I told you that I'd be back to play. See- I kept my promise!
Firs things first; this Wednesday was the little Princess' 5th birthday. Yes, she's on her way to college soon and I will soon be beating some poor boy with a baseball bat. It's destiny... At 5, per her doctor visit today, she's now 42.5" tall and a little over 40 pounds. Taller than average and skinnier than average... sounds much like her daddy at that age.
I failed to offer any closing comments and commentary about the Giro. It isn't because I didn't think it was a great Giro, because it really was, I was just too slammed to offer much commentary. Anywho... Basso has moved to the top of most pundit lists to win the Tour de France. Sure, Ullrich won a time trial and has the experience of winning one Tour (but coming up short every time after), but Basso dominated this Giro like Armstrong at the Tour. This was one of the toughest "Giri" in years and he made it look almost easy- avoiding his usual "bad day". All of the others fell by the side of the road- much to my surprise even. Personally, I really had high hopes for DiLuca. Simoni road very tough, even with the huge time defecit and namby-pamby shenanigans at the end. He rode with great determination and showed that he's still a rider with class... even if he's a brat. The Tour should be very interesting. Basso has all the pressure off his shoulders for this year now that he was won his first (of likely many) Grand Tour. He'll be able to ride the Tour with a calmness that can only help him. Ullrich will have the usual massive pressure to perform and has shown that his legs and lungs are still very capable of a great performance. Will Basso take the top step this year or will Ullrich? They are certainly now the top two prospects... so who will show up to spoil the party?
Drugs? We ain't got no stinking drugs? Will the last rider in the pro peloton to fail their drug test please turn off the lights on their way out? Man oh man... I never ever would have thought that Manolo Saiz would be implicated like this. Sure, he had a big stink last year with Roberto Heras' drug conviction, but it seemed like an odd fluke to most folks. Saiz is one of the most respected team directors in the sport, so it is truly titilating news. In the aftermath, several other Spanish riders are now implicated in an allegedly deep system of doping. This is going to get a lot uglier before it gets better. It's already been called the "Spanish Festina Affair" and the worst scandal to hit cycling since the 1998 Tour (when the Festina Affair happened and threatened to halt the event). Cycling just keeps getting these horrible situations thrust upon the world stage again and again... makes the sport look pretty bad. Is cycling the most drugged sport in the world? Not even close. Baseball, basketball and football are much, much worse. Drugs in sport are not going anywhere anytime soon until the sponsors pull out of the sport and national federations ban riders (or other athletes) for life. However, I don't see that happening during my lifetime or even during the lifetime of my children. Why? Money of course. Sponosrs make money off of sponsorship and team owners make money off of the athletes and winning races/ games. As long as the money keeps pouring in from the spectators, drugs will remain a major part of all sports. If you think otherwise, you are really kidding yourself. Wake up and smell the EPO...
Here it is now June and the track here has been having races since April and I haven't done one race yet. Not one. Not even one. I've been so damned busy that there just has not been any way for me to sneak out of the office early so I can make it to the track for the races. I am hoping that maybe, just maybe, I can change that next week. Get this; I've been sitting on the newest version of the new track frame since April and haven't even finished building it up yet. I haven't even built it! And let me tell you- it is freakin' gorgeous. So far, the riders I gave a frame to for feedback have all given it very high praise after riding it. Clearly, after being personally very invested in the development of the frame, that is really very gratifying feedback. I am absolutely aching to ride that thing soon... before I blow a gasket. Get this too; our state Master's track championship happens the weekend of our National Sales Meeting (so I won't be racing) and US Master's Nationals will be held in August while I am in Italy for my sister's wedding. Oh... and US Elite Nationals will be held the weekend after Interbike. It looks like the only championship I might get to do this year on the track is maybe the State Elite championships. Oh well... at least I have a three-day stage race coming up in three weeks.
3 weeks? Crap! I have to get ready to do a hilly time trial, a very hilly road race and then a faster than all hell crit in just three weeks. WHILE trying to finish a catalog and build sample bikes that don't exist yet with parts I don't have yet and prepare for the National Sales Meeting and a meeting with some very important people (the people who make sure I get a paycheck)... piece of cake!
Is it getting really hot in here, or is it just me? Does it feel like your head is on fire, or is it just me? I need a beer... STAT!