A busy weekend in bicycle racing, locally and internationally. Internationally, we have Paris-Roubaix, also known as the "Hell of the North," which is probably the toughest one-day bike race in the world, across the cobbles of northern France and southern Belgium. It's such a tough race, that teams use specially-reinforced bikes, with longer wheelbases with wider tires. Here is the parcourse:
Boonen has promised to exact revenge on Cancellara this weekend, but anyone who bets against "Spartacus," as he is known in the peloton, is either a fool or a knave. If you're looking for an unexpected winner out of the pack, consider Garmin-Transition's Martijn Maaskant, who has finished well in Paris-Roubaix the last couple of years.
To watch Paris-Roubaix live on the internet on Saturday morning, check out the listings here. Versus will carry tape-delayed coveraged on Sunday from 6-9.
On the local racing front, several of my friends and teammates will be riding the Hillsboro Roubaix in western Illinois. I wish them all a strong, fast, and, most importantly, safe ride.
My own cycling plans for the weekend do not (in fact, never) include racing. I'll be content to get a couple of longish rides in with some friends. Yesterday evening, I had a decent outdoor training ride for the first time since coming down with bronchitis (or whatever it is that's causing my respiratory problems). Today, I plan to do some interval training, along with an VO2max test (5 min. max effort). A couple of 40 or 60-mile endurance rides on Saturday and Sunday would make me very happy.