Yes, we are on the eve of the Queen of the Classics, and instead of bashing FoxNews some more, I’ll move onto cycling for today (I see that the J-man took up my FoxNews bashing anyway, so I digress).
It’s throwdown time at Paris-Roubaix. Here’s who I’ve got one on my list for possible favorites (in no particular order):
Hincapie (I know, long shot and all)
Quinziato (riding on fire right now)
I mean, we all know that Devolder was riding on fire last week, and I’m sure his form has not gotten any worse, but the big question in my head is; can Quick Step do the old “Mapei” and finish 1-2-3? They’ve got the firepower with Boonen, Devolder, and Chavanel, so it could be possible, and it’s really not crazy to think that all 3 of those guys could make the winning move (whenever it comes), and or be the cause of the winning move. Deep down, I’d love to see George “Sandwich” Hincapie (I’ll explain the sandwich thing later) take the win, mostly because hey, he’s a nice guy, works his tail off, and has been close a few times only to either break a bike, or fall in a ditch, and or see his teammate ride off into the distance without him (Thanks Boonen!). But really really deep down, I would absolutely dig it if Flecha took the win. Why? He’s a classy guy. He’s a hardcore mother fucker. He’s been in the mix a few times, and really, how awesome would it be to see a Spanish guy, not normally known for their classics riders, take the win. Every year I cheer for this guy, and it won’t be any different this year. You can bet your ass on that. I do think that when it all comes down, the list of names I put above are the guys who are going to be in it. Sure, there are going to be a few others in the mix towards the end, or when the move goes, but be on the lookout for all of these guys. It’s gonna be a warzone out there, and good news for people who like it nasty out there, looks like there might rain in the forecast for today, and tomorrow. Meaning, nasty shit strewn roads throughout the course, and especially the cobbles are going to grab people, and bring them down. Be prepared for lots of abandons on the day, and probably broken collarbones, and other such maladies. And of course, we’ll have the muddy pictures that remind us of what an epic day it can, and has been in the past.
Going back to the George “Sandwich” Hincapie nickname. This is a nickname that my wife and I have Hincapie a few years back, basically because we were watching PR one year, and he was toiling along, and it just looked like he was starting into the abyss riding along, and probably thinking to himself, “Damn, I wish I had a sandwich right now. Mmm, sandwich…” He had that sort of “detached” look on his mug that said he wished he was somewhere else, eating a sandwich, and hence, his nickname around the house became common vernacular between us.
OK, one other thing that bugs me about PR coverage every year. We always have these stupid articles about the Paris Roubaix “new” tech that has shown up at the race. Which essentially consists of a few teams running cantilevers (how 1970′s of them), and a few special made bikes with more clearance for bigger tires, and or longer wheelbases for a smoother ride across the cobbles. Look, I don’t care what the fuck you do to these bikes, I’ve ridden a few races in my time that went over small sections of cobbles (less than say, 300 meters), and sections of unpaved roads, and I don’t care what you do, you’re going to vibrate the shit out of your skull piece. Aside from that, the “new” tech that we hear about year in, and year out, is the same new “tech” that we’ve seen year after year. Sure, we had a couple of years when some folks tried to run suspension forks, but those didn’t work out that great. There is nothing new or interesting going on out there, and as a matter of fact, most teams are running good old fashioned 32 hole box section wheels, which just goes to prove that all of you crazy folks spending multiple of thousands of dollars on deep dish carbon wheels are wasting your money. Box section rims get the job done. Build up a nice set of Open Pro 32 hole wheels with some Dura-Ace, or Record hubs, you’re going to have a wheelset that is almost as light as say a set of Mavic R-Sys wheels, at about a 1/4 or 1/2 of the price, and I would bet you that they’ll last a lot longer, and you can get parts at any bike shop in America. Do I practice what I preach? Yes, yes I do. Open Pro, 32 hole hoops, with Ultegra hubs. They’re 4 years old, been rebuilt once (replaced the bearings), and they’re still true. I have to true them up, on average, about once a year. They rock. Where was I? Oh yeah, the “new” tech is just actually old tech, and they keep repeating this same story year after year. Hey Huang, find something good to report on.
What was the entire point of this ramble? Tell me good folks, what is your call for Paris-Roubaix tomorrow? Will someone get run over by a train (I hope not)? Will Cancellara ride away from everyone again? Will Quick Step do a 1-2-3 race? Will some turd burglar win the race instead of one of the favorites? Will Hincapie finally win? Will Boonen stop to do a few lines at one of the pave sectors? Will someone get popped for doping before or after the race? I mean, these are the questions we want to know about. Let me know what the fuck you guys think.
Thanks for playing the guessing game with me. I will leave you with the video below:by