31 May 2013

2013 Giro d'Italia

Giro d'Italia 2013

Dates: May 4-26, 2013
Route: 2013 Giro d'Italia percorsa
Stage: information
Website: 2013 Giro d'Italia
Twitter: https://twitter.com/giroditalia<@giroditalia #GIRO
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/giroditalia
Facebook - giroditalia
Google plus - Giro d'Italia
Instagram - @giroditalia

Posts by Pedal Dance
Giro Facts:
  • 96th edition
  • Start Naples
  • Finish in Brescia
  • 21 Stages
  • 3405km total distance
  • 88.9km of time trials
  • 1 - 17.4 km team time trial on the island of Ischia on stage 2
  • 1 - 55.5km individual time trial from Gabicce Mare to Saltara on stage 8
  • 1 - 19.4km mountain time trial on stage 18
  • Average stage distance is 162.2km a day
  • 7 mountain finishes 
  • Twenty-three teams of 9 riders each representing 54 nations.
More Facts about the race
Learn about the time bonuses, mountain top finishes, history, prize money and more. Read: Giro d'Italia 2013: 10 things you need to know, By Simon Richardson and Gregor Brown in Naples for CyclingWeekly. Did you know, the winner of the Giro will earn €90,000

2013 Giro d' Italia Stages
Stage 1 - Saturday, May 4 2013, Naples, 156 km
Stage 2 - Sunday, May 5 2013, Ischia - Forio, 17.4 km, TTT
Stage 3 - Monday, May 6 2013, Sorrento - Marina di Ascea, 212 km
Stage 4 - Tuesday, May 7 2013, Policastro - Serra San Bruno, 244 km
Stage 5 - Wednesday, May 8 2013, Cosenza - Matera, 199 km
Stage 6 - Thursday, May 9 2013, Mola di Bari - Margherita di Savoia, 154 km
Stage 7 - Friday, May 10 2013, San Salvo - Pescara, 162 km
Stage 8 - Saturday, May 11 2013, Gabicce Mare - Saltara, 55.5 km, ITT
Stage 9 - Sunday, May 12 2013, Sansepolcro - Firenze, 181 km
Rest day - Monday, May 13 2013 
Stage 10 - Tuesday, May 14 2013, Cordenons - Montasio, 167 km
Stage 11 - Wednesday, May 15 2013, Cave del Predil - Erto, 184 km
Stage 12 - Thursday, May 16 2013, Longarone - Treviso, 127 km
Stage 13 - Friday, May 17 2013, Busseto - Cherasco, 242 km
Stage 14 - Saturday, May 18 2013, Cervere - Bardonecchia, 156 km
Stage 15 - Sunday, May 19 2013, Cesana Torinese - Col du Galibier, 150 km
Stage 16 - Monday, May 20 2013, Valloire - Ivrea, 237 km
Rest day 2 - Tuesday, May 21 2013 
Stage 17 - Wednesday, May 22 2013, Caravaggio - Vicenza, 203 km
Stage 18 - Thursday, May 23 2013, Mori - Polsa, 19.4 km, ITT
Stage 19 - Friday, May 24 2013, Ponte di Legno - Val Martello, 138 km
Stage 20 - Saturday, May 25 2013, Silandro - Tre Cime di Lavaredo, 202 km
Stage 21 - Sunday, May 26 2013, Riese Pio X - Brescia, 199 km

2013 Corsa Rosa map
2013 Giro d'Italia route /percorsa
Map of start and finish cities
2013 Giro d'Italia Percorso


2013 Giro d'Italia - Mountains Preview, By Podium Cafe
Giro d'Italia 2013: An Overview & Team lists, By Ciclismo
Riders at the 2013 Giro d'Italia (photos), By Pedal Dancer
Giro d'Italia. Contender short-takes, By Twisted Spoke
Giro d’Italia 2013 - Preview & Favorites, By C-Cycling
PEZ Speak: Italian For Cyclists, By PezCycling News

Terms to know:
Grand Tour - The Giro d'Italia is one of the 3 Grand Tours together with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana.
Maglia Rosa - the Leader's jersey (yes it's pink!)
Percorso - route
Corso Rosa - the affectionate name for the race route
Giro Rosa - the women's version of the Giro race
Gruppo compacto - everyone is back together, no gaps
Gruppo - peloton
Grupetto - the group in the back
Nella scia - in the wake (slipstream) - Team Time Trial!
Arm Warmers - Manicotti (!)
Tifosi - fans
Dai - go!

