Thursday, December 27, 2012

World Bike Relief at Le TOUR !

Yellow Bikes at Corsica is an Achievable Objective ! It requires commitment by a few " Committed People " representing some " Charitable organisations " but the scale of publicity would be immense . !5 years of turning up on my " Tod " , has been reported back to me by people from a variety of Nations . If i am getting a result from " same old , same old " , can you imagine the results to be garnered by a New Story peppered with interesting characters ?

What i think could be done is one thing , what will eventuate is another ! During the past month i contacted by email a person associated with " WBR ", an address from her comment to " Fatcyclist.com " ! In that email i suggested that a " Pink WBR bike " could be built , so as to be available for use at the " GIRO d'Italia  " in May , however , it remains unanswered , too hard to decide what to do ? Each year at the Giro , i ride with " Moser , Motta , Fondriest , Bettini ( not so often this past year ) and with the Racers ! Can you imagine the interest these Guys displayed when i was riding my " Reef Monocoque Time Trial bike "? Some even commented on the " Black Specialised " , used again in Italy as a backup to the " Il Giro ( pink bike ) "!

What i had proposed was , that several " Pink WBR Bikes " , similar to those sent to Africa , be made available at the Giro , one i would ride daily , others be available for " Publicity Purposes " , photos of Moser , etc , in " Gazetta Dello Sport " appearing daily , would open new " Donation Opportunities " WORLDWIDE ! In addition i thought that there could be readers of " Fatcyclist.com " willing to invest time and effort to either BUY a pink bike to ride at the Giro or Take the time to RENT a WBR Bike , for the day at the start or finish of an Etappe . Fatty has recently proposed , to ride one of these WBR Bikes , at a " Fund Raiser " in the USA next year . Seems there are others willing to join him in this endeavour , question is , will these bikes be " Bog Standard " , or will there be some tricking out of them to create a " publicity situation "?

With a successful launch of the " Pink WBR Bike " , it would be very easy to get some " Yellow Bikes " to Corsica . This year's " Le Tour " is the 100th Edition , thus the Media will be Hungry for ANY New Story , and what better way to grab attention by having a team of WBR Bikes ridden for the " FIRST TIME " by people associated with " Paralympic Sport "? There are in the UK , people associated with " Help4Heroes " that attend the " Le Tour " . There are i am sure , people associated with " Wounded Warrior Project " that make the visit to France each year . This year , in the past months ,  i discovered " SoldierON " from Australia and i am sure that there are Aussies , who would do their best to join the ranks and Finally there is a French Charity Associated with the French Armed Forces that those working with the Gendarmerie would want to see represented .

Yorkshire having won the 2014 Grand Depart of Le Tour will be represented at the 2013 Le Tour . Could be interested in seeing their " Shirts " worn by a Team going the distant , perhaps they might have Vehicles available to be " Dressed for the Publicity "? I am going to talk to a variety of " Sporting Interests " that enjoy being involved with the various tours , about what resources they would be willing to commit .

Funding for this enterprise will require a " Chip In site " where people can make Donations . This will be done when there is a " Major Charitable Body " to control the receipts , for Accounting Purposes ! The main purpose of this " Chip In ",  is the Taxable Benefit to the " benefactors "!

PLEASE NOTIFY YOUR INTEREST IN BEING ADVISED OF FUTURE INFORMATION

email to :  skippi@ausi.com  

Friday, December 14, 2012

YORKSHIRE " Le Bid " SUCCESS !

6th July 2014 will bring the Grand Depart of " Le Tour Edition 101 ", from Leeds , United Kingdom ! With several bids , from various parts of the United Kingdom for this event , it was a jubilant reaction from the Yorkshire " Le Bid Team ", on the Sky TV Network this evening . Chanpagne on the table with reports of work stopping to celebrate , but back to work in the morning , to deal with the huge amount of work that will be generated to create a successful event .

Earlier in the day i was watching Sky News Morning Programme's segment on Sport . During the news items they reported the item about " phat's " denigration of Greg LeMond and the other principals of the www.changecyclingnow.org Petition . If i were the chief of an organisation , that failed to detect , what is now described as the Greatest and Most Successful Doping Conspiracy in ANY SPORT " , i would be keeping my head down , certainly avoiding controversy ? phat must get up each morning and ask himself :
"what stupid thing will I say today"?  In his usual inept way , he has once again " Shot himself in the Foot "!

On the day that Yorkshire is celebrating their success in bringing 5000+ " Le Tour " personnel and Millions of Spectators to the Yorkshire Region , phat is saying " Look at me " , " I am responsible for the voiding the results of the " Lance Armstrong Era "!  Does the UCI need this type of Publicity ?

My personal interest is generated by meeting the Bid Group at the 2012 " Le Tour " . This took place in the VIP Area of the " Le Tour " , on it's arrival in Paris , late on the Sunday Afternoon , after the Racers had paraded on the Champs Elysee . Having been introduced to all the Delegates i left with Peter Dodds card so as to arrange  receipt of " Le Bid " shirts in Box Hill , when i had a delivery address in the UK . Tuesday i arranged with the Dauphine Cycle Shop for the delivery and Wednesday i was riding with the Olympic Racers wearing the " Le Bid " Shirt . Can't claim any success in the success of the bid but as reported in August , i passed one of these Shirts to Francesco Moser . That story and Photos can be found via www.parrabuddy.blogspot.com



During the evening News reports , Sky News played footage of a Skype link to Ben Swift , a Racer from Yorkshire , currently racing with the Sky Team . When ii first met Ben , he was with the Katusha Team at Jesolo for the start of the " Cento Anni " Giro d 'Italia , May 2009 , the photo follows :



Wondering if my friend John Roche , who lives in Ilkley , will have Camping space left on his lawn at this time . Leeds is a reasonably sized City and i recall that it was the Start of an Etappe of the " Tour of Britain " that i attended some years back . Routes of the two days in the area , are yet to be announced , but there are some interesting " bumps " in the neighbourhood . The 2013 Tour of Britain is bound to include parts of the " Le Tour " routes ?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

LEGENDARY FRAUDS

Just been watching  " Aljazeera "program "South to North " where thez were discussing " boosting " , a practice that can lead to Health problems , but also a 10 % boost in the resulting effort ! In the studio was Oscar Pistorius ( Blade Runner ) with 3 other guests , one of whom was a Professorial level expert .

Brought to mind a character that has caused huge Headlines this year , Lance Armstrong . Read in another blog that he has al but disappeared but the " Jokes " have grown in volume :


Originally Posted by Merckx index on CNF clinic :

  "  I’m a little astonished there aren’t many floating around on the internet, and no very good ones that I’ve come across. Surely his legacy won’t be complete until he inspires them?

Q: What is the most positive thing you can say about LA?
A: Probably his blood.

Q: How was LA able to pass hundreds of tests?
A: By ignoring calls from the tent, and just moving on.

Q: Didn’t LA do a lot of good for a lot of people?
A: Yes, he distributed PEDS to more teammates than any other rider.

Q: How much is LA currently worth?
A: It depends. Do you mean on the black market, or over the internet?

Q: Wouldn’t LA have won on a level playing field?
A: Yes, if the field had no hills, and numerous opportunities for taking short cuts.

Q: Name one race LA won without the use of PEDs.
A: Stage 16, 1995 Tour de France. Ridden in honor of deceased rider Fabio Casartelli, the peloton allowed LA and Casartelli’s other teammates to cross the line first.

Q: Was it impossible for a rider to say anything bad about doping while LA was riding?
A: Not at all. Information on the drawbacks of any particular substance or procedure was always welcome.

I honestly can't spot what's supposed to be funny in the last few Q&A's, they're just factual information? "


photo


Recently many Blogs and Forums have been active in discussing the Changes needed so as Cycling can have a future . Quite rightly it is necessary to determine whether changes will be either :

A    Personnel , getting rid of phat & heinous ?
or
B     Changing the Constitution and the mission of  " UCI " ?

