Monday, July 31, 2006

It's all about the love at Masi...

I was forwarded the note below. It's from a friend in the industry whose name (Chris DiStefano) and the company he works for (Chris King Precision Components) shall go unmentioned...

While back in shipping I found the box you guys sent. Loved the spork and King sticker. The pepper was helpful, too. Tell Jackson he looks like a tool in his own catalog.

I've said it before; it's all about the love around here... all about the love...

(For the record, I'm the one who put the spork in the box. I know a good utensil when I see one...)

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Yes, that tease of a headline is true- I won both of my events today at the track; 35+ Kilo and 35+ 3K Pursuit!

The rain went away after a few tentative moments this morning, causing only a 30 minute delay to the start of the events. Yesterday's events were completed yesterday after all, so I didn't get a chance to do Sprint or Keirin. Still, I got to do some fun racing.

I love track racing. Really. The community of track cyclists is, in general, a group of people who ride track because they love to ride track. They tend to be very supportive and friendly and generally willing to help others out. It kicks ass. Don't get me wrong, it ain't like folks aren't still competitive because there are people on the track who I consider friends and have tried to knock them off their bikes during a heated Keirin.

As mentioned in the last post, today's racing was for the Arizona State Track Championsips. Refresher; there is currently no velodrome in Arizona, so they race here in San Diego and they allow us Cali' riders to race with them... we just don't get medals or the state titles (bummer). Yesterday, surprisingly- considering the rain, they were able to hold the sprint events. Today was all time trial events- the ones I really suck at. Kilo- my best ever time is 1:08 and that was the last Kilo I rode in 1996. Pursuit- until today, I'd never ever done one before. As another refresher, I haven't raced once on the track this year, so my legs are way, way green. Prior to today, the only time I have had on a velodrome this year came in April in Australia and 3-4 weeks ago on the SD track when we shot pictures for the catalog... hardly worth mentioning as track time (though my time in Australia was amazing). Suffice it to say, I went to the track today with the aim of 1) not making an ass of myself and B) having a great time... 1 out of 2 ain't bad.

Kilo... I hate the Kilo. "Killer-meter" is the name the guys from the US National team called it when they were here riding with us in '96. There's a reason; Kilo sucks! It is the most painful of all events I have ever done. Hence the 10 year hiatus. As a sprinter, we are supposed to be good at the Kilo. That may be true, but it doesn't diminish the amount of pain any. I hate the freakin' Kilo... but I figured doing a Kilo is better than not racing at the track at all, so I did the Kilo against my better judgement. Well, much to my surprise, I won the 35+ Kilo with a time of 1:18:00... 10 seconds slower than my best, but since it is the first one I have ridden in 10 years, I will live with it. It was a slow day anyway- nobody rode terribly well today- though local rider Greg P' rode an amazing 1:10-something (fortunately he was in a different group).

The start of the Kilo is absolutely critical... and mine felt pretty good for a change. The Kilo is too short to recover from a bad start. You have to nail a Kilo from the second they start you, or you are screwed. I got through the first lap thinking, "this feels pretty good". The second lap kind of went a little wobbly for me. I was going too hard and then not hard enough, so the pace wasn't optimal. The third lap, though I was literally losing my vision (getting "kilo-vision"), felt pretty good too. I thought I would pass out and was getting that ever smaller field of vision when I crossed the line.

The Pursuit is essentially the same thing as the Kilo- a time trial- but longer. Instead of riding one kilometer, I got to ride 3 kilometers! I should have been doing the 1/2/Pro category races, but I am shifting my focus in my racing to Masters events, so 35+ it was. Plus, since I'd never done a Pursuit, I didn't feel like doing a 4K Pursuit when I could just do a 3K. Yes... I wimped out of the 4K. I was paired up with a great local guy, Chris Nekarda. Chris is a fellow sprinter, so he and I were joking about how painful it was going to be for people to watch two sprinters doing a Pursuit. It was painful alright... Having never done a Pursuit, I just went on what I understand of a Pursuit, which is that you don't go as hard as a Kilo because there is no way you can hold that kind of pace and not pass out and vomit. My start was ok, maybe a little too slow, but it didn't stink.

(I swear the holder's hands are on the saddle and not something else...) Chris and I were neck and neck for the first 6 or 7 laps, but Chris began to really pull away on lap 8 of 9 and got his bell lap about a 1/4 lap ahead of me. I heard them ring the bell for his last lap, so I floored it and probably had my fastest lap of the race- managing to hold him to a 2 second vistory. However... since he was in a different age bracket, I still managed to win my age group bracket! Yeah for me! (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I rode a 4:13:06 for race... not quite a World Record pace.)

A special thanks goes out to Cindy from Sabino Cycles (and the Desert Foxes) for snapping the pictures. Cindy kicked some ass in her own races as well. If you are in the Tucson area, go see Cindy and buy a Masi from her. Tell her the Masiguy sent you and she'll maybe be nice to you... or throw you out on yer' arse. Another thanks goes to my lovely wife for allowing me to sneak out of the house for the day to go race. She even brought our daughter and the dog down to watch the races and snap a few photos as well.

After the race, my daughter proclaimed, "this is the best day ever!" I can't say that I would argue that point with her.

The bike rode so fantastically. It was my first time to ride this version of the frame "at speed". I've had it since April and have been unable to race it yet this year, thanks to business being so good and having so many projects. I have to say that the frame is amazing. I am biased, I admit it. I am paid to think that the bikes I sell are great... but this thing KICKS ASS! I was so happy with the way it handles and the acceleration. It was perfect for me... and it can be perfect for you too... in a few months time (frame, fork, headset and Masi bar tape- avaialable around November- 4.82 lbs for 56cm frame, fork and headset). I love it!

All in all, it was a great day for a track racing bike nerd. It was great to get out and "be me". It was also great to ride with all the fine folks from Arizona. I have a ton of respect for these folks who drive from all parts of Arizona to come out here and race- that's dedication. Great job guys/ gals!


(In all fairness, I have to point out that I was the ONLY rider in the 35+ category today, so by default I was the winner in both of my events simply because nobody else showed up. Since I am not an Arizona resident, I get neither the gold medal nor the state champ jersey... unless my great friends there want to make me an honorary Arizonan- which I will happily allow.)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I love racing...

So long as the weather improves a little (that means stops raining), I'll be racing on the track tomorrow! It almost never rains in San Diego this time of year, but we've been having drizzles all day today. Our velodrome has a surface that is best described as stucco painted with enamel paint; which means it is slicker than greaed owl poop when it gets wet. For you non-Southerners, owl poop is awfully slick when greased.

Our neighbors to the East in Arizona do not have a velodrome, so they hold their State Track Championships on our track and allow California riders to compete with them- we just don't get to have the medals or state titles. Today was supposed to be the sprint events, but I don't know if they had any races today with the intermittent rains. Tomorrow is supposed to be the time trials. It was my plan to just ride the Kilo and 4K Pursuit, but I may get the chance to do Sprint and Keirin tomorrow instead, thanks to the rain. Kickass!

I have yet to race on the track once this year and my last race was a criterium in April. Life and work have rightfully commanded the bulk of my attention, so the racing has been put off to the side. It hasn't been for lack of desire to race, but a lack of time and too many guilty feelings for trying. Needless to say, I'm a tad excited- hence this post at nearly 10:30PM.

Anyway, tomorrow will be fun. I'll get to ride my new track frame finally and get to race- whatever events I get to do. Should be fun, regardless. Yippee!


Cubbie's final Tour DAY France thoughts;

Tour Recap by Cubbie

Sorry this took so long to write out – I got a bit nervous when BlogHer got on board to tell you the truth. I've also got a boatload of pics here and more to come, so enjoy.

I'm seriously bummed that the French don't understand cold. McDonald's in France gives you 4 ice cubes in your Coca Cola Lite (which is gross) and the AC is non existent. It's a bit like my idea of Arkansas in the 1970s. That is my biggest gripe about France.

The race was amazing. I'd never seen such a big race happen live. It was truly very cool to FEEL the riders come through the finish at what felt like a million miles an hour – uphill. These are such remarkable athletes to say the very least. I was thrilled to see Floyd win and I'm sure you want my official take on the testosterone issue. He didn't do it intentionally. I think it's the French media sounding off. I'm going to say he's innocent until he changes his story. That's just me – and Bob too.

I really loved the scenery of France. As you can see in the photos, it's gorgeous. It is amazing that so much land has remained untouched – I'm a bit proud of the French for that. The small towns weren't anxious to have people ordering ketchup with the fritas, but whatever they served with the fries looked like . .. well. . . you know. (I'm a bit self conscious now that BlogHer is on board, so sorry if this doesn't have the same spin.)

I am going to be working on a lot in the upcoming weeks. Tons of new stuff to get out there, maybe even some new features, such as BK's Scratching Post.

Here are a few of Cubbie's Travel Tips for you to ponder on your next trip.
Wear pants on the airplane. It gets damn cold on there.
Always bring a thingy for your hair. I couldn't find a place to get a damn rubber band for my hair to save my soul.
Don't pack crappy food for the flight because you'll eat it. The airplane food really isn't that bad anymore.
Drink tons of water. Bring a few water bottles with you.
Bandanas can be your friends. I can't believe I didn't bring one.
If you're going overseas, seriously consider first class. It looks SO much more comfortable.

It's been real folks, thanks for tuning in .. .
Jet Lagged Cubbie-- Jessi Pacetti
Team Bobke

(Ed- For some reason, Blogger will not allow me to post photos- I will keep trying though. It's working now!)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Floyd Landis doping "scandal".

