Saturday, June 28, 2008


So I'm a week late on this ride report... not sure what's up about that, but anyway...

Before the men's pro XC world championship race, I left my hotel and went up... straight up the north side of the Madonna di Campiglio climb. I first did this from the south side back in 1992! Although it's not a super hard climb, it is sorta long (16km). I managed to do it pretty quick for a flatlander and felt good on the way up. Managed to get a few pics as well.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Gregg from the Alien Truth was doing some work with us and took this shot of me with his favorite mojo right after the Bethel crit...

He writes - 'human... italian... leg machine... wins the big one......'

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Saddles for an Old Prostate

I just swapped out my Ariones for Aliantes in an attempt to add a bit of comfort to the ol' undercarriage. I've been running them on my cross bikes, so it makes sense anyway. I'll add about 60 grams but figure... if you don't have a stupid-light bike already, then why worry. Plus, at about 16 pounds, I think I'm ok as it is...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mtb World's and Internet connections...

The guys did well and gave everything they had for mtb Worlds. Our booty - a silver in the junior DH by Sam Dale! I had a nice chat with Sam's dad Steve, who is from Macclesfield - yep, he went to school with Joy Division's Ian Curtis (who hanged himself the day before leaving for their first US tour). Ironic in that I just picked up Paul Morley's new Joy Division book days before.

Anyway, Joost was killing it in the 4X early rounds, until getting t-boned by a US rider. He wasn't happy at all... but that's 4-cross!

I wanted to get some reports filed, but as you can see, sometimes in Italy, an internet connection is about as far away as the US... check this photo out from my hotel room!

On the XC side on Sunday, Jakob grabbed the lead from the gun and then began to fade as the heat got to him a bit. After the race, he said he didn't drink enough but gave it everything he had. Roel did well to climb back up into the top 10. At the finish, he was mobbed... clearly one of the most popular riders out there.

They were on some new forks and wheels. The bikes were coming in at around 9kg! They were all stoked with the bikes as well.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tour de Suisse...

Last Friday, I headed down to Martigny to see the Liquigas boys off at the Tour of Switzerland. Roman was sitting in second overall just 27 seconds behind Kim Kirchen. I had breakfast with the guys and then the pre-race plate of pasta before they took off for the late start... just time enough to wish them good luck. I did see Santadorito, who was a little upset that I didn't bring the illegal Doritos - can you imagine the scandal? "Liquigas Rider Tests Positive For Nacho Cheese".

I then took advantage of the looming long drive which would put me in Italy late that night. If I arrive to the hotel at 9:00 or 12:00, what's the difference? From Martigny, I headed straight up the Col des Planches. The day was hot, and the black bugs hovered just behind my helmet, driving me crazy. I had the climbing wheels on (28 hole GEL 280's laced to Record hubs with VERY thin spokes). They flexed a bit much, and with parts of the climb hitting 18%, the rear der wanted to head into the spokes so I had to take it a bit easy. The descent was sweet, followed by a windy ride back to the car. So a short mountain climb, 35km with 1035m gained, followed by a long drive to the boot.

Towards the summit...

Why not?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Saturday Ride With the Boys

Saturday before the big race in Philly, I got to ride with the LG boys towards Manayunk and then out to the trail going towards Mount Vernon. It was 101 and the pavement was boiling hot! Back through Manayunk and we stopped for some iced coffee...

Here's a shot of me chatting with Bennati, as well as the guys enjoying the icy a/c at the coffee shop.

Afterwards, we headed back towards downtown Philly. I've 'done' this race about seven times with our teams, and this is the first time they've been all too interested in the Rocky steps at the museum. We headed up the back on bikes for some photos...


One of the fun things about travelling with Italian pros in the US is seeing what they take interest in. There are plenty of differences for sure, but tops on their list is of course American girls. After that, it's muscle cars, the huge trucks... and fast food. I got the chance to turn them on to Doritos and introduce them to Taco Bell and Mountain Dew (hang around with me for a day or two once I get back to the US and it's hard to avoid these last two!).

The smallest guy on the team went nuts for the cheesy goodness that is Doritos. We took the occasion to rename him Santadorito based on his amazingly long last name. At one point, he slumped in the chair of the car to 'drink' the crumbs and not be seen! We died in laughter and Santadorito was born.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

After 22 years of trying...

... my first win! I have to preface by saying it was a Tuesday night training race and was classified by points (where I came in third), but still - I took the last sprint to the line. With ten to go, we sprinted for points on every lap. I let the fast guys go after the first three (a break got away as well) and then went for it on the fourth. I took off late, but caught three guys on the rise to the line. I knew at that point that I better sit back in the pack and wait for the finale.

With one to go, I found myself in the first five spots and decided to just stay there. At the final curve before the hill, I was in second - a bit too early. But, nobody was coming around us and the guy in front decided to stay out there and try to take it. I stayed on his wheel until really late and threw my bike over the line, one wheel length ahead!

With the big meetings in Bethel over, everyone from the office was at the top corner drinking beer and shouting for me on every lap. I think the guys in my group wondered who in the hell was racing.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Race Two...

Scotty started off real well, with a stretched chain that wouldn't work. So he hopped on a spare bike... with a compact. Nice one, little guy. Lap 4 and it's all over... he goes down... HARD! Broken wrist #3!

Tired, I stayed hidden in the group, let the break go, sprinted in the bunch. Joey stayed in there pretty well too. The 3/4 was 1km/hr faster and 15 minutes longer. I'm happy to have ridden right by two good crashes.

Now I'm heading out for the Tuesday Night World Championships. THIS is the race I miss.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Fancy Footwork... I'm Back!

So I'm back in the states and feelin ready to finally spin the pedals in anger, as they say.

I just did the 2nd Annual CT Coast Criterium to benefit the CT Challenge-Cycling for Cancer Survivors (nice long name) Cat. 4 race on the Bethel crit course. I felt great, even if it's my first race this year - sorry, but there just aren't a lot of crits in Switzerland, nor time. The pack was a little nervous, but not too bad. I was surprised that I could still move up through the group efficiently on the climb and stay towards the front. I ended up seventh or eighth in the sprint.

Another amazing thing is the equipment in the group. Before, I was amazed at the number of Cannondales in the pack (it's a bit of a home town course, as our office is located on the hill just behind the course). There were still a ton of System and Super Sixes, but what I wasn't ready for were the number of high profile carbon rims and power equipment. I swear, I could smell the brake dust of the guy in front of me before he began to slow down! Meanwhile, I was aboard a trusty old CAAD7 Saeco bike. Not flashy, but I've already had the pleasure of ruining two alu frames in these crits... Hey, you do close to 100 crits over here and you're bound to fall, right? Still, word was spread that I was back... be extra careful of the guy in the flash green shoes! Nice sock combo too, right?

Knucklehead in front and to my right made a bold move just before the sprint and took down some poor guy at the foot of the hill... nice move. I was able to avoid, but let him know what he had caused.

A little dehydrated thanks to my nemesis, Taco Bell. Hey - I do live in Europe and still miss my favorites! I have 2 hours to go until the start of the 3/4 race - first time I've done two in a day. Motivated to race, no? Feels good!