An example of the discussion :

  "  babastuey comment :

http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=19415&page=19 "

  "  And to add to my earlier comments on "Change Cycling Now" vs. "Change the UCI President Now" -- changing the leadership I feel is only a small component of changing the sport.

Ultimately, what needs to change is the mindset of the people who take the drugs. What most amazed me about reading Hamilton's book was that he blood doped and took whatever he was given -- seemingly without any thought to his health or well being. Change Cycling Now should use their members who have a doping past to speak about their personal experience and talk about the hazards to their well being from doing it. The goal being, that they should change the perspective of the riders -- so that they focus more on the dangers and the risks. Changing the UCI leadership would be helpful in this area, because it would present an opportunity to set up a system where riders can feel empowered -- that they have an advocate and a support network in the event that they are pressured by anyone associated with their team into doping -- and therefore can stand up to it. Before, riders either had to cheat or quit. Some quit, but most decided to cheat because they weren't educated about the health risks and they lacked the support to stand up for themselves and say no.

What also needs to change is that the sport needs to prove to its supporters -- who drive the efforts of sponsors to be involved in the sport and therefore provides the funding for the sport -- that the sport is clean and heading in the right direction. Otherwise, more sponsors will follow Rabobank out the door and cripple the sport. In order to accomplish this, the drug testing must be improved and the system as to how tests are administered must improve. Changing leadership would also be instrumental in this area as well.  "

Another Blog i visited recently had this to say about " Sponsors " :

http://justaguyonhisbike.blogspot.ca/2012/11/are-you-stakeholder-in-cyclings-future.html

 " Will there yet be more withdrawals, like that of Rabobank, because it no longer makes sense to companies to be connected to a sport with a reputation sullied by years of carefully organized coverups of cheating?

The sad truth is the aftertaste of L'affaire Armstrong will remain bitter for perhaps years to come.

Very few Racers are choosing to breach the " Omerta " but there is another example below :

http://justaguyonhisbike.blogspot.ca/

 "  In the end, cycling—and any sport, really—is about personal achievement rather than beating the world . Canadian cyclist Will Routley put it rather well this week :

  "  I compete to see how good I am, and test the limits of my capabilities. If I dope, then I am really cheating myself. I am happy to remind anyone that will listen that you can indeed be a professional athlete without drugs. You can even win."

So it comes down to zero tolerance being about looking in the mirror and about being honest with the face in the mirror first and foremost. "

Moreover, zero tolerance should not even be called that because of the notion it will just lead to more sophisticated cheating and deeper covers for the secret keepers. So rather than oust from the sport someone who admits, ten, twelve, or even two years after they cheated; make them do something good for sport. Send an admitted doper to local schools and sports clubs—not

This is what we need to see cyclists doing: making a commitment to bettering themselves through the way they live rather than through the PEDs. "

OMERTA is the elephant in the room , for any Racer . Until there is a willingness to address the problems , without fear of reprisals by the hierachy , no current Pro World Racer is about to cut off his  Employment Prospects. So many of the current racers faced with the type of Ultimatum served up by Team Sky , will seek another Team , rather than be bullied into revealing information of which they may be aware . 

To my mind , these people are defrauding themselves , since 99% of Fans , now feel comfortable with treating their efforts with suspicion ! Too bad for those Racers that are genuinely " Dope & PED Free "!






Friday, November 23, 2012

WOMENS' Tour de FRANCE ?

Prompted by an item on SBS.au.com/cyclingcentral and a reference to a blog item by " Cycling Tips ", i took time to comment about what would be required to make the " Womens'Race " on the route of the " Le Tour " a success ! Below is the comment i made , adding to all the over worthwhile contributions . 

  "  From " Duane Gran" :  " The suggestion to run a women's TdF ( Gilmore's Idea ) , during the same time makes great sense.  The spectators and media are already there.  The roads are already closed.  You just need a bit longer road closure.  I'm confident it would raise awareness."
Currently the Gendarmerie are closing the roads for about 3hrs before the Men's Race passes , and supposedly 15 mins after for " Safety Reasons ", seems that some racers , behind the main Peloton , can be forgotten by those impatient to make their escape , after enduring hours of inactivity . During this time " journos , Vendors of Newspapers and Souvenirs , VIP vehicles and Sponsor Vehicles " blast through without consideration for Spectators forced to sit in " resticted areas " , marshalled by " volunteers & Policing resources . Parents with children must be fraught with anxiety and as for dogs attacking Racers through being brought there by thoughtless " Fans " , all makes for " An Accident waiting to Happen "? When the " Sponsors Caravan " appears , boredom having set in , causes people to surge to the side of the road , regardless of the inherent dangers . Some Sponsors resort to tossing the Souvenirs overhead and thus behind the those crowding the roadside . The days of the personal touch are long gone , in the interests of safety .
Currently there is a group of " Young Cyclists " sponsored to ride 25+km at the start and the final 25+km to the finish line , additionally " Le Tour " sell the " Rights to cycle across the line " to their " Official Tour Operators " , all adding to the confusion in the arrival area , as the Racers approach  the finish .

With the final hours of each day's race already being broadcast , all the ingredients are in place to broadcast a " Women's race " , whether the French TV network , broadcasting on behalf of all networks , would make extra motor bike cameras and helicopter facilities available to " Le Tour " , will be the question that requires an answer ? 


Seems that little needs to be added to create a successful Event ? 

What does Amaury ( ASO )  , the owners of the " Le Tour " have to lose by adding a " Womens' Race "? Tightening the time spent on the roads by vehicles , even making more Vehicles use " Off Route Access " to the rear area of the finish would create enough time to allow the Women's Race to arrive at the finish line in the hour before the Men's Race !

A Women's Race will mostly require a Separate Start line , but as we know , the racing time is predictable and thus the Women's Race Start would create an additional " Money Spinner " for " ASO " along the route . Perhaps this start point , could be used also , as a " Sprint Line " for the Men's Race ? 

In previous blog posts i have advocated the need for " UCI "and thus all Grand Tours such as  " Le Tour " , to introduce a Mandatory " Driving License " for ALL driving on the " Race Routes " ! This sensible precaution ,  will prevent the type of accident involving Flecha & Boogerland , as they fought to win an Etappe at the " Le Tour " , some years back . Currently once " Accreditation " is granted , there is insufficient oversight of " Accreditated Vehicles " , who is responsible  for sanctioning drivers ?  With the Women's race requiring the provision of additional " Gendarmerie Motor Cycle Escort ", there appears to be little difficulty , in ensuring their safe and efficient passage along the Race Route to the finish line .

Have i missed any reasons , that the " Womens' Race could be a successful addition to the " Le Tour "daily  programme ? " ASO " will take a few years to evaluate this worthwhile idea . One year , Chris Prudhomme was so pleased to tell me of  making provision for a Para Athlete ,to ride the Final ITT !  Had he been reporting an event ,  involving  racers from many countries , then it would have been worthy of reporting . " ASO "forgot to arrange for the broadcast of the efforts of Laurent Thironet , and the resulting time taken . Even the " Host Ville Tourist Office " was unaware of this Event , unscheduled in their programme . Even the Giro d'Italia forgot to advise the Media , about a " Hand Bike Race " that took place before the Sunday  ITT .  Even francesco Moser rode past with his Groupette of " Sponsors' Guests " without being aware that there were 30+ Handbikes from all around Italy assembled to race the final section of the ITT route , into the finish line . Seems Para Athletes are another " minority " that Organisers tend to overlook ? "

Perhaps some of you will take the time to contribute ideas that will move this worthwhile idea mooted by Rochelle Gilmore towards a successful result .

Seems that this comment was not accepted , as the comments appear to have been closed ! Wonder why ?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

CHRIS PRUDHOMME , ACT NOW !

Paris 24th October is the setting of the Presentation of the 100th Edition of Le Tour and reports are rife as to the contents of Chris Prudhomme's speech .

Here isthe letter i am sending him on the basis of the speculation on setting aside "Le Tour" results !

"  Greetings

As you prepare to present the 100th Edition of “ Le Tour “on 24th October 2012 , it may be as well to reflect on the effects that Doping has had on the validity of the results over the years !

