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Monday

Team BMC, Too many chiefs for the Classics ?



So I'm thinking about how stacked of a lineup Team BMC is, for the classics this year ? Its been a while since I've seen such a "top heavy" team with the likes of Gilbert, Hushovd and Hincapie. You can be pretty sure when those three jerseys line up at the start of any classics race, there will be a level of intimidation for other teams.

So who's going to work for who ? What will be the team meetings like ? I can't wait to see it all unfold in weeks to come.

Hushovd has already shown his selfish ways when he was with Garmin and past teams. I'm not a fan of his especially how he rode in last year's Roubaix expecting the team to rally for him, and then expecting Cancellara to tow him to the line. Good for you Fabian!

Gilbert has also shown some selfish riding but at least he attained classic wins to his repertoire. We just won't ask Greipel what he thinks.

And then there is Big George. Will "the greatest team mate" be just that, come April 8 when the battle on the cobbles commences ?

So many questions to answer. If George has the ability to go for the win, I don't see him stopping to help ? That goes about the same for Gilbert and Thor. But , if everything goes sour, and the finger pointing begins after Roubaix, how will that unsettling energy in the team bus be controlled for the support of Cadel in the months to come for the Tour ?

In the mix of it all, is the young american Taylor Phinney, who's George's roommate at the moment. He carries great promise as the next big thing. He's hungry to help, but who will he sacrifice for ? I'm sure he's influenced by George at the moment. Will he be the perfect teammate for the others ?

And then after all the classics drama are out of the way, the big red BMC machine has to get organized to support Cadel for the tour. I'll discuss later in the year with another post. For now, bring on the classics. I can't wait !!

More Reason to love Shimano and Di2

My Rapha Cross 3/4 Bib Shorts - Perfect Solution


This off season I was experiencing knee/joint soreness from the cold air. At times I would put leg warmers on as they were a lighter option. I was tempted to dawn my Rapha deep winter tights, but they were just a bit too thick.

So the perfect solution for me were the Rapha Cross 3/4 Bib shorts. I picked up a pair of these bibs and the extra material over my knees allows me to ride pain free once again. Interestingly in that, the Cytech chamois is the same one used in Assos' F.I.Mille shorts, known for its supreme comfort. So I'm enjoying the both of best worlds.

Due to the versatility I think I these will replace my tights and leg warmers ? I see myself getting a lot of wear out of them.

Slate, I'm really a Zach/JPow look alike now. ;-)

Wednesday

Look -Polar Pedal based power meter - A little too late in the game


Look and Polar are finally ready to ship the world’s second pedal-based power meter, the Look KeO Power.

As the name suggests, the system is based around a Look KeO pedal, combining data from 16 pedal-axle strain gauges and an externally mounted Polar P5 accelerometer and sensor setup to calculate power. The system will cost $2,200.

Pedal-based power meters provide a solution to practical problems posed by crank-based or hub-based meters — SRM, Quarq, Power2Max, and Powertap all included. Most importantly, they are easier to install and move between bikes than a crank-based system, and they don’t limit wheel choice as a hub-based system does.

Pedal-based meters can also provide a data set not available from a crank-based or hub-based power meter: left vs. right power. This helps identify deficiencies and allow those deficiencies to be corrected.

This is about the only selling feature they have.

The Look KeO Power will only be compatible with Polar CS500 and CS600 series head units, at least at first.

I don't know if this is a good move, but we all know LOOK's reputation in the peloton. The jury is still out on Polar's rebirth in the pro peloton. I say pro peloton because at over $2,000 dollars I don't think the weekend warriors are going to spend that much. So I think this is another problem Polar will face. They are pricing themselves out of the market.


What about those riders who enjoy Speedplay pedals with SRM or Powertap ?

How is Look going to change those who are currently riding dura ace or speedplay ? Again, a steep uphill battle they face.

I think its a little too late in the game for Polar. Garmin came in and pushed them right out with a superior Edge series product years ago. I think Polar have a steep uphill climb to regain market share in cycling again. By pairing itself with Look seems to be a last desperate attempt to get back into cycling.

I don't know any cyclist who's opting for a polar cs500 or cs600 in today's world ?

Polar reminds me of RIM, they had their day, did not invest in innovation, rested on their laurels, and have now become yesterday's news.

Friday

Cycling when you're sick is Tough

As my title states, cycling when you're sick is tough and trying to do it while recovering is just as difficult. I just spent the last 2 days and nights with a bug I caught that had me puking at night, making my system completed depleted. In my recovery, my throat is sore from the heaving and I'm weaker than ever. Any quick and sudden movements render me "light headed" and I have to sit back down. I really don't know how the pros get sick during a GT and finish the race. Wow ? I just spent 1 hour on the bike into day 3 and could barely muster up the strength to turn over the pedals. I am still feeling weak. My appetite is slowly coming back along with my strength, but at this moment i guess I will cut it back so I don't drain my tank completely.