Related posts by Pedal Dancer:

Word of the Day: Passista, Scattista, Velocista
Word of the day: tifosi

Official Products
2013 Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Giro d'Italia bike
2013 Giro d'Italia Leaders Jerseys (Maglia)

Britain Paul Smith designed all 4 of the new 2013 jerseys

The Grand Tour Jerseys (Maglia)

Grand Tour jerseys
Giro d'Italia trophy
The very recognizable spiral trophy of the Giro d'Ialia  
(Photo of Karen of Pedal Dancer - yep, I got to hold the trophy!)

Prize Money for the Giro d'Italia

According to Cycling Weekely, for 2013, ..."The prize pot for the Giro d'Italia is a lot smaller than that of the Tour with a total prize fund of €1,383,110. €90,000 goes to the overall winner while second place takes €50,000 and third place €20,000. The winner of each stage pockets €11,010 with money going down to 20th place (€276 for 10th - 20th positions). Winner of the points jersey gets €71,500 with €45,800 going to the King of the Mountains."

Gran Fondo Giro

Gran Fondo Giro d'Italia - 4 citizen event rides
At the Sea Otter Classic, Bay Area, California - April 20, 2013
At Five Boro bike Tour, New York - May 5, 2013
At Los Angeles/Pasadena - June 2, 2013
At Coral Gables, Florida - November 10, 2013

30 May 2013

Fast Freddie Gran Fondo, and a New Champion

Another Gran Fondo hits the hills of California

Only in this Gran Fondo event you can ride across a great northern California route with the new US National Champion Freddie Rodriguez. The Fast Freddie Gran Fondo will take place in Berkeley, California on August 17th, and offer 3 route lengths taking on the devil of them all - Mount Diablo. Yes, you remember Mt Diablo from the recent Tour of California. 

Fast Freddie Gran Fondo: August 17, 2013, Berkeley, California. Event start & finish location: Claremont Hotel Club & Spa. Register now. Entry fees range from $75-145. See the course. Official website: http://www.ffgranfondo.com, or Fast Freddie Gran Fondo on Facebook.

This ride looks good. Located in the east San Fransisco bay area, riders will have their choice of riding 86.5, 48.9, or 13.2 miles. The two longer courses are loop routes and include Mt Diablo.

Riders pick their course:

Lungo route: 86.5 miles, +10,323 ft, loop, Lungo route map
Medio route: 48.9 miles, +6168, loop, Medio route map
Corto route: 13.2 miles, +1857, out and back, Corto route map

Fast Freddie Gran Fondo Lungo Route Map
Fast Freddie Gran Fondo Medio Route Map
Fast Freddie Gran Fondo Corto Route Map
Location of Berkeley in California

Freddie Rodriguez grew up in Los Angeles, California. At a young age he recognized cycling as his way out. Fred has been working for years with his Fast Freddie Foundation to support cycling-based youth mentoring programs. A father himself, get Freddie talking on the topic of positively influencing kids and his passion becomes evident. Fundraising for this grand fondo gets even better because riders have their choice of 4 charities for fundraising. I wish more events would adopt this concept.

Riders pick their charity:
  1. Fast Freddie Foundation
  2. The Nature Conservancy of California
  3. Tieni Duro - Junior Cycling Development Team 
  4. Marin County Day School
Keeping with the youth-cycling theme, the event offers a FREE Piccolo-kids ride in conjunction with the Gran Fondo. Catered rest stops, sag/technical support, post ride festival and meal, wine tasting (post ride), and a Fast Freddie Jersey for the Lungo (long-course) riders are all included in the registration entry fee.
Earn a Fast Freddie jersey
Nearby Levi's Gran Fondo has grown into one of the most popular gran fondo events in the country, I say there is room for another great California gran fondo. Plenty of times you think you will meet and greet a pro rider on these event rides, when in fact you won't, but Freddie Rodriguez is different, this is his home-state, this is his passion, and Freddie gets out there and routinely rides event rides. Freddie is one of the most friendly riders I have witnessed with fans.

Related Pedal Dancer® posts: The Amgen Tour of California just took on the climb of Mt Diablo, read my story from the race: Amgen Tour of California - Stage 7 Results. I think I will sign my nephew, who lives in the area, up for the Lungo ride. I wish I could go myself but I will be here in Colorado, the USA Pro Challenge begins August 19th.

Also see a list of events and races in Colorado and nearby states: Colorado Cycling Event & Race Calendar

An Interview today with Freddie Rodriguez

This afternoon, via KOM Sports Marketing, Freddie Rodriguez was gracious enough to give a telephone interview with a mix of cycling media members. Last Monday Freddie won his 4th US National Championship Road title. A very experienced racer with a long history in the sport, racing in both the US and Europe since 1998, Fred started racing at age 11 and was quickly recognized as one of America's best hopefuls.