Media are speculating that you will announce that the results from 1999  through 2005 will be set aside as a result of the USADA report , recently released . This  comprehensive report would justify your actions . This will be just the latest of many occasions when the “ Le Tour “ results had to be set aside ,  my information is that this will be the fourth time , with an occasion in the 1930(?)’s , 2006 , 2010 , being the other occasions !

EPO is significantly different to other forms of Doping and reports are that it came to be used in the late 1980s and then in the early 1990s became rife . Who is to know that the result of the 1990 “ Le Tour “ was influenced by “ EPO use “?  Certainly there are questionable personalities included in the top 10 of each year from 1990 .

Miguel Indurain is a monument of Cycling , yet there are some who claim that he has blots on his Sporting record and others have pointed the finger at Greg Lemond . Both of these Sportsmen may be totally blameless , but the environment they were competing in was definitely suspect ! Doubtful that it would be a popular decision , to question their reputation in 2012 ?

With the support staff that surround you , it would be surprising if you were not aware of ALL the rumours in the Cycling World ? Can you afford to wait until the presentation of the 2014 “Edition of Le Tour “ to act on those doubtful years filled with Marco Pantani , Jan Ulrich and Bjarne Riis ?

Can “ ASO “ act in a forthright manner , and determine a “ DOPE FREE FUTURE “ , by asserting it’s right , to only invite those RACERS who have PUBLICLY stated they are “ untainted by Doping “ , with prosecution for Perjury and a LIFE TIME BAN as the penalty ?

There is no “ level playing field “ in Sport BUT “ ASO “ can set a benchmark for those that wish to compete in the “100th Edition of “Le Tour “!

Sincerely 

Skippy Mc Carthy


Some other peoples’ thoughts on who should replace Lance Armstrong in the years 1999 to 2005 :

http://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/if-not-armstrong-who-won-the-tour-de-france-or-tour-dutopia-from-1999-to-2005/

http://150wattsofawesome.blogspot.co.at/2012/09/lance-armstrong-aftermath.html

The following source of current events is worth a visit :

http://www.steephill.tv/2012/usada-lance-armstrong-doping-case/


No doubt the " UCI " will wish to make their views known !



NB There were other letters in the past that you did not choose to answer , so i expect nothing this time ! Speaking to you face to face , is not an option at this time , but as an " advocate for Paralympic Sport " i was delighted with the result of the " 2012 Paralympic Games " , which demonstrated that the Public , want to see more from Para Athletes , even at " Able Bodied Events .

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jacques Rogge needs to ACT SWIFTLY !

My letter which i am Tweeting to Jacques Rogge :

Sir ,

There is nothing more pressing than acting on the USADA relevations !

You have a simple choice to make either :

Preserve your integrity by setting up an " AMNESTY FOR ALL SPORTS "

or

RESIGN and let someone else do the job you are supposed to be doing

Really quite simple is it not ?

When you competed in the Olympics i would imagine you were up against people with principles and for the most part they were Amateur Sports Athletes ?

These days , it appears to me , the majority of Athletes competing in the Olympic Games , both Winter and Summer , are Professional !

The world has moved on and there are huge amounts of Sponsorship at stake so the Corporations investing are demanding of the IOC , the best entertainment that money can buy ? Are they asking for the BEST Pharmacists ? Doubtful !

May i suggest that you consider " Double Jeopardy " is the greatest risk that the Athletes , who would wish to clear their consciences , risk . Whilst YOU , the IOC and " Jo Public " will say " We Forgive ", many Governments that have imposed Penalties for doping Offences , in recent years , may choose not to do so !

By you contacting ALL Heads of Government that are members of the Olympic Movement and asking them to lift their " Laws regarding Doping " for the "AMNESTY Period " , you will see many , if not ALL past & Present Athletes , declare their wrong doing in relation to use of DOPING Products ! No Amnesty should be given for those distributing and Controlling , since these people , have a monetary interest in preserving the " Status Quo "! Governments not accepting your request within 7 days should be asked/told not to expect to attend the Next Winter & Summer Games !

Once the Governments are on side , ALL Athletes Past & Present will need to declare On Line to a " Truth & Reconciliation Panel " established by WADA & IOC their personal history of Usage and Suppliers . The Amnesty should be Two Tiered so that the first tier will give the Athletes their chance to make a clean breast of their misdeeds . After the Deadline Period has elapsed and details have been published on International Websites , those connected with these athletes will be able to see , firstly , that they have declared or not , and secondly , had they not done so , then to save themselves from " LIFE TIME BANS " as co conspirators they must come forward and disclose their connection before the final due date . Those Athletes not declaring , as they were required , by the first Due Date , will face " Automatic LIFE TIME BANS "!

You will agree that no Athlete will wish to see their future evaporate because they sought to avoid " Double Jeopardy " OR thought that they could evade the system ?

UCI has presently a policy of not allowing those who " Doped " before a Certain Date , from retiring from active Cycling and taking up Management Positions in the Cycling Teams . Here again it may be useful to allow that those Current Staff stepping forward , be allowed to remain in their employment . I feel sure that two ex racers that are changing Positions for the season 2013 would benefit from this decision  being implemented !

Cycling is not the ONLY Sport that has ongoing problems and this is why i have always advocated a " Blanket AMNESTY " , this will benefit ALL Sport and ALL YOUR SPONSORS !

No doubt as Chairman of the IOC you will be able to implement the necessary steps to see that ALL Sport become " DOPE FREE " once again !




Thursday, October 4, 2012

PHAT advertising his STUPIDITY

Foot in mouth phat walked into a revolving door today when he won an action in the Swiss Court against " flandis "! Who is " flandis " you may very well ask ? Had this action not gone to court , the world would not have been aware that the " Prats of Aigle " had scored another own goal ! Does anyone look to flandis as a source of news ?
Sometime in 2011 Floyd Landis made some comments about UCI and people such as phat mc quaid & heinous verbruggen . Perhaps there were a few that read of these in some cycling media but most would have had a yawn . When the Prats of Aigle took offence and raised an action in the Swiss Courts , more people saw the story , although they may not have been aware of the " comments " provoking the claim for damages . Yesterday the Swiss Judge awarded the case to Phat & Heinous , since flandis was a " no show " . There was an order made that flandis must not say these comments in future and apart from damages and costs , he was ordered to pay for the advertising in a number of premier media outlets . Seems he was to say that he did not say these things in the advert , thus repeating the original statement . During the past days most of the Cycling Journals and Internet sites have repeated the comments , that flandis is not allowed to say , and in the comments section of these media outlets , plenty of people including myself , are saying the things flandis is not allowed to say since the judgement . At what point will phat realise that he has scored an own goal ? Will he and heinous decide that they can ill afford to pursue Paul Kimmage in the same fashion in the Court Action on December 12th ? The " Paul Kimmage Defence Fund " has passed $51000 with 1800+ supporters raring to see the truths espoused by flandis & shamilton come out in the Swiss courts
. When did the job description of being President of the " UCI " require the incumbent to make a PRAT of themselves ? Surely those " Voting Delegates " of the " UCI " know there are rules in the UCI Constitution , that allows them to call an " Extraordinary Meeting " , and thus rid themselves of these " Prats of Aigle " and install someone with integrity to oversee a thorough spring clean of the organisation ? Phat , it is time you took a break , have a long holiday , far from Cycling and real life ! When you return take a reality check before you apply yourself to any work relating to Sport !

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

PACK YOUR BAGS " PHAT Mc Quaid !


Phat beware !

Whilst you laugh yourself to sleep , reading the news of those on the Cyclingnew’s Forum , trying to get a “ Change.org Petition “ organised to call on you to resign , consider the real danger !

People are genuinely pissed off with your behaviour in regard towards Paul Kimmage ! So much so they are putting their hands in their pocket and donating to the “ Defence Fund “ ! Can you think of ANYONE other than Hein who is trying to help you ?

