Sunday, July 18, 2010

15 Cycling Shorts : 18 July 2010

Lots to report on in today's shorts.

1. The doping saga continues : The truth is out there. TREK and Lemond have been subpoenaed this past week! The NY Daily News is at the height of their game, reporting on the minute-by-minute news in the doping drama with great finesse. Yesterday, the German newspaper Sueddeutsche had published mindblowing details of an interview with Lemond. Among the things Lemond told journalist Andreas Burkert was that Armstrong had vowed to pay $300,000 to an "active member" of procycling if the latter went public and lied that Lemond used illegal EPO to win stages. He also told the paper that he had first heard of the secret "double donations" to the UCI through a mechanic within U.S Postal. The first page of that interview has been translated to English here. NYDN has also ran a summary of what was exchanged.

2. Vino inspires emotion : Yesterday, I happened to put together a small biography on Vinokourov, the breadth of the work sourced from Daniel Coyle and English translations from Some commented in and called me a 'selective hater", others had some other names for me. Still others continued to judge Vino as a remorseless doper. Most, however, liked the post. I loved the variety in the discussion it brought. If you have stories to share about Vino, please chime in there and add to it in the comments section.

3. NYTimes goes behind the Livestrong money machine :  Many consider Lance Armstrong a failure this year, both on the racing and personal integrity front. But Juliet Macur wrote recently about the second team of people he has got to give that much needed boost to his PR image. The Livestrong camp (a charitable fund that has very high overhead costs, no special news to Charity Watch) is busy at work hawking wrist bands and merchandize for a good cause, so they say. These are young adults recruited and paid by Nike to go around driving in black cars and trucks commercializing cancer. Meanwhile, Armstrong continues his magnificent Global Cancer Awareness by making direct 180 turns after he finishes a stage to flee for the shelter of his team bus. While you ponder what's going on, did you know that FRS energy, the health drink company which he has a stake in, donates a gracious dime (10 cents) to LAF for every $40 dollar CASE of cans sold? The fact that people think the drink outright sucks must not be helping either.

4. Should Alberto demand his gift back? : Let's see. Among the minority of people who've been having  major women's issues with Contador attacking on Friday is a whining Johann Bruyneel, who recently pocketed nice gifts from the Spanish champion too. Here's what he said, even stamping his authority on it by claiming "I know what I'm talking about." This comes in stark contrast to other people's opinions that Contador is a changed rider this year tactically.

Keep in mind that the flawed "coach, champion, legend" has no business interfering with Astana's affairs any longer nor has any idea what the team had been planning for Friday in their own privacy. Sure, he's entitled to his opinion but what is equally clear is that he still manages to hug tight like a pillow his puerile discontent for Contador from last year's Tour. Funny fact- Vino has no problems with Contador, thank you sir for your concern. The biggest irony of all this is that the nutcase manager has nothing whatsoever to say about his team's failure to help Levi climb up the GC. That such self-inflated garbage about another team's rider should come from a sore loser makes many want to simply vomit.

5. Power calculation from Tour stages : Frédéric Portoleau has a page put up where he has power estimates of various top riders from this year's Tour. According to him, Andy Schleck climbed the ascent to Avoriaz in 33min 12s, expending some 417W of power. That gives a power/weight ratio of 6.1 W/kg. Alberto put down 415W of power, making his power to weight ratio some 6.8 W/kg. Certainly seems way off the charts, so I'm not sure how reliable all this data is.

6. Most important Tour stage : The most important Tour stage could likely be today, as the riders ascend the second highest pass in the Pyrenees. Steephill has a preview of the course and a video of the steep east side of the climb which will be climbed today.

7. A small perspective of La Marmotte : Fancy doing the La Marmotte cyclosportive anytime? Our friend Will over at Cycling Challenge shows it was done :

8. Rating Climbs : Speaking of climbing and famous climbs, Will has also written a post on Podium Cafe, rating the different climbs in this year's Tour based on the formula from Below is the result of his work :

Meanwhile, reader and engineering blogger Dan Connelly loves to go out and explore the science of whatever he can get his hands on cycling related. He thinks that the climbbybike rating formula is flawed in several respects and his latest endeavor is to try and formulate a different non-linear equation based on some criteria.

If you guys are climbing a lot this summer, make sure you also read John Summerson's Guide to Climbing series. You can also read up on what the standard is for climbing bragging rights, something I explored in the past. So unless you're climbing and meeting the bragging rights standard, please don't bother bragging about anything whatsoever on your Facebook and Myspace pages.

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  1. money shot4:08 PM

    The Hog is a pathological liar. If someone drops a piece of wood in his plan to get LA the podium, he keeps a perennial grudge against them. Just sick.

