Results tagged “Chris Horner” from spare cycles

Horner trains with fallen rider on back

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horner-ccc-everydayathlete.jpgWhile browsing Podium in Sight I read this Cascades Stage 5 story that's so good I have to pass it on:

Chris Horner Gives Fallen Rider (and bike) a 2k Ride to the Finish

Follow the links to read Everday Athlete's account and see some photos. Jonathan Devich of CyclingNews also got a photo and there's footage from from KTVZ. Horner's feat is about 3:09 in.

I'm sure all of us would do the same as Chris Horner, if we were Chris Horner. Maybe that's just how they ride in Bend.

Levi and Friends

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Horner and Leipheimer
Photo by Ken Conley

Chris Horner

Jelly Belly High Road Matteo Tosatto

Levi Leipheimer

Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner came to speak in Palo Alto at a fundraiser for the Tour of California. Riders for High Road, Jelly Belly, and High Road also showed up to sign autographs for fans. It was an interesting time, seeing at news of Astana's ban from ASO events is still being absorbed. The new bit of news on that front is that Levi indicated that Astana would be launching some sort of online petition to rally American fans. Other topics of conversation included Horner's virility, air resistance of ponytails, and the Tour of California.
Video:

Also, enjoy the photos.

Levi and Friends Photo Gallery

Tour of California Stage 3: Jens!

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Robert Gesink Jens Voigt Levi Leipheimer

above: Levi Leipheimer, Jason McCartney, Jens Voigt, Robert Gesink, and Chris Horner go over the KOM line at the top of Sierra Road

Photo Gallery

Stage winner Jens VoigtJens Voigt beat Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner for the stage win after they managed to get over the top of Sierra Road first and hold off a chasing group with Paolo Bettini. Jens was the strongest sprinter and Levi was just trying to stay on Jens' wheel to remain in the overall lead. Levi owes a great debt to Jason McCartney, who was able to help bring Levi to the top of Sierra Road. McCartney had been a breakaway ahead of Levi but was able to stick with his leader when Levi caught up.

Levi called today's stage a "bike race" and it truly was. It first took shape with a large breakaway of 17 riders that included Jens Voigt and Jason McCartney. They got a huge gap over the peloton, but Discovery absolutely drilled it at the front to start bringing it back (with some help from Rabobank and Slipstream). Hincapie, Cruz, and Davis all put in their turns and by the time Sierra Road came, it was Basso's turn to lead the charge. Meanwhile, in the breakaway, Jason McCartney and Jens Voigt put the hammer down at the base of Sierra Road and were able to whittle the breakaway from 17 down to 4.

(Brief aside 1) I asked a rider at the top how Sierra Road compares to Alpe d'Huez: steeper, but shorter.

Then, the amazing bit, occurring all along Sierra Road's 15% grades: Basso was able to reel the breakaway within striking distance and Levi started to jump across the gap. Chris Horner and Rabobank's Gesink glued themselves to Levi's wheel, but it was all Levi. Up ahead Jason McCartney put in an attack and was able to drop everyone except Jens Voigt, and still, Levi continued to bridge up.

(Brief aside 2) Last year, it was Bernhard Kohl and Leipheimer leading the charge over the top. Discovery Channel chased with Barry, McCartney, and Hincapie -- Horner and Julich were tucked in as well. Barry and McCartney were able to pull it all together and Hincapie took the final sprint (photo, more)

With Levi closing in, Jason McCartney switched into domestique mode and began to pull himself further inside out to lead the front group to the top of the climb. As they reached the top it was Levi over first, followed by McCartney, Voigt, Gesink, and Horner all in a tight bunch riding as if there were no hill.

Further back, Paolo Bettini was showing that I shouldn't have been calling out his poor showings in the first three stages. Bettini led the effort to chase down Leipheimer's group and crossed the KOM point twenty seconds back (along with Bobby Julich and Mick Rogers).

Bobby Julich Basso and Cancellara

Levi drove the descent initially, but then McCartney and Horner started to help push the gap over the chase group of Bettini/Rogers/Julich. Jens Voigt, tired from driving the breakaway earlier in the day as McCartney sat on, smartly sat on during the descent.

(Brief aside 3): The course to the finish line is a long, wide, and straight shot into downtown San Jose. Conventional wisdom from last year was that it is too difficult for a breakaway to hold off chasers from Sierra Road all the way to the finish

Jens Voigt attacked and sloughed off Gesink and McCartney. Quick Step and T-Mobile continued to lead the chase. By the time the lead group approached the final turn to the finish line, the large chase group had them in sight.

