Road Ride

Decent ride last night with Corty and AP, out to Whalley Bridge, up Long Hill, before nailing the decent down to the reservoir dam in the Goyt Valley. Goddammit that is one hell of a descent steep and dead straight followed by a sweeping and tightening left hander. You can get up to about 55mph without pedaling, after that it was up to the Cat and Fiddle via the valley road before racing the traffic down to Macclesfield and heading home through the lanes. Good stuff.

This morning’s breakfast ride was a bit of a joke, turning out to be a solo affair. Just call me billy. First outing that’s needed lights this year. It was dark when I left, but the sunrise was pretty spectacular.

What will this Tour produce next? First there’s been the battle between Lance and any one else who fancied a crack at the Yellow Jersey, there’s been Hamilton battling on with a broken collar bone and now the same guy has successfully sustained a lone breakaway to win a stage where earlier in the same day he was falling off the back of the peloton going up a climb. The guy is a legend. That said I reckon that there’s something missing from this years peloton in the Tour.

The familiar sight of the UCI world champ in his rainbow stripes. I remember watching Gianni Bugno, (twice World Champion in the early 90s) in the 1992 tour, getting involved mixing it up with the other big names. It was exciting stuff. This year Mario Cipollini and his Domina Vacanze team have been excluded from this year’s Tour de France. Race organisers said that Cipollini and his teammates were not considered “strong enough mountain climbers” to be consistent throughout the whole race. Cipollini’s team had been hoping for a wildcard entry, but in the end the remaining places were awarded to French teams Brioches La Boulangere, AG2R and Jean Delatour, and Spanish outfit Euskaltel. Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc told Paris reporters “It was a painful decision to make.”

The world champion broke the record of stage wins in the Giro d’Italia early this year and asked Leblanc to reconsider his position. “Jean-Marie Leblanc makes me want to vomit,” said Cipollini when he heard that his team had not been retained by Tour organisers. Days before the beginning of the 2000 Tour Cipollini crashed and was unable to start, but in 1999 the last year he rode the world’s biggest cycling race he briefly held the overall leader’s yellow jersey. In all he has won 12 stages but has never finished any of the seven Tours he entered. I reckon the racing is poorer without him.

Freeriders are in the news. John Waddell is in a serious state following his crash at Mont Ste Anne in Quebec. He overshot a jump by about 20 feet, bailed mid flight and took one hell of a tumble. He’s still comatose. Meanwhile Dave Watson did a gap jump on a mountain stage over the road the peloton were riding as they passed underneath. Although he failed to make the transition and needed to be taken off the mountain in an ambulance, the footage should be appearing in New World Disorder IV. Dave is still in custody in a French jail.

On an all together different note, raging bike is worth a look.

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