Saturday, September 08, 2007

Saturday Roundup

News
The Daily Peloton provides links to live feeds of today's Univest Grand Prix and Cyclosportif, which Floyd Landis will lead:

Live on local TV WFMZ-69 TV or on the web tomorrow on the station webcast at www.wfmz.com or www.cycling.tv For more information click on the graphic above.
The race features start to finish live television coverage directed by multi Emmy award winner Kent Gordis. Coverage will be carried by WFMZ-69 from 10:30 to 3:00pm. Cycling.tv will carry the final two hours live. Spectators in Souderton will be treated to Start to Finish live jumbo screen TV coverage.

The CyclingNews recaps last weekend's SM100 in its' weekly MB roundup. In road bike news the Spanish cycling federation tells the UCI where it can go, and a top British racing team is going with the race clean initiative:

Simon Barnes, team founder and boss of Hertfordshire based Geomatics company Plowman Craven, said, "Everyone involved with Plowman Craven Evans Cycles including the riders, sponsors and management are committed to the fight against doping in our sport. The Race Clean initiative is designed to promote and ensure drug free competition and to help restore confidence in the sport of cycling."


ZDNet writes about the Ergo Bike Premium 8i from Germany's Daum Electronics with which riders can compete on famous courses against other riders while getting a good workout at home. No real Landis content, but this is a cool toy:
Additionally, the bike--which closely mimics the feel of a real bike through a battery of sensors and processors--monitors the pulse rate, speed, distance and watts (a measure of current power output) of the riders and broadcasts these vital stats to each participant. The riders can also watch each other over video streams and speak over VoIP-enabled headsets, all so you can see who is about to crack.

The Boulder Report read the Rick Ankiel story and sees baseball in the same pre free fall as cycling was in 2005 before the real shit hit the fan. A Boulder Report from Thursday runs the gamut from Labor Day musings about a Specialized lawsuit to a mountain biking wrap up.

The VeloNews reports that the pissing match between the Spanish cycling federation and the UCI over Alejandro Valverde's possible participation in the Worlds continues with the UCI upholding its' ban despite the fact that the Spanish federation cleared Valverde to go.


Yahoo Finance blurbs that Floyd Landis will also be present to sign autographs at the Doylestown Circuit races tomorrow.

Bakersfield.com/Benham goes ga-ga over Paul Potts, an unlikely opera-singing find in the UK "Idol" show -- and makes snarky comparison to Landis:

Who knows how real this is? I fell for the Floyd Landis story hook, line and sinker. I paid full retail for that one and never even got a refund.

I’m talking about the 17th stage of the 2006 Tour de France when Landis rode like a god and went from 11th place to third in one of the grittiest performances anybody had ever seen. There was a reason he rode so well. He had more juice in him than a Minute Maid plant.


Last we looked, full retail on watching and enjoying the Tour cost exactly $0.00, so we're not sure what Benham thinks he should have been owed.


Blogs

29Inches says that more and more mountain bikers are using 29 inch wheels and getting good results. It cites Harlan Price who took second last week in the SM100 just ahead of Floyd Landis. Maybe that was his problem -- at Leadville, he only had 1 water bottle cage, and Wiens had two. The answer is obvious -- we need a 30-incher, because it is now an arms race. And my wheel needs to be bigger than yours.

Buffalo2Step has a gallery of pictures of the SM 100. Hmm, we see Harlan had a hardtail and Landis the four-stroke, so maybe the weight of the extra suspension was the difference and not the 29er. But rear suspension is supposed to make it easier to go downhill, and that's where Harlan beat Floyd. Darned this is complicated! Might make a no-suspension/single speed fan of me yet...

Nah.

Dave Treadwell's Space analyzed the possibility of humans generating their own power and concluded that this is impractical. As a reference point he cited Floyd Landis' stage 17 performance in the 2006 TdF and even though it was great, it only generated about 15 cents worth of electricity:
By way of background, occasionally there are stories about gyms using exercise machines to generate power. So how much power can be generated by humans doing exercise? Well, in the 2006 Tour de France's 17th stage, Floyd Landis averaged 281 watts over 5 hours and 23 minutes in what is considered to be one of the most incredible performances in cycling history. A kilowatt-hour of electricity costs around $0.10 in the US; 281 watts * 5.38 hours == 1.51 kWh. Therefore, assuming perfect conversion of Landis's energy into electricity, he generated just fifteen cents worth of electricity, potentially even with the aid of chemical enhancements!

In PG&E territory, incremental electricity is closer to $0.35/kwh, so it's closer to fifty cents here. Spin! Spin!


Hodamean wonders where last year's "feel good" guy Floyd Landis is now that this year's Cinderella story, Rick Ankiel, has gone bust. Floyd's in Pennsylvania this weekend working hard for various charities.

Hostbuoy.com asks the open question; does anyone care about the Tour de France since Lance Armstrong quit and Floyd Landis tested positive for PEDs? He snarks that cycling should be for 10 year olds who ride Huffy BMXs and not for professional cyclists who shave their legs and get juiced to win.

It's not really from Hostbuoy, which looks like a spam site, but an open question at Yahoo Answers. Feel free to offer your own retort to the troll, and vote for the best answer.

4 comments:

wschart said...

The Boulder Report article re Ankiel raises an interesting ethical question: is it cheating to use something which is not banned? There have been a number of cyclists who were detected or admitted to using either PES or masking agents who avoided any sanctions because the item in question was not at that timed banned.

Take it one step further: can and should WADA/UCI attempt pre-emption? Put wording in the anti-doping rules to the effect that taking anything, whether currently on the list of banned substances or not, would result in sanction. Personally, I think not.

Cyclists (and other athletes) have been using various substances to attempt to improve performance for some time. Some of these substances would clearly fall into the category of "drugs" while others would not. When I began cycling in 1960, I was advised that a mixture of orange juice and honey would be beneficial. Later on, de-fizzed coke was used by many racers I knew. Then we had Gatorade and its competitors, plus Powerbars, gels, etc. Not to mention the whole vitamin and nutritional supplement industry. All of these are marketed as being of performance-enhancing benefit, yet are used openly and no one seems to think they should be banned, with the possible exception of some nutritional supplements which may contain banned substances. Do we want to limit competitive cyclists to just water and bananas? I don't think so.

This means that for better or worse, we are left with using a list of banned substances, and if someone uses something which is not on that list, he is not cheating and should not be sanctioned. Of course, WADA/UCI may vary well reactively ban something following evidence of riders using it and after such a ban, any rider who continued to use it would be subject to sanctions. Or the authorities may vary well decided that the substance in question is not of much benefit and/or poses little risks and does not need to be banned. By using a list, riders will be able to know in advance what they can and cannot use.

Michael said...

I love it...from VeloNews:

"This inquiry does not in any way imply that Alejandro Valverde is guilty," noted the UCI, claiming his exclusion was based on protecting the organization and reputation of the world championships.

What, pray tell, does it really mean then? If this is the case, all 60 riders even remotely mentioned in OP should be suspended. Which means Contador shouldn't have won the TdF. Could this be the real reason Contador isn't riding the championships?

The people at the top of cycling are killing any respect for cycling. One more Tour in the US and we won't have to worry about the UCI. I'm thinking about starting a new cycling organization - anyone want to join me?

Mike

Michael said...

oh yeah....whatever happened to the Mayo B sample results?

tbv@trustbut.com said...

Michael,

What's going on with Mayo's B is a darned good question. Maybe they are waiting for the Landis decision...

TBV