Sunday, July 26, 2009

Silver Rush & Columbine

Saturday Phil and I went up to Leadville for one last weekend of training/riding on the course. We got to town and were geared up and ready to ride just as the Silver Rush 50 mountain bike race was taking off. We’ve never done that event – friends who have done it say it might be even harder than the 100 miler – ugh.

I know the first 200 yards is a killer - they start at the base of the tubing hill in Leadville. That just seems mean!

After watching the racers take off we headed out for our own 50 mile ride. We rode the first 25 miles of the race course (St Kevin’s, Turquoise Lake Road, Sugarloaf/Powerline), turned around at the Fish Hatchery and did it all in reverse, too.

As I noted before, the first 25 miles of the course is in really excellent condition. It is still difficult, but the trail is as rideable as I’ve ever seen it.

Phil - clearing St Kevin's with no dabs.
We had a great surprise, running into our friend Junko on the St Kevin’s section of the course. Junko has done Leadville several years, but she is sitting this one out. Her friend Yuki was doing a training ride, so she decided to ride part of the course – just for fun. The fact that she started chemo two days earlier didn’t deter her. Amazing.

We spent the night in Leadville [had a fantastic dinner at the Tennessee Pass Cafe] and got up early to ride from Twin Lakes to Columbine Mine. It rained really hard during the night and early morning, but the soil is so sandy we figured we’d be fine – and we were.

The first (& last) 25 miles of the course are buff and beautiful. The 10 mile grind of Columbine is in poor shape. It looks like there has been some road work done, and combined with the very wet summer, the shoulders are terribly soft – if not entirely washed away. That means ascending and descending riders are going to be competing for the good line – and that may be disastrous. Remember – stay to the right, and stay safe.

Twin Lakes - looking toward Independence Pass.
Before the real grind begins . . .

It is beautiful . . . just so damn brutal in the middle of a bike race!

Rain sprinkles began about halfway down Columbine. By the time the bikes were loaded and we were on our way back to Denver, the storms moved in. Once again, we got lucky with the weather – let’s hope our luck holds on August 15th!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Something Entirely Different

I thought this was cool.

British army officer Phil Packer was paralyzed in Iraq more than a year ago. He recently completed the London marathon, taking two weeks to finish the course.

If the mind is determined, the body will follow.

It Begins

The obsessing over details.

Which tires should I use?

Kenda Small Block 8? This is the tire Phil plans to run.

Specialized Fast Track?

Specialized The Captain - my choice in 2007 and what I have on my bike currently.

What tire pressure should I run?

At least I know I'm going tubeless – one decision made.

Should I wear full length leg warmers or just knee warmers?

How many ounces of water in my Camelbak at the start?
Should I try to make it all the way to Twin Lakes with one big Camelbak bladder (100 ounces) or should I start with a small one (70 ounces) and swap for another lighter one (50 ounces? 70 ounces?) at the Pipeline outbound?

I know I've had good luck with Gu and Enervitene Cheerpacks in the past, but will it be enough?

What types of food should I send with my crew just in case?

Oh crap! My crew! What to tell them? Where do they need to be? When do they need to be there? Do they have chairs and sunscreen and umbrellas and snacks and . . .?

Supplements? How many Sportlegs should I take? Or E-Caps? Don't forget the Advil/ Excedrin/ Imitrex/ Flovent inhaler . . .

Tapering. When do I start to taper? Will it be enough? Will it be too much? Remember to focus on intensity while decreasing duration. How intense is intense enough?

Which bike shorts will be comfortable for 12 hours?
Ok, no bike shorts are comfortable for 12 hours. Will it be the Shebeest shorts with the Century Chamois? Or the Descente shorts with carbon inserts for muscle support?

Do I need a new music mix for my iPod?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Winner is . . .


We had a postcard perfect day for the race.

Phil had a plan and executed it perfectly. He caught on to a fast group of riders right at the start, and held on to their wheels to get a pull for the 7 miles before the real climbing starts. He was smart about selecting a group that was just strong enough to give him an advantage, but not so fast that he pushed himself into his heart rate red-zone.

Well done, Phil!! You hold the family bragging rights for the Mt Evans Hill Climb.

2009 results (approximate – official results haven’t been posted yet):

Phil 2:43
Joanne 2:47


In 2004 our friend Jean rode the Mt Evans Hill Climb. Phil and I had never even considered riding it, assuming you had to be a “real” racer to participate. But after Jean’s daring adventure, we learned there is a Citizens category for riders without race licenses who still want to challenge themselves.

