here's one vote for "John Beilein's head in a Futurama jar"
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|2 days 8 hours ago||I don't know if you can ever||
I don't know if you can ever say it's 100% clean, but I think we can say pretty confidently the systemic doping of the LA era is long gone. Testing protocols are much better and more consistent and thorough. In addition to testing for banned substances they also track key biological markers/parameters so even if the athlete manages to mask the substance, any anomalous deviations from an established historical baseline can also get them into trouble. The risk of getting caught has gone way up and conversely, because it is actually possible to win and be clean again, the motivation to dope has also gone down somewhat.
|2 days 20 hours ago||Watching the live feed of the||
Watching the live feed of the TdF until the final climb, then going home at lunch to catch the finish from my DVR. *sigh* Work is slow as shit this week.
|3 days 8 hours ago||Leave the click bait titles||
Leave the click bait titles to the pros at Bleacher Report
|4 days 8 hours ago||(No subject)||
|4 days 13 hours ago||2013 Ritchie Porte had a||
2013 Ritchie Porte had a great chance to podium, but he's been pretty spotty this year. He seems to always have one bad day in the mountains, usually the first day. Hopefully being relieved of domestique duty will save him some energy and help him avoid that this year now that he's "the guy."
|4 days 15 hours ago||Lieuwe Westra is a pretty||
Lieuwe Westra is a pretty strong rider. I'm not sure if he's done well in cobbles before, but he's got some good results and stage wins. He's a time trialist, which tends to carry over well to cobbles since it's more about having a lot of power and being a bigger rider that doesn't get bounced as badly.
Fuglsang is maybe a little more of a surprise, but also a somewhat larger, stronger rider.Edit, he has a mountain biking background, so at least he brings the bike handing aspect.
I think today was more about fighting to stay at the front and to not let gaps develop. It seemed like most teams managed to stay together until the very end, but many had to wait for their GC men who for one reason or another fell behind a gap.
|4 days 16 hours ago||Contador looked great in the||
Contador looked great in the Dauphine though. Even when he wasn't at his best last year, he was right there before getting dropped on the last couple climbs. I'm not going to take a guess at whether PEDs were responsible for his past wins, but he is still just a naturally gifted climber and can still put in a good TT. Getting dropped in the last 5km today wasn't a good sign and his team has looked terrible, but I think his tour campaign won't start in earnest until we get to Stage 10.
|4 days 16 hours ago||They did 100 miles in 3:18,||
They did 100 miles in 3:18, at a average of ~29mph, despite the rain and cobbles. That's insane, faster than they rode the last couple flat stages. Some mega risks were taken trying to get positioning for the cobbles, which led to all the carnage in the corners.
Absolutely amazing ride for Astana and Nibali. They definitely seem like the strongest team right now. Even with several riders going down in crashes, they still managed to keep a guy or two with Nibali until the end.
Nibali has done absolutely nothing all year, but his track record says if he's found his form just in time for the tour, he can be very dangerous. I still think Contador is the guy to beat now that Froome is out, but he lost two and a half minutes today and his team has looked in total disarray thus far. It should be an epic battle in the mountains and will probably come down to the final TT on stage 21.
Lars Boom had a great ride too, kept at the front and stayed out of trouble before finding a natural alliance with the Astana boys (Astana wanted time, Boom wanted the stage) to work together with to gap Sagan and Cancellara off.
American Andrew Talansky had a decent day, staying out of trouble for the most part and gaining time on a lot of rivals, although losing some time to others. If not for a moment of inattention and a crash on a corner on the cobbles, he would have been right at the front to the end I think. Still, he's in great position for a top 5.
As much as it pains me to see a Tour favorite crash out and some of the other carnage out on the road today, I have to say, that stage is an instant classic.
|4 days 16 hours ago||I think Wiggo should have||
I think Wiggo should have been there just as an extra helper for Froome. Realistically though for SKY, once Froome went out, I really don't think having WIggins makes that much difference for them as another GC option. The went from pole position to hoping for a top 10 or top 5 either way.
|4 days 16 hours ago||The thing is winning grand||
The thing is winning grand tours have become so formulaic. You need a great climber that can do a decent TT. Other than that, they just sit behind their teammates snug as a bug for 90% of the tour.
