Friday, December 1, 2017

The Spokes Man

...talking points from The Commish

Froome to the Giro
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Daniel Larusso's gonna fight?!
With the addition of the best Grand Tour  rider of our generation (I don't really believe that, but the Spokes Man has got to please the Tifosi with a bit of writing panache) to the Giro startlist this may just be the best Giro ever.  Now I've seen a few Giri in my day and I unapologetically love it, sometimes more than the Tour, sometimes.  But having said that, the Giro always seems to be missing something.  That something is the Tour favorite.  The person many would cite as the best rider in the world.  Well, this year will not be the same.  This year, Froome Dogg is gonna lay it all on the line.  Will he win the Giro effectively sweeping the grand tours (3 in a row)?  Can he go on to win the Tour also, scoring the unprecedented (at least off the top of my head with no research, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if Merckx has done it) GT Double-Double?  Or will Sky's plan for world dominance crash and burn?  Is Icarus flying to high?  Will Froome lose the Giro then come to the Tour tired, lose that too and then never achieve the record tying 5th Tour?  He was no Indurain they'll say.  Doomed forever to the second eschelon of Tour winners?   This is what I'll be routing for, but I'm a dick and without a legit Tour contender of my own I will have to route for that famous German cyclist Schadenfreude. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

From the Commish

Wiskota League Banquet
November 10th!!!

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Come cheers Eric's victory

 Brit's Pub, Friday night 6 o'clock drinks, 7 dinner.  Be there.  Wiskota!

Friday, October 13, 2017

STP GreenLine p/b Unobtanium Wins!!!

Take the GreenLine
Wiskota's bad boy of cycling makes good

In a historic worst to first scenario Eric and his STP GreenLine has taken his first Wiskota League championship.  The upstart GreenLine squad first raised eyebrows with their unorthodox drafting style choosing to keep Bling Mathews in the first round only to shock everyone by landing Froome in the second.  STP GreenLine DS Eric Reichow has taken heat for his irreverent management and flashy style in the past, but rather than push back he has chosen to embrace his "wrong side of the tracks" persona.   "We had to keep it real, it's not about selling out here like some other fantasy squads" noted Reichow.  "Some people want the attention that comes with having the world champ, that's fine for them, but we're not going to go all Hollywood" he continued. In the end, Team STP Greenline p/b Unobtanium was able to win it all and on their own terms.  Things are looking up for Team STP, so what's next?  "It's only going to get better from here", stated Eric, "It's like Timbuk 3 says, the future's so bright... I gotta wear shades."

Friday, September 22, 2017

On the Rivet

Flamme Rouge

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Red Kite Prayer

We are into the final stretch of the Wiskota Fantasy Season.  While many of us got dropped by STP Greenline at Le Tour a few more made it over the kom and looked to battle it out at the Giro.  Despite a good effort Gregario Forza was unable to match STP's brute power and Forza's dreams of overall victory wilted in the Spanish sun.  It looked as though STP would coast to the finish but just as he began to relax Rainbow Jersey Robert has bridged across the gap and is fighting to get in the slipstream.  They have passed under the red kite as Worlds and Il Lombardia approach.  Will STP Greenline stay away with a strong performance at Worlds or will Rainbow Jersey Robert make this a two up sprint coming down to the final monument of the year in Lombardy?  Wiskota!   

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Broom Wagon

Froome Wins Vuelta!

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Team STP GreenLine Unobtainium crushes the Vuelta taking first and third overall.  Forza hangs on for second place as his hopes for Wiskota overall victory dwindle.  Will Worlds be the decider?  Check back soon for a points update.  

Thursday, August 10, 2017

From the Commish

Last Transfer Period
Opens Monday 8/14 at 8am
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Try to make transfers on this post.  I know we had issues for the tour so post wherever you need to I guess.  Points are being updated as we speak.  Sorry for the delay but Team SchmidtHaus has been busy preparing for our newest stagiaire.   