So, in 2005, we entered the race. Jean had completed the course the prior year in 3 hours and 50 minutes. We used that time as a baseline, and both just hoped to finish in under 4 hours. [Some perspective – the race record is held by Tom Danielson, who rides for the Garmin Slipstream professional team. Tom’s record time? 1 hour and 41 minutes. Holy crap.]

After the race was underway, we realized we could have aimed for 3 hours – but our early pacing threw us off. Still we surprised ourselves by how well we did that year (that was the first year we finished Leadville, too).

2005 results:
Phil 3:14:22
Joanne 3:06:42

In 2006 we rode again – but it was an “off” year in our Leadville schedule, so we weren’t in top shape. Phil pushed himself really hard, but I took it reasonably easy and looked at it more as a supported ride (like the Triple Bypass) rather than as a race – which is evident in our respective results.

2006 results:
Phil 3:05:20
Joanne 3:23:13

2007 – a Leadville year – found us in good shape and intent on breaking the 3 hour barrier. Phil’s need for a “bio break” just barely kept him from finishing in under 3 hours – rats.

2007 results:
Phil 3:01:10
Joanne 2:55:08

2008 – let’s be honest – I was fat. It hurt. ‘Nuff said.

2008 results:
Phil 3:12:20
Joanne 3:25:13

Which brings us to today’s race. Many things became clear today:

(1) Wife Beater Bike #1 (Phil’s Sampson Diablo road bike) has earned its name;

(2) Phil is as slim, fit & motivated as he’s ever been in the time I’ve known him (we met in 2000);

(3) When Phil is determined, he is a force to contend with. He was determined to beat me to the top of Mt Evans today, and was willing to put himself in the hurt locker in order to do that;

(4) Ultimately, I am not a bike racer. Bike racers are willing to endure untold pain, suffering and sacrifice to win an event. I am a bike rider. I like to ride my bike. I don’t really like to suffer and turn myself inside out.

I rode hard today. I’m proud of my new personal best time, even though I missed my goal by about 2 minutes.
When I set that goal it was what, in the sales world, is called a “stretch objective” - something well beyond what I expected to achieve. It gave me something to aim for beyond my expected reach and you never know – I might have surprised myself.

If I was a bike racer, I would have achieved that goal – it would have taken a bit more attentiveness and an incremental increase in my level of effort to hold a faster rider’s wheel. But I’m not and I didn’t, and I’m okay with that.

I’m incredibly proud of Phil, who set a difficult goal and was willing to suffer to achieve it. He’s the Mountain Goat . . . for 2009.

Friday, July 17, 2009

No Gifts!

(By guest blogger Phil Kriz - “The Competition”)

I probably get to benefit more than anyone else by reading Joanne’s blog about our journey to the Leadville 100 and wanted to contribute to it a little before our first race.

Since we are not even close to being elite athletes, training for races like the Mt Evans Hill Climb and the Leadville 100 takes discipline, a plan, and lots & lots of time.

The training has evolved into a big part of our life together. A lot of the training is boring, hard work. However, that is balanced by fun outdoor rides together, the sense of accomplishment, and the enjoyment of friendly competition that has formed over time between Joanne and me.

As has been said by several great bike racers – “No Gifts!”

When race day comes, there are “no gifts” and we both know that we are going to put it all on the line to beat each other.

Joanne is my best friend, my riding partner, and there is no one’s butt I would rather kick when the shotgun goes off!

However, so far Joanne has earned the bragging rights for the best times between the two of us on the Hill Climb and the Leadville 100. No gifts. She has beaten me fair and square each time. That is what makes it soooo tasty!!

Sure, I would like to set a new personal record on both of these events. But, what makes these events so much more fun is seeing how well you do against your riding buddies!!!

Just watch the first part of the video clip of Lance where he talks about Levi trash talking about the Leadville 100; you’ll see what I mean.

I think the importance of how you do against your buddies is especially true for the average rider (most of us) that has no hope of ever, ever obtaining a podium spot.

Joanne is my competition.

The whole time I am riding in these races an internal dialog occurs. A single thought repeats over and over - “How am I doing compared to Joanne?” If I am ahead, I think: “Don’t let her claw her way back!”; “Push!”; “Make her hurt!”; “Don’t let her see you are hurting!”; etc.