The cobbles throw that script out the window. How often do you seen GC guys dirtied and isolated prying open gaps on their own over their rivals individually at the end of a flat stage? Cobbles do introduce an element of luck, but it also forces GC guys bring more to the table than just amazing power:weight ratio and a TT position tuned with hours and hours in a wind tunnel. They now have to be strong, tough riders that can handle a bike and think on their feet.
Also, the story of the day wasn't so much the cobbles as the weather. GC guys getting knocked out on wet roads is nothing new.
|4 days 17 hours ago||"Wider" is relative though.||
"Wider" is relative though. Guys are going away from the 21mm and going the other way to 25mm but you generally won't see anything above that on normal stages. For the cobbles, they'll go up to ~30mm max, but still mostly in the 28mm range. The lower pressures and wider tires tend to "squirm" a little bit more in turns and may have contributed to some of the crashing in the corners
|4 days 17 hours ago||If you want to avoid||
If you want to avoid spoilers, the thread discussing the current stage is probably the first place to not click on.
|5 days 14 hours ago||Re: TdF Selfies and Amatuer Photographers||
|5 days 15 hours ago||The thing is Borges seemed to||
The thing is Borges seemed to have the handcuffs on completely for Denard and only gave Devin a very short leash (run left vs run right). I'd love to see us get out of some of the obvious disadvantageious situations for once (or taking advantage of the beneficial situations). If Nuss can teach Devin how to do that in one offseason, I'm all for it, but if not I'd love to see him screaming in plays from the sidelines, even if it's not really part of the system necessarily.
|5 days 16 hours ago||Defense: Willie Henry is||
Willie Henry is going to be a beast. He almost doesn't qualify since he was pretty good last year, but I think he'll step it up again.
Taco Charlton is just too athletic to keep off the field. After a year to learn system and earn the trust of the coaches, I think he'll see much more time... hopefully a big part of that being a terror in the backfield
Jourdan Lewis likely be a starter in nickel package and has a chance to supplant one of the upperclassmen as a full time corner. I really liked the aggression he showed in the Spring Game in disrupting routes, something that's been missing the last couple years.
Patrick Kugler will be a huge key to the OL if he can win the center starting job. That frees up Graham Glasgow to fill in elsewhere on the line. We'll be in a lot better place depth wise and based on what I saw in Spring, I think he's got a good shot at winning the job
Derrick Green finally showed some shimmy to compliment his bowling ball running style. I think an improved line and better conditioning will allow him to take a huge step up. Deveon Smith also looked good in the Spring Game, so I'm hopeful we'll have a two headed monster here.
Freddy Cateen is riding a wave of hype already, and I think he will have a big impact, but my darkhorse out of the WR corp is Amara Darboh. I think he has the size and speed to be a big weapon opposite Funchess. It's a little concerning he was still held out of spring since his foot injury didn't initially sound that serious, but assuming he's healthy, I think he's got a good chance to reclaim the hype he was carrying out of Fall camp last year.
|5 days 16 hours ago||Phil is getting on a bit in||
Phil is getting on a bit in years and they seem to be offloading some of the commentating to the Bobkie led staff for parts of the race to give Paul and Phil a break.
|5 days 16 hours ago||I wonder if this means we'll||
I wonder if this means we'll "audible" from the sidelines after getting up to the LOS and seeing how defenses line up.
|5 days 20 hours ago||The American announcing team||
The American announcing team is terrible though, with the exception of Bobkie. Christian Vandevelde has a chance to be ok with some practice, but struggles to get a complete sentence out right now. The "anchor" guy they have with them in the studio (name escapes me at the moment) is a huge douche that knows nothing about cycling. If they're going for a layman's perspective, they've definitely succeeded. The whole "Inside the Race" with Steve Perrino bit is so forced and unnecessary. I guess the post race interviewers (Steve Schlanger and Carolyn Manno) are pretty good. I'm really dreading the day when Phil and/or Paul retire, which is sadly probably sooner rather than later.
