Wednesday, April 30, 2008


80km yesterday, including a nice climb up the Gempen and a hellish descent, hitting 52mph on the not-so twisty sections. I headed north thinking I'd be able to cross the Rhine after the airport... not. I actually headed back to Basel since there was no bridge and then south to the Gempen, our closest little climb. It's not all that hard, but I have realized if I want a hard climb, I should take the other side up to Höchwald, where it hits 16% towards the top. Back through France and then home... a nice long ride for a Tuesday.

Afterwards, I was knackered, so I quickly ate what has become my standard post-ride gorge fest. This includes a bottle of Chimay (Belgium's finest beer), Rösti (Swiss hash browns) with a fried egg on top, organic peach yogurt, and some OJ.

Following that, I had just enough energy to hit the shower and then the couch, where Tucker and Daisy joined me for some serious z time.

This morning, the legs still hurt, but they know that they're getting in shape, so it's a good hurt. Nothing like having a couple of crits in the US for training motivation.

This afternoon, I'm off to see the LG boys. Scirea placed three in the top-10, including 2nd and 3rd!

Swiss post-ride staples...

You'd think Tucker climbed the Gempen too!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Stateside in June!

Good news... looks like we've gotten LG an invite for the Philly race week, and I'll be joining the boys in June! In addition, speaking with Mario today and it looks like Bennati is 90% coming over. If so, look for a factory visit and maybe up to Bethel as well. I called Daniele (who was bugging me about a special color for the Giro) and let him know... I think he'll be psyched.

Funny thing is that I was recently invited to a meeting at the HQ during the same week, so I'll be busy as sin! I've scheduled the flights so that over 10 days, I may even be able to do a couple of crits in Bethel! Time to start changing over all my LG green for the new Stage one yellow with black and red... new bubbles are coming! Question is... do I change the website header image?

Went exploring in the Black Forest yesterday. Three and a half hours with three decent climbs... 1000 meters total ascension. The Garmin crapped out during a route calculation, so the graph makes it look like I fell off a cliff!

Today was Offenburg, WC round 2. I seem to have lost my passport, so leaving Switzerland would have proven difficult. Stayed in the office and edited the video you see in the previous post. Looks like someone's going to the embassy with Francs in hand tomorrow! BTW - neither C/V nor LG did too hot today... that's racing.

UPDATE - found my passport! Was on my desk under some bills... guess I should pay my bills earlier!

Houffalize... first race, first win

So Cannondale Factory Racing is finally alive... and winning already! First race was a 4x at Houffalize, last Saturday. I was there... here's my video to prove it (I'm now out of iMovie and using Final Cut finally)! Congrats to Joost... cool Dutchy who can fly in the 4X. XC race went fairly well... Jakob F. ended up in fourth and will be one to figure in the medals in China later...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Change the way you ride (don't get lost, geek's dream)

So I now have about three weeks on my Garmin Edge 705. I can say that it's as cool of a toy as I thought it would be back when I first saw it at Eurobike.  If you're not aware, the Edge 705 is a bike-specific GPS unit which, for the first time, gives color maps, turn-by-turn directions, altitude profiles, and much more... right on your stem or handlebar.

It has allowed me to explore more roads over in France without fear of being lost or over the wrong side of the Jura at the end of a long rainy ride. I can now feel confident of returning back to the hotel when going out for a longer ride, knowing that I'll find my way back... should lead to more riding while on the road working! I bought the US version plus the European maps on a micro SD card.

On top of that, I also discovered a program (for Mac at least, not sure about PC) that provides more analysis and graphical display of your data than the online Garmin program. It's called Ascent and it's awesome! The heads-up-display as you drag the cursor over your altitude of the ride gives you a popup with speed, cadence, heart rate, VAM, power, calories, elevation and % grade... that's a lot of data!

The last piece that I love about all of this is that I can fulfill my map obsession by uploading my rides to Google Earth and playback my rides in a 3D virtual tour. You can share the rides with others, or when you go to a new area, download someone else's ride. In addition, you can race against yourself from a previous ride, showing the previous "you" on your map screen!

Check out the data from one of my rides below... EDIT - Blogger doesn't seem to want me to upload these, I'll try later.

ps - off to Houffalize!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Grazie, Daniele

OK, so the suit doesn't have MUCH to do with cycling. BUT this particular one has a slight connection to LG rider Daniele Bennati. While filming a TV spot (look for it on Versus this summer) with Benna at a sarto near Arezzo, I made the bold move to purchase this fine Italian piece of work. Never happy with my previous suits, this one was made for me in the workshop below. The photo itself is from a later meeting of the big whigs - can't comment on that other than not to include myself with the whigs. Ok, maybe I'm a small whig!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The greatest one-day bike race in the world!

OK here it is... my first post on this blog!

It's Monday, post-Paris-Roubaix, the greatest race in the world! We had a crazy weekend where luck was NOT on our side, from before the race until the end. The ASO/UCI war meant that the car positions were determined by the draw. My guys got 21st of 25 teams! Scirea was NOT happy!

Exiting the highway, Berto's car was hit by a local! Ammiraglia #1 (team car #1) was down for the count. Lampre's car came out better, but not Tosello, who went to the hospital. I saw him post-race in a neck brace, seemed to be ok.

At the start LG (being one car short) was passing out wheels and waterbottles to everyone who could get to the cobbled sectors, me included! I covered sectors 23, 18 and 14. At the Arenberg, I was able to pass a bottle to Fredrik Willems... my first pro pass! The driving was frantic as usual, but the "equipe" sticker on the windshield came in handy! After 14, it was off to the velodrome to find Ian, who came over from CT with his fam.

I later learned during the race that the reason I didn't hear the friendly 'honk' from Scirea in team car#2  at 18 and 14 was because there was no team car anymore! I guess the cobbles took their toll on the suspension and I finally found it being towed into Roubaix!

Post-race, Pippo was in a bit of pain from his fall. Ian and I made the rounds, then took off in hunt for a restaurant and a bit of Leffe. I decided to try the Hotel Kennedy in Kortrijk, since we were heading that way towards the NED. We arrived to the 'Quick Step compound' and quickly had a good meal, followed by some hospitality by Fede. Of course, we then proceeded to crash the QS party and get a hat signed by Boonen for Ian... nice!

That's it... the greatest one-day bike race in the world! Check out my late-Saturday night video work here...