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» One Touch Football - Archive » Sport » Training with Astana (Page 1)

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Fausto Ptang
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The sun is up, the sky is blue, it's beautiful and it's time (adopt Partridge voice) to talk cycling.

Is that Belles d'un jour book available in the UK? I saw the PAris-Roubaix book on the weekend in Waterstones and it is a beautiful coffee table book, with a price to bend anyone's wallet. It's on my long term list, along with Ascent.

Astana being banned eh? I have to say I am quite surprised. What's the full story then? Surely with the muscle power of Johann Bruyneel and the current winner Contador. Am I right in thinking that the two blokes running ASO (who I was very impressed with during the Tour last year) have made this decision and they are basically taking the scalpel as Kimmage would say to pro-cycling?

I don't know if you've read this month's pro-cycling but there's a feature on young riders including AC, Boonen (27!), Gerdemann, Dekker and Andy Schleck. They are all saying how they are different from the older riders but whilst Gerdemann and Shleck sounded convincing, Dekker and Contador sounded like the older fellas. No AC this year would certainly make this year's tour very interesting.
I can't wait for the Spring classics. I'd love to go and watch the Paris-Roubaix. April 13th. Not long now. It's almost March isn't it?

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Felicity, I guess so
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Yeah, I'm looking fwd to getting my money's worth soon for getting Eurosport.

Two ex-cyclists of my acquaintance were enticing me to go to Paris-Roubaix, but Ms. Felicity has insisted otherwise...

PS: you sure it wasn't the moon? Or is Wales in the S. Hemisphere?!

[ 21.02.2008, 15:34: Message edited by: Felicity, I guess so ]

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ursus arctos
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Fausto, if Waterstone's have the Paris-Roubaix book, they can get Belles du Jour (though you can also get it from amazon or Fnac). I have each of the other two already (Paris-Roubaix and the Classic Climbs ("Cols Mythiques") of the Tour) and they are gorgeous. I wish La Gazzetta would do something similar for the Giro.

I do think that the Astana decision was basically ASO, but you need to understand that ASO is also l'Equipe (and Velo, and Paris-Dakar, etc). It isn't just a couple of guys running cycle races. That is a large part of the reason why they were followed by the Giro (which is La Gazzetta, Corriere, Rizzoli, etc).

Boonen is clearly another generation to Schleck; Dekker is somewhere in between.

I expect a very open season in both the classics and the Grands Tours, and it wouldn't be an OTF cycling thread if we didn't mention that he's back.

 -

Is anyone paying attention to the Tour of California? I am the obvious candidate and really should be, but am not (though I do know that much of Stage 1 was over roads in Marin and Sonoma that I have driven dozens of times).

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Fausto Ptang
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There are plans of a Tour of America as well aren't there? It'll be in Spetember and the Vuelta moving back to the Spring.
DOn't know if this was mentioned on here before, but you can watch the Great Man in action

While we're on the subject - there's this

and finally this all time great

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ursus arctos
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I think the Tour of America idea is at best aspirational at this point. The logistic challenges are huge, and we've talked before about the issues posed by having a major event that is played out six to nine hours behind the vast majority of supporters.

Leipheimer looks set to win the Tour of California, btw, which would please the organisers.

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Yeah, the Tour Of America isn't really a realistic prospect in anything remotely like the proposed form, nor in the near future.

There's a rather better chance of getting the ToC bumped up the credibility scale a bit.

I'm delighted with the Astana business. They just look so dodgy it's ridiculous, even though it's unfortunate for Conatador who I do think is probably clean.

I'm a bit pee'd off with Pat McQuaid over it - he's supposed to be one of the good guys...

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Fausto Ptang
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The initial proposition has been abandoned, but there has been a new more realistic suggestion. I think it's going to happen and the Vuelta is the one I reckon to suffer.
What do you think AC will do? There's AC and Kloeden and Bruyneel. That's a lot of muscle and clout, so good for ASO. I realise they are a big corporation but the two fellas who led it last July and did all the press conferences were very impressive. It seems that their rhetoric is now being backed up. Giving Astana the boot lets everyone else know that things are very different now. That's my hope anyway.

Done much riding over the winter gents?

I've been in hospital with kidney stones. Two months off work and excruciating pain. I'm over that now and back in the saddle. I'm not going mental but I have got a few biggish events lined up. I hope to do the Dragon ride in May, The tour of Pembroke in June and Col de Croix de Fry in August and maybe a ride to Morzine.

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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I did none whatsoever. I didn't get back to it following the pneumonia in April, and it's been all about the thesis for the last few months.

I finish that at the end of March - apart from moving-to-London and finding-a-job stuff, I'll hope to enter a few sportives and stuff Dahn Sarf, and to have time to train for them.

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Tell you what, the OTF peloton may just have the worst health of the whole board, huh?
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Fausto Ptang
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It's a tough sport Toro.
All that suffering takes it toll ;-)

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Gangster Octopus
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Take the drugs!
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Fausto Ptang
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How is the thesis coming on Toro? Nearly done? What happens next as far as that is concerned?
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Lardinho
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Take the drugs?

Surely the ill health of all of the peleton just goes to show how pushing yourself beyond your limits because you're up to yout eyeballs in EPO and speed completely ruins your physical condition. If ever evidence was needed that the peloton had more pharmacy than blood in its veins, just see the state of our riders outside of the competetive season.

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Inca
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Tour of California was a bit of a snoozer this year--there really wasn't much excitement, unlike last year. I think any neutrals that might have been brought into becoming cycling fans in the US have been put off for a while, and Leipheimer winning again was kind of anti-climactic.

The only ray of light I saw in it was the emergence of Slipstream-Chipotle. I saw their crazy tour car last year and thought it was a joke (for those that don't know, Chipotle is a burrito chain). But Vande Velde and Millar did really well for them, and they were the best team in the tour. Add Zabriskie and Backstedt, and they've got an exciting team. I heard they're going to be in the Giro, and are hoping to get an at-large invitation to Le Tour.

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Felicity, I guess so
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In terms of winter riding I've tried to do 100 miles a month as a minimal commitment to calling myself a regular cyclist, but it's been tough going. The new Bianchi ariving in january gave me a boost, cos I had to try it out, see if all the bits worked etc and I felt good enough to try a 50-miler the other day.

Great 1st half. Til I turned back into the wind.

My back and shoulders have seized up from the effort of gripping the bars, and I felt like my lungs were gonna give up by the end of the day but theory has it I'll feel the benefit later, or something.

[ 27.02.2008, 09:54: Message edited by: Felicity, I guess so ]

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