US National Championship wins: 2000, 2001, 2004, 2013. After his previous team Exergy folded, Fred was left searching for a new team and signed with Jelly Belly three weeks before this year's Nationals race.

If you missed the race, Steephill.TV offers these video highlights:
 2013 USA Pro Championships Men's RR Highlights (5:13 English)universalsports
 2013 USA Cycling Pro Men's RR Winner's Press Conference (17:52 English)BusinessChatt

Some of the more interesting points that Freddie discussed today during the interview included his opinion that the Nationals course should be longer. He felt that many of the one-day US races should be longer. Freddie explained that course length is a major difference between the races in Europe (average 120m) and the races in the United States (average 100m). If our races were greater in length, Freddie believes our riders would be better prepared to compete against the European riders when they arrive for stage tours in California, Colorado and Utah.

Freddie discussed his recent return to the "basics" as he referred to his rediscovery that maintaining a lower body weight better suits him. Early in his career he was 140lbs and a vegan, but when he joined European teams, he struggled with a poor diet while racing abroad and a mindset that he needed to gain both weight and muscle to compete against the big European sprinters. He actually lost speed. What Freddie had going for himself was his ability to be light and take on the climbs preceding the fast sprints. Exactly why the Nationals course set Fast Freddie up for a win.

He no longer spends time in the gym, carefully watches his diet (a return to being vegan), gets in high volume, good intensity rides spending 4-5 hr in zone two (300w); while trying to avoid fatiguing his body or over exerting during big efforts in races. Basically experience sometimes brings a rider back to what they always knew worked best for them. Obviously the return to basics is working for Freddie, at Nationals he was at about 150lbs, and not quite 100% he reported. Watch the video of the last section of the National road race (link above) and you will see a rider in his element, deserving the win.

Fred Rodriguez now sees his job as 100% cycling. His eyes are set on Utah, Colorado and Alberta. He also has an automatic entry into the UCI World Championships in Florence, Italy, this September (22-29 September 2013). I would like to let Freddie know I am available as needed to help him in his quest in Italy - bag handling, bike maintenance, car driving, vegan cooking, anything - just don't ask me for a lead out.

I hope that Fred's big win at Nationals will propel his team Jelly Belly to be invited to the Tour of Utah, the USA Pro Challenge, and the Tour of Alberta in 2013. They did not race in the 2013 Amgen Tour of California. Fred's next race will be at the Philly Cycling Classic, in Philadelphia this weekend, June 2, 2013.

Pedal Dancer related postsWatch US National Championships Road Live
Recommended reading: A thought provoking insightful and historical view of the Nationals road race (which evoked lots of comments), By Ian Dille for VeloNews Commentary: Making sense of ‘Fast’ Freddie’s uneasy nationals win,

Also Tour Chats will featured a live chat with the 2013 winners - Fred Rodriguez and Jade Wilcoxson, June 9th at 9pm (EDT) Tour Chats Live. I'll be listening.

Some previous photos of Fast Freddie   (click any image to enlarge)

Fred  ©Photo by Ron Long for Pedal Dancer®
Freddie Rodriguez 
©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Freddie with the fans
©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Fast Freddie last year at the USA Pro Challenge.
©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Fast Freddie (in white) sprinting at the finish in Telluride 2012  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
So close!  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®

Now Freddie is part of this team ....
Team Jelly Belly cycling, the most colorful team cars in the fleet.  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
I hope to see team Jelly Belly Cycling at some upcoming races in 2013.  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Because they are known to hand out free candy! And now have Fast Freddie on their team.   
©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer® 

Jelly Belly Cycling team website: http://www.jellybellycycling.com/
Jelly Belly Cycling team on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jellybellycycling?fref=ts

28 May 2013

Protect your noggin

Bicycle Helmets

There is a time when weight, color, price, aerodynamics and good looks probably should not matter. Yes, I know these are too often the 5 golden rules of buying any new cycling gear, but when it comes to a bike helmet we really should buy responsibly. When it comes to protecting our precious brains, many of us would pay top dollar to ensure our ability to take care of our family, rather than our family taking care of us. But what if even our big bucks could not buy what we need to protect our most valuable asset.

That's right, money can't buy happiness and money can't always buy safety. Turns out that bike helmet we strap to our skull before our jolly bike ride is not good enough.

