Friday, May 30, 2008

Brutal day ahead

Lenoir, NC (LC Press)- Today's stage did little to change the standings of the Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia presented by Chuck L's Mangina Cream. Braswell's stage win of 100 points did little to close the gap on Team Shooting Stars as they earned 97 points on the day.

Tomorrow will be a day of fireworks as the race will cross the Passo del Gavia, Cima Coppi and will finish on the infamous Mortirolo. Expect serious fireworks from Ricco, DiLuca (il killer de Spoltore) and maybe even Simoni. Contador's lead is slim at best and everyone will be gunning to gain as much time on him as they can to offset any deficits they may incur on Sunday's final stage time trial.

This will be a stage worth watching live. If you don't have there are still ways to get the live feed. Check this site out for free live feeds!

Complete results

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Welch all but locks up maglia nero

Lenoir, NC (LC Press)- While the battle to win this year's Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia presented by Chuck L's Mangina Cream is still way up in the air, DS Jeff Welch has all but ensured his quest to win the battle at the other end of the GC: the maglia rosa or numero nero. While winning the GC takes determination, strength and luck, those riders who find themselves in contention to be the last placed slot on the GC must use wit, cunning and guile to win the race for last. A stunning stage win by DS Charles Hicks' Team Straightouttamyass has wrecked his chances to be in contention for the coveted black number and handed apparent victory to Welch.

In other news, Team Far North has become deeply embroiled in scandal as they have admitted to receiving to many points for their performance in stage 17. Earlier today, Bennett released this statement:

To further enshrine the spirit of competition and sportsmanship I would like to point out that FADA was simply doing their job, though I would ask that testers not report all the extracurricular activities they may have witnessed at the hotel. I would like to further solidify my popular place in UFCI history by reporting that, once again, there have been scoring errors made with team Far North for stage 17. Though these scoring errors will certainly spell my doom come this weekend, I feel it necessary to 'ride clean'.

Charles Bennett, DS - Far North

An internal investigation by the UFCI has revealed that there may have been collusion between Bennett and several UFCI officials in a "points for prostitutes" setup. The UFCI would not release the names of the implicated officials, but has assured the press that they are no longer officiating the Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia presented by Chuck L's Mangina Cream. No sanctions have been made against Team Far North as the UFCI is likely to try to discretely put this matter to rest.

The battle for the overall win begins tomorrow as the roads turn upward for the final weekend of the race. All eyes are on DS Todd Braswell as he looks to be poised to unleash fire and brimstone in a bid to win it in the mountains.

Complete Results

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Open letter

Dear lady who honked her horn at me for over a mile,

I wish we could have had more of a discussion about the rights of cyclists on the road in NC. Since you seemed so disinterested in what I had to say ("You just shut up!", seemed to be your favorite thing to say. Except for "You're going to Hell!!" which was easily your most uttered phrase.) Since you didn't want to hear what I had to say, I would like to clear up some things that may have been causing you so much distress.


I understand you were late for your doctor's appointment, but I would like to point out that you wasted a lot of time riding behind me laying on the horn and passed up several opportunities to safely pass by and go about your merry way.

I hope you have pleasant driving experiences in the future and I suggest repeating the following mantra: "Cyclists are friends, not obstacles."


p.s. I apologize for asking you how that $3.90 a gallon gas is treating you, but if you would like to give bike commuting a try I know a great bike shop that can help you get started!

Dyer dances with glory, Bennett drained

Lenoir, NC (LC Press) - Team Low Road scored a subtle victory over Rising Star and Team Cheeseballs, moving himself into 3rd overall. Thursday's stage will be the last before the seriousness sets in, the roads tilt up and the contenders go for broke.