Below is a copy of a broadcast email going the rounds :

 “  Update about "World Cycling Organization UCI: For president PatMcQuaid to resign and cycling to be cleaned up"

Hello fellow cycling fan,



Thank you for telling Pat McQuaid it’s time for change! More than 400 people supported this petition in only three days.
Your reasons for signing make it clear that McQuaids departure is only the first step towards fixing cycling. It doesn’t end there.
Support and comments from you have given us added inspiration to keep going. We’re planning our next moves. Something a bit different...
You can follow us here on twitter @PatMustGo for updates.
Thanks again .
Fans of cycling


Seems that about 400+ Cycling Fans , have done as I have done , signed the petition . Small beer really , not worth losing sleep over . Most Media people would yawn and pass on to another story BUT when people dig into their pocket for the “ Chip In Fund “ , THEN the Media people are going to follow that story !

Giving Media privileged access used to be a great way to control the story ! Who is going to bite the hand that feeds them ?  On a scale of 1 to 10 , with the current media situation , you would now be rating MINUS !

So what do you do ? I suggest you get onto your buddy Hein , and call a halt with this court nonsense in December , could be you get out of this with a few bruises and hurt pride . Leave it too long and Paul will have a “ WAR CHEST “ and all the media egging him on to Counter Sue and guess where you will find yourself then ?

AS a fellow born in Dublin , I am glad that I am an Aussie ! Would too many Irish be happy to see you bashing a fellow Irishman for “ peanuts “? Living in Switzerland you will be safe from the man on the Irish Street , but the effect of public opinion , on your family will be another matter . Won’t be long before the Irish media ask ALL & Sundry to disown you ! Having been banned from attending the Olympics as a Cyclist in your Cycling Career , you must have a thick skin , but do you really think it fair for your family to suffer the scorn that will come their way through the notoriety you will create when Paul Kimmage arrives in the Aigle court and WINS ! You will look the prize chump when he also wins the Counter Suit , wonder how much he will be awarded there ?

Whilst you have any dignity Pat , pack your bags , take a long restful holiday in one of  those countries where there are no Cycling Events , and hope that when you return to society , there are no issues to bite you !


Those of you reading this Blog may be aware , I was trying to call on  WADA/IOC to work together , to establish an “ ALL SPORTS AMNESTY “ ! Last week UCI decided that they would not indulge themselves in this matter . Fortunately for All , they made a good decision since those they were seeking to come forward would NOT ! Nobody trusts the leadership of the “ UCIless “ and thus it would be unreasonable for ANY Government , to stand back and allow their Citizens to admit to breaking their Laws ! The article discussing an Amnesty “ UCI “ style :

http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/09/news/mcquaid-says-no-amnesty-seeks-another-term-as-uci-chief_239510

David Millar , reformed Doper , budding Journo , took Phat to task last Saturday in Holland and generated a few brownie points in the process .

Anyone that can rid Cycling of the blight of “ Doping “ deserves support , and Paul Kimmage’s constant  efforts have encouraged many , hopefully we will now see more coming forward to support his efforts !

Addition Wed  26th Sept :

Led to believe this LINK will divert you to the " Chip In for the " Paul Kimmage Defence Fund " !

Those wishing to use " Paypal " will be able to add to the $33000+ already contributed !

Thursday, July 12, 2012

CADEL ON THE BACK FOOT ?

Despite carrying the fight to Wiggo , Cadel lost a minute to finish 3+mins down for the day ! Not a disaster but it must be worrying the fans and giving a little relief to the Sky Team !  What is going through Sky's thoughts after stage 11? Currently the situation is that of " It's the Sky's Race to lose "!

Froome has shown that he is a strong climber and had a lot of energy left  in the tank at the 4km to finish , when he accelerated away from Wiggo ! Chris Froome also demonstrated that he is controled by Team orders when he sat up so as to shepherd Wiggo to within sight of the line ! Chris then went on the attack to achieve the third place for the day , something tells me, had he had his way , he would have come in first !

From reading :  http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/froome-breaks-from-the-script-at-la-toussuire  and what i saw on the TV  i get the impression that Froomy will be getting numerous Job Offers if he can break the 3 year contract that already exists . Question though is , would he be happy as the captain of another team , or would he be better used in Grand tours for Sky as the Captain  ?

BACK TO Cuddles , tough day in the office on Stage 11 leads into a 220km Medium Mountain day with two cat 1 climbs before the 80km point of the Stage 12 day . Seeing the sweat roll off Cadel last night makes one wonder how it will effect his desire to attack today and carry the fight to Sky ?

TJ Van Garderen , in the White Maillot , is certainly a revelation , he was constantly with Cadel during the attack on the Col Glandon and stuck with him until the finish line . One thing that came to me , is that when in a Paceline , racers tend to half wheel to get the best of the draught effect , but Cadel seemed to go it alone as did TJ , when i would have thought closer proximity was possible to mutual benefit ?

As the saying goes " WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH , THE TOUGH GET GOING "! If Team Sky thinks that they are home and free then YOU are the Guy to show them who is a DIGGER !

It's never over until " The fat lady sings " folks , so sit back and enjoy the show !

During the next days we will see your indomitable spirit carry you through the adversities ahead !

Cadel as i told you at Les Chablets after the finish of the Dauphine Libere ,   " Be the best that you Can ! That is ALL we Aussies expect " ! Still holds mate !

Thursday, July 5, 2012

DIDN'T WANT TO PODIUM !

Watched in disbelief as the four away got to the " kite " marking the 1 km to go , with 13secs lead , and then they gave up the race to the sprinters ! During the last three kilometers , it was clear , that these guys were unable to agree about getting to the last few metres , before deciding who would be on the podium tonight ! That the Belgian racer ,Ghyselink , racing with Cofidis colours , was eager to get to the finish line was clear , since he took off and left the other three in his wake , but in the slight uphill that was the false flat racing alone, he faded into the first fifty home .  Read later elsewhere , that some suspect he would not have been able to hold off  Urtasun of Euskadi ! Will he get an award as the " Most Combatative Racer " today ? Who knows ? Who cares ?

Had those four worked together , they would have been " Podium Material " , certainly one of them would have gone in the " History books "as Etappe winner ! Oh yes , they had to get to the line before a thwarted peloton who at 40+ km were 1 1/2 mins behind and at 10km were 1 min behind and at 4km were still 28sec behind ! Don't tell me they were under team orders to " STUFF " the bookmakers , that their teams would have been in trouble , had they stayed away for a victory ? The Euskadi guy , Urtasun , was interviewed on Eurosport Extra but as he was speaking in Spanish , goodness knows how he felt , since i do not understand the language .

Recall being at the Bellinzona South area on the Tour de Suisse route , some years back , and cheered Matt White , Mick Rogers , Comezzo and Oscar Freire as they chased past on the way to the Podium ! Oscar hopped a lane separator and took off , 10+km from the finish and Comezzo worked for a while with the Aussies but managed to get in 7th , but where were my mates as the Peloton swept them up within metres of the finish line ? After several hundred kilometres of racing there is rarely much left in the tank and it is hard to continue the fight when you are suddenly on your own ? Having watched the four pass i had rushed to a bar thinking i would see a fight to the finish but i could not tell you now who the racers were that separated Oscar from Comezzo !

Well it is easy being an " Armchair Critic " ! Even when i have ridden the day's Etappe , i still do not have a real feeling for the difficulties the Racers endure ! explains why even with the wind behind me the best i can hope for these days , is to be within 20% longer on the route  !

Friday, June 29, 2012

WHICH BIKE for the " Le TOUR "?

Coming back from the Tour de France i passed through an obscure Swiss Zoll/Customs post and the Officer on duty there was a little more diligent than most . He could see no reason for me having three bikes in the car . Effective immediately he wanted the papers of the bikes ! Just doing his job of course . 


Well most of my bikes are built up from components that i acquire over the years . Some of these come from " Sponsors " gifts and others are stripped off other bikes as i change the specifications of any given bike . In fact the " Reef carbon  TT bike " has yellow rimmed wheels that i use on the Green Bike also , since both are 9 speed geared bikes . These wheels i built up during the Giro d'Italia rest day  in the early 2000's when a wheel rim i was using developed a major problem . Thanks to Stefano , mechanic for the Liquigas/Pata team i rolled out the next day on safer wheels than on those i had arrived !


