Archive Page 2

07
Jul
09

The Official Denis Menchov Blooper Reel

Poor Denis Menchov just can’t seem to stay on his bike — maybe it’s his tires, maybe it’s his handling skills, or maybe he just loves the salty grit of pavement. Although the international cycling press lacks the cobbles to ask him which one it truly is, I suspect it’s the last one. After all, why would you lose your concentration and hit the deck during an important Stage 4 team time trial — one in which you’re fighting to keep time against powerhouse teams like Astana and Saxo Bank — unless you absolutely love the taste of French asphalt?

And think back to a month and a half ago, as Menchov was finishing up his final TT through the streets of Rome, enroute to his first Giro d’Italia win:

Sure, it was a little rainy and Menchov was on his TT bike, but have you ever had authentic Italian road?

[the rest of the highlights and bonus hilarity after the jump]

Continue reading ‘The Official Denis Menchov Blooper Reel’

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06
Jul
09

Mark Cavendish is Fastest Man in the World (sorry, ladies)

Tour de France 2009 Stage Three

Someone get Usain Bolt and Bill Curtis on the horn: according to every Versus commentator (including the mind numbing team of  Craig Hummer and Bob Roll), Mark Cavendish is now apparently the “fastest man in the world,” following powerful sprint wins of Tour stages 2 and 3. In both cases, Cavendish beat the strongest sprinters in the world by at least a bike length, and he even had time at the end of his Stage 3 win to further immasculate a tapped Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) by placing a call on his mobile to Thor’s girlfriend.

That said, even the fastest man in the world can’t do it alone, and Cavendish owes both Columbia-HTC teammates George Hincapie and Mark Renshaw a few beers for some of the best sprint lead-outs I’ve ever seen (“Again, [Renshaw’s] showed he’s the best lead-out man in the business,” said Cavendish after Stage 3). While it’s still very early in the race, Columbia-HTC have proven their ability to control the pack all the way to the end of a stage, and an uncanny ability for launching the Manx Missile at precisely the right moment (referring to Cavendish, not his penis).

Of course, none of this should really be surprising, considering the fastest man in the world is taking his marching orders from a brilliant Tour staple of the past:

Cavendish also praised Columbia sprint coach Erik Zabel, calling him “the most consistent rider of the last generation” and crediting his victory at Milan-San Remo to the German who wore the Tour’s green jersey for six consecutive years during 1996-2001.

“I just turned 24, I’ve won some races, but if I can combine my sprint with Erik’s consistence and experience. … We work so well together. There’s a great alchemy.”

Cavendish needs three more stage wins to tie the current British record of 8, held by Barry Hoban.

[see the Stage 2 finish after the jump]

Continue reading ‘Mark Cavendish is Fastest Man in the World (sorry, ladies)’

02
Jul
09

A Highly Visual Reference for the Tour de France

colorful pelotonOne of the things that prevents cycling from reaching a broader audience in the US, in my humble opinion, is the fact that it’s tough to keep track of all of the major players, especially in a Grand Tour like the one starting on Saturday. American sports, much like the American ethic in general, are centered around flashes of individual greatness — the quarterback, the running back, the pitcher, the home run bomber — and as such, team-oriented sports like soccer and cycling have no chance in hell of going mainstream, save for some sort of socialist/communist revolution.

The ironic thing is that professional cycling is full of individual heroics, but the fact that it comes in rarer flashes, after hours of riding in a tightly compressed, seemingly anonymous pack, leaves many people bored as hell. A person can only ask “Where’s Lance?” so many times before flipping over to the baseball game for good, where there are only two teams and pronouncable names on the back of each jersey.

In an effort to counter boredom-by-confusion, Bike Scene proudly presents a visual reference of all the teams competing in the 2009 Tour de France, so you can easily follow the teams and know who you’re yelling at.

[the complete list after the jump]

Continue reading ‘A Highly Visual Reference for the Tour de France’

01
Jul
09

Christmas in July: Iowa City Bike Lanes Are Finally Here!

Bike-Lane

For all the cool things about Iowa City, the place has never been known for its adept administration — I once counted two days without seeing a plow after several inches of snow — so you can imagine my surprise as I drove home this morning and saw an honest-to-goodness bike lane on Jefferson Street, complete with — get this — pothole patches all the way to the curb.

Was there some sort of mayoral coup I had missed? Had stimulus funds finally found their way to the heartland? Had the city managers finally tired of receiving my hate mail? Whatever the reason, I was so stunned that I literally pulled off Jefferson St. and ran back into the middle of it with my iPhone to take a photo commemorating the event (the above image can be seen if you’re at the corner of Jefferson and Lucas Street, looking west). I guess I would have known about this ahead of time if I actually read the local paper (and it turns out the actual story is a lot less exciting):

Kristopher Ackerson, assistant transportation planner for the Johnson County Council of Governments, recommends adding bicycle lanes on Jefferson and Market streets between Governor and Gilbert streets in a memo to the Iowa City Council. The items are part of the JCCOG Metro Bicycle Master Plan.

Ackerson wrote that studies have shown that cyclists ride more often and in a more predictable manner when bike lanes are available.

The bike lanes will be subject to the approval of the council. They will not require widening streets or reducing parking spaces, Ackerson said.

Shared lane arrows—or sharrows—are recommended for Jefferson and Market streets between Madison and Gilbert streets, as well as College Street from Summit to Linn streets.

Sharrows are an alternative to bike lanes and are used where road width is inadequate for bike lanes, according to the memo.

“Although popular in other cities across the country, this will be one of the first applications of sharrows in eastern Iowa,” Ackerson wrote.

This may be one of those minor technicalities/asshole moves, but sharrows have been in nearby Coralville for a while, and popped up about a month ago one hour north in Cedar Falls. But, hey, if Ackerson wants to portray it as a truly groundbreaking event, I’ll take it. I might even start paying some of those back taxes I owe the city, but I want to see a goddamn plow once in a while!

[Sharrows, bike lanes in the works — IC Press-Citizen]

29
Jun
09

Dress Your Desktop in Team Astana Crotchshots

Contador1024x768_A

Just in case you were hoping for a new wallpaper to dress up your desktop before the Tour’s kickoff, you can thank Team Astana for their newest series of official Alberto Contador victory crotchshots. Download them all today and relive the Spaniard’s sculpted groin every time your computer boots up.

[even more after the jump]

Continue reading ‘Dress Your Desktop in Team Astana Crotchshots’

28
Jun
09

Alberto Contador Will Win Tour, Make Love to You

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF ALBERTO CONTADOR VELASCO:

6.28.09 (PINTO, MADRID) – There has been much confusion emanating from the international sporting press corps about the up coming 2009 Tour de France, and The Office of Alberto Contador Velasco (TOACV) would like very much an opportunity to set the record straight. Very simply, Alberto Contador, lead rider for UCI ProTeam Astana, will be the humble winner of the 96th running of the Tour de France, and will be accepting advanced congratulations and gifts at the address listed at the end of this release.

Contador has come off of a long season of training and preparations for this year’s Tour de France, and as leader of Team Astana, is excited to lead the other eight riders to victory on July 26th. Fresh off a Spanish national TT title, where he beat former Caisse d’Epargne rider (now TOACV staffer), Luis León Sánchez by 37 seconds, Contador is confident that he’ll be in the yellow jersey from the prologue — a short time trial in the streets of Monaco.

TOACV would also very much like to thank the American rider, Lance Armstrong, for his upcoming support of Contador through the Tour’s 21 stages, including 3 grueling mountain top finishes. Here is a picture taken in 2008 by the Telegraph of London, featuring Contador with Astana manager, Johan Bruyneel, and Armstrong.

the threesome

Armstrong will make a fantastic domestique and addition to Team Astana, and may even be strong enough to win a second or third podium position.

[official TOACV video after the jump]

Continue reading ‘Alberto Contador Will Win Tour, Make Love to You’

26
Jun
09

Excuse Our Mess…

If you actually read this blog, you’ve probably noticed the look changing a bit. I’m just trying to find a WordPress theme I feel comfortable in. We’ll probably continue to experiment until something blows me away — if you have any preferences, please leave it in the comments.