Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bike Racing Season Has Officially Begun

Even though the Psyche isn’t always a weekly feature I was admonished by a friend for not posting one this week. That’s because I’m down with a little cold, which is nice timing since my backs not back to 100% and Finnegan--my furry daily psyche reminder--has an injured foot so we’re out of commission anyway. But I always have trouble with creativity when I’m ill and just keeping up on work is hard enough. However, thanks to Reed, Sam, and a lag in posting I’ve got a good ‘un for ya on this weekend's racing in Europe.

Varmarcke attacks on 15% cobbles
this is an awesome display of power. it also shows why bike racing outside of europe might always pale in comparison. we just don't have the roads they do in europe.

Got an email from Sam on Sat stating “for me bike racing season starts today” because it’s when the big names start to show. Nowadays professional bike racing is almost a year around sport, with cyclocross and winter 6-day races getting coverage and southern hemisphere events like the Tour of Oz and San Luis attracting major riders. But let’s face it, nobody really cares if Contador drops everyone, Greipel outsprints Cav, or Valverde returns from two years off and wins out of the gate until it happens against the big guns. And those guys tend to start their season now.

I don’t ride my bike a lot during the winter. As a weekend warrior who participates in many sports I train seasonally even though I want to perform at a reasonable level, which I think is the best way to train. In fact, I think I should be more diligent towards time off. Year around training for a sport, in my opinion, is not only a waste of effort but a hindrance. The best riders in the world take time off and amateurs should follow suite. When Contador says “I hardly rode my bike between the Tour (France) and December" there is a lesson there. You can’t peak all year. Choose targets and train for them with a purpose. I like my training to revolve around big events because it’s easier to keep your psyche up.

Last K of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne
hard to see but note the sky train (blue stripes and helmets) leading cav to the 200 meter mark perfectly, making winning a formality for him. textbook

My Twittter is suddenly filled with post from racers who’ve been silent since September. When Sky controls the field in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne “like a video game,” the worry over being dropped in Oman is replaced with talk of the dominant season ever. And when Boonen get played like this everyone starts yappin’ about, well, the next Boonen. Sam is right. It’s on. Time to start getting’ after it.

Last K of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
vanmarcke tricks boonen into going too early. beautiful racing.

above: highlights from omloop. vanmarcke and boonen are clearly the strongest two in the race as on or the other is on the front almost the entire race. note vanmarcke's attack on a flat cobbled section with 20k to go that splits the field. ridiculously strong riding.


Josh said...

Cav nearly got pipped at the end. Seems like Sky could've run another 50m and helped him out better.

Make a prediction? Who's gonna win L-B-L?


Steve Edwards said...

LBL is months away! I dunno. I'll pick two and you can have everyone else: Gilbert or Valverde.

Steve Edwards said...

Cav looked a little ancy. I think he was afraid of getting swarmed and felt he could hold it. I think he had it easy and slowed. Greipel is the only one right now fast enough to beat him but that requires smart racing and Cav's all over him in that dept.