Bruce Barcott wrote a lengthy well-researched article for Bicycling.com recently in which he reported on a number of unnerving facts about the current lack of protection of bicycle helmets. Mainly concussions are a real problem and helmets are not helping the problem. Excerpts from his in-depth article:
  • The basic setup (a thin plastic shell over a thick foam liner) hasn't changed much since the first [bike helmet] was sold in 1975. 
  • By 1999 half of all riders were wearing [bike helmets]—up from just 18 percent eight years earlier.
  • Between 1997 and 2011 the number of bike-related concussions suffered annually by American riders­ increased by 67 percent,
  • Recent studies of football and hockey players­ have raised alarming questions about the disabling short- and long-term effects of concussions.  
  • Bicycle-helmet standards were first developed in the 1950s by the Snell Memorial Foundation in Sacramento, California. 
  • Though the standards were voluntary [in the 1980s], most major helmet ­companies adhered to at least one set (ASTM, ANSI, and Snell).
  • The certifying authority. That would be the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The federal agency sets out minimum standards to protect consumers against shoddy helmets. 
  • Standards set by the CPSC demand that helmets perform—that is, hold up through the 6-foot drop test (straight 90-degree impact)—at room temperature and in a variety of extreme conditions.
  • Helmet experts call it "slowing the blow,"  By crushing and cracking, the inner EPS liner attenuates impact energy—that is, it extends the hit over a longer period of time. Six milliseconds, say, instead of two. 
  • "A lot of the innovation in helmets has been focused on making them lighter, more ventilated, and fit better," said John Thompson, bike helmet product manager for Scott Sports. 
  • Patients who arrived at ERs in seven Seattle-area hospitals after bicycle-related­ accidents. In that second study, 63 percent of all head-injured cyclists over the age of 39 wore helmets at the time of the crash.
  • In 1994 when Congress mandated that all bike helmets­ sold in the United States meet minimum safety standards set by the CPSC ... ultimately­ enacted a rule that was essentially a hybrid of the existing ANSI, Snell, and ASTM standards.
  • If you crash and hit your head, there are two types of impacts. One is known as linear acceleration. The second type is known as rotational acceleration —the technical term is inertial spin—which creates shear strain.
  • There are other factors involved, but research has consistently pointed to rotational acceleration as the biggest single factor in a concussion's severity. The CPSC helmet benchmark is based solely on linear acceleration. 
  • (We knew this a long time ago) In 1962, a team of Michigan State University researchers presented a study at the American ­College of Sports Medicine's annual convention. "It is fairly well established that the extent of skull fracture and severity of concussion are not closely related," they said. Further research, they added, should focus on "developing headgear which would ­provide greater protection from brain concussion."  
  • ...the data led the UCLA researchers to implore the medical community to "discard the magical notion that wearing a helmet on the head is sufficient to protect against impact brain damage." 
  • "Little has changed in helmet-safety design during the past 30 years."  
  • "If a bicyclist is getting more than one or two concussions a year," he added, "he really needs to take up another activity." 
  • "A lot of people think that because people sometimes suffer concussions while wearing helmets, that the ­helmet didn't do its job,"
  • The problem lies in the way the head is attached to the body. When a rider falls, he said, "the head rotates like the end of a flyswatter, and the shear strain is high enough to break axons in the brain."
Then in the late 1990s a Swedish team stepped in, and a second group of engineers from Portland joined in the innovation wave:
  • By 2008, after years of sketching, testing, and prototyping, they (the Swedish team) had a working ­model. Their MIPS (Multi-directional Impact ­Protection System) helmet contained a ­low-friction slip plate between the head and EPS liner. On impact, the helmet rotates independent of the MIPS liner, absorbing some rotational acceleration. 
  • As the MIPS engineers fine-tuned their system, a group of inventors in Portland, Oregon, also attacked the problem. Bottlang and Madey hit upon a potential solution: They built an aluminum honeycomb liner with ultrathin cell walls that replaces the EPS liner, the prototype AIM (Angular Impact Mitigation) helmet.
  • Few manufacturers were interested.  
  • "We'd created a situation where good protection was available but no one gave a damn about it because you didn't need it to pass certification." 
  • But their customers—from top pros to weekenders—haven't been clamoring­ for safer helmets, and the unchanging CPSC standards helped to ensure they were never offered one. 
  • He has to convince customers that a MIPS-equipped helmet is safer, despite the fact that all helmets pass the same safety test.
  • In late 2012, a third team jumped in. 6D, "It's suspension for your brain," "We're making a helmet to protect riders long-term."
  • The new rotation-­dampening systems may not be perfect, but they are the biggest step forward in decades. The choices cyclists make with their money matter. 
Read the full article: SENSELESS, By Bruce Barcott for Bicycling Magazine

