To those who had followed my blog, I apologize for the long delay. I cannot believe it’s been over a year since I last blogged. Now that I am a senior in college, I will have more time to write. Unfortunately this time has come at the end of the 2012 season. I will be blogging during this upcoming off-season and season. I am looking forward to talking to you all on Twitter and can’t wait to start up this blog again.
I decided I am going to make this blog post short but of course informative. Immediately I am going to say that I, along with the rest of the cycling community have been waiting a year for the Tour De France to start again!
My predictions on who will be on the podium:
1st-Andy Schleck: I am choosing Andy Schleck to win for several reasons.1.) He is a year older and a year wiser. The whole chaingate incident was horrible but showed how great Schleck was becoming before his chain popped. 2.) Schleck is bringing with him the same strong team that was personally built for this race. 3.)If brother Frank doesn’t crash and break his collarbone again, look out for these two brothers to do damage in the mountains.
2nd- Alberto Contador: Alberto is stronger than ever and he proved that in the Giro d’ Italia, so seeing a 4th yellow jersey wouldn’t be a surprise. Let’s hope he has the same legs in the Tour that he had in the Giro because we all have an idea how hard it is to rebound from winning the Giro and still be rested in time for the Tour.
3rd- Cadel Evans: Call me crazy but Cadel is back! His change in racing schedule to limit his racing days to prepare for the Tour has only showed promising results.
Other than the big three I chose, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Robert Gesink, Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner, Frank Schleck, Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Bradley Wiggins, Samuel Sanchez, and Garmin’s Ryder Hesjedal and Christian Vande Velde to crack the podium. Of course there are many others I am missing and also many riders who will be a surprise. Tweet at me your predictions!
I’m going to start off todays blog with this: listening to Tiesto while writing this blog is a game changer! While Levi Leipheimer is looking for his fourth Amgen Tour of California (ATOC) title, another rider who we all know can lead Radioshack finally emerged: Chris Horner. I’ll say it now and i’ll say it again for the rest of the year that Chris Horner should be the one leading Radioshack this year at the Tour of California and especially the Tour De France. Horner finished 4th behind levi (3rd) at the 2010 ATOC and finished in 10th place (His career best finish at the TDF) ahead of Levi. Chris Horner is in top form and he proved it today with his solo attack on the Sierra Road summit finish during todays fourth stage from Livermore-San Jose. Levi is still a strong rider, but I don’t see him winning it this year. Besides Levi’s time trial skills, he hasn’t shown true form in the ATOC since he last won in 2009. Whether it was because the ATOC use to be in February with different weather, or he lost his touch, I think Horner should be the profound leader instead of him backing up Levi. We saw Chris leading out Levi today, but when Levi couldn’t handle the pace, we saw how great of shape Horner had. It’s possible that with Levi’s time trial in Solvang, he can make up time and finish 1-2 with Horner. Overall, i’m happy for Chris Horner winning today’s stage. He’s hard working, a nice guy, and deserved the win. It’s great to see new faces winning at this years Amgen Tour of California.
Comment this blog or Tweet at me with who you think should be Radioshacks GC leader. Chris Horner or Levi Leipheimer and why!
I can’t believe it’s been four months since I last blogged. The last time I blogged I was on my way to Arizona State University. Definitely a big change considering I was on the east coast for a semester, but it was the right change. I would like to apologize to my friends and subscribers of this blog for not writing at all this semester. To be honest, I was taking a break from riding my bike, and although that sounds horrific, it has actually been one of the nicest breaks from anything in a while. I have made many friends, had great memories, and even joined a fraternity. I figured since On The Tarmac is generally a blog about Cycling, I didn’t think to write anything about school, etc. I just want to finish this short post by adding that I intend to blog all summer long, especially now that the Giro d’Italia is on it’s way along with the Tour De France starting in a month and half! (It seems far away, but man I am excited!) I hope all my friends, subscribers, and Twitter family is doing great. Talk to you all soon and take care.
For those who have been keeping up with my twitter account, you know that I like to get coffee sometime during a ride. Whether it is halfway through, or at the end, it is definitely what I look forward to after a ride. I just love sitting down with friends, hanging out, and talking about whatever is on our minds.
While I expressed what I looked forward to on a ride, I tweeted earlier this week, “What do you all look forward to while or after riding?" Thank you to those who tweeted me back! Had some awesome responses. Here they are!
runlikeacoyote: Honeystinger waffles during & chocolate milk & a bagel after.
LauraMaitrejean: I look forward to phone silence on rides. No one can reach me and I don’t have to make any decisions other then for my ride.
