Name changes, helmets designed by Lando Calrissian, and adult braces in the peloton

As a man of scant height, I will always support fellow short men and women. It's for this reason that I would never mock someone for their height, or lack thereof. Having said that, I must admit that seeing Levi Leipheimer hoist a wine glass at the Tour de San Luis made me fearful for him, as he will surely be crushed soon, if given a wine bottle during a podium celebration.

And while early-season races like the Tour de San Luis can keep us entertained, this is also an ideal time of year to go back and re-watch old races, particularly the ones where you don't remember who won. It was while watching one such race (a late 90s edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege I believe) that I was reminded of a simpler time in cycling. A time when Lando Calrissian worked as a design adviser for Rudy Project.

Amazing helmets with rearward facing visors aside, I wanted to share a video with you because of my post two weeks ago, regarding nicknames in Colombian cycling. In that post, I mentioned that cycling legend Cochise Rodriguez is known in Colombia exclusively by his nickname, not his given name (Martin Emilio). Not surprisingly, it turns out that only a few days ago, Cochise legally changed his name to Cochise. The video below announces this bit of breaking news (which I've subtitled). It's worth noting that the velodrome in the background is named after him (its official name is: Velodromo Martin Cochise Rodriguez).

Lastly, the video below is one I share with you in the spirit of cultural exchange. You see, years ago, as I was flipping through TV channels I stopped for a second and watched a bit of Sabado Gigante. As I watched this long-running variety show in Spanish, my lovely American wife commented that she never understood why shows from Spanish-speaking countries so often featured puppets, and adults dressed as children or clowns. At first, I thought she was crazy...but I slowly started to realize she was correct.

Quico, a character in the Mexican children's show Chavo Del 8. The show was largely made up of adults dressed up as children. Quico was alway dressed in a sailor's outfit, and a cycling cap (in Colombian colors no less). If you want to see some of Quico's greatest moments, you can watch them here.

The video below, which I didn't translate because of its length and because it didn't really warrant it, features a man dressed as a hobo clown. His guest is none other than Cochise Rodriguez. I'll spare you the details of their conversation, but will tell you that Cochise has a good sense of humor, and manages to say a couple of things that are actually funnier than the weird hobo clown.

If you can't watch much of it, I can't blame you. Watching someone like Cochise ride a stationary bike along with a hobo clown is unsettling to say the least.

And as if the videos above weren't enough, here's one of the Colombia-Coldeportes team training. Notice that their bus has the words "Inspired by Climbing" written on the side. It's the team's slogan. Forget Leopard's "True Racing". Forget Sky's inspirational bit about excellence and the "the line". These guys are not looking to be all-arounders, or do well in team time trials. They're just inspired by climbing.

Chavez, Forero and Henao

If you watch the video closely, you'll also notice that Esteban Chavez (winner of last year's Tour de l'Avenir) can be spotted wearing braces. Another rider in the team, Juan Pablo Forero, is sporting adult braces as well. Along with Sergio Henao, who will also have adult braces at Sky this year, I'm happy to be in good I too am a Colombian adult with a mouth full of metal bits.

With Colombian riders in Movistar, Lampre, Liquigas, Acqua & Sapone and Sky (not to mention the Colombia-Coldeportes team), this will be a landmark year for Colombian cycling.

But more importantly, it will be a landmark year for us Colombians with adult braces.

You can watch another video of the team here, and you can see their Facebook page here.