Oh man, what a day. On the way to work this morning, I was listening to NPR when I heard the news that the positive doping result from the Tour was being attributed to Floyd Landis. My jaw dropped and I frantically began looking for my buddy Donna's phone number to freak out for a moment.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not naive enough to believe that there aren't dopers in the peloton, and that leaves room for Floyd to possibly be among them. I have to admit though, I really don't want to believe that he could actually be guilty. I really don't. I don't actually know Floyd, but I have had the pleasure of riding with the man since he lives relatively nearby and does some of the same winter training rides when home. I've probably said a grand total of 5-6 words to the guy, but I guess that makes me feel something of a connection anyway. Add to that, the fact that he appears to be a legitimately nice guy and you've got compelling reasons to want to believe him.

For now, until he either confesses or the tests prove beyond a doubt that he did something wrong, I am going to believe his innocence... unlike the press and WADA head Dick Pound.

Here is my big gripe with all of this; he hasn't been proven guilty of ANYTHING and yet he is being treated as if he is. His mother has fled her home to get away from the army of press assholes hounding her constantly, looking for something good to print. The press has a right to do their jobs, but the poor woman has a right to be left the hell alone too. If I were her, I'd be on the porch with a firehose chasing the filthy maggots off my lawn... but I'm a jerk like that.

In the current environment, any rider under speculation is considered guilty until proven innocent, but then they are "tainted" afterwards. Well, unless you are Richard Virenque and deny any wrongdoing for a couple years, have a teary confession and rat out other folks- then the French press and fans will welcome you back with loving arms and treat you like a national hero... but I digress. The first sample has been tested, that's all, and yet the presumption is instantly that he did something wrong. Forget that the rider in question is Floyd. It wouldn't matter- the process is flawed. Look at the Operation Puerto crap; Basso and Ullrich were named as patients of the shifty doctor at the center of this all. "Named", but they haven't failed any tests- ever. Both are suspended from racing and Ullrich was even fired by his team. Add to that the Astana-Wurth team getting pulled from the Tour, the team of Alexandre Vinokourov- a legitimate contender to win. Now the riders who were under suspicion were cleared... one week after the Tour is over and after Vino was robbed of a chance to win... because of "suspicion". That's just wrong and it needs to stop.

Again, don't get me wrong- I hate dopers. They have damaged the sport and tainted the public so that the current environment exists. This is all their fault in reality. Still, the procedures need to change and the riders need to be given due process before their livelihoods and teams are drug through the mud on suspicion, versus facts. Maybe Floyd, Basso and Ullrich really are guilty, but they deserve the chance to allow the system to come to a final conclusion before pundits and other "experts" condemn them and their actions- that includes Dick Pound and WADA.

Maybe I'm way off base and you are welcome to tell me your thoughts as usual. I wouldn't be surprised by any rider testing positive for drug use- the sport is just too damned hard and the money/ fame/ pressure is too great to believe they wouldn't be tempted. BUT... it is unfair to presume that they are all tainted property and that clean riders can't win now.


Welcome BlogHer!

You'll notice a BlogHer button and link in the upper right corner of my blog now. I wish I could say I was attending, but I will be there in spirit, that's for sure.

My good blogging friend Toby Bloomberg, the Marketing Diva, is discussing my blogger story as a panel speaker at BlogHer this year. Needless to say, I am more than just a little flattered by this honor. Really, I don't deserve it. There are lots of other folks out there doing lots of better things, who are also a lot smarter than me. Still, for some reason, Toby thinks I've been doing something right with this goofy little world of mine. Anywho... thanks Toby!

Hello BlogHer attendees! Thank you for taking the time to swing by this odd little corner of the blogosphere, or as it has been called by other bike-minded folks- the bikeosphere. This blog site is all about cycling, except for when it isn't. I ramble all over the map all the time. This blog was built on the premise of connecting the Masi brand with new and old Masi fans. I wanted to give them a new face to look at and let them know that we are alive and well. Without a marketing budget, I knew I had to go guerilla to get some buzz going. Blogging has proven to be a very successful tool for that. The community of readers and Masi fans has gotten stronger and the brand recognition is greatly improved as well- sales doubled this past year, so something is working. It isn't just because of the blogging that sales increased, but I do firmly believe it has been an ingredient.

Toby will definitely give you more insight in the story and she also profiled my story in two locations, so you can certainly get some background. Toby is amazing, so I know that she will be able to give you more than enough information. However, if you wish to speak directly to me, please feel free to do so; tjackson (at) masibikes (dot) com.

Enjoy the conference and please give Toby a big round of applause for me.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It's hot!

Southern California is in the middle of its worst heatwave in decades. It is 10:00PM right now and the sweat is still streaming off of me. In SoCal, we are used to humidity hitting highs of maybe 68% and it feels like it is at least 80+ right now... it is muggy as heck. I grew up in Alabama where summer means 90+ degrees and 100% humidity, but I admit that I have gotten spoiled out here. This stuff is killing me!

Anyway, ranting about the heat is not why I am here. I am here because I really love my job and am thankful that a few of you think I am doing something right. Being away from the blog during the sales meeting really sucked because I honestly enjoy this relationship we have here. Corny? Yes. Sincere? Yes to that too. Honestly, this stuff really gets me going. I value the fact that so many of you come here as often as you do to see what kind of stuff I might be talking about on any given day- that is really cool to me. So, in essence what I am trying to say again is... THANKS!

Very soon, the new catalog will be getting sent out to retailers and will be available upon request through the website. I am really proud of the catalog and I hope you'll see why when you read it and see all the sweet bikes in it. Rick Ortiz did all the design work, Pete Demos did all the studio photography and Kevin Conners snapped the action photos. Without their artistic help, my ideas would have gone nowhere. Rick took my "I'd like it to look like this" comments and made a really great catalog. It was a massive undertaking by all involved and was not without a few "conversation enhancers" being screamed from time to time. By the way, never ever bring up the Ta-la-la song... never.

Thanks for sticking around. I really thank you. I can't wait for the catalogs to get into your hands and for the feedback to start rolling in.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Ever listened to the Masiguy?

I've been so swamped with all of the stuff for our big sales meeting that I never got the chance to share this cool little bit of fun.

My good buddy Tim Grahl, from the Crooked Cog Network, did a really cool podcast interview with me recently and it is now up for your listening pleasure. Tim and the Crooked Cog Network are decidedly geared towards all things dirt, versus road, but he and I still get along really well because we both just really love bikes. Tim's a great guy, so the interview was really easy to do- it was kind of like talking to my brother or any other good friend. Anyway, it's a fun listen and I was surprised by what a dork I really am... forgive me for rambling on and on... I can't help myself.


Cub Reporter; checking in...

Just STARTING to go thru the pics, but this is BY FAR my fave. I'll have an online album soon enough. I've got some people sending me pics and I have to download all the ones I got from OLN too. They'll be out there soon enough . . .

I just said to him - "Hey George! Can I get a pic for" He goes "Sure - you guys have been pulling for me from the beginning." and then we made out. Ok. That last part isn't true. . .


Monday, July 24, 2006

It's done!

Not only is Le Tour over, but so is our International Sales Meeting/Line Launch... and not a moment too soon.

There's Joe Hawk, our Fearless Leader, saying a few words after my Line Presentation- most likely saying, "thank God that's over..." I do tend to ramble a bit. On the stage is the entire product line. The picture is just bad enough that you can't really make anything out, so you'll just have to stick around and hope that I start releasing spy shots or something.

We had our entire US sales force at the meeting as well as many of our International Distributors- who I will name later when I can get all their names because I know I will forget somebody- and one of our biggest retailers. This meeting is kind of like the Superbowl and World Cup rolled into one three day event for us. This is where we launch all of the new products and sales programs for the year to our sales force so that they can go out into the world and try to sell it to the retailers... who will in turn sell the product to the consumers. All in all, it's a very important function for us- probably even more important (from a business standpoint) than going to Vegas for Interbike. Interbike is the greatest show on earth, but we do very little selling there, as most of our customers will have seen the product (via catalogs at least) before the show. Very little new sales are made in Vegas- but the relationship building is much greater there... but I digress.

Anyway, the meeting is very important for us and we put a lot into making it a special event. This year was no exception and the energy was incredible. I was personally on fire because this line of bikes is the first where I had major involvement with the graphics and overall development, as well as the creation of the new catalog. I worked very closely with people much smarter than me who made the line and catalog possible. I owe each of them a big debt of gratitude- Mike Varley, Rick Ortiz, Wayne Doran, Pete Demos, Kevin Conners among others. The new bikes and catalog are phenomenal. I am already excited about the next product cycle.

The meeting was a big success and the reps and other guests left charged-up by what they saw and heard. Needless to say, I was my normal over-animated self and gave multiple presentations with arms flailing and spit flying. I'm such a dork... but it is pretty hard to doubt my passion. Dave McGinty, a new rep of ours in the Florida area came up to me right after one of my presentations and said, with a big smile, "boy, you really are passionate aren't you!" Thanks Dave for getting the point! Yes, I am very passionate about my job, the products and what I get to do for a living. Plus, I love to get the chance to preach that gospel to anybody who will listen. Granted, the reps are paid to listen to me, but I still enjoyed my little captive audience of about 100+ people this year. Several weeks of very hard work went in to making the meeting happen and it is all worth it to me when I get to "do my thing". Next up is Montreal Canada for their big trade show and then it is off to Vegas!

During all of this activity, lots of other projects have gone uncompleted and the blogging certainly came to a standstill. Lots of other great things happened too, like more team wins and other cool things. I will have more posts in the coming days and will really try to get back into a much more regular pattern of posting again. The hardest work is done now, so I can get back to this fun stuff...