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

From the Commish

Transfer Period Open
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Get your team ready for the Tour.  Leave a comment on this post to make a transfer.  Transfer period ends at midnight June 30th.  Check back for more Tour chat and Wiskota team viewing plans.  Wiskota!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Broom Wagon

Dumoulin Wins the Giro
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Big points for Rainbow Jersey Robert as he adds the Maglia Rosa to his collection of jerseys.  Awesome race and plenty of points dolled out.  A big jump in standings for Dumoulin, Nibali and Pinot, while Nairo still hovers in the top ten.
Summer is right around the corner and that means so is the Tour.  There will be another transfer before July.  Pay attention to the lead up races and start to formulate your plan of attack.  Wiskota!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

On the Rivet: Giro Edition

Il Corso

The first grand tour of the season is about to begin and at Team Wiskota the excitement is at an all time high.  There will be many previews out there talking about the course and picking favorites.  This is not that post.  Rather, this guide is more concerned with "la dolce vita", the good life.  This preview focuses on how to watch rather than who.  Sit back, relax as we are whisked away to Italia.  The Commish has a few group watching dates lined and perhaps a group ride as well.  So stock up on the marinara sauce and hit the wine shop cause it's Giro time.

Stage 1: Friday, May 5th
It Begins
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The Pope has done his part...
The 100th Giro d'Italia kicks off on the island of Sardinia in the sunny Mediterranean Sea.  Touch 'em all seems to be the motto of this historic Giro as the planners look to include every region of this beautiful country.  
Why to watch
The stage itself is perhaps not the most exciting profile.  This one will probably end in a sprint giving some of the big men a chance to wear the pink jersey on the first day.  So why should you watch?  Well mostly because this is the grand depart, the beginning, the Grande Partenza and on the first day, everybody still has a chance.  What team is looking to get in breaks, who will snag the first mountains jersey, do any favorites crash?  Its a new race and on day one the future looks bright.   
How to watch
The first stage starts on a Friday and most of us will be at work.  Well, who really wants to work on a Friday anyways.  Most stages will end around 10:15 so maybe you want to carve out a little alone time with your computer and enjoy some hot Giro on Giro action (NSFW).  Not sure how well the YouTube live streams will pan out, if you are really into it you might want to check out signing up for  As most of us will watch this at work I'm not going to recommend busting out the vino just yet.  Perhaps a little pasta for lunch will keep the Giro vibes flowing until you make it to happy hour and can enjoy a negroni or perhaps a nice minerally italian white to while away the afternoon.  Its just the first stage no need to get to creative, find what you love about Italy and enjoy it.  

Stage 2: Saturday, May 6th
Grand Fondo
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Let's ride boys
Many of us will busy putting in miles of our own on Saturday.  However, the pros will be tackling the steeper sections of Sardinia, putting in over 120 miles themselves.   

Why to watch
The first three stages of the Giro are on the beautiful (I'm assuming) island of Sardinia.  Stage two looks to be the most intriguing with a cat 2 climb and nary a flat road.  Perhaps someone makes and early attack?  Will the fast men be dropped before the finish?    
How to watch
A few of us will already be several miles into the Fulton Grand Fondo by the time the stage ends, but a long day in the saddle, followed by several beers in the sun may mean an early retirement.  Don't be afraid to head home just a bit early in order to watch the stage replay.  You earned a big steaming plate of stuffed pasta, a local favorite in Sardinia.  Perhaps you are feeling up for something a little more unique?  This area is know for it's mussels and they are much easier to prepare than you might think.  Pick up a bag at Coastal Seafood, steam them in a little white whine add some butter and herbs and you are good to go.  Or maybe just drink your self silly at Fulton and fall asleep in the Uber on the way home, now that's la dolce vita.   

Stage 4: Tuesday, May 9th
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This thing blows up all the time, this pic is from March
Prepare for blast off as the peloton heads to Sicily and takes on the infamous Mt. Etna.  

Why to watch
This one is a no brainer, first summit finish of the race.  After an early day off for some island hoping the race resumes on the beautiful but deadly island of Sicily.  If la cosa nostra doesn't get you then the volcano will.  The climb up Etna is like 20K long, we are sure to see some of the GC men come to the fore.  Can Nibali take charge on his island or will others show early form?   
How to watch
Sicily is a unique landscape with a unique history.  Sure we all know this is where Don Corleone is from, but do you know about it's Arab and Spanish influences?  This diverse history is evident in two of the quintessential Sicilian ingredients, eggplant (brought by Arabs from north Africa) and tomatoes (brought from the new world by the Spanish).  On this Tuesday night I recommend you prepare some simple spaghetti with your favorite sauce (Newman's Socarrooni is the only thing allowed in the Schmidt house), but then bump it up with some grilled fresh eggplant and tomato slices.  If anyone can find these fried rice balls they look amazing and are a Sicilian favorite.  I would wash it down with a good red, but if you want to add some authenticity a bottle of Marsala (think Italian port) might make a good after dinner treat.  

Stage 8: Saturday, May 13th
Il Punchero
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If Italy is a boot, then this stage is in the spur
Punchy fun in the Italian sun. 
Why to watch
Not a game changer GC day, but this stage should make for a great finish.  A stone paved road with gradients around 10% should unsettle the pack.  This one is for the puncheurs and who knows, maybe a punchy GC guys looks to make up a few seconds here.  
How to watch
Well, seeing that it is Saturday you may have a little more time to enjoy the azure blue scenery of the Adriatic coastline.  As the action should really only come in the last 10K perhaps turn down the race volume and turn up the local folk music know as pizzica.  After, get on your bike and find your own punchy finish, perhaps the steep hills of the "minneardennes" in south Minneapolis.  Make it a long one, cause you know you are going to be busy tomorrow.  

Stage 9: Sunday, May 14th
Mama Mia
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If it wasn't for this Italian mom we wouldn't have pizza rolls
Happy Mother's Day
A week two mountain top finish with a rest day to follow. 
Why to watch
The why on this one is pretty simple, something called Blockhaus.  Don't know why it has a German sounding name, but it looks like a big ass mountain top finish.  
How to watch
Now the how to watch in this case is a bit trickier.  Pretty sure my wife won't want to spend Mother's Day watching cycling and despite the fact that it's "mother's" day and not "wife's" day, I am pretty sure I'll be on the hook for some sort of brunch type event.  Looks like a late night stage replay on this one.

Stage 10: Tuesday, May 16th
Against the Clock
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Yippee Ki Yay, MonteFalco
Time trial, chrono, the race of truth, boring. 
Why to watch
This Giro may be decided by time trials and the 46K between Foglino and Montefalco may be the most decisive.  But it's a time trial, so I probably won't watch it, I just wanted to make the Die Hard joke.  
How to watch
At some point on Tuesday go to Cycling News and check the results.  TTs suck. 
Stage 11: Wednesday, May 17th
Under the Tuscan Sun
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We could just pick up and move to the countryside, buy a little fixer upper, maybe a little olive grove, nothing special, but with some work and some time...
Why to watch
This is the stage all of you romantics have been waiting for.  Ahhhh, Tuscany, the rolling hills, the olive groves, the lush green landscape.  This stage may not be an important GC day, but it may be the most beautiful. 

How to watch
 This is your chance to transport yourself, tuck the kids in, crack the wine and prep a Tuscan feast.  Now's the time for the olive oil so let it flow, a bit in a dish, some chewy bread and plenty of Chianti.  A little pasta "secondi"  will hold you over till the main course the famous fiorentina T-bone steak, heat up that grill, smather that thick cut with olive oil and salt, a little rosemary on the side and enjoy.  Bellissima.

Stage 12: Thursday, May 18th
Wiskota Night Event
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Not Italy
"Just proud to be here representing Visit California in the Amgen Tour or California Visit California Mt. Baldy stage presented by Amgen"  - Chris Horner
Why to watch
It's a Wiskota happy hour event!  The Giro stage looks to be a sprint but back here stateside the Tour of California kicks off their queen stage in happy hour prime time.  We don't get much live racing on tv and even less after 10 am, so let's maximize what we got.
How to watch
Get out of work as soon as you can and head to the pub.  Haven't picked the spot yet but Team Wiskota will rendezvous around 4pm at the boozer.  Maybe watch the sprint replay on a laptop and then talk some bartender into turning on NBC Sports with the sound.  First round of negronis on Greg!

Stage 14: Saturday, May 20th
Wiskota Day Event
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As finish lines go, not too shabby

Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lay down, and never ever run a marathon. 

Why to watch
120K flat and then 11K straight up.  This area looks beautiful and the Oropa Sanctuary at the finish is a UNESCO world heritage site.  With 13% gradients and flagstone paved roads this climb may just end a few rider's GC hopes.    

How to watch
For all of those not crazy enough to run a marathon, we will meet at Luke's place for an early morning Giro party.  Perhaps a breakfast of crusty bread with salami or a honey hazlenut spread, both local delicacies,  and of course espresso.  Then after the stage, we're gruppo compacto as we take a pleasure cruise round the lakes, taking in the local fare along the way.  Finally, arrive at the pub in time to watch the final stage of the Tour of California, home by supper.  Perfecto! 

Stage 16: Tuesday, May 23rd
Double Stelvio, All the Way, Across the Sky
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Why to watch

How to watch
Stages 18,19,20: Thurs-Sat, May 25th-27th
Grandissimo Forza
Why to watch

How to watch
Stage 21: Sunday, May 28th
Il Finale
Why to watch

How to watch