later and slightly calmer, Armstrong told the gathered media that he didn't "have anything to worry about on any level."
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Heading into the final races of his career outside of the United States, Lance Armstrong admitted that his comeback to racing after a three-year retirement had not gone as planned. He had hoped to win yet an eighth Tour de France but accepted "that's what happens in sport.”
Armstrong, 39, retired after the 2005 season and returned in 2009. He finished third in the Tour that year after a tense war or nerves with then Astana teammate Alberto Contador. Armstrong is in Australia with Team RadioShack to ride the Cancer Council Classic on Sunday, followed by the Tour Down Under.
"I thought I'd win another Tour, I really did," Armstrong said at a press conference in Adelaide, according to the Associated Press news agency. "It was different than I expected — that's just the reality, I'm not going to make any excuses. I did everything I could. ... No regrets though, none at all."
Armstrong has often been subject to allegations of doping and is currently linked to a US government investigation concerning cycling and doping after detailed accusation by former US Postal Service teammate Floyd Landis. Armstrong has never tested positive and has always denied the accusations.
"I never lose sleep — ever," he said when asked about the investigation. "It has no effect on my life, zero. That's for other people to deal with."
The constant talk about doping has been of the major downsides of his career. "That drags on you after a while and it gets old," he said, "but it's still a great sport, one that I'd like to see more unified and ultimately excel."
"Our sport could be better organized, could be more unified and we probably need a deeper reservoir of stars, because when you only have a couple that really stand out then those — for better or worse — tend to get the bulk of the attention and the bulk of the criticism," Armstrong said, "and I suppose I've been in the cross hairs of that plenty."
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
By Peter Gambaccini
Kara Goucher, the 2007 World Championships 10,000-meter bronze medalist and third-place finisher in the 2008 New York City Marathon (2:25:53) and 2009 Boston Marathon (2:32:25), gave birth to her first child, son Colton, in September and will now return to the road racing at P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half Marathon on Sunday (there is also a marathon on the day's schedule). Goucher was 10th in the marathon at the 2009 World Championships. She was 10th in the 10,000 meters at the Beijing Olympics in a personal best 30:55.16 and ninth in a slow-paced 5000. Her 5000 best is 14:55.02. The former Kara Grgas-Wheeler attended the University of Colorado and won the 3000 and 5000 at the 2000 NCAA Track & Field Championships outdoors and was the 2000 NCAA Cross Country champion. She and husband Adam Goucher, an Olympian and another Colorado alumnus, live in Portland, Oregon, and are coached by Alberto Salazar, the three-time New York City Marathon champion.
What are your expectations for the half marathon in Arizona and how would you assess your fitness going into that?
Kara Goucher: It will be the first time I have Colt with me (when she's racing), the first time I have raced in almost a year and a half. So I'm really just taking as an opportunity to go through my routine again and remember what it's like. I'm training a lot, but I'm exhausted. Up until a week and a half ago, I was nursing full-time around the clock, and I'm in the process of weaning right now, so I'm pretty fatigued, to be totally honest. I'm just looking forward to it more as the beginning of learning how to deal with Colt and all that kind of stuff and remembering what it's like to do a warm-up and go to the start line. It's more of a practice run than "oh, I want to run a certain time."
I think I can run in the 5:30s (per mile). I think that's pretty manageable right now. Whatever that is, it is. And whoever's there is there. I'm really just trying to take it as a way to shake off the cobwebs. I'm not at my racing weight. I'm still nursing. There are so many other factors going on. I just want to take advantage of a fairly low-key half marathon and get through the experience.
While you were pregnant, and after, you've gone to running events for various promotional reasons. But have you really missed the rituals of the racing scene, going through the motions leading up to the races?
KG: Yeah. I love competing and I love everything about it. I love the preparation in training and I love the taper and I love the actual getting to the event and your whole process there. I've missed all of that so much. Even though I'm not ready to necessarily put up a great time that's going to scare anybody, I'm ready to get back into that routine and to remember what all that's like and just get all that stuff going again.