Besides, I just finished building up my new carbon bike and I'll need to post pictures and give ride stories... but I'll leave you with this note;
61cm bike, complete, nothing goofy- DA shifting and drivetrain, DA wheels, Ritchey carbon fork and seatpost, Easton EC90 bar, Arione saddle and new Thomson road stem ... 17.09lbs! Not too danged bad for a bike that has no silly-light parts and is the biggest frame size we make. It'll be at least a half pound lighter when I put my new Cane Creek carbon sew-up wheels on for racing.



Tour de France wrap-up, final thoughts and thanks...

I can't believe it is over now and for the second year in a row, my company had its International Sales Meeting/ Product Launch on the the last weekend of the Tour. Two years in a row... there should be a law!

Anyway, on to the Tour stuff.

I was unable to post for the past several days due to the sales meeting and an absence of a web connection, but don't think I wasn't following things in France. After Floyd's spectacular failure in stage 17, Landis rallied against all probable odds to win the next day and regain nearly all the time he had lost. In doing so, Floyd carved his name in the record books for amazing days in the Tour's history. Surely, his ride will measure up to LeMond's race winner in 1989. Two days later, Landis rode strong enough for thrid in the final time trial and regained the yellow jerey. The race's final day was a victory lap that was hard earned and well deserved by Floyd. His win will go down in the record books as one of the most incredible ever. Bad hip or not, his ride is worthy of legend and myth.

This Tour has to be considered one of the most exciting in decades. Drama was plentiful, from drug scandals, to crahes, to "bad days", to redemption and to elation. It had it all. No team dominated the event at any point, even when it looked like one might when T-Mobile did so well in the first long time trial and had several riders in the top 10. Phonak never gave a truly dominating performance, but always rode strong in defense of Floyd and ultimately delievered him to Paris in yellow. This race delivered what no other Tour of the past several years has been able to; suspense.

Each of the final jersey winners earned their special tunics and each will be regarded as worthy of the record books;

Yellow jersey/ Overall winner- Floyd Landis... need I say more? What a great ride by a great man. Here's to seeing him this winter on the local roads again and having the chance to give him a pat on the back for a job well done. Here's to a speedy recovery and a great title defense!

Green jersey/ Best Sprinter- Robbie McEwen. Robbie the Rocket won his thrid green jersey and won three stages in the race, proving that his legs are still among the best in the world when it comes to the mad dash for the line. Robbie rode a tough and aggressive race and had the luxury of knowing the jersey could not be taken from him by anybody on the last day- as happened to him in the past. Robbie is almost as well known for his mouth as he is for his legs, but this year the legs really did do the talking.

Polka Dot jersey/ Best Climber- Michael Rasmussen. The Chicken managed to stay upright long enough to claim his second consecutive climber's jersey and a hard fought stage win as well. Rasmussen proved that he was the best climber of the race after starting the competition at a deficit while supporting team leader Denis Menchov. Once Menchov faltered, Rasmussen went on the attack for moutain points and demolished his rivals. The lanky, ok... frightfully skinny Dane proved that he is a rider to be feared when the climbing is truly painful- making people ask, "Rujano who?"

White jersey/ Best Young Rider- Damiano Cunego. The Kid is a gifted rider and one to watch for the next decade. Everybody already knew this thanks to his Giro win two years ago, but he fell off the map for the better part of two seasons due to injury and sickness. He now appears to be getting fit again and maturing as well. He should prove to be a threat to many riders for a long time to come and certainly brings new hope for Italian cycling fans for a new Italian Tour hero to replace the departed Pantani.

It was a great race this year and I can't wait for the new punditry to begin for the next one.

I'd like to thank Jessi Pacetti for playing Cub Reporter and working so hard to help me provide you with in-depth and expanded coverage of the race. Her unique perspective and sense of humor was great to have here and I hope to have the chance to collaborate with her again. I only apologize for not getting her posts up sooner and missing the past few days of her commentary and behind the scenes stories. I am already looking forward to next year's race and trying to "cover" it for you all.

Thank you all for reading the coverage and oddball commentary here. It was a lot of fun again. Next year, I'll try to make sure that the company doesn't schedule a major, multi-day event during the race.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tour de France; Stage 16 report

What else can you say, especially if you are an American rooting for the US riders except today was a really bad day.

Floyd Landis had the single worst meltdown of this Tour and certainly one of the most incredible bad days for a rider in the yellow jersey in many, many years. After retaking the yellow yesterday, Floyd loses an incredible 10 minutes and 4 seconds in the closing kilometers of the stage today. What once looked like a done deal for Floyd is now a near impossibility. The image of Floyd nearly going in reverse on the final moments of the stage is one of the more enduring images of pain and suffering in recent years. The tank was simply empty. For those of us who wanted to see him pull off the win, today was a bad day. Having ridden with the man, I have to say that it was a serious heartbreaker.

George Hincapie fell even further down in the standings today, dropping slightly more than 28 minutes to the winner. George now sits in 42nd place, a distant 53 minutes down. Levi Leipheimer managed to minimize his losses and finished a very respectable 9th and moved up to the same spot on the GC. His hopes of a top ten finish are looking stronger.

Oscar Pereiro, a man very few people considered a threat to win the Tour when he took over the yellow a few days ago before losing it to Floyd, now sits in yellow again and has a very real chance to stay on the podium. This crazy Tour is far from over, based on what we have seen so far, so the final outcome is far from certain. Cadel Evans has risen back up to 5th after finishing 4th today.

It seems safe to say, well who knows, that Andreas Kloden is now suddenly a very real candidate to win the race. He has shown he can climb and is not that bad a time trial rider. He could really make it happen. He was 2nd in the race in 2004, so he is no stranger to the pressure of contending. With T-Mobile still reeling from the expulsion of Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla in the drug scandal, they are likely going to throw everything they have into supporting Kloden and trying to get him into yellow by Paris.

Tomorrow will be less painful, hopefully, but it could still play a big roll in the final outcome. I would make some prognostications, but it seems totally futile in light of today. Somebody will win tomorrow. They'll be happy. That's all I know...

The Cub Reporter will likely have a post for us soon. I hear through the Grapevine that it was a fairly solemn day in France for the US folks. Dang. Sorry Reva and Donna... our boy had a bad, BAD day.


Tour de France/ Tour DAY France Special Report;

The Cub Reporter pointed out that I am a "STUPID WANKER" because she sent me a report for yesterday that I promptly lost in my PowerPoint drunken haze. She has also already supplied today's post as the racing goes on. Pretty cool...

So, since (or sense?) I am losing my mind with other tasks at the moment, I give you a "two-fer" of vintage Cub reporting; two installments in one shot, in order and unedited. Fot the legions of BK/CR fans, this is a buffet of bedlam, a cornocopia of chortles, a load of laughs and a group of giggles...

Without further delay... The Cub!


First and foremost - Alex Trautwig is the coolest. Because of him, I get to use a computer every day. He's writing for, and SI Kids while he's here. He's sixteen. He's even cool, ladies so STEP UP!

Anyways, the trip went well except for the sic year old kid who WHINED for six and a half hours. Seriously, insane.

I saw that Cub Reporter's Mom is up and commenting. How cute is that, seriously?
Lots of crazy thoughts . .. . I'll ramble.

They sell TdF lighters. I bought a few for he irony.

I watched the Tour in French. That was weird because I was tired and didn't understand a damn thing, good thing it was a boring stage. The French Phil is having a coronary with 95K to go and there's nothing going on to even SUGGEST a coronary. Awesome. Our Lonely Planet French guide is saving our lives - or it's going to get us shot. As Donna mentioned on her blog, we did planes, trains & automobiles without knowing a lick of French . . . .all we had was that book. It wasn't such a lonely planet for us!

Bob rode up the big hill with the OLN bigwig (who was responsible for that awesome Anna Nicole show on E! so natch, he is a genius.) Anyways, he's also a very good cyclist. They made it up in one hour forty minutes. They had a great ride and pics will follow once I get all the tech stuff worked out. On that note, Righteous Rod made it up here in one hour ten minutes, and as you will hear later today, Phil's denist made it up in 76 minutes. It's a huge deal. We drove, and that was AMAZING. A year ago I would have NEVER thought I would be hauling up L'Alpe d Huez for WORK. I seriously had tears in my eyes. It was honestly surreal. Great stuff.

Phil has read a bunch of the stuff I've written. It's probably a good thing that I had a few drinks in him first. He laughed a lot. He didn't realize how much fun I made of him. I didn't either.
I gotta go check the end of this stage out. . .. .too much. My next entry will be MUCH more organized.

Scavenger hunt check in. Al had the TourDAYFrance tee and loves it. Now it's just getting him to WEAR it or hold it up on tv, which he says he will. . . ..
VIva la tour. . .