Monday

Being part of the Real Deal Family

In my return to cycling, I had reached a fork in the road. I spent many hours asking myself, had I become a person who was "interested" in this sport ? Or was I “committed" to this sport. It took me a while along with some soul searching. Days, led to weeks, weeks led to months as I pondered "Am I committed, or am I just interested ?" I had been at the "interested" level and experienced common to most as "plateau-ing." I wanted something to get me over the "hump." I knew I wanted to improve, but coming from the old school, I was confused over today's cycling training methods. I never heard of "tempo," nor pushing big gears in the winter months. I was always told to use a fix gear and stay on my small chain ring and spin for December and January. As you know, a lot has changed in training methods. I was debating about joining a local cycling club/team for a long while, but a team simply gave me a Sunday ride with a group with little room for real development or improvement. I wanted something more than just once a week casual conversation, and then as the pace increased, to get dropped off the back. After speaking with Ed Veal a few times, we met and discussed my goals. It wasn't a "sales pitch," it was simply allowing myself to embrace a totally new philosophy about this sport that I didn't know existed. Coming from the mid 80's, "LeMond" mentality of cycling, I did have a base of which to work off of, but I knew I would face a steep learning curve. I embraced Ed's philosophy and am proud to say I am officially under the guidance of not only himself, but of his partner Mike Mandel as well.
Many of you asked, how different is this from a personal trainer ? How do they differ from a personal trainer ?
Simple, they themselves are currently riding and trying to get better and share their wealth, knowledge and experience. I have found the majority of personal trainers feel they have reached their peak, and don't really get involved in the sport as heavily as they could. So their perception and perspectives becomes a lot different in what they pass along to you the client. This is not the case with Ed and Mike. They are currently working just as hard , and struggling to become better cyclists. They are not relying on their morals and their reputation.
Ed and Mike's philosophy gives me the structure I require. They are the ones, who I rely on to recognize barriers standing in my path, and help me get through them. They encourage and support me almost on a daily basis. Being 41 years old, I thought I knew myself ? I actually don't know myself as well as I thought. Ed and Mike have taught me more about myself and made me realize a potential I thought I never had. I think they are brilliant men. How these guys divide themselves up for all of us ? I don't know ? It's simply magic.
Are you one of those cyclists who are struggling to improve ? Do you go out on Sunday rides, hoping to receive more guidance and input from other riders, but never get it ? If so, then I would seriously recommend, changing your thinking and going the route of a coach. I did not think my life would turn out this way, where I would be seeking a coach and mentoring at 41 years of age ? But I have, and continue to learn more about myself through this new journey. I continue to push the barrier and its NOT EASY. It requires dedication and a lot of hard work Its a complete lifestyle change. Are you ready to make that change ? Along with my very supportive wife, thank you Ed and Mike, as you have transformed our lives for the better.

A Couple of Rapha Poster Boys

Sunday

Bruyneel addresses the challenges of 2012

I'm so glad Johan has spoken about the time trialing in the 2012 tour. I for one, am sick of hearing about it and he addresses it here and will no doubt have Andy and Frank ready. I think the world is going to be surprised for what he has in store for the peloton.

Wednesday

Rapha you seeing this ?

I think this is really cool of Castelli to do. Its something I thought Rapha would be the first to do with the classic softshell. Hmm ? I wonder if I can take the drill to my classic softshell now ? heh heh .. Dont' think so.

Part of a Saxobank Train - Chris Juul-Jensen

I really hope Bjarne's strategy works out. He's suffered a barrage of comments including one from his own star Alberto Contador about the lack of depth their 2012 team have. Contador and many out there, think these young riders can't support him in the GT's ? However, I beg to differ. I think stacking the deck with young hungry riders wanting to "prove themselves" may prove to be a better option. I think they will make the best domestiques. These guys are so hungry for success that they will not bat an eye to sacrifice for Contador. I hope to see a "Saxobank Train" with one of these 4-5 young chargers taking the front. One of these "hungry" young riders is Chris Juul-Jensen.

Good Luck Michael Barry for 2012

I am here to wish Michael Barry a great 2012 season. He has a pivotal role this year, as the team is divided in supporting Cavendish for the sprints, Flecha, Eisel, Stannard, and Thomas for the Classics, and of course Wiggins in the mountains. I can't wait to watch his specific "domestique" role and how it all unfolds. Good luck Michael. I hope to see you very shortly :-)

Tuesday

Contador and Hernandez Training in the Snow

This kind of riding in the winter makes little sense to me ? I can only hope that they experienced a "sudden" snow covered road in their training as their bikes and bodies appear to be ill equipped for this ride.

My Favourite 2012 Kit so far - Omega Pharma Quick Step

So far this is my favourite new kit for 2012. As well, we may have to get used to seeing it up front as I'm predicting Tony Martin to have an even better year. Can't wait for the season to start.

New Year, 2012 New Kit, Saxobank

I prefer the black and white of Saxobank. It will be difficult to see them in this "deep blue" , but I'm sure I will get used to them. I really like the Tarmac's and Venge's paint scheme though.