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The Americans in the Tour de France 2011

Posted on: June 18, 2011 I Written By

The popularity of cycling in the US is starting to grow quite a bit. A lot of this could be attributed to the Tour of California and the upcoming USA Pro Cycling Challenge. There have been a lot of Americans in the Tour in the past but, now there is a lot more focus on them from our own country. Based on a preliminary start-list, we could have as many as nine Americans and 4 American based teams starting in Passage du Gois, France on July 2nd. I’d like to take a small look at them and see what impacts they could have on this years Tour.

Brent Bookwalter- BMC Racing Team

Brent Bookwalter made is Grand Tour debut last year in the Giro, finishing 2nd and losing by just 2 seconds to Bradley Wiggins in the opening time trial. After this great performance, he has always been one to watch in time trails. Make sure to listen for his name on stage 20 as well as stage 2, the team time trial (TTT)

Tom Danielson

9th in the Vuelta last year, 3rd in the Tour of California this year, and currently 11th in the Tour de Suisse could land Tom a spot on Garmin-Cervelo’s Tdf team. If he does, look for him to shake it up in the mountains and work with Vande Velde to get a spot in the top 10.

Tyler Farrar- Garmin-Cervelo

Tyler Farrar started off the season pretty well with 4 wins so far and 3rd at both Gent-Wevelgem and Dwar door Vlaanderen. He ran into some serious misfortune during the Giro with the passing of his good friend, Wouter Weylandt. He then pulled out of the Giro and took some time off riding.

Recently, he won stage 2 at Ster ZLM Toer against some pretty strong sprinters. With this, he is showing some pretty good form going into the Tour. Tyler has never won a stage at the Tour so, he will be hoping to change that this year. It won’t be easy because he will have to go up against the likes of Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel, and Alessandro Petacchi.

George Hincapie- BMC Racing Team

“Big” George Hincapie will be going for a record 16 Tour de France completions. He’s raced upwards of 40000 miles through France in the passed 16 July’s. So far, he has 4 stages wins and he is always a threat to get another. It’s also not too far out to see him getting into the yellow jersey for a couple days. Good luck to George and it will be good to see him set a new Tour record. (knock on wood)

Chris Horner- Team Radioshack

In the passed two year, Chris Horner has looked stronger than ever. He won the Tour of the Basque Country last year, finished second this year, and won the Tour of California this year. He could definitely do well in the overall but, he may be working to get Leipheimer or Kloden onto the podium. Regardless, he will be riding strong and he has potential to take a stage win.

Levi Leipheimer- Team Radioshack

Levi has been riding pretty strong in the past few years. He has been looking extremely well in the Tour de Suisse, looking to get onto the podium with tomorrows time trial. With the next few weeks to prepare, I see him going into the Tour strong and competing for the podium. I’m not sure he can take the overall but, never say never.

Jason McCartney- Team Radioshack

Jason McCartney is a very strong domestique, even in the mountains. He has shown his prowess by taking the mountains classification on the Tour of California in 2009 and the Tour of Georgia 2008. He’s a strong rider and I could see him getting into a breakaway and maybe taking a stage win. If not, he will be and important man, used by Levi and Chris in their search for the podium.

Christian Vande Velde- Garmin-Cervelo

Christian has really has some bad luck in the Grand Tours he has entered in. in the 2009 and 2010 Giros as well as the 2010 Tour, he crashed out on the 3rd stage of each. Recently finishing 4th in the Tour of California, he could do well in the Tour. He has, in fact, 4th in the Tour before. Hopefully he can recreate that good performance this year and escape his bad luck.

Tejay van Garderen- HTC Highroad

When you talk about Tejay, all you can say is WOW! Last year was his first year on the Pro Tour and it was a very successful season. 3rd in the Dauphine, staying in the top 10 of the Vuelta a Espana for a majority of it, 4th in the Tour de l’Ain, etc. This year is was 2nd in the Volta o Algarve and 5th at the Tour of California. He is also currently sitting 10th in the Tour de Suisse. It would probably be a long shot to say he will win the Tour this year but, it is not to say he can in the future. I see him doing really well this year; likely a top 10 spot. Good luck to Tejay and his HTC squad.

