Thursday, April 12, 2012

Got Your Confront Face On Your Flickr Page.

Welcome all to another edition of "Brendan and FJ talk Pro Cycling". After the shenanigans of the Track World Champs, the rollercoaster of FJ's training regime and the melancholia of Brendan's return to his hometown, the two have finally decided to cast their critical and dubiously analytical eye upon the comings and goings in the pro peloton.

B: So hey FJ, how's it going? Were you really "out"?

FJ: OATH I was.  First i was at work.  Then I rode the Tour De Burbs loop in forty five minutes. That was partly due to Matty Gray being on the front.  Then i went to the Tramway hotel for a delicious vegan burger.  That said, considering I already ate three feet of Afghani flat bread at work, it was probably overkill.

But yeh, feeling pretty good for Baw Baw.  How are you?

B: I'm pretty good. Been hanging out with my parents for a week, which, after hanging out with world-class athletes all week, is a bit of a comedown. I keep wanting to ask them how much they squat, or what music they listen to, or about their sweet training regimes. But I already know their answers: nothing at all; neil diamond; my dad plays golf. So, before we get on to the Pro Cyclists, tell us, what have you been doing in preparation for Baw Baw?

FJ: Well, other than shitting my pants, I've spent the last month during strength endurance stuff, in an attempt to make up for having stopped going to the gym.  So there was a lot of Humevale and similar climbs in the 53/12 kinda gearing.  I raced the last lot of crits, tried to get in breakaways and stuff. Just worked my ass off for a month basically.

This week I've kept it pretty simple.  Quick ride to Mordi yesterday with Duggan with a few efforts, TDB today with mates, nothing tomorrow, then an easy roll on Saturday, ready for Sunday.  

I mean, it is me we're talking about, so at best i might hold on through the neutral section.  I'd consider that a small victory.

I'm still scared, but I have a 27 tooth sprocket now, so maybe I will survive.

B: Well, fingers crossed. As a delightful segue, who in the pro peloton do you think your style is most similar to?

FJ: Well, of course I'd like to say Boonen, but I never win, and I can't breakaway, and I've never done cocaine.

Probably someone like Hincapie.  Plugs it out, all the time.  Never wins, but helps people to do so, and sometimes his fork steerer snaps.

Then, one day, he wins, and it's awesome.  Fingers crossed.

Who do you think you're most similar too?

B: I like to think I'm a bit like Eddie Boassen-Hagen, in that I can get to the end of hard races and then win the sprint. But like Eddie B-H, there's some suggestion that I won't ever live up to my potential.

Anyways, on the topic of Boonen, Hincapie and stuff that breaks, did you watch the Roubaix?

FJ: The cobbly one?

B: Yeah

FJ: Nah I was asleep, cos I was off to suss out the Baw Baw course the next day (very hilly and cold and raining btw).  As well as that, everyone told me that Boonen was going to win, so I couldn't see much point in watching it.

I'm told he broke away with something like 560km to go and soloed to the finish.  Who the fuck wants to watch a time trial anyway?  What a ripoff!

That said, I'm very happy for Boonen.  He kinda disappeared for a while, and it's great to see him back in his full handsome glory.  He first won Roubaix when he was like 23-4.  That's incredible.  I can't imagine having achieved that at my age.

I'd like to say something like "It's good for the sport" but, frankly, I have no idea if it is, or what that phrase means, so I'll conclude with BOOYAH, BOONEN.

B: Yeah, it's funny, such a dominant victory doesn't leave us with much to talk about - you know, aside from making jokes about Boonen celebrating his victory by doing blow with ladies of uncertain maturity. It certainly wasn't one for the ages - pun intended! But that just makes me all the more excited for the Ardennes classics. Folks have been suggesting that Pokemon Gilbert has been foxing all this time, and is secretly hiding his scintillating form for these races. What do you reckon, FJ?
FJ: Well, for a start, I had no idea Gilbert was a pokemon.  Things you learn, etc.

In terms of hidden form, I suppose that's possible, but it sounds more like fanboys looking for excuses.  I mean, if you were in form, surely you would have a crack at Flanders or Roubaix.  These races are legendary.  Would you sacrifice them for the Ardennes?  