Schleck means Snail in French

All is well here. I wrote yesterday and it was so good that Tim didn't post it because he hates it when I write something better than he does. I'm going to write a bit about yesterday today and I hope to see yesterday's blog up because there is a very important shout out.. Here we watch the race on tv, just like at home, except a few things. We watch the feed and get to see everything, even the stuff that doesn't make tv. So we see the uneventful stuff and hear the off color commentary plus the swearing. It's not as cool as it sounds, but no commercials. Bob and Al are in one truck and PSquared are in another. When we watch it underneath the broadcast booth that they like to show everyday. We hear PSquared, not Bob and Al. That's my least favorite part about it. So. We decided to go to the finish and watch it live, so we get in at the 50m mark, which wasn't a smart move. Too much traffic, because that's where the cars turn off. It was crowded. The 'carnival' before the race comes through is LONG. I'm serious. LONG. It was cool even through I had no clue what the advertisers are. Some candy, some other crap. Anyways. Cub Reporter's mom is so cute that she Tivo'ed it like usual and rewinded AND slo-mo'd the whole finish and couldn't see me. I must not have been on. That is so cute that she looked for me repeatedly. Ok, here's the good part. We were looking down the final stretch and we could see the big tv that was broadcasting the race live. We could tell that CSC had the lead, but couldn't tell who it was. I was praying it was Zabriski. There was an announcer who spoke French (which they do a lot of over here) said Zabriski's name at one point, but it's hard to understand them even when they say words or names you know. I'll tell you what. The excitement and anticipation of seeing that first rider FLY around the bend was unreal. And I'm serious when I say FLY. Amazing. Absolutely freaking amazing. Robbie Ventura is here and Mrs. Landis has been hanging around OLNLand so people were happy here afer the race. It was one of the coolest things to watch. Up until this point, the Amgen Tour of California was the biggest race I saw live. This is much cooler. Especially at L'Alpe-D'Huez. Congrats to Schleck. He is a cutie patootie to say the least. Fun fact. Schleck means Snail in French. I think Phil mentions that on the commentary, but I like the way it sounds. Maybe it will get on the site before you hear it. Maybe not.

Crashing today. Lots of it. Heads up . .. . todays desents are INSANE. We drove down them at abou 90 miles an hour with Bob at the helm. Shit, I thought that BKCR was done. I texted my best friend and let her know where my will was. I also promised myself that I would update it if I lived through that ride. Looks like I have an appointment to make. I was also scared for the race today because of the course. The desent is going to be just as hard as the climbs because of the turns. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. It's bad ass.

Ok. As usual, this blog brought to you by Alex Trautwig. Thanks big guy!

Signing off.

There you have it! Two days of the Cubbie in one day, one post, one location. I don't know about you, but I'm getting emotional.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tour de France; Stage 15 report

Landis is back in yellow now, proving that his gamble was the right one to make- at least for now. Sure, there is a chance he could lose the race still, but considering that he made going up the l'Alpe look easy today... while setting the fastest time of the day on the climb (38:34)... it's looking pretty good for Pretty Boy Floyd.

Frank Schleck of CSC was the day's big winner. He also won Amstel Gold in April, so the kid has a lot of promise. Second place was the resurgent Damiano Cunego, who seems to finally be getting his legs back underneath him. The Kid Cunego has so much talent, as you would expect from a guy who won the Giro two years ago while only 22 years old. It's good to see him coming back. Another nice surprise was Stefano Garzelli getting third. I like Garzelli. He is also a former winner of the Giro and has always floundered at the Tour. He has had a few up and down years ever since winning the Giro, but he's always been one of the classier riders in the peloton. Doesn't talk a lot, he just rides his bike really well.

Floyd rode very conservatively, marking his main rival- Andreas Kloden. Landis barely looked like he was trying at all, so tomorrow should be frightening to the other riders. Phonak rode just strong enough, with Axel "son of Eddy" Meckx in the early dangerous breakaway. Floyd's other rivals rode well enough to not lose major time, but enough time to need to be worried over the next few days. Cadel Evans is now even more of an outside shot for the podium, after showing great promise earlier in the race. He could still do something special this year, but certainly has matured during this race and has shown a potential to win the race. Denis Menchov and Levi Leipheimer both lost time, but fought hard. Menchov is not too far off, but he hasn't shown an ability to make it over the big climbs with the other contenders. Leipheimer is still digging out of his earlier time losses, but is still riding well in the grand scheme of things.

Tomorrow will really hurt. Today was nasty and tomorrow is much the same thing. Major climbs like the Galibier, Croix-de-Fer and then another uphill finish on the Category 1 climb, the Toussuire. It should be the final major proving ground of the race as the following stage on Thursday, though very hard, does not have a mountaintop finish. Friday's stage will be relatively "easy" and then Saturday should be the day that Floyd cements his lead- if he is still in yellow.

It's a little too quiet here at Masiguy Global World Domination HQ without the amusing ramblings of the Cub Reporter. She's been having to beg for computer use from Al Trautwig's son, but I guess he's got more pressing things to worry about. I hear from Donna and the Cub's very own mother that things are going very well and that she is having a great time already. I've even heard a rumor she's found her way on camera. I've also heard that the French government has requested the presence of the US Ambassador at the French capital. Coincidence?

Well BK/CR, hope you are well, enjoying the brie and wine and managing to stay out of jail.


FYI- Masiguy is number one in Google for the search "Tour de France podium girls naked". Cool!

Further proof that my wife is funnier (not smarter) than me.

I received the following from my wife...

I warn you, this is funny, so if you are drinking something... get a wipe...

Masiwife; Your Post is rife with spelling errors.
You have got to stop drinking and writing.

Masiguy; Does it wreak?

MW; Oh it reeks all right.
Can we just pretend that sense I didn't post (that'd be SINCE dear)
yay! (or yeah, like they use in Monty Python as well as the rest of the English-speaking world)
Guy like Hincapie are trying to figure how (Is Guy trying to be like Hincapie or is Hincapie the guy)
Tuesday and Wednesday will rally hurt some folks (No! No! Not the rally hurt! Anything but the rally hurt!)
The Cubbie is now in France, eating brie and drinking Chardonnay by now. (Yeah, but what about now?)
or she might be chaising George around (are you saying she's laying on chair, in the sun?)
Tomorrow is a big, bug day, so let's hope all the riders are rested and ready (A big BUG day? Where are they riding?)
I'd lke to give a special thanks to Jessi' mom (is Jesse' mom your baby-mama?)

MG; Jesus you are funny! I love you. Will you keep marrying me?

(I'm posting this by the way...)

MW; Not unless your spelling improves.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Tour de France; Very late Stage 14 report and Rest Day summary

Can we just pretend that sense I didn't post about stage 14 that it just didn't happen? No? Fine then, have it your way...

A French guy on a French team won the stage by beating an Italian guy on an Italian team. The French guy is the 2005 French national champion and the Italian guy is a former Italian national champion. Pierrick Fedrigo supplied Bouygues-Telecom with their first ever stage win and host nation France with their third stage win of this Tour.

The stage was marred by more crashes, including a nasty crash that happened in the winning break. Rik Verbrughe, David Canada and Mattias Kessler. Verbrugghe and Canada were forced out of the race with broken bones and Kessler was able to finsh the stage. Kessler has already won one stage of the race this year, so he could leave proudly, but his team is short a few riders already.

Anyway, in summary- French guy on French team wins and makes all the French fans happy. )And there was much rejoicing... yay!)

Skip to today... rest day number two. Legs are tired, bodies are sore and former contenders are trying to figure out where they went wrong and how it happened. Guy like Hincapie are trying to figure how their Tour imploded and Leipheimer is probably kicking himself for losing so much time in that darned first time trial. Boonen is likely trying to figure out why he can't win a stage this year. One thing is sure; they are all happy to have this rest day.

Now we move into the real race... the part that gets really painful. Tuesday and Wednesday will rally hurt some folks. I would expect some painful time losses tomorrow with the stage finishing on l'Alpe d'Huez... after a rest day. Legs are going to have a hard time making that adjustment. Thursday has one Above Category climb and then Friday is nearly flat. Saturday is the final big TT and should be great for Lanids if he is in the the lead or still contending for it. Then, of course, Sunday is the big day in Paris. This will be Boonen's chance to redeem himself, if he hasn't on the stage Thursday.

We are in the closing stretch now and things are about to get even more exciting. So far, this has been a damned fun Tour. I'm looking forward to this week...

The Cubbie is now in France, eating brie and drinking Chardonnay by now. She might be trying to climb a straw structure or she might be chaising George around trying to get him to autograph her... something. One thing is for sure, she is raising Hell and having a great time. While she was at the aiport waiting to leave for the land of berets, she filed this report...

BK's Quote of the Day
Who is going to win? It's a race to win for eight, ten or fifteen men. And one man's race to lose -- Floyd Landis.
-Bob Roll
Bob said it best on Friday. Bob usually does say it best . This is seriously the most interesting turn of events. Ten to fifteen guys are in contention. That makes this all VERY exciting. Granted, it was fun to see the American win for seven years and overcome cancer, the Belgians etc. I am excited to see some other guys move up - and see it all shake down in PERSON. (Popyvich? Floyd? LEVI?) It was sad to see Johann come on OLN for his obligatory interview during the race. I realize he's never lost at a Tour, but that is a rare feat and he didn't do it alone. I would think that Lance had a lot to say about the building of that US Postal/Discovery team. It has to be tough for him, just on a lot of different levels. I believe that he still has large interests within the
team; personally, financially, professionally.

My Tour Goals.
Get my picture with Floyd, Thor, GH (still!), Boonen
Be down at the finish line in my gold TOURDAYFRANCE* tshirt so you all can see me.
Get Lance to don a TOURDAYFRANCE* tshirt and get a pic with him and Bob.
Have Al wear the TOURDAYFRANCE tee on the air
Get some great networking done
Get some sponsors for BOBKEFEST: The best bike festival in all the land

* The gold TOURDAYFRANCE tees are in the Livestrong logo and there are 24 in the world. Four are between me and my husband. It's a collector's item, folks!

I think that's some seriously fun goals. I did have an offer to ride in a team car. I'm not
sure I want to interfere with the madness. You know? We'll see when I get there.

Ok, kittie cats - watch for me. I don't think I will be able to cartwheel behind Al and Bob during the broadcast, but look for me out there. I'm not sure the next time I'll be able to write so rock on with your bad selves!

Tomorrow is a big, bug day, so let's hope all the riders are rested and ready. Should be fun to watch and listen to.

