Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tour Challenge: Rest Day Wrap-Up

I did some yoga to start the day and am pretty psyched to have a day off of my bike, except I’m not. I’m starting to finally feel decent after a week of some amount of misery. Let’s do a little recap, on both the race and the challenge, and lay out what’s ahead.

The actual event has been crazy, with crashes galore—ga-LORE! I’ve been following the Tour for nearly 40 years and have never seen anything like it. In lieu of boring reporting—after all this is a blog with no political restraints—let’s recap citing some spirited banter of my friends. Special thanks to Sam, Reed, Josh, Dustin and Bob.

“Wtf!? Has everyone in the peloton completely forgotten how to ride a bike?”

In spite of crashes and some serious fashion misgivings, the sprints have been excellent, spurred by the demise of the HTC train that at one time included most of today’s fastest men.

“Those helmets don’t look very cool.”

“Horrible helmets!”

“Well, I think Cav has put the “he’s got the best train” argument to rest. Like Steve said, he won that won McEwen style.”

“It should make for an interesting week. I've never seen such a deep sprinter field. If Cav wins them all he'll start making a case of best of all time. I don't think he will but he's smart so maybe, especially if he gets Greipel's wheel everyday.”

Unfortunately Cav got caught twice by crashes (such is life without a train) and, so far, Sagan’s been the revelation although Greipel probably won the rubber match if his last lead-out man doesn’t drop his chain. Anyway, the battle for the green jersey is still completely up in the air, as well as Cav’s place in history.

However, the best moment in the race so far was a transition stage where a breakaway held, animated by director sportif Marc Madiot’s enthusiasm. Check out the video above.

“I think it should go to the FDJ DS (most aggressive rider of the day award)—he was going crazy in the car!”

“He seems more enthused than I would expect a 2-time winner of Paris-Roubaix, but then I think that makes me appreciate it that much more.”

And on the race for yellow…

“Enjoy these lumpy stages, because the GC is battle is ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.”

“It's a long time since the days of Cippolini and friends. Any chance Sagan will show up in a leopard striped skin-suit? Doubt it.”

sagan, take some fashion tips, please

“I think what all of you Wiggo/Evans detractors are saying is that you miss dope. Well fuck, I miss it too. Shit, wasn't baseball more fun when every game you went to was like a home run derby? Who doesn't like seeing Discovery leading Big Tex onto Alpe d' Huez like the launching Cav at 200m?! It's fucking rad. Shit. I miss Ricardo Ricco. I miss Raimondas Rumas. I miss Simoni's grandmother's cookies and Festina. Willy Voet where have you gone?”

“Evans attacks way more than Armstrong ever did. The only difference is that he can't make it stick. Okay, he has a whinny voice but he rides with a fuckload of panache. And Wiggo trains like a Spartan and drinks a ton of beer. And he swears. In his first interview in yelllow he said it was "fucking great". Tonight he called his detractors "fucking cunts". The Texan would never do that because it would hurt his corporation. How is that boring? Nibali attacks on every single descent. Who the hell has ever done that? These guy aren't boring. They just aren't jacked full of EPO. And they're not Cipo. But, well, nobody is Cipo. Anyway, if he were in the race he would have won four stages and dropped out already so no use talking about him."

Cyrill Guimard “

“I fucking hate Cipo. He races the first week and now he’s already down on the beach in the French Riviera while I’m trying to hold onto the grupetto.”

~Frankie Andreu

super mario, you are missed

Finally, Sky’s dominance has everyone screaming dope and it does bring back some fond memories. Not that it has any bearing on doping but, as my post suggests last week, Wiggo’s Tour build-up has been as systematic and anyone since the Texan. I for one am not surprised.

All of which has provided sufficient motivation to stick with my own challenge. It hasn’t been easy. Psyche has been low, it’s been crazy hot, and I’ve been tempted to pull a Cipo and pack it in almost every day. Yesterday, however, I actually felt a bit better on the bike, which has renewed my enthusiasm for the weeks ahead, which looks like this:

Wed and Thurs are simulated Tour mtn days. On the slate is an 80-mile ride with over 10k of climbing on the road bike, followed by a mtn bike day featuring 4X 20 minute climbing intervals. Then I get two recovery days where I’ll ride trails staying as aerobic as possible, followed by another long mountain day and then a shorter interval day leading into the next day off.

Of course there’s other supplemental training. Primarily yoga and foam rolling, easy climbing (too hot to climb hard so sticking to active rest or ARC training), and one resistance—usually Asylum Strength--workout per week, following the 3 Weeks of Hell plan. During the next rest day the final week will be determined.

In closing, the Tour’s ads have been much better this year, especially on the European networks. This Specialized ad is truly inspired. Now get out there and ride!


Josh said...

Marc Madiot is rad.

Cipo is rad.

The Specialized ad is rad.

Cycling is rad.

Lance Armstrong is a turd.


Anonymous said...

One of your best yet Steve!! The animation of DS was awesome! That was the biggest "man-hug" Ive seen in ages in the back seat of a car!

JMP said...

Good post, enjoyable read. Bravo.

bob banks said...

That "sleeping aid" ad is my favorite, Novestra or something?. Since I only watch TV the first 3 weeks of July, I never see TV ads. There's about 30 seconds of "warnings" and "side effects" while they try to sell this product, many of them ending in death. RAD! Heroin would have a shorter disclaimer.

Renton said...

Is heroin good for sleeping?

Sick Boy said...

Don't need sleep, aye?

Renton said...

We would have injected vitamin C if only they had made it illegal!

Aaron said...

First, why was I left off the email list this year. Bastards.

Second. 2013 Wiggo v. Contador. Holy crap!

And did you see my man JV today. He's almost as old as me and if it hadn't been for that wheel sucking frenchman with the stupid poseur faces, he'd have won.

Steve Edwards said...

Vaughters put on a Garmin kit today? Haven't seen the stage yet so don't tell me.

Sorry about that. This year started slow so the round table didn't really happen like usual. The comments were taken from here and there. Yeah, when AC comes back looks like he's going to have to actually try.

Steve Edwards said...

Jens was awesome yesterday! Best ride of the race so far. Not sure I'd call Voeckler a wheel sucker. He attacks as much as Jens and the stats showed he pulled his group more than 2-1 over anyone else in it--and it was a formidable group eh? So it was a great ride by him, too, and in fact he won by attacking. But his over-the-shoulder looks showed he was cooked and just wanted it to be over. Great suffering all around, though I think Scarponi should have won. He left his sprint too late (less cooked than he thought he was maybe) but was clear clearly the fastest moving guy at the finish.

Reed said...

I've been loving the tour this year. I think it's the best since the early Armstrong years when we all were psyched for Lance and were amazed he was kicking Euro butt.