Garmin-Transition Tour de France roster set

Garmin-Transitions announced their 2010 Tour de France roster.

  • Julian Dean
  • Tyler Farrar
  • Ryder Hesjedal
  • Robbie Hunter
  • Martijn Maaskant
  • David Millar
  • Johan Van Summeren
  • Christian Vande Velde
  • David Zabriskie

Tyler Farrar provides a welcome set of sprinting credentials in a field that is becoming thin on short-distance speed freaks.  The absence of Tom Boonen (QuickStep) and Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo) were announced earlier this week – both due to injuries.

Schlecks leaving the team

It has been announced that both Frank and Andy Schleck, along with the current Saxo Bank Directerr Sportif Kim Andersen, will be forming a new team at the conclusion of this season.  News of this intended move is nothing new and not surprising.  This represents yet another pivotal change for the current Team Saxo Bank following the announcement of an end of the relationship with the Denmak based financial institution as the title sponsor.

Andy Schleck down but not out after training ride crash

Older brother Frank Schleck posted a photo on his TweetPhoto stream of a banged up Andy Schleck.  According to a report on the tumble took place on a training ride and resulted in no serious injuries that might threaten involvement in the upcoming Tour de France.

Andy Schleck (@andy_schleck) himself reported the incident on twitter:

Was out training with@schleckfrank hit a big bump in the road, went down pretty hard,lost quit lot of skin all over my body but I be okay

Frank Schleck (@schleckfrank) also commented:

@andy_schleck went down in training this morning I was really scared.tought about tdf,but finally its just skin n wounds.autch.he is ok

However, all of this happened one day before the Luxembourg national championship race.  It remains to be seen if Andy will be participating in that event.

Haussler also out of Tour de France due to knee problems

Pro cycling team Cervelo Test Team announced today that Heinrich Haussler will not be participating in the 2010 Tour de France due to knee problems exacerbated by his crash in the Tour de Suise (see for more details on that.)  This, along with a similar announcement by Tom Boonen of Quickstep, represents two strong sprinters that will not be participating in the Tour de France, and site that nasty Tour de Suisse crash as part of the cause.

Mark Cavendish – who was penalized for causing that Tour de Suise crash – ultimately pulled out of the Tour de Suise due not to inuuries, but repoted “family reasons” in addition to his injuries. However, riders on the very next stage after the Tour de Suise crash did make a gesture of protest by delaying the race.  Still unannounced at the time of this writing is the final roster for Columbia in the Tour de France.

In light of all of these events, it seems assured that right or wrong, any successful performance by Mark Cavendish in this year’s Tour de France will be met with voices of frustration and protest given the unfortunate absences of Boonen and Haussler.

Tendinitis keeps Tom Boonen out of the Tour de France

According to Velo News, QuickStep rider Tom Boonen will not be participating in this years Tour de France due to “patellar tendinitis in his left knee” [VeloNews].

Tom Boonen, After Stage 1 Crash, Amgen Tour of California

Boonen himself cites the injury has going back to the final sprint crash in the Tour de Suise and the crash in Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California.

After three days of rest, yesterday I trained for five hours on the parcour of the national championship in Leuven. The knee pain has always accompanied me. During the last hour of training I had to stop more than once because of the pain. Everything began with the crash in California and the situation became even worse after the fall in Switzerland. [VeloNews]

At the time of this writing, the official QuickStep website had not yet posted anything regarding this announcement.

Team RadioShack – There’s an app for that

Pro cycling information flows across the twitterverse – for better or for worse.  Major races give up-to-the-minute, GPS fueled race position information.  But what if you want to know every single detail of what Team RadioShack is doing at any given moment?  Well, thanks to I now know – there’s an app for that.

