Last Sunday was the Binghamton Circuit Race in Binghamton NY. The weather was great, and the course was fun. A 1.6 mile loop with a slight enough hill to make the legs hurt each lap. My race was going quite well for 11 of the 15 total laps. Then I guess I burned too many matches as I just could not hold onto the pace of the group. I bagged it and took the video of the finish of the Cat 4/5 race and a funny (while being under the influence of lactic acid) interview with Matt Howey.
Hard to believe that the Giro is starting this weekend. The most fun to watch of the Grand Tours will have many options for American viewers.
1) OLN TV and Cycling .tv combined forces to offer live daily coverage. http://olntv.com/cyclysm/
2) Eurosport.com is promising to offer some sort of daily coverage. If they provide video then that is a free option vs. getting the Cycling.tv deal. http://www.eurosport.com/cycling/giro-d-italia/2006/
3) You can try and catch the RAI Sport video and audio from RAI Sport. Check out http://www.beelinetv.com/ for the links.
4) Catch live streaming from the Gazzetta dello sport site. http://www.gazzetta.it/
Visit the site just as the stage is underway and you will see a live streaming option.
5) If you understand Italian you should call your local cable or satellite tv provider and get RAI International.
RAI International provides amazing coverage of the Giro. Not only do they show the stage live, but you get the commentary of David Cassani and Aurio Bulbarelli who are light years ahead of Phil and Paul. Sorry, Phil and Paul, you do a great job, but these guys are on another level.
After the stage is finished the RAI International coverage continues for around 90 minutes with “Il Processo della Tappa” which is a studio show that discusses the day’s stage. They bring in all of the important retired Italian riders and talk with the animators of the days stage. This show makes the subscription worth it. Make sure you have a DVR or TiVo or your VCR ready to tape.
Jose Rujano nearly stole the Giro last year in the epic stage to Sestriere which tackled some brutal climbs. I still remember seeing the look of exhaustion on Gilberto Simoni’s face as he could simply no hold on the the tiny climbers wheel on the “big ring” climb to Sestrierre. Rujano was not far off from displacing Paolo Salvodelli for the Maglia Rosa, but ended the day 45 seconds back in third place.
With an epic performance in one of the toughest Giro stages, one could only imagine how well Rujano would perform in the Giro 2006 which is loaded with climbs in the final week.
Rujano signed a contract for 2006 with super team Quick-Step, but with a clause that allowed him to stay at the smaller Selle Italia team through the Giro. As a result of being able to keep the young climber on board for one more Giro, Gianni Savio stocked up his team with reinforcements. Italian verterans Wladimir Belli, Sergio Barbero, Alessandro Bertolini and Gabriele Missaglia had the experience to help guide Rujano through the tough first few weeks and provide enough support for the tiny Venezualian in the mountains. So what more could Rujano ask for?
The latest start list from the Giro D’Italia
Salvodelli gets the number 1, while Jan Ullrich gets the last number 219.
Discovery Channel: 1. Savoldelli (Ita), 2. Danielson (Usa), 3. Beltran (Spa), 4. Ekimov (Rus), 5. Joachim (Lus), 6. McCartney (Usa), 7. Padrnos (R. Ceca), 8. Rubiera (Spa), 9. White (Aus).
Ag2r Prevoyance: 11. Calzati (Fra), 12. Chaurreau (Spa), 13. Deignan (Irl), 14. Dion (Fra), 15. Dupont (Fra), 16. Gadret (Fra), 17. Krivstov (Ucr), 18. Naibo (Fra), 19. Vaitkus (Lit)
Bouygues Telecom: 21. Bernaudeu (Fra), 22. Chavanel (Fra), 23. Clement (Ola), 24. Drancourt (Bel), 25. Flickinger (Fra), 26. Gene (Fra), 27. Labbe (Fra), 28. Le Boulanger (Fra), 29. Lefevre (Fra)
Caisse d’Epargne-Ill. Balears: 31. Carrasco (Spa), 32. Efimkin (Rus), 33. Erviti (Spa), 34. Fertonani (Ita), 35. Gutierrez (Spa), 36. Horrach (Spa), 37. Cegarra (Spa), 38. Pradera (Spa), 39. Perez (Spa)
Damiano Cungeo can recall the glory days of 2004 when he won the Giro del Trentino and the GP Larciano on his way to a surprise victory in the Giro D’Italia. He became the sixth youngest winner of the Giro at 22 years, 8 months and 11 days.
This year in fact Cunego feels better than 2004 since he is coming into the Giro with six win under his belt compared to 2004 when he had five victories. Compared to 2005 when he only had four wins all season. Plus, he placed third in Liege-Bastonge-Liege.
“Damiano is ready” says Direttore Sportivo Giuseppe Martinelli. At the Giro we have a squad that is built around Damiano that is very strong in the climbs where they can actual help.
The favorite has to be Ivan Basso who can gain many minutes in the Time Trials. But there are many climbs in the Giro this year, so we must attack.
Gilberto Simoni is a happier man this year. He is on his own team with former team manager Pietro Algeri who guided his Lampre team when he won the Giro in 2001. Life is better than 2004 when Simoni felt up ended by the young upstart Damiano Cunego. Simoni was one of the few Italians that wasn’t cheering for the young prospect who won the hearts of Italian fans only a few months after the death of Marco Pantani. Gibo was so sore at Cunego’s win that he was seen shouting some less than professional remarks at “The kid” during a maglia rosa presentation.