Bslab: for me? A (salt) bath…
Suthosstruggler: We all look forward to a White Horse coffee and a slice of banana bread. Happy dayz!
RickieRainwater: A super power nap on the couch after a good ride.
Cyclingchick19: I look forward to checking my computer to see my progress I won’t check while riding #mygame
ESittlerDesigns: After a grueling summer ride: An entire can of hormel chili, topped with two fried eggs. Delicious protein.
troyhoskin :A hot shower now I’m in the Northern hemisphere. A banana, yoghurt, milk, honey and protein powder smoothie anywhere else.
Besides the things we look forward to after rides, riding with people can make the rides even better during them. The one person I absolutely like riding with is my friend Taylor aka T (Twitter: Taylorstrong. Go follow him!) Not only does he like to climb, he loves coffee during rides more than I do! What I look for in a training/riding partner, is someone who is either on my fitness level or better, has a good sense of humor, and likes to talk during rides. T definitely meets those qualities and not only is the perfect person to ride with, he’s a good friend as well. We can all agree that having a good friend with us on a ride makes it much better.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Until next time, keep on riding!
Comment or @mention me with what you look for in a riding/training partner!
I hope everyone had a wonderful new years. To the few that read my blog, I apologize for not posting anything in two weeks. I mainly took a break because I didn’t feel like talking more about the difficulties between teams and their sponsors. I was starting to get annoyed just as much as all the articles surrounding Alberto Contador, and his positive test of clenbuterol during the tour last summer. We didn’t need another article did we?
Anyways, as 2011 begins, I am already excited! To start the new year off right, Team Garmin-Cervelo finally unveiled their team kit, and like always, it looks good. The reason I say good, and not great, is because i’m not really impressed. In the past year, Team Garmin-Transitions and the Cervelo Test Team were one of my favorite teams. I love both jerseys. First with Garmin-Transitions, I absolutely loved the argyle. It was flashy and out there, which made them stick out like a sore thumb. With the Cervelo Test Team, what I liked was how their kit was that it was simple, yet very attractive, especially when they wore a different colored kit during the Tour De France, which they will most likely do again no doubt! If the kit had more argyle, I would definitely be on board with it. Of course Cervelo, the co-sponsor with Garmin, had just as much say, so i’m not surprised that they stuck with the traditional black and white.
What I am most bummed out about is that the team won’t be wearing Catlike Helmets, but they will be supplied with Giro. I’m sure they will look good, considering Giro does a fantastic paint scheme. In the pictures below, Andreas Klier is wearing his Cervelo Test Team Catlike helmet from last season. (I have the exact same one!) I am a huge fan of Catlike. Although most people, and my friends find them ugly, I love the look and they are fantastic helmets. Overall, i’m please with everything and look forward to seeing Garmin-Cervelo succeed in the grand tours, and especially in the classics.
Comment or @mention me on twitter with your thoughts and reactions! Would love to hear what you have to say!
Photos by Jered Gruber at Velonation.com and Slipstream Sports,LLC (bottom photo) THANK YOU!
As news last summer came around that Australia was going to finally have a team riding in the Pro Tour, I was excited. I am a huge fan of seeing more countries produce teams, rather than a country such as Italy and the U.S dominating the scene with multiple teams. Although it was fantastic seeing a record four U.S squads in the Tour De France last summer, you get my point. All seemed well for the Aussie’s until these last few weeks. The UCI refused to accept Team Pegasus as a Pro Continental squad today after speculation that Pegasus didn’t secure the necessary sponsors that they needed to qualify, even when recently a sponsor stepped up and gave the necessary money to shelter the teams troubles. It’s a shame for this to happen, because I was looking forward to seeing sprinters such as Robbie McEwen and Robbie Hunter do well. I am also a fan of Jonathan Cantwell, who has had a very successful couple of seasons riding in the U.S for Pegasus Sports, which at the time was named Fly V Australia. Even with all this talent on a team, it’s a shame that sponsors, along with the UCI, couldn’t make this happen.
Robbie McEwen reacted on his Twitter feed: “Well done uci…. thanks a lot. So much work, effort, commitment, passion, sacrifice. been for nothing. Devastating.”
