Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tour of Cali Day 6 and 7

The Tour of California is just getting better and better. We just finished watching stage 7. I can't believe Millar went on a flier. I sure hope Slipstream goes for the W tomorrow. The time trial was amazing. Once again Millar pulled out a fine performance. I didn't think Levi had it in him. Great performance by Levi. Cancellara disapointed, but oh well. Tomorrow's stage should be exciting. Short post today, I'm out at West Yellowstone for nordic.

Today was great at the nordic races. Pipo had an excellent debut in the 25k with a 1:27. I finished respectful with a 1:32. Missoula represented with Dan Dahlberg, Zack Strong, and Mike Wolfe all in the top 20 in the 50k. Full report next week.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tour of Cali Day 5

What a stage. It reminded me of the big Spring Classic battles. The bad weather, 7+ hours on the bike. It was epic. I'm not surprised a strongman won in the end. It was like last year's America race where Sven Tuft took the win in the snow. Dominique Rollin had a good year last year with Kodak-Sierra Nevada but who knew he had that kind of sustained power. He rode away from George Hincapie. Even though the fans didn't come out, and lots of riders dropped out, I thought it was bike racing at it's finest. An unexpected rider won the stage, and he won it the hard way. I guess the Toyota United team knew that Rollin was on good form. They said is power files are off the chart. It's also nice to see a domestic team get a win.

Today's time trial is crucial. With it only being 15 miles the scales have to tilt in the favor of Cancellara. You have to World TT Champ and the motivation of being 15 seconds back. It's really hard not to pick him for the win. Levi is on good form, and I don't think Cancellara will beat him by more then 30 seconds. My top 5 is Cancellara, Levi, Millar, Dave Z., Ben Jacque Maynes.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tour of Cali Day 4

Well maybe the Tour of California inspired me or maybe it was the 50 degree sunny weather in Missoula, but I finally went on my first road ride of the season. I was a little rusty :). My back hurt, my lungs hurt.

Anyways, back to the TOC. Thanks for the comments Bob. I agree with you in a way. Levi never does anything flashy. It's sad he has to make deals to win the race. I know that's part of the pro peleton, but it would be a lot easier to cheer for him if he showed some excitement now and again. Yesterday was a great stage. Gesink is a major talent. I liked Slipstream and CSC putting it all out there in the end. I was impressed that Slipstream had 4 dudes in that group. I was not impressed with the lack of domestic guys in the bunch. Pena and Moos were both in the group, but they are recent pro tour guys. It would have been great to see Jacque Maynes or Nydam up there. Tom Peterson made the selection which was impressive, but Slipstream is basically a pro tour team. I saw an interview with Jacque Maynes. He said that was the best he's climbed in a long time. He did his best and just couldn't hang on. There is still a big difference between the pro tour and the US domestic scene. I think Dave Z had a good ride. They asked Horner if he was surprised that Dave was up there and he said no. He said Dave has always been able to climb...it's not the talent that's been lacking. I thought that was interesting. Today will be good. It looks like the weather is pretty bad. I'm picking Bettini for the win. He'll repeat last year's performance. He loves those rolly courses. Watch out for Slipstream, they'll be agressive.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tour of Cali Day 3

What a wet day in California. Kudos to Slipstream and Tyler Farrar. He earned the yellow jersey, by going out and getting intermediate sprint points. How about Scott Nydam?! I didn't know that he got third at Georgia last year. He has a promising future. I thought Boonen rode a solid tactical sprint. I can't believe Chipo got third. He's 41 and still banging with the big boys. Who would have ever thought he'd be racing for a US team. Today's stage has Mt. Hamilton and the Sierra Nevada climb. Look to see Levi, and other contenders show their stuff. I think we'll see a break of about 5 at the finish. I think McCartney will be in there, and so will Jens Voigt/Bobby Julich. My sleeper for today is Andrew Bajadali. He's a freak climber and was the only one who could kind of stay with Levi at US nationals. Also in the break will be Tom D or Danny Pate, maybe both? I think the stage will go to Bajadali and the jersey to Levi.

NRO Tamara raced in the Valley of the Sun Stage Race. Great results Tamara!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

This just in - Tamara is a badass

I just traded emails with Tamara (NRO team captain) and she casually mentioned that she finished 6th in this huge cat 1,2,3 race (78 riders). She placed 3rd in the cat 3's. What a great early season result for the NRO ladies. Good job Tamara. I will provide more details as I find them.

Tour of Cali Days 1 and 2 / Cherry Pie RR in Oregon

I was on vacation over the weekend and was unable to catch Sunday's prologue. I watched all the video. Cancellara put in a hell of a ride. Jens Voigt was saying that he threw out some huge watts. I'd like to know a little more specifics. The best ride besides Cancellara went to Tyler Farrar. He's flown under the radar a little bit, but has been performing consistently that last couple years for Cofidis. I love the way Slipstream is racing. Especially in yesterday's race. They had Millar as a lead out man for the intermediate sprints. Pate and Peterson were drilling it on the climb. Horner said that Pate made him hurt. With the strength that CSC has it's hard to not pick Haedo in the sprint. I thought Bettini might creap in there, but he didn't have the straight line power. Watch out for Bettini in the next couple days. I think he's hunting for a win. I'm so impressed with the TOC, it's really stepped up. Today should be interesting. I hope Slipstream continues to fight to put Farrar in the jersey.

The regional RR season kicked off this past Sunday with the Cherry Pie RR in Oregon. I've gone to this race the past two seasons, but this year decided to ski instead. It's a great circuit course with one short steep climb that separates the group. This years addition was won by Orion Berryman who raced for Oregon a couple seasons. Missoula alum Patrick Marzullo finished 13th. He's talking about trying to make it out for the Roubaix. He will be one to watch. In the 3 race Kennett Peterson took the victory. He is a U of O rider and is showing excellent form before the collegiate season. It looks like Oregon might be the team to beat in the NWCCC.

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