If I am behind, I think all kinds of nasty mean thoughts. Some of the nicer are: “This race was her dumb idea!” Even though this is rarely true, it just feels great to say to myself when I am getting my butt kicked. “I am going to buy those $2,000 wheels next year!” Even though I know I am too cheap to follow through and that I know it wouldn’t help – it also feels great to say that to myself.

When I finally get across the finish line, all the competitive thoughts disappear almost instantly. All I can think is that I hope Joanne is alright – safe and healthy. Life would be so empty if you didn’t have a riding buddy to compete against and share the adventure with!

The Prize

This year I wanted something tangible and silly to go with the bragging rights for the victor. So, in the spirit of these two races there is a prize for the winner of each:

Mt Evans Hill Climb – the “mountain goat”

The local symbol of that race – “the climber”

Leadville 100 – the “Lion,” symbolizing the winner with the “heart of a lion.”

So - this year, not only do we have bragging rights on the line, we have serious trophies.

The Mt Evans Hill Climb is tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dave & Lance - Odds & Ends

Gale Bernhardt, with, interviewed Dave Weins about his training plan for the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race this year. This is a link to the first part of her interview. I'll update with Part 2 when she posts it.

Also interesting is Gail's analysis of who she believes will come into the race in better form - Lance or Dave?

Finally, a link to a great video interview with Lance where he says - really - that the Tour de France is simply part of his Leadville training plan . . . uh huh.

Neither Alberto Contador nor I buy that story!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Photos of the Leadville Trail 100 MTB Course

Here are some photos taken during our recent rides at Leadville.

The guys at the Fish Hatchery have a great sense of humor!
Staring at the beast - the Powerline.

Approaching the top of Sugarloaf
Approaching the top of Sugarloaf

Stopping to enjoy the view - which I won't have time to do on August 15th!

St Kevin's claims a victim.

Always bring a rain jacket . . .

Triple Bypass

Note: My computer is fixed! Again I have very little . . . well, okay, NOTHING, good to say about the Geek Squad at Best Buy. Note to self – next time, buy an Apple Computer.

Saturday was the
Triple Bypass. The Triple is always a challenge – if you are in shape, you push yourself and try to finish in a "good" time – whatever that means to you. If you are not in great shape, it is a long day with many opportunities to suffer.

We are now one month away from Leadville, so the final push is on. I looked forward to the Triple as an opportunity to assess my fitness. After doing the ride, I think I'm where I need to be.

Phil had some complications come up at work, so he was not able to do the whole ride. He did ride to the top of Loveland Pass, then turned around and rode home.

I decided to go ahead and do the planned ride. My sister and brother-in-law were already set to pick me up in Avon, so why not ride?

My friend Amy rode her first Triple this year – great work, Amy! These are photos of her on Squaw Pass a couple weeks ago when she did a Loop From Hell training ride with us.

We headed out from Bergen Park just before 630 am. I felt good, so I pushed a little bit on the climb up Squaw Pass. I didn't go redline/lung-busting/all out – but just a notch above comfortable. Phil rode my wheel the whole way (I think I made him hurt just a little bit . . .).

At one point a guy I passed said something like "Nice Bike." Very original . . . and being a smartass I responded "it would be nicer if it had a motor." By then I was 100 yards up the road, but I heard his reply: "Looks like it has a good motor already!"
That made me feel good.

Phil did his best Mark Cavendish sprint at the summit of Squaw Pass, swung off my wheel and pipped me. Phil Liggett would be proud.

The weather was fantastic. I think it is the first year I did not have to stop at the top to put on a jacket (and pants & warm gloves, etc.). I pulled up my arm warmers and was just fine on the long descent into Idaho Springs.

We had a ferocious headwind between Georgetown and the base of Loveland Pass. No surprise there. Phil caught a fast pack of cyclists and held on for dear life. I got a slightly slower group and let the boys in University of Texas jerseys pull me for 5 miles. Awesome.

After a PBJ and some Chips Ahoy at the Loveland aid station, I was back on my bike for the climb up Loveland Pass.
The Loveland climb is only 4 miles long; yes, it is steep, but it never seems that bad to me. I just got in my groove & spun up to the top.

