Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Year, New Start

Wow, it's been a very long time since I've written something here... But I didn't forget about this blog hehe :) I just had so many important things to do, some significant changes have happened in my life and these last three months have been simply way too hectic :)
I thought I would write some long post...but I changed my mind and i will just write this: Happy New Year everyone reading this! I promise I will upgrade this blog as often as possible from now on :) Of course with my thoughts, mainly about sport :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cyclocross World Cup in Tabor /photos/

Last sunday I went to Tabor, South Bohemia to see the best 'crossers in the world.
It was a real pleasure to see them all here in the Czech Republic.

Lars Van Der Haar is running up the stairs

Mike Teunissen and his dirty Giant

World U23 Champ Van Der Haar

Arnaud Grand (SUI) & Jan Nesvadba (CZE)

Podium for three best U23 men: Elia Silvestri (ITA), Lars Van Der Haar (NED) & Mike Teunissen (NED)

Rainbow wheels are ready...

Women's ride by Telenet-Fidea

Helen Wyman, Daphny Van Den Brand and Hanka Kupfernagel cossing the planks

Albert, Nys, Stybar & Pauwels in the front row

Bikes & hand mixture at the start

Take the bike and run!!

Jump by Jeremy Powers (USA)

Petr Dlask (CZE) and Philipp Walsleben (GER) getting over barriers

Zdenek Stybar (CZE)

Kevin Pauwels (BEL) is going to win this one

Chasing group led by Stybar and Klaas Vantornout (BEL)

Men's Elite podium: Stybar, Pauwels & Vantornout

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Cavendish Saga and No Train for Quick-Step

For a long time it had been almost certain that Mark Cavendish of dying HTC-Highroad will be joining Team Sky for the upcoming season. It was as clear as the summer sky. He has got nearly all his colleagues of national team there, they know each other very well, it would be super massive british squad in british team... But after the World Championship the rumours started to spread...

There is no need to remind you that Mark Cavendish has become the world champion in Copenhagen. I'm sure every team in the world would like to sign the rainbow jersey holder when there is a chance. And that's the point – Cavendish (or his management or both?) knows this very well too. And after the time in HTC when he felt he deserved more money, he tries (or they try) to gain the most that he can. He wants to have the dominant position in the team, he wants to be in the strongest team and also be paid well (and I don't want in any case to criticize him for that). So there started mind games between Cav, Sky, media, sponsors, other riders and teams.

Shortly after the WC the news/rumours appeared that Cavendish insisted to continue riding Specialized bikes. But wait a second! Team Sky ride Pinarello! There's somethin wrong here... Moreover the rumours said that there could be problem with the fact that Sky is sponsored by Adidas while Cav's personal sponsor is Nike. Many conclusions had been made rapidly. The basic one was: OK, Cav doesn't go to Sky, they have different sponsors and he wants to keep his owns (and their money). So he has to go to the team where there won't be a problem with it. And who uses the Specialized bikes? Saxo Bank – not suitable for first class sprinter, Astana – the same... What about Quick-Step? Well, they ride Mercx currently but it's the public secret that they will swap it for Specialized (I am actually little bit wondering how sure everyone is on this issue. No-one has officialy stated anything... Maybe some special clauses of confidentiality? I don't know). So that's where the rumours starts to unlimitedly combine.

And what were the main protagonists saying? Cav was silent, Specialized too, Team Sky didn't say anything to clear this whole thing up. The manager of Sky Dave Brailsford said there was no contract signed, only an oral agreement. This Dave Brailsford is also the man responsible for the british national team. So it seemed he had a tool to persuade Cav to join Sky. London Olympics. Brailsford could say: If you join Sky, we will take care of you in London, bring you on the 200m mark (or wherever you want) and you will just win the race. If you don't,… As I'm not in relation with any team nor sponsor, I can only guess what was really happening. But this might have been real scenario.
Omega Pharma-Quick-Step, acording to manager Patrick Lefevre had full squad of 30 riders for next season and Lefevre was told by Bernie Eisel that he and Cav had already had the deal at Sky. Because of these "obstacles" it was pretty unlikely Cavendish would join Quickstep.

And I'm more than happy with that! Because the reason I'm writing this whole text up is to express my big disagreement with that transfer. Don't get me wrong, Cavendish is a great athlete with the spirit of a winner, he's probably the best sprinter in the cycling world and even if he's not always polite I actually quite like him. But please, Cav, stay out of Quick-Step! I really like this project because 1) I allways liked QS, belgian teams, belgian cycling tradition, 2) one of the co-owners is czech billionaire (so the team is partly czech :)) and mainly 3) there were many excellent riders who have joint QS recently (it makes me very happy to see many of our czechoslovak riders – yes, czechs and slovaks together, I don't consider them as neighbours at all, more like brothers - in ProTeams, especially in QS which slightly becomes our national team :-D). Almost one third of former HTC team will be part of the new QS. Add Brian Holm as directeur sportif and super experienced Levi Leipheimer and you'll get the team which will definitely be fighting for glory not only in spring classics but in all kinds of WorldTour races. QS will finally have strong GC riders and time trialists (first a fourth best in the world) and I hope they will focus on stage races as well as on classics. In my opinion QS has enough sprinters - Boonen, Ciolek and Golas. The signing of Mark Cavendish would hardly correspond with the intention to bulid a team for GC. Because if you have the sprinter of his qualities, you need to built the team for a race (or part of the team) around him. Cavendish is used to his train consisting usually of all members of the team. This means that everyone has to sacrifice a part of his own energy in Cav's favor. And I don't want Peter Velits or Tony Martin completely sacrifice themselves for Cavendish (or any other sprinter). How many times we saw Velits or Martin leading the train for Cav instead of being hidden in peloton... I can clearly imagine faces and reactions of guys of HTC enklave in QS: Cav'll sign here? What the hell?! Do we never get rid of him?! (Don't take it seriously, I'm just kidding, I know they are friends :-))
As I'm writing this, Team Sky announces Cav will be riding for them. UF! The saga has an end, there will be no train for Quickstep and I'm looking forward to next cycling season...with hope that QS boys will show all their ambition and potential.

The First One

It's been a while since I've decided to start a blog. But I'd been missing the crucial impuls to do so. Last few weeks I had plenty of time for thinking and I realized that I should finally put my ideas/memories/impressions "on the paper".
I'd like to write mainly about sports. My loved ones like cycling, footbal, skiing or tennis as well as other ones if there will be anything to say.
I will also post experiencies from my everyday life (I'm actually not into these kinds of blogs, the diary-like-ones but I'll try to write down everything interesting).
Majority of blogs (asociated with big news servers) usually contains topics like politics, society problems and issues, situation in (I-don't-know-which) country etc. To be honest I don't mind these things. Or I do mind them so little that for me they are not worth blogging. But maybe there will appear something from this "category" if there is a strong reason, I don't know what I'll be thinking of the next minute. Do you?