In other news, Team Far North was visited by FADA (Fantasy Anti-Doping Association) representatives at 4 am in their hotel. Blood samples were taken and tested from the team and the hotel rooms were searched. No illicit activity was found. FADA President, Ricardo Cabeza, made a statement to the press stating that FADA had merely conducted a routine, surprise inspection. He emphatically denied the rumor that the inspection was conducted as retaliation for recent press statements made by Team Far North's DS Charles Bennett with regards to scoring discrepancies from Stage 15 of the Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia presented by Chuck L's Mangina Cream.

Complete Results

Monday, May 26, 2008

Braswell makes it a triple

Lenoir, NC (LC Press)- Brawell's team has made it 3 stage wins in a row and he has now moved into 3rd overall in the GC. Tomorrow's rest day will be a good chance for the top riders to decide their next course of action. Friday and Saturday's stages will be the last mountain romps and will see the final maglia rosa taken.

Complete Results

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Two for two in the lofty reaches of the atmosphere

Lenoir, NC (LC Press)- Todd Braswell's team made it two in a row with another stage win today. This now moves The Chosen into 4th place on the GC and they are rising like a rocket towards the podium and a possible maglia rosa. Ron Swenson once again took the overall lead with strong showings by Contador and DiLuca, but Ricco and Simoni paid off huge dividends to Braswell. The next few mountain days could provide a turbulent outlook for the GC.

Secure in the lantern rouge position, DS Jeff Welch is all but assured a coveted last place finish in the overall GC at the end of this year's Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia presented by Chuck L's Mangina Cream.

Complete Results

The Chosen tem scores big in first ascension into the heavens

Lenoir, NC (LC Press)- DS Todd Braswell took a much needed stage win in the first true test of this year's Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia presented by Chuck L's Mangina Cream. The stage also brought a shake up in the GC as Team Low Road vaulted from 3rd to 1st overall.

Complete Results

Thursday, May 22, 2008

McEwan misses, Bennatti blazes

Lenoir, NC (LC Press)- Max Dyer's new sponsors at Lick Log Biological Testing Labs may have given Team Low Road the extra oomph needed to win today's stage in the Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia presented by Chuck L's Mangina Cream. A huge 230 point victory has brought the top 3 GC teams within 64 points of each other.

Meanwhile, the other teams are languishing further and further behind. The coming mountains may be the key to a wholesale change in the overall standings. Friday's stage will be the last romp for the sprinters for a while and, as DiLuca has stated, the real Giro starts Saturday.

In other news, it has been rumored that Chuck L's Mangina Cream may seek an injunction against Dave Zabriskie to prevent the sale of his new line of chamois creams, DZNuts. It is unclear at this time what the legal justification for this action is, but we can only speculate that Chuck Luddeke, owner of Chuck L's Mangina Cream, is afraid of losing market share to Zabriskie due to the inherent coolness of the product's name.

Complete Results

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

All quiet on the Italian Front

Lenoir, NC (LC Press)- A tie between the 1st and 2nd placed GC teams for today's stage meant little change in the order of the standings. While the gap to 1st and 2nd place widened a bit, the gap between 1st and 2nd remained the same.

There are two days for the sprinters before the roads soar skyward. Saturday will be brutal, but Sunday's stage looks set to be agonizing. Those teams stacked with sprinters may find thems riderless after the mountains. Time will tell...

Complete Results

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The gap widens

Lenoir, NC (LC Press)- A big win by DS Charles Bennett's Far North Team was not enough to wrest the GC lead from Ron Swenson today. Swenson's lead now stands at over 100 points on second place. The DS's need to do whatever it takes to get their GC contenders to put up some big numbers or Swenson will walk away with this one!

Complete Results

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Lenoir, NC (LC Press)- Max Dyer took a huge stage win today, racking up an astonishing 210 points and moving himself into 2nd place in the GC. Cleared of doping charges just a month ago in the Luna Cycles Fantasy Paris-Roubaix, Dyer's finish today might be viewed by some as simply a remarkable result by a remarkable team. The second place stage finish by Dyer's former team doctor now directeur sportif of Team Cheeseballs, John McMenemy, has raised eyebrows amongst fantasy cycling's top officials.

While no charges have been leveled or even discussed, the officials in charge of the Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia presented by Chuck L's Mangina Cream have assured the tifosi that this year's edition is totally clean and they restated their zero-tolerance policy for doping.

Amongst the long time reporters of this Grand Fantasy Tour, the opinion most shared was that today marked a solid performance by the sprinters. The widely held belief was that any rumors of doping were unjustified and took away from the hard work put forth by the riders today.

Tomorrow brings a much needed rest day before Tuesday's individual time trial. Discussions amongst the team directors show David Millar as the odds on favorite for a stage win. A strong showing by the overall favorites could shake up the GC profoundly. DS Ron Swenson will be able to relax after today's successful defense of the maglia rosa knowing that tomorrow the jersey will remain his without a fight.

Complete Results

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Birthday brouhaha brings bicycling brilliance for Darden!

Lenoir, NC (LC Press)- Placing 2 riders in the top 3 and having a third rider finish in the top 20 of the Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia presented by Chuck L's Mangina Cream brought much needed smiles and points to GS Spurtschnookers directeur sportif Jason Darden on his birthday. His tally of 175 points on the stage brought him a narrow stage victory over DS Todd Braswell who posted a not quite good enough 170 points on the day.

Having languished in the basement since the start of the race, Darden has pulled himself back in with a shout and now lies in 6th place overall. The whole standings have taken a dramatic change-up and DS Ron Swenson's formerly staggering lead has now been whittled down to a tenuous margin. DS Todd Braswell's 2nd place performance today was enough to move him into 2nd place overall with a gap of just 48 points to the maglia rosa.

In further news, DS Jeff Welch's gambit of stacking his team with young up and comers has not fared well and he has now fallen back to the lanterne rouge position. Could the broom wagon be looming large for this team?

Complete Results

Friday, May 16, 2008

The long and winding road

Some of you have noticed my posting from far afield these last few days. I have spent the last four days on a bus trip with the Early College freshmen to the Outer Banks of NC. I just got home and am exhausted. Rest assured that I have not made my fortune in either the bike business (Ha!) or teaching (HA HA!) and retired to a secluded beachside bungalow. Besides, the mountain biking looked pretty nonexistent and the road riding opportunities seemed to be confined to a single road. Who would leave our little bit of cycling paradise for that? Although surfing looked pretty cool...

Swenson savors sweet success!

Lenoir, NC (LC Press) - Shooting Star Racing had another perfect day in the Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia presented by Chuck L's Mangina Cream. By claiming the stage victory with a huge 90 point day, DS Ron Swenson has once again taken the maglia rosa with a substantial 83 point margin over second place. This strong team looks to be asserting itself as a major factor as today's stage saw a throwdown of sorts from the major figures in this year's race.

As the true contenders assert themselves, those teams heavy on sprinters and other stagiere opportunists may find themselves slipping out of contention with no real hope of recovering. Other teams just need to have riders place in the top 10 instead of the top 20 to make a go at the lead in the GC. It seems that now the directeurs must rely solely on the fates and fortunes of their most mercurial team members: the pure climbers and the GC contenders. The next few days may very well see a winnowing of the wheat from the chaff.

Complete Results

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The mad scramble continues

Beaufort, NC (LC Press)- The lead in the GC of the Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia has switched yet again. In what is quickly shaping up to be a battle amongst the sprinters on each team, chaos reigns in the overall battle for the maglia rosa. Taking the lead once again, Eddie Winkler is showing a no-holds barred attitude in placing his team firmly at the head of affairs.

A scoring mix-up from two stages ago has been corrected, but even this was not enough to rescue DS Jason Darden from the depths of despair. Despite his team having "good sensations" they were unable to pull off any meaningful placing today and managed to only garner 1 point from Paolo Bettini's 19th place finish.

