Cyclist versus horse is a traditional event, I even covered the subject back in March. This time Johnny Hoogerland takes on a horse called Unforgettable. It’s in Dutch but the video is self-explanatory. The result goes down to the wire.
Valverde vs Truth?
For fitness though, Alejandro Valverde. The Spaniard was caught in the Operation Puerto doping bust although he’s always claimed an “injustice” here although to me the only problem was that it took a long time to catch him and others slipped through the net.
With his ban ending on 1 January Valverde has signed for Movistar. In fact he’s been training with Movistar’s riders all year, using clothing by team sponsor Nalini and riding a Movistar team-issue Pinarello. In an interview with El Pais, the Movistar team doctor tells us how much Valverde has been training:
This year we will have done 48,000 kilometres. He was less 60 kilos, less than when he finished his last Tour and he has muscles of steel, an impressive washboard stomach, the result of 3,000 sit ups a day.
If it’s 48,000km this year, that’s over 150km per day, rain or shine; if it’s over the full calendar year that’s still 130km a day. Either way the sum total is double the amount a pro normally covers. As for 3,000 sit ups per day, that’s one every 29 seconds in a 24 hour period, day and night. If you decided to do them in a block, that’d make a four hour session if you did one every five seconds.
A little pride and amplification from the Movistar medic is amusing, it made me think of Bruce Lee. But Valverde’s comeback isn’t just about regaining fitness and replicating racing conditions, it’s also a matter of recovering lost credibility. The sit up count doesn’t matter. But I’m interested to see how he addresses the media in the coming months.
Beyond the Peloton
The Cervélo documentary series known as Beyond the Peloton has come to an end. It was a great way to promote the team, especially one sponsored by a frame manufacturer as the sponsor needed to reach fans ahead of the wider public. At times it was obviously showcasing the Cervélo frames but most of the coverage had race footage, interviews and behind-the-scenes video and it made for great viewing.
One episode featured Carlos Sastre racing in the Giro and getting radio encouragement from team manager Jean Paul Van Poppel. Later I was listening to some music and then the video “shuffled” on at random. Suddenly I had Van Poppel’s radio coms in my head as he tried to encourage Carlos Sastre in the Giro. It gave me an idea:
It’s an audio remix. Either listen direct or right-click to save a copy and maybe put it on your MP3 player.
Talking of audio and video, if you have been a fan of the Velocast podcast in its past or present format then note the pair are going to be doing a fully downloadable video podcast, a vodcast, in 2012 that is backed by internet broadcaster cycling.tv.
Finally, apologies if you’ve been getting error messages during the past week. The server that hosts this blog has been having problems. If you are reading this then there’s no problem but if you ever get a blank screen with a “database error” problem, try to reload the page as the problem seems to occur for only a few seconds. Apparently the problem is being looked in to but it’s not something I can fix.