In the future look for products coming from POC, Scott, Abus, Easton-Bell, and Giro.  Every so often do a Google search for a MIPS or AIM bike helmet, and the day you get a result - BUY BUY BUY. Snowboarders already have a MIPS helmet. Motorcyclists do too. Mountain bikers, Road bikers, and equestrian athletes all gain to benefit in the future from better helmets for their specific sport.
Almost there but not quite yet. This helmet is for single track and enduro riders - POC Trabec Race MIPS

Meanwhile, all us cyclists are out here waiting, sporting anything that first and foremost fits us, and secondly matches with our bike or our favorite jersey, and of course is lightweight, a nice color, aerodynamic and good looking. Not so perfect consumer sense.

The pro peloton is right there with us, they are told which helmet to wear by their team helmet sponsor. Last year when the Giro Air Attack helmet showed up on the heads of the Garmin-Sharp and Rabobank teams at the Tour de France, and then this year when Mark Cavendish donned his Specialized Prevail helmet, the helmets caught on so fast consumer cyclists scooped them up. If only Mark Cavendish would sprint in a new MIPS helmet, we would all be better for it.

What kits (apparel) and helmets are the pro teams wearing in 2013? I bet most of our own helmets are represented among this list:
Pearl Izumi
Champion Systems
SMS Santini
Pro/Pearl Izumi
SMS Santini

What kit and helmet am I wearing in 2013?
             CLOTHING              HELMET

             Castelli                     Cannondale

What would I like to be wearing in 2014 - Castelli clothing and a MIPS equipped helmet please!

27 May 2013

Photo Contest

2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Do you have that one fantastic photo taken during your travels? Care to submit it to a photography contest at National Geographic? You have until June 30, 2013 to send in your entry. The winner gets a 10-day Galapagos expedition for two.

Enter the photo contest in 1 of 4 categories (I wonder where cycling photographs fit into these categories):
  1. Travel Portraits
  2. Outdoor Scenes
  3. Sense of Place
  4. Spontaneous Moments
Enter the Traveler Photo Contest 2013

The Atlantic is sharing a collection of 42 of the photos already submitted this year. See the 42 photos and read more.

When I scrolled upon the photo of the iceberg, I gasped, it was the image that unsuspectingly moved me, plus having read many stories of Shackleton's journey, the image drew my imagination. I suppose photography at it's best evokes emotion and imagination.   


26 May 2013

Watch US National Championships Road Live

Crowning a new National Champion - Road Cycling

It is Memorial Day weekend in the United States, a time to remember those who have served our country. A time to reflect upon the past and be in the present, a time to celebrate a 3-day weekend biking, hiking, picnicking, and putting out the flags.
If you happen to be around on Monday mid-day, and not on some grueling 6-hour bike ride, remember to watch the USA Cycling mens and womens National Championships Road in Chattanooga, Tennessee. There are several options to follow or watch the race live:

RESULTS: Full Results
Rodriguez wins fourth U.S. men’s road title, By VeloNews
Fast Freddie Gran Fondo, and a New Champion By Pedal Dancer 

Date: Monday, May 27, 2013
Race: Road Race Male Pro. (Official name: 2013 Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships)
Race start time: Women 9:00 a.m., Men 1:15 p.m.

Watch Online: http://usacycling.thetourtracker.com/ (mens beginning at 11:30 a.m. MDT)
Tour Tracker App: iOS and Android devices
Follow on Twitter: #USPRO
TV: The last two hours of the men’s road race will be broadcast live on Universal Sports beginning at 4 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. MDT) on Monday, May 27, and, finally, there will be a recap show broadcast by NBC Sports on Sunday, June 2, at 1 p.m. EDT. Craig Hummer, Robbie Ventura and Kristin Armstrong commentators.
Official USA Cycling website:  http://www.usacycling.org/2013/pro-road-time-trial-nationals
More race coverage by CyclingNews: CyclingNews reports

Big news for 2013 - equal prize money for men and women's races!
Defending Champion Men: Timmy Duggan
Defending Champion Women: Megan Guarnier (Meet Megan: Megan Guarnier hopes to defend stars and stripes in Chattanooga, By VeloNews)
Timmy Duggan being interviewed by Dave Towle this month in California.  ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
Timmy Duggan in his stars and stripes jersey, now with team Saxo Bank Tinkoff, but here with his old Cannondale teammates Peter Sagan and Ted King in California two weeks ago. ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
About the Race

National Championships race route: Road race course map (Men 161.9km, women 101.5km)
National Championships course profiles: Course Profiles
Mens road race timetable: Men's Road Race Trip Log (PDF)
National Championships registered riders start list (Mens and Womens): US National Championships start lists

The circuits, total distance:
Main Circuit: 16.1 mi./26.1 km
Start/Finish Circuit: 5.1 mi./8.2 km
Women: 3 start circuit/2 long circuits/3 finish circuits - 63.1 mi./101.5 km
Men: 4 start circuits/4 long circuits/3 finish circuits - 100.6 mi./161.9 km
I hope the riders can keep track of where they are
Yesterday, Individual Time Trial results: US National Champion Time Trial Results 2013
Chattanooga , TN, USA
The Giro d'Italia finished today in Brescia, Italy, in what appeared to be very annoying circuit loop, with Vincenzo Nibali winning the very pink Maglia Rosa in front of thousands of fans. All I could think as Mark Cavendish repeatedly sprinted in an attempt to determine when the actual intermediate sprint took place, was that fans in Italy actually watch a race instead of capturing it on their iphones, which means they actually see the bike race instead of just their devices, and so too do those standing next to them have a chance of seeing the race instead of each others devices. What a novel idea.

This final weekend in May is jammed packed with other sporting events that draw my attention away from cycling - the French Open, Indianapolis 500, Stanley Cup finals, and the Monaco Grand Prix. Still I care about who wins our national road race. It is a year long honor and a dream of so many young cyclists who have a dream of being a national champion, an Olympian, or a Grand Tour stage winner.

I have to be honest though, I was discouraged to see Danilo DiLuca welcomed back onto the Vini Fantini-Selle Italia team and accepted to race in the Giro d'Italia, only to test positive for EPO and be kicked out of the race and again bring bad press to the event and to the port (His teammate Mauro Santambrogio also tested positive at the Giro). It was no surpirse to anyone that DiLuca was and is a doper. This is 2013, does anyone care to clean this sport up? I would have liked to have seen his entire team thrown out of the race, although if they had been, Stefano Garzelli (who was thrown out of the 2002 Giro for doping and is on the same team as DiLuca), would not have had his honored final farewell lap today before retiring from the sport.

I feel strongly that riders who have been found guilty of doping, through a positive sample, never be allowed to compete in Olympic or National Championship races. Therefore I find it hard to celebrate Tom Zirbel's win yesterday at the US National Time Trial Championships. An ex-doper wearing our National jersey should not inspire the youth of our junior racing program.

I hope a historically clean rider wins tomorrow, because I am loosing my patience with this doping issue. It is also shocking to look at this list 2012 national road cycling championships and realize how few countries even award a national champion title to a woman.

Update 05/28/13:
Fast Freddie won, and I eat my words, because whatever questions might arise, I like Freddie. I guess if I like a rider I can disregard any possible questions of the past and focus on the present. The truth is Freddie Rodriguez is nothing if not courteous to every fan he comes across and for that, and for the fact that he stuck to it through some rough years in this sport, I am happy for Fred Rodriguez. Plus I like the Jelly Belly team and hope to see the team represented at the tour in Colorado in 2013. Perhaps they will be invited after Freddie's win today.
Rodriguez wins fourth U.S. men’s road title, By VeloNews
Fast Freddie Gran Fondo, and a New Champion By Pedal Dancer

Meanwhile, good news, by brother and sister-in-law got themselves on a plane and are now in Cassis, France. 
Where they are happy to report they did not partake of the traditional French Breakfast of Champions

21 May 2013

Photo of the Day: Two well-traveled fans

Here they are again

Remember when I told the story of our day at Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California when I kept photobombing my sister-in-laws iphone photo ops with her favorite riders.

Exhibit A
Sylvain Chavanel and Suz, and ... me
me .... and Johan Vansummeren and Suz
Suz and Dave Zabriskie, and ... me
And how my brother kept walking into the frame of so many of my potential masterpiece shots (because he is actually better than I am at moving around races).

Exhibit B
Get out of the way of my photo of World Champion Philippe Gilbert!
Well the keen eye of Willie The Photographer happened to notice these same two well-versed fans in one of the photos I had recommended viewing from the albums of team BMC.

Exhibit C: Where are Suz and Mike?

Bob Roll interviewing Tejay van Garderen, featuring Suz and Mike.  This photos is one in a collection of albums from team BMC
It is so fun to see family or friends in photos or videos. We have so much fun together as fans!

