Jonathan Vaughters settles an argument, Cycling Inquisition is deemed to be somewhat influential, and Colombians race at the Giro

Internet fame

Last week, I received a copy of Mr Bike Snob's book for me to review. Upon receiving said package, I instantly knew that I had officially made it into the blogging elite. On Monday, I received further proof of that fact. For one, Cycling Inquisition was named as one of the "best cycling blogs" by Cycling Tips, or at least it was recommended that its readers vote as such. It was also on Monday that I found out that some guy has somehow determined that this blog is the 49th most influential cycling blog on the internet. Okay, the list only had 50 blogs on it, thus making me a bit of a looser...but I'm choosing to see the cup as half-full for once in my life.

It's for this reason that I invited the entire Cycling Inquisition staff to Applebees for jalapeño poppers in order to celebrate. When we came back to the office I thought there would surely be large UPS packages from bike companies waiting for me, all full of free stuff due to me being an influential blogger. Sadly, that was not the case. Instead, all I received was one lousy bit of spam email that was generically addressed to all "Influential Cycling Bloggers". Gee thanks, and here I thought I was about to get a nice wheelset, perhaps a titanium frame or at least some used handlebar tape. Nope.

The lack of free stuff, the spam email and the fact that I had nearly come in as the Lanterne Rouge in a race of blogs started to get me down. Sure, there's no shame in coming in last (or nearly last) in a cycling race...but in a non-sanctioned article written by some dude, using metrics that no one is sure about...that's a whole 'nother thing. Luckily, it was at that very moment that I received actual proof about my importance in this world we live in. You see, I suddenly received confirmation via electronic mail about the fact that I had officially won an argument with my wife. My mood suddenly changed and was lifted magically like Pellizotti's hematocrit values.

Vaughters settles the argument
You may remember that last week I posted about my experience trying to go through security at JFK (the airport, not the dead president), and about my quick run-in with one Jonathan Vaughters during that process. In that post I discussed how Vaughters had seen me get lectured by security staff for trying to bring a cobblestone into the United Sates, and how I had (in essence) lied to the TSA agents and basically told them that I was Fabian Cancellara (by saying the cobblestone was a trophy of a race I had just won). My wife argued that Vaughters had not seen any of this happen, and that I was merely saying this to make the story better. Well....guess who confirmed my assertions about all this, one Jonathan Vaughters. Yup. A reader of this blog (unbeknownst to me) asked Vaughers to confirm or deny the incident in order to settle the argument between my wife and me.

Argument settled. By having a neutral third party look into the matter, it had been proven that I was correct, which left me wanting more. Why couldn't he step in to settle other matters in my life? It's for this reason that I will now contact Jonathan Vaughters directly with ALL the admittedly minimal marital disagreements between my wife and me. I asked Jonathan if he was interested in serving as our arbitrator, and he agreed. As such, the list of items that we will be discussing on a conference call next Monday is the following:

1. Was I told to pack the measuring cup along with the dog's food when leaving our beloved dachshund with friends for a week.

2. Did I say I would be home early that one time in order to talk to the termite exterminator guy.

3. Should we get a second dog?

4. Which Iron Maiden album is better, Powerslave or Live After Death?

Based on his experience and neutral point of view, I firmly believe that Vaughters can settle these and other points of contention, just as he did with the JFK debacle. I say this because not only did Vaughters prove to my wife that I was right, he also called my writing "excellent" there you have it. The man is clearly a genius and has great taste.

As a result of his corroboration of my story, I shall never speak in an ill manner of Jonathan (not that I did before). I shall never speak badly of the team, its sponsors, his home town, his cousins, his barber, his family, his high school mascot, his plumber, his optometrist, his pets, his hobbies, or his Tivo selections. Anyone that does, will be banned from commenting on this blog forever, and ever, Amen. This will ensure that I stay in his good graces so that he will rule in my favor, and will also ensure that I get a spot in a team car really soon. I also want a Garmin 500 thingy (in black please).

The veredict
So what did my wife say when I informed her about the fact that the very person in question (Vaughters) had confirmed my assertions? Well, she responded with a quick "He's wrong. He didn't see you."

So not only is my blog 49th out of 50, my wife also manages to find a way to still win...somehow. In the words of the great Rodney Dangerfield, I get no respect.

Colombians at the Giro
In a largely unrelated note, I wanted to remind all of you that five Colombians will be starting the Giro this Sunday. Though this pales in comparison to the days when two or three fully Colombian teams would race in grand Tours, five Colombians at the Giro is rather high for today's standards. Keep an eye out for these guys. Sadly, Mauricio Soler will not be at the Giro this time around. Perhaps he can return to his earlier glory at the Tour this year. We'll see. The Colombian riders are as follows:

Jose Serpa Perez (Androni Giocattoli) #38
Serpa dominated the Tour de Langkawi last year, winning the GC, Mountains Classification and a stage. This season, he's already won a stage at Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali.

Cayetano Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Aqua & Sapone) #19
This is Cayetano's first year racing in Europe, after having won the Giro Bio last year.

Rigoberto Uran Uran (Caisse d'Epargne) #68
5th overall at the Tour de Romandie this year, 3rd at the Giro di Lombarida last year. Uran benefits from Caisse d'Epargne not having a definite leader at the Giro, due to Valverde not being allowed to...well... you know, race in Italy...and the fact that his dog was named Piti.

Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) #85
Aside from Fred Rodriguez, Duque is perhaps the best Colombian sprinter of all time. He's a Vuelta stage winner, and will no doubt be seeking stage wins at the Giro.

Mauricio Ardila Cano (Rabobank) #162
Ardila was born in Medellin, and has been with Rabobank since 2006. He won the 2004 Tour of Britain, and was 20th at the Giro last year.

Two last names?
If you're wondering why Rigoberto Uran Uran has the same last name twice, let me explain in case you don't know. In most Spanish-speaking countries, we use our father's last name first, and our mother's maiden name second. For official paperwork, we usually have four last names or more. The third last name is our father's second (our grandmother's maiden last name) and the fourth is our mother's second last name. See what I mean? In Uran's case, two people with the same last name married, and thus his last name is repeated.