Saturday it was beautiful, with clear blue skies. Like a dumb-ass, I carried my camera all day, but didn't take a single photo. Knowing my computer was still bollixed I didn't think I'd be blogging the ride. So you'll have to trust me – the view from the top of Loveland was breathtaking. Perhaps the altitude and the climb added to the breathlessness . . .

It was hotter than stink on the little climb up Swan Mountain, but the clouds were building and I was pretty sure I'd be cooled off soon by one of Colorado's ubiquitous afternoon thunderstorms.
Sure enough, once I hit the bike path between Frisco and Copper Mountain, the showers started. Just enough rain to cool me off and mess up my sunglasses – pretty nice, actually. I felt great on that section and was pushing just a little bit. At one point I looked back to see a train of 5 or 6 guys hanging on to my wheel – being a bit undersized I don't think anyone gets much of a draft off of me, but hey, whatever works.
The Conoco station in Copper Mountain was packed with cyclists fueling up for the last little push up and over Vail Pass. I grabbed a PayDay and two Excedrine; said "hi" to my friends Jean, Linda and Paul; called my sister to give her an ETA; and headed up the final pass.
Vail pass from the Copper Mountain side is no big deal. I think it is only 3 miles long. Wait – let me re-phrase that: This year, Vail Pass was no big deal. That is a reflection of my current fitness. There have been years when it was a serious challenge for me.

Ate a couple of Oreos at the Vail Pass aid station, and started the long descent into Avon. [Can you tell one of my favorite things about doing rides like this is the ability to eat crap with impunity? I saw a guy eating Fritos at Copper Mountain and nearly mugged him. I don't think I've had Fritos in the last 10 years, but at mile 90 out of 120, they looked amazing.]

Coming down off of Vail Pass my luck gave out. The afternoon storm blew in with vigor. Howling wind. Sheets of rain. Small hail. I stopped to put on my rain jacket and felt bad for the six cyclists I saw changing flat tires.

By the time I made it to West Vail, the rain had stopped and a nearly imperceptible tailwind urged me the rest of the way into Avon. 119 miles, 8.5 hours and well over 10,000 feet of climbing. A very good day on the bike.

After a shower, I ate dinner in Frisco at Vinny’s with my sister and brother-in-law – I highly recommend it. Rich had veal, I had pork tenderloin wrapped in prosciutto and Barb had halibut – and we all ate every bite!
I fell into bed feeling very good about the ride. One more Triple Bypass - done!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Bonk

Sunday, I bonked.

Phil and I planned to meet Jeffrey at the Echo Lake Lodge
at 8 am, then ride to the top of Mount Evans. Rather than driving up to the Lodge, we decided to begin riding in Idaho Springs. That meant we needed to be riding by 630 am at the latest (it is 14 miles from Idaho Springs to Echo Lake, with 3,000 feet of elevation gain in that distance).

Phil and I got up at 430 am so we could eat some breakfast, pack up our gear, and get to Idaho Springs early enough to unload the bikes, make a pit stop at the Forest Service facilities, and get on the road.

It was about 48 degrees when we left Idaho Springs. Even though the temperature rose throughout the day, we kept climbing out of the warmth (a 7,000 foot elevation gain over 28 miles), so the entire ride was done at between 48 – 40 degrees. [At the summit of Mt Evans a very nice Forest Service ranger advised me that with the wind chill, it was 18 degrees; I was glad to have my balaclava!]

I typically have a pretty good handle on my nutrition needs.

When we ride for two hours or more, I try to eat 1 Gu
(I tried the Roctane version of Gu earlier this season, but it caused some gastric distress, so I went back to the simple Vanilla Gu – with caffeine) or 1 Enervitene Cheerpack each hour, as well as taking 2 Sportlegs capsules and one Endurolyte capsule each hour.

My basic plan failed me yesterday, and I think I know why.

I rode for an hour Thursday afternoon; we rode 3-and-a-half hours at Leadville on Friday; 2 hours and 15 minutes at Buffalo Creek on Saturday; then topped it off with the ride up Mt Evans on Sunday morning. So, I was a bit worn out and probably hadn't done a good job of keeping my glycogen stores topped off. Added to that was the cold, so I was burning through more calories than I typically do.

By the time I hit Summit Lake, I was hungry, had a headache, my hands were shaking, and I was nauseous – awesome!! I stopped and downed an extra Gu, but I was already over the line. While I was able to finish the ride, I spent yesterday afternoon fighting off a migraine and feeling miserable and puny.