|6 days 16 hours ago||Should be a good tour this||
Should be a good tour this year for the GC (I agree some of the previous years turned out pretty boring). Contador and Froome will be going toe to toe and there are a lot of guys just a step down that will battle hard for a podium spot and may even take a shot at the top spot if either of the top guys falter. 5 uphill finishes and a lone, grueling TT on the last day should make for a very interesting final 2 weeks.
|6 days 17 hours ago||In the Malzone vine, I like||
In the Malzone vine, I like how the tall guy standing in the middle's only job is to be tall and stand in the way of the throw.
|6 days 20 hours ago||Nice to see Jens come out on||
Nice to see Jens come out on stage one and announce he's still riding strong by taking the mountains jersey with his signature lone breakaway. He did an interview yesterday where he said Tommy Vockler and he were making fun of the other two in the early breakaway with him for not seeing it coming. Brilliant move by opening his attack at the intermediate sprint. By the time the other two realized he wasn't just going for the sprint, it was already too late.
Sad to see Cav crash out in his mom's home town, but really he's got no one to blame but himself. That was a totally hare brained move on his part, and unnecessary too. I was hoping he'd stay in the race, but that fall looked really bad. I'm glad Gerrans wasn't seriously hurt though.
Stage 2 looked absolutely insane with 9(!) categorized climbs and probably another dozen smaller uncategorized climbs. I was really pulling for Sagan to win it, it's pretty amazing to see a "sprinter" keep up with the best climbers in the world over that last climb (for reference other sprinters like Kittel and Griepel came in 20minutes behind). Too bad none of his teammates were able to make it over together with him. In the end he had to shut down attacks singlehandedly for 4k, and in the end Nibali's attack finally stuck. Still, getting the green jersey is a pretty good consolation prize.
|1 week 17 hours ago||Read Public Ivy's posts||
Read Public Ivy's posts history. Monocle Smile is spot on, if a bit abrasive.
|1 week 18 hours ago||By "true blue" do you mean||
By "true blue" do you mean people like yourself? Because if so, good fucking riddance.
|1 week 3 days ago||Credit Jeff Jones too. He||
Credit Jeff Jones too. He seems pretty good at identifying problems and making the right tweaks to get guys back to being at least serviceable quickly.
|1 week 3 days ago||Yeah, I feel the same way.||
Yeah, I feel the same way. You can't really say it was the wrong call since he won the Giro, and has a solid shot at the Vuelta as well, but this Tour course seems tailor made for him. He may not be quite ready to win but man, he would be a huge catalyst in the mountains and really animate the race. He seems like that guy that comes in with no fucks to give and blows up everyone's best laid plans to smithereens.
|1 week 3 days ago||Have you heard of this||
Have you heard of this Japanese phenom, Hishutsi, the Red Wings just signed? Apparently he's a hell of a goal scorer.
|1 week 3 days ago||Unfortunately yes, which is||
Unfortunately yes, which is ridiculous. They'll have to stuff a 5lb weight in the seat tube (or some combination of weights and gadgets).
|1 week 3 days ago||I think Talansky can pull a||
I think Talansky can pull a top 10, maybe even top 5. As well as he did in the Dalphine, even he admitted the TdF is a different kind of race. He likely would not get the leash to pull off a move like that again in the Tour.
No prologue time trial is going to make the opening sprint very interesting. The yellow jersey may be a bit of a mixed blessing as that team may end up with too much pressure and responsibilities to have enough left for a lead out at the end in the subsequent stages.
|1 week 3 days ago||Tour de France, starts||
Tour de France, starts Saturday.
|1 week 3 days ago||Beer and BBQ on Friday,||
Beer and BBQ on Friday, followed by watching the Tour de France Saturday and Sunday. Just offset the unAmericaness of watching a French cycling event on 4th of July weekend, I will likely find some time to light off fireworks and shoot some guns as well. 'Murica, fuck yeah!