Thursday, September 29, 2016

On the Rivet

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If anyone is looking for Christmas gift ideas this poster would do nicely

Sure the Wiskota title is pretty much wrapped up, but we still have one of the most beautiful races of the season left.  "The Classic of the Falling Leaves" never disappoints.  Milan, Lake Como, the hills of northern Italy, this church full of bikes...

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Madonna del Ghisalo
Our Lady of Bikes or something like that

...the autumn colors, the top notch start list...  This is a race to watch.


Forza's Fury

Molto Bene
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Basilica San Luca in Bologna

The Italian classics have become a bit of an afterthought towards the end of a long cycling season.  However, the mix of races, the scenery and the healthy dose of la dolce vita make this week a hidden gem.

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Yup, they race to that church and you can stand in that portico thing and watch

Stay posted for Gregario Forza's race reports.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Broom Wagon

KingTana!!!
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Nairo Wins La Vuelta

Quintana gets his revenge finally topping Froome in a Grand Tour.  It was another exciting Vuelta packed with uphill finishes.  The overall and podium were still in play all the way to the end and Estaban Chaves even managed to slip past Contador for the final podium spot.  We had an American finish 5th, too bad nobody picked him up (officially) and another quit (which is becoming all too common).  Lots of points were gobbled up by the Wiskota League.  The Neo Pro has moved past Pacte de Lupes for overall while Forza and Volpe continue to challenge the Commish for the final podium spot.  
 A few more big races, including Worlds and one of my favorites Il Lombardia, "The Race of the Falling Leaves".  Will we squeeze in one more Wiskota get together?

Sunday, August 14, 2016

From the Commish

Transfer Period #3
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The Commish is way behind on posts but the season just keeps on truckin.  It's time for the 3rd and final transfer window of the season.  Opens at 8 am Monday morning and closes Friday the 19th at midnight just in time for the Vuelta.  Lots of racing left including Worlds so don't think this think has been decided.  As usual leave a comment to make a transfer.  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

From the Commish

Transfer Period #2
TOUR DE FRANCE!!!

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The transfer window will open Monday at 8 am.  Get your Tour team set, this is the big one.  The window will be open until the night before the Tour starts.  Check back for Tour related rides and viewing events.   As usual, leave a comment to make a transfer.   Wiskota!

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Broom Wagon

Nibali Wins the Giro
The Shark Strikes
The Shark of Messina waged the most epic comeback in Wiskota history winning the Giro for the second time.  An unpredictable Giro went down to the wire.  A final week of crashes and crescendos was punctuated by an unforgettable win from Nibali.   

Friday, May 6, 2016

On the Rivet: Giro Edition

Giro d'Italia 2016
Il Corso

The second best grand tour is back and so is my second best grand tour preview.  We all love one day races with their now or never urgency.  And we all love one week races with their diverse stages and multiple opportunities.  But nothing compares to to the excitement, the anticipation, the pure drama that is a grand tour.  If Paris-Roubaix is like Super Bowl Sunday, then a grand tour is like cramming a whole season plus the playoffs into three weeks of non stop action.  Watching a grand tour is like following a really good soap opera.  Some days are more exciting than others but you never know when the decisive action will happen.  Will the dashing Alejandro succeed or will he be thwarted by the devious Vincenzo?  You'll just have to tune in every day to find out.  Its even on in the morning so if you can fold laundry while you watch your stories.
This post isn't about who will win the Giro, though I'll throw a little bit of that in there.  This post is a guide on how to watch the Giro.  So stock up on pasta, prime those corkscrews and get ready for some pure enjoyment.

Alright, I think we're ready to start

May 6-8:  The Grand Depart
Buona giorno welcome to beautiful Italy...oh wait,what?  Well, I guess that prosciutto will have a few more days to age cause this year's Giro starts in the Netherlands.  But hey, I think we can figure out a ways to enjoy it up here as well.