(PS- I'd lke to give a special thanks to Jessi' mom for stopping by and posting a comment the other day. Cub Reporter's mom; You Rock!)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Tour DAY* France; Lucky 13

*The "DAY" thing is just for Jessi and Bob... (if you follow the link to the site and then look under the "Blogke" section, you'll understand why...)

Today's winner was none other than the very venerable Voigt, Jens (the "V" thing got to me... sorry). Jens Voigt is hands-down one of the classiest and coolest guys in the peloton. The guy busts his ass all the time and is the current King of the long breakaway, especially since the retirement of Jacky Durand. Jens can win time trials, or simply attack from the first kilometer and hold the field off on painfully long breaks. He's just a very gutsy rider and earns each and every win he ever gets. CSC has been in need of some form of redemption since Basso' exclusion from the race, due to doping allegations. Voigt has very much made team director Bjarne Riis' Tour with his well-timed stage win.

The break spent a great deal of time out on the roads away from the pack today. Enough time to get more than a 30 minute lead on the field. An intelligently disinterested field let the break get a boatload of time today. In the end, after riding the last few kilometers in the shadow of Voigt, Oscar Pereiro managed to eek out enough time to take over the yellow jersey and shift the burden of protecting it to Caisse d'Epargne. Pereiro lost 30 some-odd minutes to Landis in the Pyrenees. When the race hits the Alps in a few days, he will likely lose a lot more than that.

Landis might catch a bunch of grief for letting the break get so far away that he lost the yellow jersey, especially if his gamble doesn't net him the final yellow jersey in Paris. However, given the circumstances, I think Floyd was imminently smarter than most people assume; the pressure to defend is now shifted to another team, leaving Phonak with a few days to simply rest until arriving at the really hard stages in the Alps.

Sunday's stage will be much like Satuday's, though the climbing is a little harder. Much like today, I would expect another small break to get away. With Monday being a rest day, it is likely that lesser riders will be reaching over their heads for a stage win. With a disinterested field, it is possible for a smaller break to gain enough time to hold off the field. Time gaps like today's are unlikely, but I'd expect early attacks and if the right combination is met (lower placed riders), it just might work again.

Jens Voigt is a classy rider, riding for a classy but embattled team. His win today will help to boost the morale of the remaining riders on the team. Maybe now Carlos Sastre will feel empowered to go for the GC now.

Now we get to the Cub Reporter, who is likely stepping off a plane in France as I type this. In fear that the French version of the internet might not allow her to submit a post, she was prudent enough to "can" a couple posts for all of us to enjoy. So, with further delay, the Cub Reporter;

My mom has been playing the Trek Tour Mania game since day one. She goes to the store and gets her game piece for her and my father, plus she plays for the both of them on the website everyday. With the odds, you think the lady would have won a freaking Power Bar or something. Today, she gets her first Power Bar. She was really stoked. Good for her. Congrats Mom! The lady won't even eat the thing. Has anyone else won or heard of anyone who has won on this Tour Mania game? I want some nationwide scoop on this one.

Tuesday I wasn't feeling well and I wanted to hang out with my mom so we did a fun little project together. I went to the Trek Store (so she could get her Tour Mania scratch off) and I purchased a Discovery mussette bag. I ripped out all the seams, fused a lining fabric on the back and made a drawstring bag out of it. It's a good prototype. I think I would put a yellow band around the top so the logo doesn't get so smashed up when you pull the top tight. I think it's pretty cool. Check it out.

I'm in transit. . .forgive me.

Until the next stage in a few hours...

(PS- Yes I know that I am posting this much, much later than normal. Two reasons; 1) I posted earlier in the day, but Blogger ate the post and it vanished into the ether. B) I went out for beers with my best friend. Blame him...)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Tour de France; Stage 12 report

Discovery pulls their collective head of out their collective ass and get the collective win, in the form of Yaroslav Popovych in a late jump from a small breakway. Wait a gall-darned second... didn't I predict the win would likely come from a small group... maybe even somebody jumping out of a small group? Dang... I'm good at this.

So yeah, Johann Bruyneel saves his ass with the team finding a way to at least get a stage win this year. Johann has directed more Tour wins than any other director, all with the same rider I know, but still. I have an incredible amount of respect for the man and what he has done as a team director. There was a time, when I realilzed that I wasn't going to be a pro riding in Europe, that I really wanted to be a team director. Some days, when I'm staring at catalog proofs, spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations that I think I would still like to pursue a full-time directorship of a pro team. Then I get that regular paycheck every two weeks and remember that I know when I'm going to get paid, I don't have to chase sponsorship money and try to corale a bunch of stupid* cyclists... I think I've made the right decision. (* I say "stupid" in the most loving and supportive way I possibly can.)

Anyway, too bad Johann lost two of his best riders today when Noval and Savoldelli both abandoned. Paolo, apparently, ran into a spectator riding his bike down the mountain to the team hotel after the stage yesterday and needed about 10 stitches to close a cut over his eye. Ouch!

The day was once again riddled with constant attacks. It wasn't until nearly 100km into the race that the final selection was made. With Freire, Le Mevel, Ballan and Popo getting away. The break worked well enough to keep the peoloton at bay and maintained a lead of slightly over 4 minutes to the finish. With just slightly less than 4km remaining, Popovych unleashed his final race-winning attack. The 26 year old Ukranian scored the biggest of his professional wins in fine fashion. Once his legs mature a bit more, the promising former U23 World Champion could eventually fulfill the promise many people think he represents. Who knows, if he stays with Johann, he could extend Bruyneel's record tally of Tour wins some day.

Tomorrow is much the same as today, though with no climbs rated higher than a category 4. expect much the same sort of race as today, though I would think that the sprinters would be working much harder to secure a mass gallop to the line. My pick, if it comes to a sprint is either Freire or Hushovd. Even though Boonen finally "beat" Robbie in a sprint today for the minor placings, I'm still thhinking he doesn't have the kick he needs to win a grougp sprint with all the contenders. But I could easily be wrong...

Our intrepid Cub Reporter is now in the process of destroying airport bars from here to France. I'm sure she is doing all she can to find a way to sleep through the long transatlantic flight- ie; sleeping off a hangover. We may be expereincing something of a quiet patch without her. However, being the dedicated cycling journo' that she is, she has logged this most recent post from her stop in Chicago (unedited for your enjoyment...);
OK - you should look this over, I'm not on my keyboard and I'm weary. . .. not hopped up - just weary.

There has been many inquires about the watch Bob is sporting on the air. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the same watch as written about in Bobke II. However, it is a very cool piece. The Corum Buckingham Wunderkammer was purchased in NYC last month. Bob has been drooling over it for as long as I've known him. It is a limited edition and is one of 1000. It is pretty bad ass to say the least. It is so Bob. He almost got a Cartier, but it just didn't suit him like the Corum.

The skull ring he has been wearing on his right hand he has had since he was about 15 years old. He bought it in San Fran down near Haight/Ashbury. He recently had it fixed in New York by his good friend, who we'll just call Fancy Pants Nancy. She is an absolute doll and I can't wait to meet her again. When I'm out there I'll be sure to get a good picture of it.

Congrats to Popyvich. I was really stoked to see Discovery pull something out. I know he isn't American, but I like to see DIscovery succeed. I have heard that Lance is very emotional when it comes to watching the races. I am unsure if he is in France yet, but I can only IMAGINE his response to yesterday's ride. Woah Doggie.

So the kids are having a ball at Aunt Jackie and Uncle Bill's house, they almost pushed us out the door and we're getting on a flight tomorrow. I am so very ready. I cannot wait. I'm nervous about the internet access, but we're going to work around it, so bear with me. The entries may be get a bit short if I have to call them in at $1 a minute. I can't wait to get an album of all the pics up and out there. I have the questions you funny people gave me on Donna's blog, so that should be fun reporting. Bye for now.


The miracle of modern medicine... indeed.

Ok, tomorrow is another fast day. We'll see if I'm right as usual... I mean again.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tour de France; Stage 11 report

Here's my favorite quote so far from this year's Tour;
"I've been riding on my bike for seven hours, I've climbed five cols... tomorrow, there's a stage of 212 kilometres, and after that, a stage of 230 kilometres... I think that's just great," Boonen said sarcastically. "This is scandalous, it's over the top. I'm also supporting the battle against doping, but with these sorts of stages, the battle will never be won," he said.

Hmm... I wonder what Turbo Tom is talking about? Hi-freakin'-larious!

So yeah, today was kind of exciting. Floyd moves in to yellow, even with a bum hip (sorry Phil, I just had to...). Leipheimer gets the "come back from the grave" award for the day. Yesterday he sucked the tailpipe, almost as bad as his disastrous time trial, and then today he is sprinting for the win. Menchov rode strong and smart enough to get the stage win after some incredibly kick-ass support from teammates Boogerd and Crash Chicken Rasmussen. Rasmussen very bravely and selflessly sacrificed his own personal ambitions in an effort to play the role of Super Domestique for Menchov. It was really impressive. On top of that, Dessel and the AG2R team rode a far better defense of the yellow jersey than anybody was willing to believe. Dessel lost exactly the amount of time he had on Floyd, so that Floyd moved into the yellow solely by virtue of his 8 second time bonus for 3rd place.

One of the greatest images of the stage was watching Floyd driving the pace for the last 5 kilometers, knowing he was tossing out his chance to win the stage in exchange for time on his rivals and the chance to grab the yellow. When Floyd knew his companions were not going to work with him, he simply plowed ahead and gained all the time on his rivals on his on. Dogged determination is a powerful thing. I've ridden with the guy and can honestly say he's a humble funny guy in real life, but he obviously understands his job and has learned how to fight for the win this year.

