July 03, 2009

Garmin-Slipstream: Blood, Sweat + Gears

Slipstream celebrates
Slipstream celebrates,
originally uploaded by Frank Steele.
Sundance Channel | Blood, Sweat + Gears

This month, Sundance Channel is showing a documentary by Nick Davis on the 2008 campaign by Garmin-Chipotle. It focuses on Magnus Backstedt, Mike Friedman, David Millar, and Christian Vande Velde, as they prepare for their season goals.

The rider selection is interesting, showing the breadth of the team (Friedman is a track specialist, Backstedt best in classics), but maybe shortchanging the development of the Tour team as a result (If the team's Giro is mentioned, I don't remember it). The only road races in the film are the Tour of Qatar, Tour of California, Paris-Roubaix, and the Tour de France.

And I would have enjoyed more Zabriskie.

Still, if you're a fan of the Tour, and especially if you're a Garmin fan, you need to check it out.

The show's scheduled to run 6 more times this month, with the next showing Saturday night at 8 p.m. Eastern. You can see a preview here.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 3, 2009 in 2008 Tour de France, Christian Vande Velde, Danny Pate, David Millar, Magnus Backstedt | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 22, 2008

It's the shoes!

2617210666_2a85ebce24_m Expecting many Vs. viewers spotted those bright, yellow shoes on Cyril Dessel today. Those are the new superlight Mavics. Bike Hugger checked those out last month at a Mavic media event. Below is video from the event.

Photos and more posts.

Posted by Byron on July 22, 2008 in 2008 Tour de France | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 21, 2008

Ride on Christian Soldier

Check the Times Online profile of Christian Vande Velde and how he went from a domestique to a Tour contender.

There’s a lot more cheating and a lot more losing and he struggles constantly with injury. And two weeks ago, when he starts his sixth Tour de France, Christian Vande Velde is still a minor leaguer, performing unnoticed in the shadow of the gods. He has no ambition of winning. He has no idea how good he is. But what if he just found out?


Photo Credit: Reuters.

Cross-posted from Bike Hugger.

Posted by Byron on July 21, 2008 in 2008 Tour de France, Christian Vande Velde | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 17, 2008

Dopers Front Page News

F'ing dopers. That's all I have to say.


Cross-posted from Bike Hugger.

Posted by Byron on July 17, 2008 in 2008 Tour de France | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Mother of Mercy, is this the end of Ricco?

BBC SPORT | Ricco the latest to fail EPO test

Current King of the Mountains and white jersey leader Riccardo Ricco of Saunier Duval is the latest to test positive for erythropoeitin (EPO) at the Tour. His Saunier Duval team, which had three stage wins so far, withdrew before today's Stage 12.

Ricco tested positive at the 4th stage, last week's time trial. Ricco won Stage 6 and Stage 9, and was sitting in 9th overall, with the Alps yet to come. He also was 2nd in this year's Giro d'Italia.

I've seen a couple of sites suggest EPO is a retro performance enhancer, but apparently Ricco was positive for CERA (Continuous Erythropoeitin Receptor Activator), a 3rd generation version of the drug that's been called “Super EPO”.

"This is a decision of the team and is not dictated by (Tour organisers) ASO," Saunier Duval sports director Matxin Fernandez said.

"We suspend the activities of the team until we understand what has happened," Fernandez added.

Hope the headline reference isn't too obscure.


cyclingnews.com | Riccò positive - Saunier Duval taken out of Tour

Eurosport | Ricco EPO positive stuns Le Tour

Posted by Frank Steele on July 17, 2008 in 2008 Stage 6, 2008 Stage 9, 2008 Tour de France, Doping, Riccardo Ricco, Top Stories, Tour de France 2008 | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

July 16, 2008

Vs. seeing lower ratings for '08 Tour

OregonLive.com | Tour de France ratings down so far on Versus

Viewership of the live Versus broadcast each morning is down by around one-third so far this year, from 343,000 to 230,000.

Over the multiple daily broadcasts and rebroadcasts, the average Vs. viewership is down from 171,000 to 143,000, about 16 percent.

The article doesn't speculate on reasons for the fall-off, but presumably the absence of many top U.S. riders must hurt, as well as the continuing doping circus. On the other hand, should Christian Vande Velde continue to ride among the leaders, U.S. ratings may pick up.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 16, 2008 in 2008 Tour de France, Television | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Duenas out of Tour for EPO

SBS | Second Spanish rider tests positive in Tour

Barloworld's Moises Dueñas failed to start today's Stage 11, after French doping officials said he tested positive for EPO at the Stage 4 time trial.

