Rolling Thunder Cyclocross Race November 3rd

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lance Armstrong

Everyone is talking about it. Lance's return to cycling. While the details aren't worked out it seems clear that Armstrong will return to the pro peleton for 2009. Everyone is asking the same questions. Here's my take:
Who will he ride for?
Well I seriously doubt he'll ride for anyone but Astana. Which thickens the plot. Alberto Contrador is the best stage racer in the world. He's already said that if he rides the tour next year he's going for the win (regardless of whether Armstrong is on his team or not). We might be looking at a less intense version of Hinault and Lemond. Lance will ride for Astana, do you think Trek would allow him to ride for another team?
Why is he coming back?
Lots of people seem to doubt his return being spurred on by promoting cancer awareness. While I think that's a part of it, I think Lance's return is primarily due to his ultra competiveness. I think getting beat by Wiens lit the fire within. Remember that Armstrong didn't loose much in cycling. He missed the competition.
How good will he be?
It's Lance Armstrong. He's not going to be bad. As you get older you don't necesarily drop off in fitness it's recovery time that suffers a bit. That said I don't think Armstrong has aged enough to really be effected. He knows what it takes to get his body ready. He's won the Tour de Georgia but he's never won the Tour of California. I think he steals the show from Levi in Cali, and wins won more tour with Bruyneel.
Is it good for the sport?
Yes. I love the Velonews web article that interviewed all the US Directors. They seemed super hesitant to say it's good for the sport. Well that's because they don't want to get robbed of America's crown jewels (Tour of Cali, Georgia, and France). With amazing Tour de Frances by Columbia and Slipstream they are finally gaining solid fanship in the states. Now Lance comes back and puts them on the back burner.
For fans like us this will be awesome. It's like Jordan coming back from baseball and winning more championships (sorry 1996 Sonics). You know he's going to win, it's just a matter of how.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cyclocross heats up as Star Crossed gets close

The North American Cyclocross Trophy is the new series on the block for cyclocross in the US. The series has four classic cyclocross weekends. It starts with the new big race on the block Star Crossed. The second race is the Rad Racing race in Lakewood, WA. The next weekend is Gloucestor, which should bring out perenial east coasters Anthony, Johnson, and Powers. Then one of the more festive weekends in cyclocross Boulder. Which should be hot for Trebon, Wicks, Compton, and the power crew. The series closes out with the Whitmore Landscaping races. These were sweet last year boasting a big prize purse and excellent racing. Last year was so cool to see the Kona twin towers vs. Verecken. The cyclofile video was awesome.

So, Star Crossed this year should have a start list reflecting a who's who of cyclocross in north america. Expect the Kona crew to be out. Perenial Star Crosser's include Kabush (fresh off his first ever World Cup podium), A. Jacque Maynes, and Troy Wells.

As for Montana racers we will have a solid crew. Team will be making it's debut. It starts with the Master's 1/2 race with Missoula legend John Fiore. Then in the 3's race we've got Bessetto fresh off a breakout road season, Horanimal who's racing in front of family, KSS who is the most improved racer front last season, and Seattle Toby who is always a beast. Then closing out the night we've got a couple fellas to scream at while were sipping Pabst Blue Ribbon. Pipo and Dale will rep MT Cross in the Elite race. Pipo is always good in his hometowns (Missoula or Sammamish) and Dale races to the limit no matter what. Pipo's best place is 20th and Dale's is 32nd, but for 2008 I would say anything below 30th will be a victory.

The following day at Rad Racing we've got more solid MT Crossers coming out to test their early season form. In the 4's race we've got M. Shryock who has promised to be more focused on cross this year, Downtown Joel Brown who has done nothing but impress in early season workouts, and possible rookie of the year Bryce Davies.

Should be a good weekend. I'll be there for all the action and provide updates pre/present/post.