Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Tom Boonen scored his first victory of the year at the Tour of Qatar. Not a big surprise really and Tom has been winning there for several years now. Besides, the season isn't open yet, at least not in Belgium. Still Qatar has a special significance in Belgium because of what happened to Frederiek Nolf last year.

Speaking of Qatar, Sporza intercepted Eddy Merckx there, who was furious some journalist had written that "he (Merckx) no longer drinks champagne since his bout with colon cancer." Although cancer seems to be the cyclists' scourge -if you are in good cardio health then cancer is your only option so to speak- Eddy vehemently denied he had ever had cancer.

And speaking of cancer, our friend Lance was pretty ticked off at Jonathan Vaughters, manager of Bradley Wiggins, who said in a Times interview, that in the 2009 Tour "Astana was soft-pedaling it so as not to embarrass Lance."

Meanwhile here in Northern California, racing season started with a rather busy Cherry Pie criterium in Napa. The weather cooperated and it was nice and sunny and pretty warm to boot. I did not race, but I managed to get in a great ride while Alistair rode the Cat. 3's. Team Specialized scored big in several of the races, and brought in lots of pies so we ended up eating cherry pie for lunch. In the afternoon, we did some time trial bike trials (how is that for an expression) on Skyline Blvd. Although it was warm in Oakland too, the only dark cloud this side of the Mississippi hung right over the road at all times.

On Saturday I rested. On Sunday I rode 25 miles in Napa and then another 20 on Skyline with Alistair. On Monday I ran 8.25 miles in the hills and today I rode 20 mi on my mountain bike, getting very muddy in the process. Although most days have been great with only occasional rain during the daytime hours, the hills are now well saturated with water, and mud-slides are once again legion.

Now we are getting ready to go to Phoenix for the Valley of the Sun stage race.

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