Maybe you are in one of the photos too ...

20 May 2013

Amgen Tour of California - Stage 8 Results, final

Results Stage 8

The last and final stage of the Tour of California ended this past Sunday. Peter Sagan took the stage win securing his 4th green jersey win at the ATOC. Tejay van Garderen won the overall Leaders yellow jersey. There was little change in the general classification in the last stages of the tour this year, but the individual stage wins were still exciting, with a good variety of teams and countries represented:

2013 Stage winners:

Stage 1: Lieuwe Westra, (the Netherlands), Vancansoleil
Stage 2: Janier Acevedo (Columbia), Jamis
Stage 3: Peter Sagan, (Slovakia), Cannondale
Stage 4: Tyler Farrar (USA), Garmin-Sharp
Stage 5: Jens Voigt (Germany), RadioShack Leopard Trek
Stage 6: Tejay van Garderen (USA), BMC
Stage 7: Leopold König (Czechoslovakia), Net-App Endura
Stage 8: Peter Sagan, (Slovakia), Cannondale

This was the year of 8s at the Amgen Tour of California. The race's 8th year, 8 stages, 8 riders on each team, BMC won the best team classification by just over 8 minutes, and Jason McCartney was awarded the Most Courageous Rider jersey for being the only rider to have ridden in, and completed, all 8 previous Tour of California races.

Stage 8 winner  
Peter Sagan (SVK), Cannondale Pro Cycling

Stage 8 Podium in San Jose
  1. Peter Sagan (SVK), Cannondale Pro Cycling
  2. Daniel Schorn (AUT), Team NetApp-Endura
  3. Tyler Farrar (USA), Team Garmin-Sharp
General Classification (yellow)
Tejay van Garderen (USA), BMC Racing Team

Sprint Classification (green)
Peter Sagan (SVK), Cannondale Pro Cycling

KOM Classification (polka dot)
Carter Jones (USA), BISSELL Pro Cycling - his 6th stage!

Best Young Rider (white)
Lawson Craddock (USA), Bontrager Cycling Team

Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider
Jason McCartney (USA), BISSELL Pro Cycling Team

Team Classification
BMC Racing Team - took over the lead in the Team Classification.

Top 10 General Classification Stage 8, final standings:
  1. Tejay van Garderen, BMC, USA,
  2. Michael Rogers, Saxo Bank-Tinkoff, Australia,
  3. Janier Acevedo Calle, Jamis, Columbia,
  4. Mathias Frank, BMC, Switzerland,
  5. Cameron Meyer, Orica-GreenEdge, Australia,
  6. Matthew Busche, RadioShack Leopard Trek, USA,
  7. Francisco Mancebo Perez, 5-Hour Energy, Spain, 
  8. Lawson Craddock, Bontrager, Australia,
  9. Philip Deignan, United Healthcare, Ireland,
  10. Chad Haga, Optum, USA, 
My top 10 from chasing the tour:
  1. Huge numbers of fans turned out in Santa Rosa for Stage 8 (there is hope for the sport).
  2. Old man Jens actually won a stage.
  3. There are some awesome photographers out there, and the best was a local photographer in Santa Barbara named Michael. 
  4. I love California Mexican food.
  5. We need an ocean in Colorado.
  6. Tejay van Garderen is an impressive competitor.
  7. The Stone Brewery in Escondido is one of the most amazing concepts for enjoying a beer that I have seen. And makes a darn good Arrogant Bastard Ale.
  8. From beach cruisers to the best Cannondale EVO Supersix - as long as it has two wheels - ride it.
  9. Being among the mix of languages and cultures at an international bike race is a cool place to be. 
  10. Cycling fans are the best!
*Also, if you want race analysis, just go straight to Joe Lindsey and Frankie Andreu. If you want to know who is going to win a race, go with whomever Tejay van Garderen picks.

Honorable mention: I also hit an all time high this past week for my modest blog with 3,573 visitors in one day. My blog also sailed right by it's landmark 500,000th visit on the final day of ATOC coverage. Thank you! What an incredible 3 years it has been.

I preferred the southern to northern route of the tour this year

The 2013 ATOC went from southern California to northern California for the first time in it's 8-year history.

Recommended Viewing: Photo albums from team BMC (http://bit.ly/146NEaA)
Also read a blog post (with photos) by Michael Schaer (BMC) in focus: Michael Schaer

More photos from the tour - from Willie Reichenstein

Looking back at a week of racing; tonight we are looking at the photography of Willie Reichenstein who helped me photograph the tour. Willie and I would sometimes be at the start together, then take off in different directions, Willie out on the route to key climbs or to the KOM points. I would be at the finish, or on one day at a sprint points location. Willie's hard work (and good mood) added much to my week. Willie also likes beer and took me to the Stone Brewery in Escondido (fantastic gardens and beer). I also enjoyed a beer tasting night with Willie and his wife at their home, at weeks end, to share stories and photos.

Working along with another photographer gives life to my storytelling at the race and throughout the year. Many thanks to Willie for adding so much to Pedal Dancer® at the 2013 Amgen Tour of California. I am now looking for a sidekick for travel and chasing the race at the USA Pro Challenge. I have learned that it takes two to plan stage coverage and go over maps (and find the Media signs), to keep up with the race and news (and Social Media), to photograph so much activity (and upload photos), and to research the upcoming stage (even though it all changes anyway). Mostly it is just fun to be able to share the excitement of being at a bike race, play tourist, and meet lots of enthusiastic fans.

Anyone with me for Colorado August 2013? Anyone want to do Colorado August 2013 for me? Because after the Tour of California this year, I might just leave great enough alone. How could I top this week?!

Photos Stage 1
Peloton on the road during Stage 1. ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer® 
Jens Voigt wearing #1 had returned once again to California. ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
The hawk that Jens Voigt frequently referred to which soared along with Jensie across the hills of San Diego county.  ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
The arid landscape of Southern California and the roads of Stage 1. ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
Fans having fun with an original form of road chalk art.  ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
Orica Green Edge gives the thumbs up to fans even in the high heat of the day.  ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
The Pro Continental teams played a big roll in this years tour - Bissell, Net-App, Optum, and 5-Hour Energy. ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
The peloton is coming...  ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
The peloton has arrived. ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
Chasing a champion. ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
The many colors of Trek (and the fad for brightly colored frames). ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
The impressive expanding team bus of Garmin-Sharp. ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
BMC team cars made a strong presence along the race route. ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
It was a week of the best fastest bikes on the market. This is Sylvain Chavanel's bike.  ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
Photos Stage 2
Carter Jones, (who stayed in the polka-dot jersey all week) signs in with his Bissell teammates. ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
The typical high-activity on the sign-in stage at each stage start. Dave Towle the announcer, Patrick Demsey, podium girls, riders, and photographers. ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
Two McDreamys: Actor Patrick Demsey and Sprinter Peter Sagan.  ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
Sylvain Chavanel  ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
Brad Sohner interviewing James Stemper and Tejay waiting for his turn with Dave Towle. ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
SRAM moto - a long way to travel with only a couple wheels, I guess they matter. ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
Sometimes the peloton is just a blur of color, but look closely. ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
Until the effortful breakaway stays clear.  ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
Stage 2 was a hot uzippered kind of day for the peloton.  ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
But an air conditioned kind of day for those inside the team cars. ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein at Pedal Dancer®
Looking back at Pedal Dancer at the race

Pedal Dancer Cruisin' California fan travel series and daily Results from the 2013 Tour of California. A full week of covering the race is complete. 

Pedal Dancer Stage 1 results: Amgen Tour of California - Stage 1 Results
Pedal Dancer Stage 1 highlights: California Cruisin' - Stage 1, Tour of California
Pedal Dancer Stage 2 results: Amgen Tour of California - Stage 2 Results
Pedal Dancer Stage 2 highlights: California Cruisin' - Stage 2, Tour of California
Pedal Dancer Stage 3 results: Amgen Tour of California - Stage 3 Results
Pedal Dancer Stage 3 highlights: California Cruisin' - Stage 3, Tour of California
Pedal Dancer Stage 4 results: Amgen Tour of California - Stage 4 Results
Pedal Dancer Stage 4 highlights: California Cruisin' - Stage 4, Tour of California
Pedal Dancer Stage 5 results: Amgen Tour of California - Stage 5 results
Pedal Dancer Stage 5 highlights: California Cruisin' - Stage 5, Tour of California
Pedal Dancer Stage 6 results: Amgen Tour of California - Stage 6 results
Pedal Dancer Stage 7 results: Amgen Tour of California - Stage 7 Results
Pedal Dancer Stage 8 results: Amgen Tour of California - Stage 8 Results, final

Interest topics are next, until coverage of the 2013 Tour de France commences. I will be posting my annual Legs of the Tour post soon, one about young team Bontrager, another about the incredible volunteers, and one about who to select for your fantasy team for the 2013 Tour de France. 

Thank you for chasing the ATOC along with me.