Why to watch
It all starts here, so might as well tune in and get accustomed to the peloton.  These Dutch stages shouldn't effect the overall race but if you like sprints these stages are for you.  But first the whole thing kicks off with a short time trial. 
Who to watch
All eyes will be on Cancellera as he tries to take his first Pink Jersey in his last season.  The GC contenders will look for early advantages and Dumolin would probably be the favorite here.  Saturday and Sunday will see the sprint trains take to the front.  This year it's a battle of the big Germans, old school Greips vs new school Skittles with maybe someone like Ewan getting in the mix. 
How to watch
Alright, its the  start of the Tour of Italy but we are in the Netherlands.  If you are really itching to get your "la dolce vita" on then I can't blame you, have some pasta or something, but if you want to stay true to the locale than we'll have to get creative.  This region of the Netherlands is known for its fruit jams and juices so if you catch the stage live you could make a tidy little breakfast.  If you are looking for something a little more hearty try a traditional smoked sausage (rookworst)  or even a sausage stew.  This ain't Amsterdam, but if you are into visiting the "coffee shops"  now would be the time.  For the rest of us there are plenty of good beer choices such as Heineken, Amstel and my fav of the bunch Grolsch.  Get it with the sweet swing top.  

Bellisima

Stage 4, Tuesday May 10th: Italia at Last
We have made it to the boot, specifically the ball of the foot.  We will spend our first day in Italy crossing from the Ionian to the Tyrhenian sea, or if you prefer from one part of the Mediterranean to another.  We'll hug the western coast and end up in a seaside village around the lower shin.

Why to watch
This stage is in no way a make or break stage and the GC probably won't be affected.  But here's the thing, we are finally in Itlay.  And I'm talking sun drenched scenery,  picturesque villages and ancient monuments, all framed by the azure seas of your italian fantasies.  The stage looks kind of lumpy and should make for some fun breakaway action.     
Who to watch
With a few flat days and a rest day before today's stage the peloton will be looking for some action.  Two cat 3 climbs means somebody could stake an early claim to the Maglia Azzurra.  Look for some scrubs from the wild card invite teams to fight it out in the breakaway.  I expect a sprint finish, but just maybe the sprinters can't stay in the lead group when they hit the steep climb with 10 k to go.  

How to watch
Early in the morning the peloton will be rolling through the fragrant bergamot fields of  southern Italy, the oil of which gives Earl Grey tea it's distinctive flavor.  Boil some water have a cuppa and tune into the race.  It's all about the Mediterranean today.  Oily Sardines are a local favorite but if you prefer something a bit more tame maybe make a pasta salad with Fusilli noodles, this region is known for a handmade version.  I would pair that with some prosseco but if you want to stay local grab a Verbicaro (red) wine.  The finishing town is home to a famous grotto shrine (not the last time we'll see some Mary stuff in this race).  If you know of a grotto now's the time to go, or maybe just vsist one of those half bathtub Mary statue things.   This should be a scenic race but if you can only catch the last 30K you should still get the important lumpy action.  



Stage 6, Thursday May 12th: 
Why to watch
This is the first summit finish of the Giro.  There is always a lot of emphasis on that first uphill battle of a grand tour.  Will the Giro be won today? No.  Will some GC contendor turn into a stage hunter after today? Yes.  
Who to watch
Not a true alpine climb, but more punchy with steep and flat sections.  Look for a fast finisher on the line such as Valverde, but other punchy riders could hang around and spoil the GC party.  Also, the mountains jersey contndors should come out to play early in the stage.  
How to watch
Save this one for after work and try to watch the whole final climb.  The finishing town of Roccaraso is famous for its skiing.  "Where the snow meets the sun" is the motto of this ski town so perhaps you may be inspired to where some old school ski gear when cycling.   Montepulciano d'Abruzza is a very common wine and you could pick up a bottle just about anywhere.  But if you are looking for a unique experience try some local dishes, which rely less on tomatoes and more on a local chili, an ingrediant not typically found in other italian food.  As for me I will transport myself to the chilled mountain village with a savory and slightly spicy pollo caccitore l'aquilla style.  

