Blog Archives

Episode 100: The second week in review – Tour ’15

Another rest day podcast! We review the 2nd week of the Tour and look forward to the last week. Plus, if cycling was a Lifetime movie, what would its title be?

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Episode 99: The week in review – Tour ’15

As promised, back again this week! We come up with a new format for deciding the world champ (hint, it involves ALL the bike skills, not just one), Anna does a dramatic reading, and we come up with a fictional show where Peter Sagan and Tony Martin are besties.

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Episode 98: Tour de France Preview

After a hiatus, we’re back with a Tour de France preview! Jeff reveals he’s been lonely, I mean, LAZY all these months away. We had some technical difficulties while recording (mainly, Anna forgot to hit the record button…), so please excuse our intro.

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Episode 95: 2014, The Season That Was

It’s that most bittersweet time of year when we reflect on the season that was. We talk about our favorite moments and our favorite riders. We were impressed with the Colombians and the youngsters the most! The future looks bright!

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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.

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

A touching goodbye from Rouler Magazine.

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!]

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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.

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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”…

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Deep Thoughts: TdF ’14 Stage 15

You know, I’ve never really liked Nibali’s “Shark” nickname, but I’m starting to see how it’s appropriate…

  • Look. Nibali has LOADS of time of the guy in 2nd. I mean, he has over 4 FUCKING MINUTES on Valverde in 2nd. There’s no reason for him to attack. And if he were on Team Sky he definitely wouldn’t be attacking- he’d juts be chilling, riding defensively to save his lead. But the Shark is bored. He’s bored just sitting in the peloton, waiting to see if anyone attacks him so he has someone to toy with. I mean, just look at his face when he’s climbing. BORED. So, even though he attacked yesterday and WON THE DAMN STAGE, he decided to attack again today, just to alleviate the boredom. It’s like a fun game to him, seeing how much he can make his rivals suffer. So. I’m started to appreciate his “Shark’ nickname.
  • I was hoping he wouldn’t make an effort to catch Majka. Majka had tried so hard yesterday and Nibali crushed him like a bug. So today when I saw Nibali’s gap to him was holding steady at 30 seconds, I was very happy Nibali wasn’t making a effort to chase him down- see, he’s not all shark!
  • Do you suppose when Majka heard over the radio that Nibali attacked, he heard the Jaws theme in in his head? da-DUN. da-DUN. da-DUNdaDUNdaDUN
  • I couldn’t keep the Frenchies straight today- I’m a little ashamed of that. Regardless, those 3 French young’uns are really putting on an impressive show! The French commentators were crapping themselves, watching those 3 go at it.
  • Tejay did an amazing job today, keeping up with Pinot and Bardet when they went. He wasn’t able to cross the line with them, when they started sprinting, but losing a second or two is way better than minutes!
  • Speaking of losing minutes- HAHAHAHA VALVERDE!