Episode 94: Goodbyes

We say goodbye to Andy Schleck and the racing season, as we reminisce about Andy Schleck and recap Worlds and Lombardia. We also wonder if we’ll look back and see Oleg as the “Idea Man” who saves cycling and discuss whether Astana is playing the UCI and MPCC.

Download here!

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via Stitcher

Follow Anna, Jeff, and the podcast on Twitter!

Goodbye, Andy

Andy SchleckIt’s no secret that Andy is the reason I got into cycling. I’ve told the story a hundred times; after the 2010 Tour de France ended, I hadn’t gotten enough of this cute cyclist who lost the race by 39 seconds, stolen from him by the dastardly Alberto Contador. With a little research, I found the Eneco Tour, and even though Andy wasn’t racing, I stayed glued to the computer and a cycling fan was born. So, even if it’s “old” news, I would be remiss if I didn’t offer words to close the Andy chapter of my cycling fandom.

It’s perhaps a little disingenuous to say that he’ll be missed by me, now that he’s retired, since he’s hardly been present for ages. But I will miss what he represented: a young man with untapped potential. How exciting to watch him rise up the ranks and prove himself! How exciting to imagine what he might do as he grew into his talent! I loved the thought of this young man, with his infectious smile, easy laugh, and unbreakable bond with his brother winning the Tour de France outright someday. But then…. life. And a lesson on placing too much expectation on one person.

12_schleckIf we placed heavy expectations on Andy, imagine what he placed on himself. As much as we joked about, and were disgusted by, the “Schleck-chute”, all I could wonder is how the disappointment felt to him. To know that people expected so much of you but you were unable to deliver, for whatever reason- how demoralizing that would be. To once be able to fly like a bird up the mountain to being barely able to finish a bike race- that must have weighed on him. And he knew how good he was. He had experienced the best of the best days on the bike. I wonder when, or if, climbing on the bike became a challenge for him and how it felt when that day finally came. How terrible to perhaps fall out of love with your bike- or at least, fall out of love with racing your bike.

Andy was easy to mock, as he seemed fragile, breakable- very unlike the ‘hard men’ cycling lore loves to honor.  And the high expectations placed on his abilities that he didn’t live up to did not convince Twitter to go easy him, as much as it was outside of his control.

However, I’ve wondered if his ‘protege’ status didn’t contribute to his downfall. He was able to rely solely on talent for much of his career. However, there comes a point during an athletic rise that img_1232_2_600sheer talent isn’t enough, but for some reason, Andy never seemed to develop the tactical smarts necessary to continue his climb. Although it’s possible that the development of those skills was stunted because of all the physical hurdles he had to overcome- it’s hard to focus on tactics when your tailbone makes it impossible to sit on a saddle, or when a bum knee makes it impossible to pedal, or when you’re on a disorganized new team. And yes, there was plenty of time when he wasn’t injured when he could’ve worked on this skill, but developing the nose for tactics takes lots of practice, trial and error, and in race experience, especially if it doesn’t come naturally. And I don’t think he was ever given that time to develop- I definitely think trying to set up a new team hurt him instead of helping him.

pcy140.schlecks_600But I think he will be remembered fondly, perhaps because of his faults and vulnerabilities. I was pleasantly surprised to read the Twitter comments on the news of his retirement: most people expressed sadness, disappointment and sympathy. His tear-choked press conference could have put a lump in the throat of the hardest critic- you could tell he was devastated to leave, but knew to stay would only lead to more stress and disappointment. In the end, I admire his decision to close the door on competitive racing instead of “waiting and seeing”. It has to be hard to let go of dreams and admit you won’t live up to expectations.

The criticism often put his way seemed to have an undercurrent of sadness to it: “Oh, how I want to see you succeed and it kills me to think about what could have been!” But in the end, it is what it is. Let us not dwell on what was not, but think about what was; whether it was his “stomach of anger“, his win on the Galibier, his win at LBL, “chain-gate”, or his commitment to his brother, I imagine many people have a favorite Andy moment and I hope this is what people remember when they think back on his career as a cyclist.

And I leave you with our podcast, where we  spend time reminiscing over Andy: what was and what could have been.

Download here

 

A good recap of Andy’s career in pictures, over at Pez.

A touching goodbye from Rouler Magazine.

Episode 93: Worlds preview

As we recorded this the night before the ITT, I’m definitely eating my words today… don’t judge too much! We also talk about Sagan and whether soon only the super teams of Saxo and BMC will be left, whether the anti-doping crusade is ruining cycling, Tyler Ferrar’s move to MTN, and more!

Download here!

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via Stitcher

Follow Anna, Jeff, and the podcast on Twitter!