Last year Gibo was able to reassert himself as leader of Lampre as Cunego was not on form due to a bout with Epstein Barr syndrome. Gibo placed second behind a scrappy performance by Paolo Salvodelli and ahead of a very dangerous Jose Rujano.
This year’s Giro has a tough last week that makes Simoni happy with his chances. With a more relaxed and supportive team atmosphere, Simoni will definately be a protagonist once again. His track record in the Giro is very good as he either wins or is close to the top just about every year. The double Giro champ has some stiff competition as always. But Gibo can relax since the Italian hype machine is not focusig on the Battaliga Italiana like it did last year when all eyes were on seeing part two of the intra-team rivalry between Simoni and Cunego.
Ivan Basso is taking a page out of the Lance Armstrong’s playbook of media relations. Just a few days before the Giro starts, Ivan “the Terrible” is saying he is not the man to beat for the Giro. True, there is defending champ Paolo Salvodelli who looked good at Romandie before he got sick. Damiano Cunego is on form too as he placed well at Liege and won the Giro del Trentino. But the focus will be on Basso as he tries to win the first part of the Giro -Tour double that is his season’s main goal. Having already won the Criterium International, a “mini” Tour de France Basso can’t hide from the spotlight. Basically Basso is ready for the Giro with four months of steady racing in his legs and a strong team to back him up.
The strong team got a surprise reinforcement as Carlos Sastre will be on the Giro squad to help in Basso’s quest for the Maglia Rosa.
Carlos himself came up to me and suggested that he should do the Giro, and I have great respect for the thoughts, which lie behind his decision. He’s willing to sacrifice himself in the mountains to be there for Ivan, and his help could actually be crucial at that point. The plan is for him to get through the first part of the race as easy as possible in order to be with Ivan in the final week, which will be an extremely tough one. It’s a true gift and a privilege to have a rider like Carlos in the Giro, and of course I’ve only made this decision, because we both agree on the fact that it also makes sense in relation to the rest of his season. – says Riis
Bjarne Riis sounds very optimistic about his team’s prospect for the Giro:
We’ve selected an exceptionally strong team. And there’s no doubt it’s a team, which is able to provide Ivan with the best possible help in his attempt to win this race. He’s in perfect shape for the job and he has the strength and the experience to win his first big stage race. I think everyone will agree that it is nine top motivated riders, who will be starting for Team CSC on the 6th of May. As often before we’ve had the luxury of several strong riders as potentials for the race, but in the end the decision was a given, and I’m very proud of the team we’ve chosen for this year’s Giro.
The CSC Giro Team includes:
Ivan Basso, Carlos Sastre, Bobby Julich, Jens Voigt, Volodymir Gustov, Giovanni Lombardi, Iñigo Cuesta, Michael Blaudzun and Nicki Sørensen.
No, this is not a bike with a holder for your tasty Gyro, but a bike developed by some Dartmouth undergrads that helps kids learn to ride without the help of training wheel. The bike uses a gyroscope in the front wheel that helps keep the bike upright and allows the child to gently learn how to ride on two wheels.
Mercedes-Benz has been using carbon for years long before the trend started hitting its stride in the bike business mainly due to their Formula 1 efforts. This year they are coming out with a limited edition carbon bike to satisfy the cyclist who likes to show that he drives a Mercedes too. The bike looks like a Fuji carbon bike since the carbon wrapping is similar to to some Fuji Carbon bikes that a Colavita teammate rides.
This bike follows a trend lately of car manufacturers lending their name to bike accessories. Previously they were limited to lower end fare such as Jeep branded bikes. Recently Cadillac came out with a racing bike that looked like a Felt and now this. None of these match the Ferrari/Colnago concept bikes which actually use carbon that the Ferrari F1 team helped to develop.
The news this week is about Jan Ullrich’s return to racing. Der Kaiser finally started his season after a knee flareup caused him to ease up on his training. The result is that Ullrich is behind in form yet again, and reporters, newsmen, bloggers and fans are all wondering just how fat is Jan Ullrich? Well, with the help of some old Yo Mamma jokes and a shout out to Wilmer Valderama for his awesome new show “Yo Mamma” here is how fat Jan Ullrich really is:
(disclaimer, I can joke about this because like Jan, I am a fat cyclist)
Jan Ullrich so fat when he rode up L’Alpe D’Huez, he flattened the roads.*
Jan Ullrich so fat the broom wagon drafts him to save gas.*
Jan Ullrich so fat that fans thought T-Mobile placed a blimp in the middle of the peloton.*
Jan Ullrich so fat Graham Watson’s camera was too heavy after he took a picture of Jan Ullrich.
Jan Ullrich so fat, he makes Free Willy look like a tic tac
Jan Ullrich so fat he causes picture breakup just by sweating.
Jan Ullrich so fat, when he walked in front of the TV I missed 3 commercials
Jan Ullrich so fat, the last time he saw 90210 was on the scale
Jan Ullrich so fat, when he steps on the scale it says one at a time please
Jan Ullrich so fat, when he steps on the scale it says sorry we don’t do livestock
Jan Ullrich so fat, when he goes to a restaurant he gets an estimate