Friday, June 29, 2012

Tour de France 2012: Predictions

The time has come my friends. The Tour has come. Fantasy teams are set, real teams are set, and we are all immersed in speculation. So it has come to pass that I must offer my thoughts.

GC
  1. Evans
  2. S Sanchez
  3. Wiggins
  4. Van Den Broeck
  5. Nibali
  6. Gesink
  7. Peraud
  8. Valverde
  9. Rolland
  10. Kloden
  11. Menchov
  12. Leipheimer
  13. Brajkovicz
  14. F Schleck
  15. Poels
  16. Danielson
  17. Coppel
  18. Froome
  19. Taaramae
  20. Kruswijk

Regarding Wiggins, my downplaying is the result of logic that I hope to explain to you. I have examined his 4 big races this year.

Volta ao Algarve (3rd):
I admit that he was riding support for Porte (and I also admit that rhymes). I think out of all the stage races that indicated Wiggin's ability, it was this one.
1) However, how do you feel about the quality of the field on the Stage 3 summit finish? Granted, Wiggins took a pull, but still...Tony Martin in 9th? Tiago Machado 2nd? And do you really think Porte is a top tier climber?

Paris-Nice (1st): 
He was nearly beaten by Lieuwe Westra. Valverde, Leipheimer, Spilak, and Jeannesson were climbing with him on the stage to Mende (except Westra, who was ahead).
1) I believe Leipheimer would have won had he not crashed out.
2) Do you think Lieuwe Westra will come close to a top 15 in Tour de France? For the love of pizza, please do not answer that rhetorical question.
3) Do you think the Mende stage was a real a simulation of a mountain stage?

Tour de Romandie (1st):
First off, the Tour de Romandie parcours were a joke this year. The only time gaps were made in the TTs. Don't think for a second that the Tour de France won't have extremely impactful climbing stages. REAL climbing stages. He beat Andrew Talansky. Rui Costa finished 3rd. Richie Porte 4th. Michael Rogers 5th.
1) Do you think Andrew Talansky could come close to a top 15 in the Tour de France?
2) Do you think Rui Costa will finish in the top 20 at the Tour de France?

Dauphine Libere (1st):
Yes, yes, he crushed people in the time trial, Evans included. However, Evans chipped a piece out of him on every single mountain stage. Of course, there was no true summit finish. All downhill finishes, and there will be a lot of downhill finishes in the Tour. On the climbs most of the contenders were only testing themselves. Sky, however...
1) Do you think Michael Rogers will contend for a top 5 position at the Tour de France?
2) Do you truly think Cadel Evans was on 95+% form?
3) Do you truly, truly believe that Wiggins was not on 95+% form?
4) Do you think those extra Sky People 

(Froome, Rogers, Porte, Boasson Hagen, Siutsou) remain in the lead group when it is whittled down to 15 riders?

If you answered yes to most of those questions, you should probably pick Wiggins for the win. Even if he is as strong as he may be, I think he will have a mechanical.

Evans will get his TT'ing back and chip away time on Wiggins. Moinard, Van Garderen, Cummings, and Gilbert will be great teammates when the roads rise. BMC is not weak. Evans will win.

GREEN JERSEY
1. Sagan
2. Goss
3. Kittel
4. Gallopin
5. Rojas

I was going to put Goss first, but then decided to go with the crowd. Greipel will not finish. Cavendish will either not finish or not really go for the intermediates. I think Goss will make this really close. He will take Sagan on the intermediate sprints, and I'm not sure Sagan will try those. Kittel will compete for the green jersey. He has full support. I think the transitional stages will get it for Sagan. Of course, will that mean less successful breakaway stages because Liquigas is chasing? Wherever Sagan can place well, Gallopin will be in his footsteps, and the same for Rojas.

POLKA DOT JERSEY
1. Pinot
2. Hoogerland
3. Vanendert
4. Moncoutie
5. Albasini

Pinot will open his account on Stage 7. Perhaps a win in his hometown region. Hoogerland will be dreadfully close. Vanendert and Albasini will be stage-hunting, so I see their placings as collateral damage. Moncoutie is unpredictible, but you just never know.

WHITE JERSEY
1. Poels
2. Kruswijk
3. Pinot
4. Van Garderen
5. Sagan

Poels will prove that his TT'ing isn't too bad. He will show himself on some of the major climbs with the leaders. Kruswijk will be consistent, but he won't have the support of his team. Pinot will ride well, but I think he may lean more toward stage wins.



There, it's done. No taking it back now. It will be great to see the riders on the form they have planned on all season long. It's the Tour de France, no holding back...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

BIKE PSYCHO RADIO


Jake Spelman and I have entered the world of podcasting. I still lack knowledge of podcasting, RSS feeds, and all that stuff, so cut me some slack. For now, please, listen, subscribe, and enjoy.
www.boyonbike.podbean.com is the address.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Representin'



I hope this doesn't come across as too vicarious or patronizing. With the L'Abitibi Selection camp just finishing up, I have been doing a lot of thinking. I am getting better at not doing races. Perhaps this is because the AZ race season has essentially ended, but perhaps it is because God has taken the mental anguish from me. Also, there is much cause for excitement. 4 of my teammates and friends went to the selection camp, and 3 of them came out on a L'Abitibi team. I wanted to write a few things about them.
Stephen Marcucci has been my teammate as long as I have been in Arizona. He is a legendary rider with a great killer instinct. He has raced well this year, but I don't think he is all that happy with how camp went. Stephen, let me empathize with you in saying that I know how it feels, and that bigger and better things in cycling are ahead of you.
I've been privileged to be Scott Ford's teammate this year. He is an incredibly unique cyclist. His season hasn't been necessarily been an easy ride. He missed VOS and a few other races due to an elbow injury and had to fight hard to get his cat 3 upgrade. He got that upgrade and got into selection camp. He didn't just go to camp; he won the whole darn thing. 1st overall. 1st team. Great job, Scotty, you are deserving of it.


Donovan Caputo probably really surprised people when he made the 2nd L'Abitibi team. He's just your average hipster from Tucson (to clarify, I don't really know what a hipster is). In short, he's a guy who loves to ride his bicycle and compete. He is a really good dude, and a good friend of mine. He has unwavering loyalty and a drive to get the job done for the team. He truly deserves the chance he is getting.


Finally, there is Taylor Skinner, who has a huge reputation in Arizona cycling. He really lived up to expectations, placing 4th overall and winning on Mars Hill. I think the racing at L'Abitibi really favors him (flat and positioning-oriented). I foresee some top 10 results! Good luck Taylor!

Support these guys! Follow the race. Watch the results. Congratulate them, encourage them. They are going to race on a huge platform. It's a big, pizza-killing deal.