Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Is Discovery Channel Panicking?

What is happening in the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team? After a very disappointing Tour de France realizing that neither of their "Lance Replacements" is an actual tour contender yet, it seems they're now in the state of panic. Is it that they are spoiled from all those seven years of always riding at the front going to Paris that they can't stand the thought of not being able to do it again?

They brought back Levi Leipheimer, an ex-postie, from Gerolsteiner, and now there are even talks with ex-T-Mobile and Lance's rival Jan Ullrich.

With Armstrong retired, it is natural to have a void in the team. But this is precisely where you put the ones you picked to succeed the seven-time Tour champ. This is where you put your Tom Danielson and Yaroslav Popovych. Getting help from outside would only outshine your homegrown talents - something that you don't want to happen, else they sign up to another team as their captain. The Discovery Channel doesn't need to look further. Hamilton has done this, Levi has done this, and of course don't forget the guy who won the Tour this year.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Tour de France

Finally the Tour is over and Floyd Landis emerged as the next wearer of the yellow jersey after Armstrong's seven-year reign.

With the wake of Operacion Puerto, the Tour started without any clear favorite. Last year's top five in the overall classification weren't there. And so for the first time, the Tour is wide open for anyone willing to suffer and ride in the Champs Elysse with the yellow jersey.

We've been following the Tour almost everyday. Because of the lack of coverage, we were left to do our own night outs World Cup-style. We would go to a resto, order food and drinks there, and follow the live coverage via wap. Yes, you read that right - wap.

After a couple of bottomless chips downed with bottomless iced tea at Chilli's, Floyd Landis emerged as the winner of this year's tour. He got the jersey in the Alpe D' Huez only to lose it the following day and getting it back after an all-out breakaway effort in the final mountain stage and a third place in the last time trial. Add to that his "amazing" story of his degrading hip.

I'm glad that it's all over. After three weeks of intense racing that hasn't been seen in a long time, the memories of Operacion Puerto were all but forgotten. However, there is still no patron in the peloton. Landis didn't command that much respect that the likes of Merckx and Indurain has. I guess only time will tell if his colleagues will consider as that.

Vive Le Tour!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Baguio Challenge

We got to see the Kennon uphill going up Baguio last Friday. It was 31 kilometers of pure suffering, especially right after exiting the toll gate going up the Lion's head. The switchbacks were steep that if we were to climb it, we would be definitely using the granny gear most of the time.

My wife said we couldn't climb it in a day. She said that it's not that she doesn't believe in us but we have to be realistic. Hence this challenge to prove her wrong.

The bet is for us to climb the whole 31-kilometer stretch in one September day. It has to be between six in the morning to eight in the evening and we can only walk 10% of the way. If we win, Mike O and I get P2,500 each. If she wins, she gets P5,000 from each one of us.

Piece of cake.
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