Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘tour de france 2010’

This Day in Doping: Another Team Rehab candidate surfaces!

In This Day In Doping on February 4, 2010 at 2:43 am

How did we do it? In our campaign to bring together Team Rehab for the Dopers Reunion Tour de France 2010, how did we forget about Tom Boonen?

Admittedly, Boonen did not test positive for a performance enhancer. He was dinged for cocaine, which only makes you THINK your performance is enhanced. Still, drugs is drugs, and his second cocaine test in the plus column in two years is good enough to get Tom onto our Dream Team. As his team manager so persuasively put it: “He’s a very good guy, and a good rider, and I think he understands what he’s done in the past and won’t repeat it.” Yes, just like after the first time he tested positive.

News Cycle: Crashed bike, e-bike, Lance’s bike, stolen bike & more

In Bicycle advocacy, Lance's Chances, News Cycle, Rider Down on February 1, 2010 at 1:54 am

So we have a question here. Exactly how cautious does a cyclist have to be to prevent a driver from turning left in front of him or her? We almost got run down today in Aptos in that very scenario, so we’d like, really, we’d love to know. You wonder if this cop would tell a gunshot victim to be especially careful not to get in the way of bullets.

In Idaho they’re still cranking along on the “Preserve Our Trails” mountain-biking license plate. Good on ’em!

Pinarello Dogma worth “thousands and thousands” brazenly stolen from an Issaquah bike shop that should have known better.

BikingBis, who’s been on the case since the start, updates the 3-feet-please movement for 2010.

Jacquie Phelan: The A Side and the B Side of the “Modern San Franciscan”…aboard a bike of course. But first look at the photo.

Commute Seattle off and running…er carpooling…and biking!

What about Ennnn Ohhhhh don’t you understand?

Even with this on his side, the answer is still the same.

On the rise: The electric bike! I think of e-bikes the way I think of e-books: Nice implementation but Old School is better. Still, there’s no denying e-bikes are on the upswing. Battery technology is getting so insanely light and malleable that you can barely find the batteries on the bike any more. It’s only going to get better. In my dotage I may come to actually appreciate the things.

A Wide Open Tour de France 2010?

In Bicycle Racing, Lance's Chances, This Day In Doping on January 25, 2010 at 3:46 am

Yes it’s early, but we continue to see signs that this year’s Tour de France is shaping up as a real bike race (as opposed to a single team of prima donnas controlling a docile peloton). We think it’s good for the sport, especially because we may be spared endless Clash of Titans bloviating re Lance and Alberto. With a slew of contenders in the mix, maybe this year’s Tour will have actual, true, real, what’s the expression … suspense?

Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez says he’s gonna try to win.

Aussie “Tour Down Under” champion Andre Greipel wants a go, mate.

His coach says Lance is ahead of last year’s training (when he eventually took third in the Tour). Or is this just something to say every year to juice the buzz?

Last year’s winner Alberto Contador looks to put an early hurt on the peloton in Paris-Nice.

Don’t forget our personal favorite, Andy Schleck (and brother Frank).

And we’ve already talked about the Doper Reunion aspect. Whatever else you can say about these cheats, they can still ride.

We’ll be watching Vegas odds on this one with intense interest.

This Day in Doping: Tour 2010 shaping up as Dopers Reunion!

In This Day In Doping on January 19, 2010 at 11:20 am

Alexander Vinokourov’s drug ban is over, so like Michael Rasmussen, he’s ready for another go on the Tour. Vino says he won’t be pursuing a title, but if something should happen to team leader Contador, we would assume all bets are off.

The Tour de France 2010 is shaping up as the biggest Dopers Reunion since the Lebowski Fest! Now if we can only get Floyd Landis back into the peloton, we’d be tempted to sponsor Team Rehab. And what’s Tyler Hamilton up to these days???

