Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Hubbard - 28th February 2015

The Hubbard is Tourdecouch's lighter look at the world of pro cycling, with a bit of news curation on the side

Whoop Ass

Roman Kreuziger earlier this week declared no one can believe in the UCI.  But after seeing the organising body in action, it's hard to believe in Roman. Despite Brian Cookson talking about opening another can here: "when you open a can of worms, you find a lot of worms," he also opened up another sort of can two times this week. A can of whoop ass. 

The UCI proved it could not only beat up chauvinistic, aging and probably fat, Belgian white guys but take on some unethical Kazakhs like Vino and his crew, who Swedish rider Fredrik Keskiaoff this week confirmed probably wouldn't have you killed, but would definitely make you ride on with open wounds.

Many of course bemoaned the UCI's timing, citing important reasons such as people losing jobs and things, but unfortunately, the UCI had no other option given the cluster fudge that was Katusha and must do everything by the book.

Let's ignore ye olde worlde bike riders caught up in in the Astana/Ferrari/Padova investigation for a second. The newly nabbed Iglinsky brothers appeared to have doped just to keep their domestique spots on Astana. What, if anything, does that say about the peloton? Are answers to that question drowned out by Tinkov's vodka induced Twitter rants and riders talk of a new era?  Meh, who knows.

Speaking of Tinkov, in what could be classed as a second episode of The Hubbard's "he could kill you...but" this week, he just settles for Astana and Drapac like:
(putting) fear into his riders and I’m sure it’s not ‘respect’ that the riders are feeling towards him. It’s definitely fear. From what I hear he’s a man who likes to shout and scream at the team when they screw up or don’t perform to the high level he expects. I don’t think he gets that races sometimes don’t go as planned.  (excerpt from the latest The Secret Pro
Anyway, here's a Vine Astana posted when they were everyone's favourite team, way back at the Tour of Oman, when riders held power in their hands for five seconds, and the UCI still hadn't implemented an extreme weather policy not based on an ex cycling legend saving face with Omani officials: (officials, drowning in so many Western sporting events, they still renewed the contract for next year via Inner Ring):

Madonna even made an unexpected appearance, getting swept away in it all:


Full English

After hearing Porte's attack in the Tour Down Under was also Sky Botted rather than pure race craft,  - i.e. Sky Sports Scientist Tim Kerrison calculated right down to the millimetre where Porte should attack - it is refreshing to see some recent displays of humanity. No, not Stannard's monster ride to back up Omloop het Nieuwsblad wins, but the recent form of Porte and Chris Froome.

Finally, it looks like Kerrison and co have found a way to programme panache into the spreadsheets and the Power Enabling Database thingumajigs. Despite this, Froome can still be found posting tweets about how normal he is:

Here is a photo after he ate that full English.

Milk is not what's for dinner

The trailer belonging to Belgian cyclocross rider Tom Meeusen allegedly  had traces of baby medicine Vaminolact and injecting paraphernalia. Vaminolact provides - to babies  -"amino acids which the body uses to make proteins." So does drinking a glass of milk and maybe washing it down with a can of tuna or the other way around if that's what you prefer. But yeah, needles FTW!!

Speaking of needle addiction and Belgians caught up in doping rumours, apparently Greg van Avermaet is allegedly linked to some sort of doctor known to take out blood, do stuff to it, then inject it back in. Former BMC teammate Allesandro Ballan's already received a reduced sentence for a similar infringement.

Sure, Ballan still has Cadel Evans' blessing after such a practice, but can we not all agree that injections and taking blood out and stuff is just, like dumb, AND, NOT DO IT??

The Final Countdown

Before Thomas Dekker attempted riding around a velodrome trying not to spew or pass out for 60 minutes, AKA, the hour record, much discussion centred on the affect altitude would have on his performance. As he is a convicted doper, many thought his attempt at altitude was yet another cheaty van cheaterson edge people like Merckx (also a convicted doper, twice) apparently didn't get when he beat the record at altitude. Well, they didn't have to worry. The altitude affected more than performance. The on screen timing clock was at one point, over five minutes out of synch with the actual time of the rest of the earth.

In other news:

 - Ettix Quickstep Manager Patrick Lefevere cracks the Ompoops - at everyone but himself

 - Chris Horner talks about the Tour of California and bores his baby to sleep:
 - Caroline Buchanan reveals her zombie apocalypse action plan
- Secret training session of Australia's track team caught on camera 
- If you build it, they will photobomb:

  Team Launch
 Emotional moment

Tweets of the Week

Ol(i)g(arch) Tinkov tweets this forgetting where Steven de Jongh, Bobby Julich and Sean Yates used to work:
Cyclocross fan, @meowclank, tweeted this from the train straight after leaving the final cyclocross event of the season in Belgium:
But the end of one season, brings on another - and its added benefits: 

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