Back to the Swiss Customs Post problem . As some will recall i was given an older  red Specialised Bike by some Aussies who decided not to take it back to Oz . Only things missing were the wheels and pedals so on the rest day afternoon whilst King Cav and Peta enjoyed the sun i stripped and rebuilt the bike . Then i photoed the three bikes for the Blog Post . Some of the photos went into the blog and recalling this i asked the Customs officer if he had access to the Internet . When he complied , he was able to see all three bikes in the car on the Internet . This was a new experience for him and a satisfactory conclusion to his inquiries .


Won't go into detail about the bikes shown here but most are setup so that i can jump on them and go for a long ride , like a Grand tour . Of course when i do , i add the tri bars to carry the sack containing those essentials necessary for the months of constant travel . Until 2009 i would not need a car and even since i find that at best it is a nuisance . Constant return journeys to where it is parked , are needed unless a driver is available . During 2009 Tour de France there were several days when i put in 300+km days , not good for the health as i found after the return to Austria . Felt fine whilst on the Tour but sharp chest pains misdiagnosed as a pinched nerve turned out to be Embolisms .


This week i have been tinkering with the " Pink Bike " , originally a " Lampre Team Alloy Frame ", resprayed in 2009 for the " Cento Anni Giro d'Italia " . Lousy job then meant a repeat respray during last year's TDF and again no touchup paint made available !


Maurizio Fondriest first gave me this frame in 2002 after Auro Bulbarello of RAI TV at the Giro d'Italia some years earlier had suggested that it would make a great story . That occasion , was a wet Saturday night when Maurizio's brother , Francesco was presenting Gilberto Simoni with a Pink Team Bike , for the next day's triumphant ride into Milano and the Presentation Ceremony !


Some years earlier i acquired a Peugeot frame that i saw in a shop in Hampton Wick over a period of some months . Making a ridiculously low offer,  i had to go to the bank , when to my surprise  it was accepted .
This frame hung around for a while before being built up and left at friends in the Manchester area on the off chance i would arrive there without a working bike . Often times in the mid 2000's i would ride from the London or Oxford area to overnight in the north , so it was a safe bet that it could be needed on some occasion .


January one year i was at the Manchester Velodrome for a Bike Jumble and came across the frame shown here . Some years later a German Bike Expert was able to identify the frame as that made by Porsche .




This carbon frame has seen many long journeys but has never been to a Grand Tour . Some one may be able to tell me what year it was first released but so far this year it has not been used on the road even though ready for use . As you will have noted ALL the bikes have the San Marco Saddle apart from the Red Spec. since that was the saddle on the bike when given to me .

Friday, June 22, 2012

2012 Tour de France

Whilst most countries are busy with National Championships , " ASO " are busy putting the finishing touches to this Edition of " Le Tour "!

Well they are doing all they " humanly " can , with the expectation , that some " prat " will turn up at the start in Liege , and expect to be allowed to compete ! Not only will those individuals let themselves down , but they will provide " fodder " for the Media who will enjoy trumpeting worldwide " Another Doping Scandal  in Cycling "! As regards their  helpers , family and friends , most will already be aware that they have been walking a very " dodgy " path for some time . UCI 's " blood Passport " is reputedly working in most cases , but suspicions do not always lead to positive action , since most Athletes are still given the benefit of the doubt ! Innocent until proved Guilty !

Guaranteed to provide " headlines " , when the Medics decide that " there are grounds" , for exclusion from this " Le Tour ", and that is what the " jackals of the media " need , to bump up their earnings and justify their existence  . So many " journos "arriving in Liege will be desperate to make their name at the expense of this Sport .  Already " forums " are full of speculation about who will be the first " discoveries "! For the most part they appear to favor the Southern Continentals from Spain and Italy but then Team Astana is also mentioned .

How sad that the Olympic and WADA Authorities are unable to " bite the bullet " and announce immediately a " Moratorium " FOR ALL SPORTS ATHLETES !  By doing this the ensure that ONCE AND FOR ALL  Any Athletes with " Skeletons in the Closet " can clear themselves PROVIDED that they disclose EVERYTHING by the due date !

To ensure that this " Moratorium " is effective they must Institute " LIFETIME BANS FROM ANY SPORTING ACTIVITY " not only for the Athletes concerned but for their " Helpers "also ! This would include Coaches , Seigneurs and Family ! We have already seen cases of Athletes receiving Bans , and family members also being included .

With the world being a " global Village " due to the Internet , it is time that " banning " those " Convicted and Sanctioned " from participating in " Forums " ! What does " Joe Public " gain from reading the utterances of the likes of " Joe Crapp "? Frankly it appalls me to see the standards that have stood the " test of Time " eroded to allow " Disgraced Athletes " to compete at the Olympics ! Those athletes grew up " Knowing " the reward for "Doping  violations " was disqualification from Olympic Participation and yet some " do gooder " comes along and says it contravenes their " Human Rights " ! Without naming names or taking sides , i can only repeat the mantra " YOU DO THE CRIME , you do the TIME "!

With this being my 15th visit to the Tour de France , to ride the Daily Routes , i would be so pleased to see a complete " Le Tour " WITHOUT the " taint " of " Sporting Fraud " , but as Night follows Day , i won't hold my breath !

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

TRUTH according to TYGART

Bombshell dropped during this Tour de Suisse is going to distract ALL Media from preparations for the Tour de France 2012 ! Every year we have some circus or other , leading into this the biggest of the Grand Tours . Rarely do the other Grand Tours have distractions introduced as the Athletes wind up their preparations for the event .


In order of exposure to the media we have the following events :

Copied from Cyclingnews.com , the following items :


  "  Armstrong responds

On his website on Wednesday, Armstrong issued a statement in response to the USADA letter and allegations.
"I have been notified that USADA, an organization largely funded by taxpayer dollars but governed only by self-written rules, intends to again dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years to prevent me from competing as a triathlete and try and strip me of the seven Tour de France victories I earned. These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation. These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity. Although USADA alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy extended over more than 16 years, I am the only athlete it has chosen to charge. USADA's malice, its methods, its star-chamber practices, and its decision to punish first and adjudicate later all are at odds with our ideals of fairness and fair play.
"I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one. That USADA ignores this fundamental distinction and charges me instead of the admitted dopers says far more about USADA, its lack of fairness and this vendetta than it does about my guilt or innocence."  "

The Media obviously then contacted the "UCI "for their assesment of the situation .

Following these relevations the " UCI " issued their statement on this subject :

  "   "This is the first time USADA has communicated to UCI on this subject," the sport's governing body said in a statement.
"The UCI is not aware of the information that is available to USADA on the persons concerned and has not been involved in the proceedings opened by USADA."  "

Finally the USADA joined the circus with the following statement :


  "  "In response to numerous inquiries regarding the public statements made by Mr. Lance Armstrong, we can confirm that written notice of allegations of anti-doping rule violations was sent yesterday to him and to five (5) additional individuals all formerly associated with the United States Postal Service (USPS) professional cycling team," the statement read.
"These individuals include three (3) team doctors and two (2) team officials. This formal notice letter is the first step in the multi-step legal process for alleged sport anti-doping rule violations."
USADA are clear that their investigation has yet to prove guilt and that all parties are considered innocent.
"Our duty on behalf of clean athletes and those that value the integrity of sport is to fairly and thoroughly evaluate all the evidence available and when there is credible evidence of doping, take action under the established rules," USADA added.  "

Talk about tossing fuel on a fire ! When i greeted Johan Bruyneel at yesterday's  Tour de Suisse arrivee in Gensingen , i said , in reference to the weather , " You must be feeling at home with this weather "!  Had to wait a few minutes for him to exit the car since he had been on the mobile phone about these new proceedings but he had a hearty chuckle regarding my comment .

