What's Cool In Road Cycling

Euro Trash Thursday!

Tour, Tour and more Tour, the Euro Trash can is full of it! But then what did you expect? There is cycling going on in other places and there are always rumours, scandals and dare we say it…more drug revelations! Read on.

Tour News
After stage 15 there was only one subject that everyone is talking about and that was-Alberto Contador; “should he or should he not” have waited for Andy Schleck when his chain came off. My personal view is that these things happen in bike racing, Nico Roche also punctured that day, no one waited for him!

Here are a few other comments from the world of cycling:

Denis Menchov, 4th Overall:
“I can’t explain because I didn’t see what happened. We know that Alberto and Andy play with each other. We have to follow one of them. I saw the reaction of Contador and I thought it was decisive, so I tried to follow him.” When asked if Alberto Contador did the “correct” thing? “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask him. The question didn’t come up in me!”

Samuel Sanchez; 3rd Overall:
“There is a lot of talk about this incident in the race, I believe that we shouldn’t focus on something that is natural in cycling, tomorrow it could happen to me or anyone else! In the race, I didn’t know if Andy had a problem or not. He started very strong, Contador went after him, then Menchov moved. From the TV it looks great, but in the race at 200 beats a minute with thousands of screaming fans on the road, the instinct is telling you to go with the big move and mark the man”.

Andy Schleck; 2nd Overall:
“I was feeling strong and determined throughout the stage and the team did everything to put me in the perfect position for the final climb,” he said after the finish. “When I launched my second attack, the chain got stuck and I had to get off the bike to put it back on. Then they attacked”. He then commented; “I probably wouldn’t have done it like that,” he said “I’m just really looking forward to getting another chance of attacking”. Adding for good measure; “the jersey deserves honour.”

Bjarne Riis, Saxo Bank/Schleck Manager:
“I don’t know. Was it possible for Contador to wait in that situation, with Sanchez and Menchov attacking? He has to follow those guys, for sure. He might not need to pull or attack, but he has to follow those guys.”

Alberto Contador, Overall Leader:
Later in the day, Alberto Contador made a short film that you can see on You Tube here.

He said:
“Today I managed to get on the podium, which makes me happy. The problem with that was the circumstances. Right when I attacked Andy had a mechanical on the last climb. The race was in full gear and, well, maybe I made a mistake, I’m sorry.
At a time like that all you think about is riding as fast as you can. I’m not happy, in the sense that, to me, fair play is very important. Just like I did in the Spa stage, when both Andy and Frдnk were behind the pack, I didn’t hesitate to stop the bunch so that they could catch up”. He continued:
“Many people criticized me for doing that, especially after the stage on the cobbles, when the crash happened and the whole bunch split as a result, and it allowed Andy to take time on me, but I always settle it by saying I’d do it again. The kind of thing that happened today is not something I like, it’s not my style and I hope my relationship with Andy will remain as good as before.”

Of course Twitter went into melt down, here are two of the best:

Cervelo’s Gerard Vroomen:
“Contador just gained a great chance to win, but he lost the chance to win greatly.”
Then later:
“Alberto has a tiny point: Schleck didn’t wait for him after the cobblestone crash so complaints about fair play ring hollow.”

Spokesmen, Eurosport’s David Harmon
Kelly says wait, Fignon says ‘one of those things’, Durand, Roche, VDB say ‘go’, Mentheour says ‘stupid gear change!’..Guimard non committal”.

Fast Forward To Tuesday
Alberto Contador on Twitter: @andy_schleck and me have been talking in the race about yesterday and our relationship will not change. We are good friends.

And then form Andy Schleck on French TV “We talked today. What happened yesterday isn’t what one would have wanted to see, but during a race like that, things happen. We are fine now,” Then he shook Alberto Contador’s hand.

What about the Booing?
“Everybody, stop that. For me too, please,” he said, straight to camera.

