Le Tour 2018

It’s my most favorite time of the year once again… just hours from the start of Stage 1 of the 2018 Tour de France.

I’m excited to be watching from Colorado again this year, and for a much longer period time. (Last year I was in Denver for a few days of the Tour, and this year I’ve got a full 2 weeks in the mile-high city.)

Now, to more important things… Peter Sagan. 😀

Just kidding. (sort of)

After he was “outrageously” DQ’d last year, Sagan is back with the Bora-Hansgrohe team and I believe hungry for redemption. The world champion will certainly be exciting to watch as he’s got some new competition from the next “generation” of rising star sprinters this year, Cavendish is focused on winning 4 stages to tie Eddie Merckx’s record 34 stage wins, and there’s a cobbles stage completing in Roubaix, where Sagan won impressively earlier this year.

But wait, there’s more! This year’s Tour holds A LOT to be excited about. Here’s a list from off the top of my head:

  • Will Mark Cavendish really be thinking “about the consequences more” and NOT crash?
  • The 65 km mountain Stage 17, the shortest stage in the last 30 years
  • The cobbles of Stage 9
  • The absence of the podium girls — will they be missed? (I, for one, will miss the opportunity to opine on the always interesting podium fashion.)
  • Ritchie Porte making a comeback after his nasty fall last year, and will he really have what it takes to land on top of the podium finally?
  • Chris Froome going for his 5th Tour win plus he has won the last 3 Grand Tours in a row (TdF 2017, Vuelta Espana 2017, and the Giro d’Italia 2018)
  • Alpe D’Huez
  • BMC’s team time trial will be one to watch with stiff competition from teams Sky and Quick-Step (Stage 3)
  • Movistar team sending 3 GC riders to this year’s Tour: who will take over when?
  • Can Marcel Kittel get his form back with Team Katusha?
  • So. Many. Top. Sprinters. New guys to watch: Quick-Step’s Fernando Gaviria and Team Lotto NL’s Dylan Groenewegen.
  • PETER SAGAN!! (and he’s going for his 6th green jersey)

Here’s to an epic Tour no matter who your favorite rider is!

Peter Sagan - Amgen Tour of CA
Peter Sagan at the 2018 Amgen Tour of California, Stage 1Chi




Tour de Sagan: the finale

And now we get to the real reason Sagan won me over…

Peter and I share a hopeless devotion to the movie GREASE!

When he was young, Sagan had thought about being an actor (remember this?). While his paychecks probably come primarily from sponsorships and winning bike races, it seems he hasn’t given up on his acting aspirations.

And what a fun couple he and his wife, Katarina Smolkova, make! Here’s what she has to say about her Danny.

Thanks for another great Tour, Peter Sagan!




Tour de Sagan: guest post!

Today’s post comes courtesy of my future podcast partner (hint, hint), three-wheelin’ mischief maker and enigma to all who know him (at least to all those who know him that I know). Introducing, Sam I am… Peter Sagan.

Why is there a man taking his pants off in my house? Seriously, he doesn’t even have the decency to pick up after himself. He’s clearly been riding around town doing wheelies and god knows what else… probably showing everyone his confidence. I don’t need to see that!

When I’m laying on my bed, in the privacy of my own home, eating fist-fulls of goldfish crackers and watching the Tour, I’d like to know that a sweaty, homeless Slovakian man won’t just stroll into my house, get neked and hydrate himself with a bottle of delicious OSMO HYDRATION FOR MEN! (Now comes in raspberry twist and bubblegum crash, get yours today!)

There you have it… Sam I am, Everyone!

He supports Sagan too… I think.

We’ll have to find out in the podcast. Stay tuned for info.

I support Sagan.




Tour sans Sagan: a comedy of errors?

So, believe it or not, the Tour is still happening. 😀 And UCI has extended their palmares of errors.

At least they corrected the most recent misstep — AFTER the video footage showed clear evidence of their mistake. (Was it really a mistake? Don’t answer that.)

Here’s what happened: UCI penalized 3 riders after stage 12 for picking up water bottles within 10k of the finish line, apparently a no-no. Problem for UCI came when video footage showed the stage 12 winner, French AG2R rider, Romain Bardet, also took a water bottle within 10k. That means, UCI had to either penalize the stage winner (and a  Frenchman, remember), or reverse the penalties on the other rides.

UCI chose to reverse the penalties and they issued a statement explaining that there was lack of water available to the riders before the last climb so due to these conditions, they were reversing the penalties to those 3 riders and the original finish results for stage 12 were reinstated. (I agree with this decision, possibly only because I’m also a fan of all of the riders involved.)

But how fun that this came up! Because there’s something that’s crossed my mind many times since stage 4 on July 4th.

If I close my eyes and allow my mind to really stretch and consider that just supposing the TdF jury rethinks their decision on the stage 4 incident (I said it’s a stretch!), what would be a fair and feasible way to make amends?

Well, as luck would have it, we can look at the 2015 Vuelta a Espana for some ideas.

At the 2015 Vuelta, Peter Sagan suffered cuts and burns to his leg when he was hit by a neutral race motorbike. After his heated reaction, he was fined by UCI for abusive language and for “behavior that damages the sport of cycling.” (Seems like a pretty natural response to get upset when you get hit by a vehicle, let alone in an officiated race where you don’t expect to be hit by a vehicle and where you were a favorite to win the race. It just seems like something that might have been forgiven. Again, it’s a stretch.)

In response to the penalty, though, Sagan’s Tinkoff-Saxo team sent an open letter to race organizers and UCI that included 5 requests, summarized as follows:

  1. A public apology for the motobike incident.
  2. A donation to the charity of team’s choice.
  3. Take concrete measures to improve safety for the riders.
  4. Revoke the fine to Sagan.
  5. A review of the rules for motobike drivers.

I think a public apology (for making the DQ decision without allowing the rider to defend his position as rules state) and a donation to the charity of the team’s choice would represent a good start for the 2017 Stage 4 DQ incident. I might also add:

  1. Initiate a review of the rules around disqualifications, possibly requiring a period of time to wait for evidence to be adequately reviewed.
  2. Fine Dimension Data team managers for acting unsportsmanlike in their accusations on social media (because seems damaging to the sport of cycling to NOT call that out).

And one more thing: Penalize Bouhanni a chunk of his Green Jersey points (I say 50) for his stage 10 behavior.

I know we’re in fantasy land right now, but what do you think?


Tour de Sagan: revisiting Rio

Even though my heart lies with road cycling, one of the things I was most excited about in last summer’s Rio Olympics was Peter Sagan competing in the mountain bike event.

Sagan is a former Junior World Champion mountain bike racer, and the road cycling event was not suited to his strengths, so when the Slovakian Olympic Committee decided he was their best chance at a high placing finish in the mountain bike event, he went for it.

So what happened?

Well, after riding in the top 3 for the first lap, Sagan got a tire puncture and had to ride most of the second lap on a flat tire to get to the pit area. Unlike road cycling, in mountain bike racing, there are no team cars following riders with spare wheels and bikes. Riders have to get to a pit area for repairs requiring outside assistance, so a mechanical issue presents a huge time loss.

It was still super fun to see him race in the dirt (once I finally found what channel and time to watch it!), and there’s no question he brought wider interest and new excitement to the sport (at least for that year).

Here’s a glimpse of Sagan in the Rio dirt. Look for his orange helmet and orange bike with light blue fork, and you’ll see him riding on a flat front tire around 1:35.

(Warning: The last 30 seconds or so is all falls and crashes so if that’s disturbing to you, stop the video around 2:00.)





Tour de Sagan: confidence

Uphills, downhills, crosswinds, finish sprints, breakaways… Peter Sagan takes it all on, making him the most versatile rider in the peloton.

Some call him arrogant. I used to be one of them (I used another word attached to that too). Now I believe he is pure confidence.

Confidence is worth celebrating.

Today, I celebrate Peter Sagan’s exciting 2015 and 2016 World Championship victories!

Goosebumps, anyone?

Here’s how he won in 2016…


Definition of confidence

  1. a :  a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances had perfect confidence in her ability to succeed met the risk with brash confidence

    b :  faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way have confidence in a leader

  2. :  the quality or state of being certain :  certitude they had every confidence of success

(from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confidence)



Tour de Sagan: revisiting stage 4

Remember the Cavendish-Sagan crash?

Just checking.

Even though the video below is dated July 7, 2017, I just happened upon it in the last 48 hours. So far, it’s the clearest analysis video I’ve seen AND it presents a cause of Cavendish’s fall that seems potentially indisputable to me. (It’s also got a fantastic final scene that makes it worth watching to the end. :D)


So what do you think: Is the cause of the crash indisputable or still questionable to you? If you care to share, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

I support Sagan.


Tour de Sagan: bon appetit

“A lot of people tell me, ‘you can do everything.’ But it’s not true.”

Peter Sagan

Shifting to a lighter gear today 😉 the Bora-Sagan partnership seems like a match made in heaven to me. I might just make a youtube playlist of these seriously entertaining and beautifully stylized promo videos — maybe call it, “I don’t know how it’s possible I can cook.”

(If you like venison, you might enjoy the one with Kid Rock.)

Bon Appetit!

Tour de Sagan: what would Tinkoff do?

Yesterday I mentioned French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni used to be a boxer. I should have said he still is a boxer.

In stage 10 of the TdF,  the Cofidis rider decided to “strike” a Quickstep Floors rider and later cut off another Quickstep rider.  “Oh wow!” you might be thinking, “a SECOND guy DQ’d from the Tour!”

“Oh sorry,” I would reply, “that would be too logical.”

From the UCI jury, Bouhanni got a $200 fine (I’ve seen library late fees higher than that), a 1 minute penalty (irrelevant for a sprinter), AND he kept all his green jersey points (the one place it might have hurt).  Sigh…

I wonder what Oleg Tinkoff would say?

Oh, I know…

“In a perfect world, I don’t see the UCI at all in this game. I think they should run the Olympics, the world championships, and maybe some youth sports.”       — Oleg Tinkoff, former owner and sponsor of Tinkoff cycling team*, in 2016 interview with NBCSports)

To be perfectly fair, it’s not exactly the same context, but I think it still applies.

You can watch the 2016 NBCSports interview with Tinkoff  here (it’s a real treat!) or read the transcript  here, and then decide for yourself.

And in case you’re wondering….







*Peter Sagan raced for Tinkoff cycling team 2015 – 2016.