Those interested in the copy of the letter that appears to have been leaked to the news , Wall Street Journal in particular , can see it below :

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/armstrongcharging0613.pdf

Well i am off to the Tour de Suisse , which would have been interesting today , since there are so many Racers , that are well placed on GC for the next days , BUT one wonders how many additional Media will arrive to talk to Johan Bruyneel and the Racers about " YOU GUESSED IT ! "

Friday is the Individual Time Trial , in Gossau , and it will be totally dominated by the " Feeding Frenzy " , that will grow as " everyman and his dog " in Europe try for an original angle on this story !






Saturday, June 9, 2012

CHRIS PRUDHOMME of the TDF !

As usual i found you in a hurry from one appointment to another , last night , so i thankyou for the short time , that you gave me when we met ! It would be a pleasure to meet , also , those that you choose to convey on the daily etappes , but i guess you would not like me to voice my concerns for the " Sportive Adaptees" , or my desire that the " Le Tour " promote the " Cities fit for Cycling " Campaign which was intiated by the times of London .

AS i mentioned to you , i proposed to Angelo Z. at the Giro del Trentino's second etappe that the Giro d'Italia promote this worthwhile initiative Worldwide . As he no longer is the Giro's Director he declined to act . I recommended that he voice the subject to Mauro , but when i met him in Denmark he told me that it was " A Political matter "! Fact is that another newspaper group ared promoting the campaign in Italy so " RCS " whilst selling newspapers and organising " Sporting Events " appear reluctant to HELP CYLISTS worldwide , since this does not sell newspapers in ITALY !

Could we agree that the cyclist hit by the errant dricer will suffer the same pain and injuries regardless of which newspaper campaigns for their safety !

Attached is my letter to your President , but i doubt he will be able to do a great deal in the limited time before the GRAND DEPART in Belgium , of this edition  of the " Le Tour "! You , the ASO can print stickers to place on the Racers bikes showing YOUR SUPPORT for this Important Safety Initiative !

When those of the Media see these " Stickers " they will do more than any successful Politician can do standing in their Parliaments .

France and the " Le Tour " stand at the forefront of the Cycling Industry so use your " Status " to ensure that ALL CYCLISTS will be able to ride their bikes in a SAFER Environment . Too many decline to use the bike as a form of transport since they fear Traffic and the way Drivers CHOOSE to behave towards " Vunerable Road Users " !

No doubt we will meet before arriving in Belgium !

Attached my emailed letter to your President  :


For the Personal Attention of :

M.Le President of the Republique of France ,Francois Hollande

Your Excellency ,

I should like to congratulate you on your Election to this office . As the leader of an important Nation such as France your voice will be heard and be heeded by other Nations in the World Forum !

During this past week i have been in various locations in the South East of France and seen the efforts to make the roads safer for Cyclists ! Indeed since my last visit to the 2011 Tour de France i see evidence that there is a desire on the part of the French Authorities to tackle the growing problem of Cyclist Safety . In so many parts of the world , the cyclist is viewed as `` Road Kill `‘ , an unfortunate set of statistics , that the Motoring Lobby would prefer overlooked !

The TOUR DE FRANCE is a world renowned event that is enjoyed BY ALL each year and would be the ideal venue to remind ALL ROAD USERS that there is a place on the roads for ALL USERS !

At the Arrivee in Rumilly last night , i had occasion to speak with Chris Prudhomme , Director of the " TDF " and the " Face and Voice of the TDF " for some years now after the retirement of Jean Marie Leblanc . I first met Chris whilst he was working with France TV and i know that he listened then to my views on Cycling and my efforts to assist „ " " Handisport " !

My suggestion to him last night , was that " The LeTour " publicise the Campaign started by the " Times Newspaper of london " which appears to be gaining Worldwide notice and endorsement "Cities fit for Cycling " !

This campaign was ignored at the „ Giro dÌtalia, since it is being promoted in Italy , by a rival Newspaper Group . Can you imagine that an errant motorist stricking a Cyclist , cares which " newspaper " the Cyclist chooses to read ?

Over the years i have seen too many people become victims of the " ME FIRST " generation ! In these harsh economic times so many French People and other Nationals are having to consider the Cycle as a means of transport , so as to balance their familly budget ! So many people are too frightened to get on a bike because of their fear of the traffic . Indeed during the Giro i met many who have given up Cycling because it has now become too hazardous , and their families rely on their income .

Victims of Cycling Tragedies come from all walks of life , The Surgeon Father of Cyclist , Tyler Farrar , the Founder of the Willier Cycles Company , Paul Crake an Australian Cycle Racer , Amy Gillett , an Olympic Rower turned Cycle Racer , not to forget Wouter Weylandt , who died in the 2011 Giro dÌtalia . So many day to day Commuters are struck down but do not get a mention since they are part of life`s everyday fabric .



BY YOUR INTERCESSION ´, The Organisation of the Tour de France , COULD bring the WORLD MEDIA’s attention to the plight of the everyday Cyclist , and ensure that the Governments of the World follow France’s efforts to ensure ALL Cyclists arrive home to their family each night !
Many Politicians mean well when they voice their concerns to their Constituents BUT it takes a World Leader to motivate them to act in Concert !

As a humble cyclist , i enjoy the hospitality that the french people of ALL persuasions offerme . I am known to trample on the feet of those who think that my few efforts on behalf of the " Sportive Adaptees " are not worthy of consideration . I know i would not succeed as a Politician but will continue to turn the pedals at the next " Le Tour " , which is my 15th Tour de France , riding each etappe in full day by day !






Sunday, June 3, 2012

HESJEDAL WILL TOUR !

GREAT NEWS THAT RYDER IS GOING TO THE TOUR ! Not only that but there will be enough Gas in the Tank to give ALL the " favourites " indegestion ! Said it , some time back , that i don't expect the previously named favourites to be on the top step and perhaps not even on the Podium .



These are such  Great Articles that I have copied them in full !

Sit back and enjoy !


Q&A Vande Velde: ‘We won the Giro with chip on our shoulders:’ Inside Hesjedal’s historic Giro win
By Andrew Hood
Published Jun. 2, 2012
Updated 7 hours ago
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Christian Vande Velde (front) was a key player in Ryder Hesjedal's win at the 2012 Giro d'Italia. Photo: Graham Watson | www.grahamwatson.com
Christian Vande Velde had a front-row seat to history during Ryder Hesjedal’s victorious ride at the Giro d’Italia last month.


The veteran American rode unselfishly in the trenches for his Garmin-Barracuda teammate, providing vital support in the mountain stages to help pace Hesjedal into the history books as the first Canadian to win a grand tour.
Vande Velde, who wore the pink jersey in 2008, also shared a room with Hesjedal throughout the three-week battle and said one key to victory was Hesjedal’s calm demeanor and laid-back approach as the pressure built with each passing day.
VeloNews caught up with Vande Velde to reflect on what went on behind the scenes during the Giro. Here are excerpts from the telephone interview with Vande Velde, who is currently training in Boulder to prepare for the Tour de France:
VN: What does Hesjedal’s victory mean now that you’ve had nearly a week to reflect on it?
Christian Vande Velde: It really is massive. I remember on the final TT, our bus driver is quite the magician when it comes to tech stuff and he set up a TV so we could all watch it outside the bus. Everyone was yelling and screaming, jumping around and freaking out. To tell the truth, I had no emotion when he won. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was so surreal.
VN: You roomed with Hesjedal during the Giro; did you talk about winning?
VdV: We never talked about it. We didn’t want to jinx it. We had a phenomenal first week. We won the TTT and had the pink jersey. The pressure was off our shoulders. Toward the end of the Giro, we were all thinking, wait a second, we can pull this off. The stars were starting to align. My form was coming on great at the end. Peter [Stetina] was riding amazing. The big boys on Garmin digging deep, a lot of time before the TV cameras came on. Everything just worked out 100 percent in our favor. It was like it was our destiny.
VN: Has it settled in now for you that Hesjedal actually won the Giro?
VdV: I don’t know if this is going to sink in for 10 years. It’s just too surreal and too new to even think about it. It’s like when you’re around kids when they’re growing up. When you’re with them every day, you do not notice, but if you haven’t seen them for four months, then you realize how much they’ve changed. That’s the way this Giro victory is for us. On the outside, we were a team that was never touted to win the Giro. We didn’t come with that mindset. We came with the idea of winning the TTT and some stages and maybe with the idea that Ryder could do a great Giro. But winning? You never want to put that kind of pressure on yourself.
VN: Ryder seemed pretty tranquillo from the outside; how was he handling the nerves inside the team bus?
VdV: We acted like it was no big deal. Every day we just went out and raced our race. I was rooming with him. We would talk some shit before we went to bed, maybe we’d watch TV for a while or read, but we tried to act as if it was just like any other bike race. We’d wake up, ‘hey, how did you sleep?’ ‘I slept good! OK, let’s go race our bikes.’ It was surreal. We could see the expectations growing as the race went on, but we didn’t dare bring it up. We both knew it was possible, but we didn’t want to talk about it. We kept it low-pressure and chill. That’s why we had so much success.



VN: When did you truly start to believe he could win the Giro?
VdV: It was the rest day last Monday. We got through those two mountain stages pretty much unscathed. That day in the rain (Reiselli) was not his best day. He had some mechanical problems, he wasn’t feeling good, it was cold, rainy. If that was his bad day – and he lost 30 seconds? – OK, I started thinking, maybe we can go far. Then on that stage to Falzes, we were at the front all day, and we were not pushed to our max at all. I looked over at Ryder; ‘we’re going pretty fast right now!’ Ryder was right there at the front. That’s when I started to get confident. Ryder already was. Then on Pampeago, I said, do not do anything crazy, do not attack unless you know you’re going to take time, and then he did, on the day that everyone thought he was going to lose time. Then on Saturday at the Stelvio, it was ours to lose.
VN: It seemed like the final climb up the Stelvio was very similar to what Cadel Evans faced last year in the Tour de France when Andy Schleck was attacking up the Galibier and Evans had to claw back that time to save the Tour …
VdV: It was a carbon copy. That effort of what he had to do in the last 15 to 20 minutes of the stage: It was about the same length, the same epic setting, the same people falling apart. It was the exact carbon copy of what Evans did to win his Tour last year. That was critical to everything.
VN: You were great in that stage. What was it like riding at the front up the Stelvio with the pink jersey on the line?
VdV: I will remember that day for the rest of my life. No one had any teammates left at that point. It was every man for himself from there, and Ryder took over. I was four minutes ahead in the breakaway when they called me out of the breakaway to wait. It seemed like it took four hours for the peloton to catch me. Group after group came flying by, including that one group with De Gendt. Peter [Stetina] did a great job in the valley. He was just getting everything out of his body. Then I took over from Bormio until as far as I could go. I counted every meter and I pulled until 8.6km to go.
VN: That stage was critical – everything was on the line – and Liquigas and Katusha seemed to want to put Ryder under pressure, so you really had to grab the bull by the horns?
VdV: There was no choice. When I finished, there were no teammates for anyone. They were really trying to screw us in the valley. No one was doing anything and De Gendt was really making some time. Liquigas had done so much work until then – they had shot all their bullets. Katusha was trying to put pressure on Ryder. I was on a very, very good day and I knew that was the day that it was all going to matter.
VN: Describe what it’s like to be at the top of your game, in the Giro’s most epic stage, when the pink jersey is on the line?



VdV: It was like, holy shit, this is really happening. You’re suffering, but you’re not really suffering: You’re just dead. You’re pushing as hard as you can. It was really neat to be in that situation. It’s something that I will never forget. It was one of the highlights of our careers.
VN: What does it mean to the Garmin organization to win this Giro?
VdV: It’s almost incomprehensible. When we started in 2008, at that point in time, we didn’t even think it was possible to win a grand tour. This is really a litmus test for clean sport and how far the sport has come. It’s a great thing for our team and for our sport in general. We never would have thought this would have been possible. That’s how far our sport has come.
VN: How far has the team come since 2008? I remember you once telling me how after you won the pink jersey in Palermo that the team left you behind and you had to take a taxi back to the team hotel …
VdV: That says it all, about how the team was at the time. We were so far above our heads in what we were doing. Only a few of us on the team had any experience at the time. Back in 2008, a lot of us were just managing to finish the stage each day. This time, we were winning the Giro. It’s a massive difference to be at the front with the team and fighting for the overall.
VN: Alan Peiper was saying how this Giro was the first time Garmin truly had a plan for GC – how in other grand tours, it was more of a ‘let’s just hope for the best and see what happens.’ Is that true?
VdV: That’s 100 percent accurate. This team has always been open, every man for himself, every rider got a chance. This time we went in with one set leader. I was happy that I was there to help.
VN: Everyone talks about how laidback Ryder is – did you ever see him nervous or panicking behind the scenes?
VdV: Not once. We kept it as cool as possible in the room. On the bus, we kept it positive. The biggest day he stressed out was the day that Ramunas lost the jersey to Malori. That was one of the hardest points, because even though we didn’t lose time to anyone else, we lost the jersey and Ryder should have had it. But the way we got it the next day, I dropped him off with 800 meters to go, that made taking the pink jersey even sweeter.
VN: How was it for the final-day time trial? It probably didn’t help waking up to learn that the course had been reduced by 1.8km …
VdV: That is so Giro. We were just happy that we were not going up against some Italians, because who knew what could have happened. Ryder had his game face on. We didn’t want to mess with him much. I said a few words to him, but up to that point, he had ridden a superb race, so there wasn’t much to say. If Ryder had the time trial of his life, I don’t know what to say about Purito’s. The way he rode – he just went nuts. Ryder knew more than anyone that he couldn’t take anything for granted.
VN: What do you think the victory means to Hesjedal?
VdV: His life is changed as of today. He’s a Giro winner. He’s in the record books. Everyone’s going to be looking at him differently. I remember as a kid, I had a poster of Andy Hampsten up in my locker at school when he won the Giro. That’s what it’s going to be like for Ryder. I hope it’s the first of many for him.
VN: What was the key factor to his victory?
VdV: The calm. In all honesty, we had the luxury of no pressure. When you start off on the right foot, it’s easy to stay on the right foot. We were just always able to stay ahead of the game. There was never any moment when we had to panic to take back time. That’s key to having a great race. And he was able to make things happen when people were not expecting it. He was an opportunist and using his underdog role to the maximum.
VN: Were you surprised that Scarponi or Basso never truly laid down a major attack? Everyone was waiting for that and it just never came …
VdV: The big surprise was how good we were. I kept thinking, ‘Oh man, they’re going to throw everything at us today.’ But they never did. One day, I said to Ryder to get ready for some big attacks, and he said to me, ‘We’re the strongest in the peloton.’ Even on the Mortirolo, I was expecting everyone to come roaring down our necks. That’s when I realized that they guys were just dead. That’s when I realized they didn’t have anything left to attack Ryder.



VN: How big of a surprise or a threat was De Gendt? He came out of nowhere and almost won the Giro …
VdV: To be honest, that was our biggest scare. I knew how strong he was and how good he is in the time trial. Even in that final time trial, after we took some time back on him, I thought it was possible he could win the Giro. That was scary, when he attacked on the Stelvio stage. He was always there, always eighth, ninth, 11th. De Gendt was always just there, and then suddenly he’s riding away, everyone was like, ‘holy shit!’ I don’t think when the Giro started that he expected to be on the podium. I am sure he’s pleasantly surprised to be there.
VdV: There’s one more thing I want to add that we haven’t talked about. We raced the Giro with a massive chip on our shoulders and that was critical. We felt like people didn’t give us much respect or appreciate how much we were at the front of the race from start to finish. The Italians were not giving us much space in the peloton. We caught a bunch of flack: The Italians kept trying to push us out of the way. I can understand that it’s their race. It would be like the Colombians handing it to us at the Tour of Colorado. I know it’s their race, but it wasn’t like it was our first year in Europe. That chip was firmly set on our shoulders and it helped us win this Giro.
FILED UNDER: Giro d'Italia / News / Road TAGS: Christian Vande Velde / Garmin-Barracuda / Giro d'Italia / Ryder Hesjedal

Andrew Hood
Hood cut his journalistic teeth at Colorado dailies before the web boom opened the door to European cycling in the mid-1990s. Hood's covered every Tour since 1996 and has been VeloNews' European correspondent since 2002. He lives in Leon, Spain, when he's not chasing bike races.
All articles by Andrew

Another article from Bicycling !