So the storm is back in the tea cup! And we can laugh about it:

Maybe More Talk Worthy?
Nico Roche punctured at a nasty moment on the stage and at that moment the Ag2r leader needed his team help, but “teammate” John Gadret went on the attack. Nico said in his blog for The Irish Independent: “If John Gadret is found dead in his hotel room in the morning, I will probably be the primary suspect, but after today’s stage, as he sat beside me on the team bus I had great difficulty in not putting his head through the nearest window.”

Near the top of the Port de Bales, Nico was with Contador and the other leaders looking to improve on his overall place of 14th, then disaster a front puncture. Gadret rode up and Roche asked him for his wheel. “Non!” was the answer as the Frenchman rode past, even with team manager; Vincent Lavenu shouting into the ear-piece.

The bad news was that Roche lost eight minutes and dropped to 17th place, all for nothing as Nico remarked: “Unbelievably, Gadret had attacked Schleck and Contador near the top, even though there was a group five minutes up the road and he had absolutely no chance of winning the stage”. Both riders have long term contracts with Ag2r, could get nasty?

More Bad Luck!
The team with probably the worst clothing at the Tour; Footon-Servetto is now down to five contenders after the abandon by Basque rider Iban Mayoz. The rider from San Sebastiбn suffered a big crash in the descent of the Col d’Ares (2nd Cat), forty kilometres from the finish in Bagnиres-de-Luchon. Some bruises and a hard bang to his right hand side made Mayoz use all his energies our to courageously ride to the finish line as last-man, more than half an hour after the winner, Thomas Voeckler. However, once he had been to the Hospital Val d’Aran in Spain’s Vielha, the worst predictions were fulfilled: the Basque had three fractured ribs forcing him to say “Adios” to the Tour.

A Close Call For Jens!
German hard-man; Jens Voigt had a repeat of his crash from last year, but this time he rode on. Puncturing you front tire at speed is never s good idea, after he finished the stage he commented; “I’m doing 70 kilometres an hour on the first descent when my front tire explodes,” he explained. “Before I hit the asphalt I actually managed to think that this is going to hurt. Both knees, elbows, hands, shoulders and the entire left side of my body were severely hurt”.
“My ribs are hurting but hey, broken ribs are overrated anyway. Fortunately, I didn’t land on my face this time and I’m still alive.
“I was offered a ride on the truck that picks up abandoned riders but I’m not going to quit another Tour de France. Now there’s a rest day and Paris is not that far away.”

And Basso?
The winner of this year’s Giro d’Italia; Ivan Basso has acute bronchitis, but he is struggling on regardless. After finishing in the grouppetto with the sprinters in Pau he said: “Today, I continued for the honour, even my sports directors proposed for me to leave, but I never like to retire, and I wanted to give everything to cling to staying in this Tour.” He was thinking ahead to Wednesday and said: “Now, I only think about the rest day tomorrow, there I hope to erase this bad day from memory. I’m not used to being in the gruppetto when the players are at the front. I assure you, it is not fun.” I’ll bet!

Last Days Of Action!
Today (Thursday) could be decisive with the Toumalet summit finish; Contador and Schleck have both said so! But as these things can turn out it might be a big nothing, whatever it will be a great day in the mountains. Then on Saturday the TT will put the seal on this year’s Tour. It’s been one of the best in many years, don’t you think?

Yes, There Are Other Races On!

Tour Of Qinghai Lake
The Tour of Qinghai Lake is probably the most important race on the AsiaTour circuit and it comes in the 2.HC category. The 10 days stage race kicks off with a criterium in Huzhu and finishing in Xinging with another crit, the longest stage is 173 kilometres. It’s a hard fought race with many European riders taking part, it started on the 16th and finishes on the 25th July.

There has been a bit of controversy as on stage 4 when Ivan Stevic of Partizan Serbija won the stage and then gave a 1 finger salute. He said he wasn’t trying to offend anyone, but he was disqualified for his actions. You may remember Mr. Stevic as he was banned for life by CONI for his involvement in the “oil for drugs” case.