Stage 8, Saturday May 14th:
Why to watch

Who to watch

How to watch

Stage 9, Sunday May 15th: 
Why to watch

Who to watch

How to watch

Stage 10, Tuesday May 17th:
Why to watch

Who to watch

How to watch

Stage 13, Friday May 20th:

Stage 14, Saturday May 21st:

Stage 15, Sunday May 22nd:

Stage 16, Tuesday May 24th:

Stage 19, Friday May 27th:

Stage 20, Saturday May 27th:

Stage 21, Sunday May 28th:  Finale!









  

Friday, April 29, 2016

From the Commish

Transfer Period #1
Now Closed
Giro d'Italia


Sorry, this guy isn't available

It's time for the first transfer period of the season.  The classics are done and it's time for the grand tours.  The transfer window will be opening Monday May, 2nd at 8 am.  Get your squad set for the Giro, we'll have another transfer period again before Le Tour.  So, drop the dead weight and add some riders who are actually racing.  Not sure who's racing?  Check the startlists at cycling fever, you can use the link under "Upcoming Races".   If you want to make a transfer just state who you are dropping and who you are picking up in the comments section of this post.  Go for it, get involved!  Wiskota!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Paris-Roubaix

Brunch and Cobbles

The Queen of the classics will be live at Luke's house this Sunday.  4636 33rd ave S.  Come one, come all, all are welcome Lori and Maddie will be in attendance.  Come early, stay late, Race coverage starts at the butt crack of dawn and the party should last into the afternoon.  Come hungry, come thirsty. a french inspired brunch awaits, complete with bubbly for mimosas.  Hopefully the weather is nice and we can hang outside in the afternoon, or maybe we head to the local pub.  Either way I am excited to have the Wiskota crew over this weekend.
I'll try to add a preview of the race this week, in the mean time this should hold you over...




Wiskota! 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Chapeau

...Gregario Forza's weekly "tip of the hat"

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"I can't believe I got away with it!"

Hidy Ho Neighborinos! Not a lot of racing this weekend. Well, except for the grand daddy of them all, the longest race of the year, a classic, a monument, La Classicissima di Primavera, Milan-San Remo. I turned the race on with 100km to go… yawn, at 60 km to go I ran to Starbucks for a Grande Americano to match my Milano butter braided cherry pastry; and finally the racing started at 30 km to go with the ascent of the suppressor (Cipressa), where, as it turns out, the winning move was made (more on that later). It wasn't as I predicted- I’ll leave the prognosticating to the 5 time champ- but it was still an exciting finish. The KwiatOne led the charge at the top of the Poggio but no one was able to go with him. Nibali and Sagan chased hard down the descent, however, they were being chased by a strong bunch as well, and the longest classic of the year finished rather classically, with a bunch sprint. Some dumb neo-pro (Gaviria- he’s been great this year) crashed and messed up the sprint for Sagan and others, Bouhanni was KO’d by a dropped chain, and my boy, Arnaud Demare, took the biggest victory in his young career.


Chapeau to Arnaud Demare for taking the biggest victory of his career. He has been rumored to be something for the nation of France and has finally attached a result to the rumors. The big sprinter has been keen to the classics and should be a contender at Gent-Wevelgem as well as Paris-Roubaix. Chapeau as well for winning the Strava KOM for his ascent of the Cipressa. It turns out that the big guy can climb as well! He finished the Cipressa 17 seconds faster than the field!!!

This week features some of the best racing of the year with many Grand Tour hopefuls attending the Volta a Catalunya and the classics stars lining up for Dwars door Vlaanderen, E3 Prijs Vlaanderen, and Gent Wevelgem. The French will also be racing Criterium International- No one cares!