Then there were the losers... oh man. The Alps are where things are supposed to get really ugly and we've already seen the wheels come off the Discovery train. Dang! That was pretty painful to watch. VeloNews said it best in their commentary today;
The implosion of the Discovery Channel team that has finally been exposed as a far less force in the Tour without their retired seven-time champion Lance Armstrong. The team that began the Tour with the balance of power in its favor, today saw its overall hopes founder. Dual Giro d'Italia champion Paolo Savoldelli of Italy finished in 50th place at 23:04, and last year's best young rider, Ukraine's Yaroslav Popovych placed 26th on the stage 6:25 back..

Iban Mayo had another total meltdown, similar to his last Tour, and abandoned the race. After his stage win earlier in the year at the Dauphine-Libere, many people thought Mayo might be back to his old winning ways. Sadly, he's headed home for some paella. Fortunately the drive will be a little shorter since the stage finished in Spain. Mayo's meltdown was all the more dramatic thanks to a TV moto being in his face to capture the whole thing. I like the guy and think he's a classy rider, but he's a tad fragile. Not quite Pantani-esque, maybe a bit more Simoni-like.

Today's results of note; Winners and losers...
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 6.06.25 (33.813 km/h)
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner
3 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto
5 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC
6 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank
7 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 8 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC
9 Andreas Klöden (Ger) T-Mobile
10 Christophe Moreau (Fra) AG2R-Prevoyance
12 Michael Rogers (Aus) T-Mobile
15 José Azevedo (Por) Discovery Channel
16 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval
18 Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R-Prevoyance (Nice try to defend the jersey though.)
21 Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger) T-Mobile
22 Axel Merckx (Bel) Phonak
24 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears
26 Yaroslav Popovyvch (Ukr) Discovery Channel
33 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
35 Christian Vandevelde (USA) Team CSC 11.08
36 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank
46 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel (His podium hopes are blown now, for sure...)
50 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel
59 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Liquigas
64 Egoi Martinez (Spa) Discovery Channel
65 Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram
71 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC
72 Kjell Carlström (Fin) Liquigas (Go Finland! I'm more Finn than anything else...)
76 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis
78 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
86 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) T-Mobile
91 David Millar (GBr) Saunier Duval (Needs a little more saddle time after two year doping ban.)
101 Pavel Padrnos (Cze) Discovery Channel
102 Viatscheslav Ekimov (Rus) Discovery Channel
104 Benjamin Noval (Spa) Discovery Channel
111 José Rujano (Ven) Quick-Step-Innergetic (Not his kind of climb yet... waiting for Alps?)
117 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC
120 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick-Step-Innergetic
128 Victor Hugo Pena (Col) Phonak
130 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team CSC
137 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto
140 Magnus Backstedt (Swe) Liquigas
148 José Luis Rubiera (Spa) Discovery Channel
152 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
154 Christopher Horner (USA) Davitamon-Lotto
163 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole
DNF Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi (It is now safe to say that he is not going to win this Tour.)

Pretty amazing. Some of those time gaps are shocking... and it isn't even at the hardest part of the race yet. Tomorrow is a constant roller. No major climbs to speak of, but the day is really never flat. Might be good for a breakaway of non GC guys. Maybe some of the guys who got slapped around today will try to make something happen tomorrow. The finish is on a series of constant rollers. The biggest climb of the day is early in the stage. Good ingredients for a fast finish. Some guys who suffered today will suffer tomorrow too because their legs are going to feel like lead. Don't be surprised if some big gaps form. My pick? Somebody fast enough to win from a small break... maybe Horner? He had a bad day today and he's one of those guys who is a tactical genius with great recovery. He is way down on GC, so he might get the ok to leave the pack.

No matter what, it'll be an intersting day... regardless of how much Boonen doesn't like it.


Cub Reporter Check-in

"Floyd should play those poker games on television. He gives nothing away with that face."
Phil Liggett's Quote of the Day

Congratulations to Donna's Boy Floyd. It was great to see his ride today. Refreshing. I get all hot and bothered seeing USA in that lead group. You better believe I want this US Cycling to do well this year whether its Floyd, Levi, etc. I feel like a broken record, but I still get crap for cheering for Amish Landis. I LOVE Floyd's silver Elvis Oakleys. Those are freaking sweet. Maybe he can score a better looking kit now. I just saw him signing the yellow jerseys and his 'graph is pretty cool. I took a handwriting analysis course for 2 semesters and if what I learned is true, he's probably a pretty cool guy. I totally gained a lot of love for him in the last 4 minutes. Cool. Maybe he'll shave the 'stache. It creeps me out a bit. Hmmm. Donna is a smart girl. Floyd also looks great it yellow. It makes him glow like he's expecting. How lovely for him.

A hardy WELCOME BACK is also in order for Mr. Levi. It was good to see him out front today and to see him working it at the finish. We missed you big guy, good work.

The Boogie Man did a great set up for the leads today. Never forget the Boogie Man, he does phenomenal work. Do you think his teeth were done by the Muppet Workshop?

Looks like Georgie Porgie may have had the shellfish for dinner last night. Not sure what's going on with him, but look where Levi was yesterday vs. today. 24 hours can make a big difference for sure. I'm not done with him. You'd better believe I'm going to get the scoop on that one from the Blobstack this afternoon.

Over six hours in the saddle. Wow. That's a long day in the mountains. I think these are the names we're going to hear a lot: Landis, Leipheimer, Sastre, Menchov, Evans. . .. and its getting good, folks. Maybe GH is waiting to show off for me in the flesh. That wouldn't surprise me one bit.

Ok – the big story? NO BLAZERS! NO FREAKING BLAZERS! Thank you thank you thank you to whoever is responsible. Bob is on FIRE without the blazer. It cramped his style. I'm a big fan of the casual look. Everyone start writing emails to about the positive change. What a lovely surprise. I was up at two this morning – couldn't sleep – so I called Bob and he was surprised I wasn't drunk and made no mention whatsoever of the Blazerless Thursday. Maybe he didn't know it was coming.

Well – I start traveling tomorrow. I'll keep you posted as best I can . . . .promise . . .
This one's for you Bernie! This is a picture of me, Billy Biker Boy and DICK LEINENKUGEL.
My husband and him keep in touch. Dick is getting some decals made up for Bill's beanbag boards. Don't ask guys, it keeps him out of the bars.

Tour; FLOYD!

Floyd in yellow! Well, I know he was already in yellow, but this is better yellow!

More later... what a day...

Yippee Floyd!

I like Floyd. Go Floyd!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Proof positive

For anybody who is convinced that compact road cranks are just a marketing myth, here's a quote from today's Tour de France stage winner;

Dessel believed that the yellow jersey was the reward for a solid first week of racing for him. "I even did a decent time trial although I really am a climber," he said. "I had been waiting for this stage all week, and I was right to ask our mechanic to give me a compact chainset for these really tough climbs. That certainly helped!"


I'm just sayin...


Tour de France; Stage 10 report

Ok, I was partially right about how things would unfold today. I admit I wasn't spot on, but I had the general flavor of things pretty close.

Gonchar released the yellow jersey, as he wasn't able to defend it himself and T-Mobile wasn't going to bury itself to defend it for him. Sure makes it look like they are putting their eggs in the Kloden basket.

I said Horner would be active and he was- though his break was chased down since it had Chavanel, Vande Velde and Patrik Sinkewitz. Those guys all represented too much of a threat to let get any time on the field, so they were brought back fairly quickly.

Over the HC (above categorization) Soudet, things started getting a little ugly. The winning break was already up the rode, waiting to shed a little dead wood, and the field was getting eaten up. Although it appeared that T-Mobile was working to keep the yellow jersey, it was really working to minimize time losses for their real GC guy Kloden and his support riders. It didn't seem like they were even riding that hard (relative term there), and yet major players were getting hammered- Mayo looked like he was in real trouble and evidently was, since he lost more than 24 minutes by the finish. Stick a fork in him because he's done.

As the leaders were solidifying their gap and getting the yellow jersey squarely on Cyril Dessel's back, guys like Leipheimer were suffering up the final Marie Blanque and had to rely on the long descent and run in to the finish to catch the group again. Poor Levi, he really seemed like a contender for this race and he has just been going in the wrong direction since the time trial.

Dessel and breakaway companion Mercado fought valiantly to secure their gap and then began the usual games to see who would win. Mercado felt he was "owed" the win since Dessel would be winning the yellow and polka dot jerseys at the end of the day. Dessel felt differently and fought hard to try and win the stage though mercado got the win at the line- some saw it as bad taste after e allowed Dessel to do almost all the work in the closing kilometers. But hey... that's racing (more on that in a moment).

In the end T-Mobile rode smart enough, though not brilliantly. Phonak kept Floyd well placed and major upsets were kept to a minimum. Tom Boonen didn't have to worry about losing the sprint today, as there wasn't one. He's probably sleeping just fine too.

Tomorrow will be the next big test with 5 major climbs on tap- 1 Haute Categorie, the dreaded Tourmalet, and 4 Category 1 climbs- d'Aspin, Peyresourde, Portillon and Puerto de Beret. The finish is actually on the final climb of the day and it will be here that GC hopes are ultimately sealed or squashed completely. Since it finishes in the heart of Basque Spain, expect all the Spanish riders to be jumpy. Also look for Rasmussen to try and get the polka dot jersey- while hopefully not falling off his bike. It should, by all means, be a very animated day.