Matt Tegenkamp, who's a new dad, mentioned in an interview last week that he's got an infant son who already sleeps through the night. Are you that lucky?
KG: Well, it depends on what your definition of sleeping through the night is. Colt goes down at about 10:00 and then he wakes up at around 4:00 for a feeding. Most people call that "sleeping through the night." As a person who used to sleep nine to 10 hours a night, I don't consider that sleeping through the night. But I've been told by other new moms that that is considered sleeping through the night, since he sleeps a good six-hour stretch. He's a great sleeper. He's been having issues as of late, but for the most part, we've been really lucky in that sense—really, just once a night getting up. And then he would sleep until 8:00 or 8:30.
I was going to ask you what was the first day in this process of coming back when you felt 'oh, I'm that Kara Goucher again,' but it sounds like maybe that hasn't happened yet, with all this exhaustion.
KG: Honestly, yesterday, I think, was kind of the first. I've been putting in 100 miles a week for the last three weeks but I feel like I'm just trying to stay afloat a little bit. But yesterday, Adam and I did a 20-miler and it was the first time where I was really like "I can do this." It's not that I've been totally discouraged, I've just kind of been like "I'm just so far away from where I need to be," and yesterday was the first time I really had a glimpse of "no, I could have kept going," and that felt relatively relaxed. I really started to be excited.
There probably shouldn't be any sense of panic about this, considering what the timetable is for the Trials (January of 2012) and other things coming up.
KG: No, I think I'm going to run a great marathon in April (in Boston), I really do. But my overall goal for my career is not the Boston Marathon 2011. It's always been the Olympic Games and around that. A year from now, I think I'll be completely the best that I've ever been.
In your blogs, you've mentioned that the toughest element of running to bring back since pregnancy is the speed. Have you tried to focus on that yet or are you going to wait a little bit longer, even, to bring that around?
KG: It's just coming along slowly, honestly. I've been able to get down to high 33-seconds in the 200s, but I used to able to whip out a bunch in under 30. And in the past, I've sort of gone with a "bottom up" approach, where I go run the Millrose Mile and maybe a 3K and really work my way up to the half (marathon) before a marathon. This time around, we're doing a little bit more traditional entry into the marathon. We really are going strength-based this time. My speed continues to come along; it's just really slow. I'm just trying not to stress about it, because I have no intentions of going to try and run a fast mile or anything like that. By the time I really need my speed, which will be this summer, it should be back.
When I was pregnant, I did train quite a bit, and I did stay aerobically really fit, but I did no speed in those last two months, really the last four months, So that part is just not there yet.
Do you know much else about what your race schedule between Arizona and Boston will be?
KG: I have a couple of races planned out, one of which I'm really excited about but I can't talk about it yet. I'm going to run (USA) Cross Country (on February 5). I've run with a couple of men, and Adam's been running with me, but I think getting in a race with women will carry me so much further. Even if I go there and I can barely can break the top 10, that's going to carry me so far. I'm thinking about going up to Seattle for an indoor 5K but it depends on how Colt's doing and all that kind of stuff. I've also tossed around the idea of running that World's Best 10K in Puerto Rico (in late February), so that's still in the back of my mind, too – to see how things are going, and run a couple of races that in the past would have been long for me but would be considered speedwork for me now.
What was the operation you had while you were pregnant?
KG: I had a bone spur on my right big toe, and I'd had it for years, and I had just learned how to run with it, basically. I got a stress fracture during my pregnancy in my sacrum and I decided I had to take at least a couple of weeks off. And I thought, "well, let's just take advantage of it and finally get this toe fixed."
And your form and 'foot plant' are fine with that?
KG: Yeah, it's funny, I had to sort of learn how to reuse it (the toe). It doesn't hurt me at all anymore, but we had people watch me run and I didn't actually run through my big toe anymore, because I had just adapted to it. I did some physical therapy to learn how to reuse it. It's doing great.
