Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hey I Won Something!

Let me clarify. It wasn't a bike race.

With that said... Velonews has a contest for the 2007 Tour where you predict the winner of the stage and his average speed. I only entered one so far - the prologue. You can enter after the stage has started but before it gets too close to the end. I don't remember the prologue rules but the road stages are closed at 10k to go.

Last year (or was it the year before) I mentally selected a couple riders before the finish of the stage - and chose them correctly. I never sent in my predictions so felt like maybe this year, if I get that hunch feeling, I'd send in something. This year, with the average speed bit as part of the prediction, I don't think I'll be entering as much. I follow Tour stuff but can't recall a single average speed for a stage - so nothing on which to base my predictions.

Anyway, it seemed that a lot of good racers were clocking mid- to upper- nine minute times in the prologue. I figured that there'd be one guy to break 9:00 and he'd do a doozy of a prologue. So I chose Cancellara and figured out what a 8:45 would be as far as speed went.

54 kph.

Seems reasonable right? I mean pros always TT at 54 or 55 kph.

Anyway, I sent in my prediction. Then I translated 54 kph to mph. And came up with 33.75 mph.

Almost 34 mph on a technical course where no one was breaking any speed records.

Okay, that might have been a tad optimistic. And only one entry per person per day. I would have been better off predicting Pee-Wee Herman winning the prologue.

I missed the coverage of his prologue but saw that some very fast guys were about 40 seconds slower than my predicted winning time. This confirmed my optimistic prediction so I sort of gave up hope that anyone would even break 9:00. And since I was at work and figured I blew the prediction, I sort of ignored the Tour for a while.

Sometime after the prologue wrapped up I checked the results. Lo and behold Cancellara did an 8:50. I quickly calculated the speed - 53.7 kph.


I figured someone out there must have guessed something like 53.68 or something.

But surprise, surprise when I got up today to work (yeah, it's Sunday), I saw a spam like email in my mail client with the subject "re: Cancellara, 54 kph"

Because a spammer that uses a cyclist name and a speed deserves at least a chance to infect my machine, I opened the mail. No spammer here (though he probably sends out a lot of emails). Nope. Instead it was a notification that I won the prize for the prologue!

How cool is that??

So I've won two random things so far (both did require some participation). A picture caption contest (the contest and the winners- I got second) and now the Velonews thing.

Anyway, now back to my Sunday's work, house work (finding the PODS key and clearing out some of the basement), and some miscellaneous tasks I have to get done.

Later today I'll be heading over to Naugatuck for a race and we'll see if anything pans out there.

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