Although it’s a shame, future teams can learn from this. This is the perils of not announcing your sponsor and having an ironclad agreement upfront. Though we hear a lot of biased information that the UCI is being unfair, we cannot blame others for problems unless we look at the problem starting with ourselves. I am bummed out that there will not be an Aussie team, but it takes two sides of the matter to make it work. If Pegasus Sports had all the tools to present to the UCI, then i’m sure the UCI would have accepted their proposal. It was the fact that although articles online speculated that Pegasus indeed secured enough money, etc, the UCI still denied them. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
To think that 50 people will not have a job, and out of that 50, half are riders, leaves a bad feeling in your gut. I do hope that the Aussies come back next season fueled to be a Professional Continental team. It would even be great to see Cantwell, McEwen,Hunter, or whoever wins their first race, cross the line with a memorable gesture, such as flashing their jersey. Unless Robbie McEwen signs a last minute deal with a team,what I do know is that it wont be the same without him in the peloton thats for sure .
Comment or @mention me on twitter with your thoughts and reactions!
I cannot tell you all how great this last few weeks of cycling in our neck of the woods has been. In the past year, I have had friends run into famous pro cyclists while I never found any luck. This year has been different with luck on my side now. I have so far met Alessandro Petacchi, Manuele Mori, HTC-High Road, and now Captain America Himself, Dave Zabriskie. Yesterday as I was riding towards the Rockstore, I looked back to see if any vehicles were behind me and happened to see a cyclist. I have great eye vision and noticed an orange helmet. My first thought was maybe it was Dave Zabriskie, but even though I heard he lives in the area, the odds of me running into him on a road are slim. So I started riding a little more, and as I almost reached the Rockstore, I was met up by DZ. I’ve always saw DZ as one of my favorite riders, and when I told him that, he didn’t believe me. I told him he was one of my favorite riders because when I asked him what bike (Cervelo or Felt) he liked better, he asked who I worked for. I laughed and just added that I was a big fan and love cycling. I am a huge bike geek, so asking the pro’s questions about bikes always interests me. I did happen to mention that he was one of the funniest riders in the peloton and he quickly responded that he couldn’t disagree with that. We started climbing, talking, and I soon learned how cool and down to earth this guy really was. He made me laugh a few times and although the time I rode with DZ was about 10 minutes, it seemed longer. It truly made my day. Near the end of Rockstore, I was getting exhausted and told Dave thanks for letting me ride with him and i’ll see him around. As he rode away, I was suffering with a smile. You would to if you had the experience that I did. That is what you have to love about cycling. You never know who you might run into. Thanks DZ for the experience, the conversation, and the opportunity to ride with you. Good luck this season!
The past few weeks of Cycling has been fantastic! Not only has the weather been superb but professional riders have come out to take part in our spoiled cycling mecca. Alessandro Petacchi, Manuele Mori, and other Lampre riders have been in town for the last week and half which has been great! I happened to have met Alessandro Petacchi and Manuele Mori on the way home from a long ride with a friend and I must say it was fantastic! Both guys were real nice and reminds you that although these guys are professional cyclists, they are also regulars like you and I. After a few photos and conversation, they were off and I was extremely happy (You would too if you just met the 2010 Tour De france green jersey winner.)
Pictured Below: Top- Alessandro Petacchi and I, Below- Alessandro Petacchi, Manuele Mori, and I.
Raelynn had dinner with them so she wins by default haha). Definitely made my day. Next, for those who don’t know, Team HTC-High Road is in town for a training camp! I’m sure you all know but for those who don’t, tomorrow is the last day, and if you haven’t stopped by their camp at the Westlake Inn off Agoura Rd….GO DO IT! Mostly everyone there is real down to earth and nice. The three riders I met that i’m familiar with and that were the nicest to talk to were definitely Marco Pinotti, Hayden Roulston, and Bernhard Eisel.
Pictured below with me: Marco Pinotti (Top), Hayden Roulston (Middle), and Bernhard Eisel (Bottom).
The mechanics and other staff were real cool. If you’re nice, they’ll give you a bottle or two (Of course they will most likely be used, so wash it out and put it on your shelf as a souvenir!). This weekend looks depressing with the chance of rain, so get out, soak in some vitamin D, and ride!
Below are a few extra photos of Craig Lewish (Top), and Mark Renshaw (Bottom) and I.