Do you have any residual lower back problems from the sacrum stress fracture?
KG: No. I've been really lucky with it since Colt was born. Knock on wood, but I've been really lucky with nothing being sore—except for overall fatigue.
And you do think you can run a really good marathon in Boston this time? Do you imagine yourself being in contention for a victory?
KG: I honestly wouldn't run it if I didn't think I could challenge. I'm certainly not going to predict a win or anything like that, but I think I could be as ready as anybody else. That's how I envision it, that it's similar to last time, where I'm in contention and I'm challenging with a few other people. That's what I'm hoping for, definitely.
While you were away, the sport did continue. As you watched Shalane Flanagan's race in New York City in November – which was similar to yours in Boston, with a slowish first half and then people got moving and she stayed in the hunt until very late – did that produce a deja vu feeling you could relate to (Flanagan was ultimately the runner-up to Kenya's Edna Kiplagat)?
KG: Yeah, just everything, It was her debut and there was so much tension, so much pressure. I thought she handled it really well. You know, the more that the race went slowly, I thought "she's going to pull this off." They're very different courses and different competition, but just the way it played out, with them waiting until the last 5K or 6K before they really started churning it, was a little bit similar to a situation I've been in. But when they went cranking, they were cranking. I thought it was a great race, a great performance by her. I was impressed by how when she got dropped (by Kiplagat), it looked like she was third and she was suffering and then she somehow found it to fight her way back into second. I was really impressed by her race.
There have been other things going on, too—new stars on the track like Lisa Koll and the improving Molly Huddle, and Desiree Davila showing some real consistency in the marathon. Do you watch these developments and feel challenged and motivated by them or are you just happy to see the rise of American distance running in general—or some combination of the two?
KG: I think it's a combination of the two. It makes me think I need to step up my game, but I'm also just thrilled for everybody. I think Desiree's someone who has so much more potential than she's even shown and it's been fun watching her kind of grow and get more confidence. And to see Molly Huddle this summer just really go for it, I thought that took so much courage. And Lisa Koll, I really think she's the next big, big U.S. star. So it's been exciting to watch them, but it's not that I feel threatened by it. It's more motivating for me. I just want to be out there with them.
Molly Huddle may not have had doldrums that lasted as long as your postcollegiate ones did, but she's somebody who struggled for a while before finding her footing again. I salute anybody who does that. She never gave up, and you never gave up during your fairly difficult years. You never lost your desire or your belief in yourself, did you?
KG: Yeah, and it's hard, sometimes, to keep that belief alive. I respect all of my competitors, but I really respect the people for whom the rise to the top really hasn't been a smooth one. It's tough to make it, and it's tough to keep giving yourself reasons to keep trying and keep putting off "the real world." I'm just really excited for her (Huddle)—a sensational year, and I think it's just going to lead to even more success.
During your pregnancy and right after, did you get to do some things that perhaps you hadn't been able to do in the previous three years of racing?
KG: I stayed really busy throughout the pregnancy. I traveled a lot to races, and I got to just see the other side of it, the non-elite side. When you're racing and you're training so hard and you become so hyper-focused, you may go to a race and do a little Q&A but you don't really get to interact with the general public as much. I really took advantage of that, to go to the expos and be around just everyday runners. To me, it was so refreshing because it really just reminded me of why we all love the sport. We all do it for different reasons, but at the end, a lot of it is just your of running, and it doesn't matter if you're a five-hour marathoner or a 2:20 marathoner, you still love it. That was really fun for me.
Is there a story or two from any of the people you met that stands out in your memory?
KG: I just met so many people, honestly. I was pregnant at the time, so I heard from a lot of mothers and their struggles with trying to accomplish everything they want to accomplish. It inspires me to meet people who have full-time jobs or they have two or three kids and they're finding time to run. It makes me feel like I've been given such a great opportunity and I don't want to waste it or ever complain because there are other people who are juggling a lot more than I am.
