It’s been a full week for me and I’ve been pulled in numerous directions. Of course we have the Olympics in full swing, which has kept me captivated during prime time, the Team Type 1 training camp and banging out interviews with their riders, the Volta Algarve showing how well everyone’s off-season training is progressing, Landis on Larry King with his “exclusive” interview, and finally the event we were all waiting for – Tiger Woods’ apology. So with all that going on I’ve barely had time to write or even train. C’est la vie.
I took a quick trip south to Gainesville, Georgia to check in with the Team Type 1 boys. The local Holiday Inn was the site for their training camp and they took over the place. The exercise room was piled high with bike boxes and the mechanics building up the team issue Colnagos with full 7900 Dura-Ace. There are plenty of great bikes out there, but you really can’t go wrong with a Colnago. I sat down with the principle riders on the team, but I also spoke to Englishman, James Stout, a rider on the Team Type 1 development squad. He has an interesting background: Oxford graduate, PhD student in Spanish studies, teaching history at the University of San Diego, professional cat 3 racer, part-time model and possible terrorist. Hopefully soon I’ll transcribe the interview and post it. I honestly had a good time talking to him.
I was invited to ride with the team during the camp and I was prepared until the day’s route was outlined. It included several climbs that the Tour de Georgia featured. Also, the team would be riding “full gas” with hill-top primes. I did a gut check but still thought I’d tag along. Then when I woke up for the morning ride the outside temperature was about 26 degrees. Screw that! I hit the snooze button and went back to sleep.
Not all was lost as I banged out interviews when the riders returned and ran up the team’s bar tab in the hotel. Pretty standard stuff.
While I was there I was also in the middle of trying to post my “exclusive” interview with Floyd Landis. His name popped up in the international press as the French issued a failure to appear summons against him. This resulted in a media storm that amazed both Landis and myself. He still can’t believe that during the Olympics his computer hacking story was, at times, the lead! If you missed his Larry King interview it’s posted here.
Finally, the Volta Algarve must be sending tremors through the peloton. Contador takes today’s mountain stage with Leipheimer in third. Sure, the terrain is nothing compared to what Contador will face in July, but the mental games have begun.
After taking the leader’s jersey Contador said, “I am thrilled by the work that has been done by the team. Everything has gone perfect. I was able to finish the job, but victory is primarily because of my teammates.” While his individual performance was strong, I’m holding off judgment on the depth of the Astana Tour squad.
From race reports it looked like he had a lead-out to the bottom of the climb and he lit it up from there. The Cyclocosm blog pointed out an interesting quote from Armstrong back in 2004. I wonder how many sit-ups Platinum Fitness is making him bust out right now?
Wish me luck on this weekend’s racing. I’ll be toeing the line at the Greenville Spring Series and flying the flag for the Hincapie Development team. Tomorrow morning before my race I’m a guest once again on The FredCast podcast. I’ll try to be enlightening.