Posts Tagged ‘US Postal’

Will we ever see the back of US Postal?

April 19, 2013

US Postal jersey on Box Hill

The answer to the above question, judging by what I saw during my Surrey Hills ride this week, is possibly not.

I don’t usually ride on Sundays, but I made an exception this week so I could greet the belated arrival of Spring by displaying my bare legs and arms in Lycra. I’m sure Spring appreciated the gesture. Many bicyclepeople had a similar idea, judging by the herds lolling around at the top of Box Hill where I witnessed the full panoply of questionable jerseys on display, from Sky replica kit to those who chose to dress ironically – and, I’m sure you’ll agree, totally hilariously – as a tub of Marmite.

Box Hill in the sunshine

What intrigued me most, however, was spotting the famous blue tops of the US Postal cycling team. They say two is a coincidence, three is a trend; in that sense, the riders I saw wearing USPS jerseys – one in Richmond Park, the other (pictured above) on Box Hill – hardly constitute a resurgence of the once-ubiquitous blue-and-white kit. For some, though, it’s two too many: who would still want to associate themselves with the most duplicitous team in Tour de France history, whose star rider is now commonly prefaced with the word ‘disgraced’?

The answer is, maybe, they don’t. Believe it or not, you can wear a jersey solely for the purpose of riding, rather than using it as a tool to fit in with a group of strangers, expressing your brand loyalty or attempting to look completely amazing (which, naturally, I always do when I’m wearing my black-on-white Rock Racing kit). It was the first warm weekend of the year. They wanted to enjoy it. So they reached into their wardrobe and pulled out the first, or only, cycling-specific clothing they laid their hands on. And off they went. Sometimes a jersey is just a jersey.

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The DYNAMITE! Five: The week in cycling, remixed. Issue #6

May 13, 2011

5 UP Alessandro Petacchi
Sound the conspiracy theory klaxon! The Giro d’Italia’s commissaires ruled in favour of their countryman Alessandro Petacchi on Sunday, even though the ageing fastman clearly weaved around like an inebriated pensioner for the final 200 metres of the second stage to edge out an irate Mark Cavendish. It’s their national race, so it stands to reason that them Italians would show no sympathy towards a foreigner, yeah? Well, not quite: leafing through The DYNAMITE! Files’ bumper book of bike facts, it seems Paolo Bettini was disqualified in similar circumstances at the 2005 Giro, although on that occasion the English-speaking sprint rival – Baden Cooke – actually ended up going ‘a’ over ‘t’. Well, Cav, if that’s what it takes for the race officials to make the right decision…

4 DOWN The Associated Press
Sound the conspiracy theory klaxon again! But a bit louder this time! The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that the federal investigation into alleged doping carried out by Lance Armstrong’s US Postal team has uncovered “corruption to the core”. But don’t get too excited just yet: AP’s source is “a person familiar with the investigation”, which sounds like it could be any of us, depending on how you define “familiar”. Still, at least the news agency has uncovered a mystery that has long perplexed some of its more unintelligent American readers: apparently it was “in France where Armstrong became famous by winning the Tour de France seven straight times”. So that’s how the race got its name!

3 UP Caravans
And speaking of mysteries, The DYNAMITE! Files was left to ponder the possible purpose of a scruffy caravan which we spotted parked next to the VIP entrance of the Manchester Velodrome on Saturday evening. It must be there for a reason, because British track cycling is all about the aggregation of marginal gains, isn’t it? Our theory: when the pressure of all that aggregating gets too much, this is where Dave Brailsford goes for a bit of “me” time. With his spreadsheets and cocoa. And a clipboard.

2 DOWN Boris Johnson
Securing his record third appearance in our weekly rundown, Boris Johnson turned up half an hour late at a Hillingdon school for the launch of the latest Sky Ride cycling event because he, er, choose to take the tube instead of using his bike. Maybe the Mayor of London was afraid of getting a flat. The Uxbridge Gazette revealed: “A few of the children showed the mayor how to find and fix a puncture in an inner tube. Charlotte Masters, aged nine, said: ‘I think he understood it.'” Let’s hope so, eh?

1 UP Doutzen Kroes
After this week’s tragic events, the Giro needed some sort of light-hearted moment to soften the mood – and Cycling Weekly duly obliged yesterday with the romantic tale of the underwear model and the professional cyclist. If CW is to be believed, blonde hottie Doutzen Kroes and race leader Pieter Weening could soon be an item, chiefly because the two of them hail from the same Dutch city and she tweeted the word “lokwinske” – which apparently means “congratulations” in their native tongue. Now, the DYNAMITE! Files is a big fan of the whole romantical-getting-together thing, but is one word tweeted to a third party ample grounds to conclude that she’s likely to call him? Remember, CW: if poor Pieter’s heart gets broken, you will be the ones to blame.