And now, to make you all happy since she is your new favorite, a few words from the Cub Reporter; (just keep in mind that she's doping)

This One is for Collins

I would like to start my post with an apology. A big freaking apology. I just want to say I'm sorry for spazing on you guys about the lack of posting. As TJMG noted yesterday, I got my stuff in really early and didn't even THINK that the off day jibber jabber would have gotten that many responses. Fritz – I thought we were pals. Anyways, Tim wins on deadlines today.

I want to talk about shellfish. Today I got the Bob sign in the sky and answered the Treo. Turns out during Bob's trip to Montelimar this evening, he was barfing out the car window for the last few miles. Yesterday he was telling me how he had this lovely shellfish salad for dinner and I was freaking because how many shitty shellfish cycling stories (say that 10 times fast) have you heard about? Our prodigal son, Mr. Levi must have had the same thing for dinner. You silly people. Do you ever learn? Do NOT go to a marathon bike race, let alone the biggest race of the year and start chowing down on the freaking shellfish. Are you guys new? PSquared was saying that Levi wasn't feeling well today. I'm very sorry to hear that as I too am a bit under the weather but the cold meds and beer are suiting me fine. I'm not sure Levi would savvy my regiment this week.

Today's race really pissed me off. Bob said he knew that I was going to be all a flurry when he saw it all go down at the finish. I understand that this is sometimes how it goes down, blah blah blah. The fact that at one point Cyril was doing SEVENTY FIVE PERCENT of the work and Mercado comes out and takes it all. I can see this totally go down Family Guy style.

Stewie (Mercado): Did you just see that, Brian? I just took the stage! I rode on your wheel and sucked your energy dry and took the stage. Did you see that?

Brian: (Cyril): Great. I have the yellow GC and king of the mountains jersey you idiot.

It may be how it works sometimes, but I don't have to like it and I don't. I guess that's why it took me so long to write today. I had to put a spin on this. And get the shellfish scoop. Note to self: NO SHELLFISH. Good thing I despise the shellfish.

Health update. I haven't gotten much of a break but I'm a big fan of the Wal-Dryl for stuffy nose and body aches. That and Leinenkugels Light. I want to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and well wishes this week. Good thing I didn't eat the shellfish. I'm skipping town in 2 days. Holy guacamole. I have to pack this family up and get the hell outta here. Fritz, can we be friends again before I leave?


PS- This is a site that I've done some work for. Really good guys. If you search hard enough you can find me interviewing Bobke. Anyways, they have some really funny soundbites on there from the ZMan that you guys may want to check out.,


Sweet dreams of long climbs...


Urgent News! (Updated)

Screw the Tour for a moment;

Andy Applegate of the Abercrombie & Fitch/ Inferno team (sponsored by Masi of course) won the US Masters (40+) National Time Trial Championship today! Congratulations to Andy and A&F/Inferno on the win. Those of us at Masi are happy and proud! More news and hopefully pictures to follow...


Add to this news; just moments ago Andy and his wife Cara won the Elite National title for Mixed Tandem TT as well. Sweet!

(In full disclosure, Andy was not on a Masi for this win since the team does not have Masi TT rigs... yet.)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tour de France; Stage 9 report

First off, it is only fair that I tell everybody that the Cub Reporter had her report to me several hours ago- probably only minutes after the stage today. Today, she is clearly the better reporter. A tip of the virtual hat to Jessi.

So stop if you think that you've heard this one before; Freire wins close sprint, McEwen is second and Zabel is third. Turbo Tom is fourth after starting his sprint a little too early. Early breakaway gets a boatload of time and then is reeled in shortly before the line to set up the field sprint that Tom looses. Sound familiar? Sure does to me...

Tommorow is The Day. The first real climbs and the first real test of the GC contenders. Expect the real climbers to be less than stellar and the non-climbers to still suffer. The GC guys will be the ones to watch as they find out where their legs really are. The first day in the mountains is always harsh on the legs as riders switch riding styles from long days of steady tempo in the big ring to constant tempo changes and spinning smaller gears. It is actually quite hard on the legs and usually sees riders getting shelled pretty badly the first day. My pick for somebody to watch? Guys like Chris Horner (Lotto-Domo), Giuseppe Guerini (T-Mobile), Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) or possibly even Axel Merckx (Phonak). The true climbers like Simoni or Rujano won't really profit from this stage because the last climb is too far from the finish and it just isn't the type of grueling stage that usually suits them. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if CSC sent Carlos Sastre on the attack. He's won a stage of the Tour before, so he knows what it takes and CSC needs some good news.

We shall see...

Nobody else seems to be noticing the cheesy coincidence of this day; 7/11. The 7/11 team of the 80's and 90's was the first US-based team to ride the Tour, the first US-based team to win a Grand Tour (Giro- '88- Hampsten), the first US-based team to win a stage of the Tour (Davis Phinney) and the first US-based team to grab the American eye- especially for guys my age. Many of the riders were cycling heroes to many of us. Sure LeMond was already over there winning races and Boyer had been there before LeMond, but these guys were a team of Americans and Europeans, riding together and winning important races... and not looking like asses. Part of what makes this significant to me and this particular post is that the Cub Reporter's "boss" is Bob Roll, who was on that historical team. Bob (Bobke) was one of my favorites. Partly because he didn't look like the Euros. He looked like "us"- kind of a normal looking guy with a goofy grin and a "blue collar" ethic to riding. The riding was hard and it wasn't always glamorous. He didn't try to look pretty like many of our European heroes did- he made riding ugly look good. (Bob- I swear I mean that as a compliment.) So, today, I want to raise my beer to the original 7/11 team and all of the great riders that wore the jersey... thank you for giving lowly American teenagers like me the real belief in dreams. I can't begin to thank you enough!

And now, before she has a fit and kicks my ass, the Cub Reporter;


Why doesn't anyone comment on this blog? That's a little perplexing to me. Isn't that the glory of a blog? TJMG tells me that you are all afraid of him yet BKCR knows better than that. My readers are MUCH smarter than he gives them credit for.

So I think Floyd is the man unless his geriatric hip starts to agitate him in the mountains. I've got some questions. I would like some comments responding to this – consider it your homework. Ok. Why in the hell after the first week of the TdF does all this hip jargon come out? There were Outside Magazine cover stories, CycleSport coverage, Bicycling Articles and a few I'm failing to mention and not a PEEP about any of this. He said to the New York Times that if he wasn't a bike racer he would have had surgery two years ago. What gives? Why is this all of a sudden a big deal? Is he taking something that may be questionable because of his "degenerate condition"? (that is the description on, not mine) Is he going to test positive for a drug to get him sent home? I freaking hope not.

Let's take a look at my hero, Curious George. I keep bringing him up, not to agitate Dang Right Donna and TJMG, but because he has been training with Lance for over seven years and there were times (in the first week – around stage 9 ish) that LA was down by a hell of a lot more that two and a half minutes. I'm just saying, Boy George still has a chance to get to the podium, folks. That's all. I'm not going to count him out

I'm still pushing for an all American podium. I still think we have a shot with Floyd, Zabriskie (who's still in the top 8), George and possibly Vandevelde who is about three and a half minutes behind the leader. Apparently, Mr. Vandevelde has been a domestique for most of his career, though I personally think they are the best all around athletes on the team. So, all in all, US Cycling still has a shot.

Health update. I've been on about 4 different meds, some simultaneously in conjunction with a few beers, but today I'm getting serious about the drug stuff because I feel like total crap. The body aches and the head is stuffy. I'm pretty confident in today's drug of choice, which is not EPO, so tomorrow I plan on being a whole new woman.

Paul just said the funniest freaking thing about Sandy Casar. "....he was knocked off of his bike by a spec TATER trying to get a photo on a mo BILE phone" That's funny ass shit. Phil must be tired or under the weather.

Here's to tomorrow's Pyrenees. Looks like you Westies have to get up nice and early for day one in the mountains. Three days until I go! I wonder if I will meet the Conehead family. Can't wait to hear your comments.


Here's to the hills!

(PS- Don't even bother to point out how late I am posting. I know already...)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Tour de France; Rest Day 1

Since Jessi (Cub Reporter) and I are a pair of professional journalists/ race reporters, we weren't about to let the Rest Day get in the way of hardhitting investigative journalism. However, since all of the riders were taking naps and we had a deadline to meet, we had to compromise a little...

First up, we have an exclusive interview; Jessi Pacetti was able to locate and interview the elusive Masiguy for the following interview... it's rivoting reading. Though considered to be like Sasquatch or the Abdominal Snowman, the Masiguy was tracked down with the aid of body-odor sniffing hounds. The rest is Pulitzer material.

Jessi Pacetti: Why isn't there a jersey for prettiest kit?
Masiguy: Because the prettiest kit, is it's own jersey. I think we can all agree that it's the Phonak kit.

JP: What was the coolest bike ever in a movie?
a. The Masi in that shitty movie you love
b. Kermit's bike in The Muppet Movie
c. Pee Wee's bike

MG: Do I really need to answer this one? Really... the entire planet agrees that it was the Gran Criterium ridden in Breaking Away. Anybody waking from a coma would know that. Masi is the very best bike ever made.

JP: Do you think Jan and Ivan are watching the Tour or just getting drunk?
MG: If you believe the press, they are likely injecting EPO and getting blood transfusions. I'd like to think they are both still riding and staying fit. Even if guilty, though far from proven, they should remember that they brought excitement and joy to people's lives for riding a bike. A simple act of riding a bike can make a difference in the world, even if only in your own world.

JP: What is the best website for porn these days?
MG: I'm fond of Buck-Toothed Babes from the Trailer Park... classy stuff.