These people just find the time. It just really impresses me, and it's a reminder that there's so much heart out there from so many people. That's really been the greatest thing for me about going to the roads. I met this whole new community of people that I never met through track.
Did you find that you had a high recognition factor among those runners?
KG: Yeah, it's actually a little bit shocking, because nobody knows who I am here in Portland (laughs), but I go to Grandma's Marathon (in Duluth) or to Rock 'n' Roll San Diego and I'm just walking around the expo and people are like "oh my gosh" and they know what I've done and they're so excited and they knew I was pregnant. It's amazing to me. It was kind of what I needed, a time away from hard training and hard racing to just recharge the batteries and really get in touch with the whole reason why I began running anyway. And the best things I've gotten out of running are the relationships I've formed, and so it was really fun to meet more people and more more relationships and get back in touch with my roots.
The last time I saw your husband Adam, who'd been hurt again, he said he'd try and get it together and give elite running one more shot. What is his status right now?
KG: He hosted a high school camp for Nike this summer and jumped into a soccer game, and his knee was sore after, and he found out about six weeks ago that he'd torn his ACL and he was just running on it all fall. He had surgery on that about six weeks ago. Now he's just determined to help me get through Boston, and at that point, if he's still healthy and doing well, then he's going to focus on himself. But right now he's just helping me with all my hard days. I ran 20 miles yesterday (last Thursday) and he ran 18 of it with me. I did a 10-mile tempo on Tuesday and he ran that with me. I always have someone to train with, especially when the weather's bad here and it's hard to get out the door. He still has aspirations of running the (Marathon) Trials in Houston. If he can get through April and be perfectly healthy he's like "well, then I'll start thinking about myself."
I follow your blogging. Have you found that to be an interesting tool for understanding yourself and the process you're going through?
KG: I really like it, especially since becoming a new mom and sort of doing this "comeback." I just wrote one today about Colt and everything that's going on with him. It's a way for me to relieve some pressure and some stress. The feedback has been really good. Sometime I think "who's going to want to read this?" But I always get positive feedback, especially from mothers. For me, it's been a good way to get some things off my chest and explain some frustrations or positive things, things that I'm excited about. I really like it (Goucher's blogs are archived at competitor.com).
This could depend on how things go in Boston and how you feel after, but do you think there's a likelihood you'll be running on the track and would try to get to the World Championships in Daegu in the 5000 or the 10,000?
KG: Yeah, I really would like to make the track team in the 10K. I would really love to run a final at that level again in the 10K, because after that, it really will be all focused on the marathon. It will just depend on how Boston goes and how quickly I can turn it around. But I would really, really love to be on the U.S. team in the 10K this summer.
Article Courtesy of Runner's World
Monday, January 10, 2011
The jersey design for the 2011 Liquigas-Cannondale team was unveiled today at the team presentation in Milan, with team leaders Ivan Basso, winner of the 2006 and 2010 Giro d'Italia, and Vuelta a Espana winner Vincenzo Nibali sporting the white, green and blue design.
Basso may give up the chance to defend his Tour of Italy title in order to focus on his dream of gaining his first ever Tour de France victory, while Nibali will be the team's designated leader for the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana.
"If I participate [in the Giro], it will be to help Nibali," Basso said according to AFP. "I will calmly decide in the coming months. " Basso remembered his trainer, Aldo Sassi, who died Dec. 13 at age 51. "He told me to wear the yellow jersey," said Basso. "His death was a blow. He will be missed."
The team's manager Roberto Amadio said his aim is to have the Liquigas-Cannondale team as a main protagonist in every race. "We will be competitive, I have no doubt," Amadio said. "We will try to be an example of a team which achieves the best sporting results with sacrifice and hard work. What matters to us, first of all, is the way in which you achieve the victories."