Dueñas finished just behind the group with Cadel Evans, Denis Menchov, and Carlos Sastre on yesterday's climb of Hautacam. He was riding in 19th place overall, 6:43 behind new yellow jersey Cadel Evans.

Both Dueñas and Miguel Beltran of Liquigas, who officials say tested positive in Stage 1, await the results of their 'B' samples

Update: Ken Conley links to a Cycling Weekly story reporting that police found “a considerable amount of banned medicines” in Dueñas’ hotel room.

(Via Spinopsys.)

Posted by Frank Steele on July 16, 2008 in 2008 Stage 4, 2008 Tour de France, Doping, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 15, 2008

Cadel's Challenge

2667128922_c2e8403f47 Cadel's Yellow Jersey is definitely an achievement and worthy of praise, but I'm not seeing him as a champion or the patron. Love or hate Lance he was the boss and as Paul Sherwen would say, "he smacked his hand on the table" to let everyone know it.

I don't expect much table smacking from Cadel and maybe it's the end of the patron era? If he's more like Indurain, he's got to hang on through the mountains and demolish his competitors in the time trial. That seems unlikely.

What do you think? Does Cadel have it? Can or will he attack? And does the Tour need a patron?

Photo credit: JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

Cross-posted on Bike Hugger.

Posted by Byron on July 15, 2008 in 2008 Tour de France | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 13, 2008

Ricco shows his strength

Riccardo Ricco of Saunier Duval took a dominant stage win as the Tour finally reached the high mountains on Stage 9.

On the steepest part of the Col d'Aspin, Ricco launched from the field through a chase group, then right past Sebastian Lang, who had been in a lead group all day long.

Ricco managed to hold off the entire field on a 28-kilometer descent to the finish, for his 2nd win of the Tour. Ricco is seen by Italian fans as a successor to Marco Pantani, the great Italian climber.

Ricco's teammate David de la Fuente holds onto the King of the Mountains jersey, but it looks like that's Ricco's jersey to lose between now and Paris at this point. Next year, he's got to be a Tour favorite.

Stage 9 Results:
1) Riccardo Ricco, Saunier Duval 5:39:28
2) Vladimir Efimkin, AG2R @ 1:04
3) Cyril Dessel, AG2R @1:17
4) Dmitri Fofonov, Credit Agricole, same time
5) Christian Knees, Milram, s.t.
6) Maxime Monfort, Cofidis, s.t.
7) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, s.t.
8) Roman Kreuziger, Liquigas, s.t.
9) Damiano Cunego, Lampre, s.t.
10) Yaroslav Popovych, Silence-Lotto, s.t.

In the GC, Stefan Schumacher lost time to the overall leaders, as did David Millar and Thomas Lövkvist. That moves Garmin-Chipotle's Christian Vande Velde up into 3rd overall, 44 seconds behind Columbia's Kim Kirchen.

General Classification after Stage 9:
1) Kim Kirchen, Team Columbia, 38:07:19
2) Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto, @ :06
3) Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Chipotle, @ :44
4) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, @ :56
5) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, @ 1:03
6) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, @ 1:12 7) Stijn Devolder, Quick Step, @ 1:21 8) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, @ 1:21 9) Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, @ 1:27 10) Carlos Sastre, CSC-Saxo Bank, @ 1:34

Kim Kirchen keeps the yellow jersey and retakes the lead in the green jersey competition. Lövkvist loses the white jersey to Andy Schleck.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 13, 2008 in 2008 Stage 9, 2008 Tour de France, Riccardo Ricco, Stage results, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 10, 2008

Tour 08 Snark -- Week One

  • What is Saab going for with that “turbo” commercial? Annoying to get attention like those HeadOn ads? “apply directly to the forehead. apply directly to the forehead. apply directly to the forehead. apply directly to the forehead.”

  • Phil’s been despising the use of race radios for like 100 years now.

  • Bobke and Hummer don’t got the spark like Trautwig and Bobke did.

  • It’s one thing to make a statement with your coverage and another entirely to run a “backwards” ad that shows a champion who’s not been found to dope and is still racing. Zabel should not be in that ad.

  • Why no women reporters covering the tour, the towns, the human interest? Is Le Tour a boys club?

  • I’d like to see “Tapout” get on bikes and ride up a climb in their clothes line.

Other notes:

  • New iTV podcast
  • The cameras and Tour coverage gets better every year
  • I’d like to see unabridged ask Bobke thread and I’d ask:

Bobke: How do you reconcile the fact that Lance turned his back on the sport after not finding a sponsor for his team and 9 months later, we’ve got two American squads with big sponsors?

Note: Cross-posted from Bike Hugger.

Posted by Byron on July 10, 2008 in 2008 Tour de France | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack