Friday, July 31, 2015

From the Commish

Transfer Period #3
La Vuelta
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With a Cava sponsor, this kind of thing is still encouraged in Spain
The Commish has been slacking (I'm busy), transfer window should already be open.  We'll open it tomorrow at 8 am and keep it open through the next weekend.  San Sebastian, the Tour of Poland and Utah will be during that window.  Your current roster will be used during those races.  Your new changes will take effect on August 10th in time for the Eneco Tour.  The big races at the end of the year are the Vuelta, Lombardia and Worlds.  So make some changes the podium is still wide open.

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See

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Even Purito?!

Froome Wins the Tour
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Lame

Sagan Acts Like a Douche
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Check it out here



Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tour Stage Challenge

Standings

Stage            Forza      Volpe     Commish 

1                             1                     2                    0
2                             3                     0                    0
3                             3                     0                    0
4                             0                     2                    0
5                            3                      1                    0
6                            0                     0                     1
7                            1                     3                     2
8                            2                     1                     0
9                            1                     0                     3
10                          1                     0                      3
11                          0                     0                     0
12                          0                     0                     0
13
14
15
16                    GREG WINS 
17
18
19
20
21

Totals:                  15                  9                       9

Sunday, June 21, 2015

From the Commish

Tour Transfer Window Open!!!
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Looking awfully climby

This is it, Le Tour is here.  Transfer window opens Monday morning at 8am.  Sure most of the big names are already taken but why not dump the dead weight (Wiggins) and pick up some wild card long shots (Feillu). As always just leave a comment saying who you want to drop and pick up.  Vive le Tour!

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Spokes Man

The Giro!!!
Part 2
Cheating
Just over half way through this year's Giro and there has been non stop action.  So, how's it shaking out for our Wiskota riders and what's left to come.

The Favorites:  Billed as the battle of the four tenors, Contador, Aru, Porte and Uran, with a supporting cast of several outside contendors, the predictors have not been far off.   The outsiders are way outside and the best of the rest, Pozzovivo, has gone home early.  Making Damiono "The little Prince" Cunego Greg's highest placed rider in 12th place.  However, with every stage something unexpected seems to shake up the GC standings.  Uran was the first to be written off, now he's back in the mix.  Porte looked super strong and maybe even the favorite with the long TT looming, now he's 5 minutes back.  And it seemed like Aru could never gain anything on Contador, but now he's in pink.

The Sprints:  Every sprint stage has been different.  No single sprinter has put his stamp on this race.  That's probably why Nicoala Boem(?) leads the points classification.  This competition is wide open.  The puncheurs have had there days (Mathews, Ullisi and JillBear) as well as a few breakaways.

The Mountains: Inxtausti has the early lead and is a very capable climber.  However, the Giro is always backloaded with climbs and this is far from over.  Betancur vows to put up a fight, but seriously that would be a lot of work and I mean, come on.

It should be a good weekend to watch, well, Sunday should be good.  And don't forget the US championships are on Memorial Day.  Last year they had a free live stream.  So here it is in brief, your weekend Giro guide.   


Stage 14, Saturday 5/23:
** 

Why to watch: I am loath to include a time trial stage but this one could decide the Giro.
Who to watch: With the big name TT'ers skipping the Giro we have to look to the GC guys for a good result.  I expect Porte and Uran to do the best, but Contador shouldn't be too far off.  The real question is how much time does Aru lose.  Sneaky pick, Kyrienka.
How to watch: This is Prosecco country and sparkling bevvie goes well with race day.  This region is known for their wild asparagus dishes, but for my money its all about the italian meats: soppressa, salami, ossocollo and pancetta.    



Stage 15, Sunday 5/24:
****
Why to watch: The mountains start coming fast and furious now.  This may not be the toughest climb of the Giro but after a TT you never know how a rider's body will react.
Who to watch: Look for the KOM contenders to ride an easy TT as they look to snatch points today on the first 2 mountains.  Will Porte take TT time and then attack Sunday?  Epic massive?  At 5 minutes behind probably not.  Uran on the other hand...  But as with all mountain top finishes, Contador is the favorite.   
How to watch:  Keep the Cappuccino hot cause today its about the sweets.  Cherries and apple strudel maybe a little carrot cake.  If you are feeling more adventurous you could try your hand at torta di fregoletti a walnut and almond pie of sorts.  



Friday, May 8, 2015

The Spokes Man

GIRO!!!
Grandissimo!
The first grand tour is finally upon us.  We all know the Tour de France is the king of races, but the Giro is not far behind.  When it comes to history, food, drink and sheer beauty Italy is hard to top.  This year's race will be in HD on BeIn Sports (ask Greg for his login) and we should be able to get together for a stage or two along the way.   Here's my guide for when and how to watch this year's Giro.