Saxo Bank Announces TDF 2010 Lineup

Team Saxo Bank announced their lineup for the 2010 Tour de France.  No huge surprises really:

  • Fabian Cancellara
  • Andy Schleck
  • Fränk Schleck
  • Jens Voigt
  • Stuart O’Grady
  • Matti Breschel
  • Chris Anker Sørensen
  • Jakob Fuglsang
  • Nicki Sørensen
  • Gustav Larsson – on standby in case of injury

Team owner Bjarne Riis is quoted on the Team Saxo Bank website as saying:

We have ten riders on our Team of which all are ready and fit to do the race and that has made the job of selecting the line-up extremely difficult. That’s why the decision has been made of tactical reasons. It has been a problem of pure luxury but it’s not easy telling a rider to stay home when you know he would have done a great job in the race. However, we are now looking forward to a Tour de France with Team Saxo Bank in front of the race.

Using twitter to help (and hurt) your cycling enjoyment

Twitte LogoIt is unquestionable that twitter has had a huge impact on cycling.  It is probably safe to say that a lot of cyclists – both recreational and pro – would have never heard of the social media and microblogging service if it were not for the tweets of a particular American Pro Cyclist.  “Tweets” – or postings to twitter – are increasingly becoming one of the most accurate and timely sources of information on the international racing scene.

There have been many international scene races in the last year or so where numerous fans on the roads have helped to provide up to the minute race coverage.  However, perhaps the power of Twitter as a source of pro cycling news came to a head most poignantly at the 2010 Amgen Tour of California when there were folks tweeting events as they happened – from cars in the pro peloton.  I know that personally, as I was positioned at various finish lines of the race, I became a sudden celeb in the crowd of folks I happened to find myself in.  It was not because of any particular status or insight.  Rather, it was because I was able to capture these up-to-the-minute tweets right there, at the finish line, on my smartphone.  I knew where the peloton was, who was in the breaks, and how many km were left to go.

Keep reading →

Landis creates another doping scandal – without a single positive test

It is with both frustration and great satisfaction that I watch the madness unleashed by Floyd Landis’s accusations of doping.  Despite my previous post to the contrary, I do in fact have opinions on this issue.

The frustrating/satisfying part for me, however, is the sheer number of investigations that have started as a result of his allegations.  I find it frustrating that the major headlines on cycling are again broadcasting to the mainstream audiences the idea that cycling is a drug-riddled sport.  However, it is satisfying to see the ghusto with which the cycling governing bodies are moving to address the accusations – to either confirm or deny the claims being made.  As stated in a posting:

For Armstrong the U.S. anti-doping agency (USADA) has been mandated to carry out a probe while McQuaid has also asked the Belgian federation to probe the claims concerning Bruyneel.

The federations of Australia, Canada and France have also been asked to investigate after Landis’ claims respectively implicated professional Matthew White, Michael Barry and John Lelangue, Landis’s former manager at the Phonak team, who now manages the BMC team.

That’s a whole lotta organizations, doing a whole lotta investigation, all without the impetus of a single positive test taken from a rider at this time.  If this doesn’t show that the cycling world is serious about stamping out PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs) than I’m not sure what will.

Orgy of cycle racing over. Now what?

Well, we’ve wrapped up both the Amgen Tour of California, and the Giro d’Italia.  Both had some amazing stages, with final results that could easily be thought of as surprises by some.  But now that I’ve gotten somewhat accustomed to catching the live Giro footage uber-early, and then following that up with the California events, I can’t help but feel like I just got fired and am now unemployed.  I mean, how will we all spend our days now?

Well, I’m sure we’ll adjust.  For me, it is time to ramp up the training for my wife and I’s Seattle to Portland ride in mid July.  And of course there is my real job.  I’m sure I can put an hour or two a week into that now that I’ve got more free time (Yes, coworkers, that was a sarcastic joke.)

I think more than anything, however, I’m going to begin plotting and scheming about the possibility of traveling to every stage of the Tour of California next year.  I learned a thing or two about following, capturing and writing about a major stage race.  I’ve got big ideas for next year – so we’ll have to see how things pan out.  So to all of those that enjoyed the california sun (and rain) with me this year – good times.  Hope to see you next year if not before then.

Safe riding, and keep those cow bells ringing.