Giant Asia’s David McCann is 3rd and Alex Coutts is 60th on GC.

Criterium. Y. Metlushenko (Amore & Vita)
Stage 1. R. Rogina (Loborika). GC-Rogina.
Stage 2. G. Gazvoda (Arbц KTM). GC-Rogina.
Stage 3. G. Mizbani Iranagh (Tabriz Petro). GC- Rogina.
Stage 4. Ivan Stivec (Partizan Srbija) DSQ. 2nd. Metlushenko. GC-Rogina.
Stage 5. Y. Metlushenko (Amore & Vita). GC-Rogina.

Vuelta A La Comunidad De Madrid
The opening 8 kilometre time trial was won by the big Swede, Gustav Larsson of Saxo Bank from Oleg Chuzhda of Caja Rural, 4th was Ezequiel Mosquera (Galicia), in 6th was Francisco Mancebo (Heraklion) and Pezpal; Richie Porte (Saxo) was 9th. Stage 2 was a bunch sprint won by Francisco Ventoso (Carmiooro) from Kodol Fernandez (Euskaltel) and Larsson held his overall lead. On stage the difficult stage 3 Sergio Padrilla (Carmiooro) won on his own to take stage and overall, Larsson came in nearly 2 minutes down.

Vuelta a Madrid Final Result:
1. Sergio Pardilla (Carmiooro-NGC) in 5:18:21
2. Fortunato Baliani (Miche) at 0:38
3. Ivan Melero (Burgos Monumental) at 0:39
4. Francisco Mancebo (Heraklion Kastro-Murcia) at 0:46
5. Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) at 0:57
6. Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 1:02
7. Jose Herrada (Caja Rural) at 1:05
8. Giampaolo Cheula (Footon-Servetto) at 1:07
9. Laurent Didier (Saxo Bank) at 1:09
10 Luis Pasamontes (Caisse d’Epargne) at 1:10

Cascade Cycling Classic
All the interest seems to be in Floyd Landis who did ride, but in plain clothing of a grey T shirt and black shorts. He finished the 3.2 kilometre time trial in 91st place 15.6 seconds slower than the winner; Jesse Sergent of the Trek-Livestrong team. The race of 6 stages finishes on the 25th of July.

Transfer News And Rumours

Sylvain Chavanel And Jerome Pineau Renew With Quick-Step
There’s good news in the Quick-Step house. In the 2011 season the French duo Chavanel-Pineau will again ride for Team Quick-Step. The agreement for one year plus an option for 2012 was signed today in Pau. “For Quick- Step it’s an important confirmation as they lead up to a new season”, said Quick-Step Media service.

Hesjedal To Stay Garmin-Transitions
With a fantastic Tour de France behind him, Ryder Hesjedal has signed a contract to bind him to the team through 2013. He said; “I’m very happy with this team. It’s a big reason why I am here today,” Hesjedal told a handful of journalists during Wednesday’s rest day. “I’m the most focused I’ve ever been. I’m comfortable on this team. I’ve been here since ‘day one.’ I’ve tried to step up a level each year. The team gave me that luxury to have that security.”

Skil-Shimano Looks Ahead
The Dutch team have extended their contract with Frenchman Steve Houanard for two more years. The young Frenchman (24) has been progressing well since he turned pro for the team two years ago.

Vacansoleil Rob Rabobank
22 year old Martijn Keizer has been snatched away from the Rabobank Continental squad to strengthen Vacansoleil. He may ride some races as a stagiare for Vacansoleil as a build up to the U23 World championships. At the moment Vacansoliel is registered as Pro Continental, but they would like to step up to ProTour alongside Rabobank.

The Rumour Mill
The biggest rumour has to be that Alberto Contador will be riding for Bjarne Riis next year. Specialized are to be co-sponsor with Sungard and the Schleck brothers are nowhere to be seen. Astana want a solid agreement with the Spaniard on Sunday, the last day of the Tour. Quick-Step, Garmin and Caisse d’Epargne would also like to have the Grand Tour winner in their stable.

