Friday, 20 September 2013

the vuelta and more....

and that's the vuelta over. a better vuelta i can't remember. not least because of the route. in my head the vuelta is a dry, desert of a race but this year they seemed to have moved the race a bit further north and into bits of spain i hadn't seen before meaning that while t was trying to work i'd be interrupting - look at that, we should go there.

and the racing wasn't half bad either. no real queueing up to way for a sprint train. loads of decent looking climbs and no-one, seemingly able to dominate. the french must have some optimism with their riders coming thru and it's genuinely starting to look like that if you mash yourself up one day you'll be paying for it later. mostly.


i've always had a bit of a soft spot for chris horner. seemed like a good guy but equally a nearly man. and yet there he is melting it day after day after day. now it could be said that i'm of the generation of cycling fans who just can't see a good performance without having second thoughts. but...

how old is chris horner? what teams has he been in? who was his manager? i'm willing to accept that in a drug free sport there'll be older athletes who will do well. on their day. but not the day after. and the day after that. now it seems that horner could be rider 15 tho this is, at the moment, all internet speculation. horner himself isn't saying much which, these days, is tantamount to waving a flag saying here be suspicion. he should've taken a leaf out of chris froome's book.

if he did win clean it's a shame as he, in his way, will be a casualty of his generation. that said, watching him cycle away on the angliru....

so just the world championships and then next season. cadel evans looks like having his swansong at the giro (or maybe not - he's a spring chicken compared to horner!) and he'll be thankful that the organisers didn't get their way for a double zoncolan, a move positively desgrangian in its daftness. you don't combat doping by making the races stupid hard! and then the tour in yorkshire - who knows what the cycle-antipathetic english press will make of that?

we shan't be going. preferable we think to get a look at some classics or maybe head to scandinavia and get a look at some of those roads in the tour of the fjords but most likely we'll be watching it on tv and i'll be riding convoluted routes around here.

and what of that? a wee bit off the pace lately as the previously mentioned man cold appears not to have been a man cold and hopped the genders thus rendering us a bit useless. i did manage to get out the other day with mcj who, if she actually lay off the pies and booze and train properly would be making a big mess of me! as it was i took her out on a reasonably hilly 35, her legs popping on the last 11% in sight of home. she has the advantage of youth and determination tho so she rode thru it, if not comfortably, then well. the best bit was getting her back to the house where (she being deep in the thrall of strava) she got her route back to find she'd got 25 top tens. outstanding!

me, i can sense the oncoming ctc vibe about me. i can point out interesting plants and birds to mcj but she just wants to cane it and go fast. realistically, barring a bit of better technique, i'll be hitting the watershed age for getting up the hills in the not too distant future and my segments are clogged with club guys (and the irritating presence of one triathlete!) and it's going to need to be just the right day if i'm going to put the move on them.

so, if i can't beat them, i think i may well join them. in a future where i'm not working daft shifts i think i'd kind of like that. do my grand vet thing and wallow in that status but equally maybe get into a bit of the organisation side of racing. and definitely have something to do with young folk. it's great going out with mcj - so many new roads to cycle, so much time to do it in.

the only downside is coming back and knowing i can't do it with t. but one day maybe our tandem will come, tho in t's minds eye i fear she views it more like a pedicab, one where her legs go round but she's not the one making the effort and where she can still look about without falling off. and the day i can find such a device - i'll settle for that!

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