Good Morning Lou I think I discovered the issue here about the lack of VR updates from California The problem is this morning's edition of the NY Times.
Great Article about Tom Danielson, really talented rider (and he's joining Discovery Channel);
A Promising American Pedals Into View By SAMUEL ABT
Published: October 3, 2004
ERONA, Italy, Oct. 1 - Every other rider in the 200-man field came to the bicycling road world championships with hopes of winning or at least shining, but Tom Danielson, a 26-year-old American often described as the next Lance Armstrong, has more modest ambitions.
"These are my first world championships, so I really don't have any goals other than being here to learn," he said. "To learn and be good in the future."
A big talent who won 22 races mainly in the United States in 2002 and 2003, Danielson is completing his first year as a member of a European team, Fassa Bortolo from Italy. It has not been an easy year. Danielson described it tactfully in an interview as "a different year for me."
He is an acclaimed climber and a former mountain bike star who took to the road only three years ago. What he lacks, he acknowledged, are the vital elements of road racing that are not part of mountain biking, such as tactics and bicycle-handling skills in a pack and, especially, time trial experience.
He did not get that this season because his team used him strangely. Although he was initially scheduled to ride in the Giro d'Italia in May and then in the Vuelta a España in September, he was not entered in either three-week mountainous competition, studded with races against the clock.
Instead, he spent his time mostly in flat one-day races with no climbing and no time trialing.
"They knew my situation, everyone knew my experience - there's no secret there," he said, speaking of Fassa Bortolo. "I was ready to do a big tour. Maybe I wouldn't have done that well, but I need the experience. I need to get in there to be ready to do it next year or the year after."
Speaking in the warm-up area before the time trial at the worlds in Bardolino last Wednesday, he said, "These guys are the best in the world theoretically, and I'm not a time trialist. I'm trying to become one. If I do a top-20 time trial, I'll be more than happy."
Although he missed his goal, finishing 35th in the 46-man race, he seemed satisfied. Nobody ever said school was easy. His goals in the road race Sunday are equally modest.
"It's the first time for me in the worlds, so I have no idea what to expect," he said. "It's 265 kilometers, and it's going to be a big battle against the one-day specialists. Whatever my role is in the team, I'll do that."
After the worlds, he will return home to Durango, Colo., where he attended and raced for Fort Lewis College, and to East Lyme, Conn., where he was born and his family lives. Then he will marry and finally move from a town outside Bologna, Italy, to Gerona, Spain.
"I'm joining the posse," he said about the move to Gerona, the town that is home to many riders, especially those who race for Armstrong's team, which will be sponsored next year by the Discovery Channel. Since he has been released from his Italian contract, Danielson will ride for Discovery next year.
"The advantages are endless," he said. "First of all, the team's infrastructure: It has the best rider in cycling's history - Lance Armstrong, six Tours de France, world championship, blah, blah, blah, it goes on forever," an appraisal that may startle fans of Eddy Merckx, the Belgian who retired 30 years ago and is traditionally regarded as the sport's finest.
"I need to be on a team with a mentor I can learn from," Danielson continued. "Some people say, 'Oh, you have to work for someone,' but I'd be more than happy to blow my eyes out on every single climb for him, because I'd know I'm learning and becoming better for the future.
"I'm not ready to be a contender in these big races yet. I need to learn. And to learn with someone who's been your idol your entire life is priceless, it's unreal.
"Another big reason is that the team is made for, it's sculpted around, stage races. They have the right directors, the right staff, the right riders, and that's what I need to get to the next level."
The label of the next Armstrong began last year when Danielson won the Tour of Langkawi, a multiday race in Malaysia with a major climb, as a member of the Saturn team. Then, in July, he won the Mount Evans Hill Climb in Colorado, knocking 4 minutes 10 seconds off the record set 12 years ago. Danielson rejects the comparison.
"It's difficult for me to hear that," he said. "Who he is, he's Lance Armstrong, he'll always be Lance Armstrong, and there will never be another Lance Armstrong. Obviously, my physique and my talents are much different than his."
They are about the same height, 5 feet 10 inches, but Danielson, at 132 pounds, is 30 pounds lighter.
"I don't know where I can go in this sport," Danielson said, "and every day I'm just going to take everything I can off the wonderful people around me and go as far as I can.
Wayne (I want to get out from behind this computer and go riding !!!) Jolly Toronto, Canada
> It has been awfully quiet from California since the earthquakes, Mt St
> eruption and the start of Velo Rendezvous. Are there any reports? Too
> hungover to report? Lou Deeter, Orlando FL