Never too early to Talk Tour

In Bicycle Racing, Lance's Chances on January 11, 2010 at 1:56 pm

The Tour de France is just only a mere six months away! Time to start ramping up the Clash of Titans trash talk between Lance and Bert! We’re glad to see Lance’s comments about beating Contador in the Tour this year. This kind of stuff is great for building commercial sponsorship, media attention and the Big Bucks.

Last year we scoffed at any notion Lance might win the Tour — or any other major for that matter. And despite all the overblown yammering about the Great Comeback, we were right. This year things are a bit different, largely because the two are riding for different teams. Lance says he’s being underestimated because of his age. We agree age isn’t the issue. Nor is conditioning, although we feel Lance will take a hit by not doing the Giro this year. The Tour of California, much as we love it, is not in the same class as the Giro. But Lance has the 2009 season still in his legs.

It’s strategy. And because Lance is a master strategist, and he’ll be riding for a team that’s All Lance All the Time, he has a number of weapons that possibly could maybe might undercut Contador’s obvious physical superiority.

Another factor: People love Lance, even the French who at one time despised him as a suspected drug cheat. People don’t particularly care for Contador, who has the charisma of a tethered cobra. Some riders can play off that to their advantage — Bernard Hinault comes to mind. But it’s not a given in Contador’s case. In fact, psychologically Contador is still somewhat of a black box. He’s a climbing God, but no one knows what’s going on behind his grim visage at any given moment.

Our best guess how it will work out: Lance will continue to chat up the rivalry, drawing lots of attention and generating huge interest. Contador will lay low and play his cards close to his vest. And in the race, they’ll jockey through the first week or two, riveting the cycling and sports world. Eventually, Contador will crush Lance in the mountains. But that will come late enough in this 180-day Kabuki dance that we’ll all have a delicious time enjoying the suspense.

Bicycle Net: Rivalry to intensify.

Lance’s Chances: Not the team leader, you say??

In Bicycle Racing, Lance's Chances on December 11, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Whatever else you can say about Lance Armstrong, and we do a lot and often, he’s a master of public relations. He is helped along by the fact the bike press seems to have no institutional memory, but Lance spins as well off the cranks as on.

The latest: “Lance says he will not be Team RadioShack’s main rider,” from the widely watched, respected, and linked Guardian. Now the Guardian, to be fair, is not the bike press and perhaps can be forgiven. But really, Lance not “the main rider” of ANY team Lance is on? Puhleez.

It should be noted off the top that nowhere does Lance actually say what the headline says. What Lance did say is that it would be “irresponsible” to build TRS (techie aside: Remember those initials? As in the TRS-80, or Trash 80 as we unaffectionately nicknamed it?) around him. OK, fair enough: Parse the statement out and it’s more or less true. You want other potential winners on the team, which was not the case back when Lance was riding for Discovery Channel and U.S. Postal.

But parse it any way you want: It doesn’t mean he won’t be the “main rider.” I suppose you could split hairs about what “main rider” means, so let’s put it in simplest terms. Main rider means the focal point of the team, the team leader, the chief strategist, the guy everyone looks to for direction. No disrespect to Levi or Andreas or whomever, those guys are not going to be TRS’s “main rider” as long as Lance is in town.

What you have to keep in mind here is that Lance, at this point in the 2010 season (yeah it’s early, as in 2009), wants to get everyone on his side and on the same page. He also wants to deflect attention away from himself for the sake of team building. Kudos on those fronts.

We went through this same poor-mouthing a year ago, when there was no way Lance was going for a Tour victory, and there was no way Alberto Contador was not going to be Astana’s “main rider.” The next thing we knew there was the famous breakaway in Stage 3 and all hell broke loose.

We don’t blame Lance for gullible news reports. It’s up to the press to reality-check his truth massaging. But we’re not going to spend too much time between now and July 2010 trying to figure out who, if not Lance, will be Team Radio Shack’s main rider.

As the VeloNews version noted, after taking the same bait as the Guardian, team director Johann Bruyneel admitted, “Lance is definitely the leader of the team.” Lance says he’ll race for two more years.

Why Lance is always Da Leadah!!