November 26th marked my first century! For those who aren’t familiar with what a century is, it’s 100 miles of goodness!(Kidding, but seriously, but sort of kidding) It was exciting, grueling, and most of all EPIC. Justin, Scott, Glen, Alex and I rolled out of the Northridge train Station and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of friends to ride with. Although Glen had to leave once we hit the Santa Susana Pass, we still had a solid group. We swept through Simi Valley incredibly fast thanks to the tailwind and made our way through Moorpark to Fillmore. Once we landed in Santa Paula from Fillmore, we decided to take our first food break. We stopped at the local liquor store and stocked up on water, snacks, and a delicious Coca-Cola. I do not drink soda, but it was one of those occasions where you just had to and boy was it delicious. Well I think anything is delicious once your 50 miles into a ride. Once we finished our break, it was off to beautiful Ojai! The journey there was incredibly beautiful, and I enjoyed every minute of it. What I really liked on the way to Ojai was this long but low gradient climb. It was long enough to get a workout, but easy to talk to a friend while riding it. When we reached the outskirts of Ojai we passed this field with a lot of cows. Somehow that was my favorite view of the entire ride. I don’t know why, but when you have a beautiful scenery with livestock, it somehow makes the view quite cool. As we finally arrived into town, we had our second stop at this nice little coffee shop. Although I use to work at Starbucks, I am a huge supporter and fan of family owned coffee shops, and love stopping by one whenever I get the chance. You could definitely tell it was the town favorite. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any espresso but the next time I roll into town there, you can bet my bike I will. After we left the coffee shop, it was off to our last destination: Santa Barbara. More specifically the Santa Barbara train station. As we passed Lake Casitas and were closer to Santa Barbara, we had one problem in the way, a Climb. At that point, we were close to 70 miles into the ride and my legs we starting to feel heavy, so seeing this climb really starting to get me nervous that I would cramp and pull a muscle. I rode behind Justin’s wheel as he and I rode away to the top. (He eventually moved into the big ring during the last 100m and sprinted for the KOM) As we reached the top of the second small hill we saw the ocean! I never thought i’d be so happy to see it!
From then on, the last 30 or so miles seemed like an eternity! We cruised along by the 101 freeway on this awesome bike route. We stopped at our last rest stop 15 miles from our destination and enjoyed a nice short break. As we left we were about 13 miles away and as everything seemed great, disaster struck! Alex unfortunately broke his chain. It came at the worst time during the ride! Scott and Justin became heroes for a short period of time, and pushed Alex for close to 5 miles! Some might say it was a nice thing to do, but I say it was heroic!
We eventually put Alex on a bus to meet us at the train station. We then made our way to the Santa Barbara train station! It ironically was exactly 100 miles for Scott and I, and man I was happy!
We enjoyed a slice of Pizza and were then off on the train as we all hung out, relaxed, and talked about how epic our ride was. We probably used the word “Epic” at least 50 times throughout the duration of the ride, but you can’t blame us! THE RIDE WAS EPIC!
I’ll never forget this day.
Yesterday was a pretty laid back day. I went out for an easy 30 mile recovery ride up Rockstore, which was beautiful out, but chilly. Speaking of it being chilly, I finally bought some booties after a year of procrastination! I know it’s sad, but California doesn’t get extremely cold except when your riding in areas such as Cornell Rd. in the mornings.( Just kidding. It can get pretty chilly to where you need some warmth) Besides the weather and my procrastination of keeping warm, my legs felt pretty good and I can already tell my form is coming back. Although my form is coming back, I am still far from the shape I was back in June when I finished the Rockstore Time Trial in 13:36. Patience is a virtue and I definitely cannot rush things. I learned my lesson last summer when I developed minor tendonitis in my left knee. Boy was that a bummer! I pretty much couldn’t ride a decent pace for nearly two months, and although it was just two months, it seemed like an eternity! Lately though, i’ve been getting some great miles under my belt and couldn’t be happier. This Thanksgiving week should be a good one, meaning i’ll be riding a lot. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Until next time, i’ll talk to you all later!
Yeah yeah yeah, I know what your going to say. Some of you might have said, “You haven’t posted anything since June, what happened?” ( You probably thought that I was being lazy, but on the contrary, I was seriously busy!) or “I didn’t know you even had a blog!” Well I am back to writing again. When it comes to a blog, you can’t really force it. You either have to have the natural will to want write all the time, or write when you get some inspiration (or perhaps you do it for a living and have to). To be honest, I hadn’t had any inspiration or drive to want to write until now. Being back home from now until I go back to college in January and getting back into top shape again, inspired me to write. I guess all it took was a great ride to bring me back to something that I love. Well thats all for this post. Until next time, i’ll talk to you all later.
Yesterday marked my first race. It was a pretty brutal 24 hours for me. I had to work a shift for a co-worker until 9:30 p.m. and then wake up at 2 a.m. the following day to get ready and drive out to Bakersfield for the Golden Empire Classic. My drive was pretty relaxing and gave me time to get my head straight because I was feeling nervous all morning. An hour prior to my race, I found out my friend Gabriel, who I ride with during the week and weekends, was joining me in my race. As Gabriel and I and the rest of the riders were called up to the start line, my heart was racing! Once we hit the first mile or so I felt very comfortable and was good to go. I was able to stay in the top 15 most of the way which helped me keep great position so I knew if I kept with the front pace, I could definitely get a top 20 spot. The heat was starting to play a factor in the race. When we started it was in the low 80’s but by the time we hit the 3-mile climb, it was at about 90. I was feeling strong and when we hit the climb 10-miles in, I was near the front of the pack. A quarter mile to the top, a ten man breakaway happened and I decided it wouldn’t be a good idea to push myself to try and catch them, considering there was still 18 miles of flats and hills to go. The descent is where I lost most of my time and was unfortunately was passed by about 4 or 5 riders (After the race, I spoke to a few riders and learned that they were locals that regularly ride this course. I wish I knew this course as well!) I didn’t go too hard on the descent because I was told there were some quick turns and I played it safe for my first race.
As I finished the descent I was quickly joined by Gabriel and 5 other riders, this would be the 3rd break and the group I would trail with for the remainder of the race until the last couple of miles. It was a great pace line that we had and I can recall for about four miles straight, we were riding at 28-32 mph so it was heating up. With a couple miles left, the group was able to drop two guys and as we picked up the pace I was dropped behind by a few seconds. As we rounded the corner, I saw the finish line and quickly started sprinting, I finished a few seconds behind Gabriel and two other riders. The best part was as I was crossing the line, the announcer called my name. Although he pronounced my last name wrong, it was still real cool to hear it. I could definitely say that this race was a success and I was happy with my performance. I told Scott the night before I wanted to make Bicycle Johns proud, and I did. My next race will be this saturday in Santa Maria. I will definitely keep you all posted on twitter and blog about it next weekend. Until next time, i’ll talk to you all later.
Why is it when you tell someone you cycle, the first thing they do is look at your legs? Or better yet, if someone else cycles they have to compare their legs to yours. They don’t say it, but you know they are because they are staring down or keep glancing back every once in a while. Has anyone else noticed that? I find it funny because it was always something I have noticed in the time i’ve been cycling. The next thing I try to avoid is explaining to people who don’t get cycling or any motocross sport why we shave our legs. Personally, I have always thought we shave our legs for if we do crash, it is easy to clean the wound (I am pretty sure that is the reason, but please if anyone can, please correct me). I have heard other funny ideas like “it makes you more aerodynamic” or my favorite, “to show off your legs.” All I know is that this sport is awesome yet it comes with people asking ridiculous questions. Anyways to get off the topic of Legs, tomorrow is the first time i’ll be riding in a week and boy it is going to be a great ride! I am so excited because I’m looking at a 60+ mile ride with Sundance Cycles with great climbing so I know ill have to bring the heat. With a weeks rest, I’ll be feeling great for riding for the first time in a while. Thanks for reading and until next ime, i’ll talk to you all later!
I know I said in my last post that I would be blogging more often but it’s been one busy month for me and now that it is summer, i’ll be free to write! To start, I finished my two years at Moorpark College and am now set on for Syracuse University in the fall. I am so excited to be going to the east coast and experience somewhere completely opposite to home although I will miss the beautiful weather and terrain. Enough about that, i’ll save that chapter for another time. The biggest thing to happen this month was definitely the Tour of California, in particular stage 8 in Agoura Hills/Westlake Village/Thousand Oaks. It was so much fun to cheer on the riders on the famous Rockstore climb. I even got a few pictures taken and one of them (1st below) was online in the Ventura County Star Newspaper!
It was pretty cool getting to be in a photo with Carlos Barredo of Team Quickstep and other than watching the live race, I was able to meet two people from my favorite professional cycling team: Phil White, the Co-Founder of Cervelo and Brett Lancaster (Winner of Stage 2 of the ATOC) of the Cervelo Test Team. The Cervelo Test Team became my favorite team ahead of BMC and Radioshack because of their series “Beyond the Peleton.”
Other than meeting Phil White and Brett Lancaster, the two people I wanted to meet most of the whole tour was Jean-Paul Van Poppel, the Sports-Director, and Heinrich Haussler of the Cervelo Test Team. Heinrich had already left the Tour with knee troubles and I had arrived a minute too late to meet Jean-Paul. Although I couldn’t meet them both it was a success! Until next time, i’ll talk to you all later.
I added some extra photos, enjoy!