07/29/02 - The Results Are In
Just learned that Susy scored a silver medal in the Commonwealth games today!! She came within 16 seconds of gold medal winner, Chrissy Redden. New Zealand must be so proud! If we get a race report, I'll pass it on. She’s sticking around to race the road race on Saturday, which means she'll miss the Durango NORBA this weekend. That's okay though, because we'll have Shelly and Alex there to fly the Velo Bella colors.
Well, Le Tour's over, and all our questions have been answered. How about that Lance? Seems as if Lance's best competition did not come from his former American teammates; although Levi had a great first Tour as leader. He's got to do something about Odessa's pom-poms, though. Tyler did stay upright, but he seemed to learn how hard it is to compete at the Giro and the Tour. And, yes, someone did wrestle the Green Jersey away from Erik Zabel! The cocky little Aussie, Robbie McEwen, regularly outsprinted the consistent German to deny Zabel his 7th straight Green. And I lost my favorite Tour diarist when Jonathan Vaughters had the crash that broke the camel's back. Jonathan's already back home and racing. I hope he's having fun again.
There were lots of Pestoso's of the day. Moreau, with his wimpy backhand on Sastre, and Rumsas attacking for GC on the Champs come to mind. While the Lanterne Rouge eventually went to Igor Flores, my favorite Lanterne Rouge holder was Thor Hushvod. He earned the "honor" when he suffered debilitating cramps in an early stage but went on to become the first Norweigan to ever win a Tour Stage. The French darling was non other than Jalabert. It seemed that every morning when I turned on OLN, there he was, out in a break. Au Revoir Ja Ja!
And last and least the doping scandal. I've had to rewrite this sentence this morning as it appears there is a doping scandal after all.
Viva Le Tour! Now, when does the Vuelta start?
07/15/02 - Common and Not-So-Common Games
Susy has been racking up the Velo Bella points lately. She finished 2nd in the Leesville Gap Road Race after trying a solo attack that lasted about 50 miles. She went on to win the Oakland Grand Prix the next day. She leaves this week for the Commonwealth Games held in Manchester England. Susy will be competing for New Zealand in both mountain bike (July 29th) and road (August 3rd) events. We wish her the best of luck, and we’ll keep you updated on her racing.
How fun is it watching Le Tour? I don’t even mind that silly jazz tune from the Lincoln commercial being in my head all the time. Small price to pay. My new favorite rider’s diary is Jonathon Vaughters. His humor, insight and bad metaphors are a way good read. I sure hope he finishes this year. Also high on the "cool factor" is the stop motion photo of the finishes on the OLN site. And, I am officially awarding the Polyester Jersey to the swarthy Santiago Botero for leading the "hunkiest rider" classification.
Here-here! to funky outlaw singlespeed races. I had the best time “racing” the crusty cup this weekend and even won a paddleball for my efforts. I may write a race report if I get up the nerve to divulge some personal intestinal “issues” I was having. I’m hoping we’ll have some pics, too. Not of the intestinal issues but of the race!
Speaking of gross topics, The Death Ride was this weekend. Sue returned for the 6th time in a row (even Lance can’t say that!), and Dana and Elizabeth joined in on the "fun." Read their DR reports.
07/03/02 - Armchair racers get ready for Le Tour!
The Tour de France starts July 6th. Will Lance win a 4th Tour in a row? Will Lances best competition come from his own former U.S. teammates? Will Tyler Hamilton stay upright? Can anyone wrestle away the Green Points jersey from Erik Zabel? Will Jonathan Vaughters finish? Who will be the Pestoso of the day? Who will be the Lanterne Rouge? Who will be the French darling? And of course, and unfortunately, what will be the doping scandal?
Heres some ways to be a proper armchair Tour watcher:
OLN TVs Live Tour Coverage
Get OLN and get it now so that you can watch the race live or watch the daily rebroadcasts. If you cant get OLN, move! Live coverage features the mackdaddies of cycling announcers, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. For American audiences that in the past had to put up with the ABC coverage and its soft focus overkill and melodrama in lieu of actual race coverage, OLNs coverage is a fans dream. If you dont get OLN and cant move in time, you can listen to the "broadcast on the web." Fox Sports will also be broadcasting some of the Tour. But I don't have, nor do I care about any information on that.
Official Tour De France Website
Clicking on the English link brings you back to the OLN tour site. There are also links to coverage in other languages and a boutique to buy stuff. Shopping!
Velonews Tour Coverage
The Journal of American Bicycle Racings website for the Tour is getting better each year. The site will feature live updates, stage info, rider reports and photos and plenty of coverage of the Americans in France. New this year is Fantasy Cycling. Sort of the office pool gone Internet.
Cyclingnews Tour Coverage
Home of Sabine's favorite rider diaries (it didnt get better than Marcel Wust), Cyclingnews offers fast and in-depth live updates, interviews, photos and riders diaries. Good source if you are looking for less of an American emphasis.
07/01/02 - Stop #4 in the SoCal...errr, I mean...
California State MTB Series
Four Velo Bellas and couple of Fellas made the 7-hour trip south to compete in the 4th round of the CA State MTB Series in Bear Big. And it's a good thing we did. Team Big Bear added to the fun of racing at 7,000 feet in the 95-degree heat by giving us a nice long race. Three, yes that's 3, laps of a 10-mile loop with 2,140 ft of climbing per lap for the pros and experts!
Congrats to Shelly who gave it everything she had to win the long, hot, dry, dusty race in the Pro Women's class. (Her brand new Steelman Manzanita and White Brothers fork might have helped a bit too!) Check out La Gazetta :: Race Results to see how everyone did. Petra, racing for Team Trek, now leads the series with Shelly in 2nd, and Sabine moves up to 2nd overall in her category. Race #5 takes us back down south to Big Bear on August 25th. The dust on the trails should be almost knee deep by then! Woo-hoo!