Apart from family, what could be more important than wine and bikes? Of course, there might be the odd rant about other topics on here too...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Another great wine site

Recommend one site and others seem to find you. I got an email from the guys at LocalWineEvents looking for a plug. In this case, I can actually recommend these guys. I already subscribe to their emails listing wine tastings and classes in NY (but they cover plenty of other locations).

Friday, December 09, 2005

ProTour RIP?

Oh well...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What's Red Lantern or Black Jersey in Spanish?

Winning a Grand Tour is nuts. Finishing one is something that most of us mere mortals hurt just thinking about. So here's a shout out to Russel van Hout, Iker Flores and Yohann Gene who 'won' this year's Maglia Nera, Lanterne Rouge and whatever they call it in Spain - while a combined 158 starters never finished the three Tours.

It seems finishing somewhere around 4 hours 20 minutes behind the winner will win you this wonderful accolade - Flores seems to have it worked out, it's his second Lanterne!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Ivan Basso - Naiive or Balls of Steel?

Ivan Basso has announced that he will once again attempt to ride for the Giro/Tour double.  Given his experience in both this year (he was looking like the champion-elect in the Giro until stricken with a stomach bug - which he rode through (losing 45 minutes or so) and went on to win a mountain stage and the final TT, and once again the only man to hang with Lance in the high mountains at the Tour), he could well bring a welcome return to cycling of riders that race races because they are important (the Tour) and because of their own personal passion (the Giro). 
I suppose in Lance's case, that was the same thing - he was passionate only about the most important race, but I think it's great that the top riders in the post-Lance era are going back to the way things used to be and racing more of the calendar than just one or two key races.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Perhaps not the biggest victim of Heras-gate

Amid all the fallout of Roberto Heras' second non-negative, one of the 'victims' is my Top 10 things worth remembering about 2005. What a strange world cycling is...

2 more Paddies in the ProTour

Marc Scanlon and Philip Deignan will join (the recently re-Irished) Nicolas Roche in the ProTour ranks next year. Not too surprisingly AG2R was given the final ProTour slot (seeing as the Valencian's and Columbians couldn't cough up the funds, it was just a case of AG2R or nobody). Hopefully, we'll get to see some Irish ProTour points next year...

Appellation America

Just got an email from the folks at Appelation America which looks like an interesting wine site focussed on American varietals (or rather wines grown in America since many are international varietals). Watch how you corner on a bike with a glass in your hand...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Indurain's Ullrich

An interesting question thrown up by Chris on Digital Peloton about whether Indurain "had an Ullrich".
In his 5 TdF wins, no one rider was second on more than one occasion (Chiappucci and Bugno being the only two-time podium finishers during his winning era), and in the Giro, Ugmanov (a TdF runner up in '94) and Chiappucci were on the second podium steps. Big Mig's other big win - the San Sebastian classic - had Laurent Jalabert and Sean Kelly on the lower steps.

So, I suppose Chiappucci was the closest thing he had to an Ullrich, but in essence, I think the answer is no, he didn't have one...

Obviously, Anquetil and Mercx both had Poulidor, but, Hinault didn't really have a single 'one' either - did he?

Hard to disagree

Whatever about Tyler Hamilton and Roberto Heras continuing to protest their innocence, I have to agree with Big Mig who was recently quoted saying cycling is in part suffering from bad press because it is more focused on cutting out doping and its anti-doping measures are tougher than other sports.

Given the joke that is Major League Baseball's approach, it's hard to disagree with Indurain who says that "Cycling wanted to be at the forefront by introducing the toughest measures and in the end it hasn't worked well for the sport. The rules and regulations should be international, totally clear and the same for every sport."

I couldn't agree more!