Maybe you would, I honestly have no idea, but I know I wouldn't.  If it was me, I would put three or four of those nose tapes that open your nostrils on my nose, wear the highest socks imaginable (while sticking it to the UCI man with their sock height rules) offer Boonen some dodgy blow to disorient him before the race, then lay some smack down over the steeper cobbly bits (here I'm assuming I have Gilbert's talent) and win that shit.

But I mean, what would I know.  I don't have any of those nose things.

For me, I don't care about the winning.  It's all about the atmosphere of those early races.  The fog, the hilarious pre-race beanies, the full length knicks, the tendency for Hincapie's fork steerer to break.  It's all part of the ambience: it says spring is coming, and summer is just around the corner.

That kinda helps while I'm stuck over here racing Northern Combine, being shelled from the back in the crosswinds.

B: Dave Hogan told me he had those nose things when he was sick as a kid, and they really helped him sleep. I'd be up for that.

So, speaking of summer, cast your eyes ahead to the Grand Tours for us. Who can you see firing this year?

FJ: Given that I am a Grand Tour oracle, write this shit down, so you remember it for the bookies.

These are my predicted winners for the three Tours and my reasons:

Giro: Ivan Basso.  He is Italian so will have the home ground advantage.  Like when Carlton used to play at Optus Oval.  

Tour: Cadel by a whisker, with Bradely Wiggins snapping at his heels.  Schlecks too busy crashing while descending, and being about as aero as a badger.

Vuelta: Assuming the Basque separatist revolution that will no doubt be created when one of the Euskatel riders manages to not come last doesn't spill out into the surrounding Spanish country side, I will hazard a guess at Valverde.  Dude is back riding, which is all i know.  He is also Spanish, which means he probably can take the heat better.  Also, I don't know any other riders.

As an aside, and given I am a patriot, I will briefly mention GreenEdge.  I think they will win a stage, probably on Bastille Day, just to piss the french off.  It will be like when McEwan won his first Tour stage on the last day of the Tour in 99: "Anyone who said I couldn't do it can stick it up their ass!".

B: Consider it written down! Speaking of GreenEDGE, what do you think of the new wave of former track cyclists who are now making their way into the team? Cam Meyer has just announced that he's going to concentrate on the road from now on, Leigh Howard is likely to do the same, and Jack Bobridge will definitely do likewise after the London Olympics. What do you reckon about these superstars from the track finally giving their all to road racing?

FJ: Well look at all the old trackies that turned into awesome roadies! Mcgee, OGrady, to name but a few. It makes sense. All the money and glory is on the road. Track gives you great form and hipster cred. But the real legends are born on the road. Which basically means there is fuckloads more money to make, and the quality of the podium champagne is probably better.

What I'm excited about is the GreenEDGE womens team. I was reading a Bicycling Australia (who still dedicate their publication to the glory of God. Guys, he doesn't give a fuck about the new Bianchi. He's try to propagate hate in the East) magazine while on the toilet today, and I was learning about the squad. They look like a really solid team, and have apparently been given a great deal of support. I'm as guilty as any other guy of failing to support women's racing as much as I should, so i'll be looking out for them, seeing what they can do on the world stage.

Also one of them (sorry i can't remember her name) has amazing legs.

B: Oh, FJ, you were doing so well...

So, it's late and I'm tired... Anything you wanna add before we call it a night?

FJ: Yeh, I know, I'm sorry. I tried to say that without sounding like a sexist bastard, but clearly I failed. I'd just like to say thanks again for the World Cup reports, they were great. If cycling could ever put me on the edge of my seat, it would be your reports that did it.

Finally, if I perish on the Baw Baw climb, you can have my record collection. It's mainly metal, but there is a Refused one you probably already have, But you can sell it if you like.

Thanks for the chat, X files would have been boring without it. Totally a filler episode!

B: S'all good brother! Good luck this weekend!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you really want lay down the smack, no epo, no coke, but Deep Heat on the balls is the way to go. You'll be riding so hard to get to the finish, they won't catch you!
I got some on mine once, by accident, and it was killer!