PRO CYCLING NEWS: Hesjedal Makes History
GARMIN INSIDER: Garmin's Giro Surprise A week after winning the 2012 Tour of Italy, Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) sat down with Bicycling correspondent James Startt to reflect on his historic victory and his ambitions at the upcoming Tour de France.

Bicycling: Last week you became the first Canadian to win a Grand Tour. How's it feel to make history?

Ryder Hesjedal: Good! That's not why I do what I do, but it's definitely cool.

Bicycling: What was it like to put on the pink jersey in Milan?

Hesjedal: It was a huge relief—it was incredible. But it's also hard to describe. It's hard to describe everything you go through in a three-week tour like that. It's brutal. For the race to go as it did, and for us to ride as we did as a team, to make this a reality was just incredible. To pull it off, down to the final day, to the final seconds, it doesn't get any bigger than that.

Bicycling: Joaquim Rodríguez did the time trial of his life and in the end finished only 16 seconds behind you overall.

Hesjedal: Yeah, I knew it would be close. I was upset when I lost those 14 seconds the day before on the Stelvio; the race was that tight. And I'd much rather start the final time trial with 17 seconds to make up as opposed to 31. I knew it was not going be easy in any respect. I had the time trial of my life, too, and that's something that makes this victory sweeter.

Bicycling: When did you realize you could win the Giro?

Hesjedal: Well, that was really never in my mind. I was focusing on the next day. Every day I was trying to keep myself in it. Obviously I was aware every day of the situation as it unfolded, but I never fixated on a goal in the sense of "I can win" or "I can be podium." It was just executing every day and as I got closer. I still kept myself in that picture. It wasn't until we got through the two final mountain days that I said, "Well, I'm only 31 seconds down on Rodríguez and all we have is a time trial." That was the only time I said "I can win this race."

Bicycling: So it was after the Stelvio that you understood that victory was a real possibility?

Hesjedal: Yeah, I'd say so. I mean, it's always a possibility when we start the race, and I was never in a position where victory was no longer possible anymore. But I never woke up saying, "OK, I'm winning this Giro." I just woke up every day saying, "This is what I've got to do today to get to the next day." I had a plan each day, and when the day was done it would dictate what I needed to do the next day.

Bicycling: Greg LeMond once said that bicycle racing is more about reacting to others than acting out your own plans.

Hesjedal: Yeah, definitely; and I'm just proud that my team and myself were able to do that throughout this whole Giro.

Bicycling: You started out in mountain biking, and I'm wondering if there's anything that mountain biking gave you in particular that helped you win the Giro.

Hesjedal: I don't know if it's mountain biking in particular. I grew up mountain biking, but I trained as hard as the road cyclists and was probably just as strong. It was the road to where I am now; it's all part of your development. Mountain biking requires all the skills you need in a race like the Giro. What you need to get through a World Cup cross-country event requires a lot of the same tools that are needed in a race like the Giro—power, the ability to negotiate all different types of terrains, and so on.

Bicycling: You started out with some big road teams such as U.S. Postal, Discovery, and Phonak, but then in 2007 you signed with the smaller HealthNet squad in the U.S. Did you think perhaps then that you were closing the chapter on your European racing career, that maybe you would never race the big races again?

Hesjedal: No. Actually, that was a distinct choice as I had offers from other European teams in 2007. But I didn't want to be at the bottom of a new team again, and HealthNet gave me a good opportunity to ride as a leader. I knew that if I raced well in the Tour of California and Tour of Georgia and other top races in North America that I'd still be on the radar. I wanted to take control of my career and it gave me the chance to be a little closer to home.

It also gave me the opportunity to buy my house in Hawaii and go there and focus on the training that I needed to do. That move to race in the States that year was one of the best things I ever did. That's what helped me get to the Slipstream team and it worked out perfectly. I wouldn't change anything.




Bicycling: You really came into your own with the Garmin team. Is there any one thing that the team has given you that's been key to your success?

Hesjedal: Being there at the start of something has been great. Back in 2008, Slipstream-Chipotle wasn't taken very seriously. We were just a start-up American team. We had to prove ourselves every day. And I remember our first race in Europe, the Grand Prix de la Marseillaise. I almost won that race and was on the podium right out of the gate. And since then the relationship with my team has always been 100 percent mutual. It's been very satisfying.

Bicycling: There have always been a lot of experienced riders on the team. Did anyone in particular really guide you on your path to become one of the world's top professionals?

Hesjedal: That would have to be Christian Vande Velde. He was in Girona, Spain, when I arrived and was trying to get in the scene. He really took me under his wing. We had a lot of parallels, too. He had a great career on the track before getting into the road that sort of mirrored my career in mountain biking. We could relate to each other. He was always the first one to give me advice and help me out, and that goes a long way. We've been through a lot together starting back in the Slipstream days.

Bicycling: Vande Velde was often the last guy with you in the mountains of the Giro.

Hesjedal: He's been a sort of super-domestique more than the guy going for the results. In that role he's just simply one of the best, if not the best in the business. He knows what's going to happen in a race, and it was an honor to have his support as the Garmin team leader in the Giro. That was all I needed, to know that I had someone like Christian to count on in a race like that.

Bicycling: Early in the race you said that the Giro was a step in your preparation for the Tour de France. But now that you have won the Giro, is that still the case? In recent years a lot of guys have come out of the Giro just wasted—like Cadel Evans in 2010 or Alberto Contador in 2011.

Hesjedal: We'll have to see—we're still getting over the Giro! It will be up to me to know where I am mentally and physically. I had been planning to do the Giro-Tour double. I've done it before, and that kind of a program suits me. I don't feel that I was fading in any respect at the end of the Giro, but we'll have to see.

If I have to work for Christian or anybody else in the Tour, I am ready to do that. If I go into the Tour and am still capable of riding a great GC, I'll do that. Or if I can go there and help Christian, that's also good. You know, there are so many ways to have a good Tour de France.



 , that i don't expect the previously named favourites to be on the top step and perhaps not even on the Podium .


Monday, May 21, 2012

Bo Hamburger

what a delight it was to arrive on the " Pic " some 10 km before Montecatini Terme and hear my name called .
Looked around to see who it was and saw Bo sitting with 3 friends awaiting the arrival of the Peloton that were enroute and expected in the next 30 minutes or so . There was more than sufficient time to exchange news of the past 8 years since we rode a rest day together in compant with FReddy Rodriguez and Gerhard Trampusch when they were racing with Team Aqua Sapone !

Whilst in Denmark i was continually on the lookout for Bo and asking others for news of his whereabouts since i felt sure he would be in the vicinity .in fact i not only came across Rasmussen of the TDF fame but rode the ITT Course with him for a while until he stopped to chat with some friends and as it was sop cold i kept going . Currently Rasmus is racing with the Christina Watches Team who are based in the Herning Area of Denmark .

After the race had passed Bo and his friends headed off to the pub to see the finish on the TV but i continued on into Montecatini where i greeted Ferrari amongst others at the finish . He was moving from one round of interviews to another and i asked him what Cavendish had to say on this occasion since they arrived over the finish line with Mark taking third place on this finish . Got a lopsided grin but no comment on the subject as we shook hands . Later i also greeted Rodriguez as he moved through from Doping Control to further interviews .

Whilst washing my bike at the Liquigas Hotel , Saul was kind enough to introduce me to his Brother and Wife , one of the benefits of the Giro landing near their home .

With time up my sleeve i decided to do some trawling around the district and found Bo's new abode in the wilderness , far from the madding crowd . Definitely not a place to be found on a bike but the views from there were amazing and Casa Hamburger is very well appointed  .

Photos will be added when i find a computer that allows in the next week or so !