Dave Zabriskie- Garmin-Cervelo

Finally, we have Dave Zabriskie, one of the funniest guys in the peloton. Already having 3 time trial wins this year, including the US Pro title, it wouldn’t be very surprising to see him doing really well on stage 20. Also, look for Garmin-Cervelo to do really well in the team time trial. Dave will definitely be a big help for Tom and Christian when the mountain come as well.

So there they are, the Americans that will start the Tour this year, every one of them capable of doing something whether it be a stage win or a fight for the overall. Make sure to watch the Tour starting July 2nd and watch for my update.


Tour De France 2011

Posted on: June 17, 2011 I Written By

With the Dauphine over and the Tour de Suisse coming to and end, we’re really getting a view of the kind of form all the top riders are in. Here is a look at eight of the riders I see doing really well at the Tour this year.

Alberto Contador

Contador was on amazing form in the Giro, winning by an enormous margin of Michele Scarponi. The question is, was the month of June enough time to rest and rebuild his form for the Tour. The last man to pull the Giro-Tour double was Marco Pantani and its not clear whether he was “clean” or not. Now, Contador has the same issues right now but, not from this year. So, if he can carry over some form from the Giro and get some rest, he’s definitely a pick for the top spot on the Podium.

Andy Schleck

Everyone knows Andy is tired of being second and he’s out for revenge from last year. Based on the form he is showing in the Tour De Suisse, I’m not convinced he is where he was last year. He could be holding back but, he was dropped today and couldn’t catch up for the stage win. There could be a lot of factors to this performance but, regardless, he’s not showing the form he had last year. If he can pull it together, he could win but, the long time trial guarantees time loss for him so, he needs to go into it with the yellow jersey. If there was a Tour for him to win, this would be the one.

Cadel Evans

Cadel has been showing really good form all year. He recently finished second in the Dauphine. If he can build just a bit on the form he was showing this month, he shouldn’t have any problems getting to the podium barring some bad luck. In the past, he hasn’t had luck on his side but, we will have to wait and see.

Samuel Sanchez

Sammy Sanchez showed good form earlier in the year but, wasn’t looking too hot in the Dauphine. Hopefully he can get back to the form he had last year in the Tour because, he is a very strong rider. He’s also a strong pick for the podium if he can get all his preparation done.

Ivan Basso

Basso is another rider who is either not on good for or is hiding it. As he showed in last years Giro, he is a very strong contender. I think that, if he is on the same form that he had then, he is a definite pick for the podium, if not the overall. He’s a great climber and he can hold his own in a time trial, not usually losing too much time.

Jurgen Van Den Broeck

Van Den Broeck looked very impressive in the Dauphine. One stage win and fourth overall really has him as a threat for the podium. No one expected him to do what he did last year and, in my opinion, he looks better this year so, I think he will be one to watch.

Bradley Wiggins

Wiggo has never looked this good. He never looked like he was in too much difficulty in the mountains during his phenomenal performance at the Dauphine, in which he took the overall. He also seems to have a strong team around him so I see him making the top 5 for sure.

Alexander Vinokourov

Vino has always been pretty strong but, more recently, i see him as some one who can do well in the overall but, not win it. He’s will definitely going to go for a stage win and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the top 10 but, I don’t see him making it onto the podium. I hope he can prove me wrong.

Of course, one of the biggest factors in winning the Tour is luck so we’ll have to watch it day by day. Also, it may not be a positive thing to be on the best form because the mountains of the Tour are still a month away. Regardless of who’s on form, its going to be an exciting one!

Giro d’italia So far

Posted on: May 16, 2011 I Written By

The Giro d’Italia is one of my favorite races to watch because it is the hardest of the Grand Tours. There are so many mountains that they have to over come and it is always exciting.

As of yesterday, Alberto Contador took the pink jersey and I feel that the Giro is pretty much over. Alberto is looking stronger than he ever has in the past and no one could hang on up to the top of Mt. Etna.

Its tough to make the call that he will win it for sure though because there are a lot of mountain to come.