The team sprinter's have not managed to rack up huge points in the last few stages, so it remains to be seen if the large point margins that the leaders now enjoy will be enough to fend off the charges of those teams that have placed their emphasis on climbers and time trialists. Several of the mid-pack teams may prove to be snakes lying in wait in the tall grasses of the Alps.

Complete Results

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sprinters robbed, dicey day for directeurs

Kitty Hawk, NC (LC Press)- Another day of movement and turmoil in the Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia presented by Chuck L's Mangina Cream. DS "Redline" Ron Swenson seized his team's first maglia rosa with a mere 16 point gain in today's stage. Swenson now holds a tenuous 7 point lead over DS Eddie Winkler.

Many teams have been hit hard by the lack of consistency from their sprinters, while other teams are hoping for better performances as the roads tilt upward. The strategies are beginning to play out more like gambles, but there is still a lot of race left to be ridden.

GS Spurtschnookers are still languishing in the basement. DS Jason Darden may be seeing his career ending with a whimper in what could be his last Fantasy Giro d'Italia.

Complete Results

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The switcheroo

Kitty Hawk, NC (LC Press)- A romp by the sprinters brought a much needed stage win to DS Max Dyer's team. Heavy on sprinters, this was the stage finish that Dyer needed to drag himself out of the basement.

Eddie Winkler's team still remains in the lead of the GC, but that lead is not out of reach of several teams. Another strong sprint stage could bring his lead to an end. Many teams now find themselves in a must win position in order to remain in the chase for the maglia rosa. DS Jason Darden, though blessed with years of experience, may be seeing hopes of glory in this race fading as he has come to own last place in the GC. A good result for this aging veteran would be a feel good result that would delight the tifosi'

Complete standings

Monday, May 12, 2008

Winkler regains lead in crash filled stage

Lenoir, NC (LC Press) - Eddie Winkler has retaken the lead in the Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia presented by Chuck L's Mangina Cream.

Complete results

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Winkler wins, then washes out!

Lenoir, NC (LC Press) - Not since the spectacular implosion of Team 7-11 at the Tour de France in 1986 has a team gone from ecstasy to agony in so brief a time as DS Eddie Winkler's team at this year's fantasy Giro d'Italia. Saturday saw a dominant performance by the team in the most technical of cycling disciplines: the team time trial. With an impressive 1st, 2nd and 4th places in the TTT, Winkler took control of this year's fantasy Giro in commanding fashion. The elation would not be lasting...

Like Icarus, Winkler's team may have flown too high in yesterday's stage for today saw them humbly tumble back to Earth, exposed as the mere mortals that they truly are. Yesterday's stars failed to post a single rider in the top 20, and thus they fell from 1st to 3rd in the Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia presented by Chuck L's Mangina Cream general classification.

The truly remarkable story of today was that of DS Todd Braswell's team. A respectable, but uninspiring effort yesterday by the team was nicely disposed of with an emphatic stage win today, vaulting the team from 10th to a tie for 4th in the general classification. The team now lies within 9 pts. of taking the 3rd position from Winkler's team.

Two solid performances by DS Jeff Welch's team have moved him into a remarkable lead of 30 pts in the general classification. Welch has obviously come to this years fantasy Giro with a singular goal of winning the overall in a display of pure dominance. He now has 19 stages left to prove himself.

Complete results

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Fantasy Giro d'Italia, scoring breakdown

Pick 3 riders. They will be scored as follows-
PLACE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

POINTS 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 15 10 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 1 1

Riders will only receive points for their stage placing. NO POINTS FOR GC OR ANY OTHER CATEGORY! Riders will receive points for the TTT based on the team's finish.

If you need further clarification, just drop me a line!

Homage to il pirata

Nobody rocks the pink jersey like an Italian and the one who stood out above the rest was Marco Pantani. The classic combination of Bianchi's trademark Celeste (a color that seems to go with every other color you put it with) and the fabled pink hues of the maglia rosa just ooze an italian sense of style that no other riders seem to be able to touch.

