Thursday, February 28, 2008

Volta a Valenciana - You have got to be kidding....

Contador, et. al found themselves on the highway,...oops. Check out the article.


If any of you are following this dispute closely, you should be interested in Pat McQuids letter to the teams. You can derive your own opinions. -JC

The full text of UCI president Pat McQuaid's letter to teams racing at Paris-Nice.

Today, February 28, 2008

UCI President Pat McQuaid sent the following letter to professional cycling teams that have chosen to participate in Paris-Nice on Wednesday. The letter was distributed to media on Thursday - Editor

To the teams concerned Aigle, 27 February 2008Ref: Presidence / fb

Dear Sirs,It has come to my attention that ASO has asked the teams to sign a contract in order to participate in Paris - Nice. I would like to impress on you the following. The signing of this contract would mean that your team would put itself completely outside the UCI. By signing the contract you would be joining a private circuit controlled entirely by ASO for the benefit of its commercial interests. You would be abandoning the protection afforded by rules of the UCI which are designed to give teams and riders rights and not simply protect the interests of organisers. If you read the proposed contract carefully you will see that it is completely one-sided in favour of ASO. In it the teams agree to a series of obligations of which ASO is the beneficiary. The only purpose of this contract is the protection of the image of the race and ASO’s commercial interests. For example, ASO would be able to exclude any rider or even an entire team simply as a result of a mere rumour of doping (article 2.2 and 3.2): the contract provides for no form of appeal to a neutral body in contrast to the UCI’s rules which provide for appeal to president of the college of commissaries, the president of the CUPT, the Road Commission or CAS. You would be denied this fundamental right of redress. ASO would also be able to decide which people the teams could invite to the race (article 4.1). ASO would also decide on reasons for exclusion from the race and on this matter it would be the sole deciding body. ASO would sit as judge over its own affair. ASO would also be able to decide what a team or rider would be required to provide in any incidence of doping (article 2.1). A fine of 30,000 Euros would be payable to the French Federation for the sole purpose of the development of French cycling. By virtue of Article 4.5 ASO would take control of all image rights of the teams and riders. Teams would also have practically no rights in the sphere of communication (see also signage on the vehicles and article 5.2). This article plainly demonstrates the purpose of the contract which is to put the teams entirely at the disposition of ASO’s commercial interests. Article 5.5 would force you to declare nothing prevents you from signing the contract whereas you will know that participation in Paris – Nice organised in this manner by ASO is a violation of the rules of the UCI. In effect you are being asked to affirm what is manifestly not true. Article 5.6, concerning responsibilities, is very much less in your favour compared with the UCI’s rules, particularly 1.2.034. In summary, the contract illustrates that the teams would have little else in terms of rights other than the right to submit to the wishes of ASO. It shows perfectly how the organisation of a race outside the UCI’s calendar would allow ASO to wipe out at a stroke all the rules and regulations which have been built up over the years in order to ensure a balance of power between the teams and organisers. One last point, even if the contract was negotiated with ASO in order that it be modified in manner to make it more favourable to the teams, it would still be that case that your participation at Paris - Nice organised in this manner by ASO would be a total violation of the rules of the UCI. I trust that this cannot be what you want.

Yours sincerely,

Pat McQuaid President

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Girl Scout Cookies

Early this morning I was sitting in my office thinking about developing a structured training regimen when I hear "Knock, Knock, I'm here to deliver your goodies!" I'm thinking "Hmm, my goodies? Oooh, what could it be?" I turn around and see 3 more boxes of Girl Scout cookies being placed on my desk. 1 box of Thin Mints, 1 box of Peanut Butter Patties (fka Tagalongs), and 1 box of Caramel deLites (fka Samoas). I'm excited, my mouth is watering, I can taste the cookies, I just want to rip them open and enjoy! Then, as I'm paying up I suddenly realize I'm training again. AHHHHHHH!!! Now, a few weeks ago when I ordered these coconutty, fudgy, caremelin', chocolate elations to my taste buds I was probably holding a chocolate cream filled, chocolate iced with sprinkles donut. That was when I would repeatedly raid the employee lounge devouring any treats that were up for the taking. Gee, my secret to how to gain 30 lbs in a few months is now exposed! On good days, I'd have a couple and really good days 4 or 5! I remained strong and didn't have any, although a few times during the day I would just stare at the boxes wanting to dig in, trying to justify it with the "a few extra minutes on the bike" excuse. It was a battle.

So I went through the day only eating my PB&J and 2 bananas. And hit the trainer hard, in the basement, another foot of snow. Yuck.

PS: More importantly, I'm an Uncle again!! New Nephew: Jacob John Paul Sell, born 5:16 pm, 2/27/2008, 8lbs 15oz! I can't wait to see him in April (Tour de Georgia - Suwanee Stage). It's Bro's hometown.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again...

