Sunday, March 09, 2008

Fabian's a Hero

Fabian Cancellara and Allesandro Ballan are two of the strong men amongst the strong men who favour the spring classics. Cancellara won Paris-Roubaix in 2006. Ballan finished 3rd that year, and further established himself as a classics star by winning last year's Tour of Flanders. At the 2nd running of the Monte Paschi Eroica yesterday they found themselves engaged in a fierce battle over the hilly gravel roads of Tuscany. Cancellara won it in the end, and is showing some scary form heading into some of the bigger spring races. Also of note was the impressive ride by Slipstream's argyle-clad Canuck, Ryder Hesjedal. He found himself in the big break of the day and attacked with 27 km to go and held the lead for a while. But that was before Ballan and Cancellara came roaring by and really put the hammer down. Hesjedal managed to hold on for 10th place. A respectable finish nonetheless.

In only it's 2nd year, this race is winning lots of fans. Hesjedal declared it "one of the coolest races I have done." And it seems to be living up to its billing as a race for the "hard men." Of the 158 starters, only 63 finished the race. More from CN and VN.

In the Spring Classics Pool, Little Lebowski Urban Achievers (Ian) and These Men are Cowards (Paddy) tie for the win with 400 points each. Overall, the top four remain pretty much the same, but there was plenty of jockeying for position in the middle of the pack. The next race is the Milan - San Remo, the first of the so-called monuments, on March 22. All the big sprinters will come out to play. So teams with Pettachi, McEwen, Boonen, Friere, Hushovd and Hunter could be in for a big gain. But someone like Pozzato or Bettini or Ballan or Rebellin will try to attack on the Poggio and hold them off over the final 6 km. Should be fun.

Here's the last 20 minutes of the race in two clips. The first shows Ballan and Cancellara catching and overtaking Hesjedal. The second shows the run-in on the narrow roads toward the finish in Siena's Piazza del Campo.

Top 30:

1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC - 4.34.41 (39.536 km/h)
2 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre - Fondital - s.t.
3 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team High Road - 0.15
4 Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30 - s.t.
5 Baden Cooke (Aus) Barloworld - s.t.
6 Patrick Calcagni (Swi) Barloworld s.t.
7 Niklas Axelsson (Swe) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli
8 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team High Road s.t.
9 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems - 0.38
10 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30 - s.t.
11 Giairo Ermeti (Ita) LPR Brakes - s.t.
12 Borghini Longo (Ita) Barloworld - s.t.
13 Carlo Scognamiglio (Ita) Barloworld - s.t.
14 Murilo Fischer (Bra) Liquigas - 1.10
15 Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) LPR Brakes - s.t.
16 Steven Cozza (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30 - s.t.
17 Ángel Gómez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Scott - s.t.
18 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC - s.t.
19 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team High Road - s.t.
20 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli
21 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner - s.t.
22 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone - s.t.
23 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Saunier Duval - Scott - s.t.
24 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas - s.t.
25 Matti Breschel (Den) Team CSC s.t.
26 Volker Ordowski (Ger) Gerolsteiner - 1.50
27 Marco Velo (Ita) Team Milram - s.t.
28 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Lampre - Fondital - s.t.
29 Anders Lund (Den) Team CSC - s.t.
30 Florent Brard (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone s.t.

Today's Results:

Little Lebowski Urban Achievers (Ian) - 400
These Men Are Cowards (Paddy) - 400
A Roadie for Metallica (Bill) - 355
Creedence Tapes (Chris) - 350
Vee Vant Ze Money (Andy) - 350
New Shit (Matt) - 350
Is This Your Homework, Larry? (Arlene) - 300
Obviously You're Not a Golfer (Charlene) - 85
Bunny Lebowski's Toe (Dallas) - 55
That Rug Really Tied the Room Together (Tomek) - 55
Uli Kunkel (Adam) - 55
Shut the F*ck Up Jonny (Jonny B) - 55
You're Out of Your Element, Jonny (Jonny G) - 55
Nice Marmot (Hal) - 15
White Russians (Victor) - 5
Shomer F*cking Shabbas (Donna) - 5
F*ck Sympathy (David S) - 0
That Good Sasparilla (Rachel) - 0

Overall Standings:

Creedence Tapes (Chris) - 1540
Vee Vant Ze Money (Andy) - 1485
Is This Your Homework, Larry? (Arlene) - 1120
Little Lebowski Urban Achievers (Ian) - 1095
New Shit (Matt) - 770
A Roadie for Metallica (Bill) - 545
Bunny Lebowski's Toe (Dallas) - 520
These Men Are Cowards (Paddy) - 495
Obviously You're Not a Golfer (Charlene) - 410
That Rug Really Tied the Room Together (Tomek) - 295
Nice Marmot (Hal) - 290
White Russians (Victor) - 285
Shomer F*cking Shabbas (Donna) - 240
Uli Kunkel (Adam) - 145
Shut the F*ck Up Jonny (Jonny B) - 100
F*ck Sympathy (David S) - 90
That Good Sasparilla (Rachel) - 70
You're Out of Your Element, Jonny (Jonny G) - 65

OTT: Matthew Ryan, Drift


the doyenne said...

hey dr.h, do you have a subscription?

The Dark Lord said...

I have some subscriptions, yes. Is there anything in particular you're thinking about?

the doyenne said...

i am thinking bikes.

just wondering if the one you get is worth it and what it is like.

The Dark Lord said...


the doyenne said...

never mind. i think eric has a subscription to cycling tv. i can ask him if it worth the price he pays.

The Dark Lord said...

See, now you're actually speaking in complete sentences. "A subscription to" is an entirely different thing than "a subscription." I don't mean to be a smartass. It's just that I can't read minds.

In any case, the answer to your question is no. I don't have a subscription to Maybe if it gets more reliable. But from what I hear it's not close to being there yet.