Let Marco remind you to get your Giro team picks to me by Saturday at 8am. Imagine him in that inimitable style: hands in the drops, standing up on the pedals in some insane gear and flying up improbably steep climbs, and now think of him chasing you down, screaming at you to get your team together!

Also, remember that Cycle to Serve is this Saturday at 8am. There will be a 40 and 60 mile route, so there's a little bit of pain to go with any rider's needs! And don't forget: top 5 finishers in each ride get a homemade cake. CAKE! And everybody gets to partake in a huge potluck lunch that is the best post-ride meal I've ever encountered. Beats the hell out of those off-brand sandwich cookies at the top of Grandfather Mtn. at the end of Bridge to Bridge!

Come out and ride the beautiful roads that we get to train on all the time!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Fantasy Giro d'Italia approaches

Lenoir, NC (LC Press) - The tifosi are swelling with excitement in anticipation of this weekend's kickoff of the greatest Grand Tour of the season. Team rosters are being finalized, while some fantasy directeurs sportif are playing the waiting game and not releasing their rosters, presumably waiting until the last minute to do so.

By all accounts and armed with the rosters that have been posted, this year's fantasy Giro looks to be an epic contest of strategy and a true battle amongst the top fantasy teams in cycling today. Noticeably absent from the listings are the two men responsible for dominating this season's fantasy Ardennes classics: Howard Hesterberg and Max Dyer. Dyer was truly coy and cagey when confronted about finalizing his team roster, remarking, "I have until Saturday morning at 8 am." Other than a minor rules clarification, Hesterberg has been incognito. Could these two teams be tired from their incredible run at the final week of the classics season? Or will they pull another rabbit out of the hat and continue their dominance of the fantasy peloton?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Il Giro d'Italia di fantasia

The need for some rules clarifications in the Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia presented by Chuck L's Mangina Cream has reared its head. Howard Hesterberg has correctly nailed the crux of the competition on the head: you choose 3 riders for the entire Giro, not 3 riders per stage. This is where the strategery comes into play. Since the riders are only given points for finishing in the top 20 of each stage and no points are given for any overall classification, you gotta make some tough choices to field the best 3 man team you can. *You do not need to be local to play! (I will mail you your prizes if you win!) Email your 3 man team picks to me by 8am est, Saturday, May 10th!

In a completely unrelated and nonfantasy sidenote, none other than President Bill Clinton came to Lenoir today to speak. This sort of thing would be a big deal anywhere, so the fact that he was a block from the bike shop and a 1/4 mile from my house makes it pretty cool. It is also pretty cool that the NC primary will actually mean something. Usually, things are pretty well locked up by May in the presidential primary season, but this one looks to be coming down to the wire! You know it's serious when they start posting primary results from Guam. I didn't even know they had a primary...

In other shop news, we are swelling with 2008 bikes! Just got in the new BMC Trail Fox long-travel full-suspension mountain bike, and the '08 BMC SL01 in the new stealth black-and-white paint scheme! Lots and lots of Specialized bikes are in, too, including Roubaixs and Tarmacs. Come check it out!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Fantasy Giro d'Italia

Il Giro starts on May 10th and so does the Luna Cycles Fantasy Giro d'Italia presented by Chuck L's Mangina Cream. The race format will be simple, yet like many "simple" games, there is a hidden degree of complexity.

So, the deal is this: you pick 3 riders. Those riders receive points based on their finish in the day's stage provided they are in the top 20. There are NO points for GC or any other overall competitions. Fantasy GC will be tallied daily. Prize list is being finalized this week, but the real reward comes from the spirit of competition!

Picks are due in my inbox by 8 am, Saturday, May 10th. Also, don't forget that May 10th is the day of Cycle to Serve, so come get your ride on!