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1. Birthday Book Project January 29, 2010

Posted by wetalkhablamos in birthday book project, chechu, cycling fans.
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What is the Birthday Book Project:

We’re inviting Chechu’s fans to submit items to go into a Birthday Book for him.

We would like to collect general messages, fan art, poetry, or maybe even photos or anecdotes of when you met Chechu. Tell us about your cycling goals for 2010 or anything else you like!

In English or Spanish.

Every year, we create something special for Chechu. A present from his fans. We’ve done music – to warm up and down. A commemorative poster.

This year, we’re design book.

Stage 1. A page planner. Now we just need to scour the website, blog, Facebook and Twitter for content.

A lucky find! This will save money. We’ll insert the pages into this fab photo album cover.

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Campeonato ACP November 10, 2009

Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu, cicloturista, spain.
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Chechu at the Campeonato ACP in León on Sunday 8 November. Photographs © Arturo Sintes Lluch.

More photos from the final Spanish cicloturista on Arturo’s Facebook.

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Shout for Chechu May 12, 2009

Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu, giro d'italia, lance armstrong, team astana.
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For the last few days, we’ve been blessed with daily updates and photographs from Christine and Roger in Italy. They’ve tracked Chechu and his team during the first four stages of the Giro d’Italia. They’ve even stayed in the same hotel.

What an amazing experience. Christine has just phoned from Padova. At the team bus, there was a big group of Spanish fans chanting Chechu’s name. For once, his support was louder than Armstrong’s. He’s a popular bloke, and the adulation is well-deserved.

Christine and Roger have earned their privileged insight over a number of years. They’ve worked to build friendships with cyclists and staff, even with partners and parents. A special door is open to them, it’s not going to be open to everyone. And don’t expect Chechu to invite you in. He’s working too.

At the Vuelta a Espana last year, we were spectators like everyone else. No special access, and so our experience was different. Still good, but different. We also hung about for ages, took photos and said hello to a couple of team staff. But I was just another fan and they were working. No time to chat. That’s fine.

We were at the finish lines, partly by design, part accident. If you don’t have passes for access at the start line, then do go to the finish line. At the Vuelta, there was no security cordon. I leaned against Astana’s very clean team bus for a while, watching and taking in the atmosphere.

I saw Chechu there and said a quick hello. Not for the first time, I’d travelled thousands of miles to see him, but in truth that’s all I hoped to achieve. But he was there, close by, our hero. It was good.

So my top tip. Get yourself noticed. For Chechu, wear a fan t-shirt or brandish an Asturias flag. Then he knows you’re there for him.

ZZZZZ… March 25, 2009

Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu, lance armstrong.
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It seems we’ve been snoozing on the job. It’s time to catch up on lost time, we’ve missed you.

Chechu’s 2009 season has started strongly. A good result in Australia was followed by a terrific result in California. Finishing 10th overall, he climbed, chased and yes, sprinted brilliantly over a tough parcours. He’s racing in Spain this week, supporting Leipheimer and Contador in Castilla y León.

And then there is Lance Armstrong.

On the wall of his parents’ bar in Baldarnón, there’s a huge photograph of Chechu on a climb at the Tour, with Lance on his wheel. I asked Chechu when it was, he couldn’t remember. It was USPS, so maybe 2003. Or 2002. Perhaps 2001.

And in his home gym, there are the framed maillot jaune, signed by Lance. There are at least two of them, casually propped up against the wall.

Chechu talks about those USPS days with energy and sparkle. His relationship with The Boss keeps delivering for him. Lance was instrumental in Chechu signing with Astana last year, and the key motivation for racing one more year.  The loyalty has brought Chechu overwhelming fan support in the USA.

Chechu is a consumate team-player, and he’s at his best working with other people. Even his Barlata is a collaborative venture. Yet what an asset he is to his partners. Good words flow naturally from him. He finds the positive in disappointment or calamity. Loyalty is instinctive.

Loyalty has been endangered in recent times. Our economy, based on greed and self-interest and so very fragile, is mocking our lives. We look back to past times, searching for values like integrity and gratitude which once worked so well.

