Friday, October 31, 2008


Not sure how I missed that one, but THIS makes 51. Yay...

Upon further review... one of those was a draft... so this IS 50!

A quick one from Japan

Here's what my Element (oft-ridiculed by my Italian friends) looks
like in Japan.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Ivan Basso's Japan Cup Bike

I'm now back from Japan and a little recovered from the past month and a half of travel. Here are the images (plus a few bonus shots) that I posted to Cannondale and that have now appeared all over the place. This must be one of the most photographed bikes we've done to date! At one point during the team presentation, I grabbed the bike and moved it slightly - some people waiting in the wings could then see a different view and the flash bulbs went wild... I ended up posing the bike for another ten minutes!

The race went as expected. The climb wasn't tough enough for Ivan to break away. What has been under-appreciated in the race reports were the rides of both Giovanni Visconti and Valerio Agnoli, who each were dropped on the climbs and chased back on... twice!

After the race, Ivan was great, signing autographs and posing for photos for a good while for the long line of Japanese fans who waited two hours after the podium and press conference! Like it or not, Ivan is back... and will be a force to contend with at the Giro.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Japan Cup 2008!

When the chance to go to Japan for Ivan's first race back came up, how could I say no? The twelve hour flight followed by two hours of travel from Tokyo to Utsunomia (after an hour long bus transfer) was the small price to pay!

I've been happy to be accompanied by the fine staff of Cannondale Japan. Katsoumi, Hiro and Shoji can be added to the long list of Cannondale employees around the world that I've had the pleasure to work with. They do a great job here, as evidenced by the large number of Cannondales on the road during today's amateur rides and races.

We followed the guys to the race venue for a lap with the public. The course is nice - a closed-off national park with a couple of climbs. Ivan has enjoyed a great reception from the public. We've prepared a special bike (thanks to Lara) for him, which has garnered a lot of attention. After the press conference, he was mobbed by Japanese fans, who are very passionate about Italian cycling. I didn't expect to see guys dressed in full pro team kit, head to toe. We saw a Japanese Bennati, Lance, Danilo in pink... there was even a guy in a Rock Racing jersey!

This afternoon, I did my usual electronics shopping. Utsunomia's mall wasn't nearly as big as that I saw in Seoul (evidently the huge one in Tokyo isn't even as big as Seoul), but I managed to find enough iPod accessories to keep me satisfied for a while.

I've always thought that the written Japanese languages are an amazing art form. I love to see things common to me (Mountain Dew and Apple products) advertised in Japanese. The Mountain Dew cans are HUGE... just my size. Obligatory shot of my morning coffee with my Liquigas iPod Nano and today's playlist - O&A from Wednesday (the Pendulum is swingin' back the other way!).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Where've I been?

So - it's been a while. Anyway, I've been earning lots of frequent flyer miles lately and it doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon!

If you saw the tweets, you'll know I've been to the US for some Tour of Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa and of course, Vegas. Just before that, we moved into a new apartment in Basel and the early results are in... it rocks! My big project for the new place was to hook up the Mac Mini to a big LCD (nice deal courtesy of Cannondale/Vredestein partners Polaroid). I'm now running Front Row, EyeTV and Slingbox from my couch! So I'm now in the process of loading iTunes up with all my old favorites... Seinfeld, Miami Vice and even thirtysomething (purchased a box set which seems to have come from the same guy that sold me some DVD's in Korea!). With all of the traveling coming up, I'll at least not be forced into watching lame airline movies (the last few flights have had dreadful offerings).

Last week we packed up the dogs and headed to Tuscany for a long weekend. We stayed in an 'agriturismo' where Team Barloworld had a spring camp last year. The place was perfect... lots of big fields for the dogs, great apartments, and close to the shore as well as inland to the Tuscan hill towns. We ended up spending a day in Volterra, where I've surprisingly never been. From there, we headed to the Isle of Elba, famous for the exile of a certain short French emperor. From there, we stayed with a friend from the bike industry who has a large villa next door to a Mr. Cipollini. Mario was not in town (legal woes?), otherwise he would have joined for breakfast. Great food, nice sites, then a rush back home to finish up some work.

It's off to Connecticut this weekend for a big meeting next week. Following that, it's Lombardia and then Japan Cup! I can't wait for this season to finish so we can get to work on the next one!