  2. Darryl5:23 PM

    The Tour for Team Radioshack is an absolute farce mate! Here you have a podium contendor and excellent time trialist Levi SIMPLY riding for himself while the others in the team soft-pedal so Armstrong can catch up with them. Now Levi has dropped one place further in teh GC and all Bruyneel can keep yapping about is how Armstrong has got some surprises for us in the next coming stages...or how he's losing time "deliberately" to save his energy. BULLSHIT. (sorry, rant ends)

  3. Anonymous6:14 PM

    LIVESTRONG is the next big cult after scientology.

  4. M.Anderson6:25 PM

    Interesting to see that this blog has become an infestation ground for LA haters, most of them anonymous.

  5. Wow so many links all over the place! True pollination sir! Just realized I have so much catching up to do. Thanks!

  6. Anonymous12:44 AM

    You specifically asked for a few more facts about Alexanre so here i am.

    But before this.
    While i sincerely liked that quote about Kazakhstan it was kind of pushing the whole exotic side a bit too far. You almost made it like a mythical land of dog-headed people.

    Still it was enjoyable to read ;)

    I mean it's not THAT harsh and it wasn't THAT much of "the spartan way" back in the days. It was VERY hard though.

    If you wanted to add a bit of a drama (americans seem to like this kind of thing, too bad for them, europeans are quite reluctant to tell their life-stories left and right, deeming this kind of activity as somewhat embarrassing) you could have told how he won the very next stage after the Kivilev's death and this entire "damned race" that took his friend, saying afterwards he "felt the strength of two men" inside.

    As to Kivilev himself -- such a shame, he was a great rider -- fourth place at TDF 2001 is a testimony of that.

    Or how about 2006 if you want more drama?

    After he got tired of being screwed by his own team (for not being german, yet daring to be better than them at GC), he moved from T-Mobile to Liberty Seguros, which imploded juuuust before TDF start, and sponsors denied to support the team.

    In month's time, after Vinokourov called to a president of national cycling federation (former bike cyclist himself and at the time defense minister) who then started pulling the strings at the very top, he gathered a group of sponsors out of industrial giants operating in Kazakhstan to be the new sponsor for the team, along with the name change.

    Now that's a save.

    After still being passed at Tour due to formalities, Alexandre and his team managed to make the season ridden with extreme bad luck or outright prejudice, with Vuelta win.

  7. Hats off to Greg who's a lone voice in cycling who isn't afraid to speak up for the truth. They say no legacy is as rich as honesty. I admired Lance too for what he did for the cancer community. But what is his legacy? He's a pretty small man in character, that is for sure. It will be quite hard to admire him.

  8. Yes, agree that the climbbybike formula isn't perfect. But it's not bad, and was easy (I am lazy). Thanks for the link to the other formula stuff.

    May I officially announce my retirement from La Marmotte (still tired) ;)

  9. That bit about the NY Times investigative reporting, I'll have to read more of that. This is typical of many blog entries, everyone says their thing often while ignoring the article.

  10. Here's your assignment Tom. Read it and report what you gleaned here. We'll run comparisons.

  11. Great day of entertaining riding at TDF today!

    7am call that it was snowing on Tourmalet left me no option but to forfeit ride as the boys in blue were wearing Deep Winter Wear and i was not about to cycle in my ski suit!
    Missed my old mucka "Nico" due to this but will try to keep a date at the Elysee on Sunday if Carla doesn't whisk him off elsewhere.

    Spent the time watching the TV action and adding to my blogs, google TourDaFarce ans SKIPPI-Cyclist for updates!

    Those that fling mud should make sure it sticks cause when you are down it will boomerang on you and bury you!

    Only small people run with the herd thinking they are safe there!

  12. Thanks for the report. So was that snow that was distressing the race cameras today, or water precipitation?

    The guys dressed like Borat near the summit were tasteless. But I did chuckle when I saw the "Armstrong" man in a yellow speedo with black underpants. The Basque folks are crazy.

  13. "...the breadth of the work sourced from Daniel Coyle and English translations from" This doesn't cut it. Without quotations and attribution in large excerpts from other writers' works, it's plagiarism.

  14. Ron in regards to my comments, I meant that some readers here! Seemed to be taking off on the blog entry you posted without commenting on your actual points of discussion which is fine but the NY Times article is obviously an exposé and I was just pointing out that these kinds of stories should not be ignored.

  15. With regards to rating climbs, I wonder if you guys are familiar with the Cotacol method. It's based on the forces that act on a biker whilst climbing, but also incorporates changes in slope, and the condition of the road surface (as the authors are from Belgium, they also had to consider the cobbled climbs in Flanders).


Thank you. I read every single comment.