Also, we have a few more days for the sprinters and I’m hoping Cavendish can get something going, hopefully getting atleast one stage.

We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.

Cobbled Classics

Posted on: April 17, 2011 I Written By

Now that the Cobbled Classics are over, lets take a look at all the results.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad- This classic came down to Juan Antonio Flecha and Sebatian Langaveld. The two sprinted and Langaveld took the win for Rabobank.

Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne- This classic came down to a field sprint which was taken by Team Sky’s Christopher Sutton.

Dwars door Vlaanderen- Nick Nuyens of Saxo Bank-SunGard won Dwars door in a solo break.

E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke-  Fabian Cancellara of Leopard Trek won E3 Prijs with a massive attack which put a minute into Jurgen Roelandts, who finished second.

Gent–Wevelgem- Gent-Wevelgem came down to a field sprint which was won by “Tornado” Tom Boonen of Quickstep.

Tour of Flanders- The Ronde van Vlaandere was won after a long day by Nick Nuyens who was just able to outsprint Sylvain Chavanel of Quickstep and Fabian Cancellara.

Scheldeprijs- This semi-classic was won in a field sprint by the fastest man on two wheels, Mark Cavendish of HTC Highroad.

Paris- Roubaix- The big one. The Queen of the Classics was won after a long breakaway by Johan Vansummeren of Garmin- Cervelo.

This season was very excited throughout the classics season and next year should be even better.

Milan-San Remo

Posted on: March 19, 2011 I Written By

Wow, what a fantastic race! The race came down to a very select field sprint which was taken by Matthew Goss. Congrats the HTC squad.

With 4 km to go, the front group pulled back the only man up the road and an intense battle ensued. Attack after attack came but, no one could make them stick until finally, they were in the last kilometer and they knew it would be a sprint. Goss was just a bit stronger than everyone else.

Final Results

1 Matthew Harley Goss- HTC-Highroad 6:51:10
2 Fabian Cancellara- Leopard Trek
3 Philippe Gilbert-  Omega Pharma-Lotto
4 Alessandro Ballan-  BMC Racing Team
5 Filippo Pozzato- Katusha Team
6 Michele Scarponi- Lampre – ISD
7 Yoann Offredo- FDJ
8 Vincenzo Nibali- Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:03

Valentines Day

Posted on: February 14, 2011 I Written By

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Hope everyone’s cycling season is starting off well. Mine has.

Our team had a great first 2 week. First, we went to the Poor College Kids road race in Santa Barbara and we were able to finish in the lead group but, there was no room to sprint so I settled for 26th.

The next weekend was the Boulevard/ Red Trolley weekend. I got into a break for the first 30 minutes of Boulevard and our team leader, Nathan Chaszeyka took top honors, winning the Red Trolley Criterium.

Make sure you do something for your special someone today and have a good day.

Cold Weather

Posted on: January 19, 2011 I Written By

We’re in the middle of the Winter season and this is when training begins to get hard. This is also the time when you should switch it up from base miles to more focused workout to fine tune your form for the coming season.

It’s easier to do all this in Vegas because the 30 degree weather doesn’t last long but, this can be hard elsewhere.

Keep up the good work and stay focued and it will all pay off

The Holidays

Posted on: December 20, 2010 I Written By

These are the times we get to spend with our family. The time we get to be thankful. The time we get to…. overeat???

This is a common issue that many of us face because the foods we make are SO GOOD!

However, this is prime time to get your winter training done for the 2011 racing season so, keep the training up to allow for the extra calorie intake.

Get out there and get some long base miles in if you can. if not, hop on the trainer and get the work done

Happy training and Happy Holidays

Big American Apparel Deal from Groupon

Posted on: November 17, 2010 I Written By

Test to see if this appears.

The deal is $25 for $50 worth of clothing and accessories from American Apparel. The fine print is that this is limited to 1 per person, and that it is not valid on multi-packs, California Select Vintage, Multibrand products or shoes. It is for online redemption only on the U.S. site.

That’s what you call a great deal. You can also just click the banner. It should update to the latest and greatest Groupon Deals!