André Greipel was blunt when he arrived in Adelaide for the Santos Tour Down Under on Saturday. The dual and defending champion was asked what his relationship was with former team-mate Mark Cavendish. In reply, Greipel deadpanned: "There is no relationship."
This 13th edition of the Tour Down Under marks the first showdown between the two since Greipel left HTC-Columbia at the end of last season for Omega Pharma-Lotto and it's this intense rivalry that's threatening to steal the show in Adelaide.
So where did this vitriolic stoush begin?
Round 1 – Look at me...
The 2007 Etoile de Bessèges in France was Cavendish's debut race for the then-T-Mobile team. Both Cavendish and Greipel were together in the bunch sprinting for the opening stage finish line in Marseille right up until the last bend. A mix-up with the lead-out train left Cavendish alone and he would finish second behind Credit Agricole's Angelo Furlan. Greipel finished seventh and a fierce argument ensued.
Team director Allan Peiper shed some light on the rivalry's early moments after the race saying:
"We have two top sprinters competing for the first time in a team and they still have to work things out between each other. In the next few days I'm sure this co-operation will function better and I'm optimistic that it will lead to success."
The following year the pair rode the Giro d'Italia as team-mates. Manxman Cavendish took out two sprints – stage four from Pizzo Calabro to Catanzaro-Lungomare and stage 13 between Modena and Citadella. When Greipel was victorious on stage 17 from Sondrio over the Swiss border to Locarno, it was Cavendish who stepped aside to let the big German power home over the finish line. Images of Greipel's win show both riders with their arms in the air in celebration.
"We decided that I would go first into the last corner," stated Greipel after his win. "I started my sprint and I just thought I would go all the way to the finish. We did the lead out train as normal, I did my lead out and I felt really strong."
It was the last time we saw the pair race together.
In the following Grand Tour event, the Tour de France, Cavendish cemented his position as Team Columbia's premier sprinter, winning four stages before withdrawing to concentrate on his preparation for the Beijing Olympic Games. There, Cavendish was the only British track cyclist not to win a medal.
For Greipel, the 2008 season lacked the prestige of his team-mate. Four stage wins along with both the overall and points jersey at the Tour Down Under; together with a stage win at the Tours of Austria and Germany was as good as it got.
Then in 2009 both riders enjoyed a great season. Greipel would claim 20 stage wins, including four at the Vuelta a España, after suffering a broken collarbone at the Tour Down Under.
Cavendish meanwhile stood on top of the podium 24 times, which included six Tour de France stage wins and his first Monument at Milan-San Remo.
Greipel en route to winning the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under. He'll be back this month to defend the title.
Round 2 – It's my party and I'll cry if I want to...
Such success gave both sprinters serious ammunition when it came to team selection in 2010, creating quite the dilemma for team directors.
Greipel was dominant early in the season, winning three stages, the points jersey and the overall title at the Tour Down Under. The German then took out the Trofeo Magalluf-Palmanova at the Mallorca Challenge, and a stage at the Volta ao Algarve.
The same couldn't be said for Cavendish, who was missing in action with dental issues and a series of crashes – but it was the Manxman who got the gig for Milan-San Remo.
Greipel was furious, believing he should have ridden La Classicissima, telling sport1.de: "That was a real blow for me. My riding hasn't been so bad that I didn't deserve to start."
Greipel didn't even watch the race, instead taking his young family to the zoo. "You have to take advantage of days like this, if you aren't even nominated.
"Cavendish is having his problems right now. I have ridden some good races," Greipel continued. "When it comes down to a sprint, you can count on me."
Cavendish would finish in 89th place and the war of words began again. Taking a chance to hit back at Greipel's claims that he could have done a better job than his team-mate, Cavendish hit back saying: "Me on bad form is still better than him.
"I was pretty pissed with Greipel's comments after San Remo," Cavendish told The Guardian. "If he thought he could win, he'd say it before the race rather than when he's looking at the results sheet. It wasn't through lack of form that I didn't win San Remo - it was bad luck. Last year I won it picking my nose.