The Schleck’s?
Frank and Andy Schleck are to be the leaders of the new Luxembourg team, the Sponsor to be a well known chain store; Auchan.

Lots of other riders are meant to be on the move, but it’s all conjecture until the 1st of September when they can officially announce who goes where.

Drug News
OK, where were we? Floyd Landis spills the beans about his old team; U.S. Postal. American authorities get involved and so does Interpol. Lance Armstrong questions Floyd’s truthfulness and his sanity. Trek team bike were supposed to be sold to pay for drugs. Ex-UCI Pres; Hein Verbruggen gets into an e-mail slagging match with Landis. Riders agree to help the investigation. Greg Lemond is subpoenaed and attacks everyone, but agrees with Floyd, who he had earlier given evidence against. Did I miss anything? Yes it still rumbles on!

Petacchi Under Investigation
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the top sprinter has been accused of “use of forbidden substances and practices,” specifically the blood booster PFC (Perfluorocarbon) and human serum albumin. His house has been searched and nothing found, but team mate Lorenzo Bernucci did have banned substances. Petacchi has said (through his lawyer) that he will be available questioning as soon as he has finished the Tour de France.

Clean Bottle’s “BOTTLE BOY” Runs With The Leaders At The Tour De France
Dave Mayer, founder of Clean Bottle, a revolutionary sports bottle that unscrews at both ends for easy cleaning, didn’t have a lot of money to launch his business. So he got creative. Mayer put together a five-foot-tall replica costume of his product, booked a flight to France and has been running alongside the riders at the tops of the climbs of the Tour de France.

In the process he’s become a minor celebrity.
“From what I hear I’ve gotten some good television time” said Mayer “my inbox is flooded with people telling me what a kick they get out of “Bottle Boy” running along with the cyclists.”

Instant Success at REI.com and Backcountry.com
Mayer launched his company a few months ago and saw immediate uptake. The product was picked up by REI, Backcountry.com and other major retailers and is distributed in over a dozen countries.

“It’s great that people see value in the product. Athletes often can’t clean out the gunk and mold that accumulates at the bottom of their bottles. With Clean Bottle, they save themselves the cost of buying new bottles, and probably a stomach ache or two from not drinking from dirty ones.”

Creates “Bottle Boy” Costume for National Product Launch
Buoyed by his initial success, Mayer decided he needed to do a national product launch. But, he didn’t have the hundreds of thousands of dollars it takes for this kind of effort.

Instead, he came up with “Bottle Boy” and launched a plan to run along the tops of the climbs of 12 stages of the Tour de France.

“The Tour de France is the Super Bowl of cycling. By running with the riders I’d essentially get free commercial time focused on my exact target audience. I’d do it in a creative, funny way that hopefully would get people’s attention.”

Sales are Climbing Through the Roof!
So far, Mayer’s plan is working. “I’ve gone from $4,000 a month in sales to $4,000 a day. And people are constantly emailing me about the bottle and what a great idea it is. Driving all night to get to the next stage and then hauling the costume some times as much as 20 kilometres to the top of every climb is a lot of work, but it’s definitely been worth it.”

Look for Clean Bottle on Thursday’s Tourmalet Climb!
Clean Bottle’s Tour de France concludes with Thursday’s 19 kilometre climb up the Tourmalet, one of cycling’s toughest climbs. Look for Bottle Boy near the top, cheering on the riders and bringing smiles to the faces of cycling fans worldwide.

You can also see Clean Bottle’s ‘stage reports’ at the Clean Bottle blog, https://cleanbottle.wordpress.com and its Facebook page www.facebook.com/cleanbottle

About Clean Bottle:
Clean Bottle was founded and is run by David Mayer, a road and mountain cyclist. Dave’s dream is to create phenomenal products that customers love and raise money for good causes.

Clean Bottle supports charities including Engineers Without Borders, Nature Conservancy, Yield to Life, Water1st, the California Bicycle Coalition and more.

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.