Thursday, May 27, 2010
Don't Throw the Bike out...
--The Giro hasn't been this dolce since Riccò rocked Italy in 2008. The other day they climbed the Zoncolan which is out of this world steep. Arroyo even said it was harder than L'Angliru in Spain, which is known to be one of the toughest stages in a grand tour.
It took Basso a little more than 40 minutes to climb it and he averaged 395 watts going up. 395 watts! For those new to watts, I'll give a comparison. Back in college when I was training I did a 10 minute interval up Tunnel road. I averaged 350 watts for 10 minutes and it was one of my best efforts (btw, I weighed 148 at the time and Basso weighs about the same so scientifically at least, it's a decent comparison). Conclusion: Basso is an animal.
Oh and today's stage, 20,000 feet of climbing include la Gavia!
--I remember reading a VDV interview on Velocity Nation where he talked about what made the Giro so great. One of the things was they'd be going through some village when all of the sudden Bettini and the other big italian riders would sprint to the front and then stop the peloton. The locals would have tables out with pastries for the riders so they'd all load up, then start riding again.
Today when I was watching they showed Gibo off the back--who btw has a new book. The reporter on the moto took this as an opportunity to interview Gibo...
The only other time I've seen this was in some minor French race.
--Segue into Giro bad behavior. Early on, Cadel was seen hitting riders for not pulling for him. However, when Arroyo needed help yesterday to maintain the pink, the kangaroo had no legs.
Vino did the same thing to Arroyo yesterday. Then, when Righi wouldn't pull for him today he got upset.
Okay I shouldn't be too hard on Cuddles and Borat. As far as I know, and anyone watching for that matter, Vino is the only Astana rider in the race. I've yet to see another Astana rider. The same goes for Evans. Neither of these guys have had anything like the team support of Basso, whose Liquigas team has absolutely dominated the mountain stages.
Also, according to Craig Lewis, Matt Lloyd was ridin' dirty the other day on his breakaway. I guess he and another rider attacked during a break naturel. Tisk tisk.
--Some guys at the Giro were disciplined yesterday for various infractions. I think this is pretty common but they just don't report it that often.
At Fitchburg last summer I got a warning for not signing in, so did Rory "Southerland," as they called him.
--Lasly, ESPN has an article up called "What if Lance Armstrong is Lying". I guess they figured it was time someone at least play the devil's advocate. The article is so so but it's news that ESPN is saying it. It's like if Chomsky were to appear the NY Times. He's always been saying stuff that's true, it's just rarely published in big media.
A Huffington Post has an even more damning article.
I found these both through @nyvelocity. They're keeping good tabs on the whole thing.
I've believed Lance doped since I first started reading about it a few years back. All along I felt it was better to just leave it alone though. Lance brought a lot of money and attention to the sport and so let's not persecute him for the sake of the sport. Now that I think of it, that's the attitude that has kept the sport corrupt for so long. That's the attitude that it appears McQuaid and his predecessor have had for years: "Don't go after Lance, he brings money to the sport." All that does is leave the sport open to the best cheat.
It's a bummer all around. Lance is a great story and regardless of what he did, winning seven tours is an incredible feat. But what about all those great stories we never got to hear? What about all those bike store mechanics who never made it because they wouldn't take the sauce? What about those guys?
Oh and McQuaid, despite him botching this whole thing, he's done a lot of good for the sport. The bio passport is coming along and things are getting better.
It's like the old saying goes, "don't throw the bike out with the doper."
Okay, on to the next big media hoorah. This is already getting stale. I'll leave you with a funny pic I found on Facebook.