JP: If you had to replace anyone on the OLN coverage, who would it be and who would you replace them with?
MG: Hard to say. A few years ago I would've instantly blurted out "Trautwig", like some sort of turret's thing. Now, I'm not so sure. The guy has been studying and learning. He used to drone on, but now he makes sense from time to time. They should bring back Kirsten Gumm. This is really funny; because I mentioned her last year during the Tour when she was commentating, I get lots of visits to this site from people Googling her name. I'm presuming it's horny bike nerds looking for naked pictures of her. Forget it dudes... they don't exist... I tried.

JP: Would you shag Kirsten Gumm? Do you think any of the OLN guys have?
MG: There are lots of stories out there- most of them made up. There are no pictures of me with Kirsten. If there are, they are not real. No matter what her lawyers tell you about the restraining order.

JP: Who is the best looking cyclist that's still in the Tour?
MG: There's a lot to be said for Daniele Bennati. Italian and fast.... he's kinda purdy...

JP: If Al and Bob took it to the ring for a real fight, who do you think would win?
MG: Bobke hands down. Any man who finishes Paris-Roubaix is a sure-nuff bad ass.

JP: There has been so many examples of existentialism in this year's race. Which one has had the most overall influence on the GC?
MG: I think Floyd put it best when he said, "I don't know how long my time in the peloton goes on. I know it won't go on forever, my hope is it's not over yet..."

JP: Do you think I can get Boonen or GH to kiss me first?
MG: Those Euro guys are lightweight drinkers when they get to the States, so I'm guessing Boonen.

JP: What would be the 3 funniest words to have PSquared say in their silly British accents?
MG: Uranus. Pumpernickel. Boobies.

JP: Which Disney Princess would be the fastest on the bike?
a. Cinderella
b. Jasmine
c. Belle
MG: Cinderalla hands down. She's got the mice and birds on her side.

JP: If you couldn't ride a Masi because the company spontaneously combusted, what kind of bike would you ride?
MG: Honestly, I don't know. I love too many of them. Richard Sachs. Colnago. Vanilla (by Sascha White). A Brian Baylis. Calfee. There are so many great bikes out there now. Seriously, if many were no object, I'd have a damned hard time knowing where to spend it. Thank God I work here.

JP: If Trek bought Schwinn, they would be called Shrek. What are your thoughts on that?
MG: Why not Twin? Think about it... Shrek was smelly...

JP: Who do you think gets more fan mail - Levi or Bob Roll? (I actually know the answer to this one)
MG: Prolly Bob because he's a cross generational road and dirt hero.

JP: Do the navy blazers make you nervous as they do me? What do you think is up with the change?
MG: I think it's a plan perpetrated by The Man to keep a brother down. But I'm a crackpot conspiracy theorist.

JP: Since I don't know any French and will be trotting around France wearing a yellow TourDAYFrance tshirt, do you think I'll ever get served in a restaurant?
MG: Just make sure you call the "gar con"... they love that. Trust me on this one...

JP: What's grosser than gross? Full frontal road rash or skidding open your entire wrist ala Bobby Boy?
MG: I have had the full frontal a few times and only torn the hands open once. Both really suck, but the road rash is just a constant crappy feeling.

JP: If women were allowed to ride in the TdF (even though they aren't stupid enough to do such a thing), who would win?
a. Flo Jo
b. Marion Jones
c. My mom

MG: Oh... I had such the hots for Marion Jones... and she was allegedly a doper too. But I've never met your mom...

JP: How do aspiring podium girls get in? How do they train for something so prestegious? Is that the pinnacle of life for them?
MG: It is the xenith of any French woman's modeling career. I think they just have to be willing to stand still and sweat in front of the cameras and have a penchant for kissing skinny guys with shaved legs.

After realizing that I wasn't getting anywhere with any of the riders or their team managers, I was able to locate my interviewee at the local discount liquor purveyor. Jessi Pacetti, though a wily competitor when sober, was easier to track today thanks to her beeping ankle bracelet. It was a bitter fight, but I got answers out of her.

Tim Jackson: What do you think about Floyd needing hip replacement?
Jessi Pacetti: I didn't realize he qualified for AARP. Maybe he'll take up canasta and eating dinner at 4:30 at the Elks club. Tough recovery on that one.

TJ: Why do you think there are still mullets in the peloton and why isn't there a time penalty assessed to anybody who has one?
JP: I think that mullets in the peleton are a travesty. There should be a 3 minute penalty once you hit the line with one of those suckers. Those just aren't right. I live in Wisconsin where they are typically out in full force at the redneck bars any day of the week. I marvel in their glory. I would never sleep with one, but jeez - the balls to grow it and go out in public is amazing.

TJ: Which pronunciation of Phil's do you prefer for Turbo Tom?
A- "boo-nin"
B- "bone in"

JP: Of course I'm going to say "bone in". Not because it's right, but because it's almost dirty and that's funny.

TJ: What do you think of the draconian policies of the UCI limiting how light a bike can be?
JP: I think it's a crock of shit. Outlaw the earpiece shenanagans first. I think those are changing the race more than the weight of the "machines" (As Shaggy Sherwen would say.)

TJ: We've see a lot of great racing so far this Tour. Lots of drama, intrigue and compelling stories. What is it that you think makes me the most interesting cycling blogger in the world?
JP: Hell if I know, I don't read all than jargon you write. You're probably considered the best because you're such a blasted nerd and that you got me writing this year and I'm freaking funny. Did you see that one about COWBELL?

TJ: If you could be any kind of animal, which one do you think would enjoy the Tour the most?
JP: I think a cheetah because they could outrun ANY of these guys and be showered, do their interviews, have dinner and a nap before the race even got exciting.

TJ: George Hincapie is married to a French former podium girl, does that make him an expatriate? Should he be deported?
JP: I've seen these French podium girls you speak of. They aren't ALL hot, Timmy Tight Pants. However, Melanie Hincapie is a very pretty lady. I don't want to say anything horrible about her because I just may meet her and since there are 37 people in the cycling industry, I can imagine pissing her off wouldn't be a great idea. I don't think he's an expatriot but you feel you have to, you can deport him to my house.

TJ: What is your theory for Levi Leipheimer's horrible time trial on Saturday?
JP: It's very easy. He didn't get any the night before.

TJ: If Masi was at the Tour this year, how many stages do you think would have been won on them by now?
JP: Hmmm. It would depend on how many Cutters were riding.

TJ: Do you think that Michael Rasmussen should be forced to ride with training wheels during time trials? Granted he didn't crash during the last one, but you know it is coming sooner or later
JP: Rasmussen should DEFINITELY be in training wheels - for that fact - so should Bobby Boy Julich.

TJ: If you were a fish, which leader's jersey would you want to wear?
JP: Anything but Phonak. Is this a trick question?

TJ: Do you think that I would be as fast as Floyd if I had a hip replacement too?
JP: Floyd has YET to have the hip replacement. I don't think you would. He's pretty hard core. Did you see that picture with him in the fur coat in Outside Magazine? I'm talking bad boy. I was actually hoping they'd have a picture of him with a dog collar and chains. That might be a bit sexier than the stupid pimp jacket.

TJ: Why does Phil say the same rider's name 3 or 4 different ways- during the same stage? Is he in fact senile?
JP: I think he does it to see if you're paying attention. I find it humorous and around here we take shots of whiskey every time he says a name differently, but only during the morning coverage.

TJ: Does Paul drink as heavily as you and me? Should he after sitting in a booth with Phil all day?
JP: Paul thinks he drinks heavily, but I have been known to drink his ass under the table on numerous occasions. When I am out with Phil, I have to be drinking or I wouldn't be able to understand him when he talks.

TJ: Is Bob really going to ask me to become a guest writer for his website? How much did he say he was going to pay me? I can't remember...
JP: He sure is - he's going to pay you about a dollar six eighty a year. . . . In your dreams, big boy. It's my ass you should be kissing because I'm the one who decides all that crap.

TJ: Bob is clearly one of the funniest people currently alive, is it just the booze or jetlag?
JP: Neither. I think it stems from the time his optic nerve froze during that race that Andy Hampsted won and Bob wasn't even expected to finish. He cracks me up on a regular basis. I'm glad he can share that talent with the world.

TJ: Has Bob said what his favorite moment of this Tour has been yet?
JP: Not yet. I think it's going to be when I get there. Duh.

TJ: How many drinks will it take in Vegas to get him dancing on tables/ bars? I need to know for my expense account.
JP: Basically, he leaves all the table and bar dancing to me. It's section 3 paragraph 8 of our contract. For me it's been accurately tracked at 2 full bottles of wine (on my own) or 10 -12 tall Jack and diets - no groceries.

TJ: Do you think that the most recent drug scandals that have rocked the sport will have a far reaching impact or will things go back to "business as usual" as soon as things fade from the public eye? Should there be lifetime bans on riders the first time they test positive?
JP: Considering what my plans are within the cycling industry, I sure as shit hope not. When the Americans come out ahead on the podium at the end of the month I do think that it will boost US Cycling. I also think that sponsors may lay off putting specific athletes in their propaganda and go back to promoting the product, not the riders. I think the testing is a bit willy nilly these days to be giving lifetime bans. Tyler Hamilton has gone a little far in his defense (Sorry Donna, but identical twin in the womb? WTF?) and has earned himself a lifetime ban. I hate to say that, I really do because I was a Tyler fan, but there's too much out there now.

TJ: If two trains left New York city, one with Jan Ullrich and the other with Ivan Basso, which train would get stopped first and inspected for bags of frozen blood and syringes?
JP: That's a toss up. If it was out of NYC, probably neither would be stopped at all.

That's all for today. There's some racing going on tomorrow, but you'll need some time to absorb all of this news. I understand completely.