The Pope has made it official so let's get this thing rolling

Stage 1, Saturday 5/9:
* 
Why to watch: I am not a fan of watching time trials even team time trials, but I had to put this on the list as it's always fun to get it started.  Also, somebody's team always fucks up pretty bad ruining their team leader's chances on the first day (see Garmin last year and Cunego's team this year).
Who to watch: Today is more about who loses time than who gains time.  Orica thinks winning the TTT makes a good grand tour so look for a fast time there.  Otherwise the big budget teams like Saxo and Sky should place well.
How to watch: It's the start of the Giro don't over think it, pop some wine, make some pasta and kick things off.

Stage 2, Sunday 5/10:
*  
Why to watch: Yeah I know it's Mother's day, but it's Mother's day everyday at my house.  I'm watching the Giro.  Today's stage should end in a sprint but the reason to watch is the finishing town.  After a ride down the Mediterannean coast the race will do laps through the port city of Genoa.
Who to watch: So many second tier sprinters.  This should be a chance to find out who's the real deal this year.  My money's on Greips, maybe one of these youngsters like Mezgec.
  How to watch: It's Mothers's day so some Bellinis seem in order.  Genoa is known for it's foccacia and basil pesto, maybe pair that with the rich sea food salad Cappon Magro.  If that seems like too much how about just slapping some "genoa" salami onto some foccacia, sitting back and enjoying the coastal scenery.  

Stage 4, Tuesday 5/12:
**  
Why to watch: Two words: Cinque Terra.  This stage actually has an interesting ending as the cat 2 climb should shell most sprinters before the long drag into town.
Who to watch: What fast man can make it over the final climb?  Mathews? Gilbert? I'm picking Juanjo Lobato.
How to watch: Wait til after work, find the race on YouTube, call that chick from college that's always talking about her transformative trip to Italy, uncork a bottle of Cinque Terra Red and tuck into some meat ravioli.  

 Stage 5, Wednesday 5/13:
** 
Why to watch: The Giro rolls into the Emilia region and the riders are greeted by the first summit finish of the race.  Shouldn't be a huge GC battle but worth watching as someone will lose time and PhilGil and Mathews might get a chance to go head to head again.
Who to watch: How fast do the climbers go up the final climb.  Look for BMC and Orica to try to control for JillBear and Bling, then they can watch as Diego (puff the magic dragon) Ullisi takes the win.
How to watch: Put down the wine drunky, no grapes growing in Emilia.  Don't worry they use what they got and fermented berry liqueurs is the drink of choice.  Also, this would be the time to dust off your grandma's mushroom lasagna recipe as this is the birthplace of the layered delicacy.  

Stage 8, Saturday 5/16:
*** 
Why to watch: Billed as the first big showdown of the Giro, this summit finish should be selective.
Who to watch: Probably not the winning climb of the Giro but somebody will fall off the back.  Look for the top 4 to stay close together, but it's hard not to pick Contador for any of the mountain stages. 
How to watch: A large contingent of Team Wiskota will be busy in southern Minnesota that morning with the Almanzo, Root River Triathalon and such so the stage will have to wait until the afternoon.  But then we will have a ton of cycling to watch.  This is also the queen stage of the Tour of California, one of the few races we get live on our tvs.  Today is a day to replace those carbs.  Taglliatelle, muffalda and polenta are all popular in the this region.  Serve it up with a thick meat sauce like the locals do and pair with a Cabernet style red.    


Stage 9, Sunday 5/17:
**  
Why to watch: This lumpy stage makes the list mostly because it's on a Sunday and may be the best chance for Team Wiskota to get together.
Who to watch: Lumpy stages can be hard to predict.  Look for a rider from a team whose leader bonked the day before to try to win from a break away.  Garmin perhaps.  When I look at our Wiskota riders I think this could be a Paolini day.  If it goes to sprint look for Greips  or maybe Hofland, both have teams that can control the lead out.    
How to watch:  Giro in the morning, bike to the pub for the final stage of Cali around noon?  If anyone knows where to get Strega, now's the time otherwise Peronis on the patio. End the day with a nice family supper of cavatelli with broccoli.  You can celebrate Team Volpe's win at the Almanzo with a crisp white wine such as a Coda di Volpe.

That will get you through the first two weekends.  As always the Giro really starts to heat up in that last week.  Stay tuned for the second half of the Wiskota Giro viewing guide.  