I needed the reminder, I suppose.

At Leadville, nutrition is at least half the battle. If you don't get enough calories in throughout the day, you will suffer [even more than you are going suffer anyway . . . !].

Here is my nutrition plan for Leadville (keep in mind that I'm a small woman – if there are any guys reading this and looking for tips, you probably need to double the carbohydrate intake.)

I aim for about 30 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per hour, depending on how well my stomach can tolerate the food. Even though I'm burning anywhere between 300 – 600 calories per hour during the race (depending on whether I'm climbing or cruising on the flat stretches), my body can only process about 120 – 150 calories per hour. The point is not to keep up 1 for 1 with the output – it is more like a trickle charge for a car battery. Keep just enough juice flowing in to stave off depletion. So, I try to eat 1 Gu and/or 1 Enervitene Cheerpack every 45 minutes to 1 hour.

I am a big drinker, but I don't go with Cytomax or anything like that in my water. It is a gut bomb for me. I add a couple Elixir tabs to my Camelback to give the water some flavor.

I take 1 Endurolyte and 2 Sportleg capsules each hour. Advil/Aleve/Excedrine also get added to the mix on an "as needed" basis.

I'm not able to tolerate solid food during the event, though I did slurp down Ramen noodle juice at the top of St Kevin's one year, and that salty water was a little slice of heaven. Some folks can eat a ham sandwich or a burrito with green chile - more power to 'em. Just remember - your gut will divert blood to digest the food - and your legs need all the blood they can get during the event, so timing your intake is critical.

Oh, and my pre-race breakfast – a PowerBagel from Einstein's slathered with peanut butter. And a diet Pepsi. I try to eat about 90 minutes before the race begins.

So far, this strategy has worked for me.
Let's hope my luck holds. Nutrition may be the difference between recording a personal best and failing to finish.

Monday, July 6, 2009

First (and Second) Look

Note: I'm still computerless at home, so I'll update this post with my photos later.

On Saturday, June 27, Phil and I took a trip up to Leadville to get in a training ride at altitude and check out the course conditions. With the heavy rains we have been having, I was a little worried about erosion gullys on the descent from Sugarloaf and the Powerline.

We parked in town and rode our bikes from the start at 6th & Harrison. I forgot how fast and fun the first 3 miles are – a sweet pavement downhill. On race day I guess I don't pay much attention to that because I'm trying not to crash and trying not to freeze to death.

Once we turned off onto the dirt all my concerns about the trail condition were alleviated.

The Leadville course is generally sandy, except where it is really rocky (thus my preference for a full suspension bike, even though the hardcore racers insist a hardtail is the only way to go on race day – they are tougher, and generally younger than me . . . just wait . . . they will see the benefits of plush over fast at some point). The rain has made the sand smooth and hard packed - perfect riding conditions.

The St Kevin's climb is still damn steep. I didn't have to dab or walk any part of it, but my heart was pounding in my ears and I was gasping for breath. There simply isn't enough oxygen in the air near Leadville. It was good to be reminded of that, and we'll be spending as much time riding at altitude as we can in the coming weeks.

The pavement section on Turquoise Lake Road between St Kevin's and Sugarloaf is in pretty bad shape. The road crews have been out patching the bigger sections of frost heave damage, but the patches are rough and sometimes have loose gravel/asphalt scattered around, so one goes fast at her/his own peril.

The climb up Sugarloaf is in fantastic condition – I don't recall ever seeing it this smooth. Sure, there are lots of loose sharp rocks, but there is a fairly obvious "good line" the whole way. The descent, however, is sketchy. The rain and erosion have loosened lots of rocks. With no one else on the trail it is easy to pick a good line, but race day will be another story entirely.

Hopefully I'll get two or three more looks before the race so I can get a bit more comfortable. My weakness is descending – I climb like a Billy goat and descend like a girly girl. Sad, but true. All the people I pass easily during the climbs bomb by me like I'm standing still on the downhill sections.

Dammit. I need to work on that.

The Powerline is . . . well, it's the Powerline.

Steep as hell, rutted, sandy and kind of scary. The rain has packed the sandy parts, so that is good, but it has also created some 3 and 4 foot gullys that can eat you up and spit you out like a broken rag doll. Constant vigilance is required. I dabbed once, but otherwise made it down with no problems and without the dry-mouthed terror it use to inspire in me – hey, that's progress!