It didn't matter: Jens Voigt came through the final turn first and simply road Leipheimer and Horner off his wheel. Levi wanted Chris Horner to get the stage win after Horner helped them stay away, but it's hard not to like a win by Jens Voigt. Everyone loves Jens Voigt, fan and cyclist alike -- there's just something about a masochistically aggressive rider that you appreciate.

The win moved Voigt to within three seconds of the lead, which means that Leipheimer will have his work out for him in the Solvang time trial. Levi will also have CSC's Bobby Julich to worry about.

Levi Leipheimer

Other notes: * Slipstream's Tom Peterson didn't have to impersonate Taylor Tolleson on the podium today: this time the best young rider's jersey was his to keep * Lance Armstrong was with the race today. The only photos I got were of his back as he ran away from fans.

kwc Stage 3 Photo Gallery (top of Sierra, podium)

Links:

Kessler went for a repeat attack and this time was able to hold everyone off to the line. He put in a huge atack on the final steep Cauberg climb and the surviving members of the peloton had too much trouble working together to bring him back. Boonen managed to stay with the chase group just behind, which was enough to put him in yellow by a single second. He also takes over the lead of the green jersey competition from Robbie McEwen.

The biggest news on the day were the collarbone casualties: Valverde, Freddie Rodriguez, and Erik Dekker. Valverde is the biggest loss as the odds-on favorite for the overall win. He went down in a touch of wheels on this hot, difficult day. Fast Freddie and Dekker went down in a separate crash. Robbie McEwen will certainly miss his lead-out man.

The overall standings had a bit of a shakeup with Hushovd dropping to fourth, Michael Rogers jumping to second, and Discovery now with two riders in the top five: Hincapie at five seconds back and Savoldelli at 15 seconds back. Discovery has plenty of strength at the top of the standings and Popo and Azevedo are both right near Levi in the standings.

The day was dominated by a breakaway containing Jens Voigt, Christophe Laurent, Jos� Luis Arrieta, J�r�me Pineau, and Unai Extebarria. Pineau won most of the KOM climbs on the day and took over the KOM jersey lead. Jens Voigt picked up a bunch of sprint points and time bonuses, but the time bonuses were completely wiped out by finishing 1:29 behind. Arrieta was the last surviving member of the breakaway and made it all the way to the Cauberg climb before he was swallowed up by the swarm of riders from the peloton.

Prediction check: * My prediction: Frank Schleck * Actual: Kessler. Schleck finished 5 seconds off in the big chase group

Barclays SF Grand Prix 2005

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Al, Jill, d and I went to the Barclays San Francisco Grand Prix on Sunday. There was no Armstrong this year due to retirement, but there were plenty of big names to go and watch: Basso, Hincapie, Leipheimer, Horner, and Zabriskie. Zabriskie only did a couple of laps due to prior injury to his right hand and Basso dropped out as well, but the rest raced strong.

The race was dominated by Team Discovery, which sent Michael Creed on an early breakaway as a carrot for the other riders to chase. Creed stayed away for nearly 50 miles before being caught by a breakaway that included his teammates Jason McCartney and Ryder Hesjedal, along with HealthNet's John Lieswyn. Hesjedal and Creed couldn't hold on and it was McCartney and Lieswyn that looked in control of the race. They were caught on the final lap by Gerolsteiner's Fabian Wegmann, who had tag-teammed with his teammate Andrea Molette to catch the lead pair. Wegmann had better sprinting legs and became the first non-North American to win the race.

Finishing Sprint

If you want more of a summary, I suggest reading the VeloNews article.

For all intents and purposes I had an all-access pass to this year's race. The security guards seemed not to notice me sneaking past them, though I had help from Al and Jill who had tickets into the VIP section. They fed me food from the VIP tents and we shook hands with OLN commentator Bob Roll. d and I both managed to sneak into the grandstands to watch the finishing sprint (Al scouted out the position of the guards) and then we jumped into the photographers-only area in front of the podium for the prize presentation. We then went over to the CSC tent and managed to get autographs from Dave Zabriskie, Ivan Basso, and Bjarne Riis. Al had found a wristband on the ground and decided that sending in Jill was the best strategy, which turned out beautfully. Their CSC hat has got a bunch of great signatures on it and my backpack has a left-handed Dave Zabriskie signature (his right hand is injured), which is charming in its own way.

autograph autograph hat

(note: I didn't have any photos of Basso to get autographed so I printed this one taken by Flickr user wuertele)

Partial photo listing (full photoset). d should also have photos of the event, which will hopefully be posted as well: