Saturday, July 10, 2010

a win for Joost

In recent months I haven't given news of Joost Posthuma's bike racing career; there hasn't been much to report. I started following the man when he took the white jersey as best young rider in Prologue of the 2006 edition of the Tour de France. He's Dutch, born in Hengelo, and rides for the Rabobank team. His official bio, with lots of photos, is here and there's lots of info about him on his web site. He tweets about once a day.

He's riding the Tour of Austria this week rather than the Tour de France. Today's stage was a time trial, his speciality, and he just tweeted the message: "First victory for me this season the time trial in Austria. Really good feeling."

This photo, from another race, shows him in time trialing mode.


There's only one stage left of the Austrian Tour. Joost has mostly been providing support for other Rabobank riders during earlier stages and, on Thursday, helped his roommate Nick Nuyens to provide the team's only other win so far. You can keep up with the race on the CyclingNews web site.

I haven't been following that other race (the Tour de France) very closely this year. Jon Brand — friend, former neighbor, and sports reporter (who tweets) — has been giving the race good coverage for the Christian Science Monitor. So far it's been brutal: high speeds, risky riding, and lots of crashes.


My previous posts on Joost:


Joost off-season, Lance in training

bike race in Belgium

3 Days of De Panne: Joost takes 2nd

Joost rides the Hell of the North today

Joost at Paris-Roubaix -- an update

interview with Joost's parents

Joost wins a time trial

three weeks in July

inside view of the Tour de France

end of a long hard race

Milan-San Remo


More on the Tour de France:

What Do Tour de France Riders Eat?

In the summer of 1939 Capa spent twenty days following the 2500 mile Tour de France. Capa followed the race on a motorbike riden by his friend. The resulting photographs were published in Match magazine. From Match magazine 27th July 1939 Tour De France. Here are some photos from that assignment:

{source: fansinaflashbulb by erinbarnett}


There are quite a few riders who tweet or blog as they ride and one of the best is the New Zealander, Julian Dean. He's like Joost in that his wins and high places have been coming less frequently over the past year or two. His specialty is sprinting rather than time trialing however. Like Joost he's had a recent success: a second place finish just the other day.

Here are excerpts from his blog for the first day of the Tour:
Starting the Tour in Holland the evening after their football team had put Brazil out of the World Cup, I wasn't sure how the turnout would be for the Prologue as football fever was running high, but in true Dutch fashion it seemed like they just continued to party on and the atmosphere of Saturday evening was equivalent to that of the previous night’s victory over Brazil.

As a Kiwi I was stopped numerous times by fans of this football-mad nation to mention the valiant performance of the All Whites and the respect they have gained for their historical performance is obvious. You can be sure that even if the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup, the appreciation of the result won’t be as far-reaching into this part of the World as that of the All Whites. I’m not particularly football mad but when you live in a country whose national sport is football and is surrounded by equally football-fanatic countries, it’s impossible not to absorb the enormity of the Football World Cup. And if you understand just how big the World Cup is then the All Whites’ performance would have astounded you too.

They are a real credit to our nation and did us all extremely proud. For me, the most remarkable moment in their World Cup campaign was while I was watching the final moments of the match against Italy in a bar at Malpensa Airport on the way home from my last race before the Tour. ... It was obvious the team and their millions of fans had expected the Kiwis to be a walk over. They hadn’t realised what pure passion for the sport could do to a non-descript team from a non-football nation. ... [At the end] the NZ team appeared to be hanging on with every last ounce of guts and determination they had left in them and despite the fact that they had key players going down and had battled twice as hard as their opponents the whole game, the Italians couldn’t break down the Kiwi’s wall of tenacity.

Those final moments of the game spoke volumes about the All Whites as individuals and as a team and why they were able to be competitive with the World’s best teams. Their performance throughout the tournament was truly extraordinary. And in terms of raising the spirit of a nation, there have been very few sporting performances that have lifted NZ like theirs did. ...

Anyway, back to the Tour de France:

The teams tried to be clever and predict the weather pattern and instead of lining our favourites for the prologue TT last as is the norm, they lined them up first hoping to avoid the bad weather forecast for the day. We were one of the few teams to do this so it meant that a non-specialist like me got to experience going off in the last wave of riders amongst all the favourites, when the hype was at its peak - a first for me and something to be savoured. So I thought that I really needed to try and give it something special on this occasion – a good chance to try and do my best ever ride in a prologue maybe? How wrong was I! I did my worst ever ride and came away feeling embarrassed even. I'm not sure what went wrong other than I obviously had difficulty turning the pedals on this particular occasion. It certainly wasn’t how I had hoped to start...

No comments: