Posts Tagged ‘damn fast


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]

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Your Belated Giro Update

Giro DItalia 1967

It’s been an exciting start to the Giro d’Italia so far this year, as riders have battled past crashes and over the mountains in search for the always illusive maglia rosa [the pink jersey]. The excitement continued with Stage 7’s thrilling 169 km ride began in the beautiful Sicilian port of Catania before winding around the base of Mt. Etna, an active volcano (in what other sport do athletes compete under the threat of molten rock?).

Franco himself

Franco himself

Although riders tried everything to close the time gap, including drafting off of spare dogs (like the Kas-Kaskol rider shown above), it still wasn’t enough to fend off Crazy Heart himself, Franco Bitossi. Fresh off a win at Tirreno-Adriatico, Bitossi could be a contender to take home the points jersey if he keeps this up.

And so, headed into a decisive Stage 8, a 218 km trek to Cosenza, Michele Dancelli holds the leader’s jersey, although Spain’s Jose Perez-Frances looks poised to strike.  Stay tuned for even more excitement from this year’s Giro d’Ita…

What’s that?

What do you mean this all happened 50 years ago? WHAT?! I just spent two hours researching all of this on Wikipedia! Yes, I’m aware anybody can edit it. What do you mean I should have known this information wasn’t up-to-date? The photos look fine — Italian cameras just have a vintage style about them. Oh, so you don’t believe me but I have to believe you? Real nice.

[Watch the 2009 Giro after the jump.]

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My Rides: the Cannondale

old school Cannondale R300

old school Cannondale R300

I proudly present the bike that took me across Iowa: my Cannondale R300. Originally purchased off of fleaBay back in 2003 for $125 plus shipping, this bike has been one of the trustiest rides I’ve had the pleasure of sitting on. And I’ve sat on a lot of things ridden a lot of bikes.

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Your Guide to the Spring Classics

Spring is a fairly exciting time for most, because it represents the beginning of another cycle of life — the renewal that comes after desolate, lonely Midwestern winters turn to rain and 60-degree days. You can try that garden again; you can get outside more. You can give losing those beach pounds another try. And perhaps, most importantly, you can start the process of fooling yourself into thinking the Cubs will win it all this year. I mean, really believing it — really believing it in your subconcious to the point where you avoid saying things to jinx it, because this could really be it, and you could be the asshole to ruin it all by saying something as innocuous as, “Those bats are looking pretty hot right now,” over dollar PBRs, when you should have been drinking Old Style.

Well, I’m not going to do it this year — do you hear me, Lou? — I’m not going to do it, goddammit. I’m not going to memorize the game schedule in 2-week increments, and listen to the official podcast like it holds the secret to immortality. I’m not going to sing “Go Cubs Go,” no matter how many times Reed Johnson hits a walkoff pinch hit homerun to win the game and the ravenous fans tear Wrigleyville apart (even though most of the people at the game don’t even know who’s playing). Sure, you’ll probably win the division, but you’ll just get into the playoffs and mess it up. Do something like ringing up 4 errors in one inning — four fucking errors, one after another! My little league team never even did that.

So… spring. A wonderful time to be alive. Oh yeah, it’s also the start of cycling’s Spring Classics, a handful of races that will help you forget all about a particular team that shall not be named again.

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On Going Fast

As I was combing through some of biking-related headlines the other day, I happened across Levi Leipheimer’s victory (over Astana teammate Alberto Contador) in the time trial stage of the Castilla y Leon. The course was a flat but windy 28.2 km (about 17.5 miles) stretch of road. Levi won the stage in 33:17, giving him an average speed of 50.8 kph — that’s 31.5 miles per hour.

Sweet Jesus that’s fast.

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Ground Control to Ivan Basso: Your Rocket is Here

Cannondale's Slice Hi-Mod Ultimate 00

Cannondale's Slice Hi-Mod Ultimate 00

I’ve always been a fan of Italian racer Ivan Basso and Cannondale road bikes, so when he signed a 2-year contract with Liquigas in 2008 (after being jettisoned from Team Discovery), I knew there’d eventually be some sweet goods to show for it. has a comprehensive first peek at the bike Basso will be riding in time trials with Liquigas, his customized Cannondale Slice Hi-Mod.

Continue reading ‘Ground Control to Ivan Basso: Your Rocket is Here’