The creek at the bottom of the Powerline is not running nearly as high and fast as I expected. Using the ever-so-small and unstable plank, you can get across without soaking your feet.

We rode over to the Fish Hatchery, then returned to Leadville via County Road 5, County Road 9 and the Boulevard. Again, I was pleasantly surprised. I expected a mud pit down by the railroad tracks, but it was mostly dry and completely rideable.

It was good to ride the Boulevard – it is always good to remind myself how long that section is. You know – your bike computer shows 100 miles, and you are ready to be done. It is a 2.5 mile mind f*ck.

Remember that on race day, and just keep spinning – you'll be done soon.

July 3, 2009

We went back to Leadville and rode the Powerline section in the other direction. We again parked in town, rode on the pavement out to the Fish Hatchery, then headed up the Powerline.

Ugh. I can only ride about the first half mile, then it's off the bike to push up the rest of the grade (maybe another half mile). Once at the top of the Powerline, I was able to ride all of Sugarloaf with only 3 dabs, I think. Most of those were caused by simple daydreaming. If you aren't fully present and picking out the best line, you'll end up getting into loose rocky crap that can derail your efforts quickly.

A quick – and very rough - ride down to Turquoise Lake Road and then the dreaded slog on the pavement back to St Kevin's.

The ride got interesting here . . .

Phil was just ahead of me. Going into one of the sharp, steep, climbs he waited a little too long to shift, and threw his chain. He told me it was fine, no chain suck, and he'd be right behind me, so I kept riding.

When I got to the top on the final descent off of St Kevin's I waited for him, expecting to see him within minutes. He didn't show up. After about 5 minutes I turned around and rode back down the trail looking for him – afraid that he had a mechanical problem, or perhaps had crashed on a descent while chasing after me.

No Phil.

I rode all the way back to the pavement and didn't see him anywhere. I called him, but no answer on his cell phone – no surprise – I figured he didn't have a signal out in the boonies.

So then I rode all the way to the bottom of St Kevin's, thinking maybe he had flanked me by riding back to the pavement due to a mechanical problem.

Still no Phil – and no answer on his phone.

As I stood at the intersection trying to figure out weather to head back to the car or instead go searching along Turquoise Lake Road, he called.

He had been chasing me and was also thinking about work and chickens (to be explained at a later date . . .) and missed a turn off St Kevin's near the green Forest Service gate. Instead of going down and across the road, he turned uphill and started climbing . . . and climbing . . . and climbing. He finally realized he'd made a mistake, but wasn't sure where.

It took him a while to get back on track, but eventually – after more climbing than he really needed to do, he did get sorted out.

All is well that ends with no broken bones, right?

We once again beat the deluge – lucky for us. It rained so hard it was blowing manhole covers off! Nice to be inside watching rather than scrambling for cover when that kind of weather moves through.

It's Tour Time!!

The Tour de France began on July 4.

I have made my annual call to Dish Network to upgrade our service to the package that includes Versus, the only domestic TV channel that carries the Tour.

Back in the late 80s when I first got interested in cycling and the Tour de France, we were lucky to get 60 minutes of highlight coverage on ESPN once a week.

While I honestly appreciate having the extended coverage Versus provides, I anticipate being annoyed by its one dimensional "all Lance Armstrong, all the time" coverage. [as well as the "male enhancement" commercials – those get old very quickly . . .]

So, for those of you who aren't avid cyclists and don't check out
every morning as you drink your first cup of coffee, there are other riders participating in the Tour – and one of these guys may walk away in the winner's yellow jersey:

Alberto Contador
Cadel Evans
Denis Menchov
Carlos Sastre
Andy Schleck
Levi Leipheimer

Stay tuned! There will undoubtedly be plenty of drama this year. Tomorrow's Team Time Trial may eliminate some of the guys who would otherwise be favorites - a strong individual on a weak team (Cadel Evans, for instance) is going to have a difficult time recovering from a large time loss in that stage.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Sorry for the recent radio silence. I'm afraid I had a bad crash and have been unable to blog.

No no no – I didn't emulate Mr Armstrong and break my collarbone.

My hard drive and RAM – in my less than 6-month-old computer – catastrophically crashed.

I'm back in Best Buy hell.

Stay tuned . . . hopefully I'll be up and running again soon.