Friday, May 1, 2015

From the Commish


Trade Window opens
at 8 am Monday
Sell, Sell, Sell!
Buy, Buy, Buy!
Cunego, Cunego, Cunego!
The first transfer window opens up this Monday at 8 am and closes at midnight Friday.  That's right the Giro starts Saturday!  Time to get your team set.  To make a transfer just leave a comment saying who you are dropping and who you are adding.  Get there early if you want to beat Greg.  For some hints on who to pick up here's the tentative Giro Startlist.  Wiskota!

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Broom Wagon

...cleaning up after the week of racing


Roubaix
Deger goes hard for his second monument of the season.
The Last German Guy to win Roubaix



Pais Vasco
Those separatists love their cycling

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It's called a txapela
JRod was impressive all week, with 2 stage wins.  But it was his second place finish in the final TT that secured his overall victory and made GoGo eat crow.

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"Massive"

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Forza's Fury



Flanders
Chapeau to Alexander Kristoff, insert nickname here, for winning the 2015 edition of the Ronde. He was clearly the best and strongest rider in Flanders. Terpstra could not drop the big Norwegian on the Kwaremont and even followed the wheels of Kristoff on the Paterberg. The two entered Oudenarde together and the Terpinator knew he had no chance in the sprint. The victors and spoils going to the man from Stavanger.


The Ronde was spoiled for me as I had Easter activities in the morning. This is the problem when 2 holy weeks collide. Religion/Family vs. Cycling. Oh well. I tried to watch the race via youtube in the afternoon, but in my search a spoiler ruined the day, thanks Bein sports. I ended up watching the finale, highlights, and now the final 60km which included the decisive move of the day. I certainly respect the strength of the Norwegian and commend him on his brilliant win. Maybe it was the spoiler, maybe its my disdain for Wiskota Dynamic, but I thought this years edition was good, not great, and not epic. Chapeau to Kristoff and the Commish. Good for you. To quote INRNG “a good race with a worthy winner”.


Basque
Pais Vasco or the Tour of the Basque Country started Monday. This race is generally a good one. The Basque country is super hilly and the leader gets to wear a really cool hat. This years edition should be a battle between Kwiatkowski and Quintana( update: and Purito of course). This should be an excellent duel as the parcours don't seem to benefit Quintana with a super long and steep climb rather a series of sharp, short climbs. Michael Mathews should win anything that ends in a sprint. Also look for Gorka Izagirre, a Wiskota favorite, also known as the Lammergeier, to win a stage in his home region.


Paris Roubaix
The Hell of the North is the greatest one day race in the world. Flanders seems to get the nod these days but the 27 sectors totalling almost 53 km of cobblestones make Roubaix the baddest race of the season. Once known as the Queen of the Classics, or la Pascale for the Easter race, this years edition should be wide open due to the absence of Fabian Cancellara and Tommeke Boonen. So who are the favorites to raise the cobble at the end of the day.


Favorites
Stybar- My pick to win
Terpstra- Tactixx-Misstep, former winner
Kristoff- Epic classics campaign
Wiggins- His best chance to take victory on the cobbles before becoming a track legend
Geraint Thomas- Doobie Doobie Doo, beware of the Penguin


Vanmarcke- MIA
Degenkolb- tiniest moustache
Sagan- last time he’s on this list without results
Van Avermaet- Get it right Greg, we’re all cheering for you.
Boom- here comes the.. ready or not
Johan Van Summeren- the camel is a former winner
Arnaud Demare- can the Frenchman save team Forza’s season? No


I predict a wide open race will produce lots of attacks from the start. 6 men will enter Roubaix together and the strongest rider (Stybar) will ride away into the velodrome.


Potpourri
Group ride on Saturday. I am looking forward to taking a flyer early in the ride only to be caught 10 km from the end, finishing in the Taco Gruppetto, 30 minutes down on the Volpe/Pac de loupes group. I feel like I have a chance if I just wheel suck and don't drink too much pre ride. But lets be honest, I look much better in spandex when I have been drinking.


Also looking forward to french pressed coffee, ham and cheese croissants and frites on Sunday morning. I’ll bring the enthusiasm.


Forza 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Broom Wagon

...cleaning up after the week of racing. 



RONDE!
Crushing the Paterberg
Kristoff wins big in Flanders with an impressive performance.  After winning the Dwars stage race earlier in the week, the "sprinter" showed that he is the strongest rider in the world by dominating the Ronde.
As Kristoff is my rider, I'll defer to Forza or the comments section when it comes to breaking down the race.

Up Next: Scheldeprijs
                Paris-Roubaix

Reminder: Team ride on Saturday afternoon
                  Paris-Roubaix brunch @The Schmidt Haus Sunday morning