Saturday, February 26, 2011

Omloop: Fun To Say and Watch!

In the first Classics race of the season, Rabobank’s Sebastian Langeveld outkicked Juan Antonio Flecha of Team Sky to win the hiply-named Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The race is even more fun to watch than to say, and racers did not disappoint. First, a potential protest over the radio ban was averted by representatives of the riders voicing their concerns but agreeing to go pedal, and forcibly. The Classics masters like Tom Boonen, Thor Hushovd and Phillippe Gilbert missed out on the moves in a confusing and dynamic race. The weather was 48 degrees with a steady rain over most of the course, leaving deep pockets of mud on roads and making the cobblestones slick and grimy. 50 km out, Langeveld attacked on the Eikenberg climb and went roughly half the distance alone before being caught by Juan Antonio Flecha, who rode down a gap of a minute in under 30km to join Langeveld to set up a tight finish. The former teammates (Flecha spent three years at Rabobank) worked together to hold off a chase group that never really closed ground before sprinting to the line, with Langeveld taking it by little more than the width of a rim.

Victory! It took Rabobank’s staff three hours to hose this guy down.

Note: He wasn’t in it today, but the Bohunk’s personal Classics favorite and all-around Nice Guy Thor Hushovd looked stronger today than he did at Tour of Oman. He finished 33rd but with many of the pre-race favorites, and even rode down Tom Boonen after the Belgian took a jaunt up the road.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Foxy Friday: Amanda Beard

One of the few requirements to make Foxy Friday includes the Foxes actually doing something, and in the Bohunk's book (out soon) an Olympic medal is most assuredly something. Swimmer Amanda Beard, in adddition to foxitude, has a gold, two silvers and a bronze in three Olympics. She supplemented her buoyant success by posing for FHM and Playboy as a symbol of the modern female athlete. Point proven, they are very foxy. Congrats Amanda, you're Fox of the Week. Hang this blog right next to the gold. Next to the silver and I'll be offended.
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mountain Bike Returns to Mud

Quick shot of Rosemary (my mountain bike) on her maiden venture of 2011. The roads were muddy and spotted with snow and, in many spots, unplowed. Most of the route was on dirt roads with deep cuts from the snowplows all winter, and it made the ride a bit slower than usual. Still beats the pants off riding indoors....
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Dance Assassin

Another awesome video makes the Update via Mr. Schroeder. Thanks for sending me these, man….

Just good stuff….

Julian Assange Loses Extradition Case

Give him an eye patch and this guy is James
Bond’s worst nightmare…

WikiLeaks founder and ready-made James Bond villain Julian Assange lost his extradition case in London. The Swedish government won their case to bring Assange back to Sweden to face charges of sexual assault against two women. Legal experts believe an appeal will be filed by Assange’s lawyers soon, dragging the case on for much longer, even moving up to the Supreme Court of the European Court of Human Rights. Assange must file his appeal within the next seven days and meet bail to go free. The bail has not been discussed or assessed in the courtroom thus far. A main part of the Assange case brought forth by lawyers is the “toxic atmosphere” in Swdedn where Assange is seen as the nation’s “public enemy number one”, so much that they do not believe Assange could ever have a fair trial in the country. WikiLeaks’ staff has yet to issue a comment on the ruling and US and other officials around the globe are still uncovering information in tens of thousands of leaked cables from the past five years of international communication. Assange’’s legal team has raised the possibility of Assange being handed over to the US after he was extradited. Sweden’s comment, “Nu-uh.”

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's Official: Bohunk Becomes Online Certified Scientist

A few weeks back, the Bohunk took an online quiz for Geology class. In the process, I earned an online certificate declaring me an expert in seismic activity. Kind of. While thumbing this post on my phone, I notice that this certificate may not be as credible as I'd like it to be, but that is fine.
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New Zealand Earthquake

BBC News - New Zealand: Hundreds missing after Christchurch quake Here is a link to a very well written article by the BBC on the New Zealand quakes yesterday. NZL was shaken by four quakes over 5.0 magnitude in under two hours....
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ruta del Sol: Winner Gets A Goofy Hat

Over at one of my favorite cycling events in Europe, the Ruta del Sol, Fran Ventoso sprinted to a win in the third stage. After dragging himself over some rated climbs, Ventoso and the other sprinters queued up with six km to go and hit the gas; Ventoso bested Juan Lobato and Davide Appollonio to take the win after being handed second place in a photo finish earlier in the Ruta. RadioShack man Markel Irizar retained his one second lead over Jurgen Van den Broeck and is looking good with just two sprinting stages left to go. Levi Leipheimer is in third two seconds back and looking strong against some of the top riders in the European peloton, including the Schlecks from LEOPARD-TREK (the sponsors of the team ask their names be capitalized; the Bohunk abides) and a surprising ride by Spanish rider Luis Pasamonte, in fifth.

“V'” for Ventoso!

Andy and Frank Schleck make their stage racing debut; its’ early,

Somali Pirates Kill Four US Captives

A Somali pirate.

Four Americans were killed after their yacht was taken by Somali pirates. Murder is not swashbucklin’. The Americans were in Somali hands for over a week as the US military tailed the vessel after it discovered the yacht had been boarded. US forces heard gunfire and moved quickly to overtake the ship. They discovered that all four captives had been shot and they died of their wounds in moments. The US Navy had a portion of a task force dedicated to following the ship, including an aircraft carrier and two destroyers. Three of the four Somalis were killed, the fourth being taken prisoner and sentenced to 30 years in prison. To leave you on a more positive note, here is a fake pirate, not a blood thirsty one.

Avast, and also, when you have the time, batter the hatches…

Monday, February 21, 2011

Libyan Protests: Government Guns Down 220 People

The Libyan want to get rid of this guy, Col. Gaddafi.

The Libyan government, facing protests of increasing voracity and media coverage, fired on protestors for the second time in is many days. Witnesses say armed militia around the capital of Tripoli have repeatedly fired on crowds near Green Square and the surrounding neighborhoods. The militia, hired by the government and consisting mostly of foreign mercenaries, arrived in Toyota pick ups and began firing into the penned in crowds around the square, essentially strafing the protestors and forcing people from the location. The protestors are into their second week of demonstrations to oust the military rule in Libya, led by Col. Muammar el-Qaddifi. The protests started in the past weeks but the revolt has only taken place in the last six days, scattering police and government officials and leaving the capital in a state of chaos. Fires and trash burn around the city, with many streets run by organized gangs of protestors to limit the security forces trying to end the demonstrations. Activists claim that well over 220 people have been killed so far, with many hundreds or even thousands more wounded by the gunfire. Businesses and schools remain closed in the capital and in some suburbs.

Photo Montage Addition

After my Lance Armstrong retirement photo montage, the Bohunk received several emails about omissions. It is not possible to include every moment of a twenty five year cycling career, but after an email from a Belgian fan, I had to attach an important appendix to that post.

Armstrong goes it alone in the 2010 Tour.

In the 2010 Tour, Lance suffered a flat on the cobbles as the peloton, indeed, the race, was torn apart by Fabian Cancellara. While the Swiss Time Machine pounded away on the front, Lance was tacked on to the lead group of contenders until his front wheel went. He had to wait for a replacement, and, nursed along by teammate Yaroslav Popovych, trailed by over two minutes behind the favorites. Ahead on the road were the likes of Andy Schleck, Cadel Evans and Denis Menchov. Alberto Contador was the main benefactor. Before Lance’s flat, the Spaniard was about a minute behind. After, he ended up with over a minute buffer.

Armstrong used Popo as long as he could before going it alone, chasing down a small group ahead of him on the road to reduce his losses. He spent a lot of energy in the chase and ceded an awful lot of time to the main threats to the overall. Lance has won Tours and impressed Yours Truly many, many times, but this ride is still one of the most impressive and important. Even at 38, with the odds and critics against him, Armstrong still had enough to go after the race alone and give it his all. Cheesy? Absolutely. But without heroics and great stories, cycling is just suffering painful.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vintage Cycling Ads

Just a quick shot from back in the day. The next time you see a stock, cheesy photo in your local dealer of some guy coasting along on a bike path, remember; they used to sell bikes the right way, as shown here. We need to go back to that.
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Planets That May Have Life (If They Exist At All)

When scientists announced on September 29th that they had discovered a planet that could be inhabitable by living things, the Bohunk took it as a two-day early cosmic birthday present; I enjoy this stuff. Gliese 581g and Gliese 581f are both roughly 20 light years away from our own rock in the universe and are rare, like us, in that they occupy a space close enough but far enough away from their star to have liquid water. The discovery of these two planets was, frankly huge. Heretofore, only four known planets in the universe were known to exist in this “habitable zone”, and adding two more in a single study was, to science nerds, a startlingly big deal. Using radial velocity they studied the wobble of the nearby star produced by planets close by, something that utilizes the HARPS telescope in Chile and the HIRES spectrograph in Hawaii. Dr. Vogt, the discoverer, became one of the Bohunk’s heroes.

Until now. A team led by Rene Andrae, a very, very German scientist, is now claiming the planets do not exist and that other scientists have found no reliable evidence that these two planets even exist. They charge that Vogt made an incorrect assumption; Vogt’s calculations and research was based on the star having six planets with a circular orbit. In fact, the other scientists have essentially proven that the orbits are elliptical and that, because of the change in degrees, the gravitational wobble experienced by the star is the product of only these four planes on separate planes, not six on a predictable, even orbital path.

An artistic guesstimation of the possible planets that may or may
not actually exist.

Vogt has fired back with several papers and more data, and charges that the Bayesian techniques used by Andrae and a pal, Dr. Gregory, are inconsistent and largely unproven. Do these planets exists? Will we ever have the technology to see these planets, let alone visit them or look for life on their surfaces? We don’t know every thing, we know almost nothing. The universe, my friends, is the greatest mystery.

Big, Strong, German: Tony Martin Wins Tour of the Algarve

Alberto Contador avoided a one-year ban and very quickly joined the Tour of the Algarve on this past Wednesday, his first competition since the Tour last July after his suspension for doping. Contador held on Friday for a steep finishing climb to stay in the top five, but very, very German Tony Martin won the time trial that concluded the race to keep Alberto off the top step of the podium or even on it. Alberto finished well outside of the top ten on in the time trial but held on to fourth place overall, forty-one seconds behind Martin, who took the overall title.

Close but no clenbuterol: El Pistolero comes up short at the

Contador won the last two editions of the Tour of the Algarve and admitted after the race he was simply not in shape to win it again. Other riders have some racing miles in their legs and, coming off of his suspension, Contador has not pushed a pedal in anger since the second to last stage of the 2010 Tour de France.

RadioShack note: Tiago Machado, Jesse Sergent and Andreas Kloden all finished in the top five of stage six, and Kloden placed fifth overall for the race.