Episode 92: Farewell, Vuelta

As I was preparing for this week’s recording I realized I didn’t post last week’s episode! So, here you go: A Vuelta wrap up!

Download here!

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via Stitcher

Follow Anna, Jeff, and the podcast on Twitter!

Episode 91: Froome Surprise

Want to find out what “Froome surprise” is? Listen and find out! Also, Jens Voigt and the hour record, Tyler Farrar is leaving Garmin?? Plus, we recap the first week of the Vuelta.

Download here!

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via Stitcher

Follow Anna, Jeff, and the podcast on Twitter!

Episode 90: “That Race in Colorado”

We rant about Phil and Paul and  Jeff finally agrees with Anna that they phone it in. Jeff reveals his middle name- “dead air”. We agree that there needs to be bad-weather procedures to help protect the riders and the organization and it’s reveled that Jeff is heartless. Once we’re done ranting, Jeff does as great job recapping that race in Colorado and we talk a bit about the Vuelta to come!

Download here!

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via Stitcher

Follow Anna, Jeff, and the podcast on Twitter!

Special Guest Episode: Suze, or @FestinaGirl

We welcome our first special guest to the show! Suze, better known as @FestinaGirl on Twitter, joins us to talk about her love of cycling, her cycling crushes, the story behind her Twitter handle, and her writing projects. Check out her website, 100 Tales 100 Tours and her weekly shows on Velocast, This Week In Cycling. [apologies if there is a little bit of an echo- there were some technical difficulties we worked hard to fix!]

Download here!

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via Stitcher

Follow Anna, Jeff, and the podcast on Twitter!

Episode 88: The Tour is Dead, Long Live the Tour

We wrap up the last week of Tour and talk about the takaways! Included: Jeff is disappointed in Cancellara, Anna is impressed with Saxo, Jeff wonders if Tony Martin could be a GC threat someday, and Anna looks back at Nibali’s racing history. Also: Anna rubs it in that she was right about Wiggins moving to the track and Jeff rubs it in that he beat Anna in the fantasy league.

Download here!

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via Stitcher

Follow Anna, Jeff, and the podcast on Twitter!

Deep Thoughts: TdF ’14 Stage 18

Once again, Nibali makes the Tour his BITCH. And seriously, I cannot say enough about Nibali. I cannot remember a time when he was so aggressive. My memory of his Vuelta and Giro wins were more defensive, once he had the jersey. Here, he’s just toying with the competition!

  • First, some old business. Can we please talk about how great it is that Frank Schleck is showing life?? He was in the top 10, but has dropped down to 12th after today, but STILL! Makes me so, so happy to see signs of the old Frank. Now, if only Andy would follow suit… Perhaps if he sees his brother doing well, that will get him out of his funk!
  • Now back to Nibali. “Oh hai Chris. No, I don’t want a BigMac, but thanks anyway. Remember when you beat me in the Vuelta that one time? I sure do! Anyway, SEE YA!” (I mean, that’s the only reason I can think of why Nibali wouldn’t just let Horner go, who’s 39 minutes behind him!)
  • “Wow, Vinny, it was so cool how you just flew by Nieve!” “Who?” EXACTLY.
  • Also “ALL YOUR JERSEYS BELONG TO MEEEE!” not really, but I’m sure that was going through his head.
  • With all those unzipped jerseys, you get to see who wears a heart rate monitor and who doesn’t. I was surprised to see so many guys without monitors. I thought that was the ‘thing’ now!
  • Astana really is the boss this race. I’d be tempted to compare them to Sky (in the sense of controlling the race, always at the front), but Nibali is like, a million times more interesting than Wiggins!
  • All this attention Nibali is getting is making me realize how big the Tour is- he’s won two GTs, but it wasn’t until he was awesome at the Tour that people started accepting that he is actually so awesome.
  • I’ll admit that I was rooting for him to take the stage, but I did feel bad for Nieve.
  • Tejay still riding a good ride. I get the impression he doesn’t quite have enough to attack and break Pinot or Peraud, but I say being able to mark them and not lose any time is a good start!

gc st 18

Episode 87: Dear Pelotonitis Podcast…

The podcast is getting all fancy, guys! Listen to hear our upgrades ;) Thanks to Jeff’s friend, Dan (@SonicBlissProd) for creating our new intro!

Jeff compares Nibali to Vino!! Anna is excited that everyone else is finally realizing how AMAZING Nibali is and the podcast comes dangerously close to becoming “The Nibali Show”. Jeff puts curses on everyone (except Nibali). We’re both so happy to see Frank back in action. And be on the lookout for our new feature, “Dear Pelotonitis Podcast” where we answer all your relationship advice. We start with “Rhymes with Deaf”…

Download here!

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via Stitcher

Follow Anna, Jeff, and the podcast on Twitter!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,001 other followers