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Shout for Chechu May 12, 2009

Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu, giro d'italia, lance armstrong, team astana.
1 comment so far

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.


OPEN LETTER TO ASTANA September 25, 2008

Posted by wetalkhablamos in cycling fans, team astana.

Peace and love to all of our friends in the Astana organization. Thank you for all your labor to bring the public closer to the team. I really mean that.


Have you forgotten the Triple Crown winner? How is it possible that you could give presidence to a one-year cameo appearance by a celebrity!

Lance Armstrong is no longer “in career,” as we say the opera. Yes, he’s back, he’s irresistible. His cancer initiative is a wonderful idea.

But to knock Contador off the front page of the website, and potentially chase him off the team! Not to mention putting Levi and Klodi, Chechu, Benjamin, and the boys all on the back burner…

Please explain.

This blog is a published document. The purpose is for OPEN conversation in an environment supportive of Chechu Rubiera and Alberto Contador. That includes a supportive attitude to their team, Astana.

Criticism, yes. Praise, yes. Love, yes. Tough love, sometimes, yes.

Fans and bona fide team representatives are invited to join this open and above-board conversation.

We love the boys and their team. So tell us, team, tell us all. What are you doing?

Rebecca, a fan


Posted by wetalkhablamos in team astana, vuelta a espana.

I really want to love Team Astana so much. For Chechu’s sake.

But they’re making it very hard today.

Just days ago, a new flash page opened the team’s website, celebrating the success of Alberto Contador and the team at the Vuelta on Sunday. It was a bit naff but it was fun.

Just three days later, and with conspicuous haste, it’s gone.



Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu, cycling fans, team astana, tour de georgia.
1 comment so far

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.


GOING BALD May 1, 2008

Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu, cycling fans, team astana, tour de georgia.

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?


OUCH HOUSE April 30, 2008

Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu, cycling fans, team astana, tour de georgia.

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!



Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu, cycling fans, team astana, tour de georgia.

From Joan,

“Chechu stopped and gave me a hug. The people around me were in awe. I mean mouth open, didn’t know what to think or do, in awe. After he left to go see Amy (the next corner down), they were asking if I knew him. Of course I said no more than he just appreciates his fans when he sees them. OK, so the flag was kind of a give away but way cool just the same.”

Look at the woman, pointing to Chechu and Joan in the foreground. This is so special.

And then, he was gone …

See Joan’s GALLERY.

Nicky, Edinburgh

A FOND FAREWELL April 28, 2008

Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu, cycling fans, team astana, tour de georgia.

With the race over, there’s nothing else to do but put your feet up on the dash and hang out the window, chatting to amigos.

Thank you (again!) to Brenda for her photos from stage 7.

That’s Rebecca, flag in hand, with Cricket, Larry (hidden) and Amy. And lovely Jenny the dog.

There’s extra champagne for Chechu on the podium, to celebrate his last race in the US.

Nicky, Edinburgh


Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu, cycling fans, team astana, tour de georgia.

For Team Rubiera in Georgia, the fun continued on Brasstown Bald. Annie tells all,

We topped and tailed on Brasstown Bald.

This is a new phrase that Larry taught me. It means the first and last. We took the first shuttle up Brasstown Bald at about 8:45 am and then took the last one down sometime, maybe about 5 pm. We didn’t plan to be the last ones down, but that is the way it worked out. It was a wonderful day full of fun and great racing.



Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu, cycling fans, team astana, tour de georgia.

We’re still waiting for news from Rebecca, I think they’re partying on the team bus! It was probably not champagne last night, but we know that the team are allowed a glass of wine with dinner. And after the climb, I think they deserve it.

Team Rubiera were on Brasstown Bald yesterday. Top photographer, Ken Conley spotted them and caught a flag on camera.

Photograph by Ken Conley

After manning the LAF stall all week, Angie and Jerry Kelly took a break to join TRub at the finish.

Photographs by Jerry Kelly

I’ve seen 1000s of photos of Chechu, many of them are after the race. He looks super tired. So Astana bosses – give the man a holiday!

Thank you everybody for the fab pics this week.

Nicky, Edinburgh