"This year it was possible I'd win again. There's no chance of Greipel winning a 'monument'."
Last year saw Greipel well in front in terms of his win tally with 21 victories, including one stage win at the Giro d'Italia, to his name. Cavendish was almost quiet on previous seasons with 12 wins – nine of which came in Grand Tours.
Round 3 – New starts, old feuds...
Following his arrival in Adelaide this week Cavendish was asked whether he had spoken to Greipel since his departure to Omega Pharma-Lotto, to which the Manxman quipped: "Why would I?" putting his non-communication down to competitive juices.
In fact, Cavendish refused to acknowledge Greipel's participation in the Tour Down Under at all, instead pointing to a line-up that includes Robbie McEwen, Tyler Farrar and Gerald Ciolek.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
I failed to ride up the world's steepest road - Can Lance? If he can, we'll raise $10,000 to fight cancer!
1/6/11 Update - I just got a message from Lance Armstrong that he made it up Waipio Valley Road in 9:30, at 430 watts, 46 average cadence. Now we know - the world's greatest cyclist can climb the world's steepest road.
1/4/2011 Update - I just got a note on Twitter from Lance Armstrong. Looks like he's going to give it a try! I can't wait to see if he can make it. If you've got Google Earth enabled on your computer, check out the map above in Google Earth - the tilt function really shows how steep this road is.
Waipio Valley Road on the island of Hawai'i is the steepest road of its length in the world, rising 800 feet (250 meters) from the historic Waipio Valley to the plateau above in just 6/10 of a mile (1 kilometer). The average grade is 25% and the peak grade reaches 40%. In places it's steeper than Baldwin Street, in Dunedin, New Zealand and Canton Avenue in Pittsburgh, PA, which are often cited as the world's steepest streets. It's also MUCH longer - the steep part of Baldwin is only about 300 feet long. Waipio Valley Road is really a road, not a street, and as such is a greater challenge for a cyclist. It is sometimes disqualified from consideration as a road because it is open only to 4-wheel drive vehicles, but it is a paved road maintained by the government. The only rival I can find for world's toughest road bike challenge might be Scanuppia, do Besenello, which is longer but less steep than Waipio Valley.
I am a masters bike racer who lives in San Francisco, CA. On Valentine's Day, 2010, during a cycling vacation to the Big Island, I tried to ride up Waipio Valley Road on my road bike. My power data and GPS can be seen here, as lap 3. I was able to ride up 522 ft. of the climb's 800 vertical feet, but I was thwarted on the climb's four steepest sections and I walked up 278 vertical feet. The steepest section I managed was 24.3% for 76 vertical feet. Including the walking, the climb took me 17:24, during which I rode 8:23 at about 350 watts.
I thought the climb was difficult on a road bike, but perhaps possible. The biggest challenge wasn't really wattage, but balance, traction, and torque. The locals at Hilo Bike Hub tell me that they've done the climb on mountain bikes, but never road bikes.
Lance Enters the Picture - My 150 Characters of Fame
I then drove to Waipio and rode the beautiful Waipio-Hawi loop. I stopped for lunch in Hawi and checked the web. Lance Armstrong's twitter stream noted that he had also done the Waipio-Havi loop that day - darn, I missed him! So I tweeted that I had done the same ride as Lance, but he skipped the world's steepest road. To my amazement, Lance noticed this and tweeted me back asking me where this road could be found.
I sent Lance the info then laid down the challenge - if he could ride a road bike up Waipio Valley Road without stopping I'd donate $10,000 to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and I was hoping that the idea would catch on and others would join my challenge. Soon after, I got a note from Lance's friend and training partner John Korioth challenging me to put the cash on the table. To demonstrate my seriousness, I made a $5,000 online donation to the Lance Armstrong Foundation and sent the confirmation number to John and Lance, telling them that I'd donate the rest if Lance could complete the climb.