A week ago I decided to add a little more to my training routine by hitting the gym. I figured I’d be pretty strong considering the amount of hours I spend riding each week. This assumption was smashed the minute I sat down at the hip abduction machine. It wasn’t so much the machine that did it but having to adjust the weights from 100 lbs to 30 lbs (100 lbs was for the 70 year old man who was on it before me, 30 lbs was for yours truly).
In addition I’ve been swimming and playing a lot of racquetball. The swimming is nice for working new muscles but the racquetball is just for fun.
Oh and I finally got my Time Edge Pulse frameset in the mail the other day.
It's sick and I really like the looks of it. In fact, it's too sick and I may just sell it. The nice thing about my Tarmac is I have no qualms about abusing it rain or shine. This Time, however, with its lugged carbon and pristine clear coat is just too nice. Besides, I know that within a week its immaculate condition would be long gone.
Oh and by the way, Vittoria Rubino Pros are NOT PRO!! I've been riding one on my front wheel for MAYBE 600 miles and I've had two flats from sand burrs!
As if that weren't enough, there's already a crack in the sidewall. Really, these tires aren't worth the 20 euro I spent on them. From now on I'm using Gator Skins.
Okay enough rants, how about some news...
Apparently Ag2r has got some young guys joining the team. The Velonews article mentions they had a 'lean' season. You could say that, or you could say if it weren't for Nocentini and Roche no one would know they exist.
Speaking of signings, Team Radio Shack is looking stacked for next year. Looks as though about half of Astana, the better half, is going to be on the team. I was a bit surprised to see Daryl Impey on the team though. Looks like he's recovered from his horrific crash. That thing was a tragedy on all accounts. If you watch it a few times you can see it was incidental. Bos was getting pushed against the barriers and only out of instinct did he grab Impey's jersey. In addition to Impey I feel sorry for Bos. This season was his first year as a PRO on the road and that's a tough way to start.
There's also a kid on the team who was a Cat 2-like Jim!!!-at the start of 2008. That's pretty remarkable.
By the way, anyone been into a Radio Shack lately? They've actually made a big improvement from their years of obscure batteries and transistors...
Astana has more troubles. The UCI has been seeking assurance from Astana that they'll actually be paying their bills this season. To which Nikolai Proskurin, deputy president of the Kazakh Cycling Federation, has claimed "It seems to me that they don't want an Asian team in the ProTour." I can see that. Well, except for the fact that Team Katusha is a Russian team and according to my third grade teacher Mrs. Vera, Russia is indeed part of Asia.
Apparently the state holding company Samruk-Kazyna has provided a 'pledge' worth 15 million. The UCI refuses to be fooled twice and is demanding a different type of 'pledge', a bank guarantee.
Feeling Astana's credibility under attack, Proskurin's provides reassurances,"A guarantee from Samruk-Kazyna is much more important, because it has the stamp of approval of the government itself.”
There you have it folks, the stamp of approval from the Kazakhstani government. [This, of course, differs from the stamp of approval that left Astana riders and staff unpaid for weeks last year.]
Well, at least Contador’s content to stay. Interesting, because I could have sworn last month he was dying to leave...
In happier news, the Haedo bros are tag teaming! It's about time they joined forces. I sensed some sibling rivalry between the PRO Tour and non-PRO Tour brothers.
Doors continue to open in the Operation Puerto case. The article isn't that interesting except for the mention of a 'prominent Spanish race walker' whose house was raided. I had no clue doping was so ingrained in race walking culture...
On that note, Valverde's taking aim at next year's Tour. Despite Valverde's triumph on Mont Ventoux (notice the flame rouge being held by some guy on the side of the road) this season as well as his Vuelta victory, I don't think he's capable of a Tour victory with the current competition. His attack on Ventoux was incredible but he was really only up against Evans, and well you know how that goes. Contador was playing it easy in prep for the Tour. The Schlecks weren't there and neither was Wiggins or Amstrong.
As for the most important piece of news: DC to host the Giro???? This could be INSANE! I can't agree more. The city is picturesque and would provide an amazing setting for the prologue.
In track news, it's Six Day season! The Gent Six Day finished Sunday. Originally my plan was to stay in Belgium long enough to see this. However, riding home from the Netherlands in the rain one day changed my mind. I booked my ticket home that night and figured I'd catch it another year. Well, here's a report on what I missed. Pez Cycling did a fantastic job covering it. Here's one more.
For those of you who liked the Allen Lim interviews, here are some vids.