It had been so long since I got on the bike I don’t remember where I put my cycle speedometer computer! Seriously, I can’t find it anywhere. More embarrassing is the fact that I haven’t been on the bike in nearly 6 months!! Holy crap! 6 months = 30 lbs! That’s right, since late September I have gained 30 extra lbs. and am now weighing in at 211. Not to make excuses, but I’ve been busy with a 9 month old, and a job, and a house, and the weather in N.E. Ohio stinks, etc. Enough already, no more excuses, I must right this wrong before I find myself needing a triple bypass by the time I'm 35 yrs old.

Yesterday, I finally got back in the saddle….35 minutes, in the basement, on the trainer. But I was motivated, the only way I know how….Watching free cycling on I watched Levi destroy everyone in stage 5 the ITT in Solvang, 2008 Amgen Tour of California.

My long-term goal is to drop 40 lbs by August. In the short-term I want to drop 20 by April 24 (my trip to the Tour de Georgia!) I know it can be done, I’ve done this before. In January 2003 I weighed in at 227 lbs and by the time I got serious about riding in February 2006 I lost 50 lbs. Knowing this gives me confidence, but it is dangerous, since I know I can shed fat like grating cheese, I tend to not worry about it when I gain it. Stupid logic.

Watching Races On-Line

Major, major, major kudos to Adobe’s new Adobe TourTracker GPS driven cycling technology! This is the best cycling coverage I’ve seen on the net. If you missed watching the Tour of California live on the web for FREE, then you may have to wait until next year to see this tech again. I’ll check with adobe to see if they will be covering any other races with this technology. Anyway, here is how it worked:

The screen was split into 3 panels, the left panel was a chat room, the middle was live streaming video, and the third panel contained an in-motion map that showed the riders moving around the map with little jerseys and names. Riders were equipped with GPS tracking devices (sort of like the neighborhood house arrest delinquents). The video quality was surprisingly good considering the horrible weather, and the cool part was that it contained Picture-In-Picture and I could switch which camera I wanted to watch. Commentary was provided by Frankie Andreu and Joe Silva.

I hope this is the future of television, total viewer control! I could just imagine, watching any sport, for example football, and having the option to switch between 10-15 cameras for whatever view I like. I could watch one play on the Peyton Manning helmet cam, then switch to the Ray Lewis cam (wait that may contain extreme violence…like a stabbing) you get the point.

This is great technology for cycling, I don’t know how many times I’ve been screaming at the TV, saying why are you showing a lazy peloton who isn’t chasing, when you’ve got 4 off the front and 1 in no man’s land! Let me see the no man’s land guy suffering!

Catch all the race you missed on or

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wee bit o' history on me...

I've had an obsession with cycling my whole life. I can remember racing the kids in the neighborhood when I was very young. Then there was a time I tried to ride my bike for an entire day without stopping. I actually rode in circles in my driveway and even had my babysitter set up a feedzone and handed off PB&J's! I transitioned from BMX bikes to MB and finally road bikes.
When I was about 12 I began entering myself in local time-trials in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, near Peninsula, Ohio. I did really well, but I had no direction or coach or even any good equipment. My first TT I actually wore a t-shirt and spandex shorts (not cycling - just spandex). I had tennis-shoes with toe-clips. I didn't even take the frickin' kickstand of my bike!! Notwithstanding the fact I didn't know what the heck I was doing, I was one helluva cyclist. I was beating a lot of the much older kids that had kick-ass gear. I was approached by a team that wanted me to travel with them for road races, but the catch was that I had to pay my own way. Since, I couldn't deliver enough Record-Courier's to pay up, and it was too much for the family to afford, that idea was canned. Damn...maybe it was my shot! I'll never know...slightly really bitter!
Anyway, I began riding as much as possible. I rode from my home in Streetsboro to the Cuyahoga Valley in Peninsula to train on the hills, then back. My friends were not cyclists, and yes, they thought I was nuts! Most still do.
To sum up my cycling resume... Thousands of training/recreation miles, I did a Tour de Cure in Akron (75) once, Pedal To The Point (150 miles) 3 times. Palmetto Peleton Project (Greenville, SC).Races At The Lake 3 times, Frosty Toes Road Race (fka Hartford-Roubaix). Brecksville Road Race once. I started the now defunct website Don't click there, I don't know what it is now! I just didn't have the time to keep up with it. I was once a member of the Summit Freewheelers a great cycling club around Akron, Ohio, I just don't like to drive somewhere to ride my bike. So I detached from them, and have been detached since. I'm a crazy fan of pro cycling, I love the stage races...Tour of California, Tour de Georgia, Vuelta, Giro, TDF (except I'm pissed about the whole exclusion stuff), Paris-Nice, Tour de Suisse, Tour of Missouri. And the classics/one days, USPRO Cycling Championships, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Gent-Wevelgem, etc...

Okay, that's enough to get this party started.