USPRO Time Trial Start List

Looks like there’s only 15 starters for the USPRO Time Trial Championships tomorrow.  Notable names included in the bunch include Phinney, Leipheimer, Zwizanski, and Mumford.  This is Phinney’s first Elite TT Nationals, and he is an AMAZING time trialist, so plan on a podium from him.  Supposedly, he was seen recon riding  the course yesterday, so he should be well prepared.

Looking at the start sheet, I noticed there were NO BMC RIDERS RACING THE TIME TRIAL.  Stand by for a full frontal assault by BMC in support of Greenville local, George Hincapie, at the Road Race on Sunday.

I think I’ve got a ride in a team car figured out for tomorrow, so stay tuned for updates on Twitter at @VeloReviewsTech and @probikewrench.

Order       Start         Last Name                First Name                     Team

1                  11:30          JONES                         Carter                      Jelly Belly p/b Kenda

2                  11:33          KING                           Benjamin               Trek Livestrong U23

3                  11:36          WILLIAMS               David                       Bissell Pro Cycling Team

4                  11:39          FREY                          Nicholas                 Jamis-Sutter Home

5                  11:42          STETINA                   Peter                       Garmin-Transitions

6                  11:45          MACH                         Paul                         Bissell Pro Cycling Team

7                  11:48         POWERS                     Jeremy                   Jelly Belly p/b Kenda

8                  11:51          TIETZEL                    Scott                        Mountain Khakis/Jittery Joes

9                  11:54          HEGYVARY            Adrian                     UnitedHealthCare p/b Maxxis

10                11:57         BUSCHE                    Matthew                  Team RadioShack

11                12:00         MUMFORD              Jonathan                Kelly Benefit Strategies

12                12:03         VANULDEN            Bernard                  Jelly Belly p/b Kenda

13                12:06         ZWIZANSKI            Scott                        Kelly Benefit Strategies

14                12:09         PHINNEY                 Taylor                     Trek Livestrong U23

15                12:12         LEIPHEIMER           Levi                         Team RadioShack

USPRO Kickoff Press Conference

The 2010 Greenville Hospital System USPRO National Championship weekend kicked off today with a press conference, featuring past champions, ProTour riders, and Elite level up-and-comers, all with an eye on the Stars and Stripes jersey after the racing concludes.

Representatives from the City of Greenville, The Greenville Hospital System and Medalist Sports began the conference with a series of comments that reinforced how great the partnership with the USA Cycling Professional Cycling Championships is, and how well the City’s emphasis on health and wellness aligns perfectly with the atmosphere and environment that the race weekend has encompassed for the past four years.

The profile athlete introductions and question and answer period started with Oz Sanchez, current World Handcycling Road Race and Time Trial Champion. Speaking on behalf of the US Handcycling Association, Sanchez expressed the excitement of combining the USPRO National Cycling Events with the National Handcycling Criterium Championships, saying that the collaboration takes handcycling to a whole new level.

Road cyclists that attended the press conference included Scott Stewart (Team Type 1), Ted King (Cervelo Test Team), 2010 Tour of Utah and 2010 Leadville Trail 100 Champion Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack), 3-Time USPRO Champion and Greenville resident George Hincapie (BMC), and one of the brightest up-and-comers on the professional racing scene, Taylor Phinney (Trek Livestrong U23), racing in his first Elite Road National Championship events.

The USPRO Time Trial Championships, being held Saturday at Clemson University’s ICAR (International Center for Automotive Research) Facility, is usually very lightly contested due to the road race’s precedence the following day. It is also affected this year by the participation of some high-profile US ProTour riders in the Vuelta A Espana (Tour of Spain), finishing this weekend. Reigning USPRO Champion, Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions) will not be defending his three consecutive titles because of his inclusion in the Vuelta.

Two of the riders being favored for the victory at the Time Trial were Phinney and Leipheimer. The two joked about the “young dude vs. the old guy” comparison and Leipheimer was ribbed about not wearing a proper skinsuit in the Tour of Utah Time Trial (which Phinney won), but both were very humble, and being the consummate professionals that they are, stated that “anyone could win.”

Of the riders attending the press conference, Hincapie was, without question, the rider that any smart cycling fan would put their money on for the race on Sunday. “Big George” said that the Paris Mountain climb was “his climb,” and that he rides it daily while training on the roads of Greenville County.

This year, unlike years past, Hincapie has a big team to support his quest for a fourth USPRO title. The most team help that Hincapie has had in the past has been one or two team riders and maybe a ProTour alliance with some other lone riders. Having won the race in Greenville on two previous occasions with the cards stacked against him, it’s safe to say that the odds are in George’s favor, and the sparks will definitely fly this weekend in Greenville.

Here’s the link to the recorded footage of the LIVE broadcast from the USPRO Kickoff Press Conference this afternoon:

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/9635207

*Cross-posted at http://www.veloreviews.com

You Just Never Know…

On any given day in Atlanta, a traffic jam can pop up anywhere.  For me, today was that day and the location was a few miles ahead of me…

I decided to take my Dad’s old van to work today.  I stopped at the gas station to put some gas in the car and grab a soda before my 8 mile commute down the interstate to the bike shop.  I kept thinking that I wished I had ridden my bike in, rather than drive, but I had a lot of old gear that I was taking down to the shop to get rid of, so it was a necessary evil.

About two miles down the interstate, traffic immediately came to a standstill.  We were going nowhere, and by the pace of the first 5 minutes of traffic, we would be there for a while.  After several minutes, cars started creating another lane in the shoulder around the two normal lanes of traffic.  It was getting crazy.  Unfortunately, so was the temperature of my engine.  I noticed the temperature gauge on the inside of the car start rising at a fairly abnormal rate and started to get worried.

After a few minutes of rising temperatures, the van started overheating and smoking.  My first instinct was to say, “Crap.”  I had to wait for a hole in the “shoulder traffic” to move the van into the grass on the side of the road and park the van.  I had to get to work and didn’t have a ride, so… I pulled my bike out of the back of the van and prepared for my commute in to the bike shop.

It was pretty neat riding around and through all the traffic jam.  It was especially fun to see the cops at the top of the exit ramp, looking at me like, “What did you just do?”  The thrill was fun for a second, but wore off when I remembered that I WAS wearing rolled up blue-jean trousers and sandals for the last 6 miles of my commute… sheesh!

I kept reminding myself of a video I spotted a few weeks back.  In the video, a group of cyclists take to the LA Freeway during rush hour to show how fast they could ride in comparison to the cars.  It was awesome!  Bottom line today was, you just never know what you’re gonna run into when you head off to work.

Tim’s New Bike

Tim and His 2011 Specialized Allez Comp

I had a pretty remarkable bike sale experience last week.  Some bike sales get you jacked up because of the sweet build, some because of the price of the sale, but this one was different.  Remarkable in its own way…

Two weeks ago, a lady and her son came in to the bike shop.  I didn’t recall who she was at first, but when she told me that she was Tim’s wife and she wanted to order him a bike as a surprise, even I got excited.

Tim sent me an e-mail about six or seven months ago and explained his situation.  It went  a little something like this:

“I rode a road bike in Germany 82-86 (Gitane w/Shimano Dura-Ace) just for exercise, and although I will be 50 in about five days, I have decided to get back into cycling, mainly for heart health.  I would like to have a BG FIT done.  I do not have a bike yet and would rely on your expertise in suggesting a nice entry level bike that could be upgraded in the future. I would eventually like to ride on the group ride on Saturdays and possibly begin riding to work, 24 mile round trip. I don’t need a Tour De France bike but I refuse to buy a junker bike from Walmart. I know that getting the correct size bike is very important, I don’t know enough about bikes to carry on a conversation about the subject so I am all ears.  I look forward to meeting your staff and I know you can help me.”

Tim enquired a little bit more about BG FIT and pricing, and we exchanged e-mails for a while.  He visited the store with his family, developed a friendship with us at the shop, but unfortunately, with the economy in the tank, his bicycle wasn’t a necessity and had to be put on the back burner for a little while.  That didn’t stop Tim and the kids from stopping by every few weeks to look around and to dream about that 52cm Specialized Allez Elite that he had his eye on.

Tim’s wife, his son and I knew he needed a 52cm bike, but the 2010 models were out of stock.  Upon checking the online availability of the bikes, I noticed that the 2011 Allez Comp (formerly Elite) bikes were available.  Tim’s wife and son selected the white and blue bike, equipped with the new SRAM Apex road group as his new bike.  We ordered it on the spot.  Upon delivery, we built the bike and put it on the sales floor with Tim’s name on the handlebars, marked “SOLD.”

Last Saturday afternoon, Tim and his family rolled in.  As usual, he started to look at the bikes on the sales floor, when he came across a shiny new 2011 Specialized Allez Comp.  It was his size.  He looked at the spec on the bike, then glanced at the ticket and noticed that HIS name was on the tag.  Instantly, tears welled up in Tim’s eyes.  He was overcome with the amazing generosity and love that his wife and kids had shown to him.   It was hard for ME to keep it together when I saw how happy he was about his new bike.

After the emotions had settled, we outfitted his bike with new pedals, bottles and cages, and got him fitted for a pair of cycling shoes.  We went to my bike fitting station to do a basic bike sizing on Tim’s new bike, just so he would be in a nice, balanced position on his bike.  The whole time, Tim was grinning from ear to ear, and kept saying, “I can’t believe this…”  He was obviously still rocked, emotionally.

I have had the opportunity to sell and build some pretty amazing bikes.  The bike Tim got was not a high-end racing bike.  It didn’t have the lightest components on it.  It didn’t even have a carbon frame.  The bike that Tim got made him happy.  Every time he gets on the bike, he’ll think about how happy he was when he received that gift from his family.  That was a very unique sales experience, and I’m glad I got to be a part of it.  Thanks, Tim.

Motorized Doping – Both Sides of the Story

It’s the buzz right now in cycling… did Fabian Cancellara use “motorized doping” to win Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders this year?  Since this is PROBIKEWRENCH.COM… let’s discuss this interesting piece of technological buzz.  First things first…  let’s explain what we mean when we use the term “motorized doping.”

The phrase “motorized doping” refers to the a bike racer’s use of a bicycle with an internal electric-assist motor to gain an advantage over the competition.  There’s a video on YouTube with over 1.5 million views that shows how a motorized system (in this case, the Gruber Assist) works and, in a roundabout way, shows “video proof” of strange hand movements and their accompanied accelerations by Fabian Cancellara during his two Classics’ wins this year.  It doesn’t outright say that Cancellara used the system, but it does an amazing job of creating that assumption.  Here’s the video:

You’ve seen the “evidence,” now take a look at this great read by freelance cycling journalist Jered Gruber in regards to his photo documentation and personal handling of Cancellara’s bike during his reporting following the Spring Classics.  He does a great job explaining what he observed, and also why the mechanical assist system would not technically work in Fabian Cancellara’s race-winning Specialized Roubaix.  Here’s the link to the article:

http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/4415/Fabian-Cancellaras-so-called-motorized-doping-debunked.aspx

It’s a pretty convincing read, but the video can be persuasive, as well.  It really depends on who you pull for in this certain situation.  If you’re a Cancellara fan, you have to wish that this had never been brought up and you believe what you’ve seen… including his many amazing time trial performances and winning a TdF stage solo from a 1k attack while in the Maillot Jaune.  If you’re a conspiracy theorist, and you still think there was a second gunman on the grassy knoll, then you may believe the Italian-produced YouTube clip in its entirety.

As of right now, the UCI is not pursuing Cancellara for any charges or accusations related to motorized doping, however… they do see this as a possible form of sporting fraud and are taking measures to address the fact that this technology be found in competition bikes.  Roundtable meetings with all of the major manufacturers representatives are being scheduled, as we speak, to figure out how to check bikes for this and hopefully squash this form of cheating before it becomes rampant.

I have a sneaking suspicion that, due to lack of testing and UCI/USA Cycling rules being checked for in domestic races, “motorized doping” will make its way to the US domestic and amateur scene before long.  People will do whatever they can to sneak in under the radar and get a win.  Mark my words… someone will get caught trying to slip this one by race officials soon.

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