There’s more to be said about this, but for the moment, let’s be thankful for Chechu Rubiera, who is gracious and good.

And also for Lance Armstrong. Always.

CHECHU TALKS ASTURIAN January 15, 2009

Posted by wetalkhablamos in asturias, chechu.
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In this video, Chechu says,

“Hello. I’m Chechu Rubiera. I’m a cyclist. Prevent its death. Because it’s our language. Asturian official language!”

Leading Asturians have joined this political campaign to prevent the Asturian language dying out.

Although the official language of Asturias is Spanish, the language spoken by many locals is Asturian. Now protected by law and offered as an optional language in schools, supporters of Asturian claim that, because it is not officially recognised, it may be a dead language within two generations.

Chechu describes Asturian as “a dialect of Spanish, and very similar, although unfortunately it’s becoming obsolete and only a few words are still used between Asturians.” He has even taken to the streets to support his local language.

In 1994, there were 100,000 first language speakers of Asturian, with 450,000 able to speak or understand it as a second language.
doilacara1flickr

photo source:  flickr.com

LAS CABRAS DE RUBIERA! May 29, 2008

Posted by wetalkhablamos in asturias, chechu.
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It’s been a slow news month on the Rubiera front. We know he’s been training in the gym, as it’s been wet in Asturias. But we’ve certainly missed him at the Giro.

However, like all good magazines, we have something fun and quirky in reserve.

Just along from Loli and Jose’s bar in Baldornon, Asturias, there’s a field belonging to the family. And in the field, you’ll find the Rubiera goats. Las cabras.

Of course, we went to look and admire, and the girls spent twenty minutes or so feeding the greedy but gorgeous goats.

Amazingly, Chechu hung around, he took a couple of calls, and we talked goats!

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CHECHU BIKES May 5, 2008

Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu.
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More Asturias holiday snaps!

Chechu loaned my husband a mountain bike during our visit to Asturias last month. Tom spent glorious mornings riding up and down (and up and down) the mountainous and narrow roads around Cudillero.

Of course, when we returned the bike, he had to give it a good clean.

Chechu told us that he only owns three bikes, two road and one mountain (although he also said that this was his second best mountain bike!).

At Chechu’s house, we tinkered with his great bike sculpture, featured Discovery’s 2006 film, Mining for Chechu.

Nicky, Edinburgh

PARTING IS SUCH SWEET SORROW May 1, 2008

Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu, cycling fans, team astana, tour de georgia.
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I’ve never liked saying Goodbye, not ever.

Maybe it’s an Attachment Disorder left over from childhood but when I care about someone or love someone, I don’t want them to be away from me.

When Sunday arrived and I knew it was “that” time, I had to really fight back the tears. As I said before, I’m glad Rebecca was there because she helped me hold it together.

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GOING BALD May 1, 2008

Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu, cycling fans, team astana, tour de georgia.
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I would like to thank Rebecca’s husband Larry for giving me the title. Isn’t it cute?

I’m not sure where to begin with Brasstown. It was an amazing day filled with story after story. We knew we had to get there early, or, at least, get to the shuttles early. The problem was, where do we get the shuttles?

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OUCH HOUSE April 30, 2008

Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu, cycling fans, team astana, tour de georgia.
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For the European cycling fans, I wasn’t sure if you’d understand the humor behind the title. Here in the US, we call outdoor, non-flushing commodes outhouses. On Friday, after barely making the Stage 5 start in Suwanee, Annie and I decided to go to the first KOM site.

I had really wanted to go to a feed zone to try to catch some “souvenirs” that the riders throw off but it was too hard to pinpoint its exact location so we headed for the KOM site. We didn’t exactly know where it was either but it looked easier to find and Gracie (my GPS) helped guide us. It just so happens that we literally ran right into a road block where the peloton would be turning to head up to the KOM.

There were very few people there and the peloton was about 20 minutes out. I HAD to use the bathroom and there were NO real ones to be found. Some guy says to me “There’s no modesty here, just find a tree”. OK, sure, that’s easy for you to say but I’m a girl!

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