Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cycling Shorts : 18 July 2010

Lots to report on in today's shorts.

1. The doping saga continues : The truth is out there. TREK and Lemond have been subpoenaed this past week! The NY Daily News is at the height of their game, reporting on the minute-by-minute news in the doping drama with great finesse. Yesterday, the German newspaper Sueddeutsche had published mindblowing details of an interview with Lemond. Among the things Lemond told journalist Andreas Burkert was that Armstrong had vowed to pay $300,000 to an "active member" of procycling if the latter went public and lied that Lemond used illegal EPO to win stages. He also told the paper that he had first heard of the secret "double donations" to the UCI through a mechanic within U.S Postal. The first page of that interview has been translated to English here. NYDN has also ran a summary of what was exchanged.

2. Vino inspires emotion : Yesterday, I happened to put together a small biography on Vinokourov, the breadth of the work sourced from Daniel Coyle and English translations from Some commented in and called me a 'selective hater", others had some other names for me. Still others continued to judge Vino as a remorseless doper. Most, however, liked the post. I loved the variety in the discussion it brought. If you have stories to share about Vino, please chime in there and add to it in the comments section.

3. NYTimes goes behind the Livestrong money machine :  Many consider Lance Armstrong a failure this year, both on the racing and personal integrity front. But Juliet Macur wrote recently about the second team of people he has got to give that much needed boost to his PR image. The Livestrong camp (a charitable fund that has very high overhead costs, no special news to Charity Watch) is busy at work hawking wrist bands and merchandize for a good cause, so they say. These are young adults recruited and paid by Nike to go around driving in black cars and trucks commercializing cancer. Meanwhile, Armstrong continues his magnificent Global Cancer Awareness by making direct 180 turns after he finishes a stage to flee for the shelter of his team bus. While you ponder what's going on, did you know that FRS energy, the health drink company which he has a stake in, donates a gracious dime (10 cents) to LAF for every $40 dollar CASE of cans sold? The fact that people think the drink outright sucks must not be helping either.

4. Should Alberto demand his gift back? : Let's see. Among the minority of people who've been having  major women's issues with Contador attacking on Friday is a whining Johann Bruyneel, who recently pocketed nice gifts from the Spanish champion too. Here's what he said, even stamping his authority on it by claiming "I know what I'm talking about." This comes in stark contrast to other people's opinions that Contador is a changed rider this year tactically.

Keep in mind that the flawed "coach, champion, legend" has no business interfering with Astana's affairs any longer nor has any idea what the team had been planning for Friday in their own privacy. Sure, he's entitled to his opinion but what is equally clear is that he still manages to hug tight like a pillow his puerile discontent for Contador from last year's Tour. Funny fact- Vino has no problems with Contador, thank you sir for your concern. The biggest irony of all this is that the nutcase manager has nothing whatsoever to say about his team's failure to help Levi climb up the GC. That such self-inflated garbage about another team's rider should come from a sore loser makes many want to simply vomit.

5. Power calculation from Tour stages : Frédéric Portoleau has a page put up where he has power estimates of various top riders from this year's Tour. According to him, Andy Schleck climbed the ascent to Avoriaz in 33min 12s, expending some 417W of power. That gives a power/weight ratio of 6.1 W/kg. Alberto put down 415W of power, making his power to weight ratio some 6.8 W/kg. Certainly seems way off the charts, so I'm not sure how reliable all this data is.

6. Most important Tour stage : The most important Tour stage could likely be today, as the riders ascend the second highest pass in the Pyrenees. Steephill has a preview of the course and a video of the steep east side of the climb which will be climbed today.

7. A small perspective of La Marmotte : Fancy doing the La Marmotte cyclosportive anytime? Our friend Will over at Cycling Challenge shows it was done :

8. Rating Climbs : Speaking of climbing and famous climbs, Will has also written a post on Podium Cafe, rating the different climbs in this year's Tour based on the formula from Below is the result of his work :

Meanwhile, reader and engineering blogger Dan Connelly loves to go out and explore the science of whatever he can get his hands on cycling related. He thinks that the climbbybike rating formula is flawed in several respects and his latest endeavor is to try and formulate a different non-linear equation based on some criteria.

If you guys are climbing a lot this summer, make sure you also read John Summerson's Guide to Climbing series. You can also read up on what the standard is for climbing bragging rights, something I explored in the past. So unless you're climbing and meeting the bragging rights standard